Family vacations are important rituals, but it can often be difficult to find a destination that will thrill the kids and satisfy the parents alike. In Wakulla County, the entire family can experience the many natural wonders of our land, and find time to relax a bit as well.
Interact with the touch tanks at the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory
Parents are always looking for activities where their kids can learn about the world around them and have a blast at the same time, and the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea fits that description perfectly. The facility houses a working marine laboratory where ongoing research is performed, including a sea turtle rehabilitation program.
It’s also a unique interactive nature center that is designed to educate guests about the diversity in the Wakulla County marine ecosystem. Some of the most popular attractions are the touch tanks, where you can touch the glass that houses live marine animals.
Get lost in the beauty of the natural surroundings
This county is teeming with beautiful natural areas and amazing parks, but what makes Wakulla County so unique is the incredible diversity of the natural lands here. It’s possible to hike along thick, wooded trails in the Apalachicola National Forest, view lush, open meadows on a drive through the Big Bend National Scenic Byway, and put your feet in the Gulf of Mexico on the coastal trail—all within several miles of each other.
Get up-close-and-personal with the wildlife at Wakulla Springs
Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, known affectionately as Wakulla Springs, is one of the crown jewels of of Wakulla County. This state park is home to a diverse selection of aquatic, terrestrial, and avian species, so be sure to bring your camera. Autumn is also a great time to watch for manatees swimming in the river or the spring, so keep an eye out for this iconic Florida marine mammal.
Marvel at the abundance of the stars
Urban and suburban sprawl are an everyday reality for most of the population of the U.S. now, and light pollution has drastically reduced the visibility of the cosmos all over, especially on the east coast. Wakulla County, however, is one place where you can still see the stars shine brightly at night. In fact, according to the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, our area rates between a 2 and 3, with 1 being the darkest and 9 being the most light pollution.
Treat your family to a homestyle meal
There’s nothing better on a vacation than gathering together with your friends and family and enjoying a great meal. In Wakulla County, we have dozens of fantastic, independently-owned restaurants where you can relax during your journey. Whether you’re looking for fresh local seafood, a traditional southern buffet, or even fine dining, you’ll find it here during your travels.