Top Florida Travel Destinations

Top Florida Travel Destinations
While many think Disney is synonymous with a Florida vacation or dream only of sun and sand, the truth is there is much more to this state. Scratch the surface and underneath you will find just about anything a nature lover could desire. Florida offers unrivaled opportunities to get close and personal with nature. From the savage beauty of the Everglades to the coral reefs of Key West or the beaches south of Daytona, these top Florida travel destinations need only one thing--you.


Little can compare to the savagery and raw nature revealed in the Florida Everglades. Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in America, and fosters rare and endangered species. Nature trails, walking bridges over the water and bicycle paths are abundant. There are also airboat, boat and tram tours for a different perspective. Or take an all-day guided kayak tour or canoe through the Everglades alone. Just don't forget your camera--or insect repellent.

Everglades National Park
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034-6733

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Imagine the only way to get to your campsite is by canoe. Alone on 7,000 acres of primitive wilderness, you hear the call of coyotes in the night or the splash of an alligator. Twenty miles north of Orlando, Wekiwa Springs State Park has miles of hiking trails and nature centers. Wekiwa provides a glimpse of the land the Timucuan Indians roamed long ago. And with a lagoon and spring-fed pool that stays a tropical 72 degrees Fahreneheit year-round, you can even swim and snorkel.

Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

You can't actually swim with the manatees, but you can watch them from the underwater observatory at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Arriving at the park requires a short ride by tram or boat. Along the way, rangers will identify wildlife and introduce the park. A Willdlife Encounter program features snakes and other native animals. Other features are children's interactive learning opportunities and Pepper Creek hiking trail, one of the Great Florida Birding Trails.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, FL 34446

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

America's first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is in the Florida Keys. Key Largo is surrounded by some of the best reefs in the world, and the only coral reefs in the continental U.S. Visitors to Pennekamp may choose to stay at the campground, swim near an early Spanish shipwreck at Canon Beach or spend time snorkeling, scuba diving or touring the reefs located about 6 miles offshore, from a glass-bottom boat. Canoe, paddleboat and sea kayak rentals are also available to explore the park.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
102601 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037

Marine Science Center/Mary Keller Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary

For a change of pace, head to Ponce Inlet, about 10 miles south of Daytona, along the coast. With some of the best beaches in Florida, water activities are abundant. The biggest draws to Ponce Inlet, however, are the nature centers. The Marine Science Center includes a turtle hospital and 5,000 gallon aquarium. Filled with interactive displays, it's perfect for the kids. Next door is the Seabird Rehabilitation Sanctuary, caring for and treating sick and injured birds of hundreds of species. Also on the property are nature trails, and nearby is Florida's tallest lighthouse--Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station. Ride a water taxi to Ponce Inlet and enjoy the best of man interacting with nature.

Marine Science Center
100 Lighthouse Drive
Ponce Inlet, Fl 32127

Article Written By Karie Lapham Fay

Karie Fay earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in law from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. After growing up in construction and with more than 30 years in the field, she believes a girl can swing a hammer with the best of them. She enjoys "green" or innovative solutions and unusual construction.

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