florida travel and tourist guidenorth floridaflorida panhandlecentral florida visitor information - tampa, st petersburg, sarasotacontact information

About FloridaHotels and ResortsAttractionsArt and EntertainmentDiningShoppingReal EstateVisitor InformationCalendar of EventsReturn to Home Page

Featured Websites

Florida Golf

Florida Outdoors with information about parks, fishing, hunting, boating, camping

Florida Fishing Information


Florida Attractions
Florida is teeming with amusement parks, zoos, museums, etc.. Visit Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, Epcot Center, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, The Naples Zoo, Key West Aquarium, Sunken Gardens, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, Gatorland, SeaWorld Adventure Park, Silver Springs, Animal Kingdom, Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park, Disney-MGM Studios, Islands of Adventure, Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory, Big Cat Rescue, Butterfly World, The Shell Factory & Nature Park, Titanic - The Experience, Orange Blossom Balloon Rides, Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, Parrot Jungle Island, Jungle Adventures, Lion Country Safari, Marineland, Dinosaur Adventure Land and dozens of other attractions.

Visit the 1,399,078 acre Everglades National Park, the only subtropical preserve in North America. It contains both temperate and tropical plant communities, including sawgrass prairies, mangrove and cypress swamps, pinelands, and hardwood hammocks, marine and estuarine environments, rich bird life with bald eagles and wading birds, such as the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, great blue heron and a variety of egrets along with owls, hawks, vultures, ducks and more. Alligators and crocodiles both inhabit the park. You will also find panthers, deer, boar, black bear, grey fox, manatee and many other species of animals. Tour the Evergaldes by airboat, riverboat, canoe, kayak, bicycle or car.

Go swimming, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, biking and hunting at Lake Okeechobee, at 730 square-miles it is Florida's largest lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the United States. ....read more about things to see and do when you visit Florida »


Are beaches not enough for you? Are your kids clamoring for more thrills? Do You love to get wet and stay that way? Do you like to feel your heart hammering in your chest? Then Central Florida's premiere water parks are the perfect vacation adventure for you and your family! Here are some of my all-time favorite wetlands:

Wet n' Wild: Honored by Aquatic's International as the first true water park, and voted America's number one water park by Amusement Business Magazine, Wet n' Wild has world class signature rides and quality service for "ducks" of all ages. For heart pounding, never ending, ultimate intensity, this is the theme park that will give everyone something to shout about. Located in the heart of Orlando, Florida, Wet n' Wild is the ultimate vacation destination. From tiny tots to thrill-seeking teens; from Mom and Dad to sedate seniors, there is something for kids of all ages at Wet n' Wild. The exciting Kid's Park features smaller versions of the park's most popular adult rides, including the Surf Lagoon wave pool.

For the truly adventurous there is The Blast! a two-passenger, thrilling ride which is guaranteed to leave you soaking wet and screaming for more. For the more sedate set, there is the Lazy River, a gently moving stream which allows you to hop onto an inner tube and slowly float along, trailing your fingers in the water. Open year-round and fully staffed with certified lifeguards, Wet n' Wild Water Park is a safe bet for both the young and the young at heart.

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon: Touted as the "ultimate tropical water park" this Central Florida tourist attraction invites visitors into a world of adventure, romance, and danger. You are immediately transported into the world of a tin-roofed island village, with a backdrop of wreckage strewn across the landscape by a great storm. It even includes a storm wrecked shrimp boat stranded on a mountain peak, and her name is "Miss Tilly."...read more about Central Florida Water Wonderland Attractions


Aside from water parks and Disney-centered Orlando, Florida has many other attractions that children of all ages will enjoy. For older kids and teenagers, make at stop in Tampa for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This park is full of wild roller coasters, exciting water rides, and shows. The draw for younger children, however, is the zoo-like experience with their exotic animals. Enjoy safaris and exciting train rides to see the gorillas, gators, giraffes, tropical birds, and beasts. The Kennedy Space Center is a way for kids and adults to have fun while learning about the past, present, and future of space exploration. Children of all ages will enjoy meeting astronauts, touring space shuttles, watching films in the IMAX theatre, and being able to touch a piece of the planet Mars. Head to Crystal River and Homosassa between November and March to swim with the manatees and learn about these prehistoric creatures. If the family is looking for a laid back activity, look no farther than the Ichetucknee. This north Florida river is powered by a natural spring to give the perfect inner tube ride, complete with one of the best scenic views around. The Everglades are full of wildlife in its natural habitat. Shark Valley is a 15-mile bike loop that takes you past, not sharks, but alligators, big and small. Kids will love seeing the gators up close and, not to worry, they will not bother you as long as you do not try to feed them! Looking for other adventures? Sail with pirates in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, look for scallops in the Gulf of Mexico in Keaton Beach, Panama City Beach, or Steinhatchee, or swim with sea creatures at the Theatre of the Sea in Islamorada of the Florida Keys....read more about Florida Family Friendly Attractions


