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Jupiter: Discover unspoiled nature near urban centers

With expansive state parks and a national wildlife refuge plus several attractive county and city facilities, Jupiter offers many excellent places to kayak, hike, bike and learn about native wildlife. Within a two hour drive of 6 million people in South Florida, it’s a good getaway for lovers of the outdoors .

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Ichetucknee Springs State Park in winter: Best time to kayak

The Ichetucknee is the most pristine spring run in the state. It has eight major springs, crystalline water, lush jungly vegetation plus plentiful birds and wildlife. It’s a shame that most visitors only experience it as a busy tubing river. It’s a fabulous winter kayaking destination in North Florida — worth a drive!

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Legendary Fisheating Creek: Kayak trail lives up to hype, but timing is everything

This gorgeous, wild, winding river is well-known in Florida, but can only be paddled when water levels are high enough — and thanks to recent rains, that is NOW. This river belongs on the bucket list of those who love the Florida outdoors.

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Six things to do in Cedar Key, a charming, historic, off-the-beaten path spot

It’s a long way from just about anywhere — and that’s part of its beauty. But it’s also a great place to bicycle, kayak, hike, watch sunsets and spot birds. An 1859 hotel, now a charming B&B, plus fresh seafood restaurants add to its appeal.

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Key West Audubon House: Fascinating characters, enchanting spot

One of the prettiest places is Key West is the Audubon House, also known as the Geiger House, and its gardens. Like the best spots in Key West, the Audubon House is full of fascinating stories with larger than life characters. It also features a great collection of Audubon’s work in Florida.

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Barefoot on Hutchinson Island: Some of the best beaches in Florida

Hutchinson Island has an abundance of pristine beaches with easy public access, the way Atlantic beaches used to be. You remember the days — when you could just pull off State Road A1A almost anywhere, park on the sand and stroll through the dunes to the ocean.

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Myakka River State Park: 10 reasons to visit this big, wild Sarasota preserve

Myakka is one of the oldest and biggest state parks, a great place for seeing wildlife, from huge gators to flocks of birds in winter. Go here for its log cabins, appealing camp sites, excellent kayaking, extensive hiking and good bike trails. It’s also a good spot for nature neophytes, who enjoy the airboat ride and canopy walk.

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