Alternative ideas to Enjoy Your Spring Break in Florida
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, so we came up with a list of alternative ways to spend your spring break in Florida.
15 Alternative Ways to Spend Your Florida Spring Break
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 newer 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.
- 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 or nearby Ginnie Springs.
- Experience County Fair Life and endless strawberry shortcake at Plant City’s Annual Strawberry Festival! Held March 3rd to the 13th, 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!)
- 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).
- Celebrate the 450th Birthday of the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine. Take advantage of this historic year to check out all that St. Augustine has to offer, from quiet beaches to ghost-hunting. You won’t be disappointed.
- 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!
- Tackle the 232 step descent into the earth at Devil’s Millhopper State Geological Park for an inside look at a Florida sinkhole- of course you have to climb back up later. Then hit the nightlife and cozy restaurants of historic downtown Gainesville, home of the Florida Gators (the blue and orange kind!).
- Search for horses and buffalo 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. I prefer the soaring heights of the observation tower to view them from a safe distance myself.
- 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 has become a family friendly attraction. 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.
- Look 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 sharks teeth.
- You don’t need to be a pirate to head out to Rum Island, home to the Rum 138 kayak/canoe rental outpost on the Santa Fe River. Explore the beautiful natural springs from the water. They drop you off, you float with the current (or paddle if you like) and they pick you up at the other end. No fighting the current required! Be sure to bring your snorkel! If you prefer an overnight adventure, try the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost.
- Go fishing. We could spend hours fishing and often do, from a boat, a canoe, from a dock, boardwalk or straight off the beach. Angling is a pleasant way to pass the day, and fun for the whole family.
If you are looking for even more ideas, check out our post from last spring break: 21 Cool Places to Take Your Kids over Spring Break
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