With 170 miles of coastline, 19 first magnitude springs and 25 state parks to explore, North Florida is a nature lover’s paradise. Divers explore its subterranean caves, while sun seekers gravitate towards its sandy beaches. If you love manatees, it’s also one of the world’s best places to swim with the friendly “sea cows.”
Things to do
North Florida is home to the world's largest collection of first magnitude springs, which gush out from an immense underground aquifer. From scenic walks to family-friendly kayaking trips, there are numerous ways to experience the springs. Prehistoric Devil’s Den is a highlight, with warm spring water perfect for scuba diving.
There’s no better place to get up close and personal with Florida’s world-famous manatees than Manatee Springs State Park. You can swim, snorkel and scuba dive with the lovable marine animals or simply enjoy a picnic on the grass.
Want to work up a sweat? North Florida is packed with hiking and biking trails for every fitness level. Big Oak Trail is a firm favorite, hugging the banks of the Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers. Along the way, you’ll pass deep sinkholes, towering oak trees and scenic riverside bluffs.
When it comes to cities in North Florida, Jacksonville steals the spotlight with a string of world-class galleries, museums and cultural venues to explore. MOCA is a must for art lovers, showcasing contemporary works in an upbeat setting. There’s even an interactive kids’ area where little ones can attend painting lessons, watch videos about famous artists and make their own kaleidoscopes.
The easiest way to explore North Florida is with a rental car, which lets you hop between cities, beaches, state parks and springs. Jacksonville International Airport, located around 20 kilometers from the city’s downtown area, serves as the gateway to North Florida.