Everyone probably knows Orlando for its theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Sea World, Legoland, and Universal Orlando Resort. In addition, the city has an excellent downtown area with hundreds of shopping malls, boutiques, restaurants, and clubs. It is one of the most visited places in the world, so they are always striving to entice new visitors to their city.
But there is a lot more to Orlando than that. One of the best things about Orlando is that it does not get cold so outdoor activities are fun all year long. They also have quite a few natural spaces like city, state, and national parks to visit. Some of these include Lake Eola Park, Wekiwa Springs State Park, Lake Louisa State Park, and Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park. From fishing and swimming to hiking and biking, there is plenty to do for everyone in Orlando.
Be sure to visit some of the cultural spots such as the Orange County Regional History Center, where you can learn about the history of Orlando while having fun with the kids. Also fun for the kiddos is the Orlando Science Center with interactive displays and 3-D movies to watch. And it is right next to both the Otronicon Interactive Tech Expo and the Dinosaur Exhibit. It’s always a plus when you can get the kids to learn while they are having fun.
In less than two hours, you can make it to your next stop, which is St. Augustine, Florida. This historic town was founded by a Spanish explorer and the first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. That makes it the oldest settlement in the United States to be continuously inhabited. It is also a beautiful beach town where you can get some sun and have some water fun as well. Be sure to pack that sunblock in the rig before heading out.
Located in the northeastern corner of Florida, this small city is a wonderful place to learn about history at the St. Augustine History Museum or find out about the St. Augustine pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum. You and the children will love the Tag Children’s Museum where they can learn through hands-on play. The museum has exhibits and activities about health, culture, math, art, engineering, science, and much more.
You do not want to miss Anastasia State Park while you are in St. Augustine. It has 1,600 acres of maritime hammocks, sand dunes, tidal marshes, and beaches to explore and enjoy. If you brought your fishing gear, you are in luck because they have some of the best fishing spots along the coast here. Take a kayak or canoe out for a paddle, do some surfing, or enjoy a picnic before heading to your next adventure.
Another two hours up the coast on I-95 will get you to your next stop, which is Jekyll Island. Interestingly, it was named after Sir Joseph Jekyll rather than Dr. Jekyll from the classic novel. Sir Joseph was a friend of General James Oglethorpe, who chose the name. In the southeastern corner of Georgia, this popular island is known for its gorgeous beaches, wildlife, and history. One of the main historic buildings is the Horton House, which is a two-story house built from an oyster shell concoction called tabby. It was built in 1742 and although it is in ruins now, it is protected and preserved as the oldest building in Georgia.
Nearby, you can visit Clam Creek Picnic Area where you can get a beautiful view of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. The cable-stay bridge stands 480 feet tall and is a beautiful structure named after the poet, Sidney Lanier. Take a walk down the 10 miles of beach or out onto the pier where you can once again try your luck at catching some of those hungry fish. Stop by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center where you can see all kinds of turtles and learn about how the center rehabilitates them to be returned into the sea.
If you have some extra time, be sure to take the kids to the Summer Waves Water Park to cool off and have fun. Grab a tube and head down one (or more) of the humongous water slides or just float along Turtle Creek Lazy River. Their most popular slide is the Force 3, which gives you triple the fun and stands over 30 feet tall. Nature’s Revenge is the tallest though, standing 40 feet in the air with two slides: The Tornado and The Hurricane. Take your pick or do both. Then get back in the rig so you can head off to Savannah.
It’s only an hour and a half up I-95 to Savannah, Georgia, a coastal city on the banks of the Savannah River. The parks make Savannah popular with manicured lawns, horse-drawn buggy rides, and trees draped with Spanish moss. One of the best is also the perfect place to reserve a campsite if you need a spot to stay. Skidaway Island State Park has almost 600 acres with 87 campsites. All have full utilities, picnic tables, and campfire pits with grills to cook on. They are pet-friendly so Fido can stay too, and they can accommodate motorhomes up to 70 feet long. The kids will love the two playgrounds and volleyball courts, and you will love the wide-open spaces and peacefulness.