What to Do in Florida (Once You’ve Done Disney)

Florida–Orlando in particular–has become so synonymous with theme parks it one might start to think that there’s nothing else to do in the Sunshine State. Not that there is anything wrong with theme parks: classic theme parks are what have inspired millions of visitors to visit Florida, and they continue to be a draw.

But assuming you’ve seen Disney World. And Epcot. And Sea World. And Universal. Um … what then? Well, we’ve got a few great ideas for alternative types of fun beyond the realm of roller coasters.

  1. Kennedy Space Center – Fun, entertaining, and educational: what more could you ask for. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is where rockets launch: Florida’s very own gateway to “the final frontier.” Get a feel for the astronaut’s job on the Shuttle Launch Experience simulator, learn about astronauts and NASA history and more.
  2. Airboat Tours – Want a look at some of the UNdeveloped Florida? Do it from an airboat. The Everglades area offers the widest selection, but you’ll find thrilling airboat adventures even in central Florida. Guided tours take you over smooth, grassy waters while experts point out the natural flora (water lilies, cat-tails, and the like) and the fauna of the area: think turtles, snakes, and most likely alligators.
  3. Weeki Wachee Mermaids – Who doesn’t love a little magic? No matter your age, you’ll become believers when experience these underwater wonders (not one of which is a Disney Princess). The ladies perform three different shows a day; between performances you also have the option of taking a river cruise, renting kayaks, attending an animal show, or other fun events.
  4. Salvador Dali Museum – Admittedly, Spanish surrealism might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you are into the whole melting clock thing, you won’t find a more comprehensive collection of Dali’s works anywhere in the world (not even at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Spain). In addition to their permanent collection, the museum offers a variety of events and exhibits throughout the year, including programs for kids and … um … yoga. Go figure.
  5. Big Cat Rescue – Believe it or not, there places in the US where owning a big cat is still legal. We’re talking BIG cats–lions and tigers and pumas, oh my! But owning a big cat isn’t the same as knowing how to live with one, and owners often either mistreat them or abandon them. That’s where these guys come in. Big Cat Rescue is kind of like a retirement home for big cats who’ve been confiscated, let loose, or rescued from roadside tourist traps.
  6. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden – On the outskirts of Miami, just off the shores of Biscayne Bay, lies an 83-acre garden designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips. Originally opened in 1938, Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden offers a lush network of interconnecting pathways is a feast for the eyes: rare tropical palms, flowering trees, cycads, vines, and more. Their goal is to preserve plant varieties while educating the public on the importance of tropical diversity.

That’s just a short list. Florida has much to offer, but many people don’t see beyond fireworks and mouse ears. In the words of a wise leader, “The biggest problem is lack of education.”

Actually, she wasn’t talking about tourist destinations. But it fits.

Times 10 Travel

Being native to Florida, Times 10 offers valuable information to businesses both locally and abroad who are looking to make a viable, effective connection to the state of Florida. Times 10 covers the most widely used methods of travel, and helps deliver effective results to businesses.

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