From eco-adventures at U.S. National Natural Landmark, Payne’s Prairie in the north to leisurely wine tasting strolls at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery in the south—we’ll help you start planning endless Florida weekend getaways from top to bottom of the state.
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Head to Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park for a visit with manatees, black bears, bobcats and gators. A short drive away is lunch at Riverside Crab House. Continue north to Crystal River with a stop at the quaint Shoppes of Heritage Village. Energy permitting, wrap the day in Cedar Key with a bowl of local clam chowder.
See a piece of Florida that even many natives don’t know exists along the Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway. That’s right, bluffs. Sweeping views of Escambia Bay dot this 11-mile scenic stretch, and a boardwalk zigzags down the 75-foot slope to the shore through a live oak forest at Bay Bluffs Park.
Schnebly Redland’s Winery
Drive this scenic route through South Florida’s historic farmland, stopping between acres of crops to eat sticky buns at Knaus Berry Farm bakery and buy blooms at R.F. Orchids. Keep going for a taste of fruit wines at Schnebly Redland’s Winery, fresh produce at Robert Is Here fruit stand and everything strawberry at Burr’s Berry Farm.
Shark Valley Tram Tours
Explore the natural splendor of the Everglades with a drive across the Tamiami Trail between Miami and Naples. Along the way, hike, bike or tram down a paved road that winds through the sawgrass marshes of Shark Valley. Keep your eyes peeled for gators, herons and other untamed locals.
Ocala National Forest
Canopied highways 19 and 40 cut right through the Ocala National Forest, offering up not only serene views but park gems all along the way. Stop for a dip in the freshwater swimming hole at Alexander Springs, a hike through the tranquil Juniper Prairie Wilderness or a canoe ride on the pristine St. Johns River.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Scenic U.S. 441 takes you back in time as you meander along its uninterrupted countryside, rural homesteads and charming southern towns. Start with homemade ice cream at Jersey Creamery in McIntosh, lunch and antiquing on 1st Street in Micanopy, sunset views over Paynes Prairie State Park and end with a stroll in Gainesville.