June is nationally recognized as Great Outdoors Month, so let’s head outside to celebrate! If you’re seeking fun in the sun this summer, Florida is a popular destination – whether you are traveling from afar or live locally. With pristine beaches, an abundance of state parks, and world-renowned attractions, there’s so much to do outside in the Sunshine State! Kong Management Group is a full-service property management company, based in Tampa Bay and serving several regions throughout Florida, and here are our favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors:
- Unplug and Go Outside
Did you know that research studies have shown that our reliance on technology is causing us to be disconnected from nature? Take this opportunity to put down your phone and head outside, where you can escape from the pressures of everyday life. Studies have shown that time spent in nature can benefit your overall mental, social, and physical health. In addition to helping you get more exercise, outdoor activities also contribute to reduced stress and a happier outlook!
- Get Active
Whether you prefer a scenic hike, kayaking down the river, or a beachfront stroll, you can do it in Florida. Just be mindful of the Florida heat when you choose your activity. Mornings and evenings are the best time to get outside and get active! Remember to wear light, sun-reflective clothing and always use sunscreen (at least 15 SFP). Drink lots of water, so you stay hydrated. Also, seek out shady trees or breezy areas while you are outside to help you stay cool!
- Have a Beach Day
Head to one of Florida’s many beaches for a fun day in the sun! If you’re interested in a dolphin or manatee sighting, then the beaches along the West Coast of Florida are the places to go! On the Atlantic side of the state, South Florida beaches are also worth a visit! Sunbathing, swimming, volleyball, boating, and saltwater fishing….there’s the perfect outdoor activity for everyone at the beach! (And while you are at the beach, you can stay with us at one of Kong Vacation Homes’ Tampa Bay or Hallandale Beach vacation rental properties!)
- Go Camping
Camping is a great way to observe national Great Outdoors Month! Before leaving for your camping trip, make a checklist of camping essentials, including cooking supplies, bottled water, insect repellent, a first aid kit, sunblock, clothing, and any necessary personal items. (Don’t forget the s’mores!) When you get to the campground, look for a shady spot to set up, and – if you are camping in a place with electric hookups – bring a fan!
Also, make sure to take your rain gear with you if you are planning to camp in Florida this summer. Late June through August is the rainy season, and you can expect a rain shower most summer afternoons! A pop-up shelter is also helpful for protecting your campsite from both mid-day sun and heavy rain.
(One added tip from Kong Management Group – if you are 55+ and plan to stay at an RV park, like The Oaks at Zephyrhills or The Village of Zephyrhills, reserve your space today. Campgrounds are filling up fast this summer!)
- Have an Outdoor Adventure
From theme parks to state parks, you have so many choices for an outdoor adventure in the Sunshine State! If you love a thrill ride, check out Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with its newest roller coaster, Iron Gwazi, opening soon. If you’re interested in animal encounters and open-air exhibits, visit ZooTampa at Lowry Park or Zoo Miami!
Florida also boasts 175 award-winning state parks, trails, and historic sights to explore. While you can bird watch and discover wildlife at all parks, some also offer opportunities for hiking trails, swimming, fishing, and canoeing or kayaking. You can learn more about state parks https://www.floridastateparks.org/ here to help plan your activity!
- Do Some Gardening
But you don’t even need to leave home to commemorate Great Outdoors Month – just spend time gardening! Plant a tree, flowers, vegetables, herbs, or other greenery in your yard or community garden. Tending to plants and watching them grow is an incredible way to reconnect with nature.
- Appreciate the Experience
In a recent study conducted by OnePoll for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, 58 percent of the people shared that they did not appreciate nature like they should have before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is your opportunity to change that statistic! Find a quiet spot under a shady tree to sit, breathe, and contemplate the beauty of the great outdoors. If you like to write or sketch, bring a journal with you! Or, maybe read a blog like this one!
However you choose to spend National Great Outdoors Month, take note of Florida’s tax holidays, too. “Freedom Week,” a tax holiday on outdoor gear and recreational activities, lasts from July 1 to 7, 2021. The purpose of this tax holiday is to encourage people to explore the outdoors as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Items used for outdoor recreation such as tents, sleeping bags, sunscreen, grills, recreational water supplies, and fishing supplies will also not be taxed during Freedom Week.
Regardless of the time of year, you always have access to nature – for free! We encourage you to explore nature and enjoy outdoor activities all year long. And, if you need a place to stay during your outdoor adventures, Kong Management Group is here for you! From our RV parks to affordable rental properties to vacation homes, we help connect potential renters to both long-term and short-term housing opportunities, and our goal is to create a quality living experience for everyone.
Kong Management Group’s ever-expanding portfolio includes properties in Hillsborough County (Tampa Bay), Pasco County (Zephyrhills), and Broward County (Hallandale Beach), including single-family homes, townhouses, condos, recreational vehicle/mobile home parks, and tiny home communities. Contact us at 866-499-9026 or email us for more information! We look forward to being part of your next Florida adventure!