Fun things to do in Florida

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Florida

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    Lunar New Year Festival

    by Cho45 Written Jan 24, 2015

    Although this festival is held only once a year I am including it in my "Things to Do Tip" as some VT members might be interested in case they are in Orlando around the Lunar New Year. For your information, festivities for the Lunar New Year are held annually in every major city in the United States and around the world.

    We joined in celebrating the Year of the Horse with the annual Dragon Parade in Orlando. This year it took place on Sunday, February 9th. Actually, it was a full week after the Lunar New Year, (commonly called Chinese New Year) I think, due to commercial interests.

    The parade was scheduled to start at 11 am with the various contingents and dancers in colorful costumes walking along the length of Hillcrest Street near downtown Orlando. We arrived there early to get good vantage points to watch the parade and take photos.

    As the most popular festival in Asian/Oriental culture, Lunar New Year is celebrated internationally in Asian countries, and also in Asian communities around the world. I was told that in Florida, the Dragon Parade is the only large-scale celebration for Lunar New Year, so I was not surprised to see a big crowd of people waiting on the sidewalks along Hillcrest St.

    The parade started promptly at 11 am, and we had a good view of the marchers. Some of the festival sponsors rode on cars which went by at a snail's pace. And of course, the local politicians and business people also took advantage by showing themselves and promoting public relations and/or services.

    The parade which lasted well over an hour was followed by a fair which took place at a big parking lot nearby on N. Mills Avenue. The fair featured some exciting cultural performances such as dragon and lion dances, martial arts, Japanese Taiko, acrobatic performances, cultural dances, and many booths containing delightful arts and crafts, exotic Asian food and mini-exhibitions.

    There weren't any admission fees, and we were at the event for over two hours. I must say I'm glad I went as I had the chance to see and taste a little bit of Asia in the US of A!

    Flyer for the festival Start of the parade Dragon dance With a fully costumed Chinese beauty Chinese dance performance
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    Busch Gardens Tampa

    by gwened Updated Jan 21, 2015

    another of my favorite parks often combining the entry here for a glass of beer with a soccer/football match between my university and the local team,and then family time arrive too. A wonderful park indeed for the entire family;now some old photos I can post.

    For those who dare, there's an ample amount of adrenaline-inducing roller coasters at Tampa's Busch Gardens.

    Gwazi, the Southeast's largest and fastest double wooden roller coaster, is definitely one to experience. The Python has a 70-foot plunge and the Scorpion a 360-degree loop. Considered one of the world's best roller coasters, the Kumba sends the innocent rider through a rush of weightlessness. Finally, Montu, one of the tallest and longest inverted roller coasters in the world, achieves a G-force of more than 3.85, according to the Busch Gardens Web site.

    A memorable experience indeed. To buy tickets here
    http://seaworldparks.com/buschgardens-tampa/Book%20Online/Tickets

    by discovery adventure park inside park going to a resto and meeting King Kong and family !
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    Universal Studios

    by gwened Updated Jan 21, 2015

    Lots written on it here but after living in Florida for 18 years and going here and there concerts and all, it remains my favorite park at them all. Universal studios;now some old pictures I can post.

    The Incredible Hulk Coaster welcomes you to an incredible journey through Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure. Kind of scary when you first see it, the Hulk is a high-speed launchpad to the sky, soaring 150 feet.

    The coaster rolls at 67 mph through seven inversions (that's upside down) and through two subterranean trenches (that's below ground!). And the Hulk is tame compared to the Islands' other major ride, The Dueling Dragons -- a pair of twisting and turning inverted coasters that actually duel -- as in your head passing within inches of heads on the other coaster at 55 mph. Not for the faint of heart.

    There are certainly many theme-park choices in the Orlando area, and most of us have seen them all, or at least think we have. But if you haven't been to Islands of Adventure yet, it's worth another visit. The park is divided into five "Island" themes.

    parking is 15 USD now,and all rates can be found at official site
    http://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Park-Tickets/General-Admission.aspx

    by resto margaritaville at Citywalk inside park with islands of adventure tower back
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    Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum

    by CEP1863 Written Jan 17, 2015

    I ended up here one afternoon when the heavens opened and it poured with rain. Arriving in front of the building, it looks as though it is sinking into one of Florida's famous sink holes. There are plenty of artifacts and collections of oddities to capture anyone's imagination and it is very easy to pass a couple of hours here. The place is crammed with lots of fun facts and what I would term "useless pieces of information" that you can easily store away which I love. You go around at your own pace and it was very easy to pass an afternoon there.

