State Parks

Best State Parks to Visit in West Central Florida

Florida has such a diverse landscape and our state parks reflect that! From rivers and springs, to beaches and lighthouses, you’ll find a variety of fun state parks in West Central Florida. Many of these parks are located around the Tampa Bay area. If you’re looking for some time in nature and fun outdoor adventures, try out some of these West Central Florida State Parks.

Silver Springs State Park

Silver Springs State Park is one of Florida’s oldest tourist attractions. The park’s world famous Glass Bottom Boats have been delighting guests in central Florida since the 1870s. Silver Springs became a state park in 2013. Prior to that it was a privately owned “nature theme park” that featured zoo-type animal exhibits, entertainment and rides. …

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Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park

Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park is one of North Florida’s many pristine natural springs. The crystal clear, 72-degree fresh water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and paddling. And it’s the newest Florida State Park!

Little Manatee River State Park

Little Manatee River State Park is a hidden gem featuring paddling, wildlife viewing, hiking and camping. The beautiful Little Manatee River is the star of this state park. Little Manatee River State Park is located in Hillsborough County south of Tampa and east of Bradenton. It’s pretty easy to access from I-75. There are two …

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Terra Ceia Preserve State Park

Experience a Real Florida day hike through a variety of undeveloped ecosystems, with plenty of wildlife viewing and solitude at Terra Ceia. Less than an hour from Tampa, the surprisingly wild Terra Ceia Preserve State Park features 9 miles of trails through mangrove swamps, creeks, estuaries, wetlands, uplands and more. This 2,000 acre park is …

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San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park

Enjoy the peace and quiet of one of Florida’s largest mature hardwood forests on the trails of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park. The 7,360-acre preserve provides plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding. San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park is divided into two sections. The southern entrance to the park (located four miles …

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Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is a unique Florida state park just outside of Gainesville. The park encompasses over 21,000 acres of Florida wetlands and prairie, miles of hiking trails and a campground. Wildlife Viewing and Hiking One of the most exciting things about Paynes Prairie is the wildlife. Visitors can experience wild-roaming bison and …

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How to See Manatees in Florida

Manatees are one of Florida’s most beloved animals, and many people visit Florida hoping to see manatees during their trip. These gentle giants spend most of their lives grazing and floating around Florida’s springs and rivers. If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of our State Marine Mammal, we’ve rounded up our favorite ways to …

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Weeki Wachee Springs State Park & Kayaking

One of the most iconic symbols of Old Florida tourism, Weeki Wachee Springs has been delighting guests with live mermaid shows, abundant wildlife and pristine crystal clear spring water since 1947.