Rent a car with Sixt one-way and drive from Austin to Tampa
A road trip from Austin to Tampa gives you a great opportunity to see some of the most beautiful parts of the United States. Expect to encounter diverse cultures and cuisines as you’re traveling from Texas through the lower parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to traverse the Panhandle of Florida. Get ready for a ride that is full of hidden gems and local charms as you make your way across the Gulf of Mexico.
Eat your Heart Out in Cajun Country
From Austin make your way towards Houston and onwards to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Leaving the land of smoked meats, you enter into a whole new taste territory. With its Cajun-French roots Louisiana features its own unique flavors. In the southwest part of the state you can sample some boudin, a staple sausage snack. Continue on to Lafayette where Cajun classics like crawfish bisques and hearty seafood gumbos await. If you want spend a night in the state capital of Baton Rouge or keep going to New Orleans where you will definitely want to break for a few days. While out and about indulge in some beignets, po-boy sandwiches and as much creole cuisine as you can.
Gems of the Gulf Coast
Ride the next miles along US Route 90 and follow the coast to the casinos and beaches of Biloxi, Mississippi. Take some time here or keep going to the historic city of Mobile, Alabama, which offers plenty of contemporary cultural attractions as well. From here you are just a short drive away to Pensacola and the beautiful beaches of the Florida Panhandle.
Besides the busy, popular resorts of places like Panama City, Fort Walton Beach and Destin there are quiet spots on the Panhandle as well. Try out the almost ten miles of white sands at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park or the artsy community of Grayton Beach. From here you can take all kinds of detours as between Pensacola and Tallahasee there are over thirty Florida state parks and historic sites. Eat some fresh oysters in Apalachicola, see the St. Marks lighthouse or drive to Wakulla Springs, one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world home to manatees, alligators and turtles.
When you are ready to wrap up your road trip make your way down US Route 98 hugging Florida’s east coast towards Tampa. If the season is right you can stop off along the way to swim with manatees at several towns en route like Crystal River or Homosassa. Spend a day or two getting to know the city. Visit the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Aquarium, the famous Busch Gardens; and hang out in the multi-culti Ybor City district as well. This iconic immigrant area is known for its former cigar factories and for making the Cuban sandwich an American favorite.