Travel Guide to Florida

2017 Travel Guide to Florida

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24 2017 TRAVEL GUIDE TO FLORIDA D iving deep into Florida's rich natural heritage is easier than you think. The Sunshine State is also the splashdown state, with diverse aquatic activities for outdoor recreation, from swimming in springs and rivers to paddling down quiet creeks and diving offshore reefs and wrecks. Even when you're high and dry, trails offer sweeping views of winding waterways and extensive estuaries. It's this mix of wet and dry that makes Florida a year-round destination for ecotourism. Wade right in! SOUTHEAST Celebrating the success of marine conserva- tion programs in the Florida Keys, REEF Fest is an annual gathering of divers, naturalists, photographers and people who care about the quality of Florida's coral reefs. The event features seminars, snorkeling, diving and eco-adventures, with proceeds benefitting the non-profit Reef Environmental Education Foundation based in Key Largo. A mile and a half off the Pompano Beach Pier, Shipwreck Park is a new and easily accessible major dive site centered on the Lady Luck, a 324-foot ship with casino- themed art installations, the centerpiece among 16 other shipwrecks in the Atlantic Ocean. South Florida Diving Headquarters leads regular trips to the wrecks. In Riviera Beach, Little Deeper Charters takes guests out to the Ana Cecilia, a recent addition to the 151 artificial reefs off the coast of The Palm Beaches. Paddlers can explore the Jupiter Waterway Trail, an interconnected route of more than 39 miles including the Loxahatchee River, the Intracoastal Waterway and Jupiter Inlet. An app aids visitors in discovering ecotourism destina- tions along the route. A WORLD OF NATURAL WONDERS BY SANDRA FRIEND E COTO U R I S M

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