Florida Nature August 19, 2017
5 Last-Minute Outdoor Adventures You Must Have Before Florida’s Summer Is Gone For Good
It might feel like summer in Florida will never end, but before you know it, we’ll all be sipping pumpkin spice lattes and picking out Halloween costumes. Some stores even have Christmas decorations up already! So we say you might as well embrace what’s left of the summer and check out one of these very cool ways to stay cool in the Sunshine State.
1. Go tubing at Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Fort White.
Tubing down the river is the most popular activity at the park during the summer months, but a new rental facility has just opened this year at the North Entrance to provide canoes, kayaks, and paddle board rentals. Other fun things to do here include swimming, snorkeling, hiking, picnicking and scuba diving. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year. Guests pay $6.00 per car (2-8 people), or $4.00 for motorcycles and single-occupant vehicles.
2. Explore the caves at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna.
The Panhandle has many unexpected natural gems, including the only open-air caves in Florida where you can take a public tour. Though they may not be the most impressive caves in the country, this is an excellent Florida state park for hiking, camping and exploring. If you're worried about the heat, it's actually cooler when you enter the caverns.
3. Dive in the Devil's Den in Williston.
Devil's Den has an ethereal beauty that reminds you how lucky we are to live in our state. This unique prehistoric spring is covered by a karst window that lets in a stream of sunlight, like a spotlight into the clear, blue water below. Visitors must be scuba diving or snorkeling to explore here. This diving spot can fill up quickly, so call ahead (352-528-3344) to avoid disappointment.
4. Fly over the incredible scenery At The Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours in Ocala.
Here you can try up to nine different zip lines, including some of the highest, longest, and fastest lines in Florida. Even if you've tried zip lining before, you've never seen one like this. The Super Zip has a unique hang glider style harness that allows you to imagine you're your favorite superhero as you soar above some of Florida's most beautiful scenery. Although they're not technically canyons, this area was once a limestone quarry, which explains the dramatic tree-covered cliffs that rise out of the water.
5. The Venetian Pool, Coral Gables
Don't spend all summer in a boring old backyard pool! Not only is it incredibly scenic, this 820,000-gallon pool is the largest freshwater swimming pool in the world, as well as the only swimming pool on the National Register of Historic Places. This Mediterranean-style landmark is also lots of fun to swim in, with palm trees, porticos, grottos, a small bridge, and two waterfalls to explore.
What other last-minute adventures would you add to this list? Let us know!