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Eden Gardens State Park: Lovely gardens, green respite near sand & surf

Eden Gardens State Park is 20 minutes away from the bright white Panhandle beaches. It offers a rest for the eyes amid camellias, azaleas and a handsome 1897 mansion with an interesting history. Right now, the 100 varieties of camelias are in full bloom.

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Milton: Great cabins, camping, glamping, biking, hiking in ‘canoe capitol’

Milton has grown from the “canoe capitol” in Florida’s Panhandle into an outdoors center with eco-resorts and multiple activities. The area’s white-sand rivers are terrific to kayak or tube and there are good hiking and biking trails. Milton has an interesting historic district too.

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Oleta River State Park feels like island getaway in Miami urban sprawl

This Miami state park is a remarkable island of green where you can kayak, mountain bike, picnic and enjoy a sandy beach. There are even rustic cabins to rent. Now, the historic Blue Marlin Fish House, located on park property on 163rd Street, has re-opened and rents SUPs and kayaks on the Oleta River as well as offering sandwiches, salads and beer.

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Casey Key: Hidden treasure is ideal base for bicyclists, beach lovers

Casey Key, a skinny 8-mile-long barrier island south of Sarasota, is a great destination for someone who wants to pedal a great bike trail in the morning, beachcomb amid natural beauty in the afternoon and then enjoy an authentic waterfront fish house for dinner.

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