Holiday houseguests? If you’re lucky, they love the outdoors and you can take them on any and every authentic adventure that Florida Rambler covers. But what if your guests like their nature a little tamer? Here are recommendations for daytrips in southeast Florida that are my go-to spots for visitors.
There are many reasons to visit the Redland, the rural area between Miami and Everglades National Park. But if you like orchids, here’s the best reason: Excellent free tours of the private gardens at R F Fuchs Orchids.
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.
Whoever named this kayak trail Hell’s Bay was giving you a hint: It won’t be easy. During National Parks Week at the end of April, I paddled this forbiddingly named trail. It’s mile after mile of mangroves with tight twists and turns that make going slow. If you’re heading for a backcountry camping site — a chickee on a platform in the middle of the Everglades wilderness — then this trail is worth the trouble. If not, well, I have some suggestions for you.
McKee Jungle Garden was a popular 1940s roadside attraction. Today, the Vero Beach garden is smaller but known for water lilies and its historic buildings. It’s a beautiful place!
DELRAY BEACH — Amid a sea of subdivisions, you’ll find a pair of man-made wetlands where you will encounter extraordinary wildlife viewing from strategically placed boardwalks — wildlife preserves that are especially lively during the fall and spring bird migrations.
Within an hour’s drive of the urban tangle of South Florida, one of Florida’s two nationally designated “wild and scenic” rivers meanders through a spectacularly lovely cypress swamp. Recently, Jupiter Outdoor Center re-opened the kayak and canoe rental operation in Riverbend Park, allowing visitors to paddle the best section of the river.
The paved, traffic-free Lake Trail along the water on this exclusive island provides gorgeous harbor views and sneak peeks into backyards of the rich and famous.
Natural beauty makes Riverbend Park in Jupiter a delightful place to explore. Its 10 miles of bike trails are particularly well suited to family bicycle outings. It’s also the site of a historic battleground from the Second Seminole War.
The historic Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge couldn’t be in a prettier spot. It also tells the story of a wild Florida of shipwrecks and pioneers. While you’re exploring the gorgeous beaches here, it’s worth a quick stop.