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Things to Do in Florida - page 4

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Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Frost Science)
5 Tours and Activities

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, formerly known as the Miami Science Museum, is located in Miami, Florida. Their aim is to inspire people to enjoy science and technology in order to better understand themselves and the universe around them. The museum has expanded several times since its inception and currently receives over 250,000 annual visitors of all ages.

Exhibits include a sea lab where visitors can learn about coral reefs and the sea creatures that live in the reefs. You can even touch a sea horse or sea urchin. There are also exhibits about hurricanes and other aspects of weather. These exhibits show you how hurricanes work, how climates are changing, and how humans are affecting those changes. The museum also has exhibits that teach visitors about nano science, energy, movement, health, nature, wildlife, and much more. The planetarium has a 65-foot diameter domed projection screen with 231 seats. Check ahead for show schedules.

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Las Olas Beach
2 Tours and Activities

For a top Fort Lauderdale beach experience head to Las Olas Beach. The sand is soft and white and the water is clean and calm, making it a great beach for families. In fact, even the most apprehensive swimmers appreciate this attraction’s warm translucent waves. Visitors to the beach enjoy sunbathing, swimming and body boarding. Don’t worry if you don’t have beach chairs or umbrellas, as they are available to rent for a fee (about $20 for an umbrella and $12 for a chair per day).

Because of Las Olas Beach’s popularity those who want a quieter experience should go earlier in the morning, while those craving something more lively should go in the afternoon and early evening. On the weekends the beach can get wild, especially as there are many bars around.

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Rickenbacker Trail
7 Tours and Activities

Rickenbacker Trail is considered one of the best places for biking in Miami. Spanning the entire island of Key Biscayne, the 8.5-mile path includes well-known spots like Virginia Key Beach, Crandon Park and the Miami Seaquarium, and begins in southern Miami before continuing south along Rickerbacker Causeway/Crandon Boulevard.

There are picnic areas, coastal dunes and even an amusement center at the popular Crandon Park, which sits at the northern end of the trail. Visitors often snorkel, kayak and hike here, or visit the museum and historical lighthouse. Another spot is Bill Baggs Cape State Park, which includes one of the more low-key beaches along the trail. If you stop in Virginia Key, there are beverage, snack, and ice cream vending machines on site. Be sure to try smoked fish at Jimbo’s, a tiny restaurant shack that has earned quite a reputation.

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Las Olas Boulevard
8 Tours and Activities

Beginning from the beach, Las Olas Boulevard is a main thoroughfare of the Fort Lauderdale with numerous upscale shops, restaurants, and galleries. Lined beautifully with tall palm trees, it’s a beautiful hotspot of activity both by day and night. The ten main blocks that run from the ocean through to the city are well decorated with antique lamp posts, olive trees (with twinkling lights at night,) and Mediterranean style architecture. Many of the area’s best restaurants are located here, several offering al fresco dining as a way to take in the fresh air.

Shoppers can find more than 65 retail stores along the boulevard, while art lovers can enjoy the many museums and galleries. Nightlife comes to life every evening as well, when bars and restaurants become especially lively. Those looking for a scenic stroll would do well to walk along the eastern side of the boulevard, which is lined with canals and some of the area’s most beautiful homes.

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Sunshine Skyway Bridge
11 Tours and Activities

This iconic Florida bridge is a testament to humankind’s architectural prowess and mother nature’s sheer beauty. Officially known as the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge (named after the former Florida governor), it was built in 1954 and spans Tampa Bay with a 1,500-foot cable-stayed main span. The bridge’s height, expansive views of the surrounding bay and modern design landed it the No. 3 spot on the Travel Channel’s list of top bridges in the world. Those traveling to Tampa shouldn’t miss the chance to be impressed by this architectural wonder and the amazing views of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico it provides.

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Walt Disney World®
12 Tours and Activities
Walt Disney has four main parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. In the Magic Kingdown you will find the iconic Cinderella Castle and plenty of thrilling rides to enjoy. The Animal Kingdom offers a unique blend of creatures real and fantasy, with a large dose of Disney characters, storytelling and magic. At Epcot Center, a world culture taster awaits, whilst in Disney’s Hollywood Studios you can experience movie-making at its best from flames bursting to cars splitting in half. Walt Disney World also has three water parks, a shopping district, 22 hotels, countless eateries, and transport systems.
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Museum of Discovery and Science
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1 Tour and Activity

If you’re looking for an educational and exciting experience in Fort Lauderdale, visit the fascinating Museum of Discovery and Science. You can see sharks and marvel that the largest captive living Atlantic coral reef. The museum’s animals include bats, 12-foot snakes, alligators, turtles, and iguanas.

