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  • florida's oldest pub
  • fort de soto pier

The Telephoto Florida Tour Starts Here

The Telephoto Florida tour goes beyond the Florida Birding Trails.  Here we introduce you to Florida's cities, beaches, theme parks, Zombie Fests, sunsets and back yards.

We have hundreds of locations and thousands of photos in the archives, waiting to be posted and there are oh so many more to places to visit.

Come back often, see what's new, and help us grow.

alligator from above

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  • fort de soto pier
  • fort-desoto-beach
  • sunset Fernandina beach
  • old motel sign

Pick a base city below from the region you plan to visit.  Poke around and see where the trail leads.

To navigate the slide shows, hover over to stop the picture and arrow to move forward and back. 



The West is loosely defined as the covering the Panhandle, east along I-10 to I-75.  Head south on I-75 through Lake City, Gainesville, Ocala, Brooksville Tampa, St Pete's and on down to Bradenton.

This diverse region offers a wealth of accessible rural and seashore Florida attractions. It includes 4 coastal regions - Sun Coast  / Nature Coast  / Forgotten Coast / Emerald Coast - and includes Panama City, Gainesville and the greater Tampa area.

Weeki Wachee
The Mermaid Theater at Weeki Wachee has been running since 1947 and is truly “one of Florida’s oldest and most unique roadside attractions”. There is probably no other place on earth where you can watch live mermaids swim.
The Tampa Bay Area is an excellent base camp city.  From here you can cover much of west and central Florida.  From the beaches of St Pete's and Clearwater, to the sponge docks of Tarpon Springs, the area is rich in culture, sport and nature.

selfie at bradenton beach

The Bradenton Area, conveniently tucked between Tampa and Sarasota, is another excellent trailhead and gateway to the region. Surrounded by waterways, the area is host to some of Florida's best birding, boating and beaches.


Within a few minutes drive there is Anna Maria Island Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key.  Cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to the north for Fort De Soto and St Pete's. To the south, the lure of Sarasota's museums and galleries.


souvenir stand

Stock up for your Florida vacation on whiskey and souvenirs just south of the Georgia State Line where Highway 17 intersects I-95 (exit 380). 

 Helen and Allan Cruickshank

Helen and Allan Cruickshank Sanctuary

sunset Fernandina beach

Geographically, Fernandina Beach may be the northerly most Florida city but this quaint Victorian seaport town is all about the South.

arboretum sign

Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens is a wonderful and well worth it stroll through nature.


Centrally located, Lakeland is a great starting point. From the small downtown charm to the numerous lakes that make up its name, Lakeland is indeed a "little mecca of cool".


In the city of Plant City, Edward Medard Park serves as a popular spot for picnicking, boating, fishing and some birding.

Lake Apopka Wildlife DriveLake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is an excellent 11 mile one drive through restored wetlands and march along the north shoulder of Laker Apopka.

Animal KingdomAnimal Kingdom

Disney World Animal Kingdom - Disney definitely does it right albeit they are expensive.


Sarasota Area

The Sarasota Area serves as great base camp city for Central West Coast Florida


Sanibel Island on the south west coast is a must do Florida visit. From the wildlife refuge to the Sanibel Stoop, you simply must experience this natural wonder.

marco ilsland

Marco Island is located in the South West of Florida, near Naples.  The island is on the Gulf of Mexico and is the largest of Florida's Ten Thousand Island region. 


If you find yourself on the Turnpike south of Orlando and west of Vero Beach stop by Yeehaw Junction to visit The Desert Inn, a fabulous living example of Old Florida.

Morikami Japanese Gardens

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

For a bit of culture away from your birding day visit this cultural arts center with its serene winding path leading you through magnificently manicured Japanese style gardens. 

Butterfly World

Telephoto Florida has added Butterfly World in Coconut Creek to its top ten favorite Florida places list.  Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in the world. Butterflies, exotic birds, and beautiful plants... breath taking.