Offshore from Boca Grande and Pine Island, Cayo Costa State Park is tough to get to but the 6.5 miles of trails and many more miles of beaches will be yours to roam
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.
Perhaps the most popular getaway on Florida’s Nature Coast, Cedar Key is at the end of a 24-mile highway that follows a railroad bed which naturalist John Muir walked.
A short nature trail – slightly more than a quarter mile – loops out to the edge of the estuary behind the Whitman House at Cedar Key Museum State Park, showing off the landscape that John Muir saw at the end of his thousand-mile walk to the Gulf.
Explore the outdoors within easy reach of Clearwater Beach, a popular vacation destination west of Tampa
Known for its beautiful springs and as a gathering place for manatees, Crystal River shows off coastal habitats in its many parks and along its waterways.
At Deer Lake State Park, the coastal flatwoods ecosystem hosts rare pitcher plants, Gulf Coast lupine and stately magnolias along a coastal dune lake, with beach access along the Gulf of Mexico at Alys Beach.
At the northernmost end of Naples, the breezy shores of Delnor-Wiggins State Park entice beachgoers and nature lovers to an observation tower, nature trail, and beach walk.
An oceanfront community in Walton County, Destin has a string of natural lands protecting some of the world’s rarest lakes, the coastal dunes lakes.
Preserving more than half of Sanibel Island for the sake of its bird life, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is one of the top places in the United States to view rare bird species.
Englewood is a waterfront village straddling Sarasota and Charlotte Counties, its historic core on Dearborn Street near the shores of Lemon Bay
Halfway between Fort Myers and Naples, Estero grew up around the Estero River, which flows into Estero Bay.