Several years ago, while researching Exploring Florida’s Botanical Wonders, I stumbled across the newly opened Robinson Preserve in Palma Sola. Managed by Manatee County and directly across the road from Palma Sola Botanical Gardens, this preserve of mud flats and mangrove-lined shores has one of the best observation tower views in Florida, as well as […]
Located on the south side of Tampa Bay, Bradenton has both coastal and inland hikes and bike trails to explore, with paddling along the many waterways.
In the heart of Florida’s cattle ranching country, Arcadia sits along the Peace River, which offers up an array of public lands for outdoor recreation.
Explore coastal habitats on the Arrowhead Nature Trail at Fort De Soto Park, an interpretive walk where you’ll learn about salt-dependent plants along Mullet Key Bayou.
The 0.4 mile Barrier Free Trail at Fort De Soto Park has a graded path wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass and six touch-activated interpretive speakers along the path.
A Tampa suburb, Brandon provides a gateway to rural east Hillsborough County and its conservation areas along the Alafia River and Manatee River basins.
Explore Leffis Key on a series of trails and boardwalks through mangrove tunnels on the Coquina Baywalk.
Commemorating the landing of Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto, De Soto National Memorial is a significant archaeological site where the Manatee River flows into Tampa Bay.
Where the Manatee River meets the Gulf of Mexico, Emerson Point Preserve protects a significant archaeological site: the Portavent Mound. Trails loop around the peninsula.
When you live in a tightly packed space, you need somewhere green as your go-to place nearby. These are our top picks for parks in Florida’s urban areas, chosen for their diversity of outdoor activities and/or their unique green spaces.
Flanked by three-hundred-year-old oaks, the grand entrance to the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park evokes Tara. It’s an unmistakable landmark along US 301, which cuts through what was, in 1843, Major Robert Gamble’s 3,500-acre sugar plantation along the Manatee River.