You can also learn about Florida’s Everglades in an interactive cockpit simulator exhibit or discover Mars in the space exhibit, Runways to Rockets. The museum also contains a visually stunning IMAX theatre, which is the largest in Florida. Go on a cinematic journey complete with 15,000 watts of surround sound.

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More Things to Do in Florida

Jungle Island

Jungle Island

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6 Tours and Activities

Jungle Island (formerly Parrot Jungle Island) is a glorious homage to tourism kitsch. This is one of those places kids beg to go, so just give up and prepare for some bright-feathered, bird-scented fun. Actually, the 18 acre (7 hectare) waterfront facility, lushly landscaped and using a minimum of pesticides, is pretty impressive, thanks in part to the parrots, macaws, flamingos, and cockatoos flying about in outdoor aviaries.

The Cape Penguin colony is especially cute, as is Crocosaurus, a 20 foot (6 meter) long saltwater crocodile that lives in Serpentarium. Other critters include snakes, crocodiles, gibbons and orangutans, not to mention tortoises, iguanas, and a rare albino alligator on exhibit. You can even see animals in action, as Jungle Island host a number of shows starring roller-skating cockatoos, card-playing macaws, and numerous stunt-happy parrots. Nearby is Pinecrest Gardens, which has a petting zoo, mini-water park, and a lake.

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Overseas Highway

Overseas Highway

6 Tours and Activities

Considered a marvel of engineering when it was first constructed, the Overseas Highway connects Miami and mainland Florida to the Florida Keys. Originally stretching a total of 113 miles (182 km) with 42 oversea bridges, the highway was constructed over the bed of the Overseas Railroad, which was constructed by Henry Flagler as part of the Florida East Coast Railway. When much of the railroad was destroyed in a hurricane in 1935, the roadbed and bridges were sold to the state of Florida; thus, the Overseas Highway was completed in 1938 and gave motorists access to the multitude of coral and limestone islands that make up the Florida Keys.

While most of the Overseas Highway runs to the right of the original railroad line, some of the old bridges can still be seen as you drive along through the Keys. The portions where pedestrians are allowed are now popular fishing spots; historic bridges like the Bahia Honda Bridge and Long Key Bridge are now fishing piers.

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Florida Mall

Florida Mall

5 Tours and Activities
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Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

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6 Tours and Activities

Since 2013 this stunning glass structure with Miami coastal views has been showcasing contemporary and modern art to the masses. With one of the most impressive collections south of the Mason Dixon Line, the Perez Art Museum (known as PAMM to locals) drives to display works created in the 20 and 21st century from artists around the world. With colorful exhibits that reign from the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Australia, there’s a world of wonder inside PAMM’s doors. Museum educators host interesting talks and tours that unlock stories about the art and artists that line the halls of PAMM and a unique community-based program brings speakers, thinkers and creators to the community for informative lectures and roundtables.

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Orlando International Premium Outlets

Orlando International Premium Outlets

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5 Tours and Activities

Orlando may be known as the land of magic thanks to a mighty kingdom that offers up fun for the whole family. But just down the street there’s a massive Mecca for shoppers known as the Orlando International Premium Outlets. Home to more than 180 retail stores with designer names and high fashion items, this retail destination offers up some of the best deals in town with up to 65 percent off suggested retail prices. Travelers can comb through the stores in search of epic deals on designer duds. And more than a dozen snack shops and restaurants mean visitors can regroup and recharge between hitting the sales racks in the morning and returning to the shops in mid-afternoon.

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Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park

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3 Tours and Activities

Boats glide alongside actual swans on Lake Eola, at the heart of Lake Eola Park. The site isn’t big by many standards – a mile around – but it packs a big punch as an oasis in the middle of bustling, crowded Orlando. Locals and visitors flock here – like the geese they feed out of hand – to take in a little nature. The Orlando skyline rises in the distance, a stunning contrast to the peace and quiet of the park and a beautiful reminder of the nearby city.

