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.
Just a hop and a skip from an I-75 off-ramp, these scenic campgrounds are loaded with outdoors fun, ideal stopovers for a night or a week.
Falling asleep to the soothing rhythm of waves lapping on your own beach is every camper’s dream, so we pick the best beach campgrounds on Florida’s Panhandle.
The Hidden Coast, the Gulf Coast north of Cedar Key, is a wonderland to explore by kayak, according to Nick and Sandra Crowhurst, who have written a kayaking guide that is free for you to download.
The Nature Coast Trail is a high-quality rail-trail with a picturesque train trestle over the Suwanee River and some good scenery. Two great state parks are nearby: Manatee Springs for camping and Fanning Springs for cabins. It makes a great weekend for cyclists.
The magic of manatees draws thousands to the Crystal River on the Gulf Coast each winter. Here’s a practical guide to manatee experiences in Three Sisters Springs and Kings Bay — kayaking with manatees, swimming with manatees or admiring them from a boardwalk.
State park campgrounds in the Panhandle are popular in summer, while spring and fall are best to enjoy spectacular beaches, paddling, hiking, fishing — and Florida’s highest waterfall.
If you think all there is to the Suwanee River is an old song with problematic lyrics, you’re missing out on one of Florida’s greatest kayaking, canoeing and camping rivers.
This state park has superior cabins and is a great base for kayaking the Suwanee and hiking. It’s also home to an oddly dated museum on Stephen Foster. (We considered it a funky Florida find.)
It’s a long way from just about anywhere — and that’s part of its appeal. But it’s also a great place to bicycle, kayak, hike, watch sunsets and spot birds. The 1859 hotel, now a charming B&B, is reason enough to go.