549 miles - In the midst of summer, Florida's Panhandle bustles with activity.  Ride along the Gulf - better known as the Emerald Coast - and you'll find pristine sugar-sand beaches, turquoise waters, an array of marine life, open-air shopping spots, fresh seafood, hidden coves and beaches, and some peaceful and quiet surf side towns, too.  Turn inland and you'll hit lush, mossy forests, salt springs, historic settlements, and some hidden restaurant gems.  Main roads along the coast are flat and straight, but, particularly near Apalachicola, the pace will slow as you pass quaint rural bridges and vistas.  Inland, SR 12 will take you through several scenic spots that are unlikely to show up on a travel brochure.  Enjoy cozy Main Street rides and towering pines.  This route is accessible to all types of riders and motorcycles, and best done outside of summer when temperatures are cooler and roads are less crowded.


Points Of Interest

  • Apalachicola (www.historicapalachicola.com)
  • St. Marks Lighthouse (1255 Lighthouse Rd, St. Marks, FL)
  • Panhandle Pioneer Settlement (Sam Atkins park, Blountstown, FL)
  • Ponce de Leon Springs State Park (2860 State Park Rd, Ponce de Leon Springs, FL)
  • Seacrest Wolf Preserve (3449 Bonnett Pond Rd, Chipley, FL)
  • West Florida Railroad Museum (5003 Henry St, Milton, FL)
  • Air Force Armament Museum (100 Museum Dr, Elgin Air Force Base, FL)

Lunch Stops

  • Rutabaga Cafe (23 Jackson St, Chattahoochee, FL)
  • Little Big Store (35 S 8th St, Defuniak Springs, FL)
  • Baker County Kitchen (5490 Hwy 4, Baker, FL)
  • Chanticleer Eatery (55 Clayton Ln, Santa Roas Beach, FL)

AuthorJames Gerdes