Top places for a scenic drive in Florida

There are many places you can drive in the sunshine state to get beautiful views that aren’t just on the beach. Below is East Coast Defender’s guide to some of the best places for a drive in your Land Rover Defender, or any other car or truck you love just as much!

  1. Big Bend Scenic Byway. On the Gulf side, you need to head to the Panhandle for the big views. The gem is the Big Bend Scenic Byway, 220 miles of scenery near Tallahassee.
  2. The Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys. This drive is unique in that it combines both ocean and gulf views. As you cross the many bridges on the highway, you can gaze out and be dazzled in all directions.
  3. Stuart Indian River Lagoon to Fort Pierce. The long, wide lagoon leaves a sliver of land for hundreds of miles along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Naturally, we are drawn to the beach and scenic A1A. But the other side of the Indian River Lagoon is worth exploring too.  
  4. Florida on the Cracker Trail. This is Florida cow country, stretching from Fort Pierce to Bradenton. There are moss-draped oak trees, a “ghost town” (just a historic marker and a boarded-up mansion on the Kissimmee River), a funky Southern-style vineyard and the beautiful Highland Hammock State Park.
  5. Everglades Tamiami Trail.  You can drive to the Gulf Coast on Alligator Alley and get there faster, but the Tamiami Trail gets you closer to the Everglades and there are several worthwhile stops along the way. From Broward or Palm Beach, you can even do this as a day trip with a return via Alligator Alley.
  6. Everglades Loop Road.  This can be done in conjunction with the Tamiami Trail, but because of the rustic nature of the road, it takes several hours. Loop Road is a 24-mile-long two-lane road that parallels Tamiami Trail through the Everglades. The eastern seven miles are paved and after that, it’s gravel or dirt. In the summer, parts of the road can be under water. All year, the place teems with wildlife – alligators, birds, otters, deer, even the rarely seen Florida panther. It’s part of the Big Cypress National Wildlife Refuge.  
  7. Ormond Scenic Loop.  One of the most beautiful stretches of road anywhere in Florida is north of Daytona Beach in an area rich with parks, historic sites and natural beauty. The Ormond Scenic Loop includes spectacular ocean views as well as sections where the live oaks and Spanish moss form a cathedral ceiling. A little further north, 45 miles of interconnected roads wind through countryside just south of Gainesville, past great stops like Micanopy, Paynes Prairie State Park and Cross Creek. It’s called the Old Florida Heritage Highway.
  8. Daytona Beach to Kennedy Space Center. While we focused on giving you examples of places to go other than beaches for a drive in this list, who can pass up a Saturday by being able to drive down beautiful Daytona Beach then getting out of the car to visit NASA just over an hour away? Tickets are normally $50 for a day, but be sure to plan your trip in advance and visit their social media page for occasional discount days!

Do you have any other suggestions on best places to drive for a view? Where will you take your Defender 90, Defender 110 or Range Rover Classic in Florida? Let us know in the comments below!

Off Road Spotlight: Dalton Highway

When a truck is built to have the power to push the limits of off-road capabilities, it seems vital to test them out. With our Land Rover Defenders, this often awe-inspiring driving aptitude comes coupled with a level of luxury rarely achieved by traditionally-built, off-road vehicles. There are many off-road opportunities in North America; some well-known and some obscure, but few combine the natural majesty and toughness of Alaska’s Dalton Highway.

Constructed in 1974 as a support path for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the main portions of the route’s 414 miles are still mainly used by long-hauling trucks and construction-based equipment. Regardless, it didn’t take long for off-road enthusiasts to see the potential in this rough and beautiful expanse. It’s a challenge that few vehicles of any sort are built for; only segments of the path are paved, and the type of terrain underfoot varies from gravel to mud to ice. Alongside that, elevation changes are frequent, and the weather can be perplexing even in the generally placid summer months.

The rewards for taking the journey are nothing short of breath-taking. Driving the Dalton Highway allows those looking for adventure to say they’ve sailed into the Arctic Circle (which you enter around 60 miles into the road) and have seen the mountains of the isolated Brooks Range. There is hardly any resemblance of modern civilization along the route, and the natural world is on full display with frequent sightings of bears, foxes, wolves, and deer.