There are countless things to do in Lake Eola Park, including a weekly farmers’ market to visit, complete with fresh produce and live entertainment. Children run amok on the Lake Eola playground, and the iconic swan boats are a favorite for all ages. The park also has its own performance space, the Walt Disney Amphitheatre, which hosts events throughout the year. There’s even a restaurant on the premises; the Relax Grill promises to live up to its name.

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Universal's Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure

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3 Tours and Activities

Take an unforgettable journey through uniquely themed islands where your favorite adventures come to life. Soar above Hogwarts™ in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Hogsmeade™, help save the city on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®, and escape the jaws of a T-rex on the Jurassic Park River Adventure®.

Plus, with a Park-to-Park admission ticket you can ride between both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ on the HogwartsSM Express.*

HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s14)

*Additional restrictions apply. © MARVEL. Jurassic Park River Adventure ® Universal Studios/Amblin. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2014 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

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Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

5 Tours and Activities

Step back into old Florida and explore the prestigious estates of two of America’s most prominent men. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are registered as national historic sites for the 20 acres of beautiful landscaped lawns and early Florida era buildings that tell the stories of not just the life and times of these inventors but about early Florida as well. Walk the award-winning Moonlight Garden or use the grounds to picnic or enjoy breeze form the cove. Also on site are the Edison Botanic Research Lab and the Edison Ford Museum. More than just a walk through museums, a visit to the Edison and Ford Winter Estates is an opportunity to enjoy the park-like environment.

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Disney's Animal Kingdom®

Disney's Animal Kingdom®

8 Tours and Activities

In this amazing place you're in a living storybook on a breathtaking adventure, filled with creatures real and fantastic. Animal Kingdom blends theme park and zoo, carnival and African safari, while mixing in a healthy dose of Disney characters, storytelling, and magic. Board a rickety jeep and ride through the Sahara, past zebras and lions, in Africa, or take a raging river ride in Asia, with Mt. Everest looming on the horizon. Here you can see Bengal tigers, huge fruit bats, Komodo dragons, and other exotic critters.

DinoLand U.S.A. evokes a fun-filled small-town fair, with its carnival-style rides, games and a herky-jerky thrill ride that transports you back in time. Let your heart sing along in a moving musical celebration of the circle of life at Festival of the Lion King. Here, every path and trail invites you to explore the awesome surprises of nature, with all the enchantment of Disney.

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Fun Spot America Theme Parks

Fun Spot America Theme Parks

3 Tours and Activities

Fun Spot America is a theme park with locations in Orlando and nearby Kissimmee. It is the only family-owned theme park in the area and admission is free to the park - you just pay to ride and play!

The parks are fully equipped with activities to keep the fun going all day. Each location boasts unique, patented multilevel go-kart tracks, an arcade where visitors can play a variety of games and collect points to redeem for prizes, and several roller coasters. The Kissimmee park is home to the tallest SkyCoaster in the world, which stands at 300 ft (91 m), while the Orlando park is home to Orlando's only wooden roller coaster, White Lightening. There are also thrill rides, bumper cars, bumper boats, and load of other rides that are appropriate for kids and fun for the whole family.

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Disney's Hollywood Studios®

Disney's Hollywood Studios®

8 Tours and Activities

Disney's Hollywood Studios puts you center stage in the only place where big-screen thrills, TV fun and the best of Broadway come together. Tires scream, flames burst, motorcycles fly, and moving cars split in half. It's intense, behind-the-scenes movie-making magic at its best - and it’s also a working studio!

Hands-down the most exciting rides are the spooky and unpredictable hotel elevator in the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, where your stretch limo races through the streets of LA after dark. A must-see attraction is Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, a 35-minute show that looks a lot like the movie. Scream as you zoom through 13 floors of fear on a radically random elevator ride, or blast 0 to 60mph (96 kph) in 2.8 seconds as the music of Aerosmith rocks you through a wild, twisting rollercoaster road trip. Then, sit back and let the magic and music of Disney's Beauty and the Beast take your breath away.

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Universal’s Volcano Bay

Universal’s Volcano Bay

2 Tours and Activities
Universal’s Volcano Bay™ water park is a tropical-themed attraction located at Universal Orlando™. Attractions draw on South Pacific influences, and the centerpiece of the park is a towering 200-foot (61-meter) volcano called Krakatau™, which is the base for thrilling water slides. Other rides include an aqua coaster and a body plunge.
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