As summer dwindles down, many people are turning their thoughts toward areas where they can spend a fun and affordable family vacation before back-to-school and Fall season is here.
Florida is home to many popular destinations, and has vacation options for nearly every budget and interest.
Daytona Beach/New Smyrna Beach
“The World’s Most Famous Beach” is roughly 50 miles northeast of Orlando, in the area of Florida affectionately dubbed the “Fun Coast.” Here is where you can park on the beach and take in a picnic, a snooze, or just enjoy the sand and surf right next to your vehicle. Popular attractions in the area include the Daytona International Speedway, Museum of Arts & Sciences and other sights to see.
In recent years, lawmakers have tried to change the city’s image from the once infamous and bawdy parties of Spring Break, to a more family-friendly atmosphere. For those seeking a slower-paced beach vacation, nearby New Smyrna Beach boasts boardwalk boutiques and specialty shops.
The West Coast of Florida boasts many popular attractions and day trips, including:
- Busch Gardens (Tampa)
- Lowry Park Zoo (Tampa)
- Florida Aquarium
- Ybor City
- Museum of Science and Industry
- Ted Williams Museum of Hitters Hall of Fame
- and more
South Florida: West Palm Beach/Boca Raton/Fort Lauderdale/Miami
Since the 1950s, South Florida has been the go-to destination for everyone from Hollywood actors to day-trippers from Orlando and other “points north.” Boasting miles of pristine beaches, plenty of shopping opportunities and a stellar night life, the area can also be a family-friendly hideaway, with an attraction to pique nearly every interest, including:
- Metrozoo (Miami)
- Historical Museum of South Florida
- Coral Castle
- Everglades National Park
- William T. Kirby Nature Center
- Lion Country Safari
- Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
- International Museum of Cartoon Art
- and more
For many, Northeast Florida is “where history meets the future.” This is where you’ll encounter such attractions as:
- The Fountain of Youth
- The Lightner Museum
- Museum of Weapons & Early American History
- Jacksonville Zoo
- and more
- Key West
Just 90 miles to Cuba, Key West is the southernmost point in the United States. A place where the likes of Ernest Hemmingway and President Harry S. Truman once called home, the city has been described by some as a different world.
Nestled in the southwest corner of the state, this area offers some of Florida’s most picturesque scenes. From pristine, white sandy beaches to upscale dining and shops, this area offers an elegant and sophisticated experience of the Sunshine State.
Perhaps one of the most popular destinations in the world, the Orlando/Kissimmee area in Central Florida (which includes Disney World, the sprawling city-in-itself) boasts several family-friendly attractions, including:
- Walt Disney World
- Universal Studios
- Harry P. Leu Gardens
- John F. Kennedy Space Center
- Orlando Science Center
- International Drive (I-Drive)
- Old Town
- and more
Panama City Beach/Pensacola
Locals describe this area as “the real Florida.” Offering a down-home, Southern-hospitality experience, Florida’s Panhandle is a 200-mile-long stretch of land situated between Alabama, Georgia and the Gulf of Mexico. Known as the “Emerald Coast,” this area is revered for its beaches and down-home feel.