17 Best National & State Parks in Florida

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There are round 200 nationwide and state parks in Florida, which makes dwindling the quantity all the way down to 17 a terrifying but enjoyable exercise.

Florida is residence to huge swamplands, gorgeous barrier islands and all the pieces in between. You can rapidly refill your itinerary equally between mountaineering, biking, kayaking and stress-free swims in the balmy Gulf of Mexico.

The numerous landscapes make sure the state and nationwide parks in Florida are simply as assorted. The Sunshine State has a long gone which covers Native American historical past and early Spanish settlement. You’ll discover examples of each in many protected parks, because of forts and historical mounds. With the addition of spectacular maritime worlds and pure springs, most of the state’s finest parks mix tradition, historical past and nature to perfection.

17. Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park

It took migrating manatees who guided researchers towards Blue Spring for this state park to be established in the Nineteen Seventies. The stroke of luck has led to defending among the finest pure springs in the state.

Visitors to Blue Springs State Park can depend on the water being a constantly balmy 72 levels. After diving in, you’ll be able to swim proper as much as the spring with the limestone rocks warming the water beneath your ft.

The state park stays among the finest locations to identify manatees in the wild. You also can tube down the tranquil river, go for a snorkel or seize a paddle and enterprise off on a kayak.

16. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Fort Zachary Taylor

Visitors to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park will have the ability to immerse themselves in historical past with a journey again to the Civil War and past. You’ll discover this state park on the southern finish of Key West and development started in the 1840s.

Today, you’ll be able to discover the fort and find out about its place in each the Spanish American War and the battle between the Union and the Confederacy. In the Civil War, the fort was a serious deterrent for potential Confederacy invasion by way of sea. You also can uncover the nation’s greatest assortment of weaponry from the battle.

Afterwards, pay a go to to among the finest seashores in Key West, which is discovered throughout the park.

15. Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park

Along the Gulf Coast, Caladesi island State Park is discovered on an untouched speck of land that’s teeming with pure splendor. Visitors can solely arrive right here by boat, whether or not that be a non-public craft, ferry or kayak. On arrival, you’ll be able to wander alongside the picturesque seashore that provides a number of the finest seashore combing in the state.

Hiking trails information you to the Scharrer Homestead and a glance into the early human historical past right here. Soon the turquoise waters will name your identify, to swim and to snorkel. Later, leap on a kayak and discover the unimaginable shoreline that options mangrove tunnels the place unique birds grasp in the canopies.

14. Fort Clinch State Park

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For an excellent mix of nature and historical past, it’s onerous to go up a go to to Fort Clinch State Park. History buffs and out of doors lovers might be busy with a full slate of actions. If you think about your self to be each, you then’ll be flat out.

Within the park, you’ll discover rows of historical cannons that inform the story of the Civil War. Venture into the fort to expertise life right here in the nineteenth century as a Union Soldier. There are additionally common demonstrations of historic weaponry.

But the remainder of the park is a sprawling protect that boasts maritime hammocks, centuries outdated oaks and mountaineering trails to memorable views.

13. Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park

In central Florida, Wekiwa Springs State Park is the right escape from the organized chaos, in any other case referred to as the theme parks in Orlando. The state park might be a welcome change of tempo after days of rides. But the springs are additionally effectively value touring from additional afield.

There are dozens of miles of mountaineering trails via the encompassing nature. They assist showcase stunning landscapes that rapidly disperse to make method for glistening lakes, streams and comes. Trade in the mountaineering sneakers for a kayak to expertise the great thing about the park’s water or chuck on some snorkel gear for a greater view.

You can keep in a single day on the 60 campsites. There are additionally concession stands for a noon feed.

12. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Minutes from Pensacola is the Gulf Islands National Seashore, one of many largest protected coastlines in the US. The seashore is discovered alongside a barrier island that may be accessed by way of one in every of two bridges. But inside minutes, you’ll go away civilization behind and expertise true paradise.

The powdery golden sand makes for majestic seashore days, lengthy walks and epic sunsets. It’s a spot to calm down away from the crowds and with none indicators of recent improvement. Beyond the attractive seashores and brilliant blue water is a lush ecosystem residence to an abundance of birds, like osprey and herons. They’re interrupted briefly by a trio of historic forts.

11. Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park

The many springs discovered round Florida make for fantastic day journeys for locals. But in the event you’re touring to Florida and have to choose one, it could be Silver Springs State Park. It was right here, round 150 years in the past, that excursions had been led to the springs, making it one of many state’s authentic sights. Today, its reputation is but to wane.

You can discover the park as they did again then on a glass-bottomed boat or leap on a kayak. The springs and surrounding waterways showcase a remarkably numerous assortment of natural world. Gaze via the crystal clear waters to identify manatees or search for into the canopies and see wild monkeys swinging about.

10. Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore

Spread alongside a barrier island off the east coast of Florida, Canaveral National Seashore includes dunes, coastal hammocks and pristine seashores. This undeveloped shoreline is your launch from the close by seashore cities of New Smyrna and Titusville. It’s a sanctuary for natural world, whereas harboring an fascinating look into the lives of the Timacua folks.

Most of your time right here might be centered on having fun with the spectacular coast. Forget resorts and beachfront bars. You’ll be in the center of a wild, stunning and uninhabited shoreline. That is, in the event you don’t rely the a whole lot of animal and chook species.

After swimming, take a look at the character trails which information you alongside the coast, showcasing over 1,000 plant species and previous historical Native American mounds.

9. Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest

Close to Tallahassee, Apalachicola National Forest is a mix of rivers, lakes and swamps alongside cypress and longleaf pine. It all combines to type the biggest forest in Florida, but as you’d anticipate, there’s simply as a lot to do on water.

