Retired Couples Florida Road Trip Itinerary

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Enjoy your retirement with an exciting Florida road trip! Spend two weeks traveling from Michigan to Florida and back. Making unforgettable memories along the way!

DAY 1

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Arrive: 5:00pm Depart: 9:30am

Leave Detroit by 8:00am to arrive in Chattanooga by 5:00pm. Book a hotel Downtown for the night, grab dinner, do some shopping, and take a ride on the free electric shuttle! Get some rest and be ready for your first excursion tomorrow.

Drive: 20 minutes

DAY 2

Photo Courtesy of Rock City

Rock City Gardens

1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, USA

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 2:00pm

Fingers crossed for a clear morning sky on top of Lookout mountain at Rock City Gardens. Spend your time walking through the mountains curves and crevasses. Like Fat Man Squeeze or Needles eye. Make your way across the suspension bridge to the seven states lookout point. Here is the perfect spot to grab some lunch, and enjoy the gorgeous view. Now wander down by the waterfall and head under ground to fairyland. See the coolest reenactments of your favorite nursery rhymes in the caves. Finish off your visit with a souvenir from the gift shop on your way out.

If you have already visited Rock City you could instead visit nearby Ruby Falls.

Drive: 2 hours

Atlanta, Georgia

Arrive: 4:00pm Depart: 9:30am

Get back on the road and head to Atlanta, Georgia. Book a hotel for the night and a dinner reservation. Take a scenic drive around Atlanta before turning in for the night.

Drive: 10 minutes

DAY 3

Georgia Aquarium

225 Baker St NW, Atlanta. GA 30313

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 2:00pm

Start off your morning at one of the best aquariums in the United States, the Georgia Aquarium, in Atlanta. There is so much to see here; they have a ton of different species, photo opportunities and you can even touch a sting ray! Grab some lunch at Café Aquaria before hitting the road again.

Drive: 4.25 hours

Lake City, Florida

Arrive: 6:30pm Depart: 8:00am

You’ve finally made it to Florida! End your day in Lake City on Lake DeSoto. Have a nice meal and check into your Hotel for the night.

Drive: 3 hours

DAY 4

Photo By Brittany Butters

Manatee Viewing Center

6990 Dickman Rd, Apollo Beach, FL 33572, USA

Arrive: 11:00am Depart: 1:00pm

The Tampa Bay Manatee Viewing Center is one of the best free activities you’re gonna find in Florida! Your first stop once you arrive should be at the stingray tank. Gather around the tank and feel the stingrays as they swim past you. Hangout as long as you like before heading down the boardwalk. Walk through a beautiful green tunnel to the open pier. See the Electric Company across the water creating heat to attract the manatees and other marine life. Spot manatees, tarpon, stingrays, and more. Maybe even catch a glimpse of some dolphins and sharks. Before heading out check out the build your own manatee machine, and gift shop.

The Manatee Viewing Center is only open November 1st through April 15th so plan accordingly.

Drive: 1 hour

Fort De Soto Park

3500 Pinellas Bayway S, Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Arrive: 2:00pm Depart: 6:00pm

Come to Fort De Soto Park to tour the Fort and scavenge the beach. This beach is full of treasures; easily find whole sand dollars, crabs, star fish, and a whole bunch of different shells. (Make sure everything you take with you is already dead) Have a picnic in any of the beautiful parts of the park. For the free spirited avoid tan lines on East Beach, an unofficial nude beach. Go kayaking or canoeing and kick off your evening with a remarkable sunset.

Drive: 10 minutes

Tierra Verde, Florida

Arrive: 6:15pm Depart: 9:00am

Have dinner at one of the casual dinning spots in Tierra Verde before turning into your hotel for the night.

Drive: 1 hour

DAY 5

Photo By Alice Daniels

Sarasota Jungle Gardens

3701 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234, USA

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 12:30pm

Sarasota Jungle Gardens is awesome and a must on any Florida Bucket List! Experience hand feeding flamingos and a giant tortoise. Have your picture taken while holding a snake and an alligator. You can even get a selfie with a parrot on your shoulder! The wildlife encounters are too cool not to visit the Sarasota Jungle Gardens.

Drive: 1 hour

Photo By Alice Daniels

Caspersen Beach

Caspersen Beach, 4100 Harbor Dr, Venice, FL 34285, USA

Arrive: 1:30pm Depart: 6:00pm

Caspersen Beach in Venice is once of best beaches for shark tooth hunting! Washed up onto shore, sift through the sand in the shallow water to find a collection of shark teeth! A beautiful beach to enjoy swimming and searching before watching the sunset. This is one of our Favorite Florida Beaches.

Drive: 1.25 hours

Fort Myers, Florida

Arrive: 7:30pm Depart: 8:00am

Before settling into the hotel for the night take a trip downtown Fort Myers, to take in the atmosphere, and grab some dinner. Get a good nights rest before another fun day tomorrow.

Drive: 1 hour

DAY 6

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957, USA

Arrive: 9:00am Depart: 11:00am

Take a scenic drive through the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This 4 mile trail boasts a ton of wildlife and natural beauty. Enjoy your morning with a relaxing nature drive.

.

Drive: 2 hours

Photo By Brittany Butters

Tin City Mart

Naples, FL 34102, USA

Arrive: 1:00pm Depart: 5:00pm

Tin City Mart is a Must for your Florida Bucket List. This is a unique slow paced shopping experience. There is much more than just shopping. You can enjoy lunch on the waterfront. With tin roofs and décor to match this is just a fun place to check out. The prices at the shops are also very reasonable here.

Drive: 5 minutes

Naples, Florida

Arrive: 5:00pm Depart: 9:30am

Naples is known for it’s high-end shopping, so if that interests you, shop till you drop. Take a walk on the Naples Pier for a beautiful sunset, and a view of the miles of white “sugar” sand beaches. Grab some dinner before turning in for the night.

