Onroute Logo

Travel & recreation

Destinations | Drives | Nature | Guides

Natural Places

Adventure on Florida's Big Bend

Florida's Big Bend

The historic Lighthouse on Seahorse Key. Photo by Neil Hurley.

This is the first of nine pages on adventure along the western shore of central Florida.The "Big Bend" region of Florida -- at least along the main corridor linked by U.S. Highway 19/98 -- continues the almost unending succession of small towns, chain restaurants, souvenir stands, and the detritus of a century of central Florida development, except that the development thins out as you get farther north of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area; a fortunate situation for the serious nature lover.

Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge

Waccasassa Bay State Preserve

The Lower Suwanee

Manatee Springs and O'leno State Parks

Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Peacock Springs State Recreation Area

Suwanee River State Park

Attractions Below the Big Bend

The main highway (19/98) leads inland after passing Crystal River, heading through Chiefland, Cross City, and Perry, before reaching the Tallahassee area. To reach the coast, you have to take little county roads that connect with the highway, and run southwest to even smaller towns: Suwanee, Cedar Key, Horseshoe Beach, and Fish Key. U.S. 98 veers westward from U.S. 19 at Perry, offering a more bucolic path to scenic coastline and more natural attractions including St .Marks National Wildlife Refuge, St. George Island, and St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge -- on an island which sits where Apalachicola Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico

Located mid-way between Tampa and Tallahassee, the town of Cedar Key is a perfect little town to use as a base for exploring the natural wonders of this spectacular region. First there are the keys, a group of 40 small barrier islands sitting in the Gulf of Mexico, west of the mouth of the Waccasassa River and south of the larger Suwanee River which flows from its origins in Georgia's Okeefenokee Swamp to meet the gulf.

Many of these islands are bare, and Cedar Key is the only town, linked to the mainland by a three-mile causeway. The region contains one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife areas in the Southeast, and this guide takes you to the best of these natural areas.

Fraser Bridges


Search hotels, cruises,
and vacation packages around the world

go to the Hotel Guide


Tecopa Hot Springs, California

Travel Resources


Hotels - Vacation Packages
Condos, Suites
and Vacation Homes

Travel & Nature Guides

Natural Places of the Southwest

Completely revised and updated, this book combines travel with nature in a unique and fascinating way. Along with detailed descriptions of top natural destinations in the Southwestern states, Fraser Bridges includes "Field Notes" with descriptions of birds, animals, and plants of the desert and mountain regions.

You'll also find places to stay including hotels and inns as well as park, RV and wilderness campgrounds.

Go Here for more information on the Natural Places

Alaska-Yukon Adventures

The new edition of Alaska-Yukon Adventures gives you the lowdown on the highways and backroads of Alaska, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Travel with Fraser Bridges as he explores the North Country and provides tips and recommendations for your journey.

Go Here for the
Alaska-Yukon Adventures Page

Southwest Adventures

Fraser Bridges' Southwest Adventures - The Road Guide, 3rd Edition, is updated and newly published as an Amazon Kindle e-book, Ready to take along with you on your travels.

Go here for the
Southwest Adventures Page

Pacific Coast Adventures

Fraser Bridges' Pacific Coast Adventures - The Road Guide, 4th Edition, is now available as an Amazon Kindle e-book.

Go here for the
Pacific Coast Adventures Page