Florida offers a lot in the way of family vacation opportunities. All of the amusement parks offer their own version of fun of course, but personally (just my opinion!) I think there is more lasting value in a trip that is more nature-oriented and less “Disney-fied”.
I want to take my daughter camping as soon as the weather turns a little cooler so I’ve been looking for different places that I haven’t visited yet in Florida. I came across several different areas that looked promising.
Wakulla Spring is a giant freshwater spring located in the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park, in the Florida "Panhandle" near Tallahassee. It is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. There are ancient mastodon bones visible at the bottom of the spring.
Crystal River You can book a guided manatee snorkel tour, or, if you don’t feel the need to actually get in the water and swim with the manatees, you can also rent canoes and kayaks. The best time to see and/or swim with the manatees is December to March.
Fossil Expeditions in the Peace River/Ft. Myers area offers guided walking or kayaking expeditions in which you can search for bones and teeth of ancient mammoths, mastodons, camels, sloths, horses, jaguars, etc.
Florida Eco-Safaris Even though I’m afraid of heights, I’m dying to try the Zipline Safari in St. Cloud. It is a two-and-a-half hour adventure, reaching heights of 68 feet and speeds up to 30 mph.
Have you been to any of these places? Do you like the natural side of what Florida has to offer or do you prefer a resort or an amusement park?
© iStockphoto.com/Stacey Lynn Payne