When you think of Florida, most people think of the theme parks in Orlando. But there is so much more to experience. 
From dazzling white sands on the Gulf coast, to the roar of rocket engines at Cape Caneveral; from the beauty of the wild and unspoilt Everglades, to the vibrant city of Miami, Florida is much more than just a theme park. It's an adventure that rivals Disney or Universal Studios. And of course, there are the theme parks too! 
 
The Everglades 
It may surpise you to know, that the Everglades freshwater system begins near Orlando in the Kissimmee River. This water system is unique because fresh water in the Florida Bay meets the saltwater of the Gulf of Mexico, creating a perfect ecosystem for both animals to live together. There are over 200,000 alligators in the Everglades. 
 
And one of the best ways to see the Everglades is with an "Airboat Ride."  
 
This is a flat bottomes boat, with a large aircraft propeller at the back, that whisks you through the Sawgrass. 
 
There are several points from which you can get to see the Everglades. Some are just a short drive from Orlando and a daytime ride is a wonderfully memorable experience that stays with you and your family for years. 
 
The Kennedy Space Centre 
We have, perhaps become blasé about space travel. But it's worth remembering that it was only on December 17, 1903, thay humans managed to conquer powered flight. Yet just 66 years later, Neil Amstrong landed on the moon... An incredible achievement. 
 
Witnessing a live rocket launch is jaw-dropping. 
 
It's a real bucket-list experience and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides the closest public viewing of rocket launches with live launch commentary from space experts. 
 
Viewing locations are within a few miles/kilometres from the launch pads, so you can see and feel the liftoff of spacecraft leaving Earth under the full power of mighty rocket engines. 
 
But if you miss a launch, then don't be disheartened, there is so much to see and explore at the Kennedy Space Centre. 
Swimming with Manatees 
Swimming with manatees in Florida is hands down, a profound, unforgettable, and once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. They're affectionately known as “sea cows” and these leathery and wrinkled gentle giants can tip the scales at around 1,000 to 3,400 pounds. 
 
But these creatures are incredibly adorable, cute, charming, and friendly. 
 
Florida manatees are large, aquatic mammals that are native to Florida. Adult manatees are typically 9-10 feet long from snout to tail and weigh around 1,000 pounds; however, they may grow to over 13 feet long and weigh more than 3,500 pounds. 
 
You can easily find them grazing along the aquatic meadows and grass flats in Florida. What’s more, Florida is the only place in the US where you can swim with manatees legally. So, this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  
Florida's Beaches 
Whether you're looking for a family beach, a beach for your dog, the best place to surf, or just a secluded stretch of sand where you can swim and soak up the sun, Florida's beaches have it all! 
 
Florida has the longest coastline in the United States. From one end of the state to the other, the coastline of Florida is 1,350 miles (2,170 km). This doesn't include the many barrier islands. Of that coastline, 825 miles (1,327 km) is made up of sandy beaches. 
 
To the East, the sand is mainly yellow and compacted. So great for those that love active life. And with the Atlantic on this side, it's great for surfing. But on the West, you face the Gulf of Mexico, and the sand here is brilliant white, the sea usually calmer and ideal for young families that want dip and soak up the sun. 
Miami 
A city like no other... 
 
While many people come to Greater Miami for its world-renowned hotels, restaurants and nightlife – and, of course, its spectacular beaches – you’ll find that this amazing city is home to all of this plus a lot more! 
 
Whether on land or in the water, you’ll find that nature surrounds you in Greater Miami. 
 
Go kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding at Oleta River State Park, Deering Estate or Crandon Park.  
 
Visit the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center to see its dunes, mangroves and seagrass beds – and have a chance to spot some of the 200 species of birds that live here or migrate through.  
 
Stroll past rare palms, tropical fruit and flowering trees at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  
 
Hop on a boat and sail through one of Miami’s natural treasures – Biscayne National Park, which is 95% underwater and includes the Florida Reef, the only living coral barrier reef in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Experience true wilderness with a variety of hikes, scenic drives and guided tours available in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve. 
 
Explore its art galleries, wander past its mind-blowing street art and spend an afternoon at The Bass or the Pérez Art Museum Miami or get a glimpse of local Art Deco architecture in South Beach’s Art Deco District with one of the Miami Design Preservation League’s walking tours.  
 
Check out attractions such as Zoo Miami, the Venetian Pool, Miami Seaquarium, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and many more.  
 
Enjoy a taste of Greater Miami’s diverse culinary scene at tantalizing restaurants, or spend an afternoon sipping wine and beer made from local fruits at Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery.  
And all this is jus the tip of the iceberg! 
 
There's so much more to Florida - it would be a real shame to go all that way and just meet a mouse... 
 
 
Tagged as: United States
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