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ONE TANKFULL ADVENTURE
If you care about the environment at all then you will love The State Parks new idea to do their bit towards the green cause.
They have called this new initiative " The One Tankfull Adventure" and it is a guide to finding a park within a 100 mile radius.
And you are spoiled for choice; for instance, within a few miles of " The Mouse" is Lake Louisa with its spectacular lakes (especially Louisa itself) lovely beach with free grills and cool walking trails.
A little further away is De Leon Springs. The highlight of your visit will be the eco/history boat tour which takes around an hour. Book this as soon as you arrive so you are not disappointed. In the meantime take an hour or so to wander the walking trail where you may see a bear or some deer. The trail leads you back to a 72 degree spring where you are invited to swim. The old sugar mill hosts a restaurant that serves non stop pancakes which you fry yourself on a griddle set into your table. Various toppings are available to order
In the mood for a bit of history then head for Ybor City; this was once the cigar capital of the world. The heyday lasted from 1886 to 1930 and the museum will take you through this fascinating period. There is a guided tour every day except sunday which I fully recommend that you take.
If like me you love those gentle sea cows known as manatees then plan to visit Blue Springs State Park. This is a sanctuary for these wonderful sea creatures and it is best to visit november to spring when they seek out its warm waters. They are currently finishing a new pier on the charming St John River which will add an extra feature to this charming park.
There are almmost 40 State Parks within 100 miles of the attractions area so there is bound to one that appeals to your family. My guess is that you will want to visit all of them over your next few vacations to the area. A jolly good excuse to visit again again.
Most State Parks are open from 8am til sundown all through the year (always best to check with each individual park before you set off for the day. The entrance fees are rarely more than a dollar or so meaning that your holiday money goes that bit further.
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