Each new year inspires feelings of renewal and fresh starts and there’s no better time to begin than now with these 18 Authentic Florida Bucket List adventures.
Plunge into the Blue
This “Shangri-la” just west of High Springs was recently purchased by the Florida State Park system. Gilchrist Blue Springs releases 55 million gallons of fresh water daily, flowing into the Santa Fe River. Swimmers jump from a huge wooden platform into crystal clear water; families picnic under sprawling oaks; paddlers launch kayaks or paddle boards along the spring run. And visitors enjoy a short walk on the rustic wooden boardwalk to the scenic Santa Fe River.
Shelling in the Ten Thousand Islands
Board a small passenger boat at Goodland Marina, south of Naples, and embark on one of the best shelling experiences in Florida. A naturalist guide from Marco Island Boat Tours becomes your personal shelling captain. Breathe in salt air under cloudless blue skies, keeping an eye out for dolphins as your captain determines the best shelling stops based on wind and tides. One popular spot is unofficially named “Shell Key” in the Ten Thousand Islands where layers of shells reveal prized rarities such as the Junonia.
Pancakes on the Griddle
Everyone from children to grandparents enjoy a perfect “old Florida” family dining experience at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle House at De Leon Springs State Park just north of Orlando. Breakfast is the main attraction, as guests make their own pancakes on a sizzling hot griddle in the center of the table. Constructed of old pine and cypress this restaurant resembles a wooden barn and overlooks the sparkling De Leon spring and swimming area.