8 fun things to do in Florida away from the theme parks

With a few weeks to go before we fly to Florida we are starting to get very excited about all of the amazing thing that we will be doing whilst we are there. Now as much as we are looking forward to spending many hours whizzing around on all of the amazing rides to be found at the theme parks we are also really looking forward to spending some time doing some of the other fantastic activities available in Florida.

Swimming with Manatees

Now this is the one thing I am looking forward to above all else. We are going on a Manatee swim with River Ventures and I am stalking their Facebook page as they keep posting pictures and videos of a mum manatee and her baby who is just adorable. Although the winter is a better time to swim with Manatees there are still enough in Crystal River to enjoy a swim with them at this time of year (although it will mean an early start to the day).

Riding an Airboat

We are travelling with my mum and she really wanted to go on an airboat so we have booked to go on one whilst down near Fort Lauderdale. This means that we will actually be on the Everglades. You can find parks that offer Airboat rides closer to Orlando but we wanted to try one a bit further south as it might be the only time we do it.

Going on a Cruise

Now we could spend all 14 days in Florida but with so many ports offering short cruises we decided that spending four nights to take a trip to the Bahamas was well worth it. We will be cruising with Carnival cruises and spending a day at Half Moon Cay and a day at Nassau as well as hopefully relaxing in between.

Diving for Scallops

Described as an Easter Egg hunt in the sea this will be unlike anything else that we have done and for that reason alone we are looking forward to it. We will also be taking our catch to a local restaurant who will be cooking them for us afterwards  which will be a real treat.

Spending time in a resort

Although we have a villa booked for the whole time we are in the US we will actually be spending very little time there and one place we are looking forward to staying is the Cabana Bay Beach Resort in Universal. The resort will not only give us early access into the parks on the days we stay with them but it will also be a great place to back to during the heat of the day to cool off in the pools.

Themed dining experience

We are looking forward to spending an evening at Medieval Times to enjoy hearty food and amazing entertainment. I have always wanted to experience something like this and the reviews for Medieval Times look amazing so I am very much looking forward to this.

Swimming with Dolphins

Although we will not be visiting Discovery Cove this time round it was definitely a highlight of our trip in 2015. It is expensive but it is such an amazing day and an amazing experience that I personally think it is worthwhile.

Visiting the Outlet Malls

When we went in 2015 we spent a fortune in the outlet malls but it was all so much cheaper than we could get over here. We went out with pretty much empty suitcases so that we could fit it in and instead of buying holiday clothes before we went we just scheduled in a shopping day early in the holiday. You can also find souvenirs such as ones from the Disney Parks in the malls too which can save you a fortune.

I hope these eight ideas give you something to think about apart from the theme parks when you are planning  your next trip to Florida.