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Things to do in the Tampa Bay area, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and the Tampa Bay area, RV and tent camping, kayaking, beaches, festivals.

Tarpon Springs: Visit dazzling island of Anclote Key on boat from Sponge Docks

Tarpon Springs is best known for its Greek sponge docks. But a boat trip to Anclote Key, one of Florida’s most remote state parks, is even better. Anclote Key is a perfect island beach, perhaps more tantalizing because it’s not easy to visit.

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Myakka River State Park: 10 reasons to visit this big, wild Sarasota preserve

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.

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Upper Manatee River: Kayaking wild eastern part of river in Bradenton

The Manatee River is wild, natural and serene in its eastern section. Just a half hour from downtown Bradenton, the Upper Manatee Paddling Trail is another world. Your trip can include a stop at a preserve where a pioneer cemetery marks the site of an early town.

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