Family vacation: Florida

Florida is such a great destination for a family vacation as there is so much to do in a relatively small place. Florida has beaches, space rockets, adventure parks and the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. For many families the most important destination is Walt Disney World.

It is best to get around by car; to make the most of your stay renting a car is really the best option, as public transport is not ideally suited for visiting the beaches and exploring the state. You can drive from Orlando to Miami in around three and a halfhours and this route will allow you to take in Florida’s best attractions, which are detailed below.

Walt Disney World

A family vacation to Florida would not be complete without visiting Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando. Walt Disney World is much more than just a theme park and to fully experience it you really need to spend a few days there. The park resort is actually four main theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

One of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World is the Star Wars weekends where you can meet characters from Star Wars and children can visit the Jedi Training Academy.

There is a variety of accommodation around the park including quality hotels, villas, cabins, campsites and a range of resorts.

Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure

The Universal Orlando Islands of Adventure is aimed at the whole family. Young children will enjoy the Seuss Landings while teenagers can enjoy the roller coaster rides.

SeaWorld is the highlight for many families, with impressive displays of dolphins, walruses, polar bears and orcas (killer whales). There are also many more thrill rides, shows, music concerts and acrobatic shows.

Kennedy Space Center

Cape Canaveral is on the Space Coast and the highlight is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex where you can experience exhibits and shows, see the Space Shuttle Atlantis, meet an astronaut and experience the International Space Station. The center also shows educational films on Twin IMAX® Theater 3D Films and there are bus tours around the large base. For younger children there is the excellent Children’s Play Dome where “junior astronauts” explore a space themed playground.

Miami and the South Beach

Miami and the South Beach is a great place for families to relax and enjoy the warm, tropical waters of Florida. As well as the excellent beaches you can explore the Parrot Jungle Island and Miami Children’s Museum.

The Everglades

The Everglades is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. It is an ecological paradise and is just a short drive from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The Everglades National Park is confined to the southern end of the Everglades wetlands and it is here where you can explore the area by boat, by bicycle or in a car.

The Everglades has a lot to offer families. One of the highlights for many people is the Ranger Programs that are free to visitors. The best way to see the park is by water transport and the airboat is the most fun way to get close to the wildlife and see alligators in their natural environment.

Contributed by Guest Writer

As many of you know Florida is one of the *only* states I’ve never visited (hence the reason there are no photos in this post!) Can’t wait to check it off my list someday, especially after reading this! ~ Nicole

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