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5 Fun Florida Summer Vacation Ideas

Fun in the Sun at Cocoa Beach

By Myscha Theriault

While our friends up north might flock here for the winter, summer is when those of us who live here actually have time off from work to enjoy our fair state for ourselves. And for those of us with children who are out of school for the season, it’s important to know where we can squeeze in the most fun for our limited family time. Here are five fun Florida summer vacation ideas.

Hit the Beach

The World's Safest Beach

Florida beaches are some of the best in the world. Whether the Panhandle beaches are calling your name, or the kids are begging for a seashell-hunting weekend in Fort Myers Beach, you have lots to choose from. When it comes to choosing the best Florida beaches for your summer vacation adventures, the answer will depend on your preferred waterfront activities. Certain beaches are great for bird watching, while others are better for surfing or snorkeling. With some light research ahead of time however, you’ll be able to visit numerous Florida beaches with confidence, knowing what amenities and conditions you’re likely to find.

Check Out a Few Orlando Attractions

Incredible Hulk Coaster

When it comes to Orlando attractions, the list isn’t a short one, by any means. Whether you’re heading to the mouse metropolis known as Disney World, or checking out the wizardly wonder of Harry Potter at Universal, the theme parks in Orlando are designed to impress. So if you’re looking to get the most out of your entry ticket, Orlando-area attractions are a safe bet. Epcot Center, Sea World and the Kennedy Space Center are also on tap, and bring a ton of family fun to the table. Orlando attractions aren’t just for children however, and offer numerous dining and music venues just for the grownups.

Head for South Beach, in Miami

Art Deco Area

This is about as glitzy as it gets for Florida summer vacation ideas. Head on over to Lincoln Road on South Beach for shopping, enjoy some waterfront strolling with the world’s wealthy elite, and do some people watching celeb-style . . . because for sure you’ll spot your fair share. High-end dining, art galleries, jewelry shopping and posh pet boutiques are just some of the venue options you’ll have at your disposal.

Drive to Destin

Beach west of Destin Pass

Destin, Florida is a popular in-state destination offering world-class offshore fishing, family resorts, parasailing and more. With several family amusement parks and numerous snorkeling and fishing opportunities, the city of Destin is a great choice for a family scheduling a Florida summer vacation. As far as dining goes, seafood is a smart choice with the fishing industry being so significant in this area. However, other types of cuisine are available and there are a number of quiet beaches suitable for romantic picnics.

Make Memorial Day Count

Drive along Daytona Beach

When it comes to summer vacations, let’s face it. Memorial Day is the kick-off weekend for the entire season. And just like Fourth of July can extend your family vacation options, so too can Memorial Day weekend. So go ahead and enjoy a stroll on the pier at Clearwater Beach, or head on over for a drive on Daytona Beach. It’ll be a great way to kick off your summer vacation and make a valuable holiday memory to boot.

Head Out With the Family to See Some Fourth of July Fireworks

Independence Day Fireworks

Whether you’re catching your family fireworks at one of the Orlando theme parks, or heading up to St. Augustine for a more sedate experience, consider taking your summer vacation near the national Fourth of July holiday. You’ll be able to turn a regular holiday weekend into an extended vacation, and chances are there will be lots going on around that time as well. That means extra value and a greater bang for your buck.

Looking for more ideas, we have all the best things to do in Florida. Have a great summer, folks!

Myscha Theriault Myscha Theriault is a syndicated columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, best-selling author, and professional blogger whose work has been featured by Forbes, MSN, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, AOL, and others. Print interviews include Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, and All You Magazines. She is the founder of, a web site for independent travelers. You can also catch up with her on Twitter.

Originally Published on May 14th, 2011

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