You never need an excuse to explore the natural splendor of the parks, trails, lakes, and forests that surround you here in Florida – but Earth Day gives us one anyway.
As we celebrate our environment on April 22nd, let’s get out and embrace the stunning escapes that make Florida, well, Florida! Read on for a few of our favorite ways to do just that.
See living history…
Here in Florida, history isn’t just found in books and museums – it’s living and breathing in the nature that surrounds us, too.
In Ormond Beach’s Bulow Creek State Park, for example, you can find a great example of history that lives on: the Fairchild Oak. One of the largest live oaks in the South, this is a tree with a story, having stood tall in the area for more than 400 years – that’s longer than Florida’s been a state, or than America’s even been a country! By visiting the park (for free, we might add!), you get to get up close to a landmark that’s been through it all. Even independent of its ties to history, of course, the Fairchild Oak is a natural marvel, a towering tree whose might can be felt from its trunk to expansive branches and shady, mysterious canopy.
… or vestiges of another time
While the Fairchild Oak is emblematic of an ongoing story – still growing and growing like it has for centuries – Florida is also home to old vestiges of yesteryear, those spots that pay tribute to a landscape we can no longer see for ourselves… save for in a few select places.
Northeast Florida’s Big Talbot Island State Park is one such place. The island’s famous “Boneyard Beach” tells a story of natural change, of fallen trees-turned-driftwood relics caused by the erosive Atlantic Ocean. The elements didn’t just bring down the trees but turned them white, too, creating an eerie yet one-of-a-kind landscape right in the middle of paradise. It’s a testament to the force of nature – and proof that, sometimes, the most beautiful scenes are completely accidental.
Get some clarity
It’s no secret that spending time in nature can give you some much-needed clarity, and really put things in perspective. Why not take “clarity” to a literal level, and visit some of Florida’s clearest waters?
If you’re seeking to spend some time by the ocean, the Gulf Coast is home to spots beloved for their sparkling sand and pristine water (Destin is one great example). But you don’t need to travel far to experience beautiful, clear water, especially if you’re in Central Florida – spots such as Blue Spring State Park let you wade in the water, see your toes and immerse yourself in the pure, clear environment. Clear your schedule and your mind with an Earth Day visit here.
Discover dolphins (and more)
Animals, of course, are a huge part of Earth Day – they characterize the landscapes we love and make traveling extra exciting, since you never quite know who you’ll run into. One great place to visit if you’re in search of spectacular wildlife has to be the Indian River, where you can paddle or take a guided cruise to learn about (and spot) local species in action. Here you’ll find majestic shorebirds, the occasional manatee, and even dolphins, dancing and skipping through the water as they go. There’s no better way to connect with nature than to get to know the fellow creatures who call it “home,” after all.
Embrace Earth Day close to home
There are, of course, many ways to celebrate Earth Day without even leaving home! One great way is to try composting, an activity that lets you enjoy the outdoors and do some good for them, too, by turning your organic food scraps into nutrient-rich soil, perfect for planting. At a time of year when many states are still dealing with snow and brittle cold, we love the opportunity to indulge in Florida’s warm, sunny weather with this simple practice – one you’ll want to continue all year, once you get the hang of it.
When it comes to natural wonder, these Florida adventures are just the beginning – this Earth Day and beyond, we hope you rediscover your surroundings and find something new to enjoy each and every day.