- 4. Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park
P.O. Box 655
Bunnell, Florida 32110
The wealthy Bulow family grew sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo here until their plantation was destroyed by a raiding party during the Second Seminole War. The rock foundations of several wells and the main house, as well as the slave cabins can still be seen. Bulow Creek is also a designated canoe trail.
- 5. Crystal River Archaeological State Park
3400 N. Museum Point
Crystal River, Florida 34428
This 61-acre, pre-Columbian, Native American historic site has temple platforms, burial mounds, plaza area and a large midden, as it served as a central gathering place for people from around the Southeast for 1,600 years. Although primarily an archaeological site, anglers and bird waters will also find plenty to do along the adjacent saltmarsh.
- 6. Dade Battlefield Historic State Park
7200 CR 603 South Battlefield Drive
Bushnell, Florida 33513
On Dec. 28, 1835, Seminole Indians ambushed 108 soldiers in route to Ocala, triggering the start of the Second Seminole War. The dead include the commander, Maj. Francis L. Dade, which is why historians have come to call this battle "The Dade Massacre." Each year on the anniversary, renanacters recount the battle in full-costumed regalia, complete with cannon and muskets.
- 7. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
P.O. Box 487
Key Largo, Florida 33037
This site, once slated for a condominium development, contains the largest stands of West Indian tropical hardwoods left in the U.S. Home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe, and the American crocodile, six miles of natural trails offer a rare glimpse of a forgotten Florida.
- 8. Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
4732 Millhopper Road
Gainesville, Florida 32653
This bowl-shaped depression, 120-feet deep, is home to a natural, miniature rain forest. This unique geological formation, popular with visitors since the 1880s, has proved a treasure trove of fossils which has helped researchers learn much about prehistoric Florida.
- 9. Dudley Farm Historic State Park
18730 W. Newberry Rd.
Newberry, Florida 32669
A National Historic Site, this park shows the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the 1940s, through the eyes of three generations of the Dudley family. This working farm features a 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office. Park staffers in period clothing still raise crops and tend livestock.
- 10. Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
550 Wakulla Park Drive
Wakulla Springs, Florida 32327
One of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world, this park is famous for its glass-bottom boat tours. The Wakulla Springs Lodge was built in 1937 and is still popular with vacationers. In recent months, manatees have been spotted in the springs, a rare occurrence so far north.
- 11. Florida Caverns State Park
B3345 Caverns Road
Marianna, Florida 32446
This is one of the few places you will see dry (air-filled) caves, and the only place in Florida you will find them open to the public. Visitors come from all over the Southeast to see the dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones, and draperies.
- 12. Fort Foster State Historic Site
Hillsborough River State Park, 15402 US 301 North
Thonotosassa, Florida 33592
Fort Foster was built during the Second Seminole War (on the site of a previous fort destroyed by Indians) to defend a bridge which carried the Fort King Military Road across the Hillsborough River. Today, a working replica of the wooden structure welcomes visitors on weekends and special occasions.
- 13. Fort Mose Historic State Park
c/o Anastasia State Park 1340A A1A S.
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Phone: (904) 461-2033
In 1738, the Spanish Governor of Florida offered this site to former African salves that had escaped from the Carolinas. Although nothing remains of the original buildings, this site is popular with tourists visiting other historic structures in St. Augustine.
- 14. Fort Clinch State Park
2601 Atlantic Avenue
Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034
One of the most well-preserved 18th Century forts in the U.S., these battle works never saw any action. The fort was garrisoned during the Civil and Spanish American Wars, and during the 1930s, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps restored many of the original fortifications.
- 15. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
P.O. Box 6560
Key West, Florida 33041
Built in the mid 1800s to defend the nation's southern coastline, this state park is known now more for its beach than its historical significance. There is a short nature trail as well as excellent fishing and swimming.
- 16. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
4150 S. Suncoast Blvd.
Homosassa, Florida 34446
A tourist attraction since the early 1900's, trains once stopped here to let passengers rest at the world-famous spring. While passengers spent a leisurely afternoon next to the tranquil waters, the train was loaded with fish, crabs, cedar and spring water. The Gulf of Mexico just nine miles away, and as a result, fresh and saltwater fish can both be found here.
