It's not "just Florida."

In the Fall, I have a habit of saying "just Florida," when people ask if I have any upcoming travel plans.   To make up for this very bad habit, I'm sharing a short list of some of my favorite things to do in "just Florida."

Take an airboat ride in Everglades National Park.  Sure, you can go to one of those alligator swamp parks but I suggest chartering a boat with Blackwater Airboat Tours.  Captain Jason practically grew up on an airboat, is a terrific guide and an environmentalist to boot.  

Captain Jason knew just where this guy would be hiding, shut off the boat and we drifted right up as he lifted his head.  Peek a boo!

Rent bikes in Key West.  It's a small island, and easy to bike.  You can cycle  to all of the major attractions like Truman's Little White House, Hemingway's House, the Key West Lighthouse and the Butterfly Conservancy.  We stay at Eden House and they rent bikes very inexpensively. 

For visibility's sake, I do recommend a slightly smaller hat but the good news is that  I didn't get even the teeniest bit of color on my face.

For visibility's sake, I do recommend a slightly smaller hat but the good news is that  I didn't get even the teeniest bit of color on my face.

Eat oysters.  I would show you a picture of an icy platter of fresh oysters but yeah, I start slurping them down as soon as the server sets the platter on the table.  Instead, here are some of my fav places to eat them:  Half Shell Raw Bar, Hogsnappers, and Dive Bar. If you go to Half Shell in Key West, try the Garlic Cream Oysters. So, so good.

Hike.  Wait, what?  Hike in Florida?  Maybe what I really mean is take a nature walk or explore part of Old Florida.  In Homestead, you can park at the Royal Palm Visitor Center, and walk the Anhinga Trail.  This is part of Everglades National Park and you'll see water-loving anhinga birds, alligators and lots of beautiful plant life.  On the drive to Key West, you can walk a few miles of Flagler's Old Seven Mile Bridge.  In Jupiter, you can explore Blowing Rocks.  I've mentioned Blowing Rocks before, and I likely will again, because it is one of my most favorite places on earth.  

We walked the two miles of the old Seven Mile railroad bridge that are still open, on the right.  The newer bridge for auto traffic  is on the left.

Watch the sun rise.  My favorite sunrise this last trip was at the beach at Drop Anchor Resort, in Islamorada. 

I set up on the beach at Drop Anchor and got this fun shot of the sun coming up over the horizon.

Watch the sun set. We were eating outside at Dive Bar when this beautiful sunset cropped up.  I snapped away like mad with my iPhone 5C, since I'd left my dSLR back at the hotel.

Not only did I not have my dSLR for this sunset, but there was an annoying building blocking it as well.  After dinner, I walked along the dock and found the perfect sunset spot for "next time."

Not only did I not have my dSLR for this sunset, but there was an annoying building blocking it as well.  After dinner, I walked along the dock and found the perfect sunset spot for "next time."

One of my brand new fav things to do in Florida is hang out at Robbie's Marina, in Islamorada.  An entire post coming up on that soon.  And another one all about iguanas.  Yup.  Giant iguanas.