What do a canopied roadway, box turtle, dinosaur, dolphins and mermaids have in common? They are just a few of the unique finds you can snap on this Adventure Coast Photo Scavenger Hunt.
Don’t forget to post your pics with us on social media. We’d love to see them!
Snap your adventure! Whether you are an avid photographer or simply enjoy taking pictures on your phone, a Scavenger Hunt is a fun challenge!
Florida’s Adventure Coast has beautiful scenery and endless opportunity for the nature enthusiast, as well as old-school Florida charm.
While you keep fantastic memories of your trip, try to spot and capture our Scavenger List with your camera:
Sunset on the beach
Florida’s state tree (hint: it’s not a tree)
A real, live Mermaid
A crystal clear spring
A box turtle
Begin the day at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, home of the live Mermaids.
You could spend the entire day here with Mermaid Shows, a Wildlife Show, and the beautiful springs which you can swim in at Buccaneer Bay. If you have time to spare, schedule a paddling trip down the crystal-clear Weeki Wachee River, where you are likely to spot many of the creatures on our Photo Scavenger Hunt List – including Manatees!
From Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, head south on US-19 / Commercial Way for five miles to Osowaw Boulevard. (Hint: A certain hard-to-find item on your list can be spotted from the highway)
Turn Right onto Osowaw Boulevard and continue for half a mile to the Weeki Wachee Preserve entrance on your right.
Parking is available at the entrance. On the second and fourth Saturdays of every month, visitors may drive in through the Osowaw Boulevard gate and park at the end of the paved 1.3-mile road.
This 11,000 acre preserve is home to the elusive Black Bear and provides multiple habitats including several miles of Weeki Wachee River frontage, portions of the Mud River, dense hardwood swamps, freshwater and saltwater marshes, and pine-covered sandhills. The preserve has 5.5 miles of paved and hard-packed trails and 4.3 miles of scenic marked forest roads.
After exploring the Weeki Wachee Preserve, continue west on Osowaw Boulevard for one mile and turn right onto Shoal Line Boulevard. Drive north for 7.3 miles. You will pass by the restaurants and marinas as you drive on this road, bordered on the east by the Weeki Wachee Preserve and the Gulf on the west.
When Shoal Line Boulevard ends at Cortez Boulevard, turn left. Drive 1.5 miles and stop by for lunch at the Bayport Inn for seafood or other Florida classics while enjoying the view on the outside Tiki Deck.
Continue heading west on Cortez Boulevard to Bayport Park located at the end of the road.
Bayport Park provides panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico coast and the opportunity to see dolphins and manatees. The park contains seven acres and includes a boardwalk, picnic tables, pavilions, barbeque grills, and boat ramp.
From Bayport Park, head east on Cortez Boulevard and make a left turn at the Bayport Inn onto Pine Island Drive. This is a pleasant drive through coastal marshland. Continue to the beach park at the end of the road.
Pine Island Beach is a 3-acre beach park on the Gulf of Mexico and offers a beach and swimming area, picnic tables, shelters, barbecue grills, a volleyball court, a playground and a concession stand. Beautiful and quaint, Pine Island is the perfect place to capture a sunset and spot dolphins in the Gulf. Shorebirds are commonly seen on the beach in large numbers at dawn and dusk.
A citrus grove
A canopied road
A 160-year-old Manor House
Long-Leaf Pine Forest
Begin the day early with a hike at the Cypress Lake Preserve.
Directions: from Brooksville, head west on Cortez Boulevard/US-98 and turn left onto Ridge Manor Boulevard. Look for the Cypress Lake Preserve sign on the left marking the entrance. There is a small easement for parking.
The 331 acre Cypress Lake Preserve contains eight natural plant communities including lakes, freshwater marsh, cypress swamp, bottomland hardwoods, live oak hammocks, scrub, and sandhills. The Florida National Scenic Trailis marked in the preserve and offers ample opportunity for nature viewing and photography.
From Cypress Lake Preserve, backtrack to Cortez Boulevard/US-98 and turn right (east). Continue 1.2 miles and turn right onto Croom RItal Road. Most of this forest road runs parallel to the Withlacoochee State Trail and provides access to numerous hiking trails and recreational areas as it runs through the Withlacoochee State Forest.
Continue north for six miles and make a slight right to continue north on Nobleton Croom Road. Continue driving north for four miles to Lake Lindsey Road and turn right. Head east to the River Ratz Café, located on the left, to have lunch by the Withlacoochee River. If you would like an even better view on the water, you can rent a kayak from the restaurant/outfitter and explore the river! Don’t worry if you would prefer to keep your feet (and camera) on land, as our next stop also provides access to the Withlacoochee River.
After having lunch, turn right on Lake Lindsey Road and head west for 1.2 miles to Lake Townsen Regional Park on the right.
Bounded by the Withlacoochee State Forest and the Withlacoochee River, this park offers scenic views of the river, cypress swamp, and wildlife. The park includes 338 acres of open space providing access to hiking trails and theWithlacoochee State Trail.
From Lake Townsen Preserve, head west on Lake Lindsey Road for 4 miles and turn left onto Broad Street/US-41. In 2.3 miles, make a sharp right turn onto Snow Memorial Highway and take the first left onto Chinsegut Hill Road. Follow the signs to Chinsegut Manor House Museum.
Set atop one of the highest elevations in Central Florida, the Chinsegut Hill Manor House (circa 1850s) is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and offers great views from the hill it sits on. Nearby, at the corner of Snow Memorial Highway and Broad Street/US-41 is the Big Pine Tract, a 430 acre parcel which has the second largest tract of old-growth longleaf pine forest in Florida. The forest and museum owe their continued history to Colonel Raymond Robins, who donated both the land and Chinsegut Hill Manor to the federal government as a wildlife refuge and agricultural experimental station.
The Big Pine Tract and its connecting trails are a choice location for seeing migratory as well as resident birds and white-tailed deer.
Backtrack to Broad Street/US-41 and continue south to downtown Brooksville. Here you can take a leisurely stroll through the historic section of Brooksville, marked by red brick roads and murals depicting historic scenes from Brooksville’s past. Take a tour of the May-Stringer House or the 1885 Railroad Museum, or shop at one of the many antique gift shops including Roger’s Christmas House.
Last but not least, out itinerary ends with a Florida classic that cannot be skipped – an orange grove! From downtown Brooksville, head east on North Broad Street and make a right turn onto Cortez Boulevard/US-98. Continue for 5.6 miles to Spring Lake Highway and turn right.
At the top of the hill lies Boyett’s Citrus Grove and Attraction,, with citrus that can be shipped to friends and family and an eclectic gift shop that is sure to provide unique subjects to capture. End the day with a kitschy souvenir, a round of mini-golf or a treat from the ice cream parlor.