This large state park in a rural, out-of-the-way part of Central Florida, preserves Old Florida cracker history. It offers great hiking trails and camping plus lakes to explore by kayak or canoe. Wildlife, from deer to alligators to sandhill cranes to eagles, is abundant.
It’s easy to find a beach in Florida. It’s harder to find a hidden beach, a beach where you experience a sense of discovery and delicious isolation. Here, however, I share my favorites, discovered over many years.
Tucked into in a corner of Hillsborough County is a quiet, well-shaded campground that packs a lot of nature into a small 160-acre preserve along the Alafia River. And the camping is among the best in the Tampa Bay area.
Kelly Park is best known for the hugely popular Rock Spring, but it also has one of the best campgrounds anywhere in the state. Summer visits require a bit of planning because of the crowds, especially on weekends.
As you travel the state, you often find yourself on a scenic byway that bleeds “Florida.” Here are three getaways that are among Florida Rambler’s favorites.
Jacksonville is blessed with eight really special state parks, but you can only camp at two of them — Fort Clinch and Little Talbot Island. Both are ideal destinations for outdoors summer recreation.
This isolated cluster of islands 70 miles west of Key West is accessible only by boat or seaplane. But treasures await you, especially if you camp over for a few nights. Yes, you can camp here! Snorkeling and kayaking, too!
The charming Riverview Hotel accommodates guests at the gateway to New Smyrna Beach’s arts and entertainment district, a half-mile strip of historic homes, quaint galleries and friendly pubs leading to one of Florida’s most popular beaches.
Fort Lauderdale’s Rustic Inn is a classic. Their “world famous garlic crabs” draw hundreds of people every night to this old Florida restaurant, tucked away on Ravenswood Road, just west of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. You’ll find it from the sound of wooden mallets pounding on the table every few minutes.
I wait all year to enjoy Florida’s winters, and not just for the cooler weather. It’s also the peak time to spot amazing wildlife. One spectacular Florida scene worth seeing and hearing is a flock of migrating sandhill cranes.