I really enjoy doing things with my family on the weekends. When we first moved down here and I looked up "things to do in Orlando" in google I always got the same results - Disney, Universal, Gatorland, Sea World. There is so much more to do and see in Florida that is "Unknown" to those who visit and to even those that live here. I wanted to help others find things to do with their families so that they can create memories that they could look back on for years to come.
Pontoon Boat ride down St Johns River and Blue Springs State Park
For Duane's Birthday, Feb 2009, we wanted to do something different. He is really into the flora and fauna of Florida so what would be better that a nice pontoon boat ride down the St. John's River. We decided on a 4 hour adventure - but could have choosen the full day 8 hour (which I think we may do next time) and headed off for High Banks Marina in Debary, FL. The people were really nice and the boat was amazing. We could have fit up to 12 people and were allowed to bring our own cooler with snacks to use while on our trip. The registration and paperwork took no time at all and we were off. We saw many types of wildlife on our adventure Snowy Egrets, Blue Herons, Alligators and Manatees.
We stopped at the Blue Springs State Park during our ride and there were 100s of Manatees around.
Apparently due to the fact that the spring is always at 72 degrees year round the Manatees flock when the weather gets cold. We had tried going to the State Park (driving) and it was closed down as once the parking spaces fill up they close the park. This time though we docked and paid our $5.00 to enter the park from the river. It was breathtaking and definitely worth the stop. There was a lot for the kids to do (playground) and large open areas for picnicking or for playing.
Get some of your friends together and enjoy this side of Florida. It is a really great time and you won't be dissapointed.
Highbanks Marina & Campresort
488 West Highbanks
DeBary, FL 32713
4 hour excursion
7:30AM - 11:30AM or 12:30PM - 4:30PM
$95 plus tax
Whole day or 8 hour excursion
7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
$180 plus tax
$200 CASH Deposit required + Cost of Gas