If you’re road tripping across the country, exploring big cities like New Orleans or San Antonio, or simply heading to the beautiful beaches in the Florida Panhandle, you’re bound to spend a good deal of driving time on Interstate 10. The 330 miles across Florida from Pensacola to Jacksonville may seem lengthy at first. But this northern section of the state is home to inviting small towns, untamed wildernesses, and historical attractions.
Take a break from the traffic and enjoy destinations with way less crowds and way more beauty. Check out our I-10 Exit Guide, listed from West to East, and be sure to add these destinations to your Trip Planner.
If you’re traveling on I-75, don’t miss these 4 Unforgettable Pit Stops Off I-75 That Fit Your Schedule.
Monticello: Old Southern Charm
Exit 225. Distance from Exit: 5.5 miles
The seat of Jefferson County, Monticello is a picturesque town accented with historic buildings and dreamy live oak foliage. Enjoy fresh, local fare at Tupelo’s Bakery and Cafe in downtown Monticello, among other eateries and shops. Stock up on fishing gear for your excursion to the rivers or Gulf shoreline of Jefferson County at Trophy Creek Outfitters. Or, if you can’t spare a stop on your busy road trip, take a scenic detour from the monotonous highway by exploring the historic heritage roads. The canopied roadways showcase the breathtaking natural beauty of the old South.
Madison: Cycling, Antiquing, Swimming and More
Exit 251. Distance from Exit: 4.4 miles
Madison County and its largest town showcase so much of what makes Natural North Florida such a unique travel destination. Freshwater springs, untouched forests and lakes, bountiful wildlife, and historical landmarks exhibit the beauty of Madison. If you have your bicycle in tow, be sure to ride the Four Freedoms Trail or some of the 103 Mile Loop. It’s a great way to get moving and revel in what Madison has to offer. If you’d prefer a more leisurely pit stop, visit the FREE Treasures of Madison County Museum or the Madison Antiques Market, located in the historic downtown center.
White Springs: Suwannee River Wilderness
Exit296 (for I-75). Distance from Exit: 8.5 miles
Experience the truly natural side of Natural North Florida by canoeing or kayaking on the iconic Suwannee River. Take a day trip with American Canoe Adventures in White Springs. Enjoy the serenity of the river and its banks that shift in elevation, and keep an eye out for wildlife. The experienced paddler can follow the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail from White Springs all the way out to the Gulf of Mexico, 171 miles away.
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park: A Civil War Commemoration
Exit 324. Distance from Exit: 7.5 miles
There are plenty of intriguing historic State Parks in Florida, but Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park truly takes visitors back to the days of the Civil War. This park was the site of Florida’s largest battle in 1864, and became the state’s first historic site in 1912. Today, enjoy a picnic or an interpretive trail with your family on your travels. If you’re lucky enough to be passing through in February, be sure to check out the Annual Olustee Battle Reenactment to watch history come to life.