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Florida: Manatees, Dolphins and Gators, Oh My!
by CL Hendricks

Looking for things to do in Florida? Having visited and lived in Florida I can tell you that there are an amazing number of manmade attractions and natural wonders in the Sunshine State.

Pensacola: In the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola offers a number of great natural water sports; swimming, sailing and fishing just to name a few. Sam's Fun City is a great place to take the kids for water fun, arcade games, indoor rides and laser tag.

Miami: While in Miami, get away from the beach and shopping for a few hours of enjoying the lush botanicals at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Ft. Lauderdale: Located just north of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale is a great place to sightsee and watch the rich and famous by taking a Carrie B cruise of their yachts and homes. Get up close with nature on an exciting airboat ride at the Everglades Holiday Park.

Florida State Parks are located all around the State. When I visited last year, I was fascinated by the Blue Spring State Park with its large, clear spring, although I was disappointed to be there at the wrong time to see the protected manatees.

Navarre Beach: In the Panhandle, Navarre Beach draws visitors to its pristine beaches that are not as crowded as some of the other beaches on the Gulf Coast.

Florida Keys: When you get to the Florida Keys make sure you take time to check out the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. If you love viewing land and sea wildlife in their natural habitats these are a must.

Orlando: Everyone knows the most famous of Orlando's family and kid-friendly attractions: Disney World, Universal Studios and Epcot Center. However, take one night to visit the adults-only Pleasure Island for dining, dancing and live music.

Cocoa Beach: Cocoa Beach, Florida features the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands Dolphin & Manatee Tour, the Kennedy Space Center and the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Clearwater Beach: To find some great seashells, the beach at Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida is the perfect place to go shelling. But head out early or the local shell hunters will beat you to that big conch.

Key Largo: Swimming with dolphins is the dream of many people who feel an affinity for these gentle sea creatures. My sister visited Key Largo last year and was thrilled to get up close and personal with dolphins; a dream fulfilled.

About the Author

C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some. She has also traveled extensively and now writes about travel destinations around the world for Family Vacation Spots and Best Vacation Getaways