When people picture the state of Florida, they often think of sunny beaches and palm trees. Yet, our state has more to offer than just a place to get a tan. Florida’s state parks play a vital role in protecting our wildlife and offering people a place to learn more about the natural habitats here. So, if you’re looking for a different vacation activity for your kids this year, then buckle up in your van rental from Carl’s Van Rentals and visit these five state parks.

Enjoy Florida Wildlife in these 5 State Parks

1. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Visible from downtown Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park can seem like a completely different world. Home to some of Florida’s most protected wildlife and coral reefs, this national park gives you a look at more than 10,000 years of human impact in the area. You’ll see everything from sunken pirate ships to local pineapple farms. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy boating, snorkeling, camping, and all the wildlife that comes with this protected landscape. 

2. Fakahatchee Strand State Park

Located just west of Copeland, FL, Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve is a section of the Everglades that’s home to a wide variety of wildlife. Here, you may catch a glimpse of the Florida panther, wood stork, alligators, and osprey. This preserve is also home to various flora, including royal palms, bald cypress, and ferns. You can sign up the entire family for a guided tour, or enjoy the views on your own from the 2,000-foot boardwalk.

3. Amelia Island State Park

Have you always wanted to go horseback riding on the beach? Then, you’ll want to visit Amelia Island State Park. Located just outside Jacksonville, this 200-acre park protects unspoiled wilderness along the southern tip of Amelia Island. From horseback, you’ll enjoy miles of shoreline that give you a glimpse of what Florida wildlife was like before humans settled here. 

4. Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Grab a canoe, kayak, or tube, and enjoy a lazy afternoon on the slow-moving Ichetucknee River. You’ll float leisurely down six miles of crystal-clear water shaded by hammocks and wetlands. People flock to this park for nature hikes, snorkeling, swimming, and wildlife viewing from May to September. When everyone gets hungry, post up at one of the parks many picnic and grilling areas. 

5. Sebastian Inlet State Park

Don’t worry: We didn’t forget all you surf lovers. Florida is a state where people live outdoors, and surfing is part of that experience. That’s why so many flock to Sebastian Inlet State Park. Here the swells are a magnet for new and experienced surfers, as well as anglers of all ages. Visit this park at the right time, and you just might witness the beautiful sight of turtles laying their eggs along the miles of protected sands. A dedicated group of volunteers help protect these nests every year, allowing the turtle population to thrive. 

It’s Time to Hit the Road

There’s more to the state of Florida than people realize, and visiting these state parks is a great way to explore the great outdoors. Make Carl’s Van Rentals a part of your journey when you book one of our minivans, passenger vans, or Sprinter vans for your trip. We have locations in Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale, FL. So give us a call today at (800) 565-5211.