Florida Family Vacation

Florida is a great destination for a family vacation, with something to offer everyone. From world-famous theme parks to stunning beaches, there is no shortage of fun things to do in the Sunshine State.

Theme parks

Florida is home to some of the biggest and best theme parks in the world, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. These parks offer something for everyone, from thrilling roller coasters to gentle rides for young children.

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Beaches

Florida has over 1,300 miles of coastline, so there is no shortage of beautiful beaches to choose from. Some popular family-friendly beaches include:

  • Clearwater Beach: This beach is known for its white sand and clear waters. It is also a great place to spot dolphins.
    Clearwater Beach, Florida
  • Siesta Beach: This beach is known for its soft, white sand. It is also a great place to collect seashells.
    Siesta Beach, Florida
  • Destin Beach: This beach is known for its emerald-green waters and sugar-white sand. It is also a great place for swimming, fishing, and boating.
    Destin Beach, Florida

Other activities

In addition to theme parks and beaches, Florida also offers a variety of other family-friendly activities, such as:

  • Visiting the Kennedy Space Center: This museum and visitor center offers a glimpse into the history of space exploration.
    Kennedy Space Center, Florida
  • Taking an airboat ride through the Everglades: This is a great way to see alligators, crocodiles, and other wildlife up close.
    Airboat ride through the Everglades, Florida
  • Visiting the Orlando Science Center: This museum has a variety of interactive exhibits on science and technology.
    Orlando Science Center, Florida
  • Visiting ZooTampa at Lowry Park: This zoo is home to over 1,300 animals from all over the world.
    ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Florida

Family-friendly resorts

Florida has a wide variety of family-friendly resorts to choose from. Some popular options include:

  • Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort: This resort is located within Walt Disney World and offers guests a variety of amenities, including early access to the parks and extended theme park hours.
    Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Florida
  • Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort: This resort is located within Universal Orlando Resort and offers guests a variety of amenities, including a retro-themed pool and transportation to the parks.
    Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Florida
  • Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center: This resort is located in Kissimmee, Florida and offers guests a variety of amenities, including a water park, an indoor rainforest, and multiple restaurants.
    Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Florida

Here are some more Florida family vacation ideas:

State parks

Florida has over 170 state parks, many of which offer family-friendly activities such as hiking, swimming, camping, and fishing. Some popular state parks for families include:

  • Ichetucknee Springs State Park: This park is known for its crystal-clear springs and scenic hiking trails.
    Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Florida
  • Ginnie Springs: This park is known for its clear springs and underwater caves. It is a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling.
    Ginnie Springs, Florida
  • Wekiwa Springs State Park: This park is known for its clear springs, hiking trails, and canoeing opportunities.
    Wekiwa Springs State Park, Florida
  • Silver Springs State Park: This park is known for its glass-bottom boat tours, wildlife encounters, and nature trails.
    Silver Springs State Park, Florida
  • Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park: This park is known for its herds of wild bison and horses. It is also a great place to birdwatch.
    Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Florida

Water parks

Florida has a number of world-class water parks, including:

  • Aquatica Orlando: This water park is located at SeaWorld Orlando and features a variety of water slides, pools, and other attractions.
    Aquatica Orlando
  • Discovery Cove: This water park is also located at SeaWorld Orlando and offers guests the opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel with rays, and hand-feed tropical birds.
    Discovery Cove, Florida
  • Universal’s Volcano Bay: This water park is located at Universal Orlando Resort and features a variety of water slides, pools, and other attractions, including the Krakatau Volcano, which erupts with water every hour.
    Universal's Volcano Bay, Florida
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach: This water park is located at Walt Disney World and features a variety of water slides, pools, and other attractions, including the Summit Plummet drop slide, which is one of the tallest and fastest water slides in the world.
    Disney's Blizzard Beach, Florida
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: This water park is also located at Walt Disney World and features a variety of water slides, pools, and other attractions, including the Crush ‘n’ Gusher slide, which is a family-friendly raft ride.
    Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Florida

Other attractions

Here are a few more family-friendly attractions in Florida:

  • Key West: This island city is located off the southern coast of Florida and is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and historic sites.
    Key West, Florida
  • Naples: This city is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is known for its white-sand beaches, high-end shopping, and art galleries.
    Naples, Florida
  • St. Augustine: This city is located on the northeast coast of Florida and is known for its historic Spanish fort, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriage tours.
    St. Augustine, Florida
  • Miami: This city is located on the southeast coast of Florida and is known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and Art Deco architecture.
    Miami, Florida
  • Tampa: This city is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is home to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, and the Florida Aquarium.
    Tampa, Florida

Here are some more Florida family vacation ideas, with images:

Wildlife encounters

Florida is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, crocodiles, dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles. There are a number of places where families can see these animals up close:

