Florida Guide > Other Activities
If you think that Florida has nothing more to offer than theme parks and Mickey Mouse, you could not be more wrong! Florida offers a return to nature in many ways, none more so than using the lakes, rivers and coastline for a wide variety of boating and cruising.
At sunset take an evening sail following the sun as its light is finally extinguished in the blood red sea. Anywhere, from Florida’s northwest, to the state’s southernmost tip at Key West. The options are endless. Experience a pontoon boat in St. Petersburg for a leisurely circle around a lagoon at sunset. Sail in a glass-bottomed boat in Destin and see the blue-green waters shaded red by the disappearing sun. Cruise on a single-mast catamaran in Key West for a bracing sail through tropical waters.
Sails can last anywhere from one to five hours, and are widely available, and are perhaps the best nautical experience Florida can offer, plus they have the benefit of being back in time for dinner.
Another well-known attraction in Florida is an airboat ride. For anyone who does not know, an airboat is very large aluminium boat with passenger seats and a large (and noisy) engine with a propeller attached. Although the Everglades are usually associated with airboat rides, it is possible to set off on a nature- rich airboat tour on central Florida’s lakes and wetlands, the waterways of Big Cypress National Preserve, and around Cocoa Beach. If excitement is what you are seeking, then try an airboat tour of Central Florida’s Lake Jessup, where you’re challenged to "Survive the Sea of Alligators" on a lake which purports to have one of the largest populations of alligator in the world.
As a less stressful alternative, Florida offers trips on the coastal waters. Take dinner and enjoy the romance of twinkling lights as you pass the towns on your route. If nothing else, you can sightsee and eat at the same time. From romantic paddle wheelers to huge opulent yachts to river catamarans, there are many opportunities to dine on the water in Florida.
One well-known sail is the Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise, which has been past the sights and massive houses along the waterways of Fort Lauderdale for over 60 years. This three-tiered riverboat takes visitors on a tour of the surrounding area before docking at an island for an all-you-can-eat buffet of barbeque and shrimp. The Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, Miami and the St. Johns River are all excellent locations to experience this voyage
Another alternative is to hire a kayak. The advantage of kayaks is that they are quiet and environmentally friendly and they are about as close and you can get to being in the water without actually getting wet. The many canoe and kayak trails in the Ocala National Forest range from fast moving trails to crystal clear, still waters.
Whenever you think of Florida, don’t forget the enjoyment Florida’s waterways are able to provide away from the hustle and bustle of the parks. Happy Sailing!
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Page added on: 22 September 2005
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