    Open daily 09:00 - 24:00

    Admission: $19.99 USD (discount if you buy tickets on-line)

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    Have a blast at Kennedy Space Center!

    by CEP1863 Updated Jan 17, 2015

    I absolutely loved my visit to the Kennedy Space Centre; it really exceeded all of my expectations. The bus our was really good and I enjoyed seeing the launch pads, it set the tone for the rest of the day. The exhibits were out of this world, the garden of rockets was really good and gave plenty of photo ops. I knew that the rockets would be big but somehow I was not prepared for them to be as big as they were - the Saturn rocket was incredible and to stand there and take in the real perspective of size was amazing. I also enjoyed the IMAX theatre and the footage gave a really good perspective about what it would be like to live on the Space Station. I was not intending to spend the whole day there as I did not think that there would be enough there to hold my interest for the day but I did and the time literally flew. There plenty of food outlets within the complex to get something to eat and I found the food to be of a good standard.

    This is a place that I would definitely return to and definitely has something for all age groups.

    Open daily 09:00 - 18:00

    Admission $50USD

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    Universal's Islands of Adventure Theme Park

    by CEP1863 Written Jan 17, 2015

    I met up with a couple of friends who live in Orlando and they recommended this as the park to visit if you were to visit just one. I had a fantastic day here - the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has it's obvious draw and really is worth visiting. To my great delight however there was an area of the park dedicated to Dr Seuss with Seuss Landing and it was there that I met my childhood hero - the Cat in the Hat. Although the rides in this area are more orientated towards the younger visitors to the park, I could not resist some of them and riding them brought back wonderful childhood memories.

    Rides are great fun, stage sets are incredible and all in all, I had an amazing day. I bought a Universal Express Pass with my ticket and it was well worth the money as I was able to maximise the time I had to enjoy the rides as the queue time in the Express Pass times was significantly shorter than in the regular line.

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    Kennedy Space Center

    by gwened Written Jan 9, 2015

    a wonderful place that I visited since going to university in the area that I later lived as resident. This was my major!
    Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open year-round, seven days per week. Park opens at 9 am and closing time varies per season. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex 9 am - 6 pm
    The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Noon – 5 pm.
    i came always by car and have the direction from my resident town below in directions.

    you have the space odyssey experience and the look of the Apollo series.space shuttle launch and imax theater cinema, exploration and encounter with astronauts. all wonderful

    a family event and very educational, recommended.

    entrance to Kennedy Space Center apollo 7 the launch pad rocket fuses Space shuttle model
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    Shipwreck Museum Key West

    by gwened Written Jan 9, 2015

    This is a quaint nice museum of shipwecks at sea. In wonderful Key West.
    Discover the treacherous world of shipwrecking and how it made Key West the richest city in the United States. Live actors, artifacts, and a 65 foot lookout tower make the experience one of a kind.

    Hear the story of the Isaac Allerton, which wrecked off of Key West in 1856. On display are many of the treasures from the wreck of the Isaac Allerton. Visitors step back 150 years in history as they meet Asa Tift in his warehouse.

    wonderful for the whole family and the sea experience is great, recommended

    back full view of tower lookout at shipwreck mus. entrance shipwreck museum
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    • Sailing and Boating

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    Clearwater Beach

    by gwened Written Jan 8, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was one of our favorite beaches in the State that I lived for 18 years. Now with families all over north to South, I came back for visits.

    It has a wide sandy beach with lifeguards and plenty of parking all along the blvd along the beach. More at the Florida tourist office
    http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/cities/clearwater-beach.html

    and the area tourist office
    http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/

    It has been rank in many pubs as one of the best beaches in the USA and one of the best sands! Great for the family , mine love it.

    Clearwater Beach by the pier
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    the beach at Fort DeSoto St Petersburgh

    by gwened Updated Jan 8, 2015

    ne of our family's favorite and those still do go, this is heaven in the sunshine State of Florida, if you are looking for a beach, this is it. Contantly rated one of the best beaches in the USA by Dr Beach.