  • Alligator Alley Tours: This company offers airboat tours of the Everglades National Park, where visitors can see alligators, crocodiles, and other wildlife.
    Alligator Alley Tours, Florida
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium: This aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles. Visitors can learn about these animals and see them up close.
    Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida
  • Miami Seaquarium: This aquarium is home to a variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea lions, and killer whales. Visitors can see these animals perform tricks and learn about them through educational programs.
    Miami Seaquarium, Florida
  • Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park: This park is home to a variety of Florida wildlife, including manatees, black bears, and panthers. Visitors can see these animals up close and learn about them through educational programs.
    Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Florida

Educational attractions

Florida has a number of educational attractions that are perfect for families, such as:

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: This complex is located at Cape Canaveral and offers visitors a glimpse into the history of space exploration. Visitors can see rockets, learn about the Apollo missions, and even take a simulated space shuttle launch.
    Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Florida
  • Orlando Science Center: This museum has a variety of interactive exhibits on science and technology. Visitors can learn about everything from the human body to the solar system.
    Orlando Science Center, Florida
  • Museum of Discovery and Science: This museum is located in Fort Lauderdale and has a variety of interactive exhibits on science and technology. Visitors can learn about everything from robotics to dinosaurs.
    Museum of Discovery and Science, Florida
  • South Florida Science Center and Aquarium: This museum is located in West Palm Beach and has a variety of interactive exhibits on science and technology. It also has an aquarium with a variety of marine life.
    South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Florida

Family-friendly dining

Florida has a wide variety of family-friendly restaurants, from casual chains to fine dining establishments. Here are a few popular options:

  • Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen: This chain restaurant offers a variety of American comfort food dishes, such as burgers, steaks, and chicken.
    Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Florida
  • Olive Garden: This Italian chain restaurant offers a variety of pasta dishes, pizzas, and salads.
    Olive Garden, Florida
  • Red Lobster: This seafood chain restaurant offers a variety of shrimp, lobster, and fish dishes.
    Red Lobster, Florida
  • Rainforest Cafe: This themed restaurant offers a variety of American dishes in a rainforest setting.
    Rainforest Cafe, Florida
  • T-Rex Cafe: This themed restaurant offers a variety of American dishes in a prehistoric setting.
    TRex Cafe, Florida

Here are some more Florida family vacation ideas, with images:

Free or low-cost activities

Florida has a number of free or low-cost activities that are perfect for families, such as:

  • Visiting a beach: Florida has over 1,300 miles of coastline, so there are plenty of beaches to choose from. Many beaches offer free parking and amenities, such as picnic tables and showers.
    Florida beach
  • Visiting a state park: Florida has over 170 state parks, many of which offer free admission. State parks offer a variety of activities, such as hiking, swimming, fishing, and camping.
    Florida state park
  • Visiting a farmers market: Florida has a number of farmers markets where families can buy fresh produce and other local goods. Some farmers markets also offer live music and other entertainment.
    Florida farmers market
  • Visiting a playground: Florida has many playgrounds located in parks and other public spaces. Playgrounds are a great place for kids to burn off energy and have fun.
    Florida playground
  • Going for a walk or bike ride: Florida has many scenic walking and biking trails. Walking and biking are great ways to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
    Florida walking and biking trail

Cultural attractions

Florida has a number of cultural attractions that are perfect for families, such as:

  • Miami Children’s Museum: This museum has a variety of interactive exhibits on science, culture, and the arts.
    Miami Children's Museum, Florida
  • Tampa Museum of Art: This museum has a collection of over 18,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
    Tampa Museum of Art, Florida
  • Orlando Museum of Art: This museum has a collection of over 26,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
    Orlando Museum of Art, Florida
  • Museum of Illusions Orlando: This museum has a variety of interactive exhibits that create optical illusions and trick the mind.
    Museum of Illusions Orlando, Florida
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando: This museum has a variety of exhibits on strange and unusual people, places, and things.
    Ripley's Believe It or Not! Orlando

Family-friendly festivals

Florida has a number of family-friendly festivals that are held throughout the year. Here are a few popular options:

  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: This festival is held at Epcot at Walt Disney World and features food and drinks from over 20 countries.
    Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Florida
  • Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival: This festival is held at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and features food and drinks from over 10 countries.
    Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival, Florida
  • Florida Strawberry Festival: This festival is held in Plant City, Florida and celebrates all things strawberries.
    Florida Strawberry Festival, Florida
  • Citrus Festival: This festival is held in Winter Haven, Florida and celebrates all things citrus.
    Citrus Festival, Florida
  • Orange County Fair: This fair is held in Orlando, Florida and features rides, games, food, and entertainment.
    Orange County Fair, Florida

Here are some more Florida family vacation ideas, with images:

