What’s new in Florida travel for 2021? As the coronavirus pandemic swept through the Sunshine State and country, you may have missed the announcement of some adventure trails launched in 2020 and 2021. Five destinations offer curated trails through their downtowns and beyond. Some involve refreshing beverages while others follow myths or legends. They all are fun to follow and offer a new way to discover a slice of Florida.
Florida Mermaid Trail in Brooksville
Mermaids have entertained and enchanted visitors in Weekie Wachee Springs, Fla. for decades. Now, spot them along the Florida Mermaid Trail in nearby historic Brooksville. Spot 20 small mermaid statues in downtown along the Florida Mermaid Trail. They may be at eye-level, street-level, or above you. It’s a fun way to explore the historic city, visit shops and eateries, and admire art and architecture you may not have noticed before.
Learn more about the Florida Mermaid Trail on their website.
Get Social Along the Florida Mermaid Trail: #FLMermaidTrail
When following the trail, share your experience on social media using the hashtag: #FLMermaidTrail.
Ultimate Daytona Beach Trail
You gotta dip your toes in the sand when visiting Daytona Beach but there’s so much more to see and experience. Follow the Ultimate Daytona Beach Trail Guide to explore cars, craft, and culture in this popular Florida east coast destination. The Guide consists of six niche trails with curated lists of sites and businesses to visit.
Get your heart racing by exploring Daytona Beach’s motorsports heritage along the Motorsports Trail. Taste craft brews and spirts from more than 20 breweries, taprooms, and distilleries along the Daytona Beach Ale Trail.
Visit the final resting place of one of Daytona Beach’s beloved residents, Brownie The Town Dog, along the Monuments and Statues Trail. Or, explore African American museum exhibits and learn about influential Black leaders with ties to Daytona Beach, like Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune following the Share the Heritage Trail. Other trails are Hiking and Biking and Iconic trails.
Learn more about the Ultimate Daytona Beach Trail Guide on their website.
Get Social Along the Ultimate Daytona Beach Trails: #LoveDaytonaBeach
When following the trail, share your experience on social media using the hashtag: #LoveDaytonaBeach
CoolCraft Beverage Trail in DeLand
West Volusia County is a pretty nifty place to visit and is self-described as old Florida with a new vibe. To show how cool it is, the CoolCraft Trail was uncorked for public consumption in November 2020. From meads to coffees, and teas to smoothies, and beer, too, follow the trail and taste the different flavors of the destination. While there, keep an eye open for murals part of the Wings of the West trail.
Learn more about the CoolCraft Trail on their website.
Get Social Along the CoolCraft Beverage Trail: #CoolCraftTrail
In addition to enjoying craft beverages, like cold-pressed juice at Beeatroot or key lime pie on a stick at Kermit’s Key West Lime Shoppe (key lime juice is a beverage!), those who navigate the trail can win. Share five favorites on Instagram using #CoolCraftTrail and follow @VisitWestVolusia to win a free pint glass koozie (pictured above). Users who want the koozie need to complete a form on the CoolCraft Trail website.
Sips, Suds & Soda Trail in Sebring
Quench your thirst for adventure in Sebring, home of the Annual Soda Festival and now the Sips, Suds & Soda Trail. Register for a mobile passport (delivered via either text or email, it’s not an app) for the Sebring Sips, Suds & Sodas Trail Pass and follow it to producers and/or distributors of craft spirts, wine, beer and soda.
Show your phone at a respective stop on the trail to save. For instance, save $5 off a purchase of $25 or more at Sugar Sand Distillery. Earn a prize by checking in on the mobile passport (there’s a displayed PIN #).
Deadline: Sept. 30, 2021 – everyone who visits and checks in at all eight locations will be entered to win a special prize.
The trail’s creator, Visit Sebring, the destination’s tourism arm, is offering a limited-edition trail glass while supplies last.
Learn more about the Sebring Sips, Suds & Soda Trail on their website.
Get Social Along the Sips, Suds & Soda Trail: #VisitSebring and/or #SebringSips
When following the trail, share your experience on social media using the hashtag: #VisitSebring and/or #SebringSips.
Shark Spotting Public Art & Scavenger Hunts in Venice
The Shark Tooth Capital of the World is Venice, Fla., and it’s easy to spot sharks through the Shark Spotting public art display. Ten small, brass shark sculptures are throughout the adorable, historic downtown. To find them, follow the clues online or perhaps, if you’re observant, you’ll stumble upon one while window shopping.
If you’re looking for other ways to explore Venice, download the Scavify app to participate in Venice Quest. This is a series of free scavenger hunts designed to help app users explore and learn about Venice in a fun and educational way, all through the phone. Earn points by accomplishing specific tasks, like answering a questioning or uploading a photo in the app. Then, earn awards. The app launched in 2019 as the project for the inaugural class of Leadership Venice.
Note: Shark Spotting and Searching for Fairy Doors in downtown Venice end Sept. 30, 2021, in the Scavify app.
Learn more about Venice Shark Spotting Public Art.
Get Social When Venice Shark Spotting Public Art: #VeniceSharkSpotting
When following the trail, share your experience on social media using the hashtag: #VeniceSharkSpotting
Which Adventure Florida Trail(s) Will You Choose?
Adventure trails aren’t anything new but it’s nice seeing different cities in Florida curating them and making it easier to answer the question of, “what is there to do?” These fun trails in Brooksville, Daytona Beach, DeLand, Sebring, and Venice are a new way to explore these destinations in an authentic way. Plus, because many trails are walkable, you’re getting some exercise, too. Speaking of walking trails, check out the free Florida Stories app by the Florida Humanities Council.