Little Manatee River near Tampa: Great for kayakers, hikers & campers An antique train trestle on the Little Manatee River is a good place for a lunch break. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
Cortez: Charming fishing village, perfect place for classic seafood shack Cortez: Charming fishing village, perfect place for classic seafood shack
Best Camping Near Tampa Bay: 9 choice campgrounds One of the original campgrounds, Old Prairie, at Myakka River State Park.
Southwest Florida An antique train trestle on the Little Manatee River is a good place for a lunch break. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Little Manatee River near Tampa: Great for kayakers, hikers & campers

Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.

Camping One of the original campgrounds, Old Prairie, at Myakka River State Park.

Best Camping Near Tampa Bay: 9 choice campgrounds

We’ve selected nine public campgrounds near Tampa Bay for their scenic beauty, low prices and prime opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking and canoeing. We think you’ll like these choices.

Southeast Florida Wood storks, anhingas and herons all nesting together in Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach. (Bonnie Gross)

Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach: Watch the wood storks nesting

One of the best places to see wood storks and other wading birds nesting up close in winter is Wakodahatchee Preserve in Delray Beach. In February and March, dozens of storks build nests close to an easy-to-walk .75 mile boardwalk.

Central Florida 2017 Florida Strawberry Festival: March 2-12

2017 Florida Strawberry Festival: March 2-12

Florida Rambler’s guide to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Entertainment line-up, places to stay, places to eat, places to camp and things to do nearby.

Things To Do In Florida

2017 Florida Strawberry Festival: March 2-12

2017 Florida Strawberry Festival: March 2-12

Florida Rambler’s guide to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Entertainment line-up, places to stay, places to eat, places to camp and things to do nearby.

This barred owl at Arbunkle Creek swiveled his head to follow us as we paddled under his tree.

Kayaking Arbuckle Creek: Unexpected beauty at a bombing range

Arbuckle Creek is a gorgeous river through an ancient cypress forest. It feels remote and wild but is convenient to Orlando and South Florida. It’s a gem, full of wildlife and magnificent scenery.

Wood storks, anhingas and herons all nesting together in Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach. (Bonnie Gross)

Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach: Watch the wood storks nesting

One of the best places to see wood storks and other wading birds nesting up close in winter is Wakodahatchee Preserve in Delray Beach. In February and March, dozens of storks build nests close to an easy-to-walk .75 mile boardwalk.

5 ways to explore Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands

5 ways to explore Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands

Vast and remote, the Ten Thousand Islands off Florida’s southwest coast seems challenging to visit, a labyrinth of twisting channels through thousands of remote mangrove islands.

Armadillo races at 2015 Swamp Cabbage Festival. Photo courtesy Pete Cross.

Swamp Cabbage Fest marks 51 years, Feb. 25-26, 2017

La Belle — You can get gator tail and swamp cabbage at this festival. But the real reason to go is to revel in a last corner of small town America in Florida — beauty pageants, high school bands, armadillo races and a rodeo.

Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City is designed for outdoors-oriented visitors. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Ivey House in Everglades City: B&B for outdoors folks

If you’re visiting the western entrance to Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands, there is a bed and breakfast that caters specifically to kayakers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – the Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City.

The deck at DJ's Deck, Port Orange.

Florida’s best seafood restaurants: No frills fish shacks

Fresh Florida seafood is best enjoyed in the open air wearing a T-shirt and flips flops at a Florida fish shack. Here are nine of our favorites spots.

The Turner River's mangrove tunnels are beautiful -- so full of bromeliads. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Turner River kayak trail: The best in the Everglades

I’ve paddled a lot of trails in the Everglades, but so far, the Turner River is my favorite. It goes from pristine cypress swamp, through mangrove tunnels to sawgrass marsh, and it teems with birds, gators and fish. It’s everything the Everglades offers in one trip.

(c) Can Stock Photo

MLB Spring Training 2017: Campgrounds, beaches and cool things to do nearby

Our annual Spring Training Guide is an invaluable resource for finding campgrounds, lodging and things to do near each of Florida’s Spring Training camps. We include report dates, home openers and links to schedules and tickets.

Bedman Creek, a tributary of the Caloosahatchee River near Alva. (Photo: David Blasco)

Along Caloosahatchee River: Kayak trails, rustic scenery & small towns

Between Lake Okeechobee and Fort Myers, a stretch of the Caloosahatchee River offers a taste of Old Florida — small towns, rivers ideal for kayaking and good public campgrounds.

Midway Campground

RV, tent and backcountry camping in the Everglades

The winter season is the best time to camp in Florida’s Everglades, and there are dozens of campground choices, from the front country to the backcountry. Here’s our guide.

Wekiva River Basin’s stunning beauty invites paddlers, campers, hikers and bikers

Wekiva River Basin’s stunning beauty invites paddlers, campers, hikers and bikers

Not all of Central Florida’s magic is at Disney. North of Orlando is a vast ecological preserve that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities with unique exposure to Florida’s great outdoors.

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