Unique experiences

  • Visit the Florida Keys: This chain of islands located off the southern coast of Florida is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere. Families can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and boating in the Keys. They can also visit the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Dolphin Research Center, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.
    Florida Keys, Florida
  • Take a swamp tour: This is a great way to see alligators, crocodiles, and other wildlife up close. Swamp tours are offered in a number of locations throughout Florida, including the Everglades National Park, the Big Cypress National Preserve, and the St. Johns River Marsh Audubon Center & Sanctuary.
    Florida swamp tour
  • Visit an orange grove: Florida is known for its oranges, and there are a number of orange groves that offer tours and tastings. Families can learn about the orange growing process and sample fresh-squeezed orange juice. Some orange groves also have playgrounds and other activities for kids.
    Florida orange grove
  • Go on a space shuttle simulator ride: The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers a simulated space shuttle launch experience. Families can experience what it’s like to blast off into space and feel the force of gravity as they ascend into orbit.
    Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex space shuttle simulator ride
  • Visit the Legoland Discovery Center: This indoor theme park is perfect for families with young children. It features a variety of Lego-themed exhibits, rides, and activities.
    Legoland Discovery Center, Florida

Family-friendly hotels

Florida has a wide variety of family-friendly hotels to choose from. Here are a few popular options:

  • Walt Disney World Resort hotels: These hotels offer guests a variety of amenities, including early access to the parks, extended theme park hours, and transportation to and from the parks.
    Walt Disney World Resort hotel, Florida
  • Universal Orlando Resort hotels: These hotels offer guests a variety of amenities, including early access to the parks, transportation to and from the parks, and exclusive character meet-and-greets.
    Universal Orlando Resort hotel, Florida
  • Beachfront hotels: Florida has many beachfront hotels that offer guests stunning views of the ocean and easy access to the beach.
    Florida beachfront hotel
  • Water park resorts: Florida has a number of water park resorts that feature water slides, pools, and other water activities.
    Florida water park resort
  • All-inclusive resorts: Florida has a number of all-inclusive resorts that offer guests everything they need for a vacation, including food, drinks, activities, and accommodations.
    Florida allinclusive resort

No matter what your family’s budget or needs are, you are sure to find a family-friendly hotel in Florida that is perfect for you.

Tips for planning a Florida family vacation

Here are a few tips for planning a Florida family vacation:

  • Book your flights and accommodations in advance, especially if you are traveling during peak season.
  • Purchase a theme park pass if you plan on visiting multiple theme parks.
  • Pack light, especially if you are planning on doing a lot of walking.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally and reapply often.
  • Stay hydrated, especially in hot weather.
  • Take breaks throughout the day, especially if you are traveling with young children.
  • Be flexible and don’t be afraid to change your plans if needed.

With a little planning, you can have a wonderful and memorable Florida family vacation.

Here are some more Florida family vacation ideas, with images:

Unique experiences

  • Visit the Dry Tortugas National Park: This remote park is located 70 miles west of Key West and can only be reached by boat or seaplane. The park features Fort Jefferson, a massive 19th-century fort, as well as stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant wildlife.
    Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
  • Take a glass-bottom boat tour: This is a great way to see marine life, such as coral reefs, fish, and sea turtles, up close. Glass-bottom boat tours are offered in a number of locations throughout Florida, including the Florida Keys, Clearwater Beach, and St. Augustine.
    Glassbottom boat tour, Florida
  • Go on a snorkeling or diving excursion: Florida has many great places to snorkel and dive, including the Florida Keys, the Gulf Coast, and the Atlantic Coast. Families can see a variety of marine life, such as coral reefs, fish, sea turtles, and manatees.
    Snorkeling or diving excursion, Florida
  • Visit a wildlife sanctuary: Florida has a number of wildlife sanctuaries that care for injured, orphaned, and abandoned animals. Families can learn about Florida’s wildlife and see animals up close. Some popular wildlife sanctuaries include the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
    Wildlife sanctuary, Florida
  • Go on a hot air balloon ride: This is a great way to see Florida’s landscape from a different perspective. Hot air balloon rides are offered in a number of locations throughout Florida, including the Orlando area, the Tampa area, and the Florida Keys.
    Hot air balloon ride, Florida

Family-friendly activities

  • Visit a museum: Florida has a number of family-friendly museums, such as the Orlando Science Center, the Museum of Discovery and Science, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. These museums offer a variety of interactive exhibits on science, technology, and culture.

    South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Florida

  • Go to the movies: Florida has a number of family-friendly theaters, such as the AMC Dine-In Theaters and the CMX Cinemas. These theaters offer comfortable seating, delicious food, and the latest movies.

    AMC DineIn Theaters, Florida

  • Play mini-golf: Florida has a number of mini-golf courses, such as Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf and Gator Golf. These courses offer a fun and challenging activity for families of all ages.

    Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Florida

  • Go bowling: Florida has a number of bowling alleys, such as Splitsville Luxury Lanes and AMF Bowling. These bowling alleys offer a variety of games and activities for families of all ages.

    Splitsville Luxury Lanes, Florida

  • Visit a water park: Florida has a number of water parks, such as Aquatica Orlando and Volcano Bay. These water parks offer a variety of slides, pools, and other water activities for families of all ages.

    Aquatica Orlando, Florida

Conclusion

Florida is a great destination for a family vacation. With its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and abundance of attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are looking for thrilling rides at a theme park, relaxing on the beach, or exploring the state’s natural wonders, you are sure to have a wonderful time in Florida.

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