Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Recognized as one of America’s best zoos, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens boast more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,500 varieties of plants.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
Founded in 1893, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm exhibits reptiles, mammals and birds and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve & Fort Caroline National Memorial
The 46,000-acre preserve includes a plantation, beaches and natural lands. Fort Caroline is a tribute to the brief 16th century presence of the French.
Kathryn Abby Hanna Park
Located along the Atlantic Ocean, Hanna Park features sunny beaches, freshwater lakes, bike trails, playgrounds and campsites. Canoe and kayak rentals are also available for fishing on the park’s 60-acre lake.
Osceola National Forest
With more than 200,000 acres of pine-palmetto flatwoods, cypress, black gum, bay and maple trees, visitors have many opportunities to hike, camp, hunt and fish in Osceola National Forest.
This beach park is another great choice if you’re looking for relaxation near the ocean. Smaller than Hanna Park, Huguenot Memorial Park is usually a little less busy. Swimming, fishing, surfing, hiking and boating are encouraged and there is a boating launch on-site. It has been named by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission one the best places to bird watch in the state. Modern amenities such as picnic, camping, bathroom and shower facilities are available.
Little Talbot Island
This state park offers visitors a good look at the way Florida’s climate and environment used to be. The island’s pristine white beaches are ideal for hunting seashells or taking long quiet walks, while thick maritime forests and saltwater marshes make up the rest of the gorgeous terrain. Camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and fishing are all encouraged.
Cary State Forest
This state park straddles the Duval County / Nassau County line and is ideal for camping, hiking, horseback riding and enjoying a beautiful day outside. It is equipped with many trails, primitive campsites, picnic areas, an observation tower and boardwalk area. The forest is home to native wildlife such as the wild turkey, white-tailed deer, and bobcat, and endangered species including the Florida black bear, gopher tortoise and eastern indigo snake. Hunting is allowed certain times of the year as well.
Amelia Island State Park
Located where the Atlantic Ocean and Nassau Sound meet, Amelia Island State Park offers a wide variety of activities including horseback riding on the beach, fishing and hiking. The George Crady Fishing Bridge is also located in this state park (see fishing piers).
Fort Clinch State Park
Located in Fernandina Beach, Fort Clinch State Park is home to beautiful hiking trails and sandy beaches. The newly renovated Fort Clinch fishing pier, now equipped with upgraded lighting and refurbished restrooms, is a perfect place to catch a wide variety of local fish. Every 1st weekend of the month, the fort has a live Garrison Union.