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Thursday, Feb 11, 2016

Road Trip: From Northeast to Northwest Florida

Road trips have been a part of my family vacations since I was a little girl. Not big into flying, my parents loved piling everyone in the car and hitting the road to explore the sights of the Sunshine State. Now that I have a family of my own, I’ve carried on my love of road trips to them.

Interstate 10 covers the state from Jacksonville to Pensacola with plenty of great spots to explore along the way. Here are some of our favorite places to visit along the trek from Northeast to Northwest Florida

JacksonvilleThe Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, just outside Downtown Jacksonville, has close to 5,000 works of art and a fantastic art education center for children. It's the largest fine arts museum in North Florida. The Art Connections center is designed for kids, and my girls love the ‘Gallery under Five’ area, with replicas of artwork found in the main galleries -- but on a much smaller scale -- that they can touch adn appreciate. 

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5 Places for Kids to Have Fun in Jacksonville

As a Jacksonville native, I always get a thrill out of showing my kids the places I visited as a child.

Now, I'll share with you. Here’s a look at some of my favorite spots for kids to have fun around Northeast Florida:

Adventure Landing Jacksonville Beach – This adventure park is a for kids. With go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, batting cages and a great arcade room, it's a great way to spend the whole day. And if the weather is warm, take advantage of the Shipwreck Island Waterpark, too. There’s nothing more relaxing than floating along the Little St. Johns River lazy river.

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Family Must-Sees

Is it any wonder that Florida is the Number One dream vacation spot for kids? After all it's the home of Walt Disney World  Universal Orlando Resort  Busch Gardens Tampa and other thrilling theme parks. And Florida has 1 800 miles of coastline translating to sandcastle-building fishing and family fun.In the Sunshine State your kids can meet Shamu and Mickey Mouse for sure. But they can also meet an astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center and a professional baseball player at a spring training game.

Experience the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex– Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA

Here kids can swim with dolphins and manatees see real live alligators and snorkel surrounded by colorful tropical fish. They can experience fun hands-on exhibits at kid-friendly museums aquariums and zoos.Here are some places that just shouldn't be missed while in Florida. Alluring Amusement Parks Beloved cartoon characters exotic animals and killer whales. Scream-inducing stomach-turning roller coasters magical fairylands and realistic simulators. Fireworks parades and light shows. Stunning costumes and talented dancers and singers. This is the world of Florida theme parks -- sensory overload and excitement like nothing your kids have ever experienced.The Orlando area is theme park central home to the Walt Disney World Resort (including Magic Kingdom Park  Epcot  Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom)  Universal Orlando Resort (including Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure) and SeaWorld Aquatica and Discovery Cove

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VIDEO: SkyCoaster at Fun Spot America

If you’re in need of a thrilling vacation, look no further than Fun Spot America, with locations in Orlando and Kissimmee.

From wooden roller coasters such as White Lightning to family rides like Bumper Kars and the Paratrooper, there's a ride for everyone, no matter your level of courage.

And, for little ones, a few of the most popular rides include the Kiddie Slide, Tea Cups and Frog Hopper.

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Family Beach Break in Daytona Beach

 

Daytona Beach and families just go together. Here’s a look at the fun and family-friendly adventures you can have along the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 

 

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Family Beach Break in Daytona Beach

In Daytona Beach, spring break and families just go together. Here’s a look at the fun and family-friendly adventures you can have along the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Soak up the sun in Daytona Beach – Julie Fletcher for VISIT FLORIDA

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Road Trip: From Northeast to Northwest Florida

Road trips have been a part of my family vacations since I was a little girl. Not big into flying, my parents loved piling everyone in the car and hitting the road to explore the sights of the Sunshine State. Now that I have a family of my own, I’ve carried on my love of road trips to them.

Interstate 10 covers the state from Jacksonville to Pensacola with plenty of great spots to explore along the way. Here are some of our favorite places to visit along the trek from Northeast to Northwest Florida

JacksonvilleThe Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, just outside Downtown Jacksonville, has close to 5,000 works of art and a fantastic art education center for children. It's the largest fine arts museum in North Florida. The Art Connections center is designed for kids, and my girls love the ‘Gallery under Five’ area, with replicas of artwork found in the main galleries -- but on a much smaller scale -- that they can touch adn appreciate. 

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Penguins Backstage Pass: The Florida Aquarium

I’d like to introduce you to a new friend my family and I had the pleasure of meeting last month at the Florida Aquarium.  His name is Cliff. And he’s a penguin. 

We met Cliff during the Penguins: Backstage Pass experience – a thirty-minute encounter with these cute, little creatures and it couldn’t have been a better time for us to visit.  My oldest daughter, Maggie had just learned about penguins the week before at preschool – so she was especially excited to see one in real life. 

The biologists taught us about the penguins feeding habits, showed us their surroundings within the aquarium and Cliff even showed us his swimming skills. I was interested to learn that these are "warm weather" penguins so they don’t slide on their bellies.  Cliff enjoyed us petting him so much that he almost fell asleep during our photo session.  Being cute is tough work. 

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