Florida has some of the most beautiful natural swimming locales in the country. You should definitely check these out this summer, but remember there are more potential dangers than at the pool (including alligators), and there is usually no lifeguard on duty. Always accompany children and weaker swimmers and research potential dangers before your trip. Be safe and have fun!
Near Tallahassee lies one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world, swimmers can find an observation and diving platform at the head of the spring. Bonus points: Scuba diving for those certified is allowed at Cherokee Sink, but calling ahead is recommended.
Fanning Springs State Park is located only an hour from Gainesville, on the Suwannee River. The clear blue water stays a perfect 72 degrees year round. Bonus points: There's a designated shallow area for parents with toddlers and others learning to swim.
Guests can swim in this historic park (where Ponce De Leon was believed to have visited) at depths up to 30 feet. Children and weak swimmers must stay with an adult swimmer at all times. Bonus points: Start your day pouring your own pancakes at your table at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill. It's located about 30 minutes from Daytona.
This park in Branford, FL, houses not only a perfect swimming spot but also the remains of a Civil War-era steamboat deliberately sunk by its owner to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. Pretty cool, right?
Visitors here can swim in a crystal clear spring in a limestone basin on the west bank of the Withlacoochee. Scenic woodlands surround this perfect summer picnic spot. Bonus points: Extensive cave diving for those certified. Cave diving can be very dangerous, so leave this to experts if you're not certified.
About two hours north of Tampa in Dunnellon sits one of Florida's most beautiful state parks. Take a swim in the headsprings or tube down the crystal clear Rainbow River. Bonus points: hike through the park and check out the man-made waterfalls firsthand.
15. Crystal River
Crystal River is the only place in Florida where you can legally get up close and personal with our aquatic sweethearts, the manatees. This video and many more can be found at www.riverventures.com.
4 bell peppers, various colors 1 onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped ½ pound ground beef ½ pound sweet Italian sausage 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce 15 ounces whole milk ricotta 1 cup grated parmesan cheese ½ cup fresh basil, chopped 1 egg 4-5 cooked lasagna noodles, quartered 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F/180˚C. 2. Cut the top off of each pepper and remove the seeds. Transfer to a square baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, to soften. 3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot, or dutch oven, over medium high heat. 4. Add the onion and garlic, cook until softened. 5. Add the ground beef, sausage, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat has browned on all sides. 6. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a light simmer. 7. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, basil, and egg. Mix together w…
INGREDIENTS8oz cream cheese, room temperature4 tablespoons butter, room temperature1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs4 cups powdered sugar10 oz chocolate chips
DIRECTIONSIn a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter together until combined.Add in the graham cracker crumbs and mix well.Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until it is all mixed in.Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. I usually let it sit overnight.Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and remove batter form the fridge.Scoop into balls and roll in between palms if necessary. Place on wax paper.Place in fridge for 10-20 minutes if they are too soft to dip.Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds to make sure it doesn’t harden up. It should take about 1 minute for the chocolate to completely melt.Dip balls into chocolate, covering completely.Place back on wax paper and let cool until chocolate has hardened.Store in the fridge for the best taste.