Home » North America » USA » Why Florida is Great | Roadtrip USA (9)

Why Florida is Great | Roadtrip USA (9)

We continue our roadtrip through America from Amelia Island en Amelia City towards St. Augustine. In the previous two blogs we have, among other things, lovely on the beach with the 4×4 camper stood and cycled in the old center of Amelia City while we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on the beach every morning. It was now time to drive a little further south to stay on schedule. We therefore went looking for a nice place to stay nearby St. Augustine where I came to realize that Florida is truly wonderful. In this travel report you can therefore read everything about the ride, the place where we spent the night and the reason why Florida is so great in my opinion.

The ultimate tour of North America

This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and an once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.

The ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada | Wereldreizigers.nl
The ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada | Wereldreizigers.nl

We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Visit our North America page for more information.

What preceded

Sent away by the police

I already talked about it in the previous blog: we were taken in during the third night Amelia City Knocked awake at night by police, who thought we had to leave. Since we didn't want to get into trouble or put in a lot of effort to find another suitable place in the middle of the night, we decided to just drive back a bit to the Florida Welcome Center† Staying overnight is allowed here.

Logistics and the route

The next morning we took it easy. The interrupted night had some effect on both of us, Malou and I were both unprepared! That's why I only brewed a few cups of strong coffee and worked on the website a bit until we were cleaned up a bit. In the end we only left in the afternoon, first of all to refuel, do some shopping and discharge water. The logistics had to be taken care of again so that we could go a few days ahead without paid facilities.

After replenishing everything at a Walmart Supercenter, we drove on to a beautiful spot on the beach that we found through iOverlander. The distance we drove today was not too bad, after all we try not to drive too many long stretches. In total we drove about 60 miles today, about 100 kilometers.

Florida is just amazing!

We had arrived well before sunset at South Ponte Vedra Beach Recreation Area (Location here† It's just one of thousands of free oceanfront parking spots in Florida. And this place was again equipped with covered picnic tables, free showers and toilets. Ideal! I would like to tell you more about that.

Florida: Free parking and staying overnight, free toilet and shower, free picnic tables and a spotless beach
Florida: Free parking and staying overnight, free toilet and shower, free picnic tables and a spotless beach

Because you're actually starting to get used to it, but in the meantime I realize that they have it really well done here. I've been to many countries and areas and wow, this is definitely one of the cleanest and most manicured places I've ever been.

1450 kilometers of beach

You can find or say a lot about Florida (or America), but oh how well they have it together here. Florida is as flat as a pancake, just like the Netherlands. But what makes this state so great isn't even the 570 beautiful beaches which in total is an astonishing stretch 1450 kilometers† No.

By the way, let that fact sink in: Florida has almost as much beach as the total distance from Amsterdam to Rome. Bizarre!

Chris – Wereldreizigers.nl


What makes Florida so great is how bizarrely clean and cared for it is here. All the beaches we have seen are all spotlessly clean. And that's not all. The countless free facilities are usually well-maintained and even on the verges of the roads or in the parking lots you will hardly see any litter. What a relief.

The Netherlands is a mess

Because I now realize that in the Netherlands every time a large cleaning team has to clean entire parks in cities when there has been a day of sun.

And how about Zandvoort or Scheveningen? After a summer day, we always get to see those terrible photos of what people leave behind. hopeless. Apparently that's normal for us.

In Nijmegen, where we come from, litter is really everywhere. A lot is cleaned up and swept, but let's be honest: it's mopping with the tap open because everyone just throws everything on the street. Everywhere on the street you see butts, McDonalds bags, cans, bottles and other litter. Especially at traffic lights and parking lots!

Good information in Florida

In Florida you don't have to clean much because you simply don't throw everything on the street here. The reason is actually quite simple: good information† People here are very aware of the fragile nature – everywhere you see signs on the beach with information about the impact of waste and about the animals that suffer from it. The information and information provision here is simply very good. You can not ignore it.

