Adventure awaits visitors to Florida’s Sports Coast. Just north of Tampa, our active destination appeals to all members of the family. Each activity is a journey—complete with a happy ending.
With so many offerings, it’s little wonder the appeal is just as strong for parents with children as it is for couples looking for a getaway filled with beautiful beaches and so much more. Getting out and about is a treasure map with rewards wherever you turn. The best part is that there’s no need to retrace your steps regardless of how often you visit.
Each stay here is its own experience. Have a succulent steak one night and some of the freshest fish you’ll ever find the next. Try out a fishing charter one day and row, row, row your boat another. Follow up an excursion to Epperson Lagoon or Staatspark Anclote Key with a trip to Sky Dive City in Zephyrhills or Treehoppers Aerial Adventure Park in Dade City.
There is a yin for every yang. It doesn’t matter your age because a visit here is a trip of a lifetime. Just make sure to bring a pen to start crossing off those bucket list items.
Read on for some ideas to consider when choosing your own adventure in Florida’s Sports Coast.
Vacationers here would be missing the boat without taking advantage of the beautiful weather and natural scenery. Lounging, diving and kayaking are just a few ways to experience recreation and relaxation along the water.
Imagine relaxing at the beach without tall buildings in the background and cars roaring over the sounds of ocean waves. This would-be nirvana exists at Staatspark Anclote Key, where 11,773 square acres of adventure await. The state park comprises the islands of Anclote Key, Three Rooker Bar and North Bar and is only accessible by boat.
Sportsmen and sportswomen can kayak there in one to two hours from Holiday, Anclote River Park and New Port Richey. Day trippers may consider a ferry ride across. Parties staying overnight for camping must arrive via their own boat.
Upon arrival, a wonderland awaits. Birders will make good use of binoculars. Good luck getting the kids to do anything besides collect shells. Sunbathing and wading will never be so peaceful. Be sure to explore the lighthouse during open houses. Pack a picnic for a meal you are not soon to forget that will also fuel you for a day of exploration.
Wash away daily life’s stress with a day at this man-made oasis. Children will be preoccupied by the large floating inflatable obstacle course and waterslide while adults can hop on a paddleboard or kayak. Break up your break from reality with a stop at Reef’s Café for drinks and a meal. The Sandbar is a swim-up tiki bar with your name on it.
Make it a family fun day or boys’ day out fishing. Rent a charter at New Port Richey or make your way to Sunset Landing Marina, Hudson Beach Marina, Anclote Village Marina, Port Hudson Marina or Skeleton Key Marina along the Gulf of Mexico. With luck, red drum, spotted seatrout and common snook will be biting. If not, you’ve still had a day with breathtaking views away from it all. For a unique activity, try your hand at scalloping while snorkeling.
New Port Richey is also home to Salty Dog Kayak Rentals, where you can pick out your canoe or kayak for a closer look at what the Gulf waters are home to.
It’s not just a saying that we can talk about our activities till we’re blue in the face. Our water sports are spectacular, but those with an air for thrills will find the view from above unbelievable. Here’s what awaits those who move from the aqua Gulf to the bright blue sky.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to jump out of an airplane. Now is your chance at this unique hot spot in Zephyrhills. Sky Dive City employs instructors with thousands of jumps among them to guide you on what is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many travelers. You’ll never look at the world the same way again after taking this leap.
Those a little more grounded will want to zip over to Treehoppers Aerial Adventure Park in Dade City. Treetop courses of myriad age and skill levels allow this to be a full family affair. Zip lining between trees never gets old—nor do the views high above the park.
Back on the water, thrills await vacationers ready to wakeboard on a lake. Master the cable-held ride before trying your hand at the inflatable obstacle courses. Younger travelers will have a blast with the water-based jungle gym and beach activities.
In case you were wondering, we’re not called Florida’s Sports Coast for nothing. Among the highlights are challenging and fun golf courses, some designed by Arnold Palmer no less.
Is the brainchild of the legendary Palmer, who conceived of the two courses to take a swing at. Water hazards at 14 holes are part of the fun! This is the place to be for a golf retreat or when dad needs a day to himself during vacation. Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club is another two-course gem surrounded by nature preserves (only in Florida!).
Winkelen is a workout in itself for some. Enjoy the warm temperatures and fresh air while navigating boutiques and national chains. Top destinations for finding a little something to take home include The Grove at Wesley Chapel and the famous Shops at Wiregrass.
You won’t have to stick your neck out recommending a day at Giraffe Ranch. Safari-style vehicles lead visitors into the “wild” to get a look at these enormous creatures. Take a camel expedition or tour via Segway to make it an even bigger adventure.
Finding a good place to dine isn’t an adventure here, though picking a final destination may be hard. Choose between microbreweries, farm-to-table restaurants or seafood joints that you’ll be ready for a second helping of when paying the bill.