Florida has far more to offer than many people realize. Whether you are a nature enthusiast or a theme-park fanatic, Florida has the attraction to accommodate your taste......Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. Cypress Gardens has been around since January 2, 1936 and continues to provide family fun. If you visited cypress in its earlier years and were dazzled by the beautiful Southern Belles and expansive Gardens, be prepared for possible disappointment. The park closed in April of 2003 but reopened in December of 2004 after changing ownership and undergoing renovation. The renovation included the addition of 39 rides as well as the Splash Island water park that comes free with admission. Additionally, the Southern Belle's no longer remain on display throughout the botanical gardens but instead appear for photo opportunities at designated times. The coasters aren't as thrilling as the ones at Busch, but would be perfect for younger children and those who prefer milder coasters.

Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center is a fantastic place to spend a day and is an amazing learning experience. Be certain to see as many IMAX movies as possible, especially Space Station 3D which is both breathtaking and informative. Make sure you check the schedule to see if and when one of NASA's astronauts will be speaking. The crowd is usually small to medium sized and you will have an opportunity to ask the astronaut questions. KSC offers several different tours, all of which are fantastic. The Kennedy Space Center Tour, included with admission, takes you to the International Space Station Center, Apollo/Saturn V, and the Center LC 39 Observation Gantry. You will see amazing exhibits, touch real moon rock, see replicas of space rockets, learn the importance of NASA's programs, and possibly see the mechanics at work. If you do not mind paying extra, the KSC also offers an Up Close tour that will take you incredibly close to the Launching Pads. If you are interested in NASA, you will want to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex website to view all of the extra options and tours that the center has to offer....read more about Florida Attractions


Featured Attractions

Attractions: South Florida | North Florida | Central Florida | St. Augustine

Babcock Wilderness Adventures If you wish to experience the thrill of meeting panthers, bison, birds, and dozens of wild alligators face to face, then this tour is a must

Cedar Bay Marina Boat storage, rentals, ships store, fuel and supplies - Now offering online boat rental reservations!

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens Amid the quiet charm of Naples, get ready to hear roaring lions, singing siamangs, and laughing hyenas in southwest Florida's only nationally accredited zoo. Just a mile from world-class beaches, get wildly close to big cats, have fun chatting with keepers, and cruise on a guided boat tour past islands of monkeys.

Between the exciting wildlife shows, relax in the Florida sunshine or picnic in the shade of giant trees in this historic garden. Toured by a quarter million guests of all generations each year, Naples Zoo was voted "Best Place for Kids" by regional publications. Come join the fun!

Everglades Adventures Take either a canoe or kayak tour by day and camp by night. Multiple day packages available

Fishing Resource center for fishing in Southwest Florida. View information on fish species, food quality, tide charts, charters and much more.

Golf For 12 months of the year, the golfing enthusiast will find the golf courses in Southwest Florida open and challenging.

