The Big Bend Scenic Byway links a big national wildlife refuge, three state parks, three historic lighthouses, one of the best beach islands in Florida and picturesque fishing towns. It winds through an area that sees fewer tourists, and offers rustic Old Florida delights at every turn–from black bears to white squirrels.
Things to do in Northwest Florida, Gainesville, Lake City and getaways to outdoor recreation, hiking, biking, trails, canoeing, kayaking, trails, RV and tent camping, places to stay, places to eat, road trips and Funky Florida.
The magic of manatees draws thousands to the Crystal River on the Gulf Coast each winter. Here’s a practical guide to manatee experiences in Three Sisters Springs and Kings Bay — kayaking with manatees, swimming with manatees or admiring them from a boardwalk.
Not only is the Suwannee a stunning wild river worth exploring for its beauty, it also offers five unusual river camps accessible only by boat. The camps have screened, covered camping platforms with electricity and a central bathhouse with hot water. The free river camps provide comfy conditions for multi-day trips.
Floridians survive the heat and humidity of our brutal summers by turning to the state’s wealth of cool, clear, refreshing springs. But you need to get to the best Florida springs early, especially on weekends.
Seafood festivals are common in Florida, but Cedar Key Seafood Festival is uncommonly appealing. Not only is Cedar Key historic and charming, it’s also clam capital of America.
If you think all there is to the Suwannee River is an old song with problematic lyrics, you’re missing out on one of Florida’s greatest kayaking, canoeing and camping rivers.
Like Cedar Key itself, the Cedar Key Art Festival is a slice of authentic Old Florida. This historic small town is located on an island on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
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.,
The Ichetucknee is the most pristine spring run in the state. It has eight major springs, crystalline water, lush jungly vegetation plus plentiful birds and wildlife. It’s a shame that most visitors only experience it as a busy tubing river. It’s a fabulous winter kayaking destination in North Florida — worth a drive!
Atsena Otie island is a ghost town founded before Florida was a state. It’s a half-mile kayak trip from the Cedar Key beach and rewards you with a sandy beach, an atmosperic cemetery and good paddling and birding.
It’s a long way from just about anywhere — and that’s part of its beauty. But it’s also a great place to bicycle, kayak, hike, watch sunsets and spot birds. An 1859 hotel, now a charming B&B, plus fresh seafood restaurants add to its appeal.
Rainbow Springs and the Rainbow River are among Florida’s top tubing and kayaking spots. People love this waterway because of the pure, clear water and spectacular natural setting. In winter, it’s a peaceful place to kayak and perhaps see otters. In summer, it’s full of tubes floating through a cool paradise.
Remote, rural and picturesque, northwest Florida rewards your long drive with sparkling springs, the beautiful Suwanee River and scenic rural roads. Two state parks with cabins and campgrounds make great bases to explore the region.
There are 35 dog-friendly beaches in Florida, and there even be one near you.
All those “lazy river” water attractions at hotels and parks? They’re just trying to recreate the exhilarating experience of tubing the clear, wild Ichetucknee River in north central Florida. Try the real thing. Summer tubing season has started.
Wakulla Springs State Park has a historic lodge, spectacular spring/swimming hole, scenic boat rides and many spots to hike, bike and kayak nearby. The Big Bend region of Florida is often overlooked by visitors, who are missing out on a rustic, rural area.