Theme parks and beach resorts might be the first things that come to mind when thinking of Florida, but locals and savvy visitors have long considered Florida’s award winning State Parks to be the state’s real gem. Florida’s outdoors are as unique as the people (looking at you, Florida Man) and there’s no better way to experience them than at one of our 175 state parks.
- 1. They’re the best in the nation. Seriously, Florida State Parks is the only parks system to win the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence three times. That means that our parks aren’t only beautiful, but they’re well-maintained to provide visitors a world-class experience.
- 2. They’re affordable. Florida State Parks are free for disabled veterans and all honorably discharged veterans receive a 25% discount on admission. Active duty persons or retired military living in Florida may be eligible to purchase the Military Gold Sportsman’s License for $20 (normally $100).
- 3. You can go year-round. Leave the parkas and gloves at home because the average yearly high temperature in Florida is 81 degrees. And if that’s too warm for you, nothing beats the heat like a swim in a cool spring.
- 4. There’s something for everyone. From canoeing through Collier-Seminole State Park’s mangrove swamps to seeing manatees at Blue Springs State Park, Florida’s state parks offer a range of experiences that visitor of any age or adventure level can enjoy.
- 5. See the Real Florida. State parks offer a glimpse of the old Florida that makes our state unique. Take in the wildlife from your inner tube while floating down the Ichetucknee River or enjoy Cayo Costa State Park’s nine miles of untouched coastline.
- 6. State parks are everywhere. You don’t have to go far to get to one of Florida’s 175 state parks. Kayak around the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape State Park just a few miles from Miami, or leave Jacksonville after work and arrive at Amelia Island State Park in time to catch the sunset.
These are just a few reasons why millions of people visit Florida State Parks each year, but don’t take our word for it. Check out floridastateparks.org to find a park and plan your next trip. If you want more tips on the perks of life in the sunshine state, sign up for our email updates and we’ll keep sending them your way.