Bugs or no bugs, Florida is and will always be my home and favorite place on Earth. From the oceans to the rivers to the swamps to the attractions, there’s no shortage of adventure. So here’s our personal list of the top 10 things to do in Florida, whether you live here or you’re planning to rent a private jet to Florida.
1. Cumberland Island
Technically, Cumberland Island is in Georgia territory, but it’s close enough, just a few minutes north of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Cumberland Island is a barrier island and home of rich Southern history and 9,800 acres of Congressionally designated Wilderness. It’s accessible only by boat. You can grab a ferry ride or take your own boat as well. The camping is so awesome, and the hiking trails will keep you occupied all day. You can also find some pretty amazing historical landmarks within the island. But don’t get too close to the wild horses, or they’ll run you off.
2. Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
If you ever plan on staying in Jacksonville, whether you’re heading out to the TPC or going to the Gator Bowl, there’s no better place to stay than the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. It has to be one the best Florida beach resorts for families if not the best. It’s a luxury, five-diamond beach resort that opened in the early 1900’s. With a beautiful private beach, a world-renowned golf course and tennis club, a ginormous spa, and lavish beachfront rooms, the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is what Florida vacationing is all about.
3. Downtown St. Augustine
Founded in 1565 and known to host some of the most famous of all pirates, St. Augustine is a history lover’s haven. With many of the original establishments still intact, including Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (the fort), downtown St. Augustine is one of the coolest places to visit in the whole state of Florida. It’s also home to the best shrimp in the states. Go to Barnacle Bill’s Seafood Restaurant, and you’ll see what I mean.
4. Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World might seem like a cop-out for this list, but it’s pretty much my second home. Even if you hate standing in a 45-minute line just to sit on a flying elephant for 2 minutes, Disney World has so much more to offer, like the famous Splash Mountain with a drop at the end that’ll leave you soaked or Epcot’s Mission SPACE, an intense NASA-style training simulator. I also recommend staying at Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter. It’s a quaint, relaxing New Orleans-themed resort close to the attractions. And the beignets; good golly, those beignets! But for the love of all that is good and right in this world, stay away from the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Hollywood Studios. It’s a giant room full of little girls singing “Let It Go” at the top of their lungs. It’s the equivalent of Olaf stabbing you in the ears with his carrot nose.
5. Silver Springs State Park
There’s only one place in Florida you’ll find beautiful crystal clear waters and wild monkeys: Silver Springs State Park. With dozens of streams, miles of trails, and amazing wildlife, Silver Springs is Florida’s “lost world.” You can either camp out or stay in a luxury cabin. Either way, don’t come to Florida without experiencing this beautiful place.
6. Kennedy Space Center
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center will bring out the explorer within. We suggest taking the guided tours around the Launch Control Center, Vehicle Assembly Building, and Cape Canaveral. These tours are led by trained space experts, so open your ears and don’t forget your camera.
7. Blue Springs State Park
When you think of Florida, a few things come to mind: the beaches, the oranges, and the manatees. Blue Springs State Park is a designated Manatee Refuge on the St. Johns River. Even though you can’t swim where the manatees are, there is a crystal clear spring perfect for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and tubing. Picnic areas, campgrounds, and hiking trails are everywhere as well.
8. Marriott’s Oceana Palms in West Palm Beach
Marriott has always treated my family I right, and Oceana Palms in West Palm has been one of my favorites so far. You have breathtaking views of the both ocean and the inlet.About 50 yards out are these giant rocks that marine life have taken over. You can snorkel out and find puffer fish, sting rays, small sharks, and even a few moray eels.
For the kids you have a gigantic pool, karaoke, ice cream hour, snow cone hour, a miniature soccer field, a play ground, beach rentals, and so much more. This place kills it on all levels.
9. Key Largo
Key Largo is beautiful, but it’s crowded with tourists all year. Where you want to be is underwater. Known as “the first of the Florida Keys,” Key Largo is home of two state parks, a national park, and a national marine sanctuary, including the famous John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park. Pennenkamp is awesome for both diving and snorkeling.
One of my favorite dive shops is Conch Republic Divers. These guys take you out to a variety of spectacular reefs and wrecks, including the Duane, a ship wreck from 1987.
10. Islamorada Mangrove Trails
Head just south of Key Largo, and you’ll hit Islamorada. Just across the bridge to the right is Robbie’s Marina where the mangrove canopy system begins. Bring your own kayaks or rent ’em here. Either way, this trail is absolutely gorgeous.
And while you’re at Robbie’s, go feed some tarpon.
Tight canopy paths. Shin-deep open ocean areas. Manatees. Starfish. Black Tip sharks. Sea turtles. There is just so much beauty and so much wildlife in these trails.
Rent a private jet to Florida and discover its wonders. For advice on any private jet charter or helicopter flights to Florida contact us
or call the West Palm Jets Flight Team 24/7 at (888) 507-8582
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