FLORIDA OUTDOOR TRAVEL GUIDE
Many people don’t realize that Florida is home to three incredibly diverse and unique National Parks. There aren’t many places in the United States where you can go snorkeling on a private National Park key and bike/hike alongside alligator all within a day. Florida is known as the sunshine state, meaning you’ll have plenty of clear days to get outdoors and fun have.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT FLORIDA
Florida is a year-round destination. Winter in the Sunshine State is beautiful and temperatures are moderate, specifically from November to May you’ll have a lower chance of rain and comfortable temperatures. Visiting in the summer and late spring it will be hot and humid with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s. June through October is hurricane season, you can expect a lot of rain during this time, especially in the Florida Keys from August to October.
TOP OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN FLORIDA
Snorkeling & Diving – The keys especially offer incredible snorkeling opportunities from Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key, to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo, to Pigeon Key to Point-of-Rocks on Siesta Key. Here you’ll get the opportunity to catch glimpses of bright coral, tropical fish and crustaceans galore.
Paddling Sports – From the Florida Keys to the Everglades and the Gulf Coast, Florida is absolute dynamite for anyone looking to kayak or canoe on freshwater or saltwater alike.
Beaches – The Florida Keys win again for being home to our favorite beaches in all of Florida. Make sure to check out Siesta Beach.
Hiking – Surprisingly, Florida offers true, untouched backcountry with tons of trails hidden around the state
Biking – Biking is growing in popularity in Florida. The Blackwater Heritage State Trail offers 8.1 paved miles of biking at the intersection of culture and nature, and there are many other biking trails around Florida’s state parks.
Springs – Not hot springs…cold freshwater springs all over the state offer a reprieve from the hot, humid Florida sun. What is better than a hike that ends with a cool dip?
GETTING TO FLORIDA
You have a lot of choices when it comes to getting to Florida. With that being said, Florida is an incredibly large state so you’ll want to decide where you plan to stay or your sight-seeing priorities prior to selecting a hotel. Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort-Lauderdale and Palm Beach all have international airports. Key West also has an international airport, but it is fairly small and rather pricey.
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MUST-SEE OUTDOOR AREAS IN FLORIDA
You can explore freshwater and saltwater habitats at Everglades National Park in south Florida. From hiking to biking to snorkeling to boating to camping to kayaking the park offers it all as well as incredible birds, manatees, alligators, crocodiles and pythons!
Just off Miami’s shore is Key Biscayne National Park which excited outdoor enthusiasts with primitive island camping that can only be accessed by private boat or concessionaire.
100 miles from Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is the southernmost National Park in the United States and worth the trek. Dry Tortugas National Park is a fort island full of history and incredibly rich marine sealife.
To quickly think you are outside of the US, visit Ana Maria Island, just southwest of Tampa. It is a tropical beach paradise and worth a visit if you need some relaxation time. From beautiful beaches, to exploring the baywalk, to easy kayaking, there is lots to enjoy.
TOP FLORIDA TOWNS TO EXPLORE
Key West is a must. On the drive from Miami to the Keys you’ll pass more than 3 state parks that offer killer snorkeling, great SUP spots, beach yoga, and trails galore. Key West is the jumping off point for the ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park.
Miami is a melting pot of diverse cultures and activities. The city is alive 24/7. Don’t miss exploring the wildly diverse and funky neighborhoods of Little Havana, Wynwood and South Beach. If you enjoy animals, the Miami Zoological Foundation which rescues animals from all over the world is phenomenal.
Orlando isn’t on this list because of Disney World . Orlando is an incredibly outdoorsy city, offering hiking, biking and paddling opportunities year-round.