This state park is so worth a drive to explore. It would take days to experience it all – a beautiful beach, an extra-long fishing pier, a well-preserved Civil War fort, hiking, wildlife, great camping.
If you’ve ever dreamed about exploring a deserted tropical island, here’s your chance: Take your kayak down to the Florida Keys and paddle out to Indian Key State Park. Here, you explore jungly ruins and snorkel along a rocky shoreline.
What took me so long? Like a lot of visitors, I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of site. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.
Smallwood Store is an exceptional slice of Florida history at an end-of-the-road site overlooking Chokoloskee Bay near Everglades City.
Micanopy is right off I-75 near Gainesville, but it feels far away — like a small town in a Florida long gone. Its jewel is the 1845 Herlong Mansion B&B.
In the middle of Everglades National Park is the best preserved Nike missile base in South Florida, a relic of the Cold War and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Today it reminds us of those days of John F. Kennedy, fallout shelters and Bob Dylan protest songs.
It’s a long way from just about anywhere — and that’s part of its appeal. But it’s also a great place to bicycle, kayak, hike, watch sunsets and spot birds. The 1859 hotel, now a charming B&B, is reason enough to go.
With the best beach in the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda is a popular stop. But don’t miss the real star — the historic bridge. The park is also tops for camping and its cabins, though you have to plan way way ahead for that.