Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes
Distance Covered: 226 miles
Take This Trip If: You’re looking to hit the links (and maybe the shops).
With a lively arts scene, a great downtown district, and some of the country’s best golf courses, Jacksonville is a hidden gem located in Northern Florida. But since the weather is a bit crisper upstate (winters are too cold to play on the sand), the conditions make for ideal golf weather—and with a less-crowded beach scene, this once underrated seaside city has become a vibrant spot, with a NFL team to boot.
Those seeking a luxury experience should head straight to the One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa. Situated directly on a clean, white-sand beach, this resort has a fantastic on-site spa (great for girls’ weekends or couples’ vacations), contemporary decor, and bathrooms with double shower heads. Save a bundle and book a space at the Holiday Inn Express Jacksonville Beach, a value hotel that offers awesome freebies like Wi-Fi, breakfast, and self-parking. Rooms are clean, the pool is chill, and the prices are great. And although you’re just a few minutes drive from the beach, that won’t matter—you’ve got the whip with you.
Top Driving Tip: While taking I-75N is faster, we recommend sticking it out an extra 15 minutes or so in the car. Take I-4E to I-95; you’ll pass right through Orlando— and maybe stop for a few roller coaster rides.