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.

Peering into the deep blue of "The Crack," a spring that is the origin of Baird Creek, a tributary of the Chassahowitzca.

The Chaz: Springs & wildlife make this river a special kayak trail

Kayaking the Chaz on the central Gulf Coast takes you over turquoise springs, down twisty creeks, and you might just see a manatee, otter or bald eagle. This is one of Florida’s premier kayaking rivers.

Where the Florida Trail crosses Alligator Alley, you can start a hike into the Everglades. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Hike into the Everglades right from Alligator Alley

When crossing Florida on I-75, this hike is an easy way to experience the Everglades. You can hike for miles; even backpack to a campsite. Or stretch your legs for a short taste of the wild.

It’s firefly season at Blue Springs. Wait, what’s firefly season?

It’s firefly season at Blue Springs. Wait, what’s firefly season?

Blue Spring State Park, home to manatees in the winter and a favorite place for a swim in bracing spring water in the summer, will allow visitors to stay after closing during firefly season through early April. If that took you by surprise, you’re with me. But there is a firefly season and Blue Spring, located 35 miles north of Orlando in Orange City, is firefly central.

Crocodiles are much rarer than alligators but are often seen near Flamingo in Everglades National Park. Photo by Adam Fagen.

Where to spot wildlife in Florida in winter

There are a lot of things I love about winter in Florida, but high on the list is spotting the wonderful variety of wildlife here. You might not get lucky and view all these animals, but you’ll visit wild and beautiful sites on your quest.

USAF Thunderbirds (Photo by photobunny via Flickr)

Fort Lauderdale Air Show: See it from a kayak May 5-6, 2018

A kayak paddle in the nearby waterways is a way to reduce traffic hassles and still experience some of the Fort Lauderdale Air Show May 6-7. Here’s how to do it.

Priscilla the Parrot Fish is made out of plastic toys, buoys, toothbrushes and other plastic garbage picked up on beaches.the sculpture if one of 10 on exhibit at Mounts Botanical Garden until June 3, 2018. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Mounts Botanical Garden: Art from sea debris in a lovely garden

Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach is a lovely spot, especially worth visiting this winter with the Washed Ashore exhibit of giant sculptures made of plastic trash picked up on beaches. These sculptures, the pinnacle of recycling, do their job: They delight us but they also make us think.

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.

Strangler fig along Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk along the Tamiami Trail. (Photo: David Blasco)

Tamiami Trail: Scenic drive exploring Everglades

The Tamiami Trail, linking Miami and Florida’s west coast, gets you close to alligators, cypress swamps and Everglades scenery. It also offers outstanding stops along the way, particularly the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park.