Fun things to do in Florida

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Florida

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    Family Destinations: Central Florida

    by deecat Updated Feb 21, 2005

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    Central Florida offers a great place for family vacations. This area is known for its theme parks. Of course, Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando is most famous. Did you know that adults outnumber youngsters four-to-one in admissions? I guess "the child" in each of us is surfacing! There are actually four separate theme parks that make up Walt Disney World: The Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney-MGM Studios, and Epcot Center Also, you will no doubt wish to visit Universal Studios Orlando which includes The Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk (more for adults).
    Disney World's success spawned other theme parks such as Orlando's Sea World which features water skiers, trained sea mammals, and a glass tunnel that passes through a Shark tank. Shamu Stadium is home of a family of killer whales that perform!
    The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral is just a 1/2 hour from Orlando. Also here are the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuse and the Canaveral National Seashore (the longest undeveloped beach in Florida). This beach has fabulous white sand and gentle dunes that stretch for 25 miles. Be sure to visit The Spaceport Visitor Center, it's a starting point for touring this huge Kennedy Complex.

    A place nearby that we really enjoyed wasSplendid China at 3000 Splendid China Blvd, Kissimmee with its spectacular scaled-down replicas of China's landmarks, The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Suzhou Gardens. There are restaurants, shops, theaters, and street entertainment.

    Dee & Allan at Epcot
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    Miami and The Southeastern Coast

    by deecat Updated Feb 21, 2005

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    If you like more action, then you need to visit the "Gold Coast" on the southern portion of the Atlantic Coast. Here, giant hotels line the beaches, but secluded mansions are hidden behide walls and enormous landscaping. Yet, you will see the huge yachts bobbing in the harbors. I found, from personal experience, that towns such as Jupiter Island and Palm Beach are home to some of the wealthiest residents in America!
    Another Gold Coast community is Fort Lauderdale. The original Fort Lauderdale was just a wooden fort built during the Seminole War. But, today's Fort Lauderdale sprang to life when Henry Flagler's railroad came here in 1911. Often called the "Venice of America" it has 250 miles of lagoons, rivers, and canals. It also has 7 miles of Atlantic beachfront and a deepwater port.
    South of Fort Lauderdale is Miami (Florida's 2nd largest city). Spanish is spoken here more than English it seemed to me. When Cubans fled Fidel Castro's revolutionary regime in the 1960s, they congregated in a neighborhood west of downtown Miami called Little Havana. It is now a melting pot of Latin American culture that includes people from ElSalvador, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. Latin music of every kind is heard here, and authentic Cuban and Latin American cuisines are everywhere.
    Miami Beach is a barrier island 2 miles off the mainland. It is famous for the Art Deco Architecture at its south tip--hip South Beach It has the largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world. Here, too, a re popular actors, stylish models, and sport's celebrities who frequent South Beach's nightlife scene.

    Dee in Palm Beach
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    Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida

    by deecat Written Feb 25, 2005

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    Corkscrew Swamp Santuary is owned and operated by the NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY. It is acclaimed as the crown jewel of the Audubon's sanctuaries.
    Audubon first saw Corkscrew in 1912 when wardens were dispatched to protect egrets and other birds from plume hunters!
    The, in the 1950s, Audubon bought the land to protect the cypress forest from loggers. Today, Audubon is involved with restoring the Everglades and preserving the watershed so Florida and its wildlife will have a healthy ecosystem.
    We visited the Sanctuary on a sunny morning in January, 2004 when the temperature was in the 70s. It was a perfect day. We saw pristine wilderness that dates back more than 500 years!
    To see upclose, we walked the 2.25 mile boardwalk that meandered through open prairie, pine flatwoods, and the largest forest of ancient bald cypress in North America!
    Some of these impressive trees towered 130 feet into the air, and some were 25 feet around. There are almost 200 bird species here. We saw egret, ibis, heron, woodpeckers, hawks, and dozens of wood storks.
    The water in Corkscrew is a slow moving river that flows tothe southwest toward the Gulf of Mexico.
    Plants and trees help to filter the water and that keeps the water sweet and clear and without mosquito larvae!

