Top 13 State Parks in Florida [Update 2024]

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The United States is, very simply, a utopia on earth. Besides this, when I think of visiting the US, the first thing I want is to explore the greenery and beautiful state parks in “Florida.”

You heard me right! Florida’s state parks provide a wide variety of ways for visitors to experience the state’s natural splendor.

So, you can explore these great state parks in Florida, whether you’re looking to spend a few days there, vacation in the Sunshine State, or arrange a road trip. 

1. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

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Bill Baggs Cape Florida is one of the best state parks in Florida

Baggs, Bill The 1.25 mile-long sandy beach at Point Florida State Park is frequently ranked among the top 10 beaches in the United States. The beautiful beachfront attracts visitors who swim, sunbathe, and picnic.

Beach umbrellas and chairs may be hired. The historic lighthouse, established in 1825 and the oldest existing structure in Miami-Dade County, is another popular feature.

2. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

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To conserve coral reefs and marine life, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the first underwater state park in Florida in the United States.

Cannon Beach is a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers because of the nearby early Spanish shipwreck. Cruises depart four times a day, allowing snorkelers to explore various reef areas.

3. Lovers Key State Park

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Lovers Key State Park

On the Gulf of Mexico, Lovers Key State Park is separated into four barrier islands. Visitors can see ospreys, golden eagles, marsh bunnies, roseate spoonbills, snakes in the freshwater ponds, wildlife sanctuaries.

The 2.5 mile-long beach is ideal for gathering shellfish, sunbathing, and swimming; lunch shelters, grills, and campgrounds throughout the park. Hikers and bikers may enjoy five miles of paths on Black Island.

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4. Anastasia State Park

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Anastasia State Park in Florida is located across Respond to different Bay on a peninsula of Anastasia Island, about five miles from St. Augustine. Visitors can hire pontoon boats, kayaks, cruisers, and canoes to enjoy the park’s paths, as well as paddleboards, kayaks, rowboats, and canoes to discover the tidal marsh.

Visitors may observe dolphins, killer whales, and sea turtles off the coast. At the same time, bird watchers can witness laughing gulls, smallest terns, black jammers, bald eagles, and many different varieties of heron on the island.

5. Myakka River State Park

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Myakka River State Parks contains the first public aerial walkway state park in Florida, which spans 100 feet and climbs 25 feet above the ground. It offers spectacular views of the forest and marshes.

Visitors may also walk along boardwalks that span Upper Myakka Lake, where they can see alligators, sandhill cranes, and other wetland wildlife. Daily lake trips on the world’s biggest airboats are provided, as well as tram rides around the park.

6. Florida Caverns State Park

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The only state park in Florida that offers dry cavern tours is Florida Caverns, State Park. Visitors may observe limestone stalactites, stelae, and other geological phenomena during the 45-minute excursions. The trips are described as somewhat difficult.

Six miles of trails welcome bikers, hikers, and horseback riders; views of wetlands, sinkholes, and rivers, as well as animals such as herons, egrets, beaver, and alligators, may be observed from the trails. The boat ramp is a wonderful spot for fishing, with bass, catfish, and sunfish being the most common species caught.

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7. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

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On such a barrier island in Palm Beach, Florida, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is located. Its two-mile coastline is surrounded by coastal and mangrove woods, home to various rare and endangered plant species.

Visitors to the park may swim, snorkel, scuba dive, and fish, and picnic tables can be found throughout the area. The park offers single and double ocean canoes, ideal for seeing manatees in the nearby waterways or great blue herons in the marshlands.

8. Hillsborough River State Park

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Hillsborough River State Park in Florida, established in 1938, is one of Florida’s oldest. Fishing, paddling, and kayaking are popular activities along the Hillsborough River, offering kayak and canoe rentals. Bass, bream, and catfish are the most common species caught by anglers.

Hikers and bikers only have access to seven miles of nature paths. The park’s outdoor pool is a huge draw on hot summer days, and the 112-site campsite with full hookups is a famous overnight stop.

9. Big Talbot Island State Park

Big Talbot Island State Park is the best preserve popular with bird watchers, nature enthusiasts, and videographers. It is situated on a sea island in northeastern Florida. Visitors can witness bottlenose dolphins and right sharks off the coast, and white-tailed deer, wildcats, opossums, and foxes can be seen on land.

Ospreys sit in the oak trees along the coast, while Spoonbill Pond is home to roseate spoonbills, ivory egrets, and white seagulls.

10. Big Shoals State Park

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On the greatest water waves in Florida, Big Shoals State Park in Florida is the ideal location for a whitewater experience. Adventurers in kayaks and canoes may rush down the Suwannee River.

This awe-inspiring park features thirty-three miles of woodland trails on diverse terrain, ideal for hiking, biking, and bike riding for those who like to stay on land.

11. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

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A magnificent Castillo rests on the shoreline of the country’s oldest city, which has been battled over for ages.

As you wander around the Castillo, you’ll come across various chambers filled with the stories of those who came before us. Each relates the story of different proprietors at different eras and wars that occurred on the grounds.

12. Gulf Islands National Seashore

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The barrier islands and Louisiana make up the Gulf Islands National Park in Florida State. Pensacola Gulf, Fort Barrancas, Fort Tompkins, Perdido Key, sections of Santa Barbara Island, and the Navy Live Oaks Area are all part of the Florida unit.

The incredibly immaculate white sand beaches are the main draw here. On these islands, you can enjoy some of Florida’s greatest beach-side outdoor activities.

13. Biscayne National Park

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Biscayne National Park is Florida’s most beautiful shoreline and an undersea wonder. In reality, Biscayne is submerged to a depth of 95 percent. As a result, snorkeling or scuba diving are the best ways to visit the park.

The water is so pure in certain spots that a sailboat or kayak may view some incredible sights. Stiltsville, a community of old houses on stalks battered by tropical storms, is one of the main attractions.

Florida boasts more than 160 state parks, one for each range of experience and attractions to offer visitors of all ages. The above-mentioned state parks, however, are among the greatest in the state, making them ideal for a weekend getaway.

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