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Exploring the Sunshine State – A Family Friendly Guide to Florida

Dreaming of the ideal destination to spend your next family holiday? With its warm and sunny weather all year round and almost never-ending adventures for you and your kids, Florida might be just the destination you’re looking for.

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When is the Best Time to Visit Florida?

There’s no bad time to go to Florida. The Sunshine State has its nickname for a reason. With day temperatures hardly ever falling below 20° C, especially in the south, and an year-round average of 60-70% clear blue skies, it’s safe to say that the weather is (almost) always nice. Just pick your favourite time of the year and you’re good to go.

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Popular Areas in Florida to Visit 

Florida’s beaches and theme parks are always popular choices for the holidays. But there’s much more to see and do for you and your kids, including (safe-as-can-be) alligator encounters in Everglades National Park, exploring some of the most beautiful areas of nature the US has to offer, and watching rocket launches to outer space. This state has plenty on offer.

North Florida

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♻️♻️♻️ Behold! We’re pretty certain that this is the coolest dock without a dockhouse in Jax. • Speaking of docks… We live in the RIVER CITY. Docks (and waterways) are a part of our local atmosphere. Almost anywhere you go in this city… DOCKS! They’re EVERYWHERE! Sooo why is it that we have NEVER seen anyone utilizing their dock??? Not once in like 30 years. People pay all the extra money to live on the water in the River City and then NEVER seem to utilize it. You would think that as many bridges as we travel over every day, giving us the opportunity to see hundreds and hundreds of docks, that you would occasionally see a family out on the end of theirs cooking a barbecue or preparing their boat or watching the sunrise/sunset or get this… FISHING. Nope. Never. It’s just weird. If you ever witness an occurrence of this extremely rare event, please take a picture and share it with us! Good luck!! #904RareSightings • 📷: @mxvnoir ↗️Thank you!↖️ • ▶️ #igersjax ▶️ #jaxsquared • @jaxsquared ▶️ #igers_staugustine • @igers_staugustine • Affiliated Tags: #jacksonville #iknowjax #onlyinduval #gojax #whatsgoodjax #904happyhour #eujax #iheart904 #firstcoastliving #news4jax #roamflorida #instagram_florida #igersusa

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North Florida is a great place to go if you’re up for some nature, culture and temperatures that aren’t quite as warm as they are in the south. One place you should definitely visit here is the stunningly beautiful Amelia Island, where you can enjoy long strolls through natural landscapes and along scenic coasts. If you’re into arts and culture, you could head to Gainesville and visit the Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History, or drive to Jacksonville to watch a play at the Florida Theatre, a historic movie-theatre-turned-stage-theatre built in the 1920s. Or you could spend an exciting day at the Jacksonville Zoo.

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East Florida

Cape Canaveral, on Florida’s east coast, is home to the Kennedy Space Center, from which famous space explorations such as the Apollo missions launched. The KSC still has launches to this day. There you can learn everything you’ve always wanted to know about NASA and its space program, meet real astronauts and even have dinner with them. Nearby, in Central Florida, are the many theme parks Orlando has to offer. If you’re looking for especially family-friendly ones, consider a trip to the four areas of the World Disney World Resort – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom – or Legoland Florida or Universal Studios Florida, featuring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley.

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Miami and Fort Lauderdale

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Hanging out with the big kids

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Miami and Fort Lauderdale boast of warm, sunny days all year round. Make the most of the wonderful weather at Flamingo Gardens Botanical Gardens & Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary in Davie, just west of Fort Lauderdale, or Jungle Island in Miami to see some of the rarest animals on the planet, including white tigers and lions. If you’re more of an indoorsy-type family, you should definitely visit the museums – spend an unforgettable day at the interactive Miami Children’s Museum or marvel at the many hands-on exhibits at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science with its planetarium and an impressive three-story aquarium.

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The Florida Keys and Everglades

Southern Florida offers the the iconic Everglades and the Florida Keys. Take a thrilling boat tour through alligator-infested Everglades waters (but don’t worry, it’s all super safe!) or book yourself a helicopter ride to see the grandeur of this landscape from up high. If your family enjoying a spot of camping, there’s a bunch of great spots set up camp. And if you need a bit of a breather after all the perilous adventures, visit the Key West Shipwreck Museum, take a ride on the Conch Tour Train or go on a Dolphin Safari for a chance to encounter the friendly sea dwellers and watch them play in the water.

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Where to stay in Florida with the kids?

When you’re traveling with the entire family, there are a few things to consider – is it cheaper to rent an entire apartment and cook your own meals or to go for a stay in a private home? Would the family have to split up between rooms or are there multi-room options with enough space for everyone? Are there special facilities on-site that parents and kids alike would enjoy? Whatever you’re looking for, Florida has a lot to offer.

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Self-Catered Apartments

Another great option for families are short-term apartment rentals. The biggest upside – they’re usually a lot cheaper than hotels. You can do your own cooking, laundry and cleaning, and you’ll save big. Plus, they come in all shapes and sizes, which is especially great for families with more than two kids.

Themed Hotels

Of course, you could go for a traditional hotel – with a spin. Themed hotels are available all over Florida and while they might not be the easiest on the budget, they are definitely one of the most fun options. Just imagine how much your kids would love to feel like princes and princesses living in a castle for a few nights, or to be rangers in Jurassic Park – while safely lying in their beds.

Florida is an incredible holiday destination for families. If you’ve been inspired, click here to check out deals to Florida during the school holidays.

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