People flock to Florida to visit classic attractions, including Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Studios, but there are a host of fun and exciting attractions outside of these big theme parks to visit, too. After all, when you’re holidaying in Florida, it’s always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main attractions, and see what Florida is truly all about.
When you get outside of the main attractions you will discover Florida’s incredible coastline, local wildlife, creeks and swamps, as well as fun and exciting places the kids will just love to explore.
Although we all love Disney, it’s important you make time to discover what’s on your doorstep when on your family holiday in Florida, and experience what the glorious Sunshine State has in store for you. Because there is so much to discover, we’ve listed the best attractions in Florida outside Walt Disney World Resort:
This fantastic attraction has alligators of all shapes and sizes, from small baby alligators (who are tiny enough to hold in your arms), to huge creatures up to 14-feet long, lurking in the waters. Gatorland is not only a great place to gaze at these Florida inhabitants, but visitors can also learn about the local wildlife and educate the whole family about these amazing creatures.
There are plenty of other fun things to do at Gatorland as well, from the petting zoo to the unique animal exhibitions; if you’re feeling brave, you can feed the alligators and get a ‘wrestling’ picture to take home with you. Discover the spiders, snakes and diverse species of birds in the aviary, before zip lining through the trees, or hopping on a relaxing train ride.
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
The whole family can spend a relaxing afternoon playing crazy golf in Orlando, and kids will love the swashbuckling pirate-themed design as they make their way around the course. There are two 18-hole courses you can try, and the Captain’s Course makes it all the way up to the highest point of Pirate Cove, being the easier of the two. Or, try Blackbeard’s Course if you fancy more of a challenge.
Watch out for the seafaring pirates perched in hammocks and trees, and enjoy making your way around the course where you’ll see waterfalls, caves and the incredible pirate ships themselves. Make sure you pick up your souvenir golf ball at the gift shop, and take your fantastic memories home with you.
If you’re a foodie, or if you just simply love chocolate, then this is the perfect place for you to treat your taste buds, and learn all about the fine art of chocolate making. Embark on a tour of the chocolate factory, where your knowledgeable guide will tell you all about how chocolate is made, and you’ll get to taste every part of this incredible process. As well as modern methods, families can learn all there is to know about chocolate making, using retro equipment and ancient methods.
There are an array of engaging activities to get involved with, from chocolate trivia to witnessing the real chocolate river; kids will love shooting marshmallows into a dragon’s mouth with a catapult. As well as tasting lots of delicious chocolate throughout the tour, visitors have plenty to take home with them, too. Plus, you can have a go at making some cocoa goodness yourself and return home with your very own custom-made chocolate bar.
NASA Kennedy Space Center
Many of us are fascinated with space, and Florida is one of the only places in the world where you can get up-close with real space crafts, try out unique flight simulator experiences and experience handling rocks that originally came from space. This specialty museum is full of facts and fascinating stories, as well as immersive observatories and planetariums.
See the real space shuttle Atlantis up close during your visit, as well as seeing rocks from the moon; you can even meet a veteran NASA astronaut, and hear their interesting stories of what it’s like to be discover space. There is simply so much to do at this full-day experience, and you will be in absolute awe of the incredible feat of space exploration here.
WonderWorks is certainly not your usual Orlando attraction. This intriguing amusement park for the mind has a host of wonders for the whole family to enjoy, and as you approach the upside-down building, you’ll realise this is something very different.
Inside, travellers can experience a 5.3 earthquake, as well as hurricane winds of 74mph. Then, get the creative juices flowing; design your own roller coaster, before taking a thrilling ride on it and make sure you enjoy the 4D Extreme Motion Ride.
There will never be a dull moment here; you’ll be too busy flying a fighter jet, tackling the indoor rope assault course or playing laser tag with friends and family to feel remotely bored. When you’re tired out from all the excitement on an evening, sit down to eat and witness the nightly magic comedy show, while tucking into some tasty and well-earnt dinner.