If someone were to ask about places for families to go in Florida, the very first thing that comes to mind would most likely be Disney World. The grandeur of Walt Disney World overshadows the other attractions that are available. Let’s take a look at some lesser-known areas that are also just as family friendly.
1. Amelia Island Plantation
Located about 20 minutes by car from Jacksonville. There are plenty of activities and places that are family oriented. For example, there are beaches that have lifeguards. At low tide, lagoons are formed that are gentle enough for toddlers. Also available are kids’ camps, play areas, and seven miles of nature trails with nature centers offering tours.
2. Florida’s Space Coast
35 miles away from Walt Disney World is where the family can enjoy a tour of Thousand Islands. There you can observe dolphins, manatees, and birds among other marine attractions.
Make sure you allow time to visit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Check the schedule ahead of time if you’d like to witness a shuttle launching.
3. Cheeca Lodge and Spa
This Florida Keys resort in Islamorada, Florida offers a variety of children’s activities such as beach exploration, sand sculptures, Hermit Crab races, Lagoon swimming and snorkeling. Children’s fun extends into the evening with “Kids’ Night Out” for children four and older. Several nearby attractions include the Dolphin Research Center, Key Largo Parrot Mission, Theater of the Sea, and Bahia Honda State Park.
4. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
As an adult, I know I’d love the 335-acre theme park. There’s no doubt that you’ll feel the same. It has four thrill-ride roller coasters, three water-rides and opportunities to see elephants, rhinos, giraffes, plus many more wild animals.
5. Bluewater Bay Resort
This family resort is located on the Emerald Coast in Northwest Florida. Family Circle has voted it as “One of America’s Top 10 Family Resorts”. This resort offers opportunities to golf, go biking and hiking, and playgrounds.
Although Disney World is probably the most well known family friendly vacation spot that Florida offers, there a lot more places that are well worth visiting. For those die-hard Disney World enthusiasts, some of these areas are within a short distance from Disney World, allowing you to visit both places during one vacation if you must.