- Lake Kissimmee State Park:
14248 Camp Mack Road
Lake Wales, Florida 33898 $5 per vehicle (up to 8 occupants); I know summer is a little too warm in Florida for camping but we are hoping to do some hiking around this park's many trails and bridges. The park also has canoe and kayak rentals. http://www.floridastateparks.org/lakekissimmee/aboutthepark.cfm
- Fort De Soto Park: 3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715 Pay booth collects the daily parking fees of $5. This is one of our favorite beaches not only because it is where my husband and I were married but it just a great place to spend the day. It is usually pretty quiet with an older crowd on the beach and if you get tired of just relaxing on the beach you can go check out the historic fort. There is also trails to hike or bike and 2 fishing piers. It is also a great place for camping when the weather is cooler. http://www.pinellascounty.org/park/05_ft_desoto.htm#general
Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park:
4732 Millhoppper Road
Gainesville, Florida 32653
$4.00 per vehicle. A National Natural Landmark, Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a miniature rain forest at the bottom of a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep. I originally saw a piece on this park on the local TV station and the video made me want to go check it out. Here's a link to a site with a video about Devil's Millhopper; http://www.visitgainesville.com/attractions/devils-millhopper-geological-state-park/
"In the midst of north Florida's sandy terrain and pine forests, a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep leads down to a miniature rain forest. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole, disappearing through crevices in the ground. Lush vegetation thrives in the shade of the walls even in dry summers. A significant geological formation, Devil's Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark that has been visited by the curious since the early 1880s" http://www.floridastateparks.org/devilsmillhopper/
Tarpon Springs Florida, home of the historic Sponge Docks: In all the years my husband and I have lived in central Florida we have never visited Tarpon Springs. I understand there is quite a lot to do at the historic Sponge Docks including; shopping, dining, fishing, the Tarpon Springs aquarium, museums and sightseeing. You can even take a boat tour to see sponge diving and dolphins. http://www.spongedocks.net/index.htm
- Lake Eva Aquatic Center in Haines City: 321 S. 6th Street, Haines City, Admission is $5 or there are family seasonal passes available. The Aquatic Center is currently open on weekends, and the hours of
operation are 12 PM – 6 PM. Starting June 9, 2014 the Aquatic Center
will be open seven (7) days a week. http://hainescity.com/government/departments/leisure-services/facilities/aquatics/ Here is a link to a blog post I wrote a few years ago when we first visited Lake Eva, http://momto3busyboys.blogspot.com/2009/08/lake-eva-park-aquatics-center.html.
Kid’s Play Area – Young kids love the wet/dry play area with a zero-depth entry lagoon pool, slide, splash pad and water activities.Pavilion - Cool off in the shade or celebrate a special occasion with family and friends.Pool Snack Bar – Whet your appetite with hamburgers, hot dogs, snacks, and beverages.
- Bok Tower: 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales FL 33853 • 863-676-1408; There are so many things to do at Bok Tower Gardens like touring the gardens and geocaching. They even have Discovery Backpacks that they will loan you for free to help your child explore the gardens; complete with guidebooks, binoculars and bubbles. During the summer, they have extra kids and family activities like First Friday walks and Discovery Days, http://boktowergardens.org/calendar/.
- Amish Country in Sarasota: http://www.yodersrestaurant.com/ Since we don't have plans to travel up North to experience Amish Country I have heard there is a community of Amish in Pinecraft near Sarasota. I have heard great reviews of Yoder's Amish Village where they have a restaurant, Gift Shop, Produce Market, Deli Market and award winning pies!