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.
One of Florida’s most popular beach destinations, Jetty Beach at St. Andrews State Park offers both wild and mellow surf on either side of the jetty.
Opened in 1989 on Singer Island, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is extraordinarily popular due to its coastal lagoons, well-preserved tropical forests, and beautiful beach with nearshore rocky reefs.
Six miles offshore, the view is beneath the waves. It’s Molasses Reef, the most accessible living coral reef in the United States, a slice of the Caribbean in the Florida Keys. And it’s the main reason that John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park exists.
Lafayette Blue Springs was an old swimming hole for folks in Mayo and the rural communities west of Live Oak, a hidden beauty spot along the Suwannee River that is now a state park.
A long-time Old Florida swimming hole along SR 6 between the towns of Lee and Jasper, Madison Blue Spring is a sinkhole pouring out a first-magnitude spring into the Withlacoochee River.
Showcasing the topography of the lower Suwannee River, Manatee Springs State Park has trails leading around deep sinkholes, walks through ancient forests, and a spring run so clear you can see schools of fish racing down it to the river.
Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park is a top international destination for cave divers thanks to its extensively mapped system of underwater tubes: more than six miles of passageways connecting two major springs, six sinkholes, and the Suwannee River.
One of few places where the Indian River Lagoon mingles with the Atlantic Ocean, Sebastian Inlet is the central feature of Sebastian Inlet State Park, which protects the tips of both barrier islands.
On the north tip of Jupiter Island, St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is one of those rare parks that you can only reach by boat – motored, or under your own power, as most visitors do, by paddling through mangrove-lined coves.
Stump Pass Beach State Park sits at just the right angle to collect seashells like a scoop, so early risers have their pick of conchs, murex, tulip shells, shark’s teeth, and more.
A first-magnitude spring along the Suwannee River, Troy Spring State Park has the remains of a Civil War steamboat cradled in its rocky waters.