If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.
The 22-mile-long West Orange Trail stands out as an appealing bike trail, as it winds along Lake Apopka west of Orlando. This smooth paved trail gets it right, with scenery and excellent amenities.
Honeymoon Island is an unusual combo: It’s accessible, with first-rate concessions, and yet it’s a big, natural beach where you can get away from people and see wildlife. And you have to love how it got its name.
This 46-mile paved Central Florida rail trail is a smooth, safe ride. But what makes it special is the scenery, parks & towns to explore along the way.
Silver Springs State Park near Ocala lets kayakers launch at the famous springhead and paddle an exquisite waterway where paddlers often see monkeys, manatees and an array of birds and other animals.
Kayaking the Chaz on the central Gulf Coast takes you over turquoise springs, down twisty creeks, and you might just see a manatee, otter or bald eagle. This is one of Florida’s premier kayaking rivers.
The Gamble Mansion has white columns to rival Tara and was the site of a dramatic Civil War event. It’s the only antebellum mansion left in South Florida.
The Withlacoochee River meanders through an unspoiled forest in rural Florida but still within an hour of Orlando and Tampa.