Florida is one of America’s most popular vacationlands. Its mild climate numerous major attractions, and wealth of quality beaches make it a year-round destination. The fact that many of its tourist locations are particularly fun for children increases its popularity. Here are my choices for the best that the "Sunshine State" has to offer.
1. Disney World – The world’s premier destination for families draws visitors from all over the world during all four seasons. Choose from numerous venues within the park, such as, The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney-MGM, or do as most people do and purchase a pass which allows access to all areas.
2. Orlando – Capitalizing on the proximity of Disney World (see above), Orlando has attracted many entertainment and recreational companies to establish venues here. A few favorites are Sea World and Universal Studios.
3. Key West – Perhaps the most unusual community in the United States, Key West never seems to disappoint. It’s fun-filled atmosphere is contagious and its outageous and unorthodox behaviors are legendary. Take the Conch Train Tour for an orientation, then strike out on your own and enjoy the fun.
4. St Augustine – America’s oldest city has done a great job of preserving its past for visitors. Take a walking tour to appreciate the sights. Be sure to check out the old Spanish fort, Castillo de San Marcos, and take a guided tour of Flagler College, once a playground for the wealthy.
5. Everglades National Park – This classic wetland can only be minimally accessed by car or by foot. To get a glimpse of the true Everglades environment, take a boat tour or rent your own. Beware of the gators!
6. Miami Beach – A perennial "Top Ten Beach," South Beach is the major draw these days to this home of "sheik" and "beautiful bodies." The night life is also legendary with many exclusive clubs that admit only "certain" people. Admire the Art Deco architecture and be sure to spend an hour or so at the Holocaust Memorial.
7. Kennedy Space Center – Long the headquarters for America’s space program, the Kennedy Space Center has become a major tourist attraction for those interested in the history of NASA. Numerous displays and films delight visitors.
8. Daytona Beach – One of America’s premier auto-racing facilities, Daytona Beach Raceway draws thousands of visitors each year just to see the race course. When its major race, the Daytona 500, is held, hotels and restaurants for miles around are booked solid.
9. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay – For a safari experience far from Africa, there is no better venue in the world. Couple this with a marvelous theme park with exciting thrill rides and you will understand why this park is so successful.
10. Cypress Gardens Adventure Park – Water-skiing was made famous here, and visitors are still treated to daring experts in the sport on a daily basis. However, there is more here than water-skiing. One of my favorite activities is the boat tour of the Cypress swamps and gardens which give the park its name.
Other sights considered: