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Florida Ideas that do NOT include Disney or other theme parks?

Florida Ideas that do NOT include Disney or other theme parks?

Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Florida Ideas that do NOT include Disney or other theme parks?

Hi
We'll be in Fla. the 3rd week of Dec, NOT a Disney person, hate crowds.
Have been to Key Largo, Key West, St. Augustine, Tampa.
Will be getting off a cruise ship in Miami, will have a week to burn.
Have to drive anyway.
Plan to swim with Manatees in Crystal River, need more ideas.
I'm sure the water will be too cold at most beaches.
Any other ideas? Will have 2 teens with us.
Thanks!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 02:51 PM
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We focused on certain state parks and the manatees in a trip several years ago...places like Manatee Springs, Homasassa, Myakka River, Oscar Scherer State Parks. Also of course old St. Augustine, New Smyrna Beach, and Blue Springs St. Pk. That year we were camping in a trailer.

Ozarksbill [email protected]
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Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 06:30 PM
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Since you'll be driving to the West Coast of Florida for Crystal River, why not visit Myakka River State Park on your way to the West Coast to see "old" Florida? Also, there is kayaking near Fort Desoto Park, St. Petersburg, and the beach is gorgeous. Caladesi Island by ferry from Honeymoon Island State Park is a possibility (north end of same county as Ft. Desoto State Park).
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Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 08:11 PM
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The water should be warm enough in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area at that time.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 06:48 AM
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http://www.foreverflorida.com/
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 07:16 AM
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How about Everglades National Park after docking from your cruise? A little boardwalk that we loved right outside Floria City in the Park is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anhinga_Trail
Then on to Naples via the Tamiami Trail. We love driving this road with all the alligators lined on both sides.
http://www.southfloridaonline.com/ar...iami_trail.htm
If you want to drive futher up the coast, I have a trip report here on Cape San Blas where you definately won't find crowds but it is georgeous! 30 minutes from Apalachicola.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Canoeing on a river where you can see alligators, turtles, birds, fish, "jungle" vegetation, etc.

One place is Wekiwa Springs State Park - it's near Orlando, so may not be near where you're going, but I'm sure there must be other places you can do something similar. Our kids love doing it.

http://www.floridastateparks.org/Wek...eriver-mar.jpg
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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You don't mention having been to Sarasota, which is on the way to Crystal River if you're driving up 75. There's plenty of kayaking, the Mote Aquarium, the Ringling Museum (which includes the Ringling's winter home, their art museum and a circus museum), and a good botanical garden.
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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we thoroughly enjoy Treasure Island...Johns' Pass...Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg...LOTS to see, do and all close together...and you get the best part of Florida..the Gulf Coast!!
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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The Everglades or Sanibel Island might be good choices
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Old Oct 4th, 2009, 02:10 PM
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OOps I meant to add ... drive through the Everglades to Sanibel Island.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 09:23 AM
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Everglades, Clyde Butcher's studio http://www.clydebutcher.com/ in Big Cypress - incredible photographer!,Corkscrew Swamp , Edison's and Ford's winter homes near Ft. Myers, Ringling house and art museum in Sarasota, Anna Maria Island and lunch at the Starfish Company. Redundant since you're swimming with manatess, but you could visit Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity, at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Good Greek food in Tarpon Springs.....
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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Lots to see in the Keys outside of Key Largo & Key West. Also Amelia Island or Captiva/Sanibel.
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