One thing an experienced driver of the Dalton Highway will also mention is a less-inspiring sight that dots this scenic highway: abandoned vehicles. The course is punishing and built for only those with the proper gear and preparation. Some things you may want to consider if packing up your Land Rover Defender for an adventure this summer are:


  • Always travel with extra supplies: the Dalton Highway goes an entire 200-mile stretch without a gas station or stopping point, so you need to be prepared to support yourself.


  • Be ready for the scenery: Beyond getting your truck ready, don’t forget the lenses. This is the one of the most scenic roads in the world with a variety of unforgettable views; a world-class camera to go along with an all-purpose truck is wise.


  • Be adventurous: Respectable off-road drivers leave nothing to chance. But take your time, and soak in the Aurora Borealis that is frequent and enchanting in the summer. This highway is not meant to be a race.

Land Rover Defenders have conquered the Dalton Highway and will continue to do so. Are you up for a luxury adventure? To find your perfect adventure, follow our social media profiles, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and look out for posts that highlight new off-road excursions!

Off Road Spotlight: The Trans-America Trail

Some roads are simply impassable for all, except for the finest trucks. This rings true for the iconic and breathtaking Trans-America Trail (TAT). Calling it a road would be putting it nicely; the Trans-America Trail is almost entirely unpaved over the course of its astonishing 5,000 miles. To complete a journey over that length of road, with the kinds of conditions that the TAT will throw at anyone, it takes planning, guts, and a truck with skill and power. At East Coast Defender, we take Land Rover Defenders for sale and transform them into off-roading machines that can conquer this trail with little to no issues.

It took 12 full years to map the trail across the American continent, with its designer, Sam Correro, spearheading efforts the entire way. It was a wild idea to go from coast-to-coast off-road, and the initial route itself was, and still is, considered mostly a track for motorcycles and smaller motorized vehicles. But Land Rover decided to take a crack at it with a more vigorous vehicle: a full trip on the Trans-America Trail from North Carolina to Oregon using one of their commanding trucks.

The idea was hatched in 2012, and Land Rover sent one of their expert consultants, Tom Collins, to tackle the expanse of America. Of course, Tom Collins is no random consultant; he placed second in the absolutely grueling and infamous 1987 Camel Trophy, in Madagascar, and coached off-road teams for many years. He’s a living legend, and combined with Land Rover, they proved to be a rare combination that could tackle the Trans-America Trail.

For the team involved in the quest, every aspect of the truck’s off-road ability proved useful:

  • Roof racks for the excessive gear they carried.
  • Each Land Rover in the convoy had a minimum of three spare tires.
  • World-class handling via a chassis designed for such a challenge.

Over a demanding six weeks and a multitude of conditions, the team completed their mission. They had conquered the TAT in a street-legal Land Rover and are thought to have become the first to do so.

Rivers were passed, hills were overtaken, mud was churned through, and yet still the truck kept moving. This is the type of exceptional otherworldly quality that is understood to be the powering force of the mythic Land Rover: a combination of luxury and off-road capability not found in many other vehicles. At East Coast Defender, we transform Land Rover Defenders for sale of this very heritage into and jaw-dropping, off-road machines. For more information on these transformations, contact us today.


Off-Road Spotlight: Magruder Road Corridor

Defenders have morphed over the decades to be thought of as a luxury vehicle, especially when a Land Rover Defender for sale is in the hands of truck builders like those at East Coast Defender. But the road they’ve been down to get to this point, and the chassis from which they are still most well-known, is pure power and grit. A Defender is a truck made to go off-road and into the wild. In 2017, it’s still the vehicle of choice for both militaries around the world and off-road mavens of every stripe due to its legendary capabilities.

