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Activities, Florida

You will never be short of activities on holidays to Florida; you can hike, cycle, snorkel or skydive to your heart’s content. Embark on bustling boat tours to spot whales and dolphins in the ocean, make your way to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for adventures on thrilling theme park rides, or set off on hovercrafts to see gators submerge in the swamps.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay is a fabulous theme park in Florida, offering thrilling rides as well green outdoor spaces far and wide. This park is also home to animals from all over the world; making it a fantastic family day out for thrill-seekers and animal lovers.

Cobra’s Curse is a great ride, with twists and turns that will give the whole family a thrill as you hurtle down the exciting, unexpected drops. For those who have a head for heights and want spectacular views of the entire park before plummeting to the earth at speed, then Cheetah Hunt is the ride for you.

Busch Gardens has a range of animals you can enjoy gazing at while waiting to try out the next rollercoaster, and you can see the majestic silverback gorillas, or the awesome lions and tigers lazing and relaxing in the sun. Don’t forget to swing by to see the lovable sloths, penguins and meerkats, too.

Day trips

From thrilling theme parks to majestic wildlife and natural wonders, Florida is home to an abundance of attractions, making it one of the top holiday destinations in the world. There is an almost bottomless list of day trips you can enjoy while holidaying here, with enough variation to do something completely different every day.

If you’re travelling with your family, then you simply can’t miss the internationally-famed theme park complexes which lie here, most notably, Disney World and Universal Studios. If you’re hoping for a holiday filled with peace and serenity, try heading out on a boat trip to the idyllic Grand Bahama, which is just a two-hour ferry ride from Port Everglades.

A great spot for nature lovers is Biscayne National Park, where there are vibrant coral reefs to explore, as well as an abundance of wildlife, including dolphins and sea turtles. Dry Tortugas National Park in the Gulf of Mexico also makes for an excellent day out. Here, you will find more coral reefs, as well as sandy beaches and the 19th century Fort Jefferson. The possibilities are endless in Florida; all you have to do is pick your favourite trip and get going…

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is one of the most iconic and classic attractions in Orlando, keeping families returning again and again because of its fairytale magic, lovable characters and all of the thrilling rides here.

Jump on Space, Splash or Big Thunder Mountain and experience the twists and turns of these exciting roller coasters, and feel the wind in your hair on a warm Florida day.

There are amazing parades held throughout the day, where you can see all your favourite Disney characters. For something a little more unique, you can start by heading to the Haunted Mansion to get spooked and hear eerie howls all around you. Then, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor will have everyone in a fit of giggles, especially when you see all of the lovable furry monsters right in front of you.

Make sure you visit the iconic Cinderella’s Castle, where the little ones can roam around this incredible structure and become a little prince or princess, or even a pirate if they choose. Sit down to eat at the restaurant within the castle (Cinderella’s Royal Table), where all of the princesses mingle with guests and the kids can meet and greet their favourite characters.

Dolphin and whale watching

There are few more awe-inspiring sights to witness than that of dolphins and whales bursting above the surface of the sea; the agility of dolphins and the sheer size of whales are incredible to see and can often be spotted off the coasts of Florida.

There is a variety of dolphin and whale watching tours on offer in Florida, giving holidaymakers the best chance possible to see these incredible animals in the wild. A bucket list item for many, seeing Florida’s dolphins and whales is a must for animal lovers before heading home.

Many of the prime locations for whale and dolphin spotting sit within popular tourist spots, so you may not have to travel far from your hotel to enjoy this exciting day out. Leading areas for dolphin sightings include the warm waters of the beautiful Florida Keys, Fort Myers Beach, Clearwater and Amelia Island, to name just a few.

After having spent hours watching these animals peacefully explore their habitat, many tours also offer snorkelling opportunities for guests, allowing you to get a clear view of the sea life ambling below.

Epcot

Best recognised for its iconic silver sphere which dominates the park, Epcot is one of the biggest and most famous parks in Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, offering something for all of the family to enjoy.

