Things to Do In Florida Right Now!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Relive the Battle! Dade Battlefield State Park Battle Re-enactment





Dade Battlefield State Park, located in Bushnell, Florida, is the site of the battle that started the Second Seminole War.

It was on December 28, 1835, that Seminole Indian warriors ambushed 108 U.S. soldiers who were unprepared for a confrontation.  Only three US soldiers survived the attack.  

Many of the men who died in the 1835 battle have names which are now synonymous with Florida.  Foremost among them was Major Francis L. Dade, for whom Dade County and Dade City have been named.

Each January, Dade Battlefield comes alive through the first class performance of historical re-enactors, and they tell the story of 19th century Floridians in that first bitter fight. This weekend, you can be there!


Read more about the interesting history 
of the first battle of the Second Seminole War  





Dade’s Battle of 1835
Annual Battle Re-enactment 
Saturday and Sunday, January 4 & 5, 2014

Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

9AM to 5PM

Battle re-enactment at 2PM each day 
$5.00 per person, $3.00 parking fee






The annual re-enactment of Dade’s Battle of 1835 will be held in Bushnell, Florida on Saturday, January 4th and Sunday, January 5th, 2014.   This battle re-enactment is a very popular event in Florida, commemorating the December 28th battle that started the Second Seminole War in our state.

This detailed costumed re-enactment is the highlight of the two-day event and will begin at 2PM on each day of the festival.  The battle re-enactment is well-done and performances are action packed and historical. 

But there’s more to the event than the battle re-enactment.  Throughout the day you’ll be able to wander through living history camps of the period soldiers, Seminole Indians, and settlers.  Stop and chat with the historical re-enactors as they demonstrate how daily lives of Floridians in the 1830’s. 

Visitors will also see both sides of the skirmish demonstrate their military prowess through full scale cannon firing, musket shooting, tomahawk throwing and primitive archery demonstrations. 

Shoppers and browsers will enjoy the sutler trade fair, which will be ongoing both days.  The fair will be filled with art, crafts, music, and food. 

The cost to attend is $5.00 per person, with children under 6 free.  Parking is $3.00 per vehicle.  Saturday is typically very crowded, so arrive early or choose to attend on Sunday. 

Scouts and Youth Groups are entitled to a reduced entrance fee on Sundays, paying $3.00 each on that day only if you purchase tickets in advance.



Directions:

The Dade Battlefield Historic State Park is in Bushnell, Florida.  Bushnell is 41 miles south of Ocala and 58 miles north of Tampa, just off I-75.
9AM - 5:00PM
Open 7 days a week.
Phone: 352-793-4781



From I-75:  Take Exit 314 to State Road 48.  Go East about 1 mile.  Turn Right on County Road 603/Battlefield Parkway.  The park is straight ahead about one mile.

From U.S. 301: 1/2 mile West on Seminole Ave/County Road 476. At County Road 603/Battlefield Parkway Turn Left.  The park is straight ahead.





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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Go Outdoors and Walk this New Year's Day





40 Florida State Parks will be sponsoring a special guided hike on New Year’s Day January 1st as part of a national program called “First Day Hike.”

All hikes are family friendly, although they vary in length depending upon the location.  There are short 30 minute walks, hour long wanders, and more strenuous 3 hour hikes.  Most hikes are fairly easy but some are more moderate.  There are parks even offer guided bike rides.  All hikes are guided by rangers and biologists and/or historians.

You can choose to hike through quite an array of environments in Florida.    There are First Day Hikes where you’ll cross beaches, hike woods, prairies, swamps, pass along shorelines, or even explore historic locations.   

Start times will vary by State Park.  Some parks offer early morning walks, some offer midday or afternoon hikes.

First Day Hikes are free and open to the public once the standard park admission vehicle fee is paid.  ke. Wear comfortable walking shoes and long-sleeved shirts to protect you from any insects, and as always, bring water and sunscreen. 


Whether you want to jump start your New Year’s resolution, or simply want to go out and have fun in nature, you can find a hike that’s right for you.


For More Information:

Check out Rural Florida Living for more information on this New Year's Day 2014 Hike.

Be sure to check out the Florida State Parks website for current and up-to-date information.  Once at the site, you can either click on the First Day Hike link or go to "Things to Do" and then click on "Events."


