kayaking in florida springs
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As far as travel goes, 2021 has turned out to be a great year for trying new things. After being in lockdown for more than a year, people want to get out and explore! It’s for this reason, that adventure travel is now on the rise and seems to be at the top of the list for many travelers around the world.

Therefore, outdoor recreation has seen an enormous increase and it’s only the beginning. For many, this might be their first time exploring outdoors.

And for others like myself, this is just a time to continue exploring what we love the most.

Where to Go for Adventure Travel in Florida

Regardless of your experience with the outdoors or with adventure travel, a list with some pretty cool places to visit is always a good place to start.

1. Snorkel at an Underground Spring Cave – adventure travel must!

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring is one of those places that you’ll keep falling in love with. This is adventure travel at its finest! No swimming–only snorkeling and diving are allowed inside the cave. Just watch your step when going down to the cave.

adventure travel snorkeling in underwater cave
Snorkeling in Devil’s Den

2. Climb Florida’s Tallest Lighthouse

At 175 feet tall, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse. It’s beautiful all around! You can climb up its 203 steps all the way to the top for an amazing view of the east coast. FYI, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & Museum has an entrance fee.

climbing Florida's tallest lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

3. Go on an Airboat Ride in the Everglades

Airboat rides in Florida are very, very popular. And going on an airboat ride in the Everglades is an epic outdoor adventure! There are many different options for airboat rides, and most of them have a 30-minute ride option.

airboat rides on the everglades adventure travel
Airboat Rides in Wild Florida Gator Park
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4. Take a Cave Tour at Florida Caverns State Park – an adventure for the whole family!

Florida’s only dry caves are located in Florida Caverns State Park in the northern city of Marianna. Going inside these caves is both surreal and incredible. The tour takes you through the 10 cave rooms and it’s a great adventure travel idea for the whole family.

adventure travel on florida caverns tour
Florida Caverns State Park

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5. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot air balloons are magical! And here in Florida, we seem to know quite a lot about magical things. A hot air balloon ride in Orlando is a great adventure! However, there are other places like Tampa, Jacksonville, and St Augustine, that also offer hot air balloon rides in Florida.

hot air balloon rides in central florida
Hot Air balloon rides in Florida

6. Solo Hike on one of Florida’s Beautiful Trails

As an avid hiker, hiking is one of my favorite things to do outdoors. Florida has some amazing places where you can go on a solo hike and enjoy the natural beauty that Florida has to offer. In Central Florida, Wekiva Springs is an amazing place for solo hiking.

woman solo hiking on wekiva springs trails
Solo hiking in Wekiva Springs

7. Spend a Weekend on a Florida Beach Town – great for a getaway!

Florida beaches are known worldwide for their incredible shades of blue. This is why it makes total sense to spend a weekend in one of Florida’s beach towns. For starters, Florida Keys, St. Lucie, and Sanibel Island can really make your trip an even more memorable one.

fort pierce beach adventure travel
Summer weekends in Fort Pierce

8. Visit One of the Largest Living Oak Trees in the South

It’s over 400 years old and it is majestic! This Fairchild Oak Tree is the main attraction in Bulow Creek State Park. Its beauty is everlasting! Bring your hiking shoes and hike along the 6.8 mile Bulow Woods Trail, which leads to Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park.

Fairchild oak tree in Ormond beach adventure travel
The majestic Fairchild Oak Tree
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9. Go Paddleboarding

Water activities are huge in the Sunshine State! I recently got my PADI Open Water Diver Certification and I can’t wait to start exploring the underwater world as well. Paddleboarding in Florida is super fun and it’s a great way to get familiar with all the amazing springs and lakes.

florida paddle boarding on the Indian river lagoon
Taking a break while paddleboarding in the Indian River Lagoon

10. Swim in One of Florida’s Natural Springs

The crystal-clear water of Florida springs is simply breathtaking. There are a great number of springs where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Some of the best springs for swimming in Central Florida are Wekiva Springs, Alexander Springs, and Blue Springs.

adventure travel in rainbow springs state park
Rainbow River’s crystal blue water
Check out these 21 Awesome Ideas for Florida Adventure Travel in 2021! #adventure #travel Click To Tweet

11. Do Some Cave Exploring

Caves in Florida? Oh, yes! There are caves in Florida and you can explore them! Tucked inside the Withlacoochee State Forest, there are over 37 caves that have been discovered. Many of these are closed to the public, but others aren’t. Follow these safety measures and tips for cave exploring.

adventure travel cave exploring in florida
Exploring Dames Cave

12. Go Camping at the ‘Red Light District’ and Watch the Milky Way – adventure travel must!

Did you know that Florida has its very own International Dark Sky designated park? Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is Florida’s first dark sky park and it’s an absolute nature sanctuary. To see the Milky Way, camp at the ‘Red Light District‘. No artificial lighting is permitted, only red light.

