The beach town of Marco Island is all manicured and modern, but here are four adventures into the wild and authentic Florida that are within a quick drive. You can wade across a lagoon to a wild beach or have lunch in a funky fishing town or stroll on a boardwalk into a beautiful old growth cypress swamp.
2018 is an exceptional one for nesting birds in Everglades National Park. Two super colonies– more than 25,000 birds clustered together– are nesting in the park for the first time since the 1940s. We couldn’t resist a visit. And while you can’t reach the super colonies, there is much to see on a spring visit.
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.
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.
Grayton Beach is consistently ranked among the Top 10 beaches in America, making it a prime candidate for your bucket list. It was on mine, and we camped there this fall.
Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge is made for exploration. It offers rolling hills, forests, streams, quaint small towns with lots of places for hiking, kayaking and camping.
People and birds alike enjoy the beautiful beaches and sandbars plus the pristine mangrove creeks at Bunche Beach. There are several routes for kayakers or it’s a great place for just combing the beach and enjoying the wildlife.
If you’re visiting the western entrance to Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands, there is a bed and breakfast that caters specifically to kayakers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – the Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City.
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is a year-round refuge for birds and other living things, from the dazzling roseate spoonbills to the American bald eagle. During the fall migration, birding is especially good.
The Okeechobee KOA is the largest KOA campground in U.S. with 750 campsites on Lake Okeechobee, Florida’s fishing mecca.