Off the Beaten Path, Fun For Families in Florida #FamilyTravel #Travel

central florida zooSometimes, you just want to get back to nature. Or at least out of the super-touristy areas. A few of our favorite things to do in central Florida that are not of the theme park variety include;

The Central Florida Zoo, which houses over 400 animals, including the newest River Ottter exhibit, as well as the Massey Services Insect Zoo, the ZOOM Air Adventure Park (extra fee required), and a splash park, where you can bring your bathing suit and get a break from the harsh Florida heat.

florida spalsh park

Complete with picnic areas, snack and drink stands, gift shops, and stroller rentals, as well as a full park for your kids to burn off some energy, this is one park you don’t want to miss.

Website: centralfloridazoo.org

We enjoyed our day with Island Boat Lines Eco Tours, where you can take a 2 hour dolphin and manatee tour around the beautiful waters of Cocoa Beach, Thousand Island, and Indian Lagoon.

manatee tour in floridaWe saw many, many manatees on this tour, as well as several dolphin (and even a a baby!) We also saw what may be the only “working manatee” we will ever see. The ship captain was fun, energetic, and knowledgeable, as was his sailing partner. One of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, there was plenty to learn about and see while visiting the area.

dolphin cruise in floridaThe flora and fauna of the area are both lovely to look at and enjoyable to learn about, and there are many species of birds around every bend. You can purchase drinks on the shaded boat, and there is a bathroom (and life-jackets) on board. If you are so inclined, you can eat at the restaurant dockside when your tour is done- the scenery was beautiful, and you can’t beat the convenience.

Website: islandboatlines.com

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