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The trip to Margaritaville can soon be made on the Jimmy Buffett Highway

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Iconic Florida singer Jimmy Buffet named one of his albums “A1A” in honor of the coastal highway that winds through about 340 miles (545 kilometers) along the state’s Atlantic Coast, and now Florida is about to return the honor.

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State Highway A1A will become the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway as soon as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill the Senate sent to him Tuesday with a unanimous vote.

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“As Jimmy once said, ‘It’s a sweet life living by the salty sea’ and we could not think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing him along Florida’s coastal highway,” said Democratic Sen. Lauren Book, who sponsored the bill.

Buffett, who died in September, wrote songs that drove tourists to the Florida Keys looking for sun, sand and relaxation. Key West earned the nickname “Margaritaville” after his song about wasting away by the sea looking for a lost shaker of salt.

Parts of A1A are already designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a national scenic and historic byway. It begins in Fernandina Beach near the Georgia border and passes through the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, on its way to Key West, offering incredible ocean views for those who don’t need to rush south on Interstate 95.

On Monday, the Legislature also sent DeSantis a bill that includes the creation of a specialty license plate with the word “Margaritaville.” Proceeds from license plate sales will go to a charity founded by Buffett, Singing for Change, and will benefit Florida nonprofits that help victims of hurricanes and other disasters, Harrell said.

DeSantis’ office didn’t immediately respond to an email asking if he’d sign the highway designation, but the governor did honor Buffett by ordering flags to be flown at half-staff after his death and asking Floridians to celebrate him by “raising their margarita glass and enjoying a cheeseburger here in paradise to wish the ‘Son of a Son of a Sailor’ well.”

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