OLD FLORIDA TOWNS ON STATE ROAD 20

Updated August 27, 2020

We know many of you are limiting travel during these uncertain times.  Although we continue to feature trips and places to visit, we are not encouraging you to visit them until it is safe.  We want to support Florida's attractions and businesses during this situation, and hope you will plan to visit them when things get better.  In the meantime, enjoy them virtually from the comfort of your home. 

State Road 20 crosses the state from Niceville to Flagler Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.  The route is 360 miles long.  You can make this trip in one day or really relax and take two.

Niceville is in the Florida Panhandle near Destin.  Flagler Beach is on the Atlantic Ocean south of St. Augustine.

State Road 20 takes you through some of the most rural areas still remaining in Florida.  The only larger cities you will pass through are Tallahassee and Gainesville.

THE WESTERN SEGMENT OF STATE ROAD 20

The western segment from Niceville to Perry is 186 miles long. 

Towns you will go through include Niceville, Freeport, Ebro, Clarksville, Blountstown, Hosford, Tallahassee, Capps, and Perry.

State Road 20 from Niceville to PerryState Road 20 from Niceville to Perry

NICEVILLE is in the Florida Panhandle near Eglin Air Force Base and Destin.  The population is about 15,000.  The town is on a peninsula between two bayous that open into Choctawhatchee Bay.  

Niceville WaterfrontNiceville Waterfront

FREEPORT has a population of about 2,500 and is on the water where two creeks meet at a bayou that opens into Choctawhatchee Bay.

Freeport Water ViewFreeport Water View

EBRO is a town of less than 300 that is the closest settlement to the new Northwest Beaches International Airport.

Ebro Highway IntersectionEbro Highway Intersection

CLARKSVILLE is an unincorported community located where Florida State Road 20 crosses Florida State Road 73.

Clarksville City LimitsClarksville City Limits

BLOUNTSTOWN is a town of about 3,000.  Hurricane Michael in 2018 severely damaged the town and the local farming and timber operations.

Blountstown City HallBlountstown City Hall

BRISTOL is a small town that was once a minor tourist attraction started by a preacher who suggested that the Garden of Eden was in Bristol.  Click on photo for more.

HOSFORD is an unincorporated community of about 700 that is located where State Road 20 crosses State Road 65.

Hosford Wesleyan Methodist Church photo by EbyabeHosford Wesleyan Methodist Church photo by Ebyabe

TALLAHASSEE is the state capital and has a population of about 200,000 and is the home of Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Click on photo for more.

CAPPS is an unincorporated place located where State Road 20 crosses US Highway 27.  It was once the home of a very large tung tree plantation.

Asa May Rosewood Plantation in CappsAsa May Rosewood Plantation in Capps

PERRY is the county seat of Taylor County and its population is about 8,000.  Is is a center of the timber industry in this part of Florida and is home to Forest Capital State Museum, as state park that recounts the history of the area. 

Perry Florida HousePerry Florida House

THE EASTERN SEGMENT OF STATE ROAD 20

The eastern segment from Perry to Flagler Beach is 172 miles long.  

You will go through Perry, Mayo, Branford, Fort White, High Springs, Alachua, Gainesville, Hawthorne, Interlachen, Palatka, San Mateo, Bunnell, and Flagler Beach.

State Road 20 from Perry to Flagler BeachState Road 20 from Perry to Flagler Beach

MAYO is a town of about 1,500 that is the only town in Lafayette County and is the county seat.  A famous former resident is Kerwin Bell, a University of Florida football hero who later became a coach. Click on photo for more.

BRANFORD has a population of about 800 and is located on a bend of the historic Suwannee River.  Branford Springs is in the town and is popular with divers.  Click on photo for more.

FORT WHITE has about 600 people and is the closest town to Ichetucknee Springs State Park, one of Florida's favorite recreational areas.

Tubing on the IchetuckneeTubing on the Ichetucknee

HIGH SPRINGS has a population of about 6,000 and has a nice shopping district with good restaurants.  It is in the center of spring country where people get outfitted for diving and kayaking. Click on photo for more.

ALACHUA is a city of about 10,000 near Gainesville.  It is the home of Marlow-Hunter, a sailboat manufacturer.  It succeeded Hunter Marine, from whom I bought one of the first Hunter 25 sailboats in 1974.

Hunter 25 AWOL, Indian River, FloridaHunter 25 AWOL, Indian River, Florida

GAINESVILLE is the home of the University of Florida and is a major city with a population of about 140,000.  Click on photo to read more.

HAWTHORNE is a small town noted for agriculture, railroads, and a generally rural lifestyle.  It has a population of about 1,500.

Mural in Hawthorne, FloridaMural Depicting Hawthorne History, Wikimedia Commons - PopularOutcast

INTERLACHEN is a town of about 1,500 that was formerly known as "Blue Pond."  It was one of the first towns that State Road 20 went through when it was being constructed.  Click on photo to learn more.

PALATKA has a population of about 12,000.  It is located on a strategic bend of the St. Johns River.  It is the last deep water port on the river for vessels traveling upstream (south).  Click on photo for more.

EAST PALATKA is an unincorporated community across the river from Palatka and has a population of about 1,800.

Dock at Corky Bell's, East PalatkaDock at Corky Bell's, East Palatka

SAN MATEO is an unincorporated community on the east bank of the St. Johns River south of Palatka and East Palatka.  It is located at the intersection of U.S.-17, State Road 20, and State Road 100.

San Mateo Gibson Dry DocksSan Mateo Gibson Dry Docks

BUNNELL is the county seat of Flagler County.  It has a population of about 3,000 and is becoming surrounded by the large planned community of Palm Shores.

Bunnell City HallBunnell City Hall

FLAGLER BEACH is on the Atlantic Ocean where State Road 20 intersects State Road A1A.  It is a city of about 5,000 with many condominiums and restaurants.  It also has miles of unobstructed beautiful beaches.  Click on photo for more.


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