Head to Florida and experience a family holiday that’s out of this world.
Florida is aptly nicknamed the Sunshine State, and anyone who’s ever taken a holiday there will understand why. Long days of beautifully blue skies, as well as wonderfully warm weather most of the year round, make it an ideal destination for child friendly family holidays.
For most people, Florida means Mickey Mouse, Disneyland and rollercoaster’s, and yes, parts of Florida are definitely a bit Walt Disney crazy, but there’s so much more to this fabulous county than just life-sized cartoon characters. Kids of all ages will love spending time in alternative theme parks, from the rollercoaster’s of Busch Gardens to the aquatic displays at SeaWorld, and Universal Studios offers a glimpse of all your favourite movies and characters, including the recently opened attraction, ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’.
If the theme parks are the reason you’re heading to Florida on holiday then the best place to stay is in the Kissimmee area of Orlando. It’s the hub for all the main activities in the area, and as well as being on the doorstep of all the major theme parks, you’ll also be able to enjoy all the delights of two very famous tourists destinations - International Drive and West Irlo Bronson Highway. These streets are a Mecca for Floridian tourists because of their proximity to Disneyland. There are endless restaurants lining every block, including American family favourites like the Red Lobster or the Olive Garden, and if you want something a little bit different to do then you’ll find plenty of tourist shops and attractions like mini golf along here as well.
Kissimmee is also ideally located to enjoy the wide variety of alternative activities that Florida has to offer. Take the whole family off to the Kennedy Space Center for a thrilling adventure into the unknown. See rocket ships up close, tour the interactive displays and take a ride in their realistic simulator. And if you’re lucky, you might witness a real launch.
The Florida Keys just south of iconic Miami is a must-see destination. The main island, Key West, is a pretty colonial town that sits at the very bottom of a series of immensely beautiful islands. This quiet location is perfect for a beach holiday, a spot of scuba diving or snorkelling or just the chance to relax in general. The nightlife here is an eclectic scene of waterside bars, seafood or Caribbean restaurants and even the local taxi service consists of quaint bicycle rickshaws to take you between your hotel and the local sights.
The Everglades National Park is a spectacular landscape consisting of miles of marshlands in one of the best known sub-tropical wetlands in the States. Children will love spotting alligators, which are remarkably easy to see because they line the riverbanks throughout the area. Jump aboard a fan boat and zoom across the top of the water on a wildlife spotting trip that the whole family will love.
For a leisurely day out, the Gulf Coast is a great destination for everyone, regardless of their age. The fabulously white sands of St Pete’s Beach and the shores of Clearwater draw thousands of families on every sunny day. For younger children, a trip aboard the Pirate Ship at St Pete’s Beach will keep them amused, and with pirate face painting, water pistol fights and scary pirate stories on offer, all landlubber parents might be pleased to know there’s a bar onboard!
Whatever you decide to visit in Florida, you can be sure of two things; you’ll be guaranteed fun for the whole family, but you simply won’t have time to fit everything in! For the best time to go, try heading off in April which is consistently the best month for warm (but not scorching) days and usually has little rain to dampen things.
Take your family holiday to the Magic Kingdom and experience everything Orlando has to offer.
For family holidays filled with swashbuckling excitement, head to Tampa and Clearwater, famed for its looting pirates and sought-after treasures.
Take your family holiday in the stunning Florida Keys, with a different island to experience every day.
Greater Fort Lauderdale's has an expansive system of canals and waterways that has given the city its nickname "the Venice of America." It is a haven for children, with its many activities and child friendly dining places, even adults wish they were kids again.
Indulge yourself in Miami, home to the rich and famous, on a unique family holiday.