Put these five activities on your summer fun list, and get outside and explore the wild side of Florida...

Go Watch Some Wildlife

Florida promises a wealth of summer wildlife watching. Check out Edward Ball Wakulla Springs Wildlife State Park, near Tallahassee, and keep your eyes peeled for Swallow-tailed Kites alligators and wading birds. Bonus points – take a dip in Wakulla Springs, one of the largest and deepest springs on the planet. Down south, visit the Venice Rookery for more egrets and herons; and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne, near Miami, for Gray Kingbirds, Magnificent Frigatebirds, and possibly a Mangrove Cuckoo. Tip: go in the mornings and late evenings when things are cooler and wildlife is more active.

Hit the Beach

This is a given, right? It's Florida, and trips to the beach during the summer are a must. Some of my personal favorite stretches of sand are Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in northwest Florida, Mexico Beach, Fernandina Beach, Flagler Beach, and Blowing Rocks Preserve.

Take a Tube Trip

This is the classic Florida way to beat the heat, and I always do one or two tube trips during the summer. Grab a tube and head to Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White, or Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon. Both are terrific places to float the day away. For folks near Pensacola, take a drive to Adventures Unlimited in Milton and tube Coldwater Creek. If you are near Orlando, a short tube run is located at Rock Springs Run at Kelly Park. Remember these parks can and will reach capacity so arrive extra early.

Go Snorkeling

Besides all the other outdoor stuff that I carry around, there is always snorkel gear in my vehicle. We've got world-class snorkeling spots all over the state, from Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River to a huge number of places in the Florida Keys. If you are down that way don't miss John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo and Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key. Hop aboard the Yankee Freedom Ferry and spend some time snorkeling Dry Tortugas National Park, which is about 70 miles west of Key West.