    Open daily April 11 thru September 30: 7a.m.-7:30p.m.
    October 1 thru April 10: 7a.m.-5:30p.m.
    Admission: Adults $8.00
    Students $5.30 and Members $5.00
    Children (6-18) $3.50
    Under 6 are free
    DON'T MISS THIS FABULOUS PLACE

    Ferns at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
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    Northern Florida: Culture, History, & Beaches

    by deecat Updated Feb 21, 2005

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    Many people forget about northern Florida, but they should not because it offers much history, beautiful beaches, and, at Pensacola, you can visit the ONLY Naval Aviation Museum in the USA! Nearby is Gulf Island National Seashore, which has some of the finest stretches of white sand in all of Florida.
    Tallahassee, the state capital, reminds me of the deep south with its stately old plantation homes.
    Just off the eastern coast near Jacksonville is beautiful Amelia Island. We spent a week there playing golf and tennis. The facilities were extraordinary.
    Florida's "first coast" is located on the far northeastern coast. Here, you'll discover St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city (1565). At Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which looks out over Saint Augustine, there is an inlet where you are able to stand by cannons that are over 300 years old. This is the oldest masonry fort in the nation. Here, too, you are able to visit the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States. A warning though: many men have to duck their heads because the doorway is not even 6 feet high.
    St. Augustine has everything for architectual and history "buffs".
    If you follow A1A highway along the Atlantic Coast, you'll be able to stop at Marineland near Daytona Beach. It's the world's first oceanarium
    NOTE: Motorists are able to drive on the hard Daytona sand (speed limit is 10 miles per hour).

    Amelia Island Golf
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    SWIM IN THE WARM WATERS OF THE GULF

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 9, 2006

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    The beaches are stunning with white sugar sand & beautiful calm ocean.
    Fort De Soto is not crowded & has Park Rangers on patrol, driving about in landrovers.
    Buy some bait & a bandy net for the kids - then enjoy the peace & quiet in beautiful surrondings. There are no litter bins here so please leave the beach as you found it - clean - safe & stunningly beautiful - pack up your litter and take it home.

    GO FOR A SWIM
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    GREAT PLACE TO SEE BIRD -

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 9, 2006

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    Florida's Keys are great places for birdwatching! The birds are numerous and so diverse - they range from darting little song birds to great sea birds. We saw a pelican at one of the beaches - my sons were happily trying to catch little guppies with a bandy net but the Pelican had bigger fish to fry.

    WATCH THE BIRDIE
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    The Everglades

    by Callavetta Written Oct 27, 2004

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    Florida has incredible diversity. While the beach and ocean (or Gulf) beckon, be sure to visit some of the inland treasures.

    We took an airboat ride through the Everglades. The 45 minute ride zoomed through the reeds and over the water lilies (and alligators), while we got a tour of just a fraction of the State's protected watery acerage. Naturalist, "Wild Lyle", stopped occasionally to tell us the biology, history and ecology of the area.

    When we started our trip it was very hot. But soon the clouds came and we found ourselves in a downpour. Wild Lyle whipped out some ponchos for us and we continued the trip. The rain fell hard and flying across the waterway on our airboat exaggerated the effect of the rain. It pelted our faces as we peeked out of our ponchos through slitted eyes.

    Check out my travelogue for more photos of our airboat ride.

    Heading out into the Everglades

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    Gold Head Branch State Park

    by Basaic Updated May 3, 2010

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    Gold Head Branch State Park is located in Northeast Florida south of Jacksonville. I have lots of fond memories of coming here with my sisters and father. This park has won a State Park National Gold Medal twice, and became a state park in 1935. There used to be two Lake Johnsons on site but Big Lake Johnson is a victim of the drought. You can still enjoy swimming and canoeing in Little Lake Johnson which is spring fed and little affected by drought. There are 74 camping sites and some rental cabins, along with four marked hiking trails in the park too.

    For more information see my Gold Head Branch Page.

    Little Lake Johnson Remains of Dock and Big Lake Johnson Hiking Trail Trail to The Ravine Rental Cabin
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    Visit The Suwannee River State Park

    by Basaic Updated Oct 10, 2009

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    Suwannee River State Park has four or five nice walking trails, a boat ramp, wading areas, a playground and a picnic area. There are a variety of places you can stop along the river, including the Stephen Foster Memorial dedicated to this composer and his song "Way Down Upon the Suwannee River".

