|On A Tankful and Day-trippin' in Florida||Add To Favorites||| Print ||
It's time to get out of the house, have some fun,
and"Discover Sunny Florida!"
There are so many things to do within easy reach of the Tampa Bay area or anywhere for that matter, there is no way to list them all, so here are some of the Florida attractions you may not have made it to yet, but you really don't want to miss:
Florida's Nature Coast - Paddlers on the sparsely visited "Nature Coast" have more playgrounds than they can find hours for, timing the tides to make Florida beach landings on the 13 islets of Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, or meandering upcoast on the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail, 105 miles of wild shore linked by primitive campsites. The clear waters of Manatee Springs State Park, on the mainland, draw wintertime snorkeler's, cave divers, and swimmers scanning for the sea cows that early sailors, it's said, mistook for mermaids-corpulent mermaids, that is: Some weigh as much as 3,000 pounds.
Cedar Key, Florida - Even the fish here are on island time - "AN IDEAL PLACE," a visitor noted nearly 40 years ago, to "live in shorts, go to seed, and rock away warm afternoons on shadowy porches." Little has changed since then, or since Cedar Key's 1800s timber-and-fishing heyday. This island outpost three miles off the mainland at the southern end of the state's marshy-edged, Big Bend ought to trademark its relaxed pace and old-Florida vibe. Brown pelicans drowse on worn pilings, underemployed artists cast for redfish on the turtle grass flats, and sporadic migrations of Gainesville undergrads inevitably think they're the first to discover the place.
Florida's Space Coast - Just 35 miles east of Orlando, you'll find 72 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches known as Florida's Space Coast. Along this impressive stretch of coastline, unspoiled nature preserves exist in perfect harmony with the space-age attractions of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Visit Tampa Bay - A single day's itinerary might include breakfast at a waterside cafe, Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, a streetcar ride to Channel-side for shopping, and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Devil Rays, or Lightning game. Then on to historic Ybor City where the Cuban sandwiches are hot and crisp, the cigars are hand-rolled, and the colorful streets are lined with fun. What next? White, sugar sand Florida beaches, sport fishing, jet skiing, para-sailing, boating... and, oh yes, the most succulent seafood under the sun. Plan your visit for February and join the party as rowdy swashbucklers invade Tampa for the 100th Annual Gasparilla Pirate Festival. Tampa Bay... No better way to do Florida!
Marco Island, Fl - The restaurants will delight your taste buds with fresh seafood and their wonderful island creations. Explore the wilderness of the Ten Thousand Islands by land, boat or air. Enjoy superb fishing and abundant wildlife. Nestled in the mangrove islands of southwest Florida coast, Marco Island is indeed a world-class resort destination surrounded by miles and miles of pristine, uninhabited islands, bays, creeks, and the Gulf of Mexico.
See Sarasota - Sarasota Florida is a city that offers something for everyone: pristine Florida beaches, world-class shopping, international cuisine, renowned museums and galleries, Florida's signature water sports and outdoor activities, the serenity of aquariums and botanical gardens, and the excitement of friendly street festivals. From sophisticated to leisurely, Sarasota's array of amenities makes it an unparalleled vacation destination.
Peruse South Beach Miami - Miami Vice with actor Don Johnson became a hit television show, and around the same time a photographer ventured onto the top of one of Ocean Drives Art Deco hotels for a Calvin Klein "Obsession" photo shoot. Both events helped renew interest in South Beach Miami and it soon became the destination of choice for fashion shoots and films. Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Marisa Tomei, Angelica Houston, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Woods, Jamie Lee Curtis, Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner and Sean Connery have all appeared in films shot in Miami in recent years. Fashion and commercial photo shoots are commonplace throughout South Beach.
St. Augustine, Fl - The oldest city in the United States boasts the charm of history and the modern conveniences of growth. While visiting St. Augustine, you may wish to see some of the following points of interest: Lightner Museum, Old St. Augustine Village, Oldest Wooden School, Potter's Wax Museum, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, and Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Fisherman's Village - Punta Gorda, Fl.
