A popular destination for sun worshipers, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is an easy getaway for most folks in the Miami area, with a long strand of beachfront complimenting trails along Biscayne Bay and a historic lighthouse at the point.
To spend a day or a weekend on your own deserted island? Heaven. This is one of the tougher and costlier state parks to get to, but well worth it. Solitude is guaranteed. Miles and miles of lonely Gulf of Mexico beaches are yours to roam.
Preserving 450 acres on the edge of Pembroke Pines, Chapel Trail Nature Preserve makes an excellent birding destination as well as an easy-to-reach sampler of Everglades flora and fauna
It was meant to be a national park, the largest natural hammock of royal palms in the United States, set aside by developer Barron Collier during his push to create the Tamiami Trail across the Everglades. The Federal government wasn’t interested, so the state of Florida stepped in and created Collier-Seminole State Park, which opened in 1947.
Opened in 1949, Crandon Park – which takes up a commanding portion of Key Biscayne – is packed with family fun. The biggest draw is the beach, which spans two miles of oceanfront with few waves.
Bring your binoculars for fall birding at Curry Hammock State Park, where migrating raptors cruise overhead by the hundreds following a major flyover route.
Grab a spatula and start flipping pancakes! Once a Florida roadside attraction, De Leon Springs State Park still draws big crowds for its unique make-your-own-pancake restaurant with griddle top tables, set inside a historic sugar mill.
Centered around a mysterious 6,700-acre swamp forest with open waters and shrunken bald cypresses, Dead Lakes Recreation Area provides paddlers, hikers, and campers with a place to play.
E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin offers a campground along with its beaches and mazy mangrove-lined waterways for paddlers and anglers along Tampa Bay.
One of the Suwannee River’s largest swimming holes is the clear, cool reflecting pool of Fanning Springs, located along the edge of its namesake town.