The first thoughts for a family vacation or staycation to the Sunshine State is inevitably Disney. While Walt Disney World is certainly a top draw for those visiting Florida, there is so much more to do in the area.
Here are seven great places to visit in Florida for family vacation or staycation:
Cape Canaveral: Set your kids’ eyes on the skies at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral
. The center has a combination of historical, scientific and experiential exhibits focused on U.S. space flight. If your timing is right, you could see a rocket launch. It will make your Florida trip the family vacation travel destination they remember.
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"Other" Orlando Attractions: If you are planning to head to Orlando for Mickey and the gang, why not take a day off to try out other family friendly attractions in the area? Some nearby lower-key choices include Ripley's Believe it or Not! Odditorium
which will be a big winner for older kids in particular. Monkey Joe's
is another great attraction which let's parents sit, while kids enjoy a series of bounce houses and Fun Spot America
, which is a lower key amusement park.
Panama City: The beaches of Florida's North Shore are so beautiful the area is called the Emerald Coast. Panama City Beach is the perfect place to have some family vacation or staycation fun in the sun. If the beach isn’t thrilling enough, the kids can spend a day at Shipwreck Island Water Park
. For a little bit of history with your beach views try Camp Helen or St. Andrews
Key West: Several family friendly stops await in this tropical Florida destination. Don't miss the Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum
and the Key West Aquarium
. Another family vacation travel idea in this town is a trip on the Conch Tour Train. It's not actually a train — more like a tram, but it takes you through a nice tour of Key West. The 90 minute tour passes all the island's highlights and gives a good overview of the area. Kids 12 and younger ride free!
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Miami Culture: Experience a unique culture in the Little Haiti
and Little Havana
neighborhoods of Miami. Murals, Food, and shopping in these neighborhoods can give your family a taste of the multicultural experience of Miami.
Experience the Everglades: The Everglades Alligator Farm in Homestead
, Florida just south of Miami is home to over 2000 Alligators. This family vacation travel spot offers opportunities to see live feedings, take airboat rides on the everglades and regular snake and alligator shows.
Tampa Bay: Among great family stops in the Tampa Bay
area are the Florida Aquarium
and the BOK Tower Gardens. A unique family vacation or staycation experience can be found at Safari Wilderness in Lakeland
. This 260 acre wildlife park features unusual and exotic game in a safari-like tour. For the really adventurous, the park can be toured on camel-back.
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