Florida is a great destination for travellers of all ages, and its many attractions make it the perfect place to head for some family fun. Whether you’re a group that prefers exploring the outdoors and observing wildlife, relaxing on tropical beaches, or thrill seeking in theme parks, Florida has something up its sleeve to satisfy your family’s holiday needs. If you’re looking to plan your Florida holidays, and wondering just what can be expected from a stay in the Sunshine State, here are 5 top family fun activities.
1. Theme Parks of Orlando
Each year Orlando hosts more theme parks tourists than any other place in the USA, largely in part to its premiere Walt Disney World Resort, which features an amazing array of parks like Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The resort and local area are also home to world-class golf courses, as well as spa and fitness centres. Be sure to also make a stop at the nearby Universal Studios, where you can visit sets from the Harry Potter films and other family favourites like the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is not short of quality surf and sand. For the best family options look for a beach that is near to local amenities like grocery stores and tourist shops, and has lots of water sports available. Some favourite choices include: the upscale but soothing Naples Beach; Sanibel Island, with biking, and kayaking available; Pensacola Beach, for an unspoiled, low-key setting; and Panama City Beach, if you’re after some seaside carnival fun.
3. Zoos and Museums
Florida has long been known to tourists for its close animal encounters, and the state has some of the best zoos on the East Coast. Not only will you be able to see some of the amazing native wildlife, but the local climate makes it ideal for housing tropical species from all over the world. Lowry Zoo, in Tampa, is a great choice for up-close encounters with the animals, while Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is home to an underwater manatee observatory.
4. National Parks
Florida is the only urban area in the country whose border holds two national parks. In a trip to Miami you can visit Everglades National Park for a bike or kayaking exploration, as well as Biscayne National Park, whose glass bottomed boats allow you to see wonderful coral and marine life.
5. Visit the Fountain of Youth
In 1539 the Spanish settled on the town of Safety Harbour and named is natural spring waters Espiritu Santo—later translated to the Fountain of Youth. To this day the archaeological site holds a kind of mythical rejuvenating power, and its many spiritual and historic sites—a native village, burial ground, and a16th century settlement—can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Many people arrive to Florida thinking the state is purely beaches, waves, and sunshine, but visitors will soon find out that this southern gem has a whole lot more to offer.