Travel Junkie Julia Dimon is Teaming Up with VISIT FLORIDA to Share Tips and Travel Inspiration for Planning the Ultimate Vacation to The Sunshine State
Each year, National Plan for Vacation Day is recognized to encourage, prod, remind and urge people to plan their summer or spring break getaways. This year, family vacations, multi-generational holidays and family reunion trips are still on the rise, as families are using travel to strengthen bonds, experience new things and create lifelong memories. One study found that 81% of parents say they are likely to travel with their children this year, so what better time than now to begin planning a family vacation? Renowned Travel Junkie Julia Dimon shares timely info about planning a special vacation to Florida. With gorgeous weather year-round, Florida provides accessible and easy-to-find experiences that are varied and plentiful across the state. Learn why the Sunshine State has something for everyone, including world class beaches, theme parks, state and national parks, outdoor sports and culture, all while boasting an endless amount of places to stay whether that is in a classic hotel or one-of-a-kind vacation home.
REMINDER TO PLAN A FAMILY VACATION
Family travel means quality time with the kids, new experiences and core memories. 81% of parents say they are likely to travel with their children this year and Florida is the perfect destination for families. From the beautiful beaches, to exciting theme parks and outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone in The Sunshine State.
LOOKING FOR OUTDOOR ADVENTURE?
Florida’s Panhandle is renowned for outdoor adventure, family fun and its stunning beaches. In Pensacola, there are a ton of water sports to choose from: sailing, jet skiing and world-class diving with sunken ships dating back to the 1940s. Camp or bike in the Gulf Islands National Seashore, or go hiking, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding around Big Lagoon State park. Thrill seekers can also watch the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels! After working up a sweat, check out the America’s First Settlement Trail in historic downtown Pensacola and indulge in some fresh seafood at one of their many local restaurants.
UNIQUE DESTINATIONS FOR A LAID-BACK BEACH VACATION
The Bradenton area and Gulf Islands are famous for beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Bask in the sun, splash around in the ocean with the kids, and hunt for shells and shark teeth. End the day with a sunset boat cruise to spot wild dolphins. Beyond the beach, take the kids to visit rescued manatees at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, or visit their planetarium with its hands-on educational exhibitions. The Bradenton area also offers an eclectic urban arts scene and some delicious cuisine. One of my favorite vacations ever was when the family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the kids, rented a big beach house, and the Bradenton area offers just that. From modern and sleek spaces to cozy, quaint villas and cottage houses, there is nothing quite like being together and enjoying the sugar white sand and the turquoise waters of the Gulf.
YOUNG CHILDREN LOOKING TO GO BEYOND THE BEACHES
Theme parks are always a hit with the kiddos. Central Florida is home to parks like Peppa Pig Theme Park and LEGOLAND Florida, which have thrill rides and even a water park. For older kids, there is a dude ranch called Westgate River Ranch, which is just south of Orlando in Polk County. Glamp, horseback ride, or visit a rodeo and play in their cowboy adventure park. For a change of scenery, immerse oneself in the beautiful garden landscapes of Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. And for foodie parents, remember that Polk County is considered the “Barbecue Capital of Florida,” so be sure to get a taste at one of their 20+ locally owned restaurants.
WHERE FAMILIES CAN STAY IN FLORIDA
Florida has an array of incredible vacation homes that are ideal for families and groups needing more space and amenities. Find rentals that have their own movie theater, themed rooms, pool or bowling alley, and some are even steps from the ocean! Luckily, VISIT FLORIDA has teamed up with Vrbo to give away the ultimate vacation to anywhere in the Sunshine State! Just go to visitflorida.com/vrbo for the opportunity to win a dreamy Vrbo vacation stay worth $5,000 anywhere in Florida!