TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN FLORIDA BY BIKE

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN FLORIDA BY BIKE

Alexandra Ruticova

Never been in Florida before? You don’t know what you’re missing! Make your passion famous and visit the “land of flowers”, the name given to Florida by the explorer Juan Ponce when Europeans made the first contact in 1513.

You’re definitely in a very good company here and this charming place continues up to these days to attract celebrities, athletes, being internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing and water sports. And…cycling, of course!

Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams found it really inspirational and you will see for yourself that they were right!

1. Orlando

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Orlando is also known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" and in 2014 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 62 million visitors.

From the classic Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, there's a world for everyone to escape into! Experience a wonderland of ocean animals at SeaWorld Orlando. 

Discover the fun for the whole family at Legoland Florida, one of Orlando's newest theme parks.

Ride Safe... Over 150 Miles of Paved 'Off-Street' Biking!

  • 10 Paved Bicycle Trails in Orange County you really have to try!
  1. Baldwin Park, 2. Cady Way Trail, 3. Lake Nona, 4. Lake Underhill Path, 5. Little Econ Greenway, 6. Maitland Bike Route, 7. Orlando Urban Trail, 8. Shingle Creek Trail, 9.Walt Disney World, 10. West Orange Trail

 

2. Miami

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Every cyclist loves Miami! In 2010, Miami was ranked as the 44th-most bike-friendly city in the US and every month, the city hosts "Bike Miami", where major streets in Downtown and Brickell are closed to automobiles, but left open for pedestrians and bicyclists. Carefully, please, because you can easily come across some celebrities too!

First, you have to choose the cycling accessories, comfortable, efficient …and “IN”!

Don’t miss Virginia Key Mountain-Bike Trails, open from Sunrise to Sunset, 7 days a week, probably the best park down here with regards to variety, and the perfect combination between a relaxing – challenging trail.

If you are more into a challenging ride, then choose Oleta State Park, which is the most technical mountain-bike trail in South Florida. But, the trails are fairly easy to identify, so beginners can stick to their trails, and advanced riders who want some challenge can find their trails.

Watch out: Alligators! Yes, this is Shark Valley!

There are alligators everywhere, and as the day gets warmer, the alligators end up on the walkway or bike path. We suppose, somehow the paths are designed not to expose you to the fierce reptiles.

If you just decided to just run away, don’t forget can easily rent a new bike from here, then come back later to save your bike. We’re just kidding!

 

3. Tampa

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Tampa was ranked as the 5th best outdoor city by Forbes in 2008 and also ranks as the fifth most popular American city, based on where people want to live, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.

Where to start your trip here?

In Flatwoods Park you can find loop road that gives bicyclists a woods experience.

Off-road cyclists can enjoy the Wilderness Park Off Road Trails System.

But, if you are in the mood for a cinematographic experience, you have to take a ride on Ballast Point Park or Bayshore Boulevard (7,2 km) and be prepared to stop from time to time to really enjoy the shore’s pictorial view.

 

4. Florida Keys

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What do you say about a ride within a tropical scenery of an uninterrupted  106-mile-long cycling trail? In Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail …it’s almost possible. Now there are 80 or 90 miles of that trail completed, with new sections opening every year.

Don’t come alone, because this is a ride you’ll want to share: 37 endless bridges over the blue water embraced by the shore wind and surrounded by everywhere beauty.

It’s more than worthwhile! Make a lifetime escape with your best friend If you two are well-prepared cyclists, you will make it in two days, but count on at least three days for the rest of us, not in such a perfect shape as you are. 

 

5. St. George Island

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What to do here? Beach it, bike it!

The island is known for being quiet and tranquil due to its small size, and if you love to discover wild solitary beaches, you are in the perfect place.

The island has 17 miles of paved bike paths and lots of off-roads for exploring. You can ride a bike from one side of the island! If you come here, don’t miss Cape St. George Light, a historic treasure on Florida's forgotten coast.

 

6. Sanibel Island 

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Escape the city, embrace the wildlife’s savor!

Due to easy causeway access, Sanibel is a popular tourist destination known for its shell beaches and wildlife refuges. More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge for the birds lovers.

With 25 miles of high-quality paved trails, few places make biking as carefree as this. Then there’s Sanibel Island, a designated Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, with its more than 25 miles of easily accessible bike paths that stretch and thread through subtropical hammocks, preserved wetlands and along main thoroughfares like Periwinkle Way and more.

You don’t have to own a bike, because here you will find it very easy to rent one. I know you are a passionate cyclist, but you will more enjoy the trip if you will decide to rent a kayak and collect the marvelous seashells found here.

Before you get back to your bicycle ride, take some whole wheat granola or whole wheat blueberry pancakes at the Lighthouse Café.

 

7. Fort Meyers Beach

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Covered with sugar-sand, Fort Myers Beach is a popular destination for visitors eager to engage in water sports such as parasailing and kayaking – or just as eager to simply relax on the inviting beach.

If you decided to mix between beach days and your hobby, you will feel more than awarded by the breezy rides at sunset.

And that’s not all by far!

Mountain bikers in search of tougher trails should check out the Caloosahatchee Regional Park. Made up of pine flatwoods, and oak hammocks, this landscape is far from a walk in the park, but with more than 20 miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails, it’s an exhilarating way to experience the area and its wildlife.

 

 

8. St Petersburg

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Enjoy 38 miles of continuous biking within the Pinellas Trail, a major highlight of St. Petersburg.

And…don’t miss the perfect landscape of Beach Walk in Clearwater Beach that invites you to pedal along and see for yourself why it was named No. 1 in the U.S. on TripAdvisor's list of Top Beaches for 2016 and No. 4 in 2017.

In parks like Fort De Soto, over area bridges or through downtown St. Pete, you will be more than happy that you have your bike with you, because there is lot to see. Ah, though, park your bicycle for few hours and visit Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection.

It worth it!

 

9. St. Augustine 

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An eclectic place, with so many impressive influences, given by the fact that it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement. The city offers many options for the passionate cyclists. For example, The Stokes Landing Conservation Area  which has trails accessible to cyclists on the 274-acre parcel of land.

Moses Creek Conservation Area has bicycle trails in an undeveloped tidal creek region on the Matanzas River. Here, you will admire species of the wildlife such as snow egrets, gopher tortoises and great blue herons. Dirt trails are canopied by grand live oaks that lead to sandy bluffs looking over Moses Creek. Several separate trails are designated by colors of white, yellow and red, leading to campsites, observations points and picnic areas.

Then, you can take your bike and ride to Anastasia State Park, a historic region, on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway, not far from Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

The 1600 – acre park will captivate you after you cross the Bridge of Lions over the water and enter the ancient sand dunes on the way to the beaches. 

For a more longer and challenging trip, choose Mala Compra Plantation Greenway Trail (5.5 miles), recommended for mountain bikes and a pretty good shape, because it has some more difficult sections.

Not to miss: Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine Light, Flagler College, Lightner Museum, statue near the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, Old St. Johns County Jail.

 

10. We usually try to do ten recommendations but for Florida we'll ask you to recommend us the tenth. If you are a bike rider or been to Florida with your bike, what was your favorite thing to do?

Do you have a photo/video/tips&tricks? 

Send us your experiences at happytohelp@bikeroo.net and you can win:

One of our 3 Light Weight Bike Saddles

or 

One of our 3 Gel Seat Covers  

 


On to the next one! Stay tuned!