Where to spend a day away from the theme parks in Florida
Thousands of tourists each year flock to Orlando to enjoy the immersive theme parks that Disney and Universal have to offer. However, sometimes you just need a break and a day away from the crowds and heat. Today I’m going to share with you some of my favorite smaller attractions and places to spend a day during your next vacation.
Activities in Florida away from the Theme Parks
If you are visiting from overseas, you won’t want to miss the bargains that you can find at the shopping malls and outlet centers throughout the state. In Orlando, visit the Orlando Premium Outlets for some amazing prices on designer clothing and accessories. Sawgrass Mills Mall near Miami offers incredible discounts and dining options, making it the perfect place to spend a day.
One of the oldest attractions in Orlando, Gatorland allows you to get up-close and personal with alligators and crocodiles. Perfect for younger visitors, there is a petting zoo and interactive shows where you see the strength and ability of these creatures. They’ve also added a zip line in recent years, which is a fun way to see the animals from high above!
A trip to Florida isn’t complete without visiting the Kennedy Space Center on the Space Coast. It’s one of my favorite attractions and offers a fascinating look at the history of space exploration. The behind the scenes tour which takes you out to the launch pads is the highlight of any visit. Enjoy seeing rockets up close and taking part in your own simulated space launch. There’s always new exhibits and events here, so keep an eye on the calendar for what’s going on during your vacation. You might even be lucky enough to catch a rocket launch during your trip.
Golfing is huge in Florida, with hundreds of courses to choose from across the state. If you are a keen golfer, consider staying in a golfing resort for part of your trip such as The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. For younger visitors, enjoy interactive mini-golf courses that provide a fun escape from the theme park crowds.
If you time your visit right, you might be lucky enough to catch a race at the Daytona International Stadium. Home to the Daytona 500 and NASCAR racing, this complex stretches over 500 acres. It’s the world’s first motorsport stadium but is still a relaxed venue to visit where you can bring your own drinks and snacks.
If you don’t fancy going swimming in the sea, visit an aquarium such as the Key West Aquarium. Here you will be able to see sharks and alligators as well as many breeds of tropical fish. Kids will love the touch tanks and getting up close and personal with live stingrays. Key West is a good twin-center option following a busy week of exploring the Orlando theme parks.
Florida has so much to explore outside of the Orlando area, and I’d definitely encourage you to look into the hundreds of options the state has to offer visitors. If you enjoy water-based activities, spend a day out in nature on a half- or full-day Cape Coral Fishing Charter. This provides the perfect relaxing day away from the crowds and bustle of the theme parks.