Gliding over the Everglades on an airboat tour
Ready to play on the soft, white sands of Clearwater Beach
The Cheetah Hunt rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Floating over forests and lakes on a hot air balloon ride near Davenport
Summer fun on the Wacissa River
Making a splash at the Reunion Resort Water Park
Classic cars and art deco architecture in Miami Beach
A perfect Florida beach day, floating in the surf on a flamingo raft
Spying marine life in the coral reefs of Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park
Discover more when you explore each corner of Florida
Central Florida’s Natural Beauty
Spend several fun-filled days in Orlando and Kissimmee exploring theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios, each filled with thrill rides and immersive experiences. Then head an hour east to Florida’s Space Coast, where the family can relax on Atlantic Ocean beaches, tour the Kennedy Space Center and be amazed by live rocket launches. Pick oranges and get a monster truck tour in a Clermont citrus grove. See wildlife at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, set on Florida’s largest barrier island and home to bald eagles, osprey, gopher tortoises and nesting sea turtles. Take a scenic hot air balloon ride over Davenport, or try an adrenaline-pumping skydiving experience over Plant City.
Culture and Craft Beer on the Gulf of Mexico
Visit Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for heart-pounding roller coasters and exotic animals. Stroll the Tampa Riverwalk, which is dotted with restaurants, bars, museums and entertainment options, including The Florida Aquarium, home to tens of thousands of tropical creatures. Drive about 45 minutes west to award-winning Clearwater Beach, with its white sand and calm waters. In St. Petersburg, visit museums and more than 35 breweries along the Gulp Coast Craft Beer Trail. From mid-November to late March, swim with gentle manatees in Crystal River. Enjoy museums, art galleries and performing arts in Sarasota. Go boating, snorkeling and swimming on Siesta Key.
Endless Adventure in South Florida
See and be seen on Miami’s South Beach, packed with Art Deco architecture, galleries, boutiques, restaurants and bars. At night, the area lights up with dance clubs, Latin music, DJs and cocktail bars. In the morning, take a short drive to Everglades National Park for an airboat tour of coastal mangroves and sawgrass marshes, home to alligators and manatees. Explore South Florida’s many charming towns, such as romantic Delray Beach with its Pineapple Grove Arts District. Discover the Florida Keys at island destinations including Key Largo and Bahia Honda State Park. They’re prime spots to relax on the beach, boat, fish and snorkel. In the evening, check out the offbeat nightlife of Duval Street in Key West.
North Florida Charm and Family Fun
Bring the family to Jacksonville, home to more than a dozen museums exploring history, contemporary art and science. The lush Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens features more than 2,000 animals and 1,000 species of plants. Keep the excitement going with a road trip to Ocala, where an abandoned limestone quarry is home to the hair-raising Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours. Take your exploration underground at Florida Caverns State Park near Marianna. Relax on the beaches of the Emerald Coast, notable for their white sand and jewel-green waters. Wander cobblestone streets in St. Augustine, the USA’s oldest city. Amelia Island and quaint Fernandina Beach offer upscale resorts, championship golf and charming shops.
Early explorers of Florida claimed to have seen mermaids; what they actually saw were the docile manatees who thrive in Florida’s waters.
The Citrus State? Florida is second only to Brazil in global orange juice production and remains the world’s leading producer of grapefruit. Florida also produces more than 70 percent of the USA’s supply of citrus.
Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna is the only place in Florida where visitors can tour air-filled caves. The underground limestone formations are more than 30 million years old.
Photo: Dorothy Thames