I am so excited to be writing this post because by actually writing it down it makes it all so much more real… We are going to Florida! Since I was a child I have dreamt of walking barefoot down those beautiful white sandy beaches, paddling in the brilliant blue sea, exploring the varied coastline and of course, visiting Disney World!
And now all of this is coming true.
In just a few months I will be boarding a plane for the longest journey I have ever taken (gulp, slightly nervous about 9 hours in a confined space) and setting off with my gorgeous boys to make memories of a lifetime. There is so much to think about and plan but with my husband’s straight thinking and my eye for great places to visit, I know we will pull it all off in time for March.
Yes, I am sure some of you are thinking that we have left things a little last minute but there’s no need to panic. Our accommodation needs will hopefully be met by Clickstay as they offer a large range of villas across particular destinations, with Florida being one of them. As a family of 4 and having 2 young children, we need to get this spot on to meet all of our needs. However, we will be moving accommodation for the second week as our plan is to spend the first week at Clearwater and the second week at Disney itself! Which means we need to do extra hunting for the perfect places to stay. I have started to look into what is currently available and there are so many stunning Clickstay villas in Florida which offer everything a family needs, including properties with private pools!
Image credit Clickstay
Now I will need drag myself away from that villa poolside because there are so many sights, destinations and landmarks I am just aching to see and I only have 2 weeks to cram it all in!
Here are 7 that I can guarantee are going to make our Florida holiday amazing…
Ok, this destination is a given as this is where we will be staying in week one. Named as Trip Advisors #1 beach of 2018 it seems it is a must-see. We ideally want to have accommodation right on the beach and I will definitely need to spend a few days lapping up the sun, playing with the boys in the sand and the sea and getting to grips with the Florida lifestyle. With a range of boat tours, dolphin watching, great restaurants, shopping malls and Pier 60 there will be plenty to take in and enjoy.
Dolphins in the Wild
It would be a dream come true to see dolphins in their natural habitat and as I stated above, Clearwater offers plenty of boat trips which will take you out to spot dolphins in the wild. Of course, there is an aquarium but for me, this just doesn’t sit right. I would much rather enjoy sealife where it is meant to be– out at sea! Which is precisely why you will not see me visiting Sea World.
Pirate Ship Excursion
Having an almost 5-year-old boy I know we will just have to book onto the pirate ship excursion at Clearwater. Captain Memo’s website promises that you will get lost in the pirate antics during their two-hour odyssey which will include a treasure hunt, face painting, water gun games, stories and dancing for all ages. Jake will be living the dream!
Image credit Clickstay
Kelly Park Springs
Florida boasts some fantastic natural springs but for all-round family fun, I have read that Kelly Park is the destination for you. With stunning clear water, beautiful greenery surrounding the banks and tubes (or rubber rings as us Brits call them) available for an enjoyable dip. You can just lay back and relax as you float along the river and enjoy one of the very different landscapes Florida has to offer.
Walt Disney World
This is most definitely going to be the highlight for myself and Jake. I remember dreaming about going there as a child, imagining dressing up like Sleeping Beauty, meeting my idols and watching the castle light up in the evening… Yet sadly it never happened, so there is still that little girl inside of me who is bursting to hug Mickey Mouse and jump on all the rides and lap up every bit of Disney magic I possibly can! We only have a week but with careful planning and booking (Disney app for pre-booking) we will get around to doing the top things for us and the boys.
When I asked over on my Instastories what people could recommend I was inundated with messages saying ‘Universal Studios!’ This theme park and film studio is perfect for the entire family to enjoy and boasts attractions from all of your favourite shows and films including the raved about Wizarding World of Harry Potter. With amusements and rides, exciting shows, fine dining, shopping, play areas, chances to meet characters and so much more, I cannot wait to explore the studios!
Lakes and Wildlife Parks
Florida has such a huge range of lakes and wildlife parks to visit that it’s been hard to decide on just one. Right between Clearwater and Orlando sits The Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, there is also Lake Apopka, Lake Kissimmee and much further south is the largest, Lake Okeechobee. Each is a haven for spectacular wildlife that you may not see anywhere else, each has stunning scenery and areas to explore. I want to get the most I possibly can out of our trip and seeing Florida in all of its glory is a must for me. I love getting out and about and being stuck in built-up areas for too long doesn’t do it for me. I want us to make memories and I want to enrich my boys’ experience of the world. I would love to see Manatee’s in their natural habitat also and I know there are plenty of protected areas, tours, as well as the Everglades at which this is possible. It will just be a case of discovering which we can do as a family which may have to be once we are there.
I am sure you have even more sights and attractions to add and I would absolutely love to hear them so do let me know in the comments.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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