Florida State Parks are great adventure getaways for a summer vacation destination or add-on to your existing plans.
There are 5 distinct regions that divide Florida State Parks. Each park has its own flair and personality.
When my family went to Walt Disney World last time we added a park trip to our vacation plans. It was nice to enjoy the calmness of nature after the brisk activity and surrealism of the theme park.
After visiting the park on the way back my family seemed more relaxed and better able to get back into the grind after getting home. The following state parks are listed to give you an idea of the wide diversity found in Florida. Many are close to the interstate or highway making it easy to add a stop for your next summer vacation or trip.
A full list of Florida State Parks can be found online.
Top Florida State Parks by region:
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
3600 Indian Mounds Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Hours: 8:00 am – Sunset
Fees: $2 per carload for up to 8 people.
This area was inhabited by Native American Indians over 800 years ago. This park site is named the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. Programs and group tours are done by request. Visitors can view interpretive exhibits, hiking trails and a picnic area. Located off of Hwy. 27 just north of I-10 in Tallahassee.
Northeast Region Parks
Devils Millhopper State Park
4732 Millhopper Road
Gainesville, FL 32653
Hours 9:00 am – 5:00pm Wednesday – Thursday
Fees: $2 per vehicle for up to 8 people.
This Florida State Park has been called a geologist’s dream. Items found have included shark’s teeth, fossilized remains of extinct ancient animals and shells. The park is off of State highway 232, north of Gainesville.
Visitors can take guided tours, hike a nature trail, visit the visitor center, view wildlife or enjoy a picnic. Pets on a short 6 foot leash are welcome in the picnic areas and on the trails.
Central Region Parks
Lake Kissimmee State Park
14248 Camp Mack Road
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Hours: 7:00 am – Sunset
Fees: $4 per vehicle for 2-8 people, $3 single rate
At this beautiful park you can boat, canoe, hike, use the equestrian trails, fish, observe wildlife, star gaze or picnic. Primitive camping and full campsites are available. Additional camping fees apply. This Florida State Park is 15 miles from Lake Wales off State Road 60. It is in the central region and is about an hour from Disney. Pets ok on a 6′ or shorter leash.
The Lake Kissimmee State Park is rich in history. During the Civil War cattle were raised that were sold to the Confederacy. Living history demonstrations of “cow hunters” (cowboys) are offered as a program at the park. Call for details.
Southwest Region Parks
Stump Pass Beach State Park
Barrier Islands State Parks, P.O. Box 1150
Boca Grande, Florida 33921
Fees: $2 for up to 8 people in one vehicle.
Hours: 8:00 am – Sundown, 365 days a year.
While looking for vacation destinations it is hard to overlook a state park beach. This one is packed with so much to do and see that you may never want to leave. It is the perfect place to enjoy the Gulf Coast of Florida.
At Stump Pass Beach State Park you can canoe or kayak (bring your own equipment), swim, snorkel, fish, sunbathe and enjoy the pristine beach. The waters are perfect for small boats and a boat dock is only one mile away. There are hiking trails, a picnic area and pavilions. Outdoor showers are available. Visitors will also enjoy the visitor center, shelling and wildlife viewing.
The park is located off of I-75 at the southern end of Manasota Key. Take exit number 191.
Southeast Region Parks
Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Islamorada, Florida 33036
Education Center, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Thursday – Sunday
Guided tours are available at 10:00 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
When you think of Florida you think of lakes and beaches. But do you think about a quarry?
The Windley Key Fossil Reef used to belong to the Florida East Coast Railroad. In the early 1900’s the stone from this site was used to build the famous Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad.
Examples of the machinery used in the quarry are on exhibit in this site. Other park features are the 8″ quarry walls, exhibits, picnic tables, hiking trails and a visitor center.
This Florida state park is located at Mile Marker 85.5, Windley Key near Islamorada.
Florida is a state of beautiful parks and ecosystems. When you go, you will see that there is something for everyone at a Florida State park.
Florida State Parks
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Visit Florida State Parks