There’s a good reason Boca Grande is a favorite among the rich and famous: It’s beautiful, unspoiled and preserves the charm of Old Florida. The good news: It makes a satisfying daytrip, especially on a bike.
These 12 Florida State Parks campgrounds are a short hop from Interstate 75 and offer unique experiences — roaming buffalo, a disappearing river and one even memorializes a strange and wacky cult.
There are few parks in Florida with as much to offer as Pinellas County’s Fort DeSoto Park. And no park in the state, not even Everglades National Park, attracts as many visitors.
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.
Stone crab season starts Oct. 15 and Everglades City, a small, isolated fishing village south of Naples, is a place to feast on this Florida favorite in an authenic Old Florida atmosphere.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. The 11-mile Legacy Trail, which follows an abandoned railroad bed from Sarasota’s suburbs to Venice, connects to another 10 miles of trails in Venetian Waterway Park.
Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.
Telegraph Creek, a tributary of the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers, is all the things I love about kayaking destinations – out-of-the-way, uncrowded, scenic, full of wildlife. It’s located within a half hour of Fort Myers and is ideal for a shaded two- or three-hour kayak outing.
The Lido Key Mangrove Trail is a well-known scenic kayak trail in Sarasota. Guest contributors Ed and Deb Higgins love paddling with friendly cormorants and weaving in and out of mangrove tunnels.
Witness 5,000 years of history through a glass wall at this Indian midden at Spanish Point, and learn about the Palmer family’s profound impact on Sarasota County.