There are few better places to explore as a family than the Sunshine State. Aside from the mild climate, Florida is home to plenty of cities that are great for the whole gang.
Between its theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld,) and year-round warm weather, Orlando is practically a paradise for families seeking a sunny getaway. If you’re headed to Disney, you can stay at one of several hotels and resorts on the property. You can even shuttle right to any of the parks. Elsewhere in Orlando, there’s the Wet ‘n Wild Waterpark, Medieval Times, LEGOLAND, and Fun Spot, a carnival-like amusement park complex. The fun just doesn’t stop here.
Tampa also has plenty of theme parks to explore–including Busch Gardens and Islands of Adventure–plus plenty of beaches that are perfect for relaxing. When you’ve had enough sun, take a walk on the wild side at the Lowry Zoo, Dinosaur World, or the Florida Aquarium, which is home to more than 20,000 different animals and plants.
The Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium gives kids a glimpse into the vast worlds of both science and sea life, with exhibits dedicated to dinosaurs and fossils. There’s also a Hands-On Hall, with interactive learning opportunities to explore. Nearby Captiva Island is also a gem. It has plenty of adventurous activities including waterskiing, paddleboarding, parasailing, and paragliding.
Key West has a bit of a reputation as a party town. But it’s actually a pretty fantastic place to bring the little ones. Favorite spots include Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, the Key West Aquarium, and the Key West Shipwreck Museum is entertaining for kids of all different ages. Dry Tortugas National Park, which consists of seven islands on the Gulf of Mexico, is another spectacular spot to spend the day.
Much like Key West, Miami can be a surprisingly perfect place for a family vacation. The newly-opened FunDimension is an amusement park-meets-arcade that’s filled with games and activities of all kinds, as well as a dedicated children’s area. History Miami, with exhibitions dedicated to the history of the city, is also a wonderful place to bring older kids. Jungle Island is a wonderland for animal lovers and features the famed Liger, a lion-tiger hybrid, as well as a water park and small beach.