Florida’s Top 3 Natural Adventures.
Story by Carly Morson | Contributing Writer
America’s Sunshine State, Florida is well-known for being the home of the great American theme park but it also has a fantastic array of natural wonders to enjoy. As with any state in the US, car hire in Florida is always recommended to make the most of this vast state. Situated on America’s Eastern Coast, there is so much to discover and explore so here’s my top three Natural adventures any visitors to Florida simply cannot afford to miss.
Covering over 1.5 million acres, The Everglades National Park is arguably Florida’s most famous attraction after Disney. Located in Southern Florida, this swamp-like landscape has so much to offer and enthrall. The park has a unique ecosystem, with its nine habitats all working in perfect harmony with each other. The park is home to 14 endangered species and 9 threatened species including the manatee, American Crocodile and very lucky visitors may also spot the rare Florida Panther. Visitors to the Everglades find a number of ways to enjoy the park, hiking, boating, biking and making their way across bridged walkways across the lakes and rivers. However, no visit to the Everglades is complete without taking a trip on one of the airboats across the waterways, allowing you to get up close and personal to the famous alligators that have made their home here. You can even visit the Everglades Alligator Farm which is located just outside the park which will give you the chance to watch these mighty beasts enjoy their lunchtime meal.
Not content with the unique Everglades, Florida’s coastline is also home to a true natural wonder. Lying just a few miles off the coast of the Florida Keys, the Florida Reef is the third largest coral barrier reef in the world and the only one in North America. Whilst there are other coral complexes along the coast, it is the Keys Reef which attracts the most attention for its spectacular beauty, especially around Key Largo. Home to over 1,400 plant and animal life, the reef is extremely popular with scuba divers with many heading out from Monroe County to explore the beauty beneath the waves. There is a lot of conservation work in place to ensure that diving is done responsibly to protect this wonderful landscape for future generations.
The Overseas Highway
So this is cheating a little but it really is the perfect mix between the natural world and the great American road trip. The Overseas Highway stretches through the Florida Keys, connecting the 100 small islands that make up the Keys. Affectionately known as the ‘Highway that goes to Sea,’ this road quite literally crosses over the seas. In total 42 bridges connect these islands which provide stunning scenery that will make you want to keep on driving endlessly for mile after mile! Looking out from the window, all visitors here see are the purest blue waters stretching endlessly on for miles and small islands emerging from them every now and then. It is truly breathtaking and, I would argue, the most beautiful road trip in America.
*All photos courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, including the pelican photo, which comes from the Boston Public Library.