By  Mike Miller   Updated August 10, 2023

Florida State Road 44 runs 103 miles across the state from Crystal River to New Smyrna Beach.  It is the shortest coast to coast route in peninsular Florida.

State Road 44 runs across the state from Crystal River to New Smyrna Beach.State Road 44 from Crystal River to New Smyrna Beach

Some of the towns it passes through are Crystal River, Inverness, Wildwood, The Villages, Leesburg, Tavares, Eustis, Mount Dora, DeLand and New Smyrna Beach.

You will enjoy the drive through these Old Florida towns on your journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

Click on the photo if you want to learn more about the town.


CRYSTAL RIVER is popular not only with locals and tourists but with the thousands of manatees that find their way there for the comfortable water temperature.  

INVERNESS is nestled on the west shore of Lake Tsala Apopka and is home to the Great American Cooter Festival.  

WILDWOOD was at one time a busy railroad center where trains coming from up north converged and were distributed to regions in the south part of the state.

Wildwood Train StationWildwood Train Station

THE VILLAGES is a large retirement community that sprawls over Sumter, Lake, and Marion Counties.  It has many golf courses and more than 100,000 residents.  

LEESBURG was at one time the center of one of the largest citrus producing and processing operations in Florida.  

TAVARES once dreamed of being Florida's state capital. Now it enjoys being reborn as the Seaplane City.  

EUSTIS is on the lake of the same name and is one of the three cities that make up the Golden Triangle.  

MOUNT DORA is well known as a festival city because of the large number of arts and crafts shows held there each year.   It is also an antique center and enjoys its hills, lakes and canopied streets.  

DELAND is the home of Stetson University and well known for its many canopied streets and murals.  

NEW SMYRNA BEACH was an early plantation settlement but is now noted for its fine white sand beaches.  

Our Facebook page has more than 130,000 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.