If you come to own one, take advantage of their capabilities. To do so, and to come back with a story to tell for it, look no further than the infamous Magruder Road Corridor. Located in the rustic and rural untamed wild expanse of Central Idaho, this 101-mile pass has been challenging travelers since its construction in the 1930s. Before that, it was a passageway for Native American tribes, explorers, and adventurers of the American centuries that preceded it. The basic facts of the road itself are fairly astonishing:

  • The corridor sits in a wilderness twice the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. This expanse is the largest piece of land not crossed by roads in the lower 48 states.
  • At minimum, a two-day trip is recommended to complete the 101-miles. Taking your time is the name of the game out in this frontier.
  • The Magruder Road Corridor is a one-lane road throughout; this is a path that you can expect will challenge your car and your own abilities.
  • Primitive camping is available along the route, so bringing your own gear is key.

Because of the route’s stunning beauty, it’s quite well-known in many off-road circles, but the Magruder Road Corridor is lightly driven because of the technical difficulties it presents. Only those with trucks that are both rugged enough to climb the rocky heights and roomy enough to hold all the gear necessary for what can be a multi-day ride are able to drive the corridor.

With a Defender, the Magruder Road Corridor is within reach. This summer, instead of a cruise or a trip to a tourist hub, strike out on your own, and take your family on a trip they will remember forever at the Magruder Road Corridor. For more information on our Land Rover Defenders for sale, contact us today.

An Iconic Vehicle for the Most Iconic Route

A Land Rover Defender is a terrific vehicle for a short drive to the supermarket or into town for a dinner; it has the luxury and handling to be impressive in those instances. Beyond the day-to-day, Defenders are also an excellent vehicle of choice for longer trips or less-traveled terrain. This summer, as a new Defender owner, maybe it’s time for you to take your vehicle on a tour of our vast country. You’ll turn some heads and see the world in style and comfort. Take what was once just a Land Rover Defender for sale and experience it’s iconic persona on an iconic route.
Whether it is the distance they can travel, the cargo capability, the comfort, or the rugged nature that fears no path, the vehicles turned out by East Coast Defender are ready for it all, including extensive road trips. One of the best road trip ideas for 2017 is an iconic throwback: Route 66. The 2,400 mile route from Chicago to the great shores of the Pacific and Santa Monica is lodged in the fabric of American for good reason.

If you do decide to take the trip across Route 66 this summer, here are some places along the way not to miss.

  • Chain of Rocks Bridge (Illinois-Missouri border): This is neat walking trail with a unique history.
  • The Loop (St. Louis): The Loop is a great entertainment complex made famous by the late great Chuck Berry.
  • Meramec Caverns (Missouri): Did the Outlaw Jesse James hideout here? Only one way to find out.
  • Henry’s Rabbit Ranch: It’s weird, it’s unique, and you shouldn’t miss it. This stop commemorates Route 66 with some interesting memorabilia.
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park & Museum (St. Louis): As a Route 66 legend, this is a treat for your eyes.
  • Rock Café (Stroud, Oklahoma): There’s a lot of terrific cafes and diners along Route 66, but this might be one of the best.
  • Jiggs Smoke House: Don’t take a trip down America’s Highway without getting some BBQ.
  • Tower Station and U-Drop Inn Café (Shamrock, Texas): The place looks like it’s transported in time through a half century.
  • Blue Swallow Motel (Tucumcari, NM): If you are looking for a true retro motel to spend the night in along Route 66, this is it!
  • Oatman, Arizona: This is a unique stop at a ghost town along Route 66.
  • Meteor Crater, Arizona: Stand in one of America’s great craters, and be happy you aren’t there 50,000 years earlier.
  • Santa Monica Pier: Roll your Land Rover Defender up to the edge, and end your summer road trip as they are meant to be; take in the sound and fury of the Pacific Ocean at The Pier.


To take in all these sites in the best vehicle possible, contact us anytime at 407-483-4825 or We’ll find your ideal Land Rover Defender for sale and customize it to your liking for the road ahead.

4 Defenders for 4 Lifestyles

One of the great things about a Land Rover Defender in the US is its pure and unquestioned versatility. From world-class luxury vehicles to down-in-the-dirt off-road behemoths, the Defender is ready to take on a wide array of challenges. It’s one of the reasons the truck itself is so sought after and has been such an enduring brand over the decades.

