Visit Florida- 5 Places to Check Out Down South

In a recent trip down to central Florida to visit my grandparents in Zephyrhills, I got to visit and re-visit several cool places! I took tons of pictures and now would love to share them with you along with the names of a few places that I think are worth visiting!

#1- Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park is by far one of my favorite beaches! Located in Dunedin, Florida, on a barrier island, you have to drive across a causeway to access the state park.

Located on the island is a visitor center, hiking trails, and miles of beach. I enjoyed walking the beach the most.

Honeymoon beach is a great shelling beach! There are tons of shells that you can pick through. I loved beach combing as I walked down the beach.

You will want to make sure you get to the island early on really nice days, as the beach parking lot quickly fills up when it nears around noon time!

The park is also great for wildlife spotting. Gopher tortoises and armadillos are frequently sighted along the road and in the small park. The osprey trail is great for birding and you will inevitably spot lots of osprey!

#2- Lettuce Lake Park

Lettuce Lake Park was another thrilling adventure! Located near Tampa, Florida, this park has a visitor center, hiking trails, and a long boardwalk.

With the Hillsborough river running through the park, wildlife abounds everywhere. Alligators, snakes, and lots of birds are residents of the park.

I just walked the boardwalk and still managed to see lots of different animals and tons of birds, many of which are pictured in my earlier blog post, Birding on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

#3- Hiking Trails in Zephyrhills

A lesser known spot that I visited was a small network of hiking trails located in Zephyrhills, Florida. Right off Chancey Road, you can easily hike for hours on these trails, as I did un-intentionally.This beautiful trail system takes you right into the heart of a Floridian forest, with palmettos and Spanish moss everywhere you look!

 Be a wise trail hiker and find a map before venturing onto this trail. I did not have a map and ended up hiking for an hour longer than I had planned after getting lost. I finally got a map from a very nice couple I met at the opposite end of the trail system.

The good thing about the long hike was it tired Rontu out. He did enjoy the cool puddles he got to lie in throughout the trek back to our vehicle.

#4- Fred Howard Park

Another beautiful beach I visited was in Fred Howard Park located near Tarpon Springs, Florida. As with Honeymoon beach, you have to drive across a causeway to access the beach.

Although a smaller beach than Honeymoon, Fred Howard beach is great if you want to enjoy the warm, Florida sun or take a refreshing swim in the ocean.

The causeway is a birder’s heaven, and I thoroughly enjoyed photographing all the bird’s that congregated there.

Fishing and renting paddleboats or kayaks are also popular at this beach.

#5- Tarpon Springs

The last place I went to was right in the heart of Tarpon Springs, Florida, the sponge docks. There were no  sponges drying out on the docks though because it was not warm enough yet to begin harvesting the sponges. There were still plenty of shops to go through and I did buy a sponge!

I had a very enjoyable time in Florida and if you have never been to any of these places I would definitely recommend you visit at least one of them!

Have a great weekend!

by Alexa

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