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Paddle boarding in Jacksonville Florida

Staycation Guide to North Florida’s Natural Wonders

Posted on: June 5, 2024

The summer months beckon families to embark on journeys of exploration. Across the U.S., travelers seek out nature’s wonders, venturing to various corners of the country. Yet, in North Florida, residents are discovering that they need not venture far to experience the enchantment of the wild. With some of the nation’s finest beaches and lush preserves right at their doorstep, many are opting for a summer staycation this year to explore what’s close to home.

Tributary, a new North Florida master-planned community, boasts a prime location mere moments from a plethora of adventures. The community has even curated its own Explore More Magazine, highlighting the finest destinations in North Florida. Here’s a closer look at the natural wonders nearby.

North Florida Fishing

A Natural Backyard with Four Creeks State Forest

Located along Tributary’s western border, Four Creeks State Forest provides the perfect backdrop for a day of outdoor adventures. Whether on foot, bike, or horseback, families can traverse the miles of nature trails that meander through the forest. They may even catch a glimpse of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, or a myriad of bird species that call this sanctuary home. Four naturally flowing creeks within the park provide a wealth of water-based adventures as well.

Aerial of Tributary Regional Park in North Florida

A Playground for All Ages at Tributary Regional Park

Located just north of Tributary, the new 40-acre Tributary Regional Park is one of Nassau County’s newest recreational gems. Here, visitors of all ages can enjoy entertainment and adventure. Let younger children run wild at the playground, while a multipurpose recreational field and numerous baseball fields offer plentiful opportunities for pick-up kickball, baseball, or soccer games. Bring a blanket and some lunch for an afternoon picnic in the wide-open green spaces, or adventure down endless trails to spot all the area’s wildlife. Future plans will also include a dog park and a canoe and kayak launch at Boggy Creek.

Amelia Island Horseback riding tours

Coastal Bliss on Amelia Island

Naturally, a visit to North Florida wouldn’t be complete without a day of sun, surf, and sand. Just a quick 25-minute drive from Tributary, Amelia Island boasts golden shores recently recognized by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s top 20 beaches. Whether wading in tide pools, building sandcastles, searching for shark teeth, or playing in the waves, 13 miles of coastline provide a playground for all ages. For a truly unique and memorable experience, horseback riding tours are also available along the beach.

camping in North Florida

Camp Under the Stars on Little Talbot Island

Little Talbot Island State Park is a rare gem among Florida’s barrier islands. The park’s campground is tucked into ancient dunes, surrounded by a lush maritime hammock of live oaks, American holly, and Southern magnolias. After a night under the stars, a wealth of adventures await. Families can launch kayaks from the campground’s western end into winding tidal creeks for kayaking or fishing. Explore four miles of hiking trails, unwind on a secluded five-mile beach, or simply sit back with binoculars and observe the abundant wildlife. From migrating red knots and piping plovers to great horned owls and painted buntings, birdwatching on Talbot Island doesn’t disappoint.

Kids playing in the creek

Hiking and History at Timucuan Preserve

Dubbed “Jacksonville’s Central Park,” the Timucuan Preserve boasts 46,000 acres of rivers, marshes, wetlands, and centuries of history waiting to be explored. This hidden gem spans several parcels separated by the St. Johns River. To the south, visitors can hike or bike down miles of trails, retracing the footsteps of the Timucuan Indians who once called Fort Caroline home. On the north side, Kingsley Plantation offers a glimpse into plantations of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Traveling in between each segment is easy with the St. Johns River Ferry. Carrying both vehicles and pedestrians, families are treated to a scenic tour of the river, live oak forests, and saltwater marshes.

Tributary Amenity Center

The Ideal Staycation Destination

Tributary residents, however, don’t even have to leave their community for the ideal staycation. The stylish Lookout Amenity Center provides a hub for residents within the community. Residents can enjoy staying active with a range of amenities, including a state-of-the-art Fitness Center, two pickleball courts, a children’s playground, a resort-style pool, and a recreational playfield. The community even caters to pets with the Pawsome Dog Park, featuring separate play areas for large and small dogs, along with obstacle course challenges. Extensive scenic nature trails will wind throughout the community, providing direct access points to the Nassau River, neighboring trailheads of the Four Creeks State Forest, and Tributary Regional Park.

Tributary Model HOmes

Livin’ on Tributary Time

Located just north of Jacksonville in Nassau County, Tributary is a new master-planned community that spans 1,550 acres of land. Tributary offers an impressive selection of new, single-family homes starting from the $300s, built by David Weekley Homes, Dream Finders Homes, Lennar and Richmond American Homes. Furthermore, Tributary’s active-adult neighborhood, Lakeview 55+, is almost sold out of homes in Phase 1, with the amenity center planned to be completed this year.

Tributary’s Model Home Village is open daily for tours or can be toured virtually here. To hear from residents themselves on what makes life at Tributary so unique and rewarding, watch our new Community Video or request a complimentary copy of our Explore More lifestyle magazine, which provides an overview of the neighborhood and surrounding area. For more information, you can also visit TributaryLiving.com.

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