Fifty miles south of Jacksonville Beach and twenty miles north of Daytona Beach is a stretch of Florida’s oceanfront highway, A1A. For a photographer, this route does not disappoint for interesting scenes and subjects. I often frequent this thirty-five mile section of the road, enjoying the view of the Atlantic Ocean as I slowly make my way to the nation’s oldest-continuously occupied city of St. Augustine. The beachfront architecture and natural environment provide insight to the people that live, work, and visit the area.
No one drives A1A to get to their destination quickly. If being on the road is about the journey, then A1A is one you shouldn’t miss when you are in Florida. In 1945, A1A (then labeled State Road 1) was born from twenty-eight existing state road routes. The culmination was with the intention of opening up tourism. The new easternmost road would hold the identification of “1” and also the honor of being the first paved road on Florida’s east coast.
Once referred to as the Dixie Highway it was a nine-foot-wide brick road with high curbs. Today, U.S. 1 and A1A are mostly different routes. Much of today’s A1A is fairly new, which is why I find small sections of the route that maintain the nostalgic old-Florida charm so interesting.