You don’t have to drive hours off the interstate to find Florida’s natural beauty and funky history. You can find treasures within 10 minutes of these I-75 exits.
National Wildlife Refuges are sometimes called “America’s best kept secret.” Florida has 29 refuges, the third most of any state. We think these eight are particularly worth discovering.
Secluded campground tucked into the shady woods of Oscar Scherer State Park with access to a fabulous rail trail linking Sarasota to Venice.
The white sugar-sand beaches of Florida’s Panhandle are something to behold. Let’s go camping!
Secret beaches are the stuff of vacation dreams. But I found one — more than 5 miles of wild, broad unspoiled sandy shore, lined with thick native vegetation and without a condo or T-shirt shop in sight.
Many of these free things to do in Florida are off-the-beaten path spots to enjoy nature, wildlife and history — from 300-year-old forts to superb boardwalks.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park near St. Augustine has two sides — historic gardens amid ancient live oak trees on one side and a beach with fantastically shaped coquina rocks on the other.
Camping, kayaking, hiking, biking and a humongous swimming pool are the top features of this state park that straddles the Hillsborough River.
Natural beauty makes Riverbend Park a delightful place to explore. Its 10 miles of bike trails are particularly suited to family bicycle outings. It’s also the site of a historic battleground and is where you launch for kayaking the Loxahatchee River.
Faver Dykes State Park offers excellent kayaking, productive fishing and woodsy camping just 15 miles from historic St. Augustine.
O’Leno State Park is a Florida treasure. It is here that the Santa Fe River vanishes, only to re-emerge a few miles south to continue its scenic crawl to the Gulf of Mexico.,
Winter is the best time for Everglades camping in both Everglades National Park and Big Cypress Preserve. Options run from recreational vehicles to tents in the back country and glamping.
Autumn doesn’t bring a lot of color to the Sunshine State, but that’s only part of the fall story. We take great delight in “cool” fronts that drive out summer’s humidity.
No other state has won as many awards for the quality of its state parks, which is why picking the best Florida State Parks wasn’t easy. We did, though. Did we include your favorite?
DAYTONA BEACH — Tiger Bay State Forest is a vast wilderness quite close to Daytona Beach International Speedway, and it’s a great destination for camping, fishing, off-road bike riding, hiking and horseback riding.
These terrific county parks are popular with locals, but not well-known to people even one county away. At these hidden gems, you’ll find springs, beaches, wildlife and even great campsites.