Florida Spring Break Ideas
With the Florida beaches already teeming with college students, what is a family in Florida left to do? Sure you can fight the Frisbee games for your spot of sand, or join the throngs at Disney World for a glimpse of Mickey, but it’s no secret that we would rather be doing than waiting in a line. With that in mind, we came up with a list of alternative ways to spend your spring break in Florida.
15 Fun & Cool Ways to Spend Your Florida Spring Break
1. Take it Underground
While everyone is at the beach, how about going underground? We are not talking about hunkering down with a tub of ice cream and your Netflix favorites, but dry-caving. Try Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna to chill out on your Florida Spring Break. $5 entry fee. Flooding does affect the area, so call ahead 850-482-1228 to check if they’re open.
2. Go Hunting
Deer hunting is so last season, try some mermaid hunting instead. Florida is a prime location for spotting those elusive sparkly tailed maidens of the springs. Check out the historic Weeki Wachee Springs State Park for a guaranteed Florida mermaid experience. No weapons required except your camera, of course!
3. Make Like Tom Sawyer and Float a River
Not willing to spend 4 hours floating on the Rainbow River in Dunnellon? Try the 25-minute tube float down Rock Springs Run at Kelly Park in Apopka. If you like it, you can always go around again! $5 per vehicle. Tube rentals are outside the park entrance. Early and weekdays are the best time to experience this Central Florida gem.
4. Paddle Out
Sure you could always hike a trail, but how about kayaking one? Florida is home to some fantastic kayak/canoe trails, like the 7-mile intermediate trail through Juniper Springs Wilderness or the 8-mile spring run from Alexander Springs or even the 1.1 mile Fort King Paddling trail at Silver Springs State Park. You can rent a kayak or bring your own, or hook up with a guided river kayak tour.
5. Dive Into Another World
There are more ways in Florida to beat the heat then fighting the spring break beach crowds. Don a snorkel and mask and chill in a natural spring. 72 degrees year round. You can’t beat that. Head to High Springs and check out the beautiful underwater world at Gilchrist County’s Blue Springs , Poe Springs, nearby Ginnie Springs.
6. Find a Fair
Experience County Fair Life and endless strawberry shortcake at Plant City’s Annual Strawberry Festival! Held February 27th to March 8th (2020), listen to live music, play the games, hit those old fashioned carnival rides and check out the animal shows while you are at it. (But, heck, behind the scenes is no picnic, let me tell you!)
7. Rock On
While the masses chug beer at Daytona, check out the tidal pools in the massive coquina rocks on the beach just down A1A at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. You can always mosey on over to the Daytona Boardwalk festivities later (or not).
8. Become a Ghost Hunter
Stay up past your bedtime, join a nightly ghost tour through the streets of the 450+ year old city of St. Augustine, and watch out for things that go bump in the night.
9. Make Like Robinson Crusoe and Sleep Under the Stars
Anyone can go camping during spring break in Florida, but how about camping on an island? Pack up the gear and family and take the short ferry boat to Hontoon Island State Park located on the St. John’s River. A short hike into the woods to the primitive campsites and it’s time for s’mores!
10. Find the Entrance to Hades
Descend into the bowels of a sinkhole at Devil’s Millhopper State Geological Park , once thought to be the entrance to Hell by native tribes. Then hit the nightlife and cozy restaurants of historic downtown Gainesville, home of the Florida Gators (the blue and orange kind!).
11. Embrace the Prairie Life
Search for horses and bison on the wild prairie at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. You can hike to the sink in the middle during dry weather, but be warned, the gators tend to congregate around what water is left, and they are not orange and blue friendlies.
12. Cuddle Up to A Rocket
Shoot for the moon at Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast. No longer the staid government complex of the past, this NASA stronghold on Florida’s Space Coast has become a family friendly attraction, with rocket launch simulations, astronaut training, a rocket garden and more! Of course, if you miss the moon, you just may end up on Mars! Check out their Exploration of Mars exhibit while you are there.
13. Look for Buried Pirate Treasure
You don’t have to be Long John Silver to hunt for pirate treasure. It is rumored that Blackbeard used to hide his ships in St. Mary’s Inlet, the body of water that separates Florida from Georgia. So try treasure hunting on the white sandy beaches of Amelia Island at Fort Clinch State Park. Even if you don’t find a Mel Fisher worthy treasure, you can console yourself with some cool seashells and wicked shark’s teeth.
14. Swim with Sea Cows
During the cooler weather months (Nov-March) the Sea cows of Florida- aka manatees, flock to the fresh water springs in search of warmer waters. Crystal River has reported manatee gatherings in the 100’s in the past years (300 one year). While you can’t touch these curious creatures (seriously- no touch), you can join one of the charter tours in town to swim with them. Or you could count them from a dry distance at the Seven Sisters Springs, where they tend to party- manatee-style, of course.
15. Go Fish
There’s so much water in around Florida you could spend hours fishing- from a boat, a canoe, from a dock, boardwalk or straight off the beach. Sign up for a deep sea charter for some tarpon-time or snag a snook, or channel your inner Hemingway for an Old Man in the Sea marlin-hit in the Florida Keys. Or just drop a line from a cane pole for catfish or a bass. Make sure you have a Florida Fishing License for everyone 16 and older or the one who may get snagged could be you!
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