    One of the nicer trails starts on the left from the parking lot and leads to the Suwanee River overlook. It passes a couple of historic sites that are marked along the way. The River Side and Balanced Rock Trails are nice too. The Suwannee River is also good for boating and fishing.

    For more information see my Suwannee River State Park Page.

    Beautiful Suwannee River Suwannee Overlook Balanced Rock Riverside Trail Boat Ramp
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    MGM STUDIOS - GO SEE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 11, 2006

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    The voyage of the Little Mermaid will stay in my memory forever! The film is one of my favourites but to see the little mermaid live on stage was such a treat. The skills of the puppeteers and the excellent sound effects were just magic. Allow a whole day for the park there are lots of attractions, restaurants & thrill rides.

    SALUTE THE WORLD OF SHOWBIZ
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    THRILLING ROLLER COASTER

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 9, 2006

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    BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN - SCAREY - SCAREY TRAIN RIDE TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL - THOUGHT I MIGHT BE CATAPULTED OFF INTO THE BLUE YONDER.
    BUT I ARRIVED BACK ON TERRA FIRMA IN ONE PIECE IT IS NO WONDER THEY PUT UP HEALTH WARNINGS AS WELL AS HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS.

    RUN AWAY TRAIN
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    The Wackiest & Weirdest Museum Ever

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Riply's Believe it or Not has lots of fun & Odditoriums to interact with. Where else on Earth would you see a two headed kitten or a five legged cow? I thought the exhibits were a bit macarbe but my kids loved this place. There are a lot of interactive activities for kids to enjoy. The boys favourite thing was going round & round in a giant spiralling wheel tunnel = there is no accounting for taste. I can't remember who the Elvis look a like is but I had to do something to avoid that wheel!!
    Opening times 9.30 am - 1.30pm 7 days
    Admission Adults $17
    Child $12

    uc
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    Old Town Magic Kingdom

    by scottishvisitor Updated Jun 9, 2006

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    Go and visit Mickey & Donald & Co in the Magic Kingdom's old town - see the little barbar shop and many mini replicas of Americas old architecture.
    Mickey will let you explore his house & garden and you can have a sneak preview of his smalls on the washing line and Pluto's kennel in the back yard
    Just like being in a cartoon!

    Hair cut anyone?
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    Take a tour with a dragon

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Journey into imagination with a free spirited dragon called Figment - he will guide you on a life changing experience.
    Education with buckets of fun for all ages. As well as amaxing rides this place is tops for education - just check out the food growing programmes = what grows well or not depending on soil conditions they even had some plants growing on Moon rock - amazing
    EPCOT IS A MUST.

    FOUNTAINS AT EDUCATIONAL EPCOT
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    Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

    by Basaic Written Oct 10, 2009

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    The Spanish began construction of a fort overlooking the St. John's River in 1672. The fort was in a strategic position to protect interests all along the river and the small town of Saint Augustine. The monument has over 20 acres and includes the Cobi Line a reconstructed section of the walled defense line surrounding the city of Saint Augustine incorporating the original city gates. The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry and only 17th century fort in North America still in existence. it is an excellent example of the "bastion system" of fortification. The Castillo is a very interesting place to visit. I grew up in nearby Jacksonville so I came here often as a kid.

    There are several signs and displays to help you appreciate life in the castillo. The courtyard in the middle of the fort was an important part of life. The military used it for training and to conduct drills. During the siege of 1702 thousands of people fled the town of San Agustin to the safety of the fort. Many of them lived in the courtyard, because the fort was not built to accomodate so many people.

    The castillo has many volunteers who dress in period costume and reenact various activities performed during the 18th Century. This guy is dressed as a member of the Spanish Garrison and is giving a talk on the uniform and weapons the garrison used. They also had a guy that gave a discussion on medical instruments and practices during the era and they reenacted the firing of one of the cannons. If you get the chance to see (and hear) the firing of the cannon, don't miss it!

    For more information, see my Castillo de San Marcos Page.

    Castillo de San Marcos Courtyard Soldiers Quarters Guy in Period Costume Talking About the Uniform Gun Crew Preparing to Fire the Cannon
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