Amateur astronomers love this place in the heart of Florida’s cow country. With 54,000 acres of wide-open prairie 25 miles from the nearest town, light pollution does not exist, making the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve one of a few destinations in Florida for stargazing under a pure night sky. The campground set aside for astronomers is known as “the red light district.”
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park — the biggest state park in Florida — is a vast, wild place near Everglades City. Year after year, we drove right past, but there are three great reasons to spend time here. We’re glad we did.
Lake Louisa State Park is a half hour from theme parks, but is a natural world with 20 miles of hiking trails and great cabins. Located on the east end of the vast Green Swamp, you’ll find wildlife, old citrus groves, hills, cypress swamps and forests.
Kelly Park is best known for popular Rock Springs Run, but this fabulous Orange County park also has one of the nicest campgrounds anywhere. Now’s the time to go, before the summer crush and long lines.
Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is a year-round refuge for birds and other living things, from the dazzling roseate spoonbills to the American bald eagle. Right now, birding is especially good.