    Fort DeSoto is dog-friendly park, near St. Petersburg, is spread over 900 acres on five interconnected islands and has seven miles of waterfront, a campground, nature trails, boat ramp, fishing piers and the ruins of a fort built during the Spanish-American War. Besides the beach, the park has a Spanish-American-era fort.

    There are 233 campsites, with 85 sites set aside on one island for tents only. All sites have water and electrical hookup (max. 30 amp service), picnic table, and a charcoal grill. Pets are permitted in only one of the three camping areas.

    5 USdollars parking fee.more here
    Fort DeSoto National Park, one of the best beaches in the USA. right up I75 highway.
    http://www.fortdesoto.com/googlemap2.php

    sunshine skyline bridge takes you there
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    Disney world

    by gwened Updated Jan 8, 2015

    well so much written on it,while living in Florida for 18 years I came here at least 20 times, from teen years to father who brought his kids. And then guest friends and family visiting, and in between going to concerts here, wild parties indeed. And finally found some old photos!

    I let you do the reading in VT. Just some notes ;there are very few experiences available to us everyday mortals that offer the dizzying heights, speed thrills and Top Gun maneuvers of roller coasters -- without a great deal of risk. From bone-rattling wooden giants to high-tech steel serpents, these rides inspire equal parts joy and terror, making us laugh and cry with equal intensity.

    The newer Animal Kingdom, open just when I left the area and now there is an even newer show call Expedition Everest, sending park guests on a mildly wild runaway-train ride through simulated Himalayas, the lair of the mysterious and dangerous Yeti.

    The park is now the parks, love them all thus. info on buying tickets
    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets-passes/

    and find your park hours here
    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/calendars/

    HEre is full directions to the parks
    http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/directions/#/subCategory5

    Magic kingdom entrance Venice at Epcot Center and the pirates are sleeping and yes we were here early ::)
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    wonder works

    by gwened Updated Jan 8, 2015

    wonder works in Orlando international drive by Pointe shopping center is great, just like an earthquake lol!

    Walk into Wonder Works and you'll think your world has been turned upside down --literally. The most striking feature of this structure is the way the building appears to have been uprooted and then landed on its head. There are lots of great things for families to do. Wonder Works tries to combine science with entertainment. There are more than a hundred exhibits for kids young and old to get their hands on.

    Guests can feel what it's like to be standing in the middle of an earthquake or brave the winds of a hurricane. Virtual reality is a reality at Wonder Works. There are exhibits that put you right in the middle of the action. Guests use their flight skills at Shuttle Landers to take the controls of a spacecraft and land it somewhat safely on an airstrip. Then you can put your engineering skills to work as you design your own roller coaster and ride it at the WonderCoaster.

    All indoors !!! admissions adults,check site for updates, and now a night shot from the vaults !!!

    wonder works from international  drive a shot at night!
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    Kayaking the mangroves in Sarasota

    by CEP1863 Written Dec 31, 2014

    I wanted to see a different aspect of Sarasota and so chose to take a guided tour of the mangroves. The equipment was in excellent condition and the tour guide was very knowledgable and really knew the mangroves and the wildlife. There was plenty of birdlife but sadly I did not get to see a manatee. This was excellent value for money and a trip that I would definitely repeat.

    Make sure that you take a hat and sunscreen.

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    • Kayaking
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    Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

    by CEP1863 Written Dec 31, 2014

    I was driving past here and decided to stop off and see what the place had to offer. All in all, I spent a pleasant afternoon here. The tour started with a short video before heading off in to the winery. The guide was knowledgable and the tour was very interesting. At the end of the tour you can taste many of the wines in production here. There is a large retail area where you can purchase the wine along with other food stuffs.

    Open daily: 10:00 - 17:00, Sundays 11:00 - 17:00

    Admission: free!

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    Bok Tower Gardens

    by CEP1863 Written Dec 31, 2014

    These are beautiful gardens that were established in the 1920's and contain hundreds of different plants. The gardens are very well maintained and there is a wonderful grove of oak trees. Centrepiece in the garden is he Carillon which is played twice daily. For those with a passion for photography, there is a marvellous photo opportunity in front of the reflection pool where the carillon is mirrored in the water. I took the optional extra of visiting the pinewood house which I felt was with the few extra dollars.

    Open daily: 08:00 - 18:00

    Admission $18USD including admission to the Pinewood Estate

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