Florida has to be one of the most appealing U.S. states and one of the best vacation destinations on the planet. It’s warm climate, over 650 miles of pristine coastline lapped by azure waters, and it’s stunning coral reefs, and of course, Disneyland ensures that. However, Florida isn’t just for beach bums and families looking to get their fill of that Disney magic – it’s a fantastic place for outdoor adventurers too.
If you like your trips to be a little more active, here are just a handful of the adventures you can have in Florida:
Cycling Through the Everglades
The Everglades National Park is home to some of the most spectacular natural sights that you’re ever likely to see. The swampy plains are teeming with alligators, the skies, and rivers are filled with herons looking for their fill of fish and the views across this subtropical wilderness just under 40 miles away from bustling downtown Miami will fill you with awe and make you appreciate just how good it is to be alive right now.
Cars aren’t allowed deep into the Everglades, which means that cycling is probably the best way to maximize the amount of the National Park you can see. It’ll keep you active and ensure that you have a real adventure too.
Kayaking on Sarasota Bay
Sarasota Bay is a sizeable lagoon located just off Florida’s West Coast. If you’re a keen water sports enthusiasts, it is a great place to have your own water-based adventure. Seashore Eco Tours run regular guided kayak tours of the lagoon, which will take you through the Mangrove Tunnels. If you’re lucky, you’ll get up close and personal with some of the local manatee population who congregate in the 72-degree waters for comfort.
See Alligators Close Up at Myakka River State Park
If you’re a real daredevil, you might consider renting your own canoe and paddling through the Myakka River State Park, where not only will you get to watch cranes, ospreys and bald eagles feeding in the marshes, but you might even get closer than most people would find comfortable to the local alligator population. Once you’re done paddling, you can take a scenic airboat ride through the park, set up camping the wilderness or have fun fishing on the riverbanks. Oh, and you simply must head up the Boylston Nature Trail, where you’ll get a birdseye view of the park from the some 74-foot observation tower that you’ll find there.
Horseback Riding on the Coast
Head to Amelia Island, which is just over 30 miles away from Jacksonville, and you’ll find the only state park in the whole of the U.S. that permits horseback riding on its beaches. Kelly Seahorse Ranch offers one-hour coastal rides on private trails which, although it’s on the coast, takes you through rugged hardwood forest, and offers spectacular views of the area’s salt marshes. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a friendly dolphin or two!
There really is more to Florida than tanning on the beach and standing toe to toe with Mickey Mouse. If It’s adventure you’re after, the Sunshine State really is hard to beat!
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