Golf at Sawgrass Marriott - 5 Championship Courses - Jacksonville - St. Augustine Florida
    THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Ranked as #5 among Golf Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play," this TPC Sawgrass Golf Course is the home of THE PLAYERS Championship in March, which hosts an elite international field of past champions including Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh. Treacherous and sand waste areas, watery oppositions on every hole, and Scottish link style bunkers are signatures of this famed par-72 course.
    Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. The newest challenge at Sawgrass, fashioned in the grand tradition of the Tournament Players Club as a tough complement to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Water comes into play on 6,838 yards along 18 holes, while fairways filled with hills and valleys create additional challenges.
    Sawgrass Country Club. Ranked among the top 25 best resort courses by Golf Digest. Marriott golfers encounter water on 24 of the 27 holes throughout the medley of challenging nines stretched over 10,340 yards. The 7,072-yard, par-72 East/West rotation has earned the time-honored distinction as "the original Sawgrass."
    Ponte Vedra Country Club. Teeming with natural wildlife, Ponte Vedra is a short, tight course featuring water on every hole and requiring straight tee shots by great iron players. The 13th hole — a 378-yard, par-4 straightaway — necessitates the fiercest water negotiation. Roughs punctuate the right fairway of this Jacksonville golf course, and a lake ribbons along the left from the tee to skirt the front of a shallow, two-tiered green with a bunkered elevation.
    Marsh Landing Country Club. Another Ed Seay design, this Sawgrass golf course is often likened to a 6,841-yard nature preserve. Imaginative routing of the nines has created two visually contrasting personalities — the front nine, which weaves through pockets of sequestered Intracoastal marshes and is dotted will tall timbers — and the back nine carved from even thicker lagoons threaded with tidal marshes.

Everglades Excursions Taking the "Safari Wagon" to the Everglades Jungle Cruise

Marco Island Concierge - your one-stop reservation and booking Center for activities and entertainment during your stay on "The Paradise Coast", which is defined as that area which runs from Naples to Marco Island to Everglades City, on Florida's Southwest Coast. With more than 20 years of specialized, seamless, multi-faceted customer service, "Your Island Concierge" is in the best position to guarantee that you spend time having fun and not looking for it. Whether you select from our many pre-packaged excursions or prefer one tailored to your needs and interests, we can deliver! After all, we have the tools, the expertise, the resources, the know-how…and, most of all, the dedication to customer service. Fishing Charters, Golf, Dinner Cruises, Dolphin Encounters, Everglades Tours, Rental Boats, Restaurants, Sailing, Shelling, Snorkeling, Diving, Sunset Cruises, Wave Runners, Yacht Charters, Weddings...and more!

Hiking
Florida has an excellent trail system that runs the whole length of the state. South Florida boasts and area called Big Cypress that has been made famous by local photographer Clyde Butcher. The South Florida Everglades offer a complex system of lakes and marshes that offer all kinds of different experiences. Hike alongside lakes with beautiful palmetto and pine trees. You can even take an excursion on an airboat that skims along the water powered by an engine with an airplane propeller.

You can head north via trails that head on the east and west coasts of the state. The west coast features warm, lush forests and sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Along the east coast you will find huge beaches and cooler climates that are fed by the Atlantic Ocean. You will be able to see the environment change drastically as you hit the middle of the state. Pine trees start to mingle with oaks and maples. There is also the start of some elevation changes as you move inland....read more about Hiking in Florida

Historic Florida Lighthouses:

    ALLIGATOR REEF LIGHT (1873)
    Location: FOUR MILES EAST OF INDIAN KEY
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    AMELIA ISLAND LIGHT (1820)
    Location: ENTRANCE TO ST MARY'S RIVER
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION/COAST GUARD HOUSING

    AMERICAN SHOAL LIGHT (1880)
    Location: FLORIDA KEYS
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    ANCLOTE KEY LIGHT (1887)
    Location: ANCLOTE KEY AT ANCLOTE RIVER MOUTH
    Current Use: STATE PARK/WILDLIFE REFUGE

    CAPE CANAVERAL LIGHT (1868)
    Location: CAPE CANAVERAL, 1 MILE FROM SHORE
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    CAPE FLORIDA LIGHT (1846)
    Location: SOUTHERNMOST POINT ON KEY BISCAYNE
    Current Use: STATE RECREATION AREA/MUSEUM IN KEEPERS

    CAPE SAN BLAS LIGHT (1885)
    Location: CAPE SAN BLAS

    CAPE ST. GEORGE LIGHT (1852)
    Location: LITTLE ST GEO ISLAND/GULF OF MEXICO
    Current Use: UNDER STABILIZATION

    CARYSFORT REEF LIGHT (1852)
    Location: CARYSFORT REEF/FLORIDA KEYS
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION IN MARINE SANCTUARY

    CEDAR KEYS (SEAHORSE KEY) LIGHT (1854)
    Location: SEA HORSE KEY/GULF OF MEXICO
    Current Use: MARINE LABORATORY IN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

