In late winter, azaleas create ribbons of bright color beneath the live oak canopy across the grounds of Maclay Gardens, a series of formal gardens along the hillsides sweeping down to Lake Hall.
With airboat and swamp buggy rides as well as interpretation of native species, Billie Swamp Safari is an attraction providing immersion into the Big Cypress Swamp, ancestral home of the Seminole Tribe since the 1800s..
Blue Spring State Park is well acclaimed for being the best place in Florida to see manatees in the wild, and we don’t mean a dozen or two. Upwards of 200 crowd spring run each winter.
Named for the water lilies that once flourished in the freshwater marsh in front of this grand home, the 35 acres of tropical forest on which the Bonnet House was built was a gift from industrialist Hugh Taylor Birch to his daughter Helen and son-in-law Fredric Clay Bartlett, a noted artist.
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.
A museum started by seashell collector St. Clair Whitman also honors the legacy of John Muir’s travels through Florida on foot at Cedar Key Museum Historic State Park. In 1867, naturalist John Muir followed the path of the Florida Railroad on his Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf of Mexico, ending at the Cedar Keys.
At Crystal River Archaeological State Park, a paved interpretive trail winds through a ceremonial mound complex built more than 2,500 years ago. The park is the home of Florida’s only petroglyph.
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.
At Eden Gardens State Park, lush cultivated gardens surround the historic Wesley House, a restored antebellum plantation home built by timber baron William Henry Wesley in 1897.
Tropical gardens from the 1920s grow lavishly around the historic winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, their centerpiece one of the biggest banyan trees in the United States.