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Wild Florida: Beyond the Theme Parks

When we think Florida vacation the natural first thought is the theme parks, and why not? The state has some of the finest in the world. But if you choose to look beyond the over-priced food, the crowds, queues, and artificial thrills then you will see that Florida is a state with so much more to offer. Let’s look at the alternative options, as it would be a real opportunity missed to travel all that way and not explore a little.

Walking Trails

There is a great variety of walks in Florida.  The jewel in the crown, and not for the faint of heart, is certainly the legendary, Florida Trail. The Florida Trail is a 1,300-mile hike taking in a variety of terrain, but most notably much of it near, or on, marsh-land, often flooding and containing wildlife such as bears, panthers, alligators, and snakes. But for the more recreational walker, Florida also has a good list of woodland walks, beaches, parks, and other such options.

Water-Sports & Sea Activities

With so much coastline, areas such as The Florida Keys offer a variety of options when it comes to enjoying the water. You can dive, snorkel, swim fish, and take boat trips. You could easily spend the whole vacation just on these activities! As one of our most Southerly states these activities can, pretty much, be enjoyed all year round.

Beaches

There is no shortage of beaches in this fine state, with the Florida Department of State boasting over 660 miles of beach lining the coast. You can take in the ultra-popular and busy spots, such as Miami Beach, or look to more rural and tranquil beaches like Cayo Costa State Park, on Pine Island. It’s even becoming popular to have Florida Beach Weddings as the weather is generally good and the coast is so beautiful it’s an excellent choice for anyone’s big day.

Hills & Mountains

Bit of a cheeky section here, there are no real Florida mountains, do not get confused with, ‘The Florida Mountains’ which are, in fact, in New Mexico. The hilliest region is the Northern Florida Highlands, with the highest peak being Britton Hill coming in at a less than lofty 345 feet. But just because they don’t have height doesn’t mean there is not beauty and adventure to be had. Located in the relaxing and scenic Lakewood Park it can provide a restful day away from the more high-octane Floridian tourist experiences.

Wildlife

Florida is famous for its wildlife, and none more so than its gators, the abundance of marsh and swamp-land makes it a perfect habitat, and there is no shortage of parks and reserves to see these fine creatures, as well as a variety of guided tours that take you right out into the thick of it. But the wildlife doesn’t stop with the gators, you’ve got bears, panthers, beavers, and more; and for marine life, there’s sharks and dolphins in abundance too, with the possibility of the classic swimming with the dolphins experience.

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