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Whale watching in Florida: Winter thrill on northeast coast with sighting off Treasure Coast

Endangered right whales are viewed close to shore from Daytona Beach to Amelia Island every winter. Sightings aren’t predictable, but here’s how to get a chance to see Florida’s largest endangered species.

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Visiting fabulous Flamingo, Everglades National Park’s last outpost, and worth the drive

Flamingo is a long way from the entrance to Everglades National Park, but we love it for the wildlife — manatees, crocodiles and an osprey nest right in the marina. Kayaking into Florida Bay is a splendid way to see the many birds and spectacular scenery. Our guide provides tips for hiking too.

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Where to see manatees in Florida waters: Try these 17 spots

Chilly weather brings manatees back to springs and rivers throughout Florida. If you’re lucky, you can see manatees in lots of waterways around Florida, but here are a few locations where, in winter, you can reliably admire these charming creatures — and even kayak with them.

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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 and probably for the next month or two. This river belongs on the bucket list of those who love the Florida outdoors.

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Celebrate migration miracle at Monarch Butterfly Festival, Oct. 22, 2022

On their 2,000-mile fall migration, thousands of monarchs stop in Florida’s Big Bend and Panhandle in October and November. A top viewing site is St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, a half hour south of Tallahassee. There is a monarch festival at the refuge Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. On the same day, you can also go to the nearby St. Mark’s Stone Crab Festival.

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Robbie’s Marina: Feed the tarpon; it’s the best cheap fun you can find in the Keys

Robbie’s Marina is a don’t-miss stop as you drive through the Florida Keys. Dozens of tarpon, some more than 6 feet long, gather at the dock and lunge for fish from visitors. The restaurant there, the Hungry Tarpon, is highly recommended , too.

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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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