Articles written by: Bonnie Gross

Bonnie is co-founder of Florida Rambler. She spent four decades searching for places to enjoy the natural beauty and fascinating history of Florida. After a long career at the Sun Sentinel, including as executive producer of its website, she started sharing her experiences here in 2010. She lives in Fort Lauderdale with her husband and travel partner David Blasco.

Cayo Costa State Park

Four wild islands in Florida for memorable camping or cabins

Who doesn’t dream of finding a quiet, wild and remote island to pitch a tent or stay in a cabin? If this is the stuff of your dreams, we have four island adventures for you.

Sunset over the Amelia River at Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island.

Amelia Island & Fernandina Beach: Beaches, hikes, historic sites and more

With eight state parks, a national park, scads of history and top beaches, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach make a great base to explore northeast Florida.

This is Old Florida: Oak trees in Micanopy.

Nine ways ways to find the real Florida — 15 minutes off I-75

You don’t have to drive hours off the interstate to find Florida’s natural beauty and funky history. You can find treasures within 10 minutes of these I-75 exits.

The most scenic section of the Big Bend Coastal Byway is the 40-mile stretch between Bald Point State Park and Apalachicola where the road hugs the coastline. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Big Bend Scenic Byway: A less-visited part of Florida that is worth visiting

The Big Bend Scenic Byway links a big national wildlife refuge, three state parks, three historic lighthouses, one of the best beach islands in Florida and picturesque fishing towns. It winds through an area that sees fewer tourists, and offers rustic Old Florida delights at every turn–from black bears to white squirrels.

The 1907 Gibson Inn is the first thing you see in Apalachicola as you come over the causeway. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Apalachicola & St. George Island: Delightful town; spectacular beach

Apalachicola is a charming, walkable small town full of history, good food & shops. It’s 20 minutes from miles of wide splendid beach on St. George Island.

Hutchinson Island’s House of Refuge: Beautiful beach site is window to past

Hutchinson Island’s House of Refuge: Beautiful beach site is window to past

The historic Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge couldn’t be in a prettier spot. It also tells the story of a wild Florida of shipwrecks and pioneers. While you’re exploring the gorgeous beaches here, it’s worth a quick stop.

The view from the diving platform at Wakulla Springs. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Wakulla & St. Marks: Out of the way, this Big Bend area is full of discoveries

The Big Bend area of Florida around St. Marks and Wakulla Springs is rich in things to do and see: Kayaking, biking, historic sites, springs, lighthouses. Yet, it is a less visited area off the tourist trail.

Lafayette forms two beautiful pools of water, each lined with limestone rocks, surrounded by hard packed earth and separated by a natural limestone bridge.  (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Springs & the Suwannee: Two northwest Florida parks are great bases for exploring

Remote, rural and picturesque, northwest Florida rewards your long drive with sparkling springs, the beautiful Suwanee River and scenic rural roads. Two state parks with cabins and campgrounds make great bases to explore the region.

Fort Myers Beach has a broad beach with powdery sand and popular fishing pier. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Fort Myers Beach: Old school beach town, on the cusp of change

With a beautiful beach, free pier, beach-side restaurants and a lively downtown, this is a classic beach town. It’s frozen in time while it awaits redevelopment.

As the sun sets over Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, kayaks are lined up ready to launch for a bioluminescent kayak trip. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

A Florida summer thrill: Night-time kayaking in a bioluminescent glow

On dark summer nights in the Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville, the water glows from bioluminescent plankton. Kayak tours help visitors see the spectacular light show.

Photo by Mauro Luna on Flickr

2017 sea-turtle walks: It’s time to register for a natural thrill

Sea-turtle walks are like seeing a National Geographic film in person. But you need reservations to join these night-time beach walks to watch giant sea turtles nesting.

Fort Pierce to Jensen Beach: Scenic drive through Old Florida

Fort Pierce to Jensen Beach: Scenic drive through Old Florida

The west side of the Indian River Lagoon has an Old Florida flavor — especially the scenic 20-mile drive between Stuart and Fort Pierce. The region has enough places to explore to make a great getaway.

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