It’s widely known that Florida is brimming with attractions that showcase the state’s spectacular natural splendor. This great position adds to its humid subtropical climate, making it a beautiful natural marvel with unique attractions, species, plants, and ecosystems. 

Few places can compete with Florida’s natural splendor, and entertaining, one-of-a-kind excursions are always assured. The Sunshine State is full of magnificent treasures and different landscapes just waiting for travelers to discover, from white sand beaches to hidden tunnels. Discover some of Florida’s greatest natural treasures from the pristine Crystal River to the breathtaking Everglades!

Florida Travel Tips:

Florida is great for visiting any time of the year. However, each season can impact certain aspects. Remember to choose dates carefully to avoid large crowds and hot weather. This is usually months from June to September. 

In these months, temperatures can reach up to 95° F, which can be very difficult to explore the Florids’ natural beauties. Also, the kids are on summer break, and everyone’s on vacation, which means it will be filled with the crowd. 

Try to avoid these peak months by planning a trip to Florida from mid-September to November. The streets will be much less crowded, there will be lower rates, and your trip will be stress-free. 

With that in mind, let’s explore the hidden gems of Florida’s land.

Ginnie SpringsGinnie Springs

If you are a fan of crystal blue water and breathtaking nature, Ginnie Springs is for you. This natural spring is the essence of Florida’s beauty and is home to some of the state’s most beautiful water. It is one of Florida’s hidden gems. Aside from resting your eyes on this beautiful view, you can go freely in the water and swim. The water itself is very clean; you can literally see anything underneath your feet with a beautiful blue tint. 

Ginnie Springs do not belong to the state. It is a private property that connects to the Santa Fe River. So, as you would guess, you need to pay some fees for daily entry. The rates usually range between $15 and $20. 

But, this is only for visiting. There’s an additional fee if you want to explore more, like cave diving, conventional diving, and other activities. If you decide to go on such an adventure, know that its 72-degree water temperature is ideal for those activities. You couldn’t ask for a better place for river tubing, swimming, snorkeling, cave, and scuba diving.

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If you do not want to explore the underwater world, you can go camping or do other activities in the surrounding region. The beauty of Ginnie Springs is that it has something for everyone.

Crystal RiverCrystal River State Park

Once you finish exploring Ginnie Springs, just an hour-and-a-half drive, is a low-key retreat destination. It is one of the state’s most pure and picturesque areas. The Crystal River is full of greenery that will make you want to stay there forever. 

It is also one of the few spots on the earth where you can swim with manatees legally. The river is supplied by a spring that maintains a consistent temperature of 72°F, which is why manatees spend their winters here. 

You can observe manatees in their native environment, and the best time of year to do so is between December and February. However, travelers may see a few in March and April as well. 

Aside from visiting these adorable creatures, don’t forget to explore the Crystal Rivers’s other well-known springs, such as

  • Three Sisters, 
  • Hunter, 
  • House, 
  • Jurassic, 
  • Kings and so on. 

If you plan to do so, I recommend you to visit it in the early morning when the water is quiet and there are fewer boats. While you are there, go and check out the lesser-known springs, which might be even more peaceful and relaxing. 

Since there are many springs to visit, this route can be challenging. Especially for walking or if you have little kids. I advise you to consider renting a car to make it easier for you to experience as much as you can. 

This is because there are around 70 springs within Kings Bay’s boundaries, each unique and perfect in its own way. Since 70 is a significant number, you can go and ask locals about their favorites. Let’s be honest; this advice can be much more valuable than the advice found on the Internet. 

Evergladeseverglades

The Everglades, America’s greatest tropical wilderness, covers over 1 million acres. It is internationally recognized for its extraordinary biodiversity and ecological features. This network of stunning habitats, including forests and wetlands, is located on the southern end of Florida’s peninsula. It is also home to unusual plants and fauna, including alligators and panthers. 

Because of the mild winters that bring the greatest diversity of wading birds and their predators, the dry season is also the busiest season. Wet season is wet and might result in a large number of mosquitoes. Many ranger-led programs are not available due to low traffic during the wet summer season, but other guided tour choices abound.

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The first choice you must make while visiting the Everglades is which entrance to use. There are three entrances, and they are all hours apart. If you want to see the heart of the Everglades, you should enter either Shark Valley near Miami or the Main Entrance of the Park in Homestead. If you want to visit the Gulf Coast, you should take a boat trip from Everglades City.

Wild Florida airboat

Airboat trips are the most common way to see the Everglades, and there are plenty to choose from. These airboat trips transport tourists to the wetlands, where they can learn about the park’s distinct ecosystems.

Home of Chokoloskee

The Everglades is home to Everglades City and Chokoloskee, one of Florida’s hidden gems. The majority of Everglades tourists merely scratch the surface. Few visitors make it to Everglades City, and just a small percentage of those cross the bridge to Chokoloskee.  

Visit Chokoloskee and dine at Havana Cafe, which serves one of Florida’s greatest grouper sandwiches. You can also go to the Smallwood Store or take an Everglades eco-boat tour. 

When you are around, don’t forget to visit the Museum of the Everglades located in Everglades City. It is one of numerous historic structures that remain as a reminder of the town’s past. The museum’s permanent and rotating displays provide visitors with an in-depth look at the area’s almost 2,000-year human history.

But, you should not stop there. There are many other fun activities available in the Everglades. There is a lot of wildlife, including turtles, herons, and alligators, that you may observe if you take a little stroll along the Anhinga Trail. Get a birds-eye perspective of the glades by ascending Shark Valley’s 65-foot observation tower

Take a tour boat or kayak across Florida Bay for a chance to spot a dolphin, manatee, or crocodile. Watch the sun set over Flamingo, the peninsula of Florida’s southernmost tip. Also,  if you are a die-hard fan of adventures, ride a bike through the pinelands, or kayak through the mangroves on Nine-Mile Pond. You can also get on a week-long canoe trip across the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway. There are endless possibilities available. You just have to choose. Or, try all of them!

Conclusion

These three natural wonders, which range from lovely freshwater springs to some of the most magnificent wetlands, will change the way you view Florida. Whether you’re river tubing in Ginnie Springs, swimming with manatees in Crystal River or touring the Everglades, it will undoubtedly be an amazing experience. Florida is brimming with breathtaking riches and diverse landscapes that are just waiting for tourists to discover.

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Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.

Rent Clothes

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Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available. Groupon also tends to have a lot of local travel deals.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Hertz or Discover Cars.

Save Money on Gas

Upside, a free app gets you cash back on gas! Use promo code RV2Q2 to get an extra 15¢/gal bonus on your first purchase.

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