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The following are nine of Florida‘s best family vacation spots that are sure to travelers of all ages. Florida is home to incredible sand beaches, educational attractions, and suitable opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Florida family vacations include beach time, such as Key West beach.
Orlando: Numerous Theme Parks
Orlando, renowned for its abundance of amusement parks, is frequently the first place that comes to mind when considering the best Florida family vacation spots. Disney enthusiasts will enjoy Orlando’s four uniquely themed theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and ParkDisney’s Hollywood Studios.
However, the fun in Orlando does not end with Disney, and Universal Orlando Resort is a popular destination for moviegoers and superhero enthusiasts. Universal’s incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter is particularly appealing.
Additionally, the Walt Disney World umbrella includes:
- Two water parks
- Various unique hotels
- A miniature golf center
- Two entertainment districts
- Outdoor activities such as boating and archery
Meanwhile, animal-loving families can spend the day at SeaWorld Orlando getting up close and personal with sea creatures. Additionally, Florida is home to approximately 1.25 million alligators, which you can safely view during a visit to the Gatorland theme park.
Miami: South Florida’s Mystique
Parents may be surprised by the variety of fabulous things to do in Miami with children and teens. Miami is well-known for its sizzling nightlife, art deco architecture, and cutting-edge fashion sense, but it also has many family-friendly attractions. Wynwood Walls, an incredible outdoor museum showcasing street art, will appeal to budding artists. A visit to Little Havana will give you a taste of the city’s vibrant Cuban culture.
Your family can interact with animals by hand-feeding spider monkeys at Monkey Jungle, watching aquatic shows at Miami Seaquarium, or visiting Zoo Miami to see over 3,000 creatures representing 500+ species. On rainy days, the Miami Children’s Museum or the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, including a science center, planetarium, and aquarium, are excellent indoor options. The Magic City has something for everyone.
Islands of Sanibel and Captiva
Seashell Collectors’ Paradise
Families seeking a peaceful retreat will fall in love with Sanibel and Captiva, which are a world apart from Orlando’s fast-paced vacations.
On Sanibel Island’s J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, visitors will encounter a variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. Additionally, active families will enjoy biking the islands and canoeing or kayaking through the waterways. These islands have some of the best shelling beaches in the United States.
“Sanibel and Captiva Islands are a wildlife and shell lover’s paradise,” Amber Johnson, The Outdoorsy Travel Mama, says.
There are 15 miles of unspoiled beaches, 400 different shells, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 different species of fish, 230 other species of birds, no stoplights, no fast-food chains, and a law prohibiting buildings. Taller than the tallest palm tree.”
The Venice of the United States
Fort Lauderdale is affectionately referred to as the “Venice of the United States” due to its numerous picturesque canals lined with mansions and megayachts. Meanwhile, shoppers will have no difficulty discovering mementos from their Florida family vacation among the boutiques and art galleries that line the city’s most famous street, Las Olas Boulevard.
Explore the waterways of Fort Lauderdale via the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi, a swashbuckling Bluefoot Pirate Adventures boat, or the always-entertaining Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise. Families enjoy learning on land at the Museum of Discovery and Science. Discover additional family-friendly activities in Fort Lauderdale.
The Florida Keys are a vibrant island destination
The Florida Keys are an archipelago of nearly 200 islands.400 islands located 150 miles off the southernmost tip of the United States. Water enthusiasts can enjoy fishing, scuba diving, and a variety of other water sports in the Keys. Naturally, while in the Florida Keys, you must try Key lime pie, a tart dessert created in Key West and named for the abundant Key lime trees that grow here.
The Keys’ most populous island, Key West, is the southernmost point on the continental United States.
There are scenic drives that the entire family will enjoy and kid-friendly beaches such as Anne’s Beach off Mile Marker 71.
“The John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park offers a glass-bottom boat ride and snorkeling excursions that are ideal for children. Additionally, Hawk’s Cay Resort in Marathon serves as a one-stop-shop for families, offering multiple pools and lagoons.”
Bay of Tampa
A Taste of Florida
The Tampa Bay Area on the Florida Coast is a popular vacation destination for families seeking variety. Madeira is fantastic for its family-friendly atmosphere, soft sand beaches, and nearby John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk.
Tampa Bay is near three cities:
- St. Petersburg
Additionally, smaller towns contribute to the area’s appeal to Petersburg. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens in Tampa attracts visitors with a mix of theme park rides, animal attractions, and Broadway-style shows. Additionally, Tampa Bay hosts spring training games for several major league baseball teams.
It’s for this reason that we appreciate the Tampa Bay area of Florida so much:
It’s so diverse.” says Nicole Wiltrout of Arrows Sent Forth. Additionally, the beaches are breathtakingly beautiful, with gentle waves ideal for children to play. With three cities located approximately 45 minutes apart, we have access to various activities, from farmers’ markets to zoos to aquariums. You can frequently find direct, low-cost flights into and out of Tampa, which makes getting there even more accessible.”
Florida’s northwest region
Florida Vacations at an Affordable Price
At times, Northwest Florida, dubbed the Panhandle, is known for its beach towns, aqua waters, and family attractions.
Gulf Islands National Seashore features 52 miles of stunning white sand beaches ideal for picnicking and playing. This region of Florida remains less congested than the rest of the state and is typically more affordable. Additionally, the popular communities of Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City offer family-friendly museums, aquariums, and historical attractions.
Terri Weeks of Travel 50 States with Kids recommends the National Naval Aviation Museum, which educates children of all ages about naval aviation in the United States. “With Pensacola only a 45-minute drive away, the National Naval Aviation Museum is the ideal outing,” explained. This free museum houses over 150 restored aircraft and the Navy’s aerobatic flying squadron, the Blue Angels. The museum is almost entirely devoted to aviation history. One wing is loyal to historical aircraft and exhibits.
Subtropical Everglades Wilderness in Florida for Outdoorsy Families
Families who enjoy outdoor exploration should make a trip to Florida Everglades National Park.
As many believe, the Everglades is not a swamp, and it is a slow-moving river. The park is 1.5 million acres in size and southern Florida, and indeed, it is the country’s largest subtropical wilderness area.
Michelle Brennan, the founder of Trekaroo, took her family to the Florida Everglades. They hiked, bicycled, and took an airboat tour through the national park in search of the rare Florida panther that her animal-obsessed daughter hoped to see. “While we did not see the panther, we did see deer, squirrels, gators, beautiful plants, and birds on the small one-way 11-mile road filled with adventure!” Michelle says.
County of Palm Beach
Florida Animal Lovers’ Vacation Spot
Beaches, fine dining, and entertainment are available in Palm Beach County.
Additionally, there are numerous opportunities for family fun here. Take your children to Mounts Botanical Garden or Morikami Japanese Gardens if they enjoy gardens. Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are world-famous for their upscale resorts and socialite population.
Do you want water play? At Riptides Water Park, zip down water slides or wakeboard through a watery obstacle course at Shark Wake Park 561.
McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary, the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservatory, and the drive-through Lion Country Safari love animal lovers. At Manatee Lagoon, get close and personal with these graceful sea giants.
At Loggerhead Marine Life Center, you can also observe sea turtles and learn about conservation efforts.
Meanwhile, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium feature a 10,000-gallon aquarium home to native Florida fish such as queen angels, moray eels, stingrays, and seahorses.