Versatility coupled with our customization abilities and talented builders results in a Defender fit for any lifestyle. We’ve created builds that have been great vehicles for artists, professional athletes, and CEOs looking exclusively for a luxurious ride. We can build something that fits your active lifestyle perfectly.

  • The Outdoorsman: All custom-built Land Rover Defenders are well-equipped for trips to the outdoors, but something like our infamous Project Outdoorsman, takes your camping trip to DSC_4025mobileanother level. With accessories like a functional G4 Expedition style roof rack with ladder, you’ll be prepared for anything mother nature has in store for you. For the most innovative in accessories, this model was built with fishing rod storage and even a custom fold-out table for cleaning fish. We can take Defenders to the next level depending on your outdoor activity preferences.
  • The Surfer: Perfect for a run to the beach, our trucks have the versatility and space to bring your entire crew to the waves. You could use the roof racks included in a lot of our builds to strap your boards, but with something like Project Venice, with its convertible soft top, you can pop the boards in the back when it’s time to call it a day.
  • The Family Wagon: It’s not all camping trips to Long Key State Park and runs to the waves at Sebastian Inlet State Park; Defenders are also perfect for a simple trip to the grocery store. With luxurious leather seats and layouts to fit the entire family, it’s wonderful for any family expedition.
  • The Pro Athlete: Whether heading to the gym for a workout or heading to the stadium on game day, arrive at either in style. A custom-built Land Rover Defender from ECD will not be mistaken for any other vehicle. Arriving at practice in an incredible piece of equipment like Project Stealth will certainly turn some heads. Plus, any and all of your gear can easily fit into these beasts of the road, especially with a layout that includes storage boxes.

We build our Land Rover Defenders in the US for you with your hobbies and lifestyle in mind. The luxury can be top-class, and the accessories we can add will be revolutionary. For more information on how to start getting an exclusive custom ride built today, contact us anytime at 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at


Off-Road Spotlight: Mojave Road

A Land Rover Defender for sale and custom built at the Florida headquarters of East Coast Defender is truck like no other. From hand-stitched leather interiors to LED light systems and Chevrolet drivetrains, they define luxury in a modern SUV. But don’t let all the glitz fool you; these are still formidable and relentless off-road vehicles. Land Rover Defenders built their name on the ability to take on all types of roadways, both paved and not. It’s the reason they are used in militaries and police forces around the world to this day.

So, if you design a custom built Land Rover Defender and you select accessories made for increased off-road capabilities, it would seem absurd not to take on a driving challenge this summer. It’s time to explore the legendary and breathtaking Mojave Road.

Located in California’s Mojave National Preserve, the trail is one of America’s original pathways that was used by pioneers and homesteaders back in the mid 19th century. Not all that much has changed over the years in its 138-mile run. In fact, the American settlers that used it as a supply route didn’t carve the trail themselves; it was already there, a passageway centuries old, used by the native people of this country and assorted travelers over the eons. That history will be on full display as you serpentine over it’s exhausting but beautiful miles.

Some basic Mojave Road Facts:

  • The path is 138 miles, nearly all requiring four-wheel drive.
  • The first European to traverse the pass was Father Francisco Garces in 1776. It was used for centuries before this by Mojave and other Indian tribes.
  • The path was also used as a gold route by the renowned 49ers.
  • There is only one watering hole along the route, so be sure to bring plenty.
  • The Mojave Road is a two to three day off-road excursion with elevations reaching as much as 5,167 feet.
  • There are snowstorms in the winter and heat well over triple digits in the summer.

A word of caution about the Mojave Road: it is rustic in the best and worst sense. This is a tourist destination because of its history, but it is wild and untamed. Most of the road has no signs, no services, and few people to help in case of emergency. It’s even recommended that you check with National Park Service beforehand to make sure parts of the road are not impassable do to floods and mudslides. 

If you’re looking for adventure, there’s nothing that beats the challenge and excitement of the Mojave Road. The memories will last a lifetime, and the truck you’ll need to make it to the end of the road will be itself nothing short of exceptional. If you’re looking for a Land Rover Defender for sale, contact us today.

