Travel Itineraries - Central East
Rich in history and wildlife, Tomoka State Park is situated along the Tomoka River and Intracoastal Waterway and is popular for fishing and birdwatching. Tomoka is a site on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail and a bird-watcher’s paradise, with over 160 species sighted, especially during the spring and fall migrations.
Paddling and boating are enjoyed on the river, and the park features a full-service campground and youth camping. Bulow Creek State Park, Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park and North Peninsula State Park are sister parks in the area and all are connected by the Ormond Scenic Loop.
The area around Lake Okeechobee provides escape from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. About 90 minutes from either coast, the area is a unique combination of historic attractions, fishing opportunities, natural areas and wildlife, and agriculture and rural ranchlands. Cattle ranching is the oldest industry in Okeechobee County and is home to many of Florida’s traditional cattle ranching families. The “cracker cowboy” history is captured in the book "A Land Remembered" by Patrick Smith, who grew up on a ranch that is now Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.
Canaveral National Seashore, located along Florida’s east coast between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, has a variety of habitats, including barrier island, open lagoon, coastal hammock, pine flatwoods and offshore waters. As a result, outdoor activities are numerous, ranging from kayaking to birdwatching. Primitive camping is allowed at the Apollo Beach end of the park.
Sebastian Inlet State Park is 971 acres located in Brevard and Indian River counties on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. Access to the park is from State Road A1A, 12 miles north of the city of Vero Beach and 18 miles south of the city of Melbourne. State Road A1A traverses the full length of the park, and a paved four-mile bicycle path is located within the state road right-of-way through the park.
The park is divided north and south by the manmade Sebastian Inlet. The two jetties, one on each side of the inlet, make the park a premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida’s east coast, and a favorite for anglers nationwide to catch snook, redfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel.
St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park is 22,000 acres of open grassy longleaf pine forests, once commonplace throughout Florida and the Southeast. The pine flatwoods also form a backdrop for other biological communities, including cypress domes, scrubby flatwoods, sandhills and a beautiful strand swamp. These habitats are home to many native plants and animals, including over 50 protected species.