The original Cedar Key isn’t where you think it is. It’s offshore, within sight of the current historic waterfront, an island called Atsena Otie Key, part of Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.
In a hidden corner of Collier County, Barefoot Beach Preserve provides immersion in nature at a beauty spot along two miles of natural shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico just north of Wiggins Pass.
Biscayne National Park protects the mangrove coastline of south Miami-Dade County along with living coral reefs and a handful of barrier islands that barely managed to escape development.
With a developed swimming area surrounding a first-magnitude spring, Blue Springs Recreation Area is a liquid playground in hues of blue, a broad open basin pouring forth a spring run with a dozen more major springs along its length.
It’s the trees that catch your attention at Bulow Creek, from the canopied road leading to the park to the imposing Fairchild Oak standing guard over the main entrance to the ancient Bulow Hammock itself, which the park’s network of trails winds through.
The Deering Estate at Cutler, a Miami-Dade county park, preserves both the historic buildings and a remnant of the Addison Hammock, a pine rockland along the old road following Cutler Ridge.
Providing a buffer between the heavily developed Gulf Coast between Fort Myers and Estero and the delicate estuaries that serve as nurseries for the aquatic life of the region, Estero Bay Preserve State Park encompasses ten miles of shoreline along Estero Bay.
The original seat of Dade County, settled in 1836, lies in limestone ruins swaddled in a tropical forest within sight of US 1, but offshore. Indian Key takes a little planning to visit, but is well worth the journey.
John takes a trip back in time with Florida Keys historian Brad Bertelli to discover the layers of history found on Indian Key, once the county seat of Dade County
If you’re looking for remote along Florida’s coast, Little St. George Island in Apalachicola Bay has over 9 miles of undeveloped beach and several miles of trails, and is only accessible by boat.