Florida’s well known for a variety of tourist attractions, such as Disney World, as well as vacation destinations such as Miami. With the summer months coming up, it’s a great time to plan a trip to this state, and we’re here to help you figure out what that trip could include. From the best viewing areas for manatees to hang gliding adventures, there’s something on this list for everyone.
1. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Kayak, paddleboard, and see mermaids at Weeki Wachee. This unique attraction has offered mermaid shows for decades – and, after a period of closure, they’re running once again! The park also offers many other attractions, including swimming areas, waterslides, and a lazy river. The latter two are currently only open on weekends but will be opening to daily operation on May 29th.
2. Orlando Tree Trek
Outdoor ropes courses will make for a super fun outing! At Orlando Tree Trek, you can look forward to trying out an over 400’ long zipline, or challenging yourself with one of their ropes courses. The courses are divided into 4 color levels, depending on their difficulty. Orlando Tree Trek also has 2 kids courses, making it fun the whole family can enjoy!
3. Devil’s Den Spring
Dive into another world at Devil’s Den spring. Guests can explore this privately owned subterranean river by scuba diving or snorkeling. The crystal clear waters, as well as underground portions, make this a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Devil’s Den is currently open to the public, but is enforcing social distancing guidelines to keep guests and employees healthy.
4. Flamingo Gardens
If you’re looking for a relaxing day and flamingoes galore, check out Flamingo Gardens. This 60-acre garden and wildlife sanctuary is home to a variety of stunning birds and beautiful flowers. Flamingo Gardens features several botanical gardens, including an interactive Children’s Garden, making it relaxing fun for the whole family.
5. Warm Mineral Springs Park
Warm Mineral Springs Park’s name says it all – this park advertises itself as one of the only natural warm springs in Florida! With water temperatures hovering around 85 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, this is a great option for those looking for some simple, no-frills relaxation.
6. Highlands Hammock State Park
Take in some stunning scenery and see some of Florida’s wildlife at Highlands Hammock State Park! Tall oak trees will line your path as you traverse boardwalks and trails through the park. Black bears, Florida Panthers, and deer, among other critters, frequent the park. And if you’re looking to go sightseeing without navigating the trail’s yourself, the park’s tram tours are up and running again!
7. Florida Caverns
Explore otherworldly caves with a cave tour at Florida Caverns State Park. These large, ancient caverns offer one of the few opportunities in Florida to explore a cave. Tours are currently requiring a limited number of 15 visitors per tour, as well as face masks to be worn during the tour. The State Park has previously offered a variety of other amenities, including camping and swimming, but these are sadly closed currently due to damage from Hurricane Michael.
8. Wekiwa Springs
Located just outside of Orlando, a visit to Wekiwa Springs is a great way to get back to nature without traveling too far. Visitors can expect to enjoy a variety of water activities in the gorgeous springs. These include kayak rentals and swimming. If you’re looking to make a camping trip out of your adventure, the park also offers some campsites.
9. Go Hang Gliding
Looking for a thrill? Groups such as Florida Adventure Sports (located at Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport) offer powered hang gliding flights. No experience is necessary – reputable companies will make sure guests are accompanied by a well-trained, properly certified instructor. This is a great way to really get out of your comfort zone, make some unforgettable memories, and see Florida from a unique perspective.
10. Crystal River
If you’re looking to catch a glimpse – or more – of wild manatees, this one’s for you! Due to its year-round warm waters, Crystal River is an excellent spot for viewing manatees. The best season to do this is typically the winter, when they tend to congregate in the warmer water of the river, but you may be able to spot them during the summer as well. The boardwalks at Three Sisters Springs are a great place to see if you can see one. In addition to manatee viewing, the Crystal River is also a gorgeous spot for kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming.
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