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Offbeat Florida Family Trips

Posted by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 19 Replies

Florida offers a lot in the way of family vacation opportunities. All of the amusement parks offer their own version of fun of course, but personally (just my opinion!) I think there is more lasting value in a trip that is more nature-oriented and less “Disney-fied”.

I want to take my daughter camping as soon as the weather turns a little cooler so I’ve been looking for different places that I haven’t visited yet in Florida. I came across several different areas that looked promising.

Wakulla Spring is a giant freshwater spring located in the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, in the Florida "Panhandle" near Tallahassee. It is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. There are ancient mastodon bones visible at the bottom of the spring.

Crystal River You can book a guided manatee snorkel tour, or, if you don’t feel the need to actually get in the water and swim with the manatees, you can also rent canoes and kayaks. The best time to see and/or swim with the manatees is December to March.

Fossil Expeditions in the Peace River/Ft. Myers area offers guided walking or kayaking expeditions in which you can search for bones and teeth of ancient mammoths, mastodons, camels, sloths, horses, jaguars, etc.

Florida Eco-Safaris Even though I’m afraid of heights, I’m dying to try the Zipline Safari in St. Cloud. It is a two-and-a-half hour adventure, reaching heights of 68 feet and speeds up to 30 mph.

Have you been to any of these places? Do you like the natural side of what Florida has to offer or do you prefer a resort or an amusement park? 

© iStockphoto.com/Stacey Lynn Payne

by on Sep. 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
KylesMom409
by Linnette on Sep. 4, 2012 at 8:39 AM
1 mom liked this
Awesome! Haven't been to any of them but great ideas!
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abaldwin1103
by Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 9:54 AM
1 mom liked this

We use to go to crystal river all the time. There's alot of hidden things to do there just like blue springs.

MamaJessx3
by Jess on Sep. 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this
DH takes our boys up to peace river fairly often to go find sharks teeth. They've never found "fossils" there. Not sure how accurate that is, at least they must not be coming bc if they were DH would find them. We also go camping fairly often and we love going tubing down spring fed rivers like rainbow river.
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Mare1180
by Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 10:23 AM
1 mom liked this
I love peace river. Im over amusement parks lol
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AWALLD
by Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM
1 mom liked this

I grew up within walking distance to Rock Springs, in Apopka, Fl, so I'm a little biased, I love spring fed water.   I was just looking up state parks last week w/ campgrounds.  I added them to my pinterest, but the one place that stuck w/ me, that has nothing to do with camping, is Itchetucknee River springs state park and tubing down it.   It's close'ish to where we are now. We want to start camping this year with the rugrats, when it gets cooler.   We love Homosassa Springs too, they have a monkey island lol! 

MamaBear2cubs
by Nikki on Sep. 4, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Fun!

sweetsorrow2
by New Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM
1 mom liked this
I've been to Crystal River, the water is so cold! Even in July it was freezing, lol. But it was a fun adventure tubing down it. My favorite adventure now is snorkeling in the keys. The underwater life is unbelievable! You could book a trip with a tour or rent or bring your own boat if you have one. A great off beat place to stay is Big pine Key Fishing lodge, they have primitive campsites right by the water and the deer there are so much you have to make sure to keep your food packed up so they don't steal it :)
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stephwest1
by Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

That sounds great! Thanks for the suggestion. 

Quoting sweetsorrow2:

I've been to Crystal River, the water is so cold! Even in July it was freezing, lol. But it was a fun adventure tubing down it. My favorite adventure now is snorkeling in the keys. The underwater life is unbelievable! You could book a trip with a tour or rent or bring your own boat if you have one. A great off beat place to stay is Big pine Key Fishing lodge, they have primitive campsites right by the water and the deer there are so much you have to make sure to keep your food packed up so they don't steal it :)


stephwest1
by Member on Sep. 4, 2012 at 8:13 PM

What does "DH" mean? I've seen those initials a lot on Cafe Mom. Something to do with husband? 

Quoting MamaJessx3:

DH takes our boys up to peace river fairly often to go find sharks teeth. They've never found "fossils" there. Not sure how accurate that is, at least they must not be coming bc if they were DH would find them. We also go camping fairly often and we love going tubing down spring fed rivers like rainbow river.


MamaJessx3
by Jess on Sep. 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM
Dear Husband

Quoting stephwest1:

What does "DH" mean? I've seen those initials a lot on Cafe Mom. Something to do with husband? 


Quoting MamaJessx3:

DH takes our boys up to peace river fairly often to go find sharks teeth. They've never found "fossils" there. Not sure how accurate that is, at least they must not be coming bc if they were DH would find them. We also go camping fairly often and we love going tubing down spring fed rivers like rainbow river.


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