Drive: 1.5 hours

DAY 7

Loop Road Scenic Drive

Loop Rd Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, FL 34141

Arrive: 11:00am Depart: 12:00pm

If you’re driving through the Everglades you have to take the Loop Road Scenic Drive. This scenic drive takes you through Ochopee. A dirt road with swamp on either side. Do some snake hunting and alligator spotting on this scenic drive.

Drive: 1 hours

Everglades Alligator Farm

40351 SW 192nd Ave, Homestead, FL 33034, USA

Arrive: 1:00pm Depart: 2:00pm

Have some fun at the Everglades Alligator Farm. Take an airboat ride through the Everglades, see alligators in their natural habitat. After the ride enjoy the alligator show. Get some pictures holding a baby alligator to really commemorate your Florida Vacation!

Drive: 10 minutes

Photo By Alice Daniels

Robert Is Here Fruit Stand

19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL 33034, USA

Arrive: 2:15pm Depart: 3:15pm

Robert Is Here Fruit Stand is WAY more than just a fruit stand. You can get very fresh vegetables. They specialize in exotic fruits. These can be fun to try and bring home as gifts. They also have a petting zoo and live music on the weekends and holidays. Anyone putting this much work into a fruit stand you know it’s going to be great.

Drive: 1.25

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Arrive: 4:30pm Depart: 9:00am

Spend your night in the “Yachting Capital of the World.” The perfect stop along the A1A Scenic Highway to spend a relaxing evening. Take a gondola tour, or a helicopter ride. Grab a drink at The Wreck Bar and watch the mermaid show.

Drive: 1 hour

DAY 8

Lake Ida


Lake Ida Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL, USA

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 4:00pm

Spend the day at Lake Ida, the only place in the Unites States you can catch Peacock Bass. Pack a picnic and the fishing gear for day on the lake. Walk the boardwalk and enjoy a Southern Florida day.

Drive: 2.5 hours

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Arrive: 6:30pm Depart: 6:30am

Grab dinner at one of the beachside restaurants. Then do a little shopping at the beachside shops. Stop by the Ron Jon Surf Shop, and check out Historic Cocoa Village for even more shopping. Get some rest tonight for your early morning tomorrow.

Drive: 15 minutes

DAY 9

Photo By Alice Daniels

Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters

505 Glen Cheek Dr, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

Arrive: 6:45am Depart: 8:00pm

Sea Leveler Sport Fishing Charters is a great place to go catch some fish. Every trip I’ve taken with them they have exceeded my expectations, we caught a ton of fish and had a great time! They offer multiple different trip options to customize you’re experience.

Drive: 15 minutes

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Arrive: 8:15pm Depart: 8:30am

After a long day at sea I’m sure your ready to fall into bed. Enjoy your last night in Cocoa Beach and catch the sunrise on the beach in the morning.

Drive: 2.25 hours

DAY 10

St. Augustine

Arrive: 11:00am Depart: 6:00pm

St. Augustine is a great place to visit. They have the fort and Fountain of Youth. Amazing shopping and restaurants. The Trolley with a small fee will take you around St. Augustine and give your feet a rest and allow you to see more. They even have Ghost Tours at night.

Drive: 1 hours

Jacksonville, Florida

Arrive: 7:00pm Depart: 8:00am

Spend the night in Jacksonville, the largest city in Florida. Spend your evening at a museum, the beach, or just grabbing dinner; before heading in for the night.

Drive: 2 hours

DAY 11

Savannah, Georgia

Arrive: 10:00am Depart: 2:00pm

Savannah, Georgia is the perfect stop for some southern charm. Walk the brick streets along the Savannah River and visit the many little shops and restaurants. Grab a unique souvenir from one of the street vendors selling their different artwork. Enjoy an afternoon in the beauty of the south.

Drive: 4 hours

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Arrive: 6:00pm Depart: 10:00am

Spartanburg has that small town charm you can’t help but love. Explore downtowns cultural district to see galleries, live performances, and museums. Stay in one of the unique hotels Spartanburg has to offer for the full experience.

Drive: 3 hours

DAY 12

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN

Arrive: 1:00pm Depart: 3:30pm

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park is home to the longest pedestrian cable bridge on the continent. Get a unique view from the glass bottom section and see beneath your feet. When you arrive start your visit with a SkyLift to the top of Crockett Mountain. Then take in the view of the Smoky Mountains with a snack and beverage from the SkyCenter. Cross the SkyBridge, and walk the SkyTrail. The SkyLift Park is the perfect way to experience Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Drive: 30 minutes

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Arrive: 4:00pm Depart: 9:00am

Spend your evening exploring this little mountain town. Busting at the seems with fun attractions, I know you will find something awesome to do. Take a ride on The Great Smokey Mountain Wheel, explore the Titanic Museum, or take a ride down the mountain on the Smokey Mountain Alpine Coaster. Have some fun and get some rest at one of the many accommodations in Pigeon Forge.

Drive: 4 hours

DAY 13

Ark Encounter

1 Ark Encounter Dr, Williamstown, KY 41097, USA

Arrive: 1:00pm Depart: 5:00pm

The Life-size Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Kentucky is mind blowing. There is so much to see her you could stay all day. Experience the history of the Bible vividly with a ton of teaching exhibits about the Flood, Noah, and the animals. Cross the Ark Encounter off of your Kentucky Bucket List.

Drive: 1 hour

Cincinnati, Ohio

Arrive: 6:00pm Depart: 10:00am

The last stop on your road trip is Cincinnati. Check out the Fountain Square downtown, home to a variety of unique events. Have some dinner and enjoy your last night in a hotel.

Drive: 4 Hours to Detroit

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