In the grand scheme of life there is nothing more sacred than family. We have always shared the same values but none more passionately than the importance of putting family first and making time spent with loved ones a top priority.
This is why we travel together every chance we get, and these days bring mom along for the ride. When it was just us and our little guy, we had a blast traveling from one place to a next and creating memories that would last a lifetime.
These days, we live by the words “the more the merrier!” As our readers know by now, we are big on locations that are not only family-friendly but that are also fun for all ages, young or old.
This is why we’re featuring an all new blog post centering around a vacation spot that is world-famous for amusement parks, beaches, resorts and other family-appropriate attractions: Florida!
Many have heard about it, some have seen it first-hand and it is a bucket list travel destination for travelers world-wide but we’re going to let you in on some of the best kept secrets, a.k.a kid friendly cities, that the sunshine state has to offer.
Some might be as world-famous as the state itself but others will be sure to entice you to add them to your bucket list in the future if you ever get the chance to truly explore all of the magic, sun and pristine beaches the state has to offer!
First up, which will come as no surprise to those who are just as in love with Florida as we are, is:
Home to more than a dozen different amusement parks, history-rich museums and cultural festivals, Orlando is one of the best cities to visit when you’re in town with little ones in tow.
Whether you’re looking for thrills at Universal Orlando on their twisty roller coasters, magic with beloved characters at Walt Disney World, history lessons at some of the finest museums or tons of cuddles from the animals at Green Meadows Petting Farm, you won’t leave Florida feeling like you missed out on ANY of the fun.
Pristine white sand, crystal clear waters with a hint of emerald and sunsets that will take your breath away. Need we say any more?
We’re joking, there is SO much more to say about this beautiful city in the Florida panhandle. You can book a sitter to walk the beach as a couple, or if you take little ones with you like we do, there is no shortage of fun in the sun to be had on the beach itself.
Into mouth-watering treats? There are tons of restaurants with menus that have items that even in the littlest mouths will devour!
To make it even more enticing, you can take your little ones to the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise where the crew will keep your kiddos busy with water gun fights, discovering sunken treasure, dancing and more! Better yet, if you’re a fan of marine life and are dying to see it up close, you can view dolphins in their natural habitat by visiting the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise.
There are two kinds of visitors to the city of St.Augustine. Those who swear by the beach, which offers white sands and beautiful waters, and those who choose it for the history & streets lined with shops.
Personally, we’d say we would go for a little of both. We love a good trip to the beach but we also love popping into shops to see what trinkets they have available for purchase.
If you have a fan of all things reptilian, then you simply must visit the St.Augustine Alligator Farm. Home to a variety of crocs, alligators and caiman species as well as a special 15 foot saltwater resident, you can easily expect to spend an entire day just taking in the prehistoric creatures.
So, reptiles aren’t really your thing nor do your kids appreciate all of the teeth & scales? You can focus more on the history surrounding St.Augustine by heading over to Fort Castillo De San Marcos, a must-see historical landmark that draws in visitors from all over.
With tours, canon demonstrations and a junior ranger program to take part in, you’ll come away with a ton of new knowledge about those who defended the fort as well as its purpose.
4. Weeki Wachee
Located in Hernando County, and with a population of exactly 12 people, you might wonder why Weeki Wachee has made our list. Well, for the simple fact that the city is home to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
This is the ideal place for those who aren’t a fan of the harsh beach weather that Florida is known for and who are looking for a memorable experience for their children outside of sandcastles and waves.
Home to the world-famous mermaids of the Weeki Wachee, the springs offer a variety of exciting shows including wildlife, the riverboat cruise and Buccaneer Bay, where you can experience the thrill of the water park slides, and direct access to the crystal clear springs.
It’s the perfect way to beat the heat, while enjoying the best of Weeki Wachee. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of other activities that include kayaking, hiking and boating!
As shameless animal lovers, we felt that we just had to include Kenansville for one very specific reason: Wild Florida Gator Park.
It’s not to say that Kenansville isn’t without it’s own charm to draw in visitors, however, the main attraction is definitely Wild Florida. In this case, when you have children with you, the park is absolute perfection with what they offer for their visitors.
If you have a little animal enthusiast at home, you won’t want to miss the amazing experience that you can have at Wild Florida. Available for up close and personal experiences are lemurs, porcupines and our personal favorite, SLOTHS.
The one of a kind experience allows you to accompany a trained expert into the habitat of your choice of their featured furry friends and actually feed perform species specific enrichment activities. Not only that, but for an extra fee you can also take SELFIES with your animal of choice. If that’s not a one of a kind, heart stopping opportunity then we don’t know what is!
Although listed on the bottom of our list, Tampa is by no means any less exciting. From amusement parks to some of the worlds greatest zoo’s, a trip to this particular city will be one for the family vacation books.
One attraction in particular that we want to mention is the Florida Aquarium. Home to a 250,000 square foot aquarium, the Florida Aquarium is a must-have on any vacationers bucket list.
From clown fish to the great white, your whole family will be wowed by the many different types of marine sea life that are housed at the aquarium.
Marine life not a thriller in your life? Then there’s also several amusement parks such as Busch Gardens, ZooTampa at Lowry Park and of course, the Museum of Science & Industry.
Affectionately nicknamed the Big Guava, Tampa will not disappoint. This is especially true if you’re looking to make your trip a memorable one for your littlest travelers.
Located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Clearwater gets it’s name for the dazzlingly clear waters of its beaches. We know we’ve covered a lot of mention of beaches in our post so we’ll skip over the details of the beach side of things for now and say that there’s plenty more to do in Clearwater than to just get sand in your shoes.
For example, the mini-carnival “Sunsets at Pier 60” will grab your attention in a hurry with it’s street performers, musicians and wide variety of wares for sale. Families can also visit Winter, the world-renowned dolphin who overcame unbelievable odds, in residence at the Clearwater Aquarium.
Tired of all of the water? Feast on delicious authentic foods at the East Gateway District where you can also find La Feria de la Nieve, old fashioned Mexican ice cream.
Well, there you have it. We’ve compiled a list of 7 Best Cities To Visit In Florida That Will Make Your Kids Happy for our readers that we think you’ll love taking a look through.
It is one of the best states for families that we’ve ever seen and can’t wait until our travels one day take us to its beautiful beaches, zoo’s, thrilling amusement parks and beyond!