Blue Spring State Park, home to manatees in the winter and a favorite place for a swim in bracing spring water in the summer, will allow visitors to stay after closing during firefly season through March 31. If that took you by surprise, you’re with me. But there is a firefly season and Blue Spring, located 35 miles north of Orlando in Orange City, is firefly central.
Chances are, you’ve never heard of Blue Cypress Lake near Yeehaw Junction. If that’s so, you’re missing a spectacular natural lake rimmed by old growth cypress trees and home to hundreds of ospreys and osprey nests. This lake is the headwaters of the mighty St. Johns River. What a great kayak destination!
Lake Louisa State Park is a half hour from theme parks, but is a natural world with 20 miles of hiking trails and great cabins. Located on the east end of the vast Green Swamp, you’ll find wildlife, old citrus groves, hills, cypress swamps and forests.
The Van Fleet Trail into the Green Swamp is one of the most rural, isolated rides you’ll find in Florida. It’s flat. It’s straight. But if you want to truly get away from it all and encounter a little wildlife along the way, here’s the place.
Kelly Park is best known for popular Rock Springs Run, but this fabulous Orange County park also has one of the nicest campgrounds anywhere, a fabulous swimming area, playgrounds and picnic areas.
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. Right now, birding is especially good.
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.
Last updated on May 31st, 2019 at 12:07 pm Two large manatee festivals celebrate Florida’s beloved manatee every January – one in Orange City and one in Crystal River. These two locations are probably the best places in the state to see manatees in clear water and in great numbers. Each of these manatee festivals is expected to draw thousands […]