School is out, summer vacation is here and the adventures of the season await. The adventures do not necessarily mean getting on an airplane and traveling to some far-away exotic place. Some great spots to enjoy are just down the road, others a few hours drive within the state of Florida for those who want a weekend trip. In addition, there is a lot to enjoy within a short drive of the Viera/Suntree area, including beautiful natural springs, fantastic beaches and great fishing spots.

Natural Springs - Blue Spring State Park

Blue Spring State Park

Known for hundreds of manatees that winter at the spring, there are also plenty of fish and a variety of wading birds, ospreys, eagles and kingfisher. Visitors can hike the 4.5-mile Pine Island Trail. Visitors can also swim, launch canoes, kayaks or take a guided river boat cruise. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the park. Park frequently reaches capacity during week and on weekends. 

Location: 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City, FL 32763

Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year

Admission fee: $6 per vehicle, $4 single occupant vehicle,

$2 pedestrians, bicyclist

Phone: 386-775-3663

floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/blue-spring-state-park

Natural Springs - Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs are emerald springs feeding the Wekiva River and are perfect for cooling off during a summer day or observing wildlife. There are miles of trails to be explored on foot, bicycle or horseback. Canoes and kayaks are available for rental on site. Visitors can enjoy swimming, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, snorkeling camping and viewing wildlife.

Location: 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL. 32712

Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year

Admission fee: $6 per vehicle, $4 single occupant vehicle,

$2 pedestrians, bicyclist

Phone: 386-775-3663

floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/wekiwa-springs-state-park

Beaches - Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore

The 24 miles of pristine undeveloped beaches on this barrier island are one of the few stretches of seashore in Florida without condominiums or other buildings. It stretches from Brevard into Volusia County.

Location: Apollo Beach via New Smyrna and Playalinda Beach via Titusville

Park entrance fees: Vehicle entrance Fee — $20 Per vehicle fee (cars, mini-vans, etc..), valid for seven days. Motorcycles — $15 fee is valid for seven days. Pedestrians or bicyclists — $10 per person - Valid for seven days. Annual Pass - $40

Phone: 321-267-1110

Website: nps.gov/cana

 

Beaches - Navarre Beach Park

Navarre Beach Park

This Florida Panhandle beach is pristine, usually uncrowded and is consistently named as one of the best beaches in

the nation.

Visitors can sunbathe on the sugar-white sand beach, swim in the warm emerald-green waters, enjoy a picnic or ride along one of its scenic bike paths.

Location: Florida Panhandle, west of Fort Walton Beach

Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office

Phone: 386-775-3663

Email: tdo@Santarosa.fl.gov

Website: santarosa.fl.gov/281/Tourist-Development-Office

Fishing - Jetty Park

Jetty Park

Jetty Park’s Malcolm E. McLouth Fishing Pier is a 1,200-foot fishing pier that extends into the ocean and has fish cleaning stations with running water and is lighted for night fishing. There is a bait and tackle shop inside the two-story beach pavilion.

Location: East end of Jetty Park Drive at Port Canaveral

Park entrance fees: Access to parking is available to Jetty Park passholders only. An annual pass, three month pass, or daily pass must be purchased online prior to arrival at the park. No credit card or cash transactions can take place at the entrance gate. Day pass $15 per vehicle — $12 military. Annual pass $25 for Brevard County residents with proof of residency.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Phone: 321-783-7111

Website: portcanaveral.com/Recreation/Jetty-Park-Beach-Pier

Fishing - Haulover Canal

Haulover Canal

The Haulover Canal is a waterway on north Merritt Island on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It connects the Mosquito Lagoon with the Indian River Lagoon. Haulover Canal is one of the most popular fishing spots in

Brevard County.

Fishing from a boat or the banks  requires a signed Refuge Sports Fishing Permit. The permit is self-issuing and ensures that fishers have read and understand the fishing regulations.

Permit information can be obtained at 2016FishingRegs.pdf (fws.gov) and Merritt Island NWR Boating and Fishing Brochure (fws.gov)

Location: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Phone: 321-861-5601

Website: fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island