Northwest Florida

The Suwanee River will reward you with tranquility and beauty

Suwanee River: Skip the song; but go for kayaking & camping

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.

I do not think it is a coincidence that the Stephen Foster Museum at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park looks like a class Southern plantation.

Stephen Foster State Park: Glorious river; great cabins, odd old museum

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.)

The main street on Cedar Key

Cedar Key: Charming, historic, off the beaten track

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.

2011 Suwannee River paddlethon

2011 Suwannee River paddlethon

The tribes gather on Oct. 13 at the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park near Live Oak in preparation for an exhilarating 123-mile paddle down Florida’s legendary Suwannee River to Manatee Springs State Park. The expedition is one of five sponsored over the next year by PaddleFlorida.org.

The main street on Cedar Key

Cedar Key: Coolest small town in Florida?

Cedar Key is cool. So says Budget Travel magazine, which announced its 10 Coolest Small Towns in America. The only Florida town among them is this charming island in an out-of-the-way location 60 miles west of Ocala.

Ichetucknee Springs ( 
FWC photo by Karen Parker)

Cool idea: Florida’s best river for tubing, the Ichetucknee

All those “lazy river” water attractions at hotels and parks are just trying to recreate the exhilarating experience of tubing the Ichetucknee River in north central Florida. Try the real thing, where you’ll float past pristine cypress forests and look into water so clear you can see a pebble on the river’s bottom through six or seven feet of water.