But there are other attractions in Florida that are less well known and less visited that are more amazing and beautiful than anything Disney offers.
Like the time Rob and I rented kayaks while spending the day at Wekiwa Springs State Park a few years ago. Florida has natural warm springs in many areas of the state due to its porous limestone crust. When you visit, you feel as though you have truly entered paradise, with palms swaying in the breeze and people frolicking near the water. They are great for swimming and some even draw manatees in the winter.
Another special place is the Sebastian Inlet State Park, which we visited recently. This park is placed just at the entry to the Sebastian inlet, a fisherman’s paradise. We were there on a windy day and watched a man catch a large snook as large waves crashed against this pier. Yes, we got very wet.
(note: Photo courtesy of Florida State Parks)
The town of Grant-Valkaria, Florida is located south of Cocoa Beach. Each year the town sponsors a huge Seafood Festival/Craft Fair that draws tens of thousands of people. The Festival is a fundraiser for a school scholarship program that has raised millions of dollars over its 50-year history. Such a great legacy. The entire town gets into the action, staffing food stalls, directing traffic and selling tickets.
Then there are the art fairs, county fairs, rodeos, farmer’s markets, music festivals, antique shows, quilt shows, Major League Spring Training and other events that proliferate all over the state during the winter season. Florida sure loves its winter events and there is something for everyone. You could go absolutely bonkers trying to see everything. Some people try.
Look up your state to see what’s happening.
Next time you’re in Florida, by all means, go and enjoy Disney, but also look for some other opportunities to get to know the real Florida. You’ll be glad you did!