Florida is a great choice if you are looking for fun vacation spots any time of year, but summer is really the state’s sweet spot. The combination of great weather, amazing beaches, and lots to do and see make it both family-friendly and perfect for a romantic getaway. Here are some of the best spots in the state for a fun summer vacation. The best part of Florida is that there is something for everyone!
Hit The Beach
Florida is most known for its white-sand beaches so they are definitely on many lists for vacation visit. Most anywhere you go in Florida, you can find a beach to visit. From Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in northwest Florida to the little known and pristine Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge off of Jupiter Island, there is a beach for everyone. Whether you prefer a secluded, pristine beach or a more exciting option that has more opportunities for swimming, paddle boarding, or kayaking, there is a beach in Florida that will meet your requirements.
Snorkeling is a popular activity in Florida, and the undersea experience is indispensable for some. The Florida Keys are especially known for their world-class snorkeling spots, such as Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key or the Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River. Dry Tortugas National Park is also known for its great snorkeling adventures, and it’s only 70 miles west of Key West. Seeing the underwater marine life up close and personal is a perfect way to spend a summer day.
Experience The Waterfalls
If you’re near the Florida Panhandle, you’ll want to see the largest waterfall in the state, which clocks in at 73 feet, at Falling Waters State Park in Chipley. Here you’ll find the Sink Hole Trail boardwalk that takes you down to an observation deck. The 100-foot-deep, 20-foot-wide sinkhole disappears into a Florida aquifer. The flora and fauna surrounding this and the other smaller sinkholes are gorgeous and lush, and you can also visit the butterfly garden or one of 24 campsites if you want to camp in this beautiful location.
Cozy And Relaxing
If you’re seeking a more cozy and relaxing type of location, Seaside is about as good as it gets. Anywhere along the Emerald Coast is gorgeous, but this utterly quaint town is especially cozy and welcoming. The setting for the Jim Carrey film The Truman Show, Seaside is located between Panama City Beach and Destin. With no high rise buildings or hotels, and only the pastel colored houses that serve as Seaside’s vacation rentals, it’s an extremely walkable little town, studded with gourmet and eclectic amenities and as much sand, surf, and sun as you desire.
Gardens And Nature
Because of Florida’s excellent weather and temperate climate, there’s an abundance of beautiful gardens and nature to visit. Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales features more than 150 varieties of orchids, irises, azaleas and other blooming flowers on its 250 acres. This stunning display surrounds the 205-foot singing bell tower and the 60-bell carillon, so it’s a joy to experience these subtropical gardens. The Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg are filled with exotic plants and sparkling waterfalls, and form a spectacular living museum, home to some of the oldest tropical plants in the state.
Water Parks Galore
Florida is also home to several exciting outdoor water parks that are fun for the whole family, and there are usually very safe parts of any water park for the youngest members of the family if they’re still learning to swim. The Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach is a great place to visit and not as crowded as some of the bigger Florida attractions. The Rapids provides 35 amazing slides as well as the “Big Thunder,” which is the park’s signature attraction. Here you can experience what weightlessness feels like as you soar 20 miles per hour through a 45-degree tunnel in complete darkness. Florida is home to more water parks than anywhere else in the United States, so if the Rapids Water Park doesn’t sound like fun, there are many other watery options to choose from.
Sublime Theme Parks
If you’re bringing the whole family, the Sunshine State is the perfect place to visit some of the best theme parks in the world. Disney World in Orlando is a must-see whether you have kids or are just a child at heart. Experience the fun of Disney castles, characters, rides, food, shopping, and shows. Universal Studios is also well known, but there are other, less crowded options such as Fun Spot America in either Orlando or Kissimmee. This family-owned theme park is home to the only wooden roller coaster in the state (Orlando location) as well as the second tallest Skycoaster in the world (the first being at the Kissimmee location). Bumper cars, go-carts, arcade midway, an old-fashioned fun house, and rides like the tilt-a-whirl will take you back to memories of your childhood as well as providing new memories for your own kids.
From Wildlife To Sea Life
There is nowhere better to experience wildlife and sea life up-close than in Florida. In Key West you can visit the sea animals at the Key West Aquarium, which includes sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, and jellyfish. If you’re near Orlando, take the Dolphin Encounter Tour in Clearwater to watch the dolphins up close and personal while taking a boat ride in the crystal clear waters. Everglades National Park also gives you a chance to experience hundreds of animal species throughout its 1.5 million acres of trails and wetlands, including the endangered leatherback turtle, manatees, the American crocodile and the Florida panther.