Five Things: Outdoor Fun in Florida Without a Theme Park

Think of Florida and you’ll think of Disney World, Orlando and theme parks, but there’s so much more to enjoy. With 47 miles of golden-sand seafront, The Palm Beaches area of Florida provides all the opportunity you’ll need to get active outdoors without fighting the crowds at Disney or finding your hotel along miles of identical parts of International Drive.

From mangrove forests to Floridian sun-kissed beaches, Palm Beach County, and the 39 cities and towns within its 2,300 square miles, can offer adventure to meet the tastes of every age, interest and ability. We pick out five of the highlights, with Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County.

Underwater Adventures at 160 Dive Sites

The Gulf Stream swings closer to the shore along the coastlines of The Palm Beaches than anywhere else in the eastern United States, bringing unique marine life for divers to explore. Boasting more than 160 dive sites, visitors can enjoy a number of freediving and cage diving expeditions whilst being educated on the area’s magnificent creatures, including sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, dolphins and manatees.

Phil Foster Park, located in Riviera Beach, has one of the most popular diving spots for snorkelers and scuba divers in Palm Beach County: The Snorkel Trail. This underwater trail features an 800-foot long tract of artificial reef made up of Anastasia rock boulders.

For those looking to stay dry, shark viewing trips allow guests to watch the sharks up close from the boat without getting wet, while educational centres such as Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Manatee Lagoon Center offer educational experiences and on-land viewing opportunities.

The Palm Beaches in Florida provides excellent scuba opportunities.
Pedal in The Palm Beaches

What better way to enjoy the sun, fresh air and freedom of The Palm Beaches than by cycling along the many trails and routes across the county? From the Lake Trail on Palm Beach – a paved bike path running nearly six miles along the Intracoastal Waterway where visitors can marvel at the scenery and magnificent mansions – to the Everglades swamplands along scenic birding trails, there are dozens of biking trails to suit all adventurers.

For peddlers looking to have their holiday fun while staying fit at the same time, Palm Beach’s Cycle Party tours are the perfect option. Expertly engineered quadricycles carrying up to 15 passengers take peddlers to various bars and restaurants across West Palm Beach.

Kayak Through the Mangroves and Look out for Alligators

For travellers not worried about getting a little wet, enjoy a scenic kayak ride through the mangrove tunnels and crystal-clear lagoons of The Palm Beaches. Perfect for the outdoorsy couple, paddle along the Loxahatchee River at Jupiter’s Riverbend Park and look out for otters, sea turtles and even alligators during a real paddle adventure!

Should seaside exploration be desired, there are plenty of options for beachside adventures as well.

Kayaking through the Palm Beaches in Florida is a great adventure.
Perfect Your Swing at Drive Shack

Opened in October 2019, Drive Shack’s West Palm Beach venue is the golf-entertainment attraction’s second U.S location. Designed for players of all ages and skills, Drive Shack offers visitors exciting augmented reality range games, virtual courses, and state-of-the-art golf equipment for those looking to improve their game.

The all-in-one golf and entertainment destination offers three levels of interactive golf gaming with lounge seating, a signature restaurant and bar as well as retro arcade games giving guests the chance to socialise and compete in exciting games and activities on offer.

Fishing Adventures

As one of the top fishing destinations in South Florida, The Palm Beaches are an angler’s paradise. Whether saltwater or freshwater, inshore or offshore, there are plenty of fishing charters and adventures to take visitors on the ultimate fishing experience.

iOutdoor Fishing Adventures, Palm Breeze Charters and Blue Heron Fleet can provide private charters for a guided Floridian fishing experience, or alternatively, travellers can go it alone and rent kayaks for their own fishing adventure.

[Image credit: Todd Easterbrook]

America As You Like It is offering a four-night package to The Palm Beaches in Florida from £795 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights from London Heathrow to Miami International Airport with British Airways, four nights bed and breakfast at the Best Western Palm Beach Lakes and four days fully inclusive car hire. The package is available from now through to June 2020, and is subject to availability. Find more details at americaasyoulikeit.com. For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit ThePalmBeaches.com.

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Phil Huff

Phil Huff has been writing for national newspapers, magazines, regional titles and countless websites since 2003. Specialising in travel and the automotive world, Phil is happiest when exploring foreign lands in foreign cars.