The nationwide forest boasts over 80 miles of mountaineering trails. The high path covers a number of days as you make your method via the center of the inside Bradwell Bay Wilderness Area. There are additionally a half dozen shorter interpretive trails that peel again the curtain on this stunning park.

Swimming and kayaking are two different widespread actions. There are white sand seashores on the sting of Silver Lake together with picnic areas and close by campsites.

8. Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park

It might be onerous to understand how shut Biscayne National Park is to the Art déco buildings and rowdy nightclubs of Miami. But it’s the closeness and the great thing about the nationwide park that makes it among the finest day journeys from the south Florida metropolis.

Around 95% of Biscayne National Park is water. It’s a veritable wonderland, with small specks of emerald isles, child blue water and vibrant reefs. On dry land, you’ll be able to discover Elliott Key on guided adventures or camp in a single day beneath the glistening stars.

But you should definitely deliver your swim gear so you’ll be able to discover the world beneath the floor, or go paddling alongside the coast of the keys.

7. Henderson Beach State Park

Henderson Beach State Park

In Destin, Florida, alongside the Gulf of Mexico, are the resplendent sand dunes inside Henderson Beach State Park. All up, there are 35 towering dunes that lead you all the way down to the balmy Gulf waters, making a seashore day that can linger lengthy in your reminiscence.

The dunes attain the hovering heights of 30 ft and might be explored from a distance on the attractive nature path. This takes you by the dunes and thru the final coastal scrub remaining in this a part of Florida.

Aside from taking a leisurely stroll, it’s a well-liked spot to fish. There are a number of giant picnic areas with BBQ grills and loos. While the picturesque waters invite you in for a swim and it’s possible you’ll even spot turtles and dolphins.

6. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Castillo de San Marcos

Many of the protected lands in Florida revolve round unimaginable surroundings on land and in the water. But Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, in St. Augustine, gives vacationers a special expertise.

Work on the fort started in 1672, making it over 350 years outdated. It’s one of many oldest constructions in Florida and was constructed to stave off potential invasion of what was then Spanish territory.

Visitors will get pleasure from an interesting look originally of recent day Florida. Insightful ranger excursions take you thru the spectacular fortress and alongside the best way you’ll uncover historic weaponry, life in the fort and common firing of the traditional cannons.

5. Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve

Bigger than Rhode Island and the primary nationwide protect in the United States, Big Cypress National Reserve is as spectacular as it’s underrated. Here, guests can discover uncharted territory, of huge swampland that is still untouched and totally wild.

The protect has been the house of Seminoles and Miccosukees for hundreds of years, two communities who performed a serious function in the institution of the protect. Today, you’ll be able to get pleasure from each the gorgeous nature and tradition of the park, together with the numerous tales from eras previous.

The finest technique to get round is on a kayak. From the water, you’ll be able to recognize the various nature, get pleasure from chook watching and even preserve your eye out for the clever panther.

4. Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park

Often misplaced among the many fantastic thing about the Florida Keys is Bahia Honda State Park. But we’re right here to let you know, you shouldn’t skip it in your technique to Key West. It options among the finest seashores in a area overflowing with superb stretches of sand. While guests will discover ample campsites and cabins to get up in paradise.

The aforementioned seashore is Calusa Bach. It’s a crescent-shaped shoreline with glistening turquoise water that’s as clear as glass. Snorkel or kayaking alongside the calm floor and luxuriate in superb visibility. Those paddling also can enterprise all the best way to Little Bahia Honda. Other websites embody the spectacular Bahia Honda Bridge.

3. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Covering 70 nautical miles, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was the primary park of its form in the US. The state park is roughly an hour south of Miami, simply off Highway 1 that continues all the best way to Key West. The park is exclusive and gives an enormous stretch of protected reef that results in unforgettable snorkeling and scuba diving.

If you’re uninterested in mountaineering, don’t fear. All the enjoyable right here is beneath water. Ditch the mountaineering boots, put in your snorkel gear, and get exploring. Along with the reefs, you’ll discover tropical hammocks and wealthy mangroves teeming with marine life. To see all of it and keep dry, you’ll be able to even leap on a glass-bottom boat!

2. Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Spanning seven beautiful isles, Dry Tortugas National Park is a spellbinding sight. The park includes superb nature alongside fascinating historical past being the placement of Fort Jefferson, which was constructed in the 1800s.

The nationwide park is a prolonged journey south of Miami, but the drive and ensuing ferry journey is effectively value it. After scooting alongside the Keys, you’ll arrive in a quintessential tropical panorama. The golden sand envelopes the islands, main you to prismatic reefs and colourful marine life.

After recognizing turtles in nice numbers, discover the fort, which is the largest masonry construction in the United States. Stick round for the epic sundown and with eight campsites in Dry Tortugas National Park, you don’t need to rush to return to the mainland.

1. Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Forget the state of Florida, the Everglades National Park is an enormous and distinct park that belongs in the nationwide dialog. It’s a swath of land like few others in the nation, a spot to identify lingering alligators looming beneath the floor and kayak via huge swamps that result in glistening lakes.

The Everglades is a wild, ever altering place and so totally Florida. It’s heat, jungle-like and attracts a assorted assortment of animals, each prey and fodder. You can discover the numerous ecosystems on mountaineering and biking trails that snake all through. Or embark on excursions that deliver you near nature and the numerous a whole lot of chook species that frequent the nationwide park.

With a lot of the park wetlands, you can also’t miss out on kayaking alongside the Wilderness Waterway.

Map of National & State Parks in Florida


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