- 17. Hontoon Island State Park
2309 River Ridge Road
Deland, Florida 32720
Located on an island in the St. John's River, this state park is only accessible by boat or public ferry. Known for its rich history, several remarkable artifacts have been found in the vicinity of Hontoon Island. The most notable find was a large owl totem pole, the only one of its kind discovered east of the Mississippi.
- 18. Indian Key Historic State Park
P.O. Box 1052
Islamorada, Florida 33036
At one time the most prosperous community in Florida, this state park was the site of a daring Indian attack during the Second Seminole War. The island, which is only accessible by boat, is a favorite destination for kayakers, fishermen and snoreklers.
- 19. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
P.O. Box 487
Key Largo, Florida 33037
The first underwater park in the U.S., John Pennekamp encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. The nearby coral reefs can be viewed via a glass-bottom boat or visitors can hop aboard one of the scuba or snorkeling boats that leave from the park.
- 20. Koreshan State Historic Site
P.O. Box 7
Estero, Florida 33928
This "New Jerusalem" was founded in 1894 by the eccentric Cyrus Reed Teed who believed that the entire universe existed within a giant, hollow sphere. Teed's new faith, "Koreshanity," attracted many followers to the new colony, known as the Koreshan Unity. After his death in 1908, the colony faded. The last four members deeded the land to the state in 1961./li>
- 21. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 S. CR 325
Cross Creek, Florida 32640
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of one of Florida's most well-known books, "The Yearling," lived and worked in the tiny community of Cross Creek. Her cracker-style house, where she lived for 25 years and wrote her Pulitzer prize-winning novel, has been restored and is now open to the public.
- 22. Mound Key Archeological State Park
P.O. Box 7
Estero, Florida 33928
Historians believe Mound Key was the ceremonial center of the Calusa Indians when the Spaniards first attempted to colonize Southwest Florida. The shell mounds, which rise more than 30 feet above the surrounding waters of Estero Bay, and canals cut by hand into the island's interior, are all that is left of this great pre-Columbian culture.
- 23. Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
7502 Natural Bridge Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32305
It is here that the St. Marks River drops into a sinkhole and flows underground for one-quarter of a mile before reemerging. This was also the site of a major battle during the Civil War when a Union flotilla landed at Apalachee Bay and planned to march north to the state capital. The Union troops were forced to retreat to the coast and Tallahassee was the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi not captured by the Union.
- 24. San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park
148 Old Fort Road
St. Marks, Florida 31355
The history of this National Landmark can trace back to 1528 when Panfilo de Narvaez arrived at the fork of the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers with 300 men. The Spanish built their first fort here in 1679. In the 1800s, Andrew Jackson briefly occupied the fort during his fight against the Seminoles.
- 25. Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
Post Office Drawer G
White Springs, Florida 32096
Located on the banks of the world-famous Suwannee River, this state park honors the memory of American composer Stephen Foster, who wrote "Old Folks at Home." In the park's Craft Square, visitors can watch demonstrations of quilting, blacksmithing and stain-glass making.
- 26. The Barnacle Historic State Park
3485 Main Highway
Coconut Grove, Florida 33133
Built in 1891, "The Barnacle" harkens back to the "The Era of the Bay," when ships were the major mode of transportation. Standing on the shores of Biscayne Bay, this was the home of Ralph Middleton Munroe, one of Coconut Grove´s most influential pioneers. Munroe was a yachtsman and during his life he drew up plans for 56 different boats. /li>
- 27. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
6400 North Oceanshore Blvd.
Palm Coast, Florida 32173
Hidden away between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River on Florida's East Coast, the formal gardens are the centerpiece of this park. The property, once owned by a distant relative of President George Washington, is also famous for the unique shoreline of coquina rock formations that line its Atlantic beach.
- 28. Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park
3400 N. Museum Pointe
Crystal River, Florida 34428
David Levy Yulee, a member of the Florida Territorial Legislative Council, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, once owned this 5,100-acre sugar plantation. The park contains the remnants of the old sugar works, including a forty-foot limestone masonry chimney, iron gears, and a cane press.