by Tamara Herchel
Memorial Day is approaching, and if you’re like me you’ve been planning your waterfront escape for weeks. I’ve broken in my new flippy-flops (they’re Rainbows, and they’re pink, and I love them. Just sayin’.) My favorite tote is spilling over with towels, sunscreen and sunglasses; I’ve inflated the tires on my daughter’s off-road stroller that will serve to transport all our loot to our relaxing locale of choice, which will most certainly NOT be an overcrowded beach overlooking the Atlantic. With so many pristine natural springs and outlets to the shimmering Gulf in North Florida, my aquatic weekend adventure will certainly take me someplace local! Care to join me? Take your pick from these amazing favorites!
Ginnie Springs. With five crystal clear freshwater springs to choose from, Ginnie Springs offers an abundance of swimming, snorkeling and diving. Take a leisurely float down the Santa Fe River and spot turtles sunning themselves on the shore banks. Pack your cooler with whatever libation that suits you- as a private facility, alcoholic bevies are allowed. Ginnie Springs offers camping and cabin accommodations; overnight guests can enjoy two nights of live music with the Jamie Davis Band over Memorial Day weekend!
Manatee Springs. This beautiful state park is awesome for families! With a playground, sand volleyball, biking, hiking, swimming, snorkeling and an on-site concession, you needn’t lug around a bin full of water toys or a picnic to feed an army of picky eaters. Show up, sit back and enjoy the gorgeous scenery, or get in on some aquatic action paddling a kayak, canoe or paddle boat. Camping is also available!
Suwannee River Rendezvous. Offering everything from primitive campsites to luxurious cabins, this beautiful resort at Convict Spring is certain to make anyone feel at home. Fill up on pancakes hot off the griddle at Grandma Susie’s Cookin’ Shack before heading
out for a paddle in your canoe or kayak. Take a dip in their heated pool before putting your feet up and watching the sun set!
Cedar Key. No, I can’t get enough of my favorite Gulf town. Book a condo at the Old Fenimore Mill or Nature’s Landing, schedule a fishing charter and delight in reeling in your big catch, sun yourself on the bow of a boat, or paddle a kayak to Atsena Otie Key for a primitive hike. Wiggle your toes in the sand at City Park and feast on fresh local clams and cold local beer. Relax at Big Deck Raw Bar and leisurely stroll the eclectic shops along historic 2nd Street. If you’re looking for an escape, you will certainly find it here!
Wherever you spend your weekend, have a splashtastic time diving into all the fun this Memorial Day!