The Adventure Traveler's Guide To Florida

The Treasure Coast gets its name from the history of shipwrecks and sunken treasure that draw in thousands of divers each year.
The Treasure Coast gets its name from the history of shipwrecks and sunken treasure that draw in thousands of divers each year. | Courtesy of Euan Kennedy/Flickr
Laurence Kidd

Florida: what a wonderful place for an adventurer. The Sunshine State, as it’s affectionately referred to, is full of contrasting images, diverse ecosystems and natural beauty. It’s one of the few places in America where you can drive for eight hours straight and still be in the same state. In many cases, though, it’s hard to imagine that due to the stark change in landscape, demographics, and wildlife as you travel from one end to the other. Imagine starting your trip in the Florida Keys, where blue waters and fishing boats dominate the scenic landscape, and then head north to Gainesville, where tall oaks and pines are home to wild buffalo, majestic alligators and raucous college students. It’s all here waiting for you — just get on a plane and visit it. Your adventure starts now!

Diving In The Treasure Coast

The name Treasure Coast has the ability to perk the interest of just about anybody with the slightest thirst for adventure, does it not? The region, whose name refers to the Spanish Treasure Fleet lost in a 1715 hurricane, is popular in the diving community for its shipwrecks, which make excellent artificial reefs for the diverse Atlantic Ocean ecosystem. For those of you who enjoy the thrill of spear fishing and lobster diving, there are plenty of charters for hire that will take you out all day and guide you through your adventure.

The Treasure Coast gets its name from the history of shipwrecks that draw in thousands of divers each year.

Ichetucknee River State Park

There are a few options here: one for the fitness lovers, one for the laid back crowd and one for the families. The Ichetucknee River provides travelers with six miles (10 km) of beautifully shaded river hammocks and wetlands. You can choose to kayak down the river or float slowly and peacefully on an inner tube. The park contains hardwood hammock and limestone outcrops, and, like many rivers in this part of North Florida, the Ichetucknee is fed by natural springs that boil up from an aquifer. The tranquil yet wild atmosphere is quite therapeutic and the water is quite safe to swim in. That being said, though, keep your wits about you for river snakes and other animals.

Be one with nature as you kayak down the serene and crystal clear fresh waters of the Ichetucknee river

Calusa Blueway

The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail is an adventurer’s dream come true. You’ll definitely encounter some Instagram worthy moments along the 190-mile marked canoe and kayak trail that meanders through the coastal waters and inland tributaries of Lee County, Florida. The Calusa Blueway is great for first-time kayakers as well as advanced paddlers, and is home to abundant marine life, shore birds and crustaceans. If you’re lucky, you might even be greeted by a Florida manatee!

Kayaking is the a great workout with a better view when you do it in the Great Calusa Blueway on the west coast of Florida

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