By  Mike Miller  Updated September 4, 2023

Florida's year round temperate to tropical climate makes it a perfect place for outdoor adventure. 

The state is bordered by 1,300 miles of saltwater coast.  Its interior is bejeweled by 30,000 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams.

Fishing on the St. Johns RiverFishing on the St. Johns River

Florida has an extensive state park system, along with national parks, local parks, and bike trails.  There are limitless places for boating, fishing, or just plain beach combing and shell hunting. 

Florida is made for enjoying the outdoors.

Here are some favorite outdoor things to do:

Horseback Riding on the Beach, Amelia Island
Babcock Ranch Ecotours, Punta Gorda
Florida Fish Camps, Various Locations
Ginnie Springs Outdoors, High Springs
Ichetucknee Inner Tube Trip, Fort White
Kayaking at Topsail Hill, Santa Rosa Beach
Paynes Prairie, Trails, Wildlife Viewing
Scalloping in the Gulf of Mexico, Various Locations
Sea Turtle Nesting Season, Indialantic
Withlacoochee State Trail, Inverness
Ziplines, Statewide



Horseback Riding on Amelia Island, FloridaHorseback Riding on Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island State Park

Amelia Island Horseback Riding
Peters Point Rd, Amelia Island, FL 32034. 
Tel: 904-753-1701

If you've ever dreamed of galloping through foamy surf on a fast horse, this adventure is for you. 

Debbie Manser has been operating this unique attraction for more than 25 years.  You call her and arrange to meet her and her horses at Peters Point Beachfront Park in Fernandina Beach

She trailers the horses in from their stable close to Amelia Island. 

Once you start riding on the beach, you will do so for one hour. 

Debbie can accommodate 2 to 4 riders at one time, but with advanced notice can handle up to 6 riders.  


White Tail Deer at Babcock RanchWhite Tail Deer at Babcock Ranch

Babcock Ranch Ecotours
8000 State Rd 31, Punta Gorda, FL 33982. 
Tel: 800-500-5583


Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours takes place on a working 92,000 acre ranch that is typical of what Old Florida was all about. 

Florida has a historic tradition of having large cattle ranches, and this is one of them.

This is a ranch where you may see an endangered Florida panther in its wild home, and you will see the tough bulls and cows unique to Florida known as Cracker cattle. 

The way you will see most of this ranch is on their Swamp Buggy Tour that takes an hour and a half.


Honest Johns SignHonest John's Fish Camp, Melbourne Beach

Florida’s fish camps provide a glimpse into what the state was like before the massive development that’s taken place in recent years.

With thousands of miles of coast line and numerous lakes and rivers, fish camps offer boat rentals, fishing gear, and in some cases, overnight lodging. 

Some of them also provide catch and release experiences for the kids.

Florida Fish Camps


Ginnie SpringsGinnie Springs

Ginnie Springs Outdoors
5000 NE 60th Ave, High Springs, FL 32643.
Tel: 386-454-7188


Ginnie Springs is a privately owned park that offers a lot of outdoor activities. 

You can scuba dive, camp, go canoeing and kayaking, and enjoy the 200 acre natural Florida setting. 

There are 90 full service campsites on the property, along with picnic tables, grills, and bathrooms to serve the campsites. 

The water in the springs is crystal clear and even received the ultimate compliment from Jacques Cousteau, the father of SCUBA.


Florida Golf CourseFlorida Golf Course

With its year-round good climate, Florida is a golfer’s paradise. 

There are golf courses ranging from small public facilities to tournament quality private clubs. 

No matter where in Florida’s 67 counties you find yourself, there is sure to be a golf course nearby.                  

Golfing Locations


Tubing on the IchetuckneeTubing on the Ichetucknee

Ichetucknee Inner Tube Trip
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
12087 SW U.S. 27, Fort White, FL 32038.
Tel: 386-497-4690

Floating down the Ichetucknee River is a Florida tradition that spans many generations. 

The crystal clear river flows 6  miles through shady natural hammocks and wetlands before it reaches the Santa Fe River. 

There are several private concessions in addition to the public state park where inner tubes can be rented. 

The tubing season is from the end of May until early September.


Kayaks at Topsail Hill Preserve State ParkKayaks at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Kayaking at Topsail Hill
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459. 
Tel: 850-267-8330

Topsail Hill is one of Florida’s natural treasures. It is located on Scenic Highway 30A.

It includes miles of white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico with dunes more than 25 feet high.  When you are in a boat offshore, the dunes resemble the sails of old square riggers.

It also features 3 rare coastal dune lakes.  Visitors can canoe, kayak, or paddleboard on Campbell Lake or on the Gulf. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards can be rented at the park. 

The park is also a great headquarters for day trips to nearby Grayton Beach, Grayton Beach State Park, and Seaside.


Hiking, Biking, Observing Wildlife
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, FL 32667
Tel: 352-466-3397

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a 22,000 acre ecosystem with a rich array of habitats including marshes, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks.  It is located between Gainesville and Micanopy in North Central Florida.

The preserve is just north of Lake Wauburg and is crossed by I-75 and US-441, and is a U.S. National Natural Landmark.  The visitor center is near Micanopy.


Scalloping in the Gulf of Mexico
Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

620 S. Meridian St, Tallahassee, FL 
Tel: 850-488-4676


Scalloping season is usually July through September. 

During season, thousands of people gather along the gulf coast from south of Steinhatchee up to the Carrabelle area. Other favorite places include Homosassa and Crystal River.

Their fishing equipment consists of snorkel gear and buckets.

A saltwater fishing license is required to harvest the tasty little critters unless you wade into the shallow waters and feel for the animals with your feet and hands without using a mask or snorkel.


Sea Turtle on a Florida BeachSea Turtle on a Florida Beach

Sea Turtles During Nesting Season
Sea Turtle Preservation Society
111 S. Miramar Ave., Indialantic, FL
Tel: 321-676-1701


Florida has an abundant supply of beautiful sand beaches, and sea turtle nesting season is every year from May to October. 

The mother turtles crawl up the beach to the dune line, dig holes in the sand, and lay their eggs. 

Some experts say that sea turtles make 40,000 to 84,000 nests each year on Florida beaches. 

A favorite place to observe this nesting activity is on Florida’s east coast. 

The Sea Turtle Preservation Society is located near the center of this stretch in Indialantic near Melbourne Beach


Withlacoochee State TrailWithlacoochee State Trail

Withlacoochee State Trail
3100 S. Old Floral City Rd
Inverness, FL 34450.
Tel: 352-726-0315


The Withlacoochee State Trail is a 46 mile long path on abandoned railroad tracks that follows a route roughly parallel to the nearby Withlacoochee River. 

The path is now paved and is a great location to hike, bike (no motors), and skate. 

It’s mostly flat so even geezers and out of shape people can enjoy it. 

You can start the path at either end (north or south) or at one of the towns or villages along the route. One of the most interesting towns is Inverness.

There are stores along the route and restrooms too.  There is also a bike repair and rental shop in Floral City.


Zip Lining in FloridaZip Lining in Florida


Zip lining is another year-round outdoor activity made possible by Florida’s moderate climate. 

Ziplines are found in many playgrounds and theme parks, and in Florida a large number of them are located in natural settings where you can soar through the treetops above natural settings. 

There are even ziplines where you can soar safely above alligators and other wildlife. 

Some of the ziplines are for beginners and others are more challenging obstacle courses.

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