Heading to Florida for an extended trip and want to make the most of your stay? Here are my Florida top 10 places to visit, you should add these adventures to your list! From theme parks, to art, to becoming one with nature, Florida offers a variety of experiences for each type of person. I tend to be more nature oriented, so I must say my list is a little biased towards the outdoors. Even if you’re not an outdoors person, while you’re in Florida, you should experience natural Florida while you have the chance! Since I recently moved away from Orlando, this will be my last post on Florida. I decided a good way to go out is to list my top ten ‘not to miss’ places in Florida. Enjoy:
Florida has an abundance of springs. They are all beautiful in their own way, but I have a list of my favorites that I’d like to share. Below are the 5 springs in Florida that I recommend to visit:
Blue Spring State Park
There’s a hidden treasure near Key West that not many people venture out to see, Dry Tortugas National Park. My whole trip to Key West revolved around Dry Tortugas. Key West was beautiful! The atmosphere was fun, the food was amazing, the water was beautiful, but the highlight of my trip was visiting Dry Tortugas. I highly recommend adding this destination to your Key West list!
Dry Tortugas National Park
Out of all the springs I’ve been to in Florida, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is my absolute favorite. You can hike, swim, snorkel, scuba dive (during certain months), tube, and canoe & kayak. The park is also pet friendly.
South Entrance to Ichetucknee Springs
There are two entrances to the park:the North entrance and South entrance. The South entrance has Dampiers Landing Dock, tram road, and 1 trail: Midpoint trail. You can go on a short tube ride from midpoint to Dampiers Landing dock. The hiking paths are pretty, but I’m glad I went to the South entrance first because the North entrance is where the best areas are!
One of the things I love most about Florida is being able to see manatees during the winter. Well, at Crystal River not only can you see manatees, but you can swim with them! Swimming with manatees is an unmatched experience and a needs to be on everyone’s Florida list. My friend and I signed up to do this, when we first arrived at the registration building we sat down for a presentation on the manatees. We learned about proper interactions with them: you can’t go out of your way to pet a manatee, the manatees have to engage you first. You also can’t kick when you are near them, so really you float with the manatees instead of swim with them!
Florida’s Best Kept Secret
My friend and I were more than eager to check out Devil’s Den Prehistoric Springs, an underwater springs inside a cave. There had been a lot of hype about it and I was dying to check it off my Florida list. Pictures online portrayed translucent cobalt waters surrounded by rock with a hole in the middle that let sunshine through. The underwater cave sounded incredible, but until I was actually inside I couldn’t comprehend how wonderful it was. Continue reading Devil’s Den
A dark brown shape protruded from the left side of the bank ahead. My gaze focused on it, trying to figure out if it was a branch or an alligator. I relaxed as we moved closer, it was a branch. But my defenses would soon be up again, there were all sorts of things in these waters.
The fourth of July weekend brought my parents in town. We didn’t want to go to the overcrowded theme parks or beaches so we decided to go to Wekiva Island and spend the day canoeing. The beginning of the trip was peaceful and beautiful, not a lot of people were on the water yet. Continue reading Canoeing Wekiva Island
Searching for Gators
Airboat rides are an iconic Florida activity. Gliding through swampy, alligator infested waters is the first image that comes to mind, but our guide told us differently. The alligators usually hide since they can hear the airboats coming, so getting a close look at one is difficult. Luckily for us it was August, which is nesting season for alligators. The mother gators would stay near their nests, even when they sensed intruders drawing near. Continue reading Airboat Ride in Kissimmee
Drifting Through Glowing Waters
Florida’s Indian River hosts a magnificent natural occurrence during the warm summer months: bioluminescence. I came across a picture of bioluminescence one day and with a quick search I discovered that this spectacular display is only 45 minutes away from me. I could go on a bioluminescent kayak tour in Titusville, Florida. A scene from the movie Life of Pi came to mind, the one where Pi wakes up and finds that the sea is glowing around him and all the creatures are illuminated. This phenomenon is real; bioluminescence causes the surrounding water to light up, or glow, when movement is present.