Springs The spring at Fanning Springs State Park on the Suwanee River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Fanning and Manatee Springs: Hidden treasures with cabins, camping, more

Discover a treasure: Fanning Springs and Manatee Springs state parks. You’ll find beautiful springs, cabins, camping, kayaking & biking in Northwest Florida. Where is this Florida wonderland? Far off the beaten path.

Beaches Once ‘colored beach,’ state park honors civil rights leaders

Once ‘colored beach,’ state park honors civil rights leaders

The outstanding beach known as John U. Lloyd State Park is being renamed to honor Fort Lauderdale civil rights leaders Von D. Mizell and Eula Johnson.

Central Florida Couple enjoys weekday ride

Seminole Wekiva Trail: Smooth riding

The Seminole Wekiva Trail is a 14-mile multi-purpose, paved “rail trail” in the Wekiva River Basin that is part of a network of existing and planned trails across Central Florida in the Orlando metro area.

Southwest Florida 2009 Freedom Swim. Photo courtesy the Sun Herald.

2016 Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim: Cool 4th of July ‘happening’

The 2016 Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim begins at 2 p.m. July 4, but while folks cross the 1.5-mile wide Peace River, this isn’t a race. It’s a “happening” and one of the few ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Florida and stay cool.

Things To Do In Florida

Sea oats line 5 miles of wild beach at Hobe Sound NWR.

Discover Hobe Sound’s ‘secret’ wild beach and wildlife refuge

Secret beaches are the stuff of vacation dreams. But I found one — more than 5 miles of wild, broad unspoiled sandy shore, lined with thick native vegetation and without a condo or T-shirt shop in sight.

2009 Freedom Swim. Photo courtesy the Sun Herald.

2016 Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim: Cool 4th of July ‘happening’

The 2016 Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim begins at 2 p.m. July 4, but while folks cross the 1.5-mile wide Peace River, this isn’t a race. It’s a “happening” and one of the few ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in Florida and stay cool.

A sand version of "The Don" and, in the distance, the iconic pink Don CeSar Hotel on Pass A Grille beach.

Pass A Grille, one of Florida’s best beaches in a charming historic town

The beach is spectacular here — wide white sand, clear blue-green water. But the Old Florida charm of Pass A Grille, a community within St. Pete Beach, is what makes it stand out.

This gap in the Old Seven Mile Bridge, just south of Pigeon Key, prevents folks from reaching the other 5.8 mile section.

Florida Keys: Old Seven Mile Bridge closing for repairs

The Old Seven Mile Bridge will be closed for repairs from July 5, 2016 into 2017. The historic island in the middle — Pigeon Key — will be open for visitors, who are ferried to the island by boat.

Deerfield Beach

Scenic Deerfield Beach is charming, low-key

With palm trees lining its herring-bone brick beachwalk and shady grass berm, our Beach of the Week is one of South Florida’s most scenic destinations.

Fountain in a courtyard off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

Palm Beach luxury on sale in summer; 10 ways to enjoy its history, beauty & recreation

The island of Palm Beach is the exclusive winter home of billionaires. For the rest of us, it’s a fun place to gawk at mansions and their ficus hedges sculpted into works of art. The town is full of history, too, from Henry Flagler to JFK.

Paddle Florida: 2016-17 kayak trips explore Florida’s top waterways

Paddle Florida: 2016-17 kayak trips explore Florida’s top waterways

Paddle Florida is a non-profit that organizes a few paddling trips each year on Florida’s greatest waterways. Limited in size and carefully researched, these trips are great for solo paddlers or folks who appreciate a little support in undertaking a several day paddling and camping trip. Deadlines for fall and winter trips are coming up.

(c) Can Stock Photo

5 things to discover in Cocoa Beach

The hidden Cocoa Beach, except for Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, which is hard to ignore.

Wat Mongkolratanaram -- Wat Tampa for short is located on the Palm River amidst live oak trees. (Photo:Bonnie Gross)

Tampa Buddhist temple: Sunday market for brunch in lovely outdoor setting

An open-air Thai brunch and market draws throngs every Sunday morning to this beautiful waterfront temple in Tampa. The food is very good and moderately priced. The exotic gold-trimmed temple is worth visiting just because it’s beautiful, set among shady live oak trees decorated with orchids.

Water lilies at McKee Botanical Garden, Vero Beach

McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach: Water lily garden in Old Florida setting

McKee Jungle Garden was a popular 1940s roadside attraction. Today, the Vero Beach garden is smaller but known for water lilies and its historic buildings. It’s a beautiful place!

JB's Fish Camp in New Smyrna Beach

JB’s Fish Camp: Running with the crabs

JB’s is your original crab shack, a funky Florida kind of place where blue crabs are served steaming from the kitchen and dumped onto sheets of brown kraft paper that serve as your tablecloth. There’s an outdoor dining deck with a tiki bar overlooking Mosquito Lagoon.

Waterfront RV sites

RV Campground: Fishing mecca at Okeechobee KOA

The Okeechobee KOA is the largest KOA campground in U.S. with 750 campsites on Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s fishing mecca.

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