Where to have a family adventure in Florida

When it comes to sun-soaked adventures, Florida reigns supreme. It was the most popular U.S. state among international visitors in 2022, according to the International Trade Administration's latest report. In addition to the famous theme parks, the holiday destination offers numerous exciting excursions for adventure seekers of all ages.

Here you'll find exciting activities, spacious accommodations and endless opportunities for family bonding.

Looking for thrills in Tampa

Tampa is home to numerous family-friendly adventures, including a pirate-themed water taxi and Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park, which offers an impressive array of up-close encounters with giraffes, rhinos and penguins.

To get your adrenaline pumping, Vertical Ventures offers state-of-the-art climbing wall facilities and supportive staff for everyone from beginners to advanced climbers looking for their next challenge. And if you want to take your vacation even higher, Empower Adventures' ziplining fun offers a bird's-eye view of Tampa Bay and Mobbly Bayou Wilderness Preserve.

And just minutes from downtown Tampa lies a stunning oasis at Hillsborough River State Park, where adventure seekers can canoe or kayak down Class II rapids (not easily found in Florida).

When you're ready to relax, head to the Tampa EDITION, where you can still enjoy the lush greenery, albeit in a luxury hotel. Located on the shores of Tampa Bay in the trendy Water Street neighborhood, the hotel has established itself as an upscale hotspot to see and be seen. Its art deco-meets-modern vibe brings the elegance of South Beach to Central Florida.

Renowned chef John Fraser oversees three on-site restaurants. Lilac is the most formal dish of the trio, but the Mediterranean, vegetable-focused menu remains family-friendly. As a reward for all the steps you've taken throughout the day, order a champagne cocktail served at your table or the heavenly chocolate soufflé.

If you can stay away from the kids while staying at EDITION, check out the chic Arts Club cocktail lounge (designed by Ian Schrager) or the Punch Room, a cozy cocktail bar that serves specialty punches inspired by Tampa's history. And for ultimate relaxation, be sure to book a treatment at the hotel's spa. We recommend treating yourself to a special massage and enhancing it with CBD oil to relax tired muscles.

Unlock adventures in Sarasota

For the ultimate thrill, experience the thrill of skydiving over the beautiful Sarasota landscape with Skydive Southwest Florida. If the 120 mph free fall gives you pause, tandem skydiving packages are available for beginners.

A little closer to the ground (but no less amazing) is the Ringling Circus Museum. The 66-acre attraction not only tells an entertaining story about the evolution of the big top, but also highlights the state's history, architecture and more through exhibits and a historic theater. And if you're inspired by all that juggling and tumbling, try out the flying trapeze or aerial hammock for yourself in a class at the nearby Circus Arts Conservatory.

Dive deep into marine biology at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Little ones can take part in interactive shark encounters or join the experts for breakfast with the sharks, where you can delve into Mote's groundbreaking underwater research and get up close to the incredible creatures with a private feeding.

After drying off, check in to The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, known for its impeccable service and luxurious amenities. Upgrade to the Club Level, where you'll be treated to delicious snacks (including a rotating selection of freshly baked cookies and fine wines) from morning to night. Additionally, the Forbes Travel Guide-recommended hotel features world-class dining, a championship golf course designed by Tom Fazio, and a tranquil spa that recently completed the first phase of renovations. The newly designed relaxation terrace overlooking Sarasota Bay is the perfect place to enjoy a light snack and invigorating infusions.

Just a short shuttle ride away, you'll have exclusive access to the Beach Club on Lido Key, where you'll find white sand, lounge chairs, umbrellas and full food and beverage options. There's also a heated pool, an oversized hot tub and a children's swimming area.

Adventurous things to do in Palm Beach

Awaken your spirit of adventure at Lion Country Safari. Drive through natural habitats modeled after the African plains, where lions, giraffes, rhinos and zebras roam freely. After your exciting safari, park your vehicle and head to the kid-friendly rides and water park.

To further explore the wonders of the deep, book a snorkeling day trip to Peanut Island, where families can marvel at vibrant coral reefs filled with colorful fish, rays, and even the occasional sea turtle. The clear and calm waters surrounding the island make it an accessible adventure for everyone in your group.

Stay right on the ocean at the nearby Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. Luxury permeates every aspect of this blissful five-star vacation. While the property is rightly showered with praise for its outstanding service and five-star eau spa, it also offers a virtual playground zone (a high-tech way to play traditional games like hopscotch and punch in the mouth) , a mini theater, an extensive activity calendar and much more to keep the little ones entertained.

For epicurean delights, don't miss a meal at Breeze Ocean Kitchen. Traditional favorites are given a special twist here. The foot-long Wagyu hot dog, for example, sits in a brioche bun and is topped with beer mustard, while the Breeze burger is made with brisket and finished with house-made pickles and a secret sauce.

If the teens want some alone time in the room, enjoy a quiet dinner at Angle, the hotel's on-site supper club and steak restaurant. Enjoy prime cuts of beef, fresh seafood and expertly prepared seasonal specialties. From Thursday to Saturday, live piano music creates an elegant atmosphere. End the eventful holiday by ordering a smoked cocktail at the table and toasting everyone had a great time.

Orlando's adventure oasis

For those looking for excitement, Universal Studios and its Adventure Islands in Orlando are an obvious choice. Get ready for a day filled with breathtaking attractions like The Incredible Hulk Coaster and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, as well as unforgettable, immersive worlds inspired by popular films like… Harry Potter And Jurassic Park.

When you've had your fill of adventure, Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando Resort is just steps from the parks. Guests receive perks like free early park entry and access to Universal Express Unlimited rides to skip the lines at both Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure. Consider upgrading to a VIP Tour experience to receive even more exclusive bonuses.

Forbes Travel Guide Four-star The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes is just a 15-minute drive from the park entrance, yet the elegant, 500-acre property feels like a world away from the crowd. Little ones will love the sunrise safaris and on-site water park, while those who have outgrown the Minions will appreciate the four-star spa's offerings.

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