Melbourne, Florida

Sweetly situated on Florida’s scenic Space Coast, the town of Melbourne offers peaceful beaches, wondrous seascapes and enchanting historic sites, all within an easy drive of such popular tourist meccas as Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center.

Originally two townships, Melbourne and Eau Gallie, this delightful little bit of old Florida offers a lively marriage of historic and modern charm. Dating back to the 1800s, the city was named for its first postmaster, Comthwaite John Hector, an Englishman who relocated to Florida after many years in Melbourne, Australia. Today, Melbourne offers visitors plentiful recreational, shopping and entertainment opportunities along a sunny, sensational stretch of coastline.Indian River in Melbourne, Florida

Exciting air-boat rides and peaceful paddling journeys allow ample exploration of the Indian River Lagoon, an enchanting waterway separating mainland Melbourne from its picturesque barrier island. Tour Sebastian Inlet State Park for glimpses of intriguing native wildlife and marine animals. Melbourne incorporates a portion of Florida’s Saltwater Paddling Trail, bringing intrepid explorers through tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems as they journey across the lagoon and into Haulover Canal, a popular playground for manatees and dolphins. The multi-use, traffic-free East Coast Greenway also winds through Melbourne, allowing bicyclists and hikers a safe and scenic path through some of the state’s loveliest coastal areas. Golfing, snorkeling, swimming and biking opportunities abound throughout the region.

Stroll into the Florida of old in historic Downtown Melbourne and Olde Eau Gallie, where streets are lined with funky little specialty shops, lovely historic buildings and intriguing museums. Shop for crafts, antiques or bikinis in the bustling downtown area or just browse art galleries and bookstores before enjoying a hip happy hour or fine seafood dinner. Celebrations of all kinds keep the city’s streets alive with color and excitement, and annual events like the Arts Festival, Independent Filmmakers’ Festival, Aviation Day,IndiaFest and Oktoberfest help keep an exuberant vibe in town year-round.

Great tourist attractions are within a short drive. Head to the nearby Kennedy Space Center for a day of out-of-this world fun and education. Kids love floating beside spacewalking astronauts in the IMAX film Hubble 3D, thrilling to the Shuttle Launch Experience and roaming amid towering rockets. Featuring over 550 animals from around the world, Brevard Zoo invites kids of all ages to visit with giraffes, cheetahs, monkeys and white rhinos before heading into the tree tops for the zoo’s zip line and obstacle course or into the water at the splashy Paws On play area.


Universal Studios Orlando

Orlando, Florida is the ultimate destination for theme park fun, catering to kids of all ages (and kids at heart!). For die-hard movie-goers and roller-coaster enthusiasts, you cannot get much closer to the fun than Universal Studios Orlando. From movie-themed rides to live stunt shows, the Universal parks go above and beyond your average theme park entertainment.

Universal Studios Orlando is comprised of two separate theme parks: Universal Orlando, and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Wet ‘n Wild water park. Universal Orlando brings you directly to the heart of the movies, with behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, thrilling rides, and special events year-round. The park is a real, working production studio, so you never know what you will find when you come for a visit. Experience Shrek in 4-D, ride through the sky with E.T., or come face-to-face with dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Finding a show for any age group is easy at Universal Studios Florida. Toddlers and preschoolers will love singing along with Barney & Friends, while Terminator 2: 3-D will entertain older children and adults.Universal Studios Entrance in Orlando, Florida

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is a theme park unlike any other. Join your favorite superheroes at Marvel Super Hero Island, play around in Toon Lagoon, or make your way through Seuss Landing, based on the books of Dr. Seuss. Enjoy a special effects display at Poseidon’s Fury. For true aspiring students of Hogwarts, Islands of Adventure is the only place where you will find The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Visitors to Central Florida visiting universal Studios will find a great place to cool off right next door, Wet ‘n Wild has a little bit of something for everyone. Thrilling water rides like The Black Hole: The Next Generation and Brain Wash will take adventurous park goers on watery journeys full of excitement. For the youngest water enthusiasts, Blastaway Beach is the perfect place to hang out. Made especially for kids, this park has 15 water slides and a 60-foot sand castle.

Universal Studios Orlando is more than just movie rides and thrilling acrobatic displays. Fun lies around every corner without even having to set foot into the parks. Universal City Walk has restaurants and entertainment ranging from Hard Rock Cafe to Blue Man Group. No matter your age or interest, there is sure to be something for you at Universal Orlando.


Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Florida


Bass fishermen delight in the fish teeming through the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida’s South Osceola County. The series of 20 lakes begins just south of Orlando, connected by canals and waterways winding through the lush “river of grass” Everglades and eventually leading to Kissimee River. Water recreation, fishing, hiking, birdwatching and hunting abound among the 100,000 acres of the lakes’ surface water.

The largest lakes in the Central Florida chain are the 18,810-acre Lake Tohopekaliga, called Lake Toho, 2hu and West Lake by locals; the nearly-35,000-acre Lake Kissimmee; and East Lake Tohopekaliga with nearly 12,000 acres. Other notable lakes in the system include Lake Cypress, Lake Hatchineha, Lake Marian and Lake Jacksoon.Wildlife Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Florida

Nearly 42 miles in circumference, Lake Toho is the largest lake in Osceola County and is connected to East Lake Tohopekaliga by three-mile Canal 31. The shore of Lake Toho is home to Lakefront Park, where a three-mile picturesque walking path showcases the Kissimmee area’s beauty. Jogging, walking and enjoying the abundant alligators, turtles and waterfowl are favorite activities along the trail. Park visitors enjoy a miniature lighthouse, playground, barbecue grills, a fishing pier, a bait shop, basketball and volleyball parks and a pavilion/picnic area. Boaters and anglers can access the lake’s waters, connector canals and the entire chain of lakes using the park’s boat launch ramp.

More wildlife and birds live along the shores of the chain’s Lake Kissimmee. Drive along Joe Overstreet Road for incredible viewing of the lake’s spectacular bald eagles, sandhill cranes and whooping cranes. The lake shores are home to bobcats and white-tailed deer and a bustling state park. The park offers a unique 1876-era “cow camp” for visitors to learn about Florida’s cowboy heritage, 13 miles of hiking trails and six miles of equestrian trails. Full-amenity campsites, a picnic pavilion and more rustic camping areas are also available at Lake Kissimmee State Park.

The lake system is the perfect locations for short- and long-distance canoeing. A handful of islands within Lake Kissimmee make a great scenic backdrop to a day of water sports. Paddle-boarding, air-boating, water skiing and swimming are other popular activities at the system of lakes.

For many, bass fishing is the biggest draw to the chain of lakes. Many fishing tournaments take place in the system’s many lakes, including the Southern Open at Big Toho Marina at the end of January.

Whether visitors are looking for a place to catch some bass, hike along scenic trails, gaze at bald eagles or enjoy the company of friends in a peaceful setting, there is plenty to see and experience at Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.


Sea World, Florida


Located in the city of Orlando, Florida’s Sea World theme park is a fun place for the whole family. Featuring rides, shows and plenty of aquatic wildlife, Sea World Orlando is a prime vacation destination for adults and children of all ages. Due to its location in one of the most well-developed cities in the entire state of Florida, there are plenty of places to stay and other things to do, as well.

The main draw to Sea World Orlando has to be the animals. The park is home to Beluga whales, penguins, dolphins, flamingos, manatees, seals, sea lions and more. Visitors can get up close and personal with a shark before heading over to check out playful otters swimming in the water, polar bears chilling on the rocks and colorful parrots sitting in the trees. And, of course, Sea World Orlando is famously home to killer whales that are arguably one of the biggest attractions of all.Aerial view of the SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida

Then you have the shows, many of which feature the highly trained animals that make the park their home. All shows are family friendly, and range from incredibly funny to thought provoking times where visitors learn about ecology and animal preservation. Sea lions Clyde and Seamore are among the main stars of several shows, much to the delight of audiences. Sesame Street characters also make regular appearances, and special shows are planned during Christmas, Halloween and other holiday seasons. The show put on regularly by Shamu, the park’s most famous killer whale, and his Orca friends is by far the most popular with almost all visitors.

In addition to the animals and shows, visitors may board different rides for an entirely different park experience. Ride everything from the Journey to Atlantis or the Manta, which feature a soaking splash of water, to the Kraken, a thrilling roller coaster that takes its passengers on twists and turns at top speeds. Rides and games for children are also available in Shamu’s Happy Harbor.

Once your time at the park is complete, venture out into Orlando for even more fun and recreation at Discovery Cove, Universal’s Island of Adventure or even Disney World. You can also choose to make a short trip to Kissimmee and visit award-winning museums and restaurants, or simply explore the communities of St. Cloud, Winter Park or Mount Dora and see what adventure Central Florida has to share with you and your family.


