My own (Florida) summer

CL contributor Alexandria Jones runs down her ideal summer activities.

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click to enlarge Come on. You know you've always wanted to rent one of these. - Public Domain
Public Domain
Come on. You know you've always wanted to rent one of these.

Now that I'm in my final semester of grad school, I have plenty of time to do what I want this summer — even those bucket-list "to-dos" I've always wanted to check off. 'Tis the season to be carefree and frivolous, right?

1. Swim at Three Sisters Springs

It's been years since I've swam in water that wasn't in a pool. Thanks to the state's aquifers, we have the luxury of cooling off in H2O that stays 72 degrees year-round. I came across Three Sisters Springs in a Facebook video and was hypnotized. Located an hour or so north in Crystal River, this slice of paradise lets visitors explore Old Florida both by natural springs with kayaks or by land on nature trails. 

2. Rent a swan paddle boat at Lake Eola Park

I have many memories of downtown Orlando's Lake Eola Park as a kid. However, one of the things I never got to do was rent a swan paddle boat. I remember being so envious of everyone I saw cruising around the lake in that over-sized swan. Now that I'm an adult, though, I don't have to ask permission to fulfill this childhood goal of mine.

3. Ride an airboat in the Everglades

Who wouldn't want to glide through the Everglades and experience the wilder side of the state? I see airboats all the time on TV, and I've long imagined what riding on one is like. As nerve-racking as it is seeing alligators up close, I bet it's fun admiring them in their wetland habitat.

4. Learn about more Black history in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the oldest city in this country, but there's still so much we don't know about it. The Civil Rights & Black Heritage Walking Tour is an hour and a half long, allowing participants to learn about everything from the first free Black settlement to where MLK would stay when he visited. 

5. Eat my way through Miami's culinary scene

To me, one of the most important aspects of traveling is getting a taste of the local eats. The Miami Culinary Tours company offers four food tours to choose from, and almost all of them run daily. The destination on my radar? Wynwood.

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