When people think of visiting Florida, a lot of times they immediately think of visiting Disney or going to Harry Potter world. While those are fun, there’s more to Florida than amusement parks. Like visiting the Florida State Parks.
With an average cost of entry to each park of $3 to $8 per car, it’s very inexpensive to learn more about Florida’s ecosystem and history. Another great perk? The parks are so vastly different. You can be at the beach on the west coast of the state one trip, be visiting Florida’s highest waterfall and natural sinkholes the next and then head off to the battlefield where the Second Seminole War began.
To put all of this perspective and help Florida visitors and residents decide which parks are right for them, I’m going to be blogging about my visit to most of the 175 venues in the Florida State Park system. I say most because there are some Florida State Parks that are only accessible by boat or are completely underwater. I’ll do my best to visit all the ones located offshore. But for the ones that are completely offshore it’s possible I won’t be able to visit.
Florida State Parks We’ve Visited
Here’s a list of the parks that we visited (and direct links to each blog):
What We’ll Be Talking About
Every park is different but there are a few things that are consistent to most locations. So we’ll be mentioning Things To Do, Rentals, Accommodations, Pet Friendly and Food & Restrooms. We’ll try to be fairly standard so readers can compare each Florida State park as equally as possible.
Florida State Parks Annual Passes and Passport
There are couple of tools to use when going to the Florida state parks that will make the trips easier. The first is the Florida State Parks Annual Pass. This pass provides entrance to each park for a flat fee ($60 for individuals or $120 for a pass that allows entrance to up to 8 people to each park). It’s perfect for full-time residents, snowbirds or even those who want to visit Florida RV parks. Did you know that many of the Florida state parks offer camping facilities, including those for RVs?
Another is the State Parks Passport, which keeps track of which park have been visited and how many more there are to go. The passport can be purchased at select state parks and is divided into 8 categories to help you locate the one closest to your region. Every time you visit a park you get your passport stamped by a park ranger; once you’ve gotten all of your stamps, you’ll receive a free annual family pass!
How Long Will It Take To Visit All The Florida State Parks?
According to a one of the state park rangers, it takes the average person 4 to 5 years to visit all of the parks. It might take longer than that to produce all of the blogs. But my love of the natural beauty of the state of Florida will get me through. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
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I’ve been to Florida many times but haven’t seen many of the state parks. I know you’d probably want to time your visit during the cooler months, because it can be sweltering in the summer! I did visit Weeki Wachee once as a child and have seen pictures of the “mermaids”. I also really enjoy Rock Springs.
Summer’s not an ideal time for camping, especially if you’re not from Florida, but a lot of the state parks involve water (either springs or beaches) and have a lot of tree overhangs for shade. So it’s not quite as bad as visiting an amusement park or walking around a city in the summer.
I am not particularly into amusement parks so visiting the Florida State Parks is more my style. Can’t wait to read more about each park.
Susan Decoteau-Ferrier says
This is a big venture but I think it’s well worth it. I love the State Park Passport, especially for kids. Good Luck!!
Lara Dunning says
What a great travel goal. I’m more of a nature person than a theme park person, so I will be tuning in to see what you find and what parks I should put on my Florida list.
Mizz Vee says
This is a great idea as we love to take short road trips. Thanks for the inspiration!
I love this idea. And I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures. There are so many things to do and see here in Florida. I take that for granted, I think.
Cynthia Mackintosh says
I love our State Parks here in Florida! It’s a refreshing site aside from the theme parks.
Donna Lynn Starling says
I will look into the Fl State Passport, we are hopefully going to start camping soon, the passport sound like a fun way to set places to visit.
We went camping at Manatee State Park a few years and had a great time!