The following is a list of participating Florida State Parks:

 

South Florida
Bahia Honda State Park – Marathon, Florida
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park – North Palm Beach, Florida
Oleta River State Park – Miami, Florida
Savannas Preserve State Park – Port St. Lucie, Florida
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park – Okeechobee, Florida
Lovers Key State Park – Fort Myers, Florida
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park – Hollywood, Florida
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Pierce Inlet State Park – Fort Pierce, Florida




North Florida
Florida Caverns State Park – Marianna, Florida
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – Port St. Joe, Florida
St. George Island State Park – St. George Island, (Eastpoint) Florida
Fort Mose Historic State Park – between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach – Flagler Beach, Florida
Tomoka State Park – Ormond Beach, Florida
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park – White Springs, Florida
Ravine Gardens State Park – Palatka, Florida
Big Lagoon State Park – Pensacola, Florida
Little Talbot Island State Park – East of Jacksonville, Florida
Torreya State Park – Bristol, Florida
Little Talbot Island State Park – East of Jacksonville, Florida
Blackwater River State Park – Milton, Florida
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park – Pensacola, Florida
De Leon Springs State Park – DeLeon Springs, Florida
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park – Tallahassee, Florida
Suwannee River State Park – Live Oak, Florida
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park – Santa Rosa, Florida
Grayton Beach State Park – Grayton Beach, (Fort Walton Beach/Destin)
St. Andrews State Park – Panama City, Florida
Anastasia State Park – St. Augustine, Florida
Ichetucknee Springs State Park – Fort White, Florida



East Coast Florida
Fort Mose Historic State Park – between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach – Flagler Beach, Florida
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park – North Palm Beach, Florida
Tomoka State Park – Ormond Beach, Florida
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park – White Springs, Florida
Oleta River State Park – Miami, Florida
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park – Marineland, Florida
Little Talbot Island State Park – East of Jacksonville, Florida
Savannas Preserve State Park – Port St. Lucie, Florida
Little Talbot Island State Park – East of Jacksonville, Florida
Sebastian Inlet State Park – Sebastian, Florida
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park – Hollywood, Florida
Hugh Taylor Birch State Park – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Anastasia State Park – St. Augustine, Florida
Fort Pierce Inlet State Park – Fort Pierce, Florida

West Coast Florida
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – Port St. Joe, Florida
St. George Island State Park – St. George Island, (Eastpoint) Florida
Ravine Gardens State Park – Palatka, Florida
Big Lagoon State Park – Pensacola, Florida
Torreya State Park – Bristol, Florida
Blackwater River State Park – Milton, Florida
Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park – Pensacola, Florida
Honeymoon Island State Park – Dunedin, Florida
Caladesi Island State Park – Dunedin, Florida
Stump Pass Beach State Park – Manasota Key, Florida
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park – Santa Rosa, Florida
Lovers Key State Park – Fort Myers, Florida
Grayton Beach State Park – Grayton Beach, (Fort Walton Beach/Destin)
St. Andrews State Park – Panama City, Florida
Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve – Cedar Key, Florida



Mid-Florida
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park – Cross Creek, (near Ocala) Florida
Blue Spring State Park – Orange City, Florida
Wekiwa Springs State Park -  north of Orlando, Florida
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park – White Springs, Florida
Ravine Gardens State Park – Palatka, Florida
O'Leno State Park – High Springs, Florida
Rock Springs Run State Reserve – Sorrento, (north of Orlando) Florida
Sebastian Inlet State Park – Sebastian, Florida
Lake Kissimmee State Park – Lake Wales, Florida
Lake Griffin State Park – Leesburg, Florida
De Leon Springs State Park – DeLeon Springs, Florida
Honeymoon Island State Park – Dunedin, Florida
Caladesi Island State Park – Dunedin, Florida
Stump Pass Beach State Park – Manasota Key, Florida
Colt Creek State Park – north of Lakeland, Florida
Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail – Palatka, Florida
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park – Tallahassee, Florida
Suwannee River State Park – Live Oak, Florida
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park – Micanopy, (Gainesville/Ocala), Florida
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park – Bushnell, Florida
Silver Springs State Park – Silver Springs, (Ocala) Florida
Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park – Sanford, Florida
Hontoon Island State Park – DeLand, Florida
Fort Pierce Inlet State Park – Fort Pierce, Florida
Cedar Key Scrub State Reserve – Cedar Key, Florida
Rock Springs Run – Ethel, Florida















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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Things to Do This Weekend in Florida - Thursday, September 5th thru Sunday, September 8th, 2013





Florida…Just For Fun!
Things to Do in Florida Right Now


Want to do something interesting in Florida this weekend?     
 Here are some suggestions!

Thursday, September 5th thru Sunday, September 8th, 2013





Americana Under the Stars – Thursday, September 5th
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
5PM to 11PM
$5.00 per vehicle
(850) 267-8332

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites to a weekly evening of music. 

