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Undiscovered Florida

Florida is a magical place. Oh, not just Disney and Universal and all the other parks. They are wonderful and all kinds of fun, true.

But there's other kinds of magic. Other places to explore, new experiences to awe you.

It's waiting for you. It's called Undiscovered Florida.

You've been to the big Central Florida attractions - now what? Instead of visiting yet another theme park, venture into natural Florida – the real Undiscovered Country.

Where Dinosaurs Roam: One place you can visit is our own 'lost world' – Everglades National Park. The Everglades is located in South Florida, and it's almost primeval. Dinosaurs (in the form of alligators and crocodiles) sun themselves on banks. Giant blue herons and wood storks fly overhead, resembling pterodactyls as they glide through the sky. Tiny ghost orchids are elusive, seeming to live up to their name.

Cool Water, Bright Sky: Splash! Tube down a spring-fed river at Ichetucknee Springs State Park in northern Florida. You can bring your own float or rent one from one of the many roadside vendors. The water is crystal clear and rather cool – it stays around 72 degrees all year long. It's great, though, for the days can be quite hot. And the float is decidedly beautiful.

Atlantis Revisited: How about a park that is almost entirely underwater? John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in the Florida Keys is a watery delight. Snorkeling and diving are both terrific, among the best in Florida. Not into getting wet? Take a look in the Visitor's center at their humongous salt-water aquarium, or perhaps join a glass-bottom boat tour and gasp at the wonders below the waves.

The Core: See Florida from a new perspective - underground! While you may not exactly journey to the earth's center, it can be pretty amazing below ground in Florida Caverns State Park in the Florida Panhandle. Just think at what awaits your camera - stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones, all of which are amazing. Aboveground, take a stroll on one of the many gorgeous trails that meander through the park.

From the Sea to the Sky: Canaveral National Seashore in Central Florida is worlds away from its near neighbor, Kenney Space Center. At Canaveral, expect a beautiful beach, sun-washed and serene. You can also enjoy boating, hiking, swimming and fishing. Bird-watching is also a popular pastime, as is kayaking in the park's back country.

Florida Loving: Do you want to get away from the crowds? For years, Lover's Key State Park in Southwest Florida was only accessible by boat. Not to worry if you are boat-less because now there is a bridge you can cross into this slice of paradise. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the beaches are sandy and the water calm. Shelling is popular, as are canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

These are only a few of the wonderful places that await you in natural Florida. After you've seen the bright lights and big cities, come relax with us in our parks and beaches. Discover a whole new reason to come back and see us again.


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