Famous Attractions in Florida

Famous Attractions in Florida
Florida has much more to offer visitors than just Disney World and pristine beaches. Nearly half the state is covered with trees and forests, thus offering visitors a wide variety of natural, recreational, cultural and historical opportunities. An abundance of recreation can be found throughout all areas of the state and on its waters, as well as at Florida's historical landmarks and parks.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park is comprised of a cluster of seven islands that lie almost 70 miles west of Key West. Nearly 99 percent of the park's 64,657 acres is open water and submerged islands, providing for an abundance of water recreation, such as: snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, sailing, swimming, saltwater fishing and underwater photography.

A self-guided trail encompasses Fort Jefferson, the park's centerpiece. The park offers guided fishing, diving, snorkeling, wildlife viewing and sailing tours. Additionally, a 10-site primitive campground is located on the same island as Fort Jefferson.

Anastasia State Recreation Area

Anastasia State Recreation Area is located just south of historic St. Augustine on Anastasia Island. The state park boasts over 4 miles of pristine beach, a tidal salt marsh, and maritime and upland hammock. The park has endless opportunities for recreational activities, such as: hiking, camping, beachcombing, shelling, swimming, fishing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and wildlife viewing. Here, nature trails loom through a salt marsh and a hardwood forest, and dolphins can often be seen just beyond the breakers.

Ocala National Forest

The Ocala National Forest is located in central Florida, east of Ocala, between the Ocklawaha and St. Johns Rivers. The park has over 383,000 acres of land and more than 600 lakes, rivers and springs. The forest boasts a variety of major recreation, scenic and historic areas.

Because of the massive amounts of water in the forest, a plethora of recreational activities include: canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, skiing, snorkeling and swimming. The forest also entertains land recreation enthusiasts with over 70 miles of hiking trails, a 22-mile bicycle path, a 100-mile equestrian trail as well as frontcountry and backcountry camping.

Fort De Soto Park

Fort De Soto Park is located in the southwest corner of Mullet Key, near the entrance to Tampa Bay. Fort De Soto was built in 1898, abandoned from 1910 to 1948, and reopened as a state park in 1962. The park is 1,136 acres, comprised of five interconnected islands. With over seven miles of waterfront, the park has infinite opportunities for water recreation.

Additionally, the park has miles of paved and unpaved paths and nature trails, two fishing piers, a recreational canoe trail and even a dog park. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as vintage weaponry can be seen in areas in the park.

Article Written By Stephanie Stoddart

Stephanie Stoddart has studied journalism since 2002 and has been published in various outlets, such as the "South End News," eHow, Trails.com and Golflink. Stoddart holds a Bachelors of Arts in broadcast journalism and psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit.

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