With a combination of cool nights and warm days, Spring is one of the best times to adventure through Florida. It’s the perfect time to go on an outdoor adventure and explore some of the state’s most picturesque landscapes, whether it is by bike, kayak or in a tent. From outdoor festivals to blooming floral displays, here are the best things to do in the springtime in Florida.
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Take a dip in a natural spring
You’re spoiled for choice with swimming holes in Florida, as the state boasts more than 700 natural freshwater springs. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park pairs crystal clear waters with a fascinating mermaid show, while Rainbow Springs State Park features cascading waterfalls alongside its five main springs. Ginnie Springs in High Springs is one of the clearest swimming holes in the state, Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a secluded spot perfect for tubing, and Blue Springs Park is a family-friendly area with a diving dock.
Admire colorful gardens
You’ll find a plethora of colorful gardens to explore in Florida during the springtime, from Bok Tower Gardens’ tranquil swan filled pools to the 83-acre expanse of tropical plants and flowering trees at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami boasts beautiful bougainvillea in full bloom, while the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee features an impressive collection of camellias and azaleas. For something truly unique, head to Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach to admire the brightly colored cherry blossoms.
Kayak through picturesque waterways
Florida offers an array of kayaking hotspots, with Wekiwa Springs, Weeki Wachee Springs and Juniper Run in the Ocala National Forest offering some of the best. Get Up and Go Kayaking offers see-through kayak adventure through Rock Springs in Apopka, while John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo offers a chance to explore thick mangroves and open channels.
Go on an overnight camping adventure
Springtime’s cooler weather means it’s a great time to go on an overnight camping adventure, and Florida’s has plenty to choose from. You can camp near the beach at St. George Island State Park, Grayton Beach State Park and St. Andrews State Park and wake up the sound of the surf. St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Port St. Joe offers access to pristine white-sand beaches, while Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park boasts untouched wilderness landscapes filled with wild horses and bison in Micanopy.
Bask in the sunshine on an idyllic beach
Siesta Key, Clearwater and Fort Walton offer some of the best Gulf Coast beach landscapes with soft white sand and sparkling emerald waters, while Vero Beach, Amelia Island and Delray Beach are quiet Atlantic Coast beaches where you can embrace the easy-going atmosphere. If you’re looking to pick up colorful seashell treasures, head to Sanibel and Captiva Island, Marco Island or Caladesi and Honeymoon Island, while Venice Beach offers you a chance to discover prehistoric shark teeth along the shoreline.
Hike a scenic trail
Springtime means you can explore some of Florida’s most beautiful natural landscapes without feeling bogged down by the heat. With over 360,000 acres of land, there is no better spot to go hiking in Florida than at Ocala National Forest, where you can make your way through the world’s largest scrub forest to reach Juniper Springs. Big Shoals State Park features 80-foot limestone bluffs over the Suwannee River, while Florida Caverns State Park allows you to explore damp caves loaded with million-year-old stalagmites and stalactites.
Enjoy a picnic in the park
Florida’s state parks offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where you can pack and picnic and soak up the scenery around you. Whether you take the entire family or pack a picnic for two, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park’s lush foliage, Hillsborough River State Park’s tranquil riverside ambiance and the towering live oaks in Washington Oaks State Gardens are perfect spots to venture into the great outdoors and enjoy the pleasant weather that spring brings to Florida.
Explore the city on two wheels
Cruising through the city or in state parks during the spring is a beloved pastime that the entire family can enjoy. Enjoy exploring the Sanibel Island Bike Trails and nearby J.N.”Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, admire ocean views from the Hollywood Broadwalk, or bike through the small town of Cedar Key to enjoy its historic charm. Adventurous cyclists can peddle through the 15-mile Shark Valley Trail in the Everglades, considered the king of trails in Florida, to spot alligators, turtles and birds.
Attend a lively festival
Springtime in Florida means that there is a host of fun-filled festivals to attend throughout the state. Fruit lovers can find sweet strawberry treats in Plant City at the Strawberry Festival, while Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival puts on an impressive display of floral varieties to admire. Those who want to sample Florida’s fresh seafood can visit the Marco Island Seafood & Music Festival, and the Gasparilla Music Festival, Carnaval Miami and Sunfest are a mix of music, food and fun.
Go on a paddleboarding adventure
Florida’s scenic waterways are perfect for a paddleboarding adventure. Head to Santa Rosa Beach for calm waters, Destin to see marine life while paddling around and Key West to add fishing into the mix. For a unique experience, you can paddleboard in Miami to admire the sparkling city skyline, Bahia Honda State Park to spot manatees along the way or visit either South Walton or Grayton Beach State Park to adventure through scenic coastal dune lakes.
Say hello to local wildlife
Spring is the tail end of manatee season, so it’s still possible to see these gentle giants in places like Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Blue Springs State Park and Manatee Springs State Park until early March. Flamingo Gardens offers views of Florida’s pink-hued flamingos, while those looking to spot pods of dolphins frolicking the waters can go on dolphin watching tours in Sanibel Island, Fort Myers Beach and the Florida Keys. For an underwater adventure, head to John D. MacArthur Beach State Park to see schools of fish and sea turtles.