Every year during Spring Break and Bike Week, Historic City News readers can become tourists on a mission to rediscover our scenic highways and byways; a trendy morning and daytime rejuvenation from a night of partying, dancing, live bands, hot bars, and being out to all hours.
Although Bike Week is traditionally thought of in terms of nightlife in Daytona Beach and Main Street along the Halifax River; during the day, exploring the Ormond scenic loop trail and Central Florida’s network of scenic highways is the component of Bike Week that is growing in popularity.
St Augustine opens its doors to greet the often overflow crowds attending Bike Week, but, the trail includes A1A, John Anderson Drive, Old Dixie Highway, Walter Boardman Lane, High Bridge Road and Granada Boulevard in northern Volusia County.
Narrow roads pass through preserved oceanfront on Highway A1A, wind along rivers and creeks on High Bridge Road and Walter Boardman Lane, venture beneath oaks and beside sugar mill ruins on Old Dixie Highway and are lined by the luxurious waterfront homes on John Anderson Drive. Only a few feet of land separates road from water in some places.
A1A in Flagler County
The stretch of coastal byway in Flagler County offers intimate views of the beach, the road brushing right up to the dunes.
Views of the waves and sands are virtually unrestricted in long portions of A1A near Flagler Beach. Further north, between Palm Coast and Marineland, rare coquina rock formations jut out from the sands — a sight worth stopping to see.
Popular stops along the way include Finns Beachside Pub and the Flagler Beach Fishing Pier.
New Smyrna Beach
Cruise south down U.S. 1 from Daytona Beach for roughly 10 miles and you’ll hit the quaint beach town of New Smyrna Beach.
Cross either the North or South causeways — there’s no wrong choice. North Causeway leads to Flagler Avenue, the strip with mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and beach bars, while South Causeway leads to a long, easy drive south on A1A to Canaveral National Seashore.
Not to be overlooked in New Smyrna Beach, Turnbull Bay Road offers a scenic drive past pretty houses, Turnbull Bay and rural landscape. Turn right onto Pioneer Trail and you might just end up at the Cabbage Patch, the biker-friendly Samsula bar that doubles as a campground with ongoing entertainment.
Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway and U.S. 17
Stretching through several conservation areas, State Road 40 west of Ormond Beach offers wide open road through pristine country. Pine forests and cattle fields are the only sights for miles along the mostly straight route.
Head south on U.S. 17 for another rural scenic drive, or continue west to cross St. Johns river and reach the Ocala National Forest. Many miles of road pass by the forest’s pine scrubs, lakes and springs.
This lesser-known route is about as remote as it gets in Volusia County.
The ride begins in Oak Hill, where riders can access the road from U.S. 1. The road is called West Halifax Avenue there, but it becomes Maytown Road.
The road passes through the Turnbull Hammock Conservation Area before crossing Interstate 95. From there, it’s scenic countryside in-between the small towns of Maytown, Cow Creek, and Farmton. Maytown Road ends in Osteen, at State Road 415. The trip ends up being nearly 23 miles long.
For information, visit floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/central-region/ormond-scenic-loop-trail