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Nature/Adventure Destinations In Florida/Avoiding Spring Breakers?

Nature/Adventure Destinations In Florida/Avoiding Spring Breakers?

Old Oct 27th, 2021, 04:46 PM
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Nature/Adventure Destinations In Florida/Avoiding Spring Breakers?

Hey everyone!

I'm looking to plan a trip to Florida for my wife and I in mid April.

We love going on vacations to observe nature and wildlife. We went to Alaska on our honeymoon and just explored parts of Denver this summer (Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, things like that).

I'm trying to plan a trip for mid April to get a bit of a "tropical" experience. A place like Costa Rica was our first choice, but due to COVID reasons, we are staying in the US.

As I started to do some research into South Florida, I saw some beautiful national parks and experiences. I'd love to see some wild animals, snorkel...etc. Not a big fan of sitting on a beach all day or any night life, prefer hikes and keeping it low key
​​​​​. *****SO I'm hitting some snags in my planning and was wondering if you guys had any suggestions for specific places in Florida where we could stay and get those types of experiences??*****

My main concern is Spring Break, we both work in education so my spring break will line up with lots of students. I'd hate to see a beautiful place, book it and find it to be a party town (I'm obviously eliminating beach towns, downtowns with bars...etc)

I'm also weary of some tourist traps. Many coworkers have warned of activities that look great, especially in the Keys, but turn out to be waste of time and money.

TL;DR - I'm looking for suggestions of places to go/visit in Florida. Would be flying in and renting a car. Looking for nature/"adventurous" attractions while avoiding the spring break crowd. Looking for any first hand knowledge and experience.

Last edited by dvl05; Oct 27th, 2021 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Didn't paste the full message the first time
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 06:40 AM
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If you avoid Daytona Beach, Panama City, South Beach, and Key West you should avoid most of the spring breakers. Southwest Florida might be what you want. There are nature preserves, etc. but I don't the snorkeling is very good there.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by clarkcoan8700 View Post
If you avoid Daytona Beach, Panama City, South Beach, and Key West you should avoid most of the spring breakers. Southwest Florida might be what you want. There are nature preserves, etc. but I don't the snorkeling is very good there.
Thank you SO much for the response. I have been looking into spending a day at Islamorada. Trying to find a home base to stay at.

Very helpful, thank you.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 08:22 AM
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You are welcome. You might want to check out Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples and Big Cypress National Preserve northeast of Everglades City. They goth have boardwalks. Of course, to see wildlife you need to go at dawn or dusk for the most part. Snorkeling at Islamorada might be good.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by clarkcoan8700 View Post
You are welcome. You might want to check out Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples and Big Cypress National Preserve northeast of Everglades City. They goth have boardwalks. Of course, to see wildlife you need to go at dawn or dusk for the most part. Snorkeling at Islamorada might be good.
Thank you...again! Would you recommend any places within like, an hour and a half, radius of those places to book a hotel?
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 09:08 AM
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I don't think it's hard to avoid spring breakers. They have very narrow interests and short attention spans -lol! I loved the Florida Keys and have been a couple times but it's been too long ago for me to give current advice. We camped at Bahia Honda state park. Day tripped to Key West. Another time based at a basic motel on Marathon that offered rowboats for guests.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
I don't think it's hard to avoid spring breakers. They have very narrow interests and short attention spans -lol! I loved the Florida Keys and have been a couple times but it's been too long ago for me to give current advice. We camped at Bahia Honda state park. Day tripped to Key West. Another time based at a basic motel on Marathon that offered rowboats for guests.
Thank you so much! I'll look into those.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 12:47 PM
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The Naples/SW Florida area mentioned in an earlier post by clarkcoan8700 has scores of State and County parks and preserves with literarily hundreds of miles of nature trails, dozens of rivers and tributaries for kayaking and, of course, and abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. The area boast wonderful white sand beaches perfect for shelling, long walks and good swimming. Boating and fishing are popular activities. It might be a perfect location for you. It’s not popular with spring breakers but the area does have an abundance of (mostly senior citizen) snowbirds so it is not “uncrowded” by any means. Still there’s plenty of places that don’t get inundated with people. For what it is worth, the snowbirds begin leaving in late March and throughout April so that helps with relieving crowds.

You should know that Naples and the surrounding towns are more than a 3 hour drive from Islamorada so going there for a day trip isn’t very practical as you’ll spend as much time getting there as actually being there.

There are plenty of hotels and motels (both major chains and independently operated) as well as short term rental condos throughout the entire area. A simple internet search will provide you with plenty of links.
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Old Oct 28th, 2021, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RoamsAround View Post
The Naples/SW Florida area mentioned in an earlier post by clarkcoan8700 has scores of State and County parks and preserves with literarily hundreds of miles of nature trails, dozens of rivers and tributaries for kayaking and, of course, and abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna. The area boast wonderful white sand beaches perfect for shelling, long walks and good swimming. Boating and fishing are popular activities. It might be a perfect location for you. It’s not popular with spring breakers but the area does have an abundance of (mostly senior citizen) snowbirds so it is not “uncrowded” by any means. Still there’s plenty of places that don’t get inundated with people. For what it is worth, the snowbirds begin leaving in late March and throughout April so that helps with relieving crowds.

You should know that Naples and the surrounding towns are more than a 3 hour drive from Islamorada so going there for a day trip isn’t very practical as you’ll spend as much time getting there as actually being there.

There are plenty of hotels and motels (both major chains and independently operated) as well as short term rental condos throughout the entire area. A simple internet search will provide you with plenty of links.
I appreciate that VERY much. I'm going to do some digging
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