Florida Vacations: More Things to Do and See
It's no wonder millions of people choose Florida vacations year after year. Florida vacations offer such an unparalleled variety of things to see and do that it's easy to come back year after year. In this article, we'll present some basic information on 4 top destinations for Florida vacations: St. Augustine, Panama City Beach, Tampa-St. Petersburg, and Fort Myers-Sanibel Island. These venues have something for everyone. Read on to find out more.
St. Augustine: Often called, the "Ancient City," St. Augustine is one of America's oldest cities. The area was settled 42 years before the English founded Jamestown and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. As you can imagine, Florida vacations to St. Augustine often center on the city's rich and varied history. A great place to start is Castillo de San Marcos.
Built in 1565, the star-shaped fortification was meant to defend Spanish colonial interests from the encroaching British. Situated on a 25-acre park, the Castillo is part of the US National Parks system and was held by the Spanish until the United States purchased the area in 1821.
Another premier historic site for Florida vacations to the area is the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. Built in the 19th century, its staircase has 219 steps. The original structure was wooden and built by the Spanish. Later the lighthouse was rebuilt using blocks of coquina coral. Said to be haunted, the lighthouse is a fascinating piece of Florida history and a great venue to include in Florida vacations.
Panama City Beach: A small seaside community with a population under 40,000, Panama City Beach is one of the finest in the world and is a prime destination for Florida vacations. The beach stretches for an amazing 20 miles along Florida's gulf coast and is often called the "Emerald Coast" because the water there has a vibrant green-blue color. A lot of visitors choose to experience the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise on their Florida vacations. This is a rollicking, swashbuckling voyage on a real pirate ship over 85 feet long. Be ready to join in the fun with a crew of friendly pirates. Enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine or a "Dragon Tail" hot hog. .
Over 2 hours long, the cruise is a favorite of young and old alike.
Tampa-St. Petersburg: The premiere attraction for Florida vacations in the area is Busch Gardens, also known as the "Dark Continent." The park is divided into 9 areas, each of which celebrates an area of Africa. A top destination for Florida vacations, Busch Gardens blends an exciting theme park with high-end amusement park rides like Montu, the region's tallest and longest inverted roller coaster. If that's not enough excitement for you, check out Kumba, the southeast's fastest steel roller coaster. There's also a 3-acre habitat set aside for lowland gorillas and chimpanzees. 800 animals roam free on the park's recreation of the Serengeti Plain. Many people on Florida vacations take in a live show at one of the theaters or enjoy a meal while experiencing what Busch Gardens calls "up-close dining." At the Crown Colony, for example, you can watch animals on the Serengeti Plain while you dine, a memorable experience for Florida vacations.
Fort Myers-Sanibel Island: The Everglades Day Safari is a great way to experience this unique wilderness while on Florida vacations. Advertised as an "ecotour," the tour's philosophy aims at preserving natural areas by minimizing the impact of travel into them. You'll learn all about the Everglade's 4 intertwined ecosystems: pine savannah, sawgrass prairie, mangrove estuary and cypress swamps. There are also experts like ornithologists (zoologists who studies birds) and herpetologists (scientists who study snakes, other reptiles, and amphibians) who escort the tours to make them truly educational. This day safari is a welcome change from all the theme parks and amusement parks visitors to Florida have come to expect.
Florida vacations can be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It's a good idea to do some research on the parks and attractions, especially if you've already been to the prime attractions like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. You'll have a chance to visit different areas of the state where you can explore the attractions each region has to offer.