Here's a guide to just a few of the fun fall activities in Florida.
1. Hiking and Camping
Fall in Florida is is the time to get back out on the state's network of trails. Load up your backpack and do some hiking and camping on the Florida National Scenic Trail. A few long-distance bike rides are on the list, too – it's hard to beat an early morning ride on the Withlacoochee State Trail.
2. Horseback Riding
There’s nothing quite like watching dolphins frolic -- from the back of a horse. Enjoy horseback riding on the beach in the Sunshine State at Kelly Seahorse Ranch on Amelia Island in the northeast, Beach Tours on Horseback in Fort Pierce on the central east coast and Two-Bit Stables on Cape San Blas in the northwest. Saddle up!
3. Enjoy International Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT
Most fall food and wine festivals are held over a weekend; this one goes on for weeks. With more than 25 global marketplaces, you can can sip and taste your way around the world just by walking around EPCOT's World Showcase. Take a look at Taste of EPCOT Food & Wine Festival for some helpful planning tips and be sure to look for special events, including culinary demonstrations by celebrity chefs.
4. Manatee Sightings
Kids love seeing manatees. So will you. So go to Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa where the waters are a constant 72 degrees. Fall is the perfect time to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
Want to try stand-up paddleboarding.? The folks at Kayak Amelia in Jacksonville have an introductory class that teaches the basics in a quiet lagoon. It sounds like the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
6. Visit NASA's Cape Canaveral
Make the memory of a lifetime -- by watching a shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex at Cape Canaveral National Seashore on Florida's Space Coast. Be aware that launch schedules change, but if you can pull it off, it's well worth the effort.
7. Shop in Local Farmers Markets
Fall in Florida brings with it a bounty of food harvests, making it a great time of year to visit local Florida farms. Spend the afternoon at Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora getting lost in their corn maze and then stocking up on fresh fall vegetables and handmade jams and butters at their country food market.
8. Fall for South Florida, Miami and Miami Beach
Stroll the Lincoln Road Outdoor Antique and Collectable Market on Miami Beach for hours on end, taking in the booths of vintage jewelry and clothes, Art Deco furniture, American pottery, quirky art, and retro cameras -- the finds are endless. Then grab a fresh-squeezed juice from the adjoining Farmer’s Market and stroll on until you locate that one-of-a-kind treasure you can’t live without.
9. Brats and Beer
In downtown Jacksonville they know how to throw a good party. Jaxtoberfest is a fall celebration on the waterfront with fall activities in Florida such as beer-barrel racing and a brat-eating competition. Chow down on wiener schnitzel and drink steins of German beer at the shipyards.
10. Outdoor Fun at Key West
If you need reasons to escape to The Florida Keys, October has plenty, including the world-famous Fantasy Fest in Key West.
11. Mount Dora Craft Fair
One of the most popular fall festivals is in the New England-style village of Mount Dora about 30 minutes northwest of Orlando. The two-day Mount Dora Craft Fair showcases the talents of more than 400 crafters and – incredibly – attracts more than 250,000 visitors to this small town.
12. Walk Don’t Ride
Streamsong Resort, built on an old phosphate mine, has 36 miraculous holes with dramatic changes of elevation. The sites are so beautiful Streamsong recommends each golfer walk, instead of ride, the course. Fall is the perfect time for an adventurous walk (and hopefully a few birdies!) at Streamsong Resort.