Visitors can travel at over 60mph in a simulated concept car on the Test Track ride, operate a simulated NASA mission to Mars on Mission Space, and fly across the world on a hang-gliding adventure on Soarin. The famous sphere itself is even a ride called Spaceship Earth, in which riders learn about how communication has evolved from the stone age to the computer age. Plus, you’ll see all of your favourite classic Disney characters perusing the park throughout the day, including Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto.

For those who dream of travelling the world, at Epcot’s World Showcase, you can do just that all in one day. This area contains 11 pavilions, each of which represents a different country, with Italy, China, Germany, Japan and Mexico all available to visit. At the end of the day, make sure you stay to witness Epcot’s famed and spectacular IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth firework display.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a great choice is you want to experience adventure activities and wildlife in the fascinating Key Largo area. There are a host of family-friendly activities to enjoy here, such as snorkelling to see the colourful fish and reefs which inhabit this state park, as well as the chance to explore the rock pools and search for marine life.

You can also go kayaking, to explore the gorgeous coastline at your own pace. Or, if you want to see the ocean life without getting wet, there’s an incredible glass bottom boat tour to venture on, so don’t worry; you won’t miss a thing in this beautiful state park.

If you decide to go on a snorkelling or scuba diving tour, make sure you swim down to see the underwater Jesus statue. Why not hike along the many well-marked trails throughout the park and take in the true natural beauty here? Or, simply relax and have a picnic on the sandy beaches?

Jungle Island

Jungle Island in Miami boasts a whole host of adventure activities amongst a tropical jungle environment, as well as being home to lots of lovable creatures from around the world, including orangutan, parrots and lemurs. Jungle Island is located Between South Beach and downtown Miami, so it’s easy to swing by after relaxing at the beach.

There is plenty to keep the kids occupied, from the animal exhibitions and encounters to an extensive play area. For the adventurers and thrill-seekers, make sure you sail through the air on the zipline which spans the island or try out a breathtaking outdoor skydiving experience with SuperFlight.

At Jungle Island, the whole family can enter the Battle Grounds. Simply pick up foam dart weaponry to battle it out in the arena, or if you prefer a slower pace to your adventures, enter the escape room and decipher riddles and puzzles – the ultimate test of your brainpower.

Skydiving

Skydiving in Florida is a once in a lifetime experience and a thrilling way to make the most of the glorious American landscape. Whether you are a thrill-seeker or not, skydiving can’t be missed; sailing through the clouds with the wind in your hair is truly exhilarating.

There are a host of professional skydiving companies available all over Florida that can take you on your first skydive, or offer equipment if you’re a seasoned skydiver yourself. The beautiful warm weather here also makes this activity a dream, as you can see spectacular views for miles and miles.

If skydiving isn’t your cup of tea, try parasailing or hand gliding for a smoother ride down to the ground. There is so much to do in Florida with its many beaches and attractions, but don’t forget to make the most of glorious blue skies, too.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a fantastic activity to get involved in during your holiday to Florida and many visitors find the warm Atlantic ocean a particularly inviting location. In Key Largo, you will find John Pennekamp Coral State Park, where you can embark on snorkelling tours around the spectacular coral reefs, perfect for first-time snorkelers. There are plenty of underwater features to feast your eyes on here, too, such as the mesmerising Banana Reef or the Grecian Rocks.

Alternatively, if you’re in the Miami area, make sure you head to Biscayne National Park (which is only accessible by boat) and walk amongst the mangrove forest before going for a dip. At Key Biscayne, you can spy shipwrecks down below you, as well as glorious coral reefs, with fish flitting around you.

Check out the snorkelling in Crystal River, too, especially if you want to see some friendly manatees (also coined as ‘sea cows’) up close, grazing in freshwater in Florida.

Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures

Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures, in Florida, is a fun day out for the whole family, giving you the chance to experience the real wilderness of this part of the country and with the locals.

On a hot day in Florida, one of the best ways to cool down is to hop in an airboat and explore the creeks, in the cool shade. Your tour guide, or captain of the vessel, will share with you all kinds of information about the wildlife, plants and the natural environment you venture through; sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience about the area.

The Swamp Fever Airboat Adventures trip is a great opportunity to spot alligators surfacing in the water and zoom around to find some of the larger local gators. At the end of the trip, you might even get the chance to hold and take pictures with a small alligator and see these incredible creatures up close.