Florida is famous worldwide for its family attractions. Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, and the Lowry Park Zoo are only a few of the many major draws for visitors of all ages. To help guide you on your travels, we've gathered up a few attractions, plus nearby resorts that feature plenty of amenities the whole family will love. Read on to find your perfect destination!
One of the most popular attractions for families, Busch Gardens is an amusement park packed with rides, theme shows, and animal encounters. The high-speed twists and turns of the roller coasters will have thrill seekers in ecstasy, while animal lovers are in for a true treat with the creature-centric activities. In the Animal Connections area, the hub of up close and personal animal interactions, you can feed giraffes as you roam through the safari or offer snacks to flamingos, lorikeets and wallabies.
Take your stay 15 minutes east of Busch Gardens at Spanish Main MH & RV Resort. This charming destination has 275 grassy, full hookup sites near the shores of Lake Thonotosassa. A heated pool and kiddie pool provide options for everyone, and kids can enjoy a playground area, basketball court, horseshoes, and catch-and-release fishing at either of our scenic ponds.
Running 4.5 miles along the waterfront, Bayshore Boulevard is a beautiful pedestrian path that offers scenic views. As you walk or bike, keep an eye out for playful dolphins that swim close to the shore. In addition to the wildlife, you'll get a good look at the oceanside mansions and Tampa's vibrant downtown. Once you're finished on Bayshore Boulevard, it's only a short walk to nearby Hyde Park Village, which offers boutique shopping and a wide array of restaurants.
Tampa East is 25 minutes away from downtown Tampa, offering quick and easy access to the attractions of the city. Three heated pools provide plenty of space to swim, and stately trees serve up shade for the kid-friendly playground. Clubs and planned activities provide plenty of options for making friends, and our rally friendly accommodations are perfect for large groups!
A sprawling complex of museums, a mansion, a theater, and more, The Ringling is a perfect place for a day out with the family. The Museum of Art is an intricate institution with 21 galleries featuring Asian, Italian, and American art, while the Circus Museum is packed with parade wagons, glittering costumes, and a cannon that once sent performers soaring through the air. And don't forget to tour Ca' d'Zan, the famed mansion of John Ringling. Designed in Venetian Gothic style, this gilded mansion still holds an air of mystery and romance that exudes from every room of this spectacular home.
Sun Outdoors Sarasota is 20 minutes east of the Ringling, and offers plenty of attractions in sunny Sarasota. The enormous Mega Slide offers an exhilarating challenge for children, while the Olympic-size swimming pool has plenty of room for everyone to play. Winter residents partake in planned activities and an enormous indoor fitness pool and wellness center, while the summertime months feature Camp Sun N Fun, our stellar summer day camp just for kids!
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Orlando is packed with theme parks, and Universal Orlando stands out from the crowd with its incredible Hollywood attractions. Venture through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you'll fly through the grounds of Hogwarts Castle and sample butterbeer. Or soar down the slides of Volcano Bay, Universal's expansive water park that pairs thrill rides with calm cabanas.
Settle in for your stay at Mill Creek RV Resort, situated just 15 minutes south of Universal Orlando. Step into the sparkling swimming pool and swim a few laps under the Florida sun before playing games like shuffleboard, billiards, and horseshoes. Best of all, you're always conveniently close to amenities like laundry and bathhouses.
If you're on the hunt for a rustic retreat, you'll find it in Crystal River, where native wildlife is protected in refuges and state parks. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is the only preserve created to harbor the threatened Florida Manatee. Clear warm water springs in Kings Bay provide a safe, natural habitat for the manatees, which are visible to tourists by boat, walkway, and snorkeling tours.
Just around the corner, Crystal River Preserve State Park boasts seven miles of hiking and biking trails along the northern Gulf Coast. Cast your line in designated fishing areas, or study plants and local wildlife along the two-mile interpretive trail. For a true treat, launch a canoe or kayak and paddle through the serene waters of this tranquil hideaway.
Launch your explorations from Sun Retreats Crystal River, which is nestled 15 minutes east of these scenic spots. A screened-in swimming pool provides the warmth of the outdoors without the pesky bugs, while a fenced-in dog park affords an opportunity for pups to run free. Kids can slide and swing on the modern playground, and the whole family can gather together for ice cream socials, holiday dinners, live entertainment, and more!
Found a destination to visit yet? If not, check out our Gulf Coast road trip plan for even more ideas. Happy travels!