Forget about Miami Beach, Orlando, Naples, and the other famous cities of Florida for a moment. There’s a good reason they call it the Sunshine State and that’s because it can be so gorgeous when you’re exploring it beneath the clear sky. Here, we’re going to look at the places further from the city and what wonders they can hold for any of you who like a good explore.
Join the butterfly party
The Gulf Islands National Seashore, not too far from Pensacola, has lovely sprawling beaches, and some great coastal walking routes. However, the real star of the show is undoubtedly the mass migration of orange and black monarch butterflies that come up from Mexico in the fall. The seashore can get pretty popular, especially with wildlife fans and photographers, during this migration, but it’s still definitely worth checking out.
Your own remote beach
Love the idea of walking down a beautiful sandy beach, but find that all the usual Florida coasts are a little too crowded? Given their popularity, it’s hard to blame you. This is why Sanibel Island is considered by many to be one of the better-hidden gems of the state. The beaches here are, for now, practically untouched by the tourist industry, making it perfect for long, quiet walks.
Take advantage of the tropical climate
Florida is one of the few places in the mainland United States that has a tropical climate. There are some places that really show this off, like the Manuel Diaz Farms. This huge plot of land features all kinds of tropical trees and plants, from brightly flowering shrubs to rows upon rows of towering palms of all kinds. If you want to see a carefully curated selection of tropical nature, this is the place to find it.
Delve deep into the land
Want to get to know the earth beneath your feet a little more intimately? Florida is well known for a wide collection of air-filled caves, not to mention underwater caves, many of which remain closed off to all but the most practiced of delvers. However, the Florida Caverns State Park offers a wonderful look at a wide range of different ancient rock formations that are all open to explore with a tour guide.
Sail on down the River of Grass
If you want to see a wide diversity of wildlife, then there are few better places to see it than down the River of Grass. The Everglades is a large network of different parks and reserves, one of the state’s best known Unesco World Heritage Sites, and a great place to explore by either kayak, airboat, or on foot. You can see all kinds of Floridian natives here, including flamingoes and crocodiles.
There are few states with the countryside as diverse and gorgeous as Florida has to offer. From sprawling National Parks and geological wonders to lush, curated exotic spaces, there’s plenty to see. With the highlights about, you have plenty to explore and you still won’t have scratched the surface.