Clearwater Florida Marine Aquarium - One of the most modern marine aquariums in the U.S. Some of the most amazing exibits and uncountable sealife reside here. Amimal interaction will be a favorite activity of your visit along with kayak adventures, dolphin shows, sealife movies, getting these wonderful creatures ready to return to their natural habitat, educational programs for the whole family and much more to mention here. Stop by early enough and you can feed the dolphins or play with the stingrays.
Cedar Key - Cedar Key, Florida is one of the oldest ports in the state, and when Florida's first railroad connected it to the East Coast, it became a major supplier of seafood and timber products to the northeast. Today, it has become a haven for artists and writers who find the unspoiled environment inspirational to their work.
Dakotah Vineyards & Winery - This family-owned vineyard began by producing fresh Muscadine grapes. Following in the footsteps of the French Huguenots and early Spanish settlers, the family now makes wine. Dakotah Vineyards offers a selection of five table wines, Florida port and nonalcoholic juice made from Mascadine grapes. You may relax under the huge, peaceful grape arbor in the picnic area and enjoy a free wine tasting.
Manatee Springs, Fl - Flowing through a swamp of cypress, gum, ash and maple trees, manatees occasionally appear in the park. Camping, swimming, canoeing, picnicking and fishing are available to visitors. Hikers and bikers can use the 8.5-mile Manatee Springs trail system.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge - This freshwater swamp is a popular bird watching and fishing destination. A vast bog, made up of peat, rests in a hugh, saucer-shaped depression that was once part of the ocean floor. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge wetlands are a mosaic of vegetation representing different stages of succession, from open marsh to cypress or shrub swamp to climax broad-leaved evergreen or mixed hardwood swamp. Available also is Sea kayaking, river canoeing, bird watching, and wildlife photography.
Florida Museum of Natural History - Home to specimens of amphibians, birds, butterflies, fish, mammals, mollusks, reptiles, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, recent and fossil plants, and associated databases and libraries, the Florida Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast.
Micanopy, Fl - Founded in 1821, Micanopy
Eden Vineyards Winery - Southernmost in the United States, federally licensed, bonded winery and 20-year-old vineyards; set on 20 beautiful Old-Florida acres in a small, rural community just east of Fort Myers; Eden Vineyards Winery wine tastings, reception room, and shop, hosted by three generations of the Kiser family; conducting tastings and sales for those 21 or older only.
The Promenade at Bonita Bay - Extraordinary collection of find shops, boutiques, art galleries and dining venues with a distinctive, tropical ambiance; restaurants, apparel, jewelry, gifts, art galleries, home furnishings and services. Realize your dreams on the Promenade at Bonita Bay, Florida.
Canoe Safari, Canoe Outpost - Canoe Safaris and quiet, peaceful paddling/floating along the Peace River, Florida's most popular state canoe trail. Canoeing, kayaking, wildlife viewing, fishing, swimming, wilderness camping, fossil hunting, hiking trails; towering cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss; bird life, alligators and other wildlife in a natural, old-Florida setting. Wilderness half-day, full-day or overnight camping trips offered from 2-8 days. Canoe and other equipment rentals.
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park - Largest and most unusual of the strands comprising Big Cypress Swamp; limited facilities including a 2,000-foot boardwalk meandering through old growth cypress, swamp forest, open prairies and pinelands; ranger-led swamp walks; largest stand of native royal palms and largest concentration and variety of orchids in North America, as well as other rare plant species; documented sightings of Florida panther, wood storks, Florida black bear, alligators, mangrove fox squirrels and Everglades minks.
Seminole Gulf Railway Dinner Train Theater - Murder mystery theater productions staged aboard four 1930s-1950s vintage railroad cars, amid and between dinner courses, for an evening of intrigue, food and fun; also daytime excursions to Caloosahatchee River. Step back in time for the ride of your life on the Seminole Seminole Gulf Railway Dinner Train Theater.
Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum - Founded in 1981 to acquire, protect and preserve interesting and historic railroad equipment, artifacts and memorabilia; emphasis on Florida-serving railroads; diesel-powered excursion cars operate on weekends at the Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum.
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