Florida End Of Road Towns

Florida end of road towns such as Key West and Cedar Key seem to attract the nonconformist.  Maybe it's because once you get there you have no place else to go except the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.  That place is literally the end of the road.

Florida map showing end of road towns from Florida Backroads Travel

There is no way out except back in the direction you came.  People tend to learn to get along when they can't avoid each other.

Florida has at least 17 end of the road towns.  These places are shown on the map above.

Key West, of course, is the quintessential end of the road town, not just in Florida but maybe in the entire United States.  But there are others that are fun to visit and that have a taste of that offbeat nonconformist ambiance.  Each of these towns offers a unique Florida backroads travel adventure.

Here is our list of towns with links to more information about each place.  14 of these towns are on the Gulf of Mexico.  3 of them - Fernandina Beach, Ponce Inlet and Key Biscayne - are on the Atlantic.

Old city dock on Anna Maria IslandAnna Maria Island Town Dock.

ANNA MARIA ISLAND

Until 1921, the island was accessible only by boat.  In that year, a bridge was built from Cortez out to the island.  It is still Old Florida, more quiet and laid back than most beach towns.  Good restaurants, great beach.


CEDAR KEY

This island village was at the western end of Florida's first railroad.  The train connected Fernandina on the Atlantic to Cedar Key on the Gulf.  Still a quaint and quiet place to visit and has a few good seafood restaurants. Lots of peace and quiet.


FERNANDINA BEACH

On the north end of Amelia Island, this small town is as far northeast as you can go in Florida. It is not quite an end of road town because you can enter and leave in two directions;  but it still has the end of road feel that it originally had.  Visit the Palace Saloon

GOODLAND

This is an end of the road fishing village just east of Marco Island.  It is the home to Stan's Idle Hour, one of southwest Florida's favorite weekend hangouts.

FORT DESOTO

This Pinellas County park has some of the best sand beaches in the world, and is just south of the busy Tampa/St Pete metro area. It's a great place to camp for the night and sit around the fire.

Boca Grande Florida Direction SignDowntown Boca Grande

BOCA GRANDE

At one time this village on the southern end of Gasparilla Island was at the end of the railroad.  Now it is at the end of the road. In the old days, fancy trains delivered the rich and famous to the elegant Gasparilla Inn.

CHOKOLOSKEE

This little fishing settlement is an island at the end of a causeway leading out of the end of road town of Everglades City.

EVERGLADES CITY

Barron Collier made Everglades City the capitol of his newly created Collier County.  It is still a quiet laid back place and provides access to Everglades National Park and the fishing village of Chokoloskee Island.  Chokoloskee is the real end of the road town.

FLAMINGO

Not much to see any more, but no Florida backroads adventurer will want to miss seeing it.  One time it was one of the roughest outlaw towns in Florida, full of poachers and drug runners.  Today it is a ghost town at the end of a quiet road through the Everglades.

KEY BISCAYNE

This is the place that rich people live to get that end of the road ambience.  It is a quiet residential community in the shadow of busy Miami.  A few good restaurants and a pleasant oasis.

MARCO ISLAND

Marco is the modern island development created by the Mackle brothers,  who also developed Key Biscayne.  It is connected to Goodland, a true Old Florida fishing village noted for Stan's Idle Hour, an end of the road kind of tiki bar and dining establishment.

KEY WEST

The ultimate end of the road town.  Odd characters, Sloppy Joe's, memories of Hemingway, sunset performances at Mallory Square, goofy parades, quaint cottages, a perpetual holiday feel. A very expensive place to live full time and not so cheap for a night or two either.

PASS A GRILLE BEACH

The elegant Don Cesar Hotel anchors this historic little town on the end of the barrier island in the St Pete metro area.  Lots of good little restaurants and bars squeezed between the Gulf and the bay.

PINE ISLAND 

Bokeelia and St. James City are the towns on this island.  The sparsely populated island is connected to the mainland through the artsy village of Matlacha by way of Cape Coral across from Fort Myers.  

PONCE INLET

This village is on the end of the road that runs south from the Daytona Beaches to Ponce Inlet. 
A wonderful old lighthouse and a couple of restaurants are the centerpiece of the quiet village.

SANIBEL/CAPTIVA ISLANDS

These islands were finally connected to the mainland by a bridge in 1963.  Go all the way to the end of the road.  Captiva is a truly laid back end of the road Florida village.

STEINHATCHEE

Stein rhymes with mean in this case, but it is a pleasant little village on the Steinhatchee River.  Nice place to stay a few days and have some local seafood and enjoy the Old Florida feel.

ST. GEORGE ISLAND

This beautiful barrier island is on the Gulf of Mexico connected to the mainland by a bridge from Eastpoint near Apalachicola.

ST MARKS

One of Florida's oldest villages, it is located on the end of the road about 20 miles south of Tallahassee.  One of the state's first seaports, it's a sleepy little place these days.

SUWANNEE

It's located on the mouth of the Suwannee River about 23 miles south of Old Town.  A fishing town, it's quiet and laid back.

YANKEETOWN

Almost at the end of the road on the Withlachoochee River.  Try the Isaac Walton Lodge and its attached restaurant.



Much of the information in our website has been published in a series of Amazon Kindle books for each of Florida's eight geographical regions.

Florida Backroads Travel, a separate Kindle book, covers all of the regions of the state in one volume.

All books can be read on a computer, tablet, Kindle and most smart phones.

Click on the book cover for free previews of these books at Amazon.com.

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