It's not a secret that Florida is known for its abundance of amusement parks and golf courses, but oftentimes the beautiful natural parks that spread all throughout the state are overlooked! Florida is home to 175 state parks, 9 state trails and over 700 springs.
Lovers Key State Park is a winsome park located just 14 minutes away from Fort Myers Beach. The park features a crystal blue beach (where shelling is extremely popular), canals, lagoons and mangrove forests. There have been multiple sights of dolphins in the clear waters, as well as ospreys flying through the air! The park received its name due to the romantic nature of its setting. Many weddings take place in Lovers Key State Park, making it a favored destination for couples!
Blue Spring State Park won the 2020 Travelers' Choice award for some great reasons! This park is located in Orange City and is home to a beautiful 72 degree, blue spring. It offers numerous outdoor activities to participate in with friends and family such as canoeing, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, boating, camping and so much more. Blue Springs is actually a manatee refugee and allows for their safe passage from late November to early March. During this time, all water activities are closed to human guests, but they are more than welcome to camp out and watch the traveling manatees swim around the spring.
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa, Florida not only features rivers and springs for guests to enjoy, but it is also home for many rescued wildlife creatures. Alligators, panthers, black bears, red wolf, key deer, flamingoes and so many more different animals occupy the Homosassa state park. Guests at the park are usually introduced to some of the creatures while walking on the boardwalks and receive a lesson about them from park rangers. Attending this park is a great educational experience!
Kelly Park is located in Apopka, Florida just 38 minutes away from Orlando. This park shares space with Rock Springs and Wekiwa Springs, which features a natural "lazy" river, fit for anybody interested in a relaxing day. Tubes are provided for guests to enjoy the slow-moving water of the springs. Canoeing through this river is also an option for those who are seeking more of an adventure.
For those who love an expedition, Florida Caverns State Park is the place to be. This park is located in Marianna, Florida and is known for being the only state park in the state with air filled caves. These fascinating caves are a million years in the making and have gained a lot of tourist attraction! Guided cave tours are available for explorers to get a closer look into the historic wonders.
All of these parks are readily available to anybody interested in visiting them and require a small fee to enter. Consider one of these parks for your next vacation!
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Along with coral reefs, fringing mangrove forests dramatically reduce wave energy, flooding, and strong winds associated with hurricanes. These storms can strip canopies, snap and uproot trees, and submerge smaller ones via high storm surge. While these initial impacts are clearly destructive, there is evidence that hurricanes also provide benefits to mangroves forests.
A plant-based diet is a great way to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. This type of diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, and nuts. Typically, these diets will contain fewer calories and fats, which puts you at a lower risk for heart disease.