Written by a contributing writer
They don't call it the Sunshine State for nothing! Florida has some fantastic attractions and not just the major theme parks we all think of! If you're looking for a way to enjoy the sunshine while also seeing what the state has to offer then why don't you take a trip from Tampa and follow the coast around to Miami stopping at a few places on the way? Here are just a few hidden gems you may want to stop at along the way.
Tampa is a thriving city and the area has many fantastic shopping outlets, museums, an aquarium, and large zoo. But if you really want to enjoy some fantastic views, then you need to go to a restaurant with views of Tampa Bay. Taste of Boston serves up a lot of deep fried seafood including scallops, shrimp, and oysters, as well as the famous New England clam chowder. And the view is spectacular.
If you're traveling with the family in tow, there are some fantastic, peaceful county beaches where you can relax and enjoy the sunshine. But if you looking for something a bit more adventurous Seashore Eco Tours offers kayaking lessons as well as guided kayak tours through the mangroves. If your young ones aren’t thrilled with kayaking there are plenty of paddle boarding lessons available too.
If you have an interest in the wildlife of Florida, you could venture down to the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden based in Rotary Park which preserves butterfly species. Once these butterflies have hatched safely away from the hunt of predators, they are released back into the wild, and you can see the life stages of the butterfly on guided tours. You can also learn about the specific characteristics of each butterfly species.
The Everglades National Park
Right at the South of Florida, this National Park is truly a great natural treasure. But apart from the swamps and unique wildlife, there are plenty of other things you can do in this beautiful park. You could go to the Ernest Coe Visitor Center which educates visitors on the varied species of the Everglades. Or, if you wanted to experience the Everglades up close, you could go camping. There are plenty of front country and backcountry camping sites available.
Once you have made the trek around southwest Florida, you will end up at the party capital of the state. But while many choose to kick back with some cocktails, there are still plenty of other things for you to do in Miami. You could go to the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science which houses an aquarium, a planetarium, and two wings that feature interactive exhibits for all the family. But if you are looking for a little less education on your trip to Miami, you could frequent the many eateries and drinking establishments, such as the Versailles restaurant. Here you can indulge in traditional Cuban food. Or you could go for ice cream at the Azucar ice cream company!
As far as a road trip around Florida is concerned you've got plenty to keep you busy, so take in the sunshine and enjoy the sunshine state!