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When a family wants to find some of the best vacation spots in Florida, oftentimes, Mickey Mouse and the Space Shuttle come to mind. Of course, there are hundreds of years of Florida history that have created a tropical state filled with hidden gems, State Parks, crystal-clear Springs, as well as a history rich in buried treasure and pirate culture!
If you want to visit Florida with your family, keep reading to learn about the 4 best vacation spots in Florida for families.
Marathon is a sprawling, 10-mile long Key that stretches over 7 islands in the Florida Keys. This family-oriented key is home to a beautiful barrier reef and unlimited family fun! Marathon is a short drive to Bahia Honda State Park, a pristine and protected beach just West of Marathon. Bahia Honda offers a full day of activities from playing in the sand, exploring the beauty of this tropic island, and even getting an up-close look at the original Henry Flagler railroad and famous 7-mile bridge.
Marathon offers fun learning experiences for families, too. The Turtle Hospital was the world’s first licensed veterinary hospital dedicated to the treatment of Sea Turtles. Your family can visit this historic site and see their fully functional treatment facility in action, as they still care for sea turtles today! The Dolphin Research Center is a not for profit facility that has been in operation since 1984, providing a peaceful sanctuary and home for dolphins who were not able to thrive in the wild.
Marathon is a family-friendly destination full of excitement and fun and leaves the wild nightlife to Key West, so you can be sure that your family’s adventures stay safe for little eyes and ears.
Silver Springs is located in Ocala, Florida. It was the first world-famous attraction in Florida, and for good reason! This spot does not allow swimming, so the beauty and health of this ecosystem is untouched. The glass bottom boats are known all over the world because the view is spectacular. People of all ages enjoy seeing the colorful fish and plant life in the water on these short rides.
Another exciting fact is that movies have been filmed here, and some of their sets remained behind. Perhaps the most popular of the movies filmed here is the 1954 Universal Horror Classic “The Creature From The Black Lagoon”. Most of the underwater scenes were filmed in Silver Springs, and Ricou Browning, the man who did the swimming for the Creature, still lives nearby and visits often!
Silver Springs is one of the best vacation spots in Florida because it is a piece of the living history of the state of Florida.
Read More: 3 Family Experiences In Panama City Beach
One of the best vacation spots in Florida is the hidden gem of Seaside. Located outside of Seagrove, FL, this pristine village boasts direct access to the warm, clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The white sand beaches are complimented by the world-famous pastel homes and businesses in Seaside. This small town is so peaceful, beautiful, and quiet, your family will never want to leave!
This town is so beautiful that you have to see it to believe it, and you probably have! This location was used to film scenes of the town and buildings for the 1998 film, The Truman Show because of its irresistible charm and unique beauty. Some of the buildings in the town were built just for this movie and they are still in use today!
This small village has several different restaurants to choose from and has lots of sweet, beachside shops to keep you busy. If your family loves the active lifestyle, then head over to the Seaside Transit Authority. Here, you can rent bikes for every member of your family and enjoy an up-close and personal tour of this magnificent gem. After a long day of exploring this town on bikes, you can explore the surf! Austin Magees Surf School teaches surfing lessons to all who are comfortable swimmers, ages 5 and up, and they offer private lessons as well as group lessons! Leaving your Florida vacation knowing how to surf is one unique souvenir!
From pirates to guided history exploration, National Monuments to full moon ghost tours, this city has something for every member of your family. The nation’s oldest city is home to beautiful, white sandy beaches, Spanish Colonial architecture, and even protected wildlife sanctuaries. If your family is searching for one of the best vacation spots in Florida, look no further than St. Augustine.
The Castillo de San Marcos stands at the water’s edge guarding this beautiful city, telling the story of the clash of different civilizations, and how human determination carved out this little piece of history. The original walls, which still stand on this land, tell of the bloody struggle our founding fathers and mothers faced in order to make their mark in Florida’s history. Whether your family is interested in a guided or self-guided visit to this National Monument, it is an educational and marvelous way to spend an afternoon not only because it is interesting, but because it is a real, living piece of preserved history, which is why this city is considered one of the best vacation spots in Florida.
St. Augustine is also home to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park! Your family can get an up-close and personal introduction to these amazing animals who often get a bad reputation because of the size of their teeth. This fascinating zoological park is not only a great educational experience, but also thrilling! You can zip line across an alligator lagoon, if you’re brave enough to take the leap.
The Nation’s Oldest City boasts world-class fine dining, wineries, distilleries, the Oldest Wooden School House, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, Pirate Ships, and more! For your family’s vacation to Florida, St. Augustine can’t be beat.
Florida is home to hidden gems, and if you are patient enough to do some looking, you will be pleased with your findings! These are only a handful of suggestions to create life-long memories for your children during your visit to the Sunshine State, but they are without a doubt 4 of the best vacation spots in Florida for families!
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