Florida offers some wonderful options for your next family vacation. When choosing where to vacation in Florida, consider these 10 options.
No list of family friendly destinations in Florida would be complete without mentioning Orlando. Theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios make Orlando a top choice with kids of all ages. Besides Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando has a number of great museums, gardens, a zoo nearby. Choose to swim with dolphins or take a tour on the Boggy Creek Airboats for a chance at some wildlife viewing.
Tampa is another great family vacation spot. With attractions like Busch Gardens, the Lowry Park Zoo, numerous museums, manatee watching, and the Big Cat Rescue make Tampa another popular option for a family vacation. Tampa is also home to an aquarium and Adventure Island, Busch’s water theme park.
The Everglades is another popular option for a family vacation. With lots of educational opportunities to learn about the local ecosystem, kids of any age will enjoy exploring this legendary region. Activities like bird watching, sea kayaking, fishing, canoe tours, and manatee watching are excellent options to fill your vacation days.
4. Florida Keys
Try snorkeling at the only natural coral reef in North America. Activities like “snuba” are a great way to dive to shallow depths without scuba gear. The National Deer Refuge, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Theater of the Sea, and the Dry Tortugas National Park are amongst some of the top things to see in the Florida Keys area.
5. Road trip from the Everglades to the Keys
If you cannot choose between the Everglades for the Florida Keys, consider a road trip vacation. Enjoy the 200 plus mile drive along Alligator Alley and historic Route 1 between these two popular regions, which gives families the chance to see a variety of Florida scenery.
6. Amelia Island
Near Jacksonville, Amelia Island offers great beaches and a historic fort with period actors. It is known as the “Isle of Eight Flags” as it’s had 8 different flags flown over it since 1562. Popular seasonal events include the Eight Flags Shrimp, Jazz, Chamber Music, and Film Festivals.
7. Space Coast
Just east of Orlando is Florida’s Space Coast. Known for the Kennedy Space Center, there are also beautiful beaches, wildlife, and marshes and estuaries that make this a worthwhile family vacation spot.
8. Emerald Coast
The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is a huge 2400 acre resort that has a beach side on the Gulf of Mexico. Numerous kid friendly activities, watersports, and even a junior golf academy make this a destination in itself.
9. Crystal River
Although not a large destination, the Crystal River area can provide a one-of-a-kind experience, making this sleepy retirement area a great place to spend a few days. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge offers adventurous guests the opportunity to swim with manatees. Having done this myself a number of years ago, it is one of my most treasured memories from traveling the globe.
10. St. Petersburg / Clearwater Beach
About 2 hours east of Orlando, this is a great place to enjoy a family beach getaway. Miles of perfect beaches, dolphin watching, and a Pirate Cruise, make this a fun-filled destination. St. Petersburg is about 75 miles south of Crystal River, which provides a great option to enjoy picturesque beaches and swim with the manatees.