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Scenic Motorcycle Rides in and Near the Florida Panhandle

Updated on January 4, 2017

You will find beauty after every corner you take in the great state of Florida, from majestic palms, to glistening white beaches, to national forests and protected sand dunes, to even some of the man made objects, like our houses and monuments. Florida is a treasure trove for those who love to hit the road on 2 wheels (or 4) and enjoy being outside and riding. Some of the more picturesque routes are through landscape that hasn’t changed much since 1559. On top of the great landscape and scenery, and the area is teaming with quaint little towns and communities, plenty of gas stations (local price of about $3.50 a gallon), and plenty of excellent eating choices, this is a riders paradise. So come enjoy 230 average sunshine days a year, and the nice warm weather, in the pursuit of happiness. Whether you own Pensacola real estate, have Destin homes for rent, stationed here, or are just visiting on vacation, riding in the Panhandle of Florida is always a pleasure.

Nature Route

Lets start this journey in northeast Pensacola, heading towards Pace, on Highway 90, over the red clay bluffs overlooking Escambia Bay, and let the natural beauty and the freedom of the open road as the trip starts awaken your senses. Looking out on the harbor and it wouldn’t be hard to envision a fleet of Spanish galleons anchored in the harbor below. Places along 90: the Escambia River Wildlife Management Area, Blackwater Herritage Trail State Park, Russell Harbor Landing Park, Blackwater River Water Management area, the East Milton Park, The Blackwater River State Park, as well as the Yellow River Water Management Area, before entering Crestview. Most of the ride will be back country 2 lane roads, with a speed limit of 55 mph, and pass through the small towns of Pace, Milton, and Holt. Total Cruise Length: 43 miles. One of the shorter trips, this one can still take all day if you pace yourself, but this one is more of a half day trip.

Riding Along the Beach

This trip starts in Pensacola on Highway 98 and follows that along the beach all the way south. Hop onto the scenic highways, such as 30A to remain as close to the water as possible. With multiple small towns, plenty of larger cities, and the beach always close by, this is one of the more leisurely city rides that one can have. The roads here are for the most part are 4 lane divided traffic on 98, and while on 30A and the scenic roads, 2 lane traffic. With plenty of gas stations, and literally hundreds, possibly even thousands, of stores, dining establishments, and places of interest to stop, this trip could take you half a day or even a full day, if stopping to play at the beach. Some points of interest on this trip are the beaches, local eating establishments, plenty of which encourage and love bikers, as well as the national parks, and small communities along 30A. Grayton Beach, with its mile long dune trails, and WaterSound, a community deeply rooted with nature, and with one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida, are popular stops. WaterSound is also just a quick ride from the hustle and bustle of Panama City Beach, so is a nice get away from the cities. You can even take the trip all the way through Panama City Beach and end in Saint Andrews State Park. Total Trip Length: 100 miles. Major Towns: Pensacola, Navarre, Mary Esther, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island, Destin, San Destin, Panama City Beach.This trip is can easily become a all day trip, as there is so much to do and see. To learn more about the 30A area, please click this link to be taken to my part 1 of my article on the 30A area.

The Locals Favorite

One of the finest rides in western Florida has got to be the 31 mile highway though the Apalachicola National Forest. Officially called the Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway, it is accessed from the north side of the forest and roughly parallels the Apalachicola River as it weaves its way around cypress trees and forests of yellow pine. During the spring, the fresh scent of wildflowers fills the air. Total Length: 31 Miles. Large Citys: Tallahassee. It is about 150 Miles from the Destin area and almost 200 miles from Pensacola, FL. The Apalachicola National Forest, in the Eastern section of the Florida Panhandle, is also the only national forest in the Florida Panhandle, and is extremely large at 564,961 acres worth of protected wilderness.Make sure to gas up before heading out on this one, as this one will probably take the better part of the day if not rushed, and could easily become an entire day trip.


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  • silvershark profile image

    Kenneth Moody 5 years ago from Destin, Florida

    ty for the comment!

  • Sherry Hewins profile image

    Sherry Hewins 5 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

    Well it looks fabulous. I hope to have an opportunity to do some riding in Florida soon. I will certainly check out some of the places you mentioned. Thanks.