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When you think of summer, a couple of states likely come to mind.
Florida is sure to be one of them. The Sunshine State is one of the most popular summer destinations year after year. In fact, Florida set a new record in 2018 for the most out-of-state visitors and was on track to set another record high by the end of the first six months of 2019. When to come? And what to do in Florida?
With warm weather year-round, every month is a great time to visit Florida.
However, the type of activities you want to do on your trip may mean choosing a specific month for your trip. For example, if you want a vacation full of water activities in Florida, perhaps consider going during June, July, August, or September. The average ocean temperature during these months is around 87 degrees Fahrenheit (30 C).
Top Things to Do in Florida
While Florida has what feels like a never-ending number of activities and tourist attractions, its water activities never fail to impress visitors.
Here are a few of the best water activities in Florida that are great for all ages.
1. Sea creature encounters
If you’re an animal lover, you’ll love Florida’s easy access to sea life.
Florida is home to one of the five SeaWorld Parks, but it also has numerous coves, beaches, and seaquariums, where you can hang out with some of the sea’s most friendly creatures.
At the La Jolla seal beach, you can watch hundreds of seals while you have a picnic on the beach. If you want a more up-close encounter with seals, consider visiting Miami Seaquarium where you can swim with, hug, kiss, and train seals. The Florida Keys, Sanibel Island, and Fort Myers Beach are all great places to encounter dolphins as well.
2. Cave diving in Florida
Cave diving has grown in popularity over the years.
More and more people realize what a great water activity it is. While many people cave dive for extreme sport, others use it as a leisure activity. Not all dives require deep swims. In fact, there are several caves you can hike down into and explore the cave five feet below the water surface, sort of like you’re snorkeling.
For instance, the Devil’s Den in Williston, Florida, is a great spot for short-depth cave diving.
Here you will have a short hike into the cave and then walk down a stairway to a platform within the cave’s den.
If you’re more of an adventure seeker, tour the underwater caves in Ginnie Springs, Florida. With over 30,000 feet of passages, you’ll never want to return to land.
Kayaks were first used by Eskimos in Greenland as a means of fishing and getting around for daily necessities.
Today, kayaks are used for summer fun.
Florida has several scenic spots that seem like they were made for kayaking, such as Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida, Weeki Wachee Springs, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Florida, to name a few.
If you don’t own a kayak and paddle, no worries, Florida also has several local businesses you can rent equipment from for the day. Depending on where you rent from, you could rent either a single person kayak or a couple’s kayak. Kayaking will be an arm workout, so if you feel you can’t propel yourself well, consider kayaking with a friend in a kayak for two.
Does kayaking sound like too much of an effort for you?
If you are looking for water adventures that require a little less physical activity and a little more relaxation, consider renting a boat for a day. In Florida, you can rent almost any type of boat from speed boats to sailboats. Florida is prepared for every boating visitor. Not without a reason it’s one of the top things to do in Florida.
Head down to the boat dock closest to your hotel, and you can bet there will be several boat tours to choose from.
If you find a sailboat or catamaran for rent, they might even have a package for an ocean picnic or booze cruise. Sailboat tours are great for romantic evenings, relaxing scenic tours, and more. If that doesn’t sound like the water activity for you, rent a speed boat for some fun water sports or a fishing boat for deep-sea fishing.
Parasailing is another popular water sport you can enjoy regardless of fitness level.
Everyone should go parasailing at least once, especially above the clear waters of Florida. While you can parasail solo, parasailing with a friend or two really doubles the fun. You will be buckled into a seat hanging beneath a giant parachute and then pulled behind a boat, so it lifts you high in the air.
Unless you’re afraid of heights, you are sure to love parasailing—you float along up to 500 feet in the air.
This exciting activity also comes at a generally low price.
During non-peak seasons, you can typically pay less than $50 for a 15-minute parasailing trip.
6. Visit Water Parks of Florida
Even though the weather is warm year-round in Florida, sometimes the ocean temperatures can get too cool for comfort. When that happens, head on over to a water park.
Florida is filled with several highly rated water parks that are sure to please the entire family.
You have plenty of options, too, such as Aquatica Orlando, Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park in Destin, and Universal’s Volcano Bay. Most of these water parks are open year-round, so you should be able to visit them no matter when you take your trip.
7. Beach Day
Let’s get back to the basics with a good old-fashioned beach day.
Pack a picnic, grab your beach towel and swimsuit, and head on down to the beach.
No matter where you’re staying, Orlando, Miami, Destin, there is bound to be a top-notch beach nearby.
One of the best things about beach days is that they generally don’t cost you a dime.
A Word About Snowbirds
Florida is a top destination for snowbirds each year.
Most snowbirds travel to Florida around October and November and stay until returning home around April and May.
It’s a great way to get the best weather year-round.
If you’re a snowbird and planning an extended trip to Florida, be sure to plan out your water activities, especially if you want to rent a boat or book a tour. If you prepare ahead of time, you can spend the majority of your vacation having fun.
Featured photo: Pexels
Book Your Trip Like a PRO
1. Book Your Flight
2. Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!
3. Buy Your Travel Insurance
World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.