When summertime comes, there are endless opportunities for adventure, both near and far. June is home to Father’s Day and you may ask, what excursions would satisfy dad and children alike? Well, in Florida, there are a plethora of possibilities.

Take a short journey to indulge in a full day of fun, or stay close to fill a few hours.

Catch Dinner

Fishing is a popular pastime and a way for connection between the kids and dad. Whether it’s in the salty sea air, river waters or brackish inlets, Northeast Florida is home to numerous fishing spots. Many communities even provide ponds or river piers to indulge in this event. (Though one might be skeptical of eating a fish from a man-made community pond. Gulp.)

If your community doesn’t have water access, try one of these fishing spots:

St. Johns County: Nocatee Landing, Guana River Dam, Vilano Beach Pier, St. Augustine Pier.

Clay County: Doctors Lake Park, Heart Lake.

Flagler County: High Bridge Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, Flagler Beach Pier.

Palm Coast: North Peninsula State Park, Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park.

Volusia County: Briggs Drive fishing dock, Lake George fishing pier, Riv-Ocean Drive fishing dock, Roberta Drive fishing dock, San Jose fishing dock.

Deep-sea and coastal charters are an incredible way to cruise the seas. Trout, flounder and snapper are just a few species to hook on your rod. Most excursions include bait, tackle, rods, any fishing licenses and other fishing gear.

Charters

First City Fishing offers boat excursions, offshore and inshore, as well as shark fishing.
Specializing in deep-sea fishing, as well as eco-tours, River City Charters has family-friendly excursions for all ages.

Florida Water Tours offers boat outings for all ages. From their dolphin tour to sunset cruises, family fun is in full effect. In Flagler County, Flagler Fishing Charters has full- and half-day rates.

Stripplin Lips Backwater Charters has boats available for offshore and inshore options in Volusia County. Just Hooked Fishing Charters hosts inshore and near-shore options for the whole family, as well as offshore trips.

Water, water everywhere. And so are activities.

Perhaps the preference is to be in the water to catch some fish, surf some waves or simply have a good time. Water sports are readily available on the shores of the Sunshine State.

St. Johns/Duval:

St. Augustine Paddle Sports offers tours around the county. Their website boasts an in-depth map of fishing and boat ramp locations in St. Johns County. Many locations along the St. Johns River are also easily accessible for Clay and Putnam County residents, while the coastal waters are a short hop from Flagler County. In addition, St. Augustine Paddle Sports has supplies and equipment for sale–like kayaks–for your own adventures, as well as bait to tempt the fishes.

Kayaking St. Augustine offers tours and rentals. If paddle boarding is something you enjoy, find it at Latitude 29 Paddleboard, as well as kayaking.

The Salty Paddle holds stand-up yoga on paddleboards in addition to their SUP rentals and outings. Try it for the ultimate test in balance. Summer camps for kids begin in June as well.

Then, there’s surfing. At Surf Into Summer, lessons start at $65 for a private session. Group lessons are available. Boards are provide, but you are welcome to use your own. They even offer summer camps.

Other surf schools include Thompson Surf School, $65 for a private lesson and $45 per person for groups of three.

Jacksonville Surf and Paddle offers both surf and paddleboarding options with private and public surf instruction. Surf camps are ongoing during the summer.

In addition to paddleboarding and surfing, East Coast Boarding School holds lessons, summer camps and even kiteboarding sessions upon request.

Flagler County:

Tropical Kayaks has rentals and sales. If you’re interested in guided tours, check out Kayak Cafe. You’ll also find stand-up paddle and surf rentals at Citrus Surf Shop.

Volusia County:

GorillaShark Boards offers kayak rentals, while Odyssey Adventure Club conducts tours on request and supplies rentals for personal exploration. As a mobile enterprise, Odyssey Adventure Club will meet you at your preferred location and provide the equipment. Local recommended areas to paddle through include Sanchez Creek, Mosquito Lagoon, Ocklawaha, as well as local springs.

Ponce Inlet Watersports covers a variety of water activities. From dolphin boat tours and fishing charters to kayak rentals and sailing adventures, even parasailing, there is something for everybody to enjoy.

Beach Days

Skip the boat and just frolic in the serene sand. Watch the sunrise or splash in the sea. Family-friendly beaches abound on the Florida shoreline, many with fishing access. You might spot a dolphin pod along the horizon. Certain coastal destinations offer drive-on access for a fee. Consult with local county regulations for pricing and restrictions.

Duval/St. Johns Counties: Jacksonville, Atlantic/Neptune, Ponte Vedra, Mickler, Vilano, Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine, North Beach, Crescent Beach.

Flagler County: Washington Oaks Gardens, Flagler Beach Municipal Pier, Varn Park (pet friendly), River to Sea Preserve, Jungle Hut Road Park, Mala Compra Road Beachfront Park (pet friendly), Flagler Beach, Flagler Beach South (pet friendly). More Information at Visit Flagler.

Volusia County: Ormond Beach, Ponce Inlet, Disappearing Island Ponce Inlet, Wilbur-by-the-Sea Beach, Mary McLeod Bethune Beach, Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Matanzas Beach, Playalinda Beach, Dunlawton Beach, Lighthouse Point Park, Sunny Sands.

Other Adventures

Animal Excursions: See some crazy critters at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, or admire the stealth beasts at the Alligator Farm–which has the most species of reptiles in one place in the country. Or travel to the Everglades to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Watch the cats prowl at Catty Shack Ranch. Head west to the Orlando Aquarium for some dazzling aquatic life and make a stop at the Central Florida Zoo. Take in all the dolphin’s glory at Marineland, with their spectacular ocean views.

Museum Days: Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral), Orlando Science Center, Museum of Arts and Sciences (Daytona) and MOSH (Museum of History and Science, Jacksonville) keep science and engagement at the forefront of their activities. Check out the African American Museum of the Arts or the Florida Agricultural Museum for insight into the history farming and crops.

For truly incredible sights and a tour through history, visit one of Florida’s 30 lighthouses.

State Parks

The perfect place to pack a picnic, bring games, play sports and leisurely enjoy the day. Many parks have climbing equipment to keep kids challenged and engaged. Some even offer campsites, fishing or beach access. Here are a few by county to consider:

St. Johns County: Bird Island Park, Deep Creek State Forest, Anastasia State Park, Fort Mose, Anastasia State Park, Matanzas Beach, Matanzas State Forest, Riverfront Park, Julington Creek Plantation Park, Treaty Park, Veterans Dog Park.

Clay County: Williams Park, Green Cove Springs Park, Foxmeadow Recreational Park, Moccasin Slough Park, Camp Chowenwaw, Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park, Moody Avenue, Omega Park, Riverfront Park, Williams Park.

Flagler County: River to Sea Preserve, Shell Bluff Park, Russell Landing/Haw Creek Preserve, Hidden Trails Community Center, Shell Bluff Park, Central Park, Wadsworth Park, Wickline Park, Veterans Park, Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area.

Volusia County: Lake Beresford Park, Pooser Park, Gemini Springs Park, Spring Hill Park, Beck Ranch Park, Lake Ashby Park, Riverside Park, Rocco Park.

Endless options for a summer packed with adventure await, and many come with a very approachable price tag. Whether it’s toes in the sand or an inland museum, there is no shortage of fun, sun and activities to keep the whole family entertained, all while creating memorable moments to last a lifetime.

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