In the wild and watery world of southwest Florida, Collier-Seminole State Park near Naples draws people who love the natural Florida for camping, hiking and paddling. Itâ€™s also home to the 1924 Bay City Walking Dredge, and how often do you get to visit a â€śNational Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmarkâ€ť?
The nation’s first wildlife refuge was created by President Teddy Roosevelt to stop plume-hunters from wiping out several species of birds. The birds are back, and spring is a great time to visit. (You’ll need a kayak for a closeup look.)
With eight state parks, a national park, scads of history and top beaches, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach make a great base to explore northeast Florida.
The billboards on the Turnpike are gone, and so are the discount coupons, but the legendary Desert Inn is still kickin’ at Yeehaw Junction.
They met on South Florida’s beaches apprehensively, seeking flight to a better life in the Bahamas. If they were fortunate, they would haggle a fair price and board a boat bound for Andros Island.
The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, free tours of a spectacular orchid grower’s estate, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.
As you cross the Seven Mile Bridge, you pass the little green island with yellow cottages and palm trees surrounded by dazzling blue water. Stop and visit: Pigeon Key is one of a kind. It offers fascinating history, tropical beauty, even great snorkeling.
Mount Dora is a historic town that has figured out how to keep people visiting: Maximize the natural beauty and develop big arts, crafts and antique festivals.