Eight Places in Florida to Visit on Earth Day Ranked by Outdoorsiness

Categories: Environment

Wikimedia Commons, via Veryhuman
The sun sets over Key Largo, Florida.
Between Passover, Easter, and 4/20, it's been a mad rush of holidays in the past week. First people were getting cabin fever in their parents' houses, subsisting off of matzo and trying to think if the adage about never forgetting how to ride a bike applied to driving a car. Then mass amounts of the population were gorging themselves on chocolate and deviled eggs after being forced into awkward socialization with church members they see but once a year. Finally, after all the claustrophobia and agoraphobia went away, paranoia set in. Take a holiday from the holidays. Put down the hash pipe. Get in your car and enjoy living in one hell of a state. There are options for even the most prissy of you Floridians as well as the most hardened Survivor Man acolytes.

That said, all of these places are awesome. The ranking is all in good fun. Florida has one of the most beautiful ecosystems in the country. It's your duty to enjoy it on Earth Day, or at least before things heat up in May and our mosquito overlords begin their blood-sucking reign of terror once more. You'll regret it if you don't.

See also: Earth Day: Nine Ways Florida Is Screwing Up the Environment

Wikimedia Commons, via Juliancolton

8. Hollywood Beach
Terrified by most nature but still feeling a bit appreciative that we haven't yet paved over 100 percent of the Earth? Heading to the family-friendly paradise of Hollywood Beach might be your safest bet. Even if you're wary of water, you can pretend you're enjoying it by biking/rollerblading/Razor-scootering down the Boardwalk and side-glancing at the churning oceanic abyss as you do it. It will stare back at you, but don't freak out. You can always go hide inside of Le Tub and grab a burger.

7. Oleta River State Park
Got a bike? Possess a healthy degree of fear regarding South Florida drivers? If so, this is the park for you. Ride along Biscayne Bay without fear of being plowed over by someone who thinks this area needs to live up to its reputation as the model for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Leave your Huffy at home for ten miles' worth of intermediate-level mountain biking, or bring whatever you've got rotting in your garage to enjoy three miles of paved trail.

Wikimedia Commons, via Tetraminoe

6. Blue Spring State Park
Deciding where to put the largest spring on the St. Johns was a tough choice. Blue Spring is dope, sure, but you can also experience it from the safety of your own home. If you really have some kind of aversion to the outdoors or are the real-life equivalent of Bubble Boy, you can check out Manatee TV, which the park's website deems "a way to safely view the world of the manatee." Hmmm. Unfortunately, visitors aren't allowed to swim alongside those same sea cows from December to March, lest they damage their massive but apparently delicate porcelain bodies. But Earth Day is high time to enjoy this beautiful Orange City attraction, which is essentially closed for a good third of the year.

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