Tuesday, 01 January 2019 22:53

Florida Panhandle Harley Vacation 2017

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Martin Highway in Martin County, Fla (Click the Pic to see regular size) Martin Highway in Martin County, Fla (Click the Pic to see regular size) Image Credit: Daria Behrens (My Daughter)

Each year we take 1 of our vacations on the bike. August 2017 bike vacation was 9 days through the Florida Panhandle on the Harley we had then. It was a great trip! We planned a route that involved the highway as little as possible and stuck to the scenic back roads as much as we could. So it was going to be an 11 - 12 hour ride to our 1st destination, which was Destin, Florida. We were going to a wedding there and decided we'd stick around for a week afterwards and make a vacation out of it. 


We headed out on 8/4 Friday after work and rode to Ocala to spend the night...only for the reason to make the drive to Destin on Saturday a little shorter. This is the only time we took the highway as we took I-75 to Ocala. We knew there was rain coming that night but we thought we'd beat it by a couple hours. We didn't and got drenched for the last half of that 3 hour ride. Been wet plenty of times on bikes, but only a couple times getting that wet. So would have preferred that not happening, but was a nice ride nonetheless.


Cindy in Ocala


Above, we're packed back up again and ready to ride Saturday morning. Leaving the hotel in Ocala and riding to Destin.  We stayed off the highway from here on out. Rode through the Apalachicola National Forest on the way, which was a real nice ride itself. Not much traffic either. 


Apaplachicola Forest


We stayed in Destin a few days and had a nice time. The traffic there is pretty heavy. Not super bad, but I had been through there several times in 2006 through 2007 and was surprised at just how much it had grown since then. Plenty of stop and go traffic now. But it's a beautiful place to see and a nice ride to the place, just that Destin itself is pretty packed. In any case, we then headed to Navarre. This is a great spot. Small and cozy. Great beaches too...just like all along the entire Panhandle. Traffic is not bad here and it's nice riding all through Navarre. There are plenty of country scenic roads with very little traffic off the main drag too, so lots of good riding. Friendly place too.


Navarre and Navarre


Spent 3 days in Navarre. While we were there, we went back and forth to Pensacola Beach several times as it was a short ride. Navarre was small, cozy, quiet, and relaxing. Pensacola Beach (versus Pensacola itself) was great with great bars/restaurants and lots of friendly people. A bit more activity than Navarre but not too much. We rode through this "park" going from Navarre to Pensacola Beach. Several miles of white sand beaches with hardly any people on it at all. After spending a couple days in Navarre / Pensacola Beach we really wish we would have planned more time there. It's a great area. If we were to do it again, we'd drive through Destin...maybe stop for lunch...and spend the majority of our time here.

 Santa Rosa Beach


Went to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island (in Pensacola Beach). A few miles down that road, was the Fort itself. The U.S. Military used this Fort from 1834 - 1947...the 1st of 4 forts built to protect Pensacola Bay, at the time. It was a real nice ride from Navarre to Fort Pickens and then especially in the Fort Pickens area itself. Several miles of road just like you see here with not many vehicles at all on it. Certainly no traffic in any way. Nice Riding!


Fort Pickins


Left Navarre and then hit Apalachicola for a couple days on the way back home. Rode through Apalachicola National Forest on the way up, so we rode the coast on the way back.  Apalachicola is a small old town with a lot of history. It's another great spot that we liked a lot. Lots of bikes there too! A lot of the bars and restaurants are located in a 2 block area so you can easily bar hop by walking from one to another and leave the bike at the hotel.






 Sunrise in Apalachicola on the day we left heading back home. On the road at 7 am to get an early start.


Home bound from Apalachicola

Last modified on Saturday, 05 January 2019 20:30
Steve Behrens

Steve Behrens, Founder of RidingAmerican.com

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