Each program begins at 5PM with 1-1/2 hours of an open mic format showcase of local musicians. 

The concert follows at 7PM. 



A suggested donation of $5 per vehicle/campsite/cabin will go directly to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to be used to benefit the park's resource management projects and interpretive programs.

Park entrance fees will be waived to participants.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located in Santa Rosa Beach, 10 miles east of Destin, FL.  Take I-10 to Exit 85 (Defuniak Springs) and follow U.S. Highway 331 south. Travel 27 miles to U.S. Highway 98. Turn right and travel approximately five miles west to scenic Highway 30A. Turn left and go one quarter mile to the entrance on the right.




Reconstruction Era Event – Friday, September 6th & Saturday, September 7th
Rural Gainesville, Florida
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
9AM to 4PM
Free after paid park admission - $5.00 per vehicle
352-472-1142.



Dudley Farm’s living historians will introduce you to the reconstruction era as they tell the story of post-Civil War Florida. 

The Reconstruction Era Event is an immersion event where visitors will be introduced to Florida life in the year 1875.  This was a year where foreign immigrants were competing with ex-soldiers as they were struggling to find jobs; cattlemen trying to rebuild their herds after the devastation of war; temperance marchers trying to reduce the effects consumption of alcohol had on society. 

Take a walk back in time to see some of Florida’s past.

Dudley Farm Historic State Park is located seven miles west of I-75 on State Road 26 between Newberry and Gainesville.



Campbell Lake Canoe Trip – Friday, September 6th
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
9:30AM to 11:30AM
Free after paid park admission
(850) 267-8330



Topsail Hill Preserve State Park invites you to join in for the opportunity to paddle beautiful Campbell Lake, one of two rare coastal dune lakes in the park.

This ranger-led voyage will take you to various points of interest around the lake as the park rangers explain what makes this lake as well as the others in the area so unique not only in Florida but in the world.   

No outside canoes or kayaks are allowed on the lake so space is limited to 10 people for each trip.

Sign-up will be held Thursday, August 26th until Friday, September 6th at the ranger station.  Acceptance will be on a first come first serve basis.

The group will meet up at Tram Stop #1 by 9:30AM to catch the tram to the lake.

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located in Santa Rosa Beach, 10 miles east of Destin, FL.

Take I-10 to Exit 85 (Defuniak Springs) and follow U.S. Highway 331 south. Travel 27 miles to U.S. Highway 98. Turn right and travel approximately five miles west to scenic Highway 30A. Turn left and go one quarter mile to the entrance on the right.


Gorrie Ice Days – Saturday, September 7th
Apalachicola, Florida
John Gorrie Museum State Park
11AM to 2PM
Free


John Gorrie State Museum State Park in Apalachicola is celebrating the invention of the first ice machine.




The Gorrie Museum will be offering demonstrations on ice sculpting, offering snow cones and homemade ice cream, giving tours of the museum and providing plenty of children’s activities. 

Join the fun as the Museum honors the life and inventions of Dr. John Gorrie. 

This will be a family-friendly event. 

For more information, contact Joshua Hodson, Park Manager at (850) 927-2111 or the John Gorrie Museum at (850) 653-9347.

John Gorrie Museum State Park is located in Apalachicola on 6th Street, one block east off U.S. 98.



A Swift Night Out at Wakulla Springs – Saturday, September 7th
Wakulla Springs, Florida
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
7:30PM to 8:30PM
Free with Paid Park Admission

Wakulla Springs State Park is participating in Swift Night Out, a nationwide watch where people all over the country stand beneath chimneys to observe and count chimney swifts as they enter their roost.
Come be a part of this night!

The Lodge at Wakulla Springs has a large flock that roosts in one of its inactive chimneys.

You’re invited to come and witness the “flying cigar” shaped birds perform their swirling aerial dances prior to descending into the chimney.   The group will be attempting to estimate the swifts’ numbers.

Enjoy this unusual ranger-led program and see firsthand one of nature’s amazing spectacles.

Reservations are required.  Call (850) 561-7286 to let us know you are planning to attend.

Travel East on I-10 to Exit 196.
Take State Road 263 (Capitol Circle) south 12 miles.
Turn right (South) onto U.S. 319/State Road 61 (Crawfordville Highway) for two miles.
Bear left onto State Road 61(Wakulla Springs Rd) for six miles.
Turn left onto State Road 267 at flashing stop light.
Turn right into Park entrance.

