Bright sun, sandy beaches, warm waters – Florida has more than its share of natural wonders and beauty. Families have been picking up property for sale in Florida and making this southernmost state a vacation destination for decades. From urban-based theme park resorts and touristy enclaves to wildlife refuges and must-see locations, Florida truly has something to offer any family eager for fun.
Top family destinations
Jungle Island in Miami may seem a bit touristy and faddish, but the popularity of this enclave of parrots, peacocks and other avian types cannot be denied. Stunt birds do tricks, ride bikes and fly high above the heads of the eager audience members. The exhibit also includes some rare reptiles and amphibians including an albino alligator.
Taking up nearly half the area of Sanibel Island, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge consists of acres of mangroves, waterways that meander throughout, nature trails and a safari-like drive-through featuring a variety of animals, such as alligators, birds and other wildlife.
Located in beautiful Sarasota, the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum is devoted to the history of the American circus and to the memorabilia, equipment, costumes and artwork that was produced by this mobile industry. Situated within the Florida State University Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts, the museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the circus in general and Ringling Bros. circus in particular.
Though the shuttle program has been suspended, there is still plenty to see and experience at the historic Kennedy Space Center along the Atlantic Coast. Recently renovated, there are plenty of computer games, informative displays, and interactive exhibits, as well as IMAX films to view; more than enough to keep kids and their parents busy.
With behind-the-scenes tours, state-of-the-art exhibits and a deluxe simulator taking riders on a 200-mph simulated ride, Daytona International Speedway offers a high-speed escape from the theme park world.
Busch gardens Tampa Bay: a typical day
While it is possible to fit every thrill ride and attraction into one day, most families will enjoy the less-structured way of simple exploring and experiencing this remarkable theme park/ zoo hybrid. Covering 335 acres in Tampa, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is ranked as one of the top zoos in the country.
A typical day at Busch Gardens begins in Morocco with its enormous Gwazi rollercoaster. Proceeding clockwise through the park, visitors will enjoy the Bird Gardens’ many exotic residents. Kids can interact with Sesame Street characters in the Sesame Street Safari of Fun.
Farther on are Stanleyville, featuring the rollercoaster SheiKra and several water rides, followed by the Congo and Nairobi. In Nairobi is the train station, a wonderful way to view the many exotic residents of the Serengeti Plain. This free-range preserve is also visible from the Sky-ride that travels over the park.
Nairobi is also home to the Myobe Reserve gorillas, a breathtaking attraction.
Nearby Egypt includes the rollercoaster Montu, which suspends riders beneath the track, and a replica of King Tutankhamen’s famous tomb.
Delicious food, impressive entertainment and shops are scattered throughout the circuit, anyone a memorable experience waiting to happen.
This post is has been contributed by Alexandra Maxwell.