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.”
One of the best places to see wood storks and other wading birds nesting up close in winter is Wakodahatchee Preserve in Delray Beach. In February and March, dozens of storks build nests close to an easy-to-walk .75 mile boardwalk.
Animal lovers and particularly families will enjoy this free wildlife sanctuary. Located in a green and shaded setting, it showcases native critters from panthers and black bears to bald eagles and otters.
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.
When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.