Or: West I-10, use Exit 203.
Take State Road 61 (Thomasville Road) south.
Continue on State Road 61 through Tallahassee for 10 miles.
Take U.S. 319/State Road 61 (Crawfordville Highway) south for two miles. Bear left onto State Road 61 (Wakulla Springs Road) for six miles.
Turn left onto State Road 267 at flashing stop light.
Turn right into the park.


Standup Paddleboarding Lesson and Spoil Islands Tour – Saturday, September 7th
Flagler Beach, Florida
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area
8:30AM to 10AM
$35 per person


Standup Paddleboarding (or SUP) is the fastest growing water sport today.  Come try it for yourself at Gamble Rogers State Park!



 You’re invited to come learn the basics in the park lagoon, then tour the backwaters and explore One Tree Beach and the Four Amigos Spoil Islands.

No need to worry about your skill level.  Most people are standing and paddling within the first 5 – 10 minutes.  Come give it a try!

The $35.00 per person fee includes your park entry.  A portion of the proceeds from this class goes towards the Friends of Gamble Rogers State Park.

Reservations are required.  Please call: 386-864-9844.

From I-95: Whether you are traveling north or south on I-95, take exit 284 (State Road 100). Turn east onto State Road 100 and travel approximately 3 miles till you reach A1A (and the ocean). At the light turn right (south) and travel approximately another 3 miles. The Ranger Station will be located on the drive to your right and our day use beach facilities will be on the left.

From Daytona: Take A1A north to approximately 1 mile north of the Flagler/Volusia County line (approximately 18 miles)The Ranger Station will be located on the drive to your left and our day use beach facilities will be to your right.

From Ormond Beach: Take West Granada (40) east, across the Halifax River, to A1A. Turn left (north) on A1A and travel approximately 11 miles (1 mile north of the Flagler/Volusia County line). The Ranger Station will be located on the drive to your left and our day use beach facilities will be to your right.

From Palm Coast: Take Palm Coast Parkway east across the Intercoastal Waterway (toll bridge) to A1A. Turn left (south) on A1A and travel approximately 11 miles. The park is located on A1A. The Ranger Station will be on the drive to your right and our day use beach facilities will be to your left.
Avoid the toll: Take Palm Coast parkway east to Colbert Lane. Turn right (south) on Colbert Lane and travel approximately 7 miles to SR 100. Turn left (east) on SR 100 and travel approximately 1.5 miles to A1A. Turn right on A1A and travel about 3 miles. The Ranger Station will be located on the drive to your right and our day use beach facilities will be to your left.

From St. Augustine: Take A1A south for approximately 32 miles to SR 100. Continue straight through the light and travel approximately another 3 miles to the park. The Ranger Station will be located on the drive on your right and our day use beach facilities will be located on your left.



First Light Delight II Cruise – Saturday, September 7th
Homosassa Springs, Florida
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
7:30 AM
$25 per person
352-628-5343





Visitors for the First Light Delight Cruise will take an early morning boat ride down Pepper Creek to view the park’s rehabilitation programs and learn about the native plants and animals in the area.

After arriving at the entrance to the Wildlife Park, First mates will lead visitors to the Garden of the Springs for a Continental breakfast. After breakfast visitors will be gathered into groups for a private behind-the-scenes tour guided by a Wildlife Care volunteer. Following the tour guests may remain in the park or return by boat or tram to the Visitor Center.

Tickets are $25.00 per person and must be purchased by Thursday, September 5, 2013 at the Park’s office.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is located in Homosassa Springs, 75 miles north of Tampa on U.S. 19 and 90 miles northwest of Orlando.



Bluegrass Music at the Beach – Sunday, September 8th
North Palm Beach, Florida
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
2PM to 4PM
Free after paid park admission
(561) 624-6952






The Conch Stomp Band will be kicking up some heels on Sunday afternoon.  Come on down and hear some great bluegrass. Free with park admission.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is located 2.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S.1 and PGA Blvd. on A1A in North Palm Beach.

 







Gainesville Cell Phone Tours 
Daily 
Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs
Various - see website, Gainesville, FL 32601
352-393-8540
WEBSITE    
Free





Use your cell phone for a Free tour of Gainesville's nature, arts and historical attractions. You control what you hear and when. The tour is Free. (cell phone minutes do apply)

Print out a guide and start your adventure. Pick from one of the tours available.

Tours include Historic Downtown Gainesville, Historic Thomas Center, Matheson Museum, Paynes Prairie, Evinston, Dudley Farm and Oleno State Park. 

New tours in Gainesville are being introduced in 2013 so be sure to check them out!



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