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Discover Florida’s aquatic attractions

This southeast state’s coastline includes 660 miles of the best beaches in the US, plus plentiful activities to make the most of the wet stuff, be it freshwater or seawater.

Water fun in Florida

A manatee near Crystal River on Florida’s west coast

Swimming

1 SWIMMING WITH MANATEES

The lumbering, intelligent West Indian manatees seek Florida’s warm-water springs and rivers each winter and many places offer the chance to swim or snorkel beside them. Top of the list are the warm waters of Kings Bay, near Crystal River, on the Gulf Coast, which attracts upwards of 500 manatees a day (fws.gov/refuge/crystal_river).

2 TUBING

At Ichetucknee Springs State Park you can swim in the clear waters of Ichetucknee Spring or, for experienced swimmers, Blue Hole Spring, which has a strong current. Or lie back on a giant inner tube and gently float down the lazy Ichetucknee River through unspoiled wilderness as otters swim right up beside you (foridastateparks.org; 12087 SW US 27, Fort White; 8am–sunset; river use £3).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - September 2015
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