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.
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve is 46,000 acres of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks, but this national park also preserves fascinating Florida history.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. And it keeps getting better. July 6, a new section opens extending the rail north.
Jupiter Island offers a scenic two-lane beachfront road with well-kept landscaping, very little traffic and excellent biking. It goes on for mile after mile past the estates of the rich and famous. And you can build in a stop at a hidden beach.
Jonathan Dickinson State park can keep a lover of the outdoors busy for days with hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, wildlife watching and soaking up the natural beauty.
This state park has superior cabins and is a great base for kayaking the Suwannee and hiking. It’s also home to an oddly dated museum on Stephen Foster. (We considered it a funky Florida find.)
Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.
The Hollywood Beach Broadwalk bike trail is a delightful bike ride. A trip to Old Florida, it has vintage buildings, casual beachfront eateries & great views.
This large state park in a rural, out-of-the-way part of Central Florida, preserves Old Florida cracker history. It offers great hiking trails and camping plus lakes to explore by kayak or canoe. Wildlife, from deer to alligators to sandhill cranes to eagles, is abundant.
The Old Seven Mile Bridge is closed for repairs until 2022. Pigeon Key, the historic island at the center of the bridge, is still open and it’s a great outing, where you arrive by ferry boat.