Florida Wildlife Information
Florida Wildlife Information

In fact, there are sometimes even some sort of shopping baskets with information about waste and whether you want to take it with you if you see waste. We Dutch can learn a lot from that.

Beach Walkers - To keep the Florida beach clean
Beach Walkers – To keep the beach in Florida clean

All those rules and information seem to work because we enjoy beautiful clean parking spaces here every time, including facilities and clean beaches!

Dinner at sunset

And as we arrive at another beautiful place to settle down for today and tonight, we realize once again that Florida is truly amazing. We enjoy a homemade dinner at sunset with the sound of the waves just behind us.

Chris is ready with the setting sun
Chris is ready with the setting sun

Beach walk

After dinner we decide to go for a walk on the beach. The sun has just set and the sky turns a beautiful pink again while we enjoy the peace. All you hear here are the waves breaking in the surf. The sea makes so much noise that you hardly hear the birds, wind and passing cars.

Florida Beach Walk
Florida Beach Walk
Florida Beach Walk

We also find the orange-pink color of the sand near the water striking. This is the color of the countless shells that slowly turn into sand. Further away from the water, the sand is much whiter.

The many shells on the beach in Florida
The many shells on the beach in Florida

Early to bed and early up again

After the walk we get ready to go to bed early again. We have been living with nature for some time now. We wake up when the sun comes up and go to sleep when it sets. We no longer need an alarm clock and I can tell you that is a wonderful feeling. Tomorrow morning we will again enjoy a beautiful sunrise!


Malou is up early today, because she had already missed a beautiful sunrise a few times! Without Malou noticing, I take a photo from our bed in the camper, a filter or editing is not even necessary. What colors!

Malou is ready for the sunrise in Florida
Malou is ready for the sunrise in Florida

Is this normal…? For us now. It's just another beautiful morning on the east coast of America and as crazy as it sounds, it's starting to get very normal and normal for us.

Sunrise in amazing Florida
Sunrise in amazing Florida

Again we see a group of small beach birds running very fast on the beach. It's a crazy face with those short legs! Very nice to see. The birds always run away from a wave, but as soon as it retreats, they run after it again, hoping that small fish or other animals will come out to eat. You can see some of them on the right in the photo below.

Sunrise in amazing Florida and the many beach birds
Sunrise in amazing Florida and the many beach birds

Drone photos of the beach in Florida

The sun was already a bit higher on the horizon and so it was time to get the drone out. I haven't flown much with it until now. This is actually because it is quite a hassle every time. Are you allowed to fly here, is it not too windy, pack and unpack…

Still, every time I look back at the images afterwards, I'm glad I went up into the air for a while. I first tried to capture the contrasts well from an average height and I take a photo of an early beach walker. Wow!

What makes Florida so great
What makes Florida so great
Someone who takes an early beach walk in Florida
Someone who takes an early beach walk in Florida
Unbelievably beautiful contrast
Unbelievably beautiful contrast

In the photos below you can see our camper parked. The photos also perfectly show what a standard beach looks like in great Florida: a parking lot, a toilet/shower building, a dune with some vegetation and of course the beach. Who wouldn't want to wake up here every morning?

Our 4x4 motorhome right by the sea in amazing Florida
Our 4×4 camper right by the sea in amazing Florida
Our 4x4 camper directly by the sea in amazing Florida with the toilet and shower building on the far left
Our 4×4 camper right by the sea in amazing Florida with the toilet and shower building on the far left

Closing comments

After another wonderful morning in Florida, we enjoy the beach until the afternoon. Later in the day, we will explore picturesque St. Augustine, the oldest settlement in America.

You can read all about it in our next blog!

Plan your vacation to America here

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

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Chris Thomassen

Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!
- Full-time blogging world traveler.
- Writes about travel, photography, sustainability and gadgets.
- Likes to discover extreme and unknown places.

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