    CROOKED RIVER (CARRABELLE) LIGHT (1895)
    Location: CROOKED RIVER

    DRY TORTUGAS (LOGGERHEAD KEY) LIGHT (1858)
    Location: LOGGERHEAD KEY/DRY TORTUGAS ISLANDS
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION IN NATIONAL PARK

    EGMONT KEY LIGHT (1858)
    Location: TAMPA BAY ACROSS FROM FORT DESOTO
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION IN NATIONAL WILDLIFE PRESERVE

    FOWEY ROCKS LIGHT (1878)
    Location: OFF KEY BISCAYNE
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    GASPARILLA ISLAND (BOCA GRANDE) LIGHTS (1890)
    Location: GASPARILLA ISLAND/GULF OF MEXICO
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATIONS/OLDER TOWER IS A MUSEUM IN STATE PARK

    HILLSBORO INLET LIGHT (1907)
    Location: NORTH SIDE HILLSBORO INLET
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION/COAST GUARD HOUSING & GUESTHOUSE

    JUPITER INLET LIGHT (1860)
    Location: LOXAHATCHEE & INDIAN RIVER JUNCTION
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION/MUSEUM IN OIL HOUSE

    KEY WEST LIGHT (1846)
    Location: WHITEHEADS POINT
    Current Use: MUSEUM

    PENSACOLA LIGHT (1859)
    Location: ENTRANCE TO PENSACOLA BAY
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION ON NAVAL AIR STATION

    PONCE DE LEON (MOSQUITO) INLET LIGHT (1887)
    Location: SOUTH OF DAYTONA BEACH
    Current Use: MUSEUM/ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    SAND KEY LIGHT (1853)
    Location: 7 MILES SW OF KEY WEST/FLORIDA KEYS
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    SANIBEL ISLAND LIGHT (1884)
    Location: POINT YBEL, SANIBEL ISLAND
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION/KEEPERS SERVE AS HOUSING

    SOMBRERO KEY LIGHT (1858)
    Location: NEAR MARATHON KEY IN FLORIDA KEYS
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION

    ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHT (1874)
    Location: ANASTASIA ISLAND
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION/MUSEUM

    ST. JOHNS RIVER (MAYPORT) LIGHT (1859)
    Location: ENTRANCE ST. JOHNS RIVER

    ST. MARKS (RANGE REAR) LIGHT (1842)
    Location: APPALACHE BAY/ST. MARKS RIVER
    Current Use: ACTIVE AID TO NAVIGATION IN NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

    TORTUGAS HARBOR (FORT JEFFERSON) LIGHT (1876)
    Location: GARDEN KEY/DRY TORTUGAS ISLANDS
    Current Use: NATIONAL PARK

Palm Coast
For the golf enthusiast, Palm Coast is sure to satisfy. Palm Coast is the golfing destination of the southeast, and home to eight championship golf courses. Seventeen championship courses and LPGA headquarters are all within easy driving distance.

If you don't care for golf, or want a change of pace, there is an abundance of available recreational activities in Palm Coast. Are you a tennis enthusiast? Palm Coast gives you the option of playing on a selection of USTA approved hard courts, as well as clay and grass courts.

Boating and Fishing!

One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty and abundance of Florida fish and wildlife that are found in Palm Coast is to explore by boat. Several fresh and saltwater canals are available for exploration in Palm Coast. If you prefer fishing to pleasure cruising, fishing in the Palm Coast surf can yield Whiting, Pompano, Bluefish, Redfish and Flounder. Venture out on the deep seas of the Atlantic for a chance at Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Dolphin, King Mackerel, Wahoo, Tuna, Grouper, Red Snapper, Jack Crevalle and Amberjack!..read more about Palm Coast activities.

Shelling Tips for shelling: from what to bring to shell, to how to clean them

State & National Parks & Sanctuaries Links to Southwest Florida State and National Parks

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
Since the Rehabilitation Centre opened in 1991, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo has treated 160 manatees with the goal of rehabilitating and releasing each one back into its native waters. At present (March 2006), the zoo has a patient load of 11 manatees including two young orphans that are being hand reared. On average, it costs approximately $300 to feed one adult manatee for one day.

Serving more than 930,000 visitors in the fiscal year ended September 30, 2005, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo (named the #1 family-friendly zoo in America by Child magazine) is a non-profit cultural organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research....read more