We all need a little getaway once in a while. Whether you want to relax on your own or take the family with you, these two-day weekend adventures in the Sunshine State will leave you rejuvenated and ready to try the next one.
Paddleboard at Walton County’s Dune Lakes
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is the new popular activity for spending time out on the water. You can do it almost anywhere on Florida’s waters, but the most popular location is Walton County. It’s on a scenic strip of road, Highway 30-A featuring coastal dune lakes. You’ll want to head to Western Lake for a SUP tour with Walco Eco Tours. You can also take lessons from YOLO Board. While you’re exercising and enjoying your time on the water, you’ll have the opportunity to see and hear about the lake’s ecosystem. It’s relaxing, physically engaging, and mentally stimulating all at the same time.
Spend the Weekend at White Springs
You’ll love the atmosphere of the outdoorsy town of White Springs. It’s one of the best locations for hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking in the entire state. You can camp at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park while you hike part of the Florida National Scenic Trail or paddle your way down the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, heading down to the Gulf of Mexico. You can take a shuttle and rent a canoe or kayak in town if you want to paddle and camp along the river. At Big Shoals State Park, you can hike to see the Class III rating whitewater.
Tube Down One of Two Spring-Fed Rivers
You can camp in Dunnellon at Rainbow Springs State Park and enjoy a complimentary tube trip down the Rainbow River. Your rental is included in the park fee, and they’ll drive you upstream to drop you off. You can’ expect to spend about two hours floating back downstream.
You can also camp In Fort White and visit Ichetucknee Springs State Park for a tubing trip. There a number of different tube rental shops that can customize how long you want your tour to be.
Both of these parks limit capacity on the river, so be sure to reserve your spot.
Get especially rustic as you walk and wade through Big Cypress National Preserve along the Florida National Scenic Trail. January-April is the drier season, but you should still expect to get a little wet. It’s not for everyone, but if you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll love the scenery along this trail. You’ll see bromeliad-covered dwarf cypress trees, islands of pine, and wide prairies. You’ll be on your own as you trek through the wild, so be sure to take some Florida Trail Association Big Cypress maps with you.
Snorkel in the Keys
If you don’t want to trek through the Everglades, maybe you’ll enjoy spending time in Key Largo. You can camp at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It’s next to Cannon Beach, where you can relax and snorkel to your heart’s content. When you’re snorkeling, you can see artifacts that a Spanish shipwreck left behind as well as the varied sea life. Special snorkeling tours take you to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, a definite hotspot for sea life and underwater scenery. You can also take a tour aboard the Spirit of Pennekamp and see everything you want to through the glass bottom.
Outdoor adventures give you the freedom to experience nature and sunshine the way you want. Take advantage of one of these ideas for your next weekend trip.
Rico Figliolini has published and owns blog sites related to travel and leisure, casting and entertainment news, parks and recreation and social media marketing. Traveling a weekend at a time with family and friends.