Make Sure They Don’t Forget Your Name

What separates a Land Rover Defender built in the US by ECD from any other? Quality, for one, and that quality is completely synonymous with the brand of East Coast Defender. Another thing that separates us from the competition is our ability to innovate and create unique custom trucks. Our Defenders speak to a part of your identity and can be customized to stand out above a crowd.

ECD2These luxury cars are a mission-statement to your own personal brand. And, to that effect, we can customize your build so that it is not only unlike any other truck on the road, but any other truck that even we have built.

There are a number of ways this personalization and customization can take place, and when getting a build from East Coast Defender, it behooves you to look into them all. We’ll ensure that the valet doesn’t really need a ticket after parking your truck.

Name Personalization

With our custom, on-site craftsmen, we create hand-stitched leather interiors that can be inscribed with your insignia, initials, company, anything! If you have colors or emblems that are just “you,” we can integrate them into the interior design of your build. Whether someone is entering or leaving the vehicle, chances are they won’t be forgetting the experience, and you, for quite a while. From monogrammed initials on headrests to dash panels that are retrofitted for your eye, no detail is insignificant. We create a truck that is as linked to you as your very signature.

Custom Accessories

An East Coast Defender build is a project designed exclusively for you. From its codename in the build bay (like Project 13, created for Servando Carrasco, Orlando City Midfielder, and his wife Alex JCS5707Morgan) to the custom inspection plaque placed on the vehicle at the culmination of its build, every feature routes back to our clients in some way. Truck-based accessories like snorkels, roof-mounted LED lights, custom wheels, and built-in fishing rod holders add a uniqueness and individuality to every build.

Exceptional personalization and bespoke builds are the very identity of East Coast Defender. These are completely custom-made Land Rover Defender’s built in the US specifically for you. No other matters are considered during planning and construction other than what the client wants to project with these iconic luxury trucks. If you’re not content with purchasing a vehicle that matches your neighbors production line-built daily driver, contact us 407-483-4825 or e-mail us at

Premier US Off-Roading: Engineer Pass, Colorado

When making a list of the most challenging and jaw-dropping off-road excursions in the lower 48 states, one in particular seems to always come up: Engineer Pass in Colorado. And Land Rover Defenders were built for just sort of terrain. Colorado itself has a cornucopia of world-class, semi-vehicular terrain, so for one to stand out, as this piece of the infamous Alpine Loop does, takes a particular type of bold ruggedness. Conquering a road like the engineer pass requires more than just a truck, as anyone trying to complete the journey should be prepared for any and every event that may meet them along the way. But the rewards, some 12,800 feet up, are the very reason off-roading is and will always be a popular form of entertainment as well as a showcase for the mastery one has on their craft.

Deep in the San Juan Mountains, the Engineer Pass is connected to the Cinnamon Trail (itself a fearsome leg of road) to create the Alpine Loop. Part of its charm is how stubbornly resistant to change this loop has been over the years; along the way you’ll find ghost towns and long abandoned mines, along a vista that has been untouched for over a century. The Engineer Pass cuts across time as well as the actual continental divide itself.

It’s an exclusive club along this trail, one thats membership requires a sturdy set of tires underneath your truck. Entry to the pass is easily gained with the combative and luxurious scope of a Land Rover Defender, but it will take skill (and your breath away) to navigate the route in full. One of the biggest upsides of Engineer Pass is that although it is technically a very difficult road to drive, it’s also rather well-known because of its legendary status; over the years, landmark posts have been erected and gorgeous stopping points accumulated. But, the pass itself is still considered less greenhorn friendly than its sibling in the Cinnamon Trail.

Perfect for an early summer expedition, and miles above and beyond most any other off-road junction, this should be a bucket list item for any owner of a vehicle as audacious and refined as a Land Rover Defender. The pass just celebrated its 140th

birthday, so there’s no time better to head out west for a mountain view. To do so, you’ll need the truck, but also the gear and the accessories to roll through and over the pass in one piece. When it comes to Defenders built from the ground-up for the off-road experience while enjoying in-car luxury, no place is as close to the cutting edge as East Coast Defender. Contact us today at 407-483-4825 for more information on what type of truck we can build for your journeys this summer.