While no one will blame you for staying close to your resort, Sea Shells Beach Club also makes an excellent base from which to get acquainted with Florida’s State and National Parks. The following destinations are all within a one-hour drive from your vacation address.
Hontoon Island State Park
Just southwest of Deland you will find Hontoon Island State Park. Don’t let Google Maps fool you, because this state park is only accessible by ferry or private boat. This destination is off the beaten path, but you will be rewarded by a peaceful and serene environment. Learn about the Timucuan Indians during your hike, or try to catch a glimpse of the Barred Owl or American Black Vulture. If you are looking to get your exercise in, you can paddle your way up the St. Johns river to neighboring Blue Spring State Park.
Canaveral National Seashore
If you like National Parks, but don’t want to lose sight of the beach, then Canaveral National Seashore will be music to your ears. Go ahead and explore 24 miles of undeveloped beach. You might even be fortunate enough to witness a rocket launch from nearby Kennedy Space Center. November through April is considered the dry season, and that is good news for visitors. Smaller crowds and fewer mosquitoes plus abundant wildlife and interpretive programs will make your experience unforgettable.
Bulow Creek State Park
You can’t go wrong with visiting this area, because Bulow Creek State Park is bordered by Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park in the north and Tomoka State Park in the south. Start your hike or bike ride at the Fairchild Oak, a 400-year-old tree that seems to have grown wider at every adversity it’s faced. You’ll end up at the Old Sugar Mill Ruins, which does have a small entrance fee. Also, these parks are part of “The Loop,” a 34-mile long scenic drive, which is popular with bikers and motorists alike.
De Leon Springs State Park
You don’t have to go hiking on an empty stomach at De Leon Springs State Park. The park is known for its natural spring, but is just as famous for its pancakes. At the Old Spanish Sugar Mill patrons can outdo each other with their own pancake creations. For even more foraging creatures, head out on the trail, where you could spot a bald eagle, manatee, otter or black bear.
Florida has no shortage of beautiful state parks, so don’t miss your opportunity to visit one on your next Sea Shells Beach Club stay.
Which activities do you like to do when you are in a State or National Park? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!