Marking Time on the West Coast
The last few days we have been slowly working up the west coast of Florida, marking time prior to heading inland.
Mostly just sight seeing. Like the Atlantic side, the Gulf side of southern Florida is pretty well developed non-stop. There is an ocean but seeing it is difficult. Homes and hotels on just about all the beach front. Where there is a narrow access path there is no parking for blocks, if at all. We did find one very nice public beach with good parking on the southern tip of Anna Maria island. Mid-week, off season so not crowded.
Went to DeSoto National Historic Site. Interesting to learn about him and his quest.
This tree is outside visitor center. A Gum tree. It is in crisis. It has lived well beyond the normal time for that species.
Today we went to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Long time tourist attraction now owned and run by the state of Florida. Fun place. Two sides to it. One side is a waterpark with slides, pools, playgrounds, volleyball courts, lots of lawn space. Very well attended by families with kids of all ages. The other side has three attractions/shows and space for functions. One show is an animal (actually reptile) demonstration. Brief, up close introduction to several different reptiles. Second attraction is a boat ride down the out flow river from the springs. Short trip on the meandering, jungle like river to see some wild life and nature. Third attraction is the Mermaid Show. Under water theater where ‘real’ mermaids perform for about 45 minutes. Fun show. Well choreographed and performed.
Tomorrow we head inland.