While most of the country is gearing up for autumn leaves and crisp air, fall in Florida means something altogether different. As the humidity eases, we all look forward to opening windows and getting outside more often. Here are some fun things to do around Florida this fall:
1. Hit the Hiking Trail
When fall hits Florida, it’s finally pleasant enough to enjoy Florida’s long network of trails and hikes. Check out a few legs of the 1,300-mile Florida National Scenic Trail and see your state from a whole new perspective. There are also many bike rides worth trying, like the Withlacoochee State Trail or cycle with the alligators around Shark Valley!
2. Camp in a Dark Sky Park
Did you know that Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is Florida’s only official Dark Sky Park? That means it has extremely low light pollution. Grab a spot for your RV or tent and stay overnight on a moonless night to see a tapestry of planets and stars that’s simply impossible to see in a brightly lit city. Be nice and people will even share their telescopes!
3. Meet a Wild Manatee
It’s not just kids who love seeing manatees in the wild – everyone feels good around these lovely, gentle creatures. And fall is the perfect time to see them! Head to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa to see manatees frolic in freshwater swimming holes that stay a comfy 72 degrees all the time.
4. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival returns to Walt Disney World Resort this fall with 75 days of entertainment, events, and, of course, a cornucopia of wonderful food and beverages. The festival’s 23rd year runs from Aug. 30 to Nov. 12. This year’s festival will continue its tradition of fine dining events, appearances by favorite Disney culinarians and top celebrity chefs, and a slate of concerts from favorite bands of the last few decades.
5. You’re the Captain Now
Never driven a boat before? There’s no time like the present! Head down to Robbie’s on Islamorada in the Florida Keys and rent a boat for the day. Bring lunch, a snorkel and fins, and check out the Alligator Reef Lighthouse or dock your boat at Lignumvitae Key and get a tour of what was once William J. Matheson’s private island.
6. Visit the Kennedy Space Center
Launch schedules at Cape Canaveral can move around a bit, but right now there’s one scheduled for October. If you’ve never seen a launch, it’s quite a spectacle! Even if you go on a weekend without a launch, there’s still so much to see and learn about at the Kennedy Space Center, from history to technology. And there are plenty of chances to meet an astronaut.
7. Go Horseback Riding
There’s horseback riding, and then there’s horseback riding on the beach! Kelly Seahorse Ranch on Amelia Island offers hooves-in-the-sand fun for the whole family, as does Beach Tours on Horseback in Fort Pierce on the east coast and Two-Bit Stables on Cape San Blas in the northwest. Looking for inland ranch and trail riding? Check out this website for locations.
8. Check Out Miami & Miami Beach
Haven’t been to the Magic City and its many beaches in a while? It changes by the day! Plus, there are awesome incentives throughout the fall. Miami Spice runs through the end of September, offering discounted prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at hundreds of leading restaurants. For shopping, check out Brickell City Centre, the amazing new Miami Design District and the classic walking esplanade Lincoln Road.