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!
When someone mentions Orlando, the first two things that usually come to mind are Disney World and Universal. Well, there are many other things to do in Orlando besides the theme parks! Orlando has so much to offer. Below is a list of some of my favorite things to do in Orlando besides Disney World and Universal Orlando.
My friend and I took a trapeze class and it was so much fun! I wasn’t that great at it, but I still loved it, and watching others was fun, too. I was really nervous once I got up on the platform, but you just have to take a leap of faith! Down the street there is also an indoor skydiving area. I haven’t done this yet, but it looks awesome!
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!
Christmas Time in Orlando
Christmas is my favorite holiday! Nothing else compares to this time of year and there is no place I’d rather be during the Christmas season than in Orlando. Yes, it is hot during the holiday season, you can still get sunburned in December from the sun’s rays, you may even break a sweat, but despite the heat Orlando still encompasses the magic of Christmas. And why not with Disney right in the heart of the area?
Disney knows how to celebrate Christmas. Disney has the iconic Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom lit up; lights drip and sparkle from all around it. Up until 2016 the Osborne Lights were in Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios has a new light show instead, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to the Osborne Lights. Continue reading Christmas Time in Orlando
Manatee Encounters in Florida
I heard about the manatee festival on the radio. It was early February and finally starting to feel like winter in Florida. A temperature drop brings the manatees in from the frigid ocean water to the warm waters of the springs. My first trip to see the manatees was at Blue Spring State Park. The park is small, but the trail around the springs is breathtaking. The water is an aqua blue, completely see through.
Visiting the Everglades is a bucket list item that I’ve had in my sights since I moved to Florida. I just couldn’t make up my mind how to see the Everglades: a boat tour, an airboat ride, or simply go for a visit near a park entrance and try my luck. Then I ran across an article on the Shark Valley Tram Tour. A picture of the Shark Valley Observation Tower caught my eye and I knew I had just stumbled upon the inspiration for my trip. Continue reading Everglades Trip
My second trip back to St. Augustine was just as wonderful as the first. I visited a few new places: the brewery, the winery, and Lightner Museum, but the highlight of the trip was the Flagler College tour!
Flagler College Tour
The first time I went to St. Augustine I was told multiple times to book a tour to visit Flagler College. So, my next visit to St. Augustine was centered around going on the tour and I was not disappointed. Being in St. Augustine already made me feel like I had gone back in time, but when I walked through the gates onto the Flagler campus I felt transported back even further. The architecture is incredible. The orange-red clay used on the college is beautiful, the details intricate. There is a large fountain in the center, with different sculptures posted at each hour. Continue reading Flagler College Tour