** This post about family-friendly Florida destinations is sponsored by VISIT FLORIDA. All opinions are my own. #FindYourFlorida
When we visited Florida for the first time as a family of three in 2017, I was pleasantly surprised by how familiar the state felt to me. When we pick a travel destination, we always prefer places where we can see an abundance of fauna and flora, and Florida has no shortage of places and attractions with both. We also felt at home there because of the flavors of the food. The seafood dishes we found in the places we visited reminded me of the meals my family cooks in the small fishing town of Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, where my family is from. Overall, the combination of the sunshine, animals, plants, food and family-friendly activities make it a perfect destination for us, and we plan to return soon.
We now have a 1-year-old and an almost 5-year-old, so family-friendly activities that would be fun for both toddlers and adults are a must for any destination we pick. We were impressed that Florida had so many entertainment and cultural options when we last visited, and we know we won’t be disappointed by any aspect of our vacation when we go back with our second daughter next winter.
Our list of places we would like to visit on our next family vacation to Florida contains a mix of destinations that are new to us and that we’ve visited before:
Family-Friendly Florida Attractions on Our Wish List:
1. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida Keys: My family loved visiting the turtles that have been rescued at the non-profit Turtle Hospital near Islamorada. Turtles are our favorite animal and we love seeing them any chance we get. The Florida Keys were an easy drive from Orlando, even with a toddler in tow. We also enjoyed seafood at nearby beachfront restaurants after touring the Turtle Hospital.
2. Animal Kingdom: We visited three Disney parks, but Animal Kingdom was our favorite because we loved seeing different cultures, like Africa and Asia, represented in the various sections of the park. When we walked around the park, we felt like we belonged no matter where we were. We also enjoy trying different cuisines and strolling around the park viewing animals and plants as a family.
3. Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society: We have not visited this attraction yet, but West Palm Beach will likely be one of our destinations during our next trip. The zoo offers koala and sloth experiences that we’d love to do. We also have a tradition of visiting zoos wherever we go and buying a stuffed animal at each one for our little girls’ animal-theme shared bedroom.
4. Sea Life Orlando Aquarium: Fitting with our love of animals and nature, this attraction seems like a perfect place for young kids when in the Orlando area. It features Florida’s only 360-degree tunnel, which we can walk through with our girls to see all the species at the aquarium in a truly unique way.
5. Legoland: Our young girls would have much to do and see at this park. Wandering the Cypress Gardens, touring Miniland USA, and seeing a show at Pirate’s Cove are just three of the many family-friendly things to do here.
I could go on and on with what we’d like to do in Florida during our upcoming winter escape from the Chicago cold. Our list of places and things to see and do does not end here, and we look forward to many years of returning to the state to relax and bond as a growing family.
What places would you love to visit in Florida?