Florida Guide > State Parks
NAPLES......STATE PARKS ON A TANKFULL
If you are staying in Naples then you will want to investigate the new State Parks initiative of One Tankfull Adventures.
First on the list for me would be Stump Pass Beach State Park Here you will be in awe of the view of the Gulf of Mexico and its mile of just gorgeous beach. Good shelling (especially in the winter) great fishing and of course wonderful swimming and sunbathing. The mile long walk down the beach is truly memorable During the winter you can join a ranger lead walk which will inform you of the flora and fauna of this jewel of a beach.
Fancy a segway tour? if you do then head off for Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Here there is a concession holder who will rent you the necessary equipment or if you prefer a bike or tandem. There is a good walking trail of course or you can walk through a tunnel to the ocean and enjoy a relaxing hour or two.
Want to bury yourself in the " real" Florida? Then consider The Barnacle Historic State Park. This was once the home and boathouse of one Ralph Monroe and was built in 1891. This home has been beautifully preserved and lots of events are held here. Check with the park to see what is happening during your vacation. Weekly yoga classes are held in the early evening
If you are interested in the history of the Native American you will not want to miss Mound Key Archaeological State Park. The mounds (or middens) let up the secrets of the last 2000 years. Once the home of the Calusa (otherwise known as the fierce people) the mounds reach an awesome 30 feet above sea level.
Gasparilla Island State Park is south of Boca Grande and here you can divide your time between lazing on the beach and walking round the museum where you take a self guided tour. The highlight of this park, however, is the lighthouse whose opening hours vary with the season.
A lot of State Parks have very few facilities so it is wise to take everything you need with you. This should include suncream, insect repellant, a hat, snacks and lots to drink. Of course, do not forget your swim suit and a towel to take advantage of any bathing opportunites.
Most parks open from 8am to sundown and cost a dollar or so to entrance, some are even free!
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