We're fortunate to be living in Florida because most of our out-of-state relatives want to visit us for Thanksgiving. There's no place like home in the Sunshine State in the late fall.
My family has a tradition of gathering at our Everglades homestead for most of the week. We go duck hunting and fishing on Lake Okeechobee. All week, we feast on wild fish and game. On Thursday, mom cooks two wild turkeys that we harvested last spring gobbler season. It's a great week of celebrating our passion and appreciation for this state's great outdoors.
Why not spend some of your Thanksgiving week in Florida's great outdoors as well?
Here are some ideas for quality family time outdoors:
There are canoe and kayak rentals all over the state, with plenty of boats for even the biggest party. Small creeks and rivers are a blast to paddle, provide an intimate setting and fish bite really well this time of the year. Some of my favorites include:
-- The Loxahatchee River, in Jupiter, is a federally designated Wild & Scenic River. The upper reaches are full of small bass, and tarpon and snook are plentiful throughout the river.
-- Arbuckle Creek, near Sebring, is simply stunning. It flows into Lake Istokpoga, one of our top bass and crappie lakes. For a small creek, Arbuckle holds some really big bass and panfish.
-- Fisheating Creek is one of the state's treasures, and it flows into Lake Okeechobee, the state's best bass fishery. There's a great campground and canoe rental in Palmdale, where you are but a few strokes of the paddle away from excellent freshwater fishing.
-- Guana River, near St. Augustine, offers great fishing for redfish, speckled trout and other species in a magnifcent setting.
If you want a dose of salt water, it's always a blast to bring the family along on a party boat fishing expedition. It's inexpensive, and you're sure to bring home some fish to enjoy once those turkey leftovers have lost their appeal. You can find a boat out of most any pass or inlet, and in the Keys.