Twenty minutes off I-4 between Orlando and Tampa, there is a little-known wildlife preserve that one visitor calls “a free safari.” It attracts thousands of migrating birds in winter, but it has more to offer than just excellent birding.
A peaceful park shaded by magnificent live oaks is a good place to soak up some Florida history and take a walk or have a picnic. The battlefield tells a dramatic and thought-provoking story.
Colt Creek State Park is one of Florida’s newest parks, part of the massive Green Swamp Wilderness near Tampa, with RV and tent camping, backpacking, kayaking, fishing, hiking and off-road bicycling.
This Gainesville area state park is a vast playground for hikers and bikers, but also for bison, wild horses and, sometimes, thousands of sandhill cranes.
On dark summer nights in the Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville, the water glows from bioluminescent plankton. Kayak tours help visitors see the spectacular light show.
Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.
Inexpensive and smothered in nature, these scenic campgrounds are the best for RV and tent campers within an hour’s drive of Disney World.
Brevard Zoo has a unique offering in its kayak tours, but it’s a small part of the interactivity and outstanding animal exhibits that make this a great zoo.
Sebring, a small town along the lovely Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida, is staking a claim for something new — Florida’s first (and only) craft soda festival, the Sebring Soda Festival. Local small-batch sodas made with real sugar are making a comeback, partly as an outgrowth of the craft beer phenomenon. This Sebring festival is a good opportunity to taste what it’s all about.
If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.