Even though we wish we could, we can’t all just take a long weekend – or an entire week – to explore the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore, have adventures, and make memories right where we are.

One of the most common reactions I get to how to Do florida is, “I didn’t know that [location/activity] was here, and it’s right down the road from me!”

The idea of planning an excursion or finding a hidden gem in a city far outside of our comfort zones can feel daunting at the end of a long week, so I have a (brilliant) suggestion:

Get to know your zip code! (…or the one or two nearby)

Look, we live in Florida, where millions of people flock (especially during those harsh northern winters), so let’s take advantage of the amazing resources available to us all year long.

Here are three excellent reasons to get to know your zip code and find your adventures locally:

1. It builds community

For me, I love going to downtown Sanford, only 5 minutes from where I live, because I can’t walk down the street without meeting someone I know. There’s something uniquely cool about venturing into a town and catching up with old friends and acquaintances. Bonus: I get to introduce my kids to people and show them the importance of unplugging, venturing out, and engaging with people.

So find a town nearby (or the one you live in), get to know people there, and enjoy watching community grow.

2. It makes for a low-stress outing

If you are familiar with the amazing things to do near your home, it makes going on a planned – or spontaneous – excursion way less stressful!

My family and I love going to Wekiva Springs State Park or Wekiva Island because they’re close, they’re beautiful, and we’ve been there so many times that we know what to expect. Basically, it requires minimal planning and is guaranteed to be a fun outdoor adventure for the family.

3. It’s a way of investing in our state

Yes, people love to visit to Florida and invest in our state, but we have the opportunity to do the same. The more we get out and enjoy local restaurants, business, and culture, the longer those amazing places will stick around. This means that we get to enjoy them along with our snowbird friends!

It might take a little digging at first, but finding the perfect place for your family to hang out will make the search worth it. And you never know when you’ll meet someone at your new favorite restaurant who will tell you about their favorite canoeing spot. See? Building community pays off!

If you’re new to your area and don’t know where to start, here are a few resources to give you a nudge in the right direction:

Find a Florida State Park near you (there are 174!)

Watch episodes of how to Do florida and get inspired:

If you’re in my neck of the woods, check out:

Who knows? Maybe we’ll run into each other while we’re out there making memories and building community.

Do florida!
Chad Crawford