Articles written by: Bob Rountree

Bob Rountree roams the state with his wife Kathy in their 25-foot Starcraft AR-One travel trailer, exploring Florida's back roads, hidden beaches and scenic parks with kayaks, beach toys and bicycles in tow. A retired journalist based in Deerfield Beach and living the good life, Bob is co-founder of FloridaRambler.com.

Opposition grows to private campgrounds in Florida state parks

Opposition grows to private campgrounds in Florida state parks

Opponents turned out in droves to protest plans to allow RVs at Honeymoon Island State […]

Ancient oaks caress the soul at Highlands Hammock

Ancient oaks caress the soul at Highlands Hammock

SEBRING — Old-growth live oaks dripping with air plants and Spanish moss dominate the landscape throughout much of the 9,000-acre Highlands Hammock State Park, one of Florida’s original state parks developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The park features lush nature trails, scenic bike riding and shady camping.

Florida to allow private campgrounds in some state parks

Florida to allow private campgrounds in some state parks

The goal is to generate new revenue for state parks that might otherwise face closing because of budget cuts, as was proposed earlier this year by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Kayak fishing on the Calusa Blueway

Kayak fishing: Where few have gone before

With the invention of the rotomolded hull, kayaking has taken off in Florida and across the country over the past decade. Give an angler a new way to float, and he’ll go fishing. Here’s a guide to kayak fishing basics and a checklist of what you need to be successful.

Archie’s: No shoes, no shirt, no problem

Archie’s: No shoes, no shirt, no problem

FORT PIERCE — This iconic beach bar draws an amazing mix of bikers, tourists, locals and retirees to the north end of Hutchinson Island, and the staff here really hustles to deliver the food and drinks with chaotic precision.

Everglades Challenge: Paddle 300 miles from Tampa Bay to Key Largo

Everglades Challenge: Paddle 300 miles from Tampa Bay to Key Largo

About 70 kayaks, canoes, rowing shells and small sailboats set out from Fort Desoto on March 5 for a grueling marathon that ended a week later in Key Largo.

Pelican Island: Oldest bird sanctuary in U.S.

Pelican Island: Oldest bird sanctuary in U.S.

President Teddy Roosevelt created this wildlife refuge in 1903 to stop plume-hunters from ravishing this 3-acre island. Now’s a good time to visit as the spring migration begins, and on March 19, local residents celebrate the annual Pelican Island Wildlife Festival.

Funky Florida: Jimbo’s Place on Virginia Key, now closed

Funky Florida: Jimbo’s Place on Virginia Key, now closed

When it comes to the authentic Florida, it’s hard to ignore Jimbo’s on Virginia Key. It’s a classic, very funky shrimp shack that’s been a hangout for celebrities and the everyman since Jimbo Luznar settled on this island in the 1940s.

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

Blue Spring State Park: Manatees in winter; swimming & tubing in summer

The park is beautiful, and the paddling opportunities are numerous, but the campground is just fair. The spring is a great place to swim when you seek to escape the summer heat, but you can’t swim here in winter because its overrun by manatees seeking safe haven.

Sebastian Beach Inn: Beach bar evokes coastal history

Sebastian Beach Inn: Beach bar evokes coastal history

Popular beachside bar is housed in one of the few remaining “watch houses” used to protect our shores during two world wars. Today, it’s party time!