Your wanderlust got the best of you and you’ve found the perfect location to unplug, unwind, and escape the stresses of city life. But because this is 2017, you don’t necessarily want to “rough it” too much. Enter glamping, or glamorous camping, where you can explore the natural beauty without having to commit to traditional camping. It is camping with the comforts of home, like air conditioning, a kitchen, beds, and indoor plumbing. But just because you’re glamping doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors. Here are some great activities to add to your next glamping trip.
Hiking/Biking – You’ve left (most of) the trappings of modern life behind, so why not go outside and breathe in the fresh air? Many state parks include one or more nature hiking or biking trails with options for more experienced/adventurous hikers. These trails allow you an up close interactive experience through the vast Florida ecosystems and are a great way to work up an appetite or work off a scrumptious meal you’ve cooked up in your glamping cabin. At the Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, guests can enjoy a treetop canopy walkway to enjoy nature from up above.
Birding and Wildlife Viewing – You can pair birding or wildlife viewing with your nature trail hike or set aside special time to observe these animals in their natural environments. Florida is home to bears, deer, foxes, and many other animals you wouldn’t see back at home and hawks, eagles, woodpeckers, cardinals, and sparrows have all been spotted along the trails. Some glamping sites, like the Island Cabin in Key Deer, allow you to sleep in a National Wildlife Refuge, for a truly unforgettable experience.
Boating, Fishing, and Boat Tours – We are fortunate to live in a state surrounded by beautiful water and with numerous lakes and rivers, all begging to be enjoyed and explored. Many state parks allow fishing and include boat ramps. A handful offer guided boat ecotours for an unparalleled view of the natural, real Florida.
Canoeing, Kayaking, and Tubing – Explore the backwaters of Florida at your own pace in a canoe, kayak, or inner tube. Bring your own equipment or inquire with the park about rentals. Some glamping cabins, like the Rock Springs Run Lodge in Sorrento, come with their own kayaks for guests.
Swimming, Snorkeling, and Scuba Diving – Not the boat type? Why not take a dip in one of the many pristine, white sandy beaches, rivers, lakes, or springs throughout the state? Visitors can swim among nature and in some parks, like Blue Spring State Park in Orange City allows even snorkel or scuba dive.
Horse Equestrian Trails – The diverse habitats throughout Florida provide perfect backdrops for horse equestrian trails. Many state parks offer a variety of single and multi-use trails allowing visitors with horses an opportunity for nature study and wildlife observation. Some parks, like Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound offer guided horseback rides, horse-drawn tram rides, and handheld horse rides seasonally, so if you don’t have your own horse it’s not a problem!
Geo-seeking – Geo-seeking is an outdoor treasure hunt game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. Participants use location coordinates to find caches, some which are easy to find and others which are more difficult. Geo-seeking is an inexpensive and interactive way to learn more about your natural surroundings and makes for a great team-building exercise.
Stargazing and Campfires – The best part of the great outdoors? The free, uninterrupted nightly star shows. Lay out on a blanket or hammock and gaze up at the stars to see how many constellations you can see. Or, gather your friends and family around a campfire and make s’mores, sing songs, or tell stories. What’s better than that?