Black Caesar is an elusive character, a pirate of some renown who roamed the Florida Keys, or so goes the legend. We explore his lair, and so can you!
The west side of the Indian River Lagoon has an Old Florida flavor — especially the scenic 20-mile drive between Stuart and Fort Pierce. The region has enough places to explore to make a great getaway.
No doubt about it: Key West is expensive. But despite its small size, Key West is packed with things to do and see — and some are even free. Here are a half dozen places to go where you’ll soak up Key West culture without opening your wallet.
As you plan your Florida travels, here are seven towns that I’ve found make great bases for exploring. Each puts you in the center of outstanding places to hike, bike, kayak and explore history. Each is surrounded by natural beauty.
Few places offer both so much history and such beauty as Florida’s 30 lighthouses. No traveler will see them all on one trip, but even one lighthouse visit can give you a memorable experience. About 10 Florida lighthouses are open to visitors on a regular basis. We offer ideas for a lighthouse roadtrip and information on endangered lighthouses that are up for grabs.
Like a lot of visitors, for years I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of sight. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.
Kayaking the Braden River, with time at Jiggs Landing and Linger Lodge, is a delightful trip back into Old Florida. Both outposts date to the 1940s and the scenic river that connects them preserves much of its natural beauty.
Punta Gorda is blessed with a beautiful riverfront location, but it doesn’t have a beach. And there lies the reason it has an off-the-beaten-track quality. It’s a great place for kayaking, biking, hiking, birding and discovering funky crab shacks and other authentic Florida experiences.
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.
HOMESTEAD — Robert Is Here, just outside Everglades National Park, is a must-stop for my family on the basis of its Key Lime milkshakes alone. But we also love the menangerie out back, the exotic tropical fruits there for the tasting and the overall ambiance.
This original Florida roadside attraction still thrills, especially in the spring and early summer when its rookery fills with hundreds of nesting birds. The gators and crocs are well-presented with lots of information as well as entertainment.