Top Nature Retreats in Florida

    By Kevin Mims

    From luxurious beach resorts to no-frills accommodations for budget-minded travelers, Florida has something for every occasion.

    Nature lovers aren't left out, either. There are several retreats in Florida where fans of the great outdoors can kick back and enjoy an amazing nature getaway.

    Here are a few Florida retreats where it's all about the outdoors:

    Honey Lake Plantation Resort and Spa, Greenville

    Located in rural Madison County, Honey Lake offers guests a chance to explore the outdoors with style and southern character. If it feels like a blend of old and new, that's because it is. The original early 1900's-era Poe Cottage is situated right on Honey Lake, and several other new cottages are also available. Also offered are guest rooms in the lodge, complete with heart pine walls and pecky cypress ceilings. Hunting, fishing, kayaking and hiking are a few of the pastimes guests can enjoy right on the Honey Lake property. www.honeylakeresort.com

    Creek Ranch, Haines City

    Want an authentic Florida ranch experience? Creek Ranch is a real working cattle ranch, with 1,400 acres adjacent to Central Florida's Lake Hatchineha. Here, visitors can saddle up and learn to rope and ride, taught by real cowboys. Known in fishing circles as Lake Hatch, the bass fishing here is world class. For nature lovers, Creek Ranch is bordered by Catfish Creek Preserve State Park and the Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve, allowing for plenty of eco-exploration. In the evenings, kick back in Creek Lodge's 9,000 square foot bunkhouse and enjoy a southern style meal. http://www.creekranch.com

    Steinhatchee Landing Resort, Steinhatchee

    For water lovers, a stay at Steinhatchee Landing Resort is a Florida retreats bucket list item. Sixteen boat slips are available at no charge for guests on a first-come, first-served basis. An additional number of slips are up for grabs for a nominal fee. During scallop season, guests are close to the action at Steinhatchee Landing Resort, and it’s only minutes away to some of the best scalloping beds in the state. For kayakers, the resort provides a shuttle upriver to Steinhatchee Falls where a paddle back to the resort takes about three hours. www.steinhatcheelanding.com

    Tarpon Lodge, Pineland

    Fishing is what it’s all about at Tarpon Lodge. Built in 1926, guests get a taste of real coastal Florida, with rooms available in the historic Tarpon Lodge, the Island House, Boathouse and Cottage. Pine Island is perfect for nature lovers who want a look at a Florida coastal habitat, and history buffs will enjoy trips to explore ancient Calusa Indian mounds and other relics from this pre-Columbian civilization. Pine Island Sound is the heart of Tarpon fishing; guests have some of the best charter captains in the business located nearby that can put you on the fish. http://www.tarponlodge.com

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