When the weather turns cold up north, make your escape to West Volusia, Florida. Sunny skies and warmer weather provide the perfect opportunity to exchange your mittens and mufflers for a hat and hiking boots.
The West Volusia region is known for its diversity of vacation experiences including historic charm, house boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, and endless outdoor recreation. Home to the St. Johns River, Florida’s only America Heritage River, three award winning Florida State Parks, a National Wildlife Refuge, and a number of county and municipal parks, there is something for everyone!
(Photo Credit: Lyonia Environmental Preserve)
On a cold day during manatee season, several hundred manatee can be seen in the warm water of Blue Spring State Park where park visitors can view them from atop the spring’s overlooks. The spring and spring run are closed to all water activity from mid-November to at least mid-March. Visitors to the park can also enjoy hiking trails, picnic facilities or a scenic boat tour.
See the manatees at Blue Spring State Park
Take a tour of the Stetson Mansion
The Stetson Mansion is Florida’s First Luxury Estate and one of the Top 10 Places To Visit in Florida. Open year around for tours, they are most known for their Christmas Spectacular which runs from November 15th – January 15th each year. The Christmas Spectacular brings in guests from far and wide to view the historic mansion decked out in designer decorations and themed designs. Themes for this year include “Silent Night” and women in the armed services. Reservations are available online and do fill up quickly. CASH ONLY.
Explore Miles Of Smiles on Volusia County Trails
The West Volusia region has an endless array of options for those who like to get out and explore nature. The Volusia County trail networks offer visitors and residents the perfect backdrop for bicycling, hiking, and paddling. The Spring To Spring Trail and the Central Florida Regional Trail provide visitors with excellent options for those who enjoy putting the pedal to the pavement, while Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge offers a more rustic way to explore and discover migratory birds and amazing wildlife including alligators, otters, and deer.
The Spring To Spring Trail is a 15 mile scenic trail that begins just South of DeLeon Springs State Park and travels through several small towns and picturesque parks including Blue Spring State Park, Lake Monroe Park, Gemini Springs Park, DeBary Hall Historic Site and Green Springs Park.
The East Central Regional Rail Trail connects with The Spring To Spring Trail via a trailhead at Green Springs Park and then travels approximately 6 miles East into Edgewater.
Drop A Line
Here in West Volusia County, the opportunity to hook a 10-pound Black Bass is paired with surrounding tranquility, abundant wildlife and unspoiled natural beauty. The St. Johns River and its associated lakes offer plenty of great fishing spots year-round and hosts the annual Bass Pro Shops National Qualifier Crappie Masters Florida State Championship Tournament.
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced freshwater fisherman, the St. John’s River is still the best place in the world to catch a trophy largemouth bass. The major species of fish in the area are largemouth bass, bluegill and speckled perch. Largemouth bass bite year round, while Crappie (Speckled Perch) bite mostly in the winter.