adventure travel camping in the astronomy pads in Kissimmee prairie preserve state park
Camping at the Astronomy pads, aka ‘Red Light District’

13. Hike the Historic Catwalk on The Cypress Swamp

This narrow and single-railed walkway was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1930s. The catwalk, located in Highlands Hammock State Park, takes you through a swamp surrounded by beautiful cypress trees. This is real Florida!

hiking the catwalk in highlands hammock state park
Cypress Swamp Catwalk in Highlands Hammock State Park
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14. Visit a Green Sulfur Spring

This lush green-colored spring produces almost a million gallons of water daily! Green Springs is one of Central Florida’s hidden gems with all the rainforest vibes. Plan your visit during a clear and sunny day to view the spring at its brightest. No swimming allowed.

green springs adventure travel in florida
The green-colored water of Green Springs

15. Check Out Florida’s Waterfalls

Waterfalls? Heck, yes! These are not Florida’s largest waterfalls, but they are a one-of-a-kind view! You can check out these waterfalls in Florida during your visit to Rainbow Springs State Park. Additionally, you can hike the trails in the park and swim in its crystal-clear spring.

waterfalls in florida
Waterfalls in Rainbow Springs State Park

16. Experience Manatee Viewing in one of Florida’s Springs

Manatees are my favorite aquatic animals! Fortunately, many of these super cute sea cows call Florida their home. You can see these amazing creatures in many springs throughout the state but Blue Springs State Park is my personal favorite for manatee viewing.

manatees swimming in the crystal clear water of blue springs state park
Manatee viewing in Blue Springs State Park

Manatees are a protected species and it is illegal to harass, feed or molest them. Learn more about the Florida manatees and find out how you can help save the manatees in Florida.

17. Walk Through a Swaying Suspension Bridge in the Woods

Without a doubt, Florida has some beautiful swaying suspension bridges to explore. One of my personal favorites is actually this one in O’Leno State Park, but you will find other really nice suspension bridges in Hillsborough River State Park and Ravine Gardens State Park.

swaying suspension bridges in florida
Swaying suspension bridge in O’Leno State Park

18. Go on a Glass Boat Tour

Going on a glass boat tour is one of the best ways to enjoy Florida springs. Although this tour is only offered in limited places, it’s definitely a must if you’re looking for different ways to explore the outdoors in the Sunshine State.

glass boat tours adventure travel
Glass Boat Tours in Silver Springs State Park
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19. Explore an Abandoned Dinosaur Amusement Park

If you love adventuring around historic places, then this should be one of your next stops. Right within the beautiful garden and trees of Dunlawton Sugar Mill Garden, you will find the remains of Bongoland–an abandoned dinosaur amusement park from the 1950s. You’ll see cement dinosaurs and old park signs.

stegosaurus in bongoland florida adventure travel
Abandoned dinosaur park in Florida

20. Enjoy Exploring an Old Fort in Amelia Island

Here in Florida, there are some pretty cool forts that you can explore with the whole family. Fort Clinch in Amelia Island is one of the prettiest in the state. It’s a big fort with access to a beach, which is perfect for a full day of fun and adventure.

fort clinch tunnels in Amelia island
Exploring Fort Clinch in Amelia Island

21. Go Kayaking in the Springs for a Great Adventure Trip!

Did you know that there are 700 springs in the state of Florida? In fact, Florida has the most amount of freshwater springs in the world. Kayaking in the spings is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of these one-of-a-kind natural wonders.

adventure travel kayaking in wekiva springs
Kayaking in Wekiva Springs

What is your favorite thing to do on an adventure trip? Let me know in the comments!


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About Author

Outdoor travel blogger, photographer, and Vampire Diaries obsessed. I'm passionate about hiking, and exploring the outdoors is an essential part of my life. I also love the ocean and warm sunny days.

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32 Comments

  1. I was so disappointed to miss the stars in Kissimmee Prairie when I visited! Everything was booked and I just wasn’t there at the right time. The other thing on this list that stuck out to me was that oak tree – I don’t know why I am so fascinated, but I love them!

    1. Bummer! I got to see a bit of a starry sky during my visit but it had been raining since we got there and the Milky Way just wasn’t visible. The oak tree is beyond incredible!

  2. I have to share this with my sister as shegoes to school in Florida. Maybe she will use this as her bucket list for next year.

  3. Fabulous post!

    I love how varied it is with all those gorgeous hikes, caves, watersports…and even riding in a balloon! 2021 has been a strange year, but it’s great that you have found sooo many cool experiences so close to home!

  4. I’ve never been to Florida but that sounds like a great place to visit someday with the family! Thanks for sharing this informative post with us.

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