Exploring State Parks in Florida

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If you plan to visit the picturesque state of Florida, make sure to experience some of the exciting activities that the state has to offer. One of the best ways to do so is by visiting one of the many stunning state parks in the area. These parks provide an excellent opportunity for families and friends to come together and enjoy the best of what Florida has to offer. Below is a list of some of the state parks that you can explore.

Lake Manatee State Park

For just $5 a car, you can enjoy an all-day experience at Lake Manatee State Park in Bradenton. The park extends three miles along the south shore of its namesake, beautiful Lake Manatee. This man-made lake offers freshwater fishing dockside and even by boat. 

In addition to small motorboats, you can use kayaks and canoes out on the lake. Since the weather is warm enough in the Spring and Summer, guests can enjoy the lake beach and swim to keep cool. Guests can also enjoy full-facility camping just a short distance from the lake.

Myakka River State Park

With over 37,000 acres, Myakka River State Park is one of the Sarasota area's oldest and most popular state parks. This park is designed to offer various water sports and activities, including kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. 

While on land, guests can enjoy the hundreds of bike and walking trails that provide access to various wildlife and natural habitats. It is common to have sightings of Osprey, Alligators, and Bald Eagles. There are also beautiful wildflower prairies throughout the park.

Lovers Key State Park

Opening at 8 a.m. every day, guests can enjoy access to Lovers Key State Park to take advantage of the different activities in the Fort Myers area.

The large forests and beaches together make it a great place for families to have a quiet day on the Florida coast. Lovers Key features 2.5 miles of beaches making it one of the best shelling opportunities in the area.

While on land, guests in the park can enjoy hiking or bicycling through the marked trails. 

Egmont Key State Park

Unlike other parks, Egmont Key State Park is primarily a wildlife refuge. Accessible only by boat, the island is full of local and cultural history including a lighthouse that’s been standing since 1858. In addition to the history, visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, or the beach area.

Keep in mind before you visit that the remote nature of the park means there is no drinking water or stores on the island so you will need to bring all necessary supplies with you.

Caladesi Island State Park

Another boat-accessible state park is Caladesi Island State Park. This location does require a $6 fee when you dock. There are nature walks and mangrove forests to kayak through here showcasing the beauty of the island. There are many places to set up for an afternoon picnic and a day out on the beach. 

Koreshan State Park

Cradled by majestic oaks along the banks of the Estero River, Koreshan State Park offers a window into a way of life from over a century ago.

The park is home to 11 immaculately restored and nationally registered historic buildings erected by the Koreshans between the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A quiet and peaceful refuge amid busy Fort Myers, the park's interpretative and natural resources provide great opportunities to learn and to enjoy nature.

These are only a few of the 175 State Parks in Florida. If you would like to explore the entire list of Florida State Parks, visit Find a Park | Florida State Parks.

Once you’re finished having a great day at one of these state parks, make sure that you also come out for a round of adventure golf!  Smugglers Cove offers the best mini-golf courses across Florida, including Fort Myers, Indian Shores, Sarasota, Bradenton, and Madeira Beach. Visit us today to have an unforgettable experience, or contact us for more information.

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Topics: family fun, things to do