The Sunshine State, mostly known for being a tropical paradise, is so much more than beachy views, gators, and Florida Man headlines. If you know where you look, you can immerse yourself in some really cool places to go in Florida that will give you breathtaking nature views.

From sparkling crystal clear blue springs to miniature rainforests, wild biking ramp filled trails shrouded in shade and romantic canopy-covered pathways, you'll find a little bit of it all on this list.

Without further adieu, here are 8 of the best nature escapes in Florida that will give you the most enchanting views.

Blue Spring State Park

Price: $6 per vehicle

Address: 2100 W French Avenue, Orange City, FL

Why You Need To Go: From crystal clear blue springs for snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming to manatee viewing in the winter and even walking among a sea of fireflies in the Spring, this state park is stunning year-round.


Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge

Price: $10 daily fee, or $25 for a year-long pass.

Address: Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge; put J76M+2R Titusville, Florida into Google Maps.
GPS coordinates to the Visitor Center are 28.641467 and -80.735842 or Latitude 28 38' 29.28" N, Longitude 80 44' 9.03" W

Why You Need To Go: A breathtaking wildlife preserve secluded on the east coast. Surrounded by island views and wild animals you'll feel like one with nature, and it's even one of the only places in the world you can actually see bioluminance — go on a clear kayak Bioluminescence tour and watch the water glow beneath you as you paddle.


Alafia River State Park

Price: $5 per vehicle.

Address: 14326 County Rd. 39, Lithia, FL
The Thatcher Road entrance periodically closes due to flooding. If you would like more information, the park office can be reached at 813-672-5320.

Why You Need To Go: This unique park has wild biking ramps that are perfect for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike. If you'd rather hike, they have plenty of magical trails overgrown with lush green canopied sights worth trekking too.


Silver Springs State Park

Price: $2 park admission, $4 kayak or canoe launch fee if you bring your own. 
Single kayaks can be rented at $15/hour, $20/2 hours, or $40 for the whole day.
Tandem kayaks are $20/hour, $30/2 hours, or $45 for the whole day.

Address: 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL

Why You Need To Go: Crystal clear blue springs and jungle-like views will transport you a natural nature oasis. You may run into wild monkies roaming around the park while on your hike through the trees — you can even take a kayaking tour to see them too!


Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Price: $5 per vehicle

Address: 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd, Palm Coast, FL

Why You Need To Go: Only a 1.5-hour road trip from Orlando, and well worth it too. The scenery feels like something out of a Miyazaki film with magical sweeping tree branches covered in hanging moss. The edges of this park boast coastal views and one of the largest displays of exposed sedimentary strata rock that create a unique beachy ocean paradise, similar to the views at Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve.


Kelly Park/Rock Springs Run

Price: $3 per vehicle seating 1-2 people; for 3-8 people it's only $5. If your group is larger than 8 people it's $1 per additional person.

Address: 400 E Kelly Park Rd Apopka, FL

Why You Need To Go: Only a 40-minute road trip from Orlando, this breathtaking spring and river run that will wind you through the Amazon jungle-like banks of Kelly Park. The natural lazy river is a visitor favorite, offering some of the most serene sensations surrounded by nature.


The Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park

Price:  $4 per vehicle that seats up to 8 people. Pedestrians or bicyclists get in even cheaper for a mere $2.

Address: 4732 Millhopper Rd., Gainesville, FL

Why You Need To Go: The boardwalk at this state park will lead you down to a sinkhole that feels like a gorgeous miniature rainforest; a new boardwalk was constructed after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the grounds. The hiking trails above ground are just as beautiful, giving you 2 views for the price of 1.


The Everglades

Price: $30 per vehicle for a 7-day pass, individual entry for pedestrians or paddle-boaters is $15. If you plan to be a frequent Everglade go-er, they offer an annual pass for $55 as well.

Address: 40001 State Road 9336 Homestead, FL

Why You Need To Go: As the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S., the views here are so diverse and breathtaking: you can find something new on each visit. They have one super cool viewpoint that is one of the best places to watch the sunrise or set as well as stargaze, have an experience where you can actually swim with an alligator, and the park is even free to visit a few times a year.


So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore some of the best nature views that the Sunshine State has to offer. If you're looking for more fun things to do in Florida, you can visit these 7 amazing places for free or unlock your inner Indiana Jones by exploring these 6 hidden Florida ruins.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Log Out