Travel Spotlight Page

The Beaches of Pensacola

Just ten minutes from downtown Pensacola...

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The Beaches of Pensacola

Just ten minutes from downtown Pensacola, the turquoise blue waves, silky white sand and balmy breezes of Pensacola Beach make a big impression. Cross the Pensacola Bay Bridge to Santa Rosa Island and discover serene and secluded beaches where sandpipers and hermit crabs are your only companions or hit the popular beaches near the lively boardwalk home to shops, cafes and waterfront bars. Either way, coastal activities include swimming, snorkeling, parasailing, boat cruises and more. At the tip of the island, visitors will discover Fort Pickens, a national park, home to an 18-century fort perched on Pensacola Bay.

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Relaxing on Pensacola Beach
Relaxing on Pensacola Beach

Clearwater Beach

Take one look at the sugar sand stretching before you into the blue-green Gulf of Mexico waters...

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Clearwater Beach

Take one look at the sugar sand stretching before you into the blue-green Gulf of Mexico waters, and it’s easy to understand why Clearwater Beach is TripAdvisor’s No. 1 Beach in the USA. The shore is wide, the surf is calm, and the vibe is fun-loving. When you’re not playing in the sand, you can stroll alongside it on the Beach Walk, or gaze out at it from a beachfront restaurant or rooftop bar.

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Aerial View of Pier 60, Clearwater Beach

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Whether you enjoy peaceful moments, spirited volleyball matches or splashing in the surf...

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The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

Whether you enjoy peaceful moments, spirited volleyball matches or splashing in the surf, you’ll find a perfect place along the shores of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Search for seashells, see marine life while snorkeling, paddle a kayak or cast a fishing line to catch dinner. Bask in the beauty of Boca Grande or Captiva Island and the serenity of Lovers Key or Cayo Costa state parks. For a lively scene, visit the Fort Myers Beach Pier.

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Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Camping at the Beach

Picture waking up to views of the water with...

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Camping at the Beach

St. Pete/Clearwater

Picture waking up to views of the water with your toes in the sand. From there, you could spend the day kayaking among mangroves, swimming at the beach, fishing or bird watching. If this sounds like your dream family getaway, make a reservation at Fort De Soto Park Campground in Tierra Verde. This lush natural escape’s five islands are also home to bike paths, hiking trails and a historic fort.

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Camping at Fort De Soto Park Campground

Giraffe Ranch

Feed playful lemurs and gentle giraffes by hand...

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Giraffe Ranch

Dade City, Pasco County

Feed playful lemurs and gentle giraffes by hand at Dade City’s family-owned farm Giraffe Ranch, a haven for endangered species from around the world. Ride on a Segway, sit atop a camel or climb into a four-wheel drive canopied safari truck and see zebras, ostriches, llamas, warthogs, sandhill cranes, tiny Irish Dexter cattle and more. The working ranch is open by reservation only, so book your visit in advance.

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Feeding lemurs at Giraffe Ranch, Dade City

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

With 20 acres of bucket-tipping, zooming and plunging, Shipwreck Island Waterpark...

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Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Panama City Beach

With 20 acres of bucket-tipping, zooming and plunging, Shipwreck Island Waterpark is THE place to take the family for water-soaked fun. From a relaxing lazy river and the Tadpole Hole toddler area to towering freefall slides and The Raging Rapids, the waterpark accommodates all adrenaline levels. Fuel up on lunch, ice cream and frozen drinks before tackling more rides. As the park says, “WATER you waiting for?”

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Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Panama City Beach

Naples Botanical Garden

A world-class paradise, the Naples Botanical Garden...

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Naples Botanical Garden

A world-class paradise, the Naples Botanical Garden combines cultivated tropical gardens with beautifully restored natural habitats. This 170-acre garden connects people and plants through displays, education, conservation and science. Visitors can explore seven distinct natural habitats and ecosystems, and wander among more than 1,000 species. Be wowed by the spectacular floral designs and exhibits at the Naples Flower Show, and learn about all things orchid at the annual Orchid Fest.

Learn more about Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, Florida
Naples Botanical Garden

Gateway to the Everglades

The rugged, wild scenery of the Florida Everglades awaits visitors...

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Gateway to the Everglades

Greater Fort Lauderdale

The rugged, wild scenery of the Florida Everglades awaits visitors to Greater Fort Lauderdale. See the “River of Grass” on an airboat ride for a thrilling introduction to this famed landscape. Feel as if you’re soaring over the water while you keep an eye out for native birds and the iconic alligator. To explore even deeper, hike trails in area parks, take a swamp buggy ride or gain cultural insight at Seminole Indian reservations.

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Everglades airboat ride, Greater Fort Lauderdale
Photo Credit: Michael Stavaridis

Big Lagoon State Park

Sprawling pines, ancient oaks, and white sand beaches...

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Big Lagoon State Park

Pensacola

Sprawling pines, ancient oaks, and white sand beaches surround an expansive saltwater lagoon at this serene coastal dune park. It’s the ideal retreat to experience Old Florida's untouched scenic beauty. Wind through sun-bleached boardwalks, hike peaceful nature trails and bird & wildlife watch. Rent kayaks or canoes on site and traverse saltwater tidal marshes. Climb the three-story observation tower for a panoramic view of the Big Lagoon and the Intercoastal Waterway.

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Big Lagoon State Park, Pensacola
Photo Credit: Michael Duncan

Kayaking

With a variety of protected and open waters...

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Kayaking

Panama City Beach

With a variety of protected and open waters such as the Grand Lagoon, St. Andrews Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and various lakes and rivers, the Panama City Beach area is ideal for kayaking. Local waters are filled with rays, fish, sea turtles and other marine life. For a unique adventure, take a guided kayak tour of the cold spring ecosystems of Holmes Creek or Econfina Creek and marvel at the crystal-clear waters with astonishing underwater visibility.

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Kayaking, Panama City Beach

Scalloping

A favorite activity continues its comeback...

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Scalloping

Florida's Sports Coast

A favorite activity continues its comeback in Florida's Sports Coast. Absent since 1994, the state approved a return of bay scallop season every July. Purchase a saltwater fishing license, book a boat trip, and enjoy snorkeling in the warm waters to harvest the bivalves. The Anclote River is a popular spot to find them. The effort to shuck the shells is well worth it when you taste the sweet and tender scallops.

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Harvesting bay scallops, Florida's Sports Coast

Paddle Board Yoga

After striking yoga poses on the sandy shores of Sanibel Island...

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Paddle Board Yoga

Sanibel Island

After striking yoga poses on the sandy shores of Sanibel Island, elevate the experience by joining a group class that combines graceful yoga moves with a stand-up paddle board adventure. Cruise along the Sanibel Causeway, stopping to pose and balance while the board floats in shallow and calm waters. Listen to nature’s sounds, and breathe in the smell of fresh air and salt water. What better way to relax on holiday?

Learn more about The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, Florida
Stand-up paddle board yoga, Sanibel Causeway