Walt Disney World, Florida


Walt Disney World, Florida is widely considered by many people to be the best theme park in the world. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, just outside of Orlando, Walt Disney World is the flagship theme park of the many amazing Disney theme parks found around the world. Walt Disney World is a theme park that has something to offer to people of all ages. Parents will enjoy it just as much as their kids do. Take a look at everything this magical theme park has to offer its visitors. There are five main areas for visitors to enjoy at Walt Disney World.

Cinderella's Castle, Walt Disney World, FloridaThe Magic Kingdom

This is the oldest part of Walt Disney World. It is modeled on Disneyland in California. The Magic Kingdom is the most popular part of Walt Disney World. With more than 17 million people passing through its gates every year, The Magic Kingdom is the most popular theme park in the world. This is the place that is full of Disney characters and rides, and it is the most exciting area for kids visiting Walt Disney World.

Epcot Center

This area is dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. There are 11 different pavilions that each feature cultural attractions from a specific country. Future World is the area of Epcot Center that showcases the technology of the future.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is one of the most popular areas of Walt Disney World. There are lots of rides and attractions based on Disney films. This includes popular attractions of movie studios that Disney has purchased, such as Lucasfilm, which holds the rights to Star Wars, and Pixar, which has produced the most popular animated films of the last few decades.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

This is one of the more interesting areas of the park and is wildly popular with visitors. It is sort of a crossover between a zoo and a traditional theme park. There are lots of animal-themed rides for visitors to enjoy. There are also many animal enclosures where visitors can take a close look at exotic wildlife attractions.

Downtown Disney

This is the area of the park where adults can get away from the kid-themed entertainment for a while. There is a section of Downtown Disney called Pleasure Island, where there are lots of night clubs, bars and restaurants that cater to a more mature crowd. This is the area of the park where all the nightlife is.


Golf Courses in Kissimme Florida

Many visitors come to Kissimmee, Florida each year because of the wonderful weather the area is famous for. Still others travel to Kissimmee due to its proximity to Florida’s many amusement parks. One of the other main reasons travelers come to Kissimmee though is because of the wide variety of golf courses that can be found in this beautiful area. There are a number of Golf Courses in Kissimmee for every golfer, from the golfer just starting out, to the more seasoned pro. Three great golf courses for travelers to visit in Kissimmee are the Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, Kissimmee Golf Club and the Walt Disney World Golf Complex-Lake Buena Vista Course.Golfing in Florida

One great golf course to check out while on a trip to Kissimmee is Falcon’s Fire Golf Club. Falcon’s Fire Golf Club is considered one of the best public golf courses in the Orlando, Florida area. The club was designed by Rees Jones and features beautiful and stimulating holes. In addition, this golf course is conveniently located close by to many of the areas hotels and other attractions.

Another great golf course that visitors will want to be sure to visit while in Kissimmee is the Kissimmee Golf Club. This public golf course is located close to Disney World and is a great place for parents to visit and shoot a few holes at in between trips to the park. The Kissimmee Golf Club is famous for its course difficulty and also for the beautiful, classic FL scenery that can be viewed while golfing this courses 18 holes. Additionally this club offers Junior Golf Programs for younger golfers to take advantage of while on their vacation in FL.

A not to be missed golf course in Kissimmee is the Walt Disney World Golf Complex-Lake Buena Vista Course. This course is known throughout the world and has played host to a number of PGA Tour events. The location has also received 4 stars from Golf Digest, making it a truly challenging course even for experienced golfers. This golf course also is special because it is located within the Disney World Resort complex making it a fabulous destination for those staying within the park.

Kissimmee, Florida is truly one of the great golf destinations in the state of FL. There are a number of beautiful courses, both public and private, that offer golfing fun for golfers of all experience levels.


Florida Everglades

Contrary to popular belief, Florida Everglades is not a swath of just wetlands that form a large swamp, which teems with gigantic spiders, large snakes and crocodiles. Instead, Florida Everglades is the place where many forms of wildlife thrive, nature's beauty flourishes and the weather patterns are perfect, among other things.

The temperature during summer months is, on average, 80 degrees. During winter months, the temperature is, on average, 60 degrees. August is the best month to visit the Everglades because that tends to be the warmest month of the year, with the temperature soaring as high as 89 degrees.Everglades National Park, Florida

Every day, during any season, is open for fun and games. Interesting to note, the wildlife is super easy to spot between December and April. Moreover, the number of tourists is significantly lower during May through November.

There are several ways to get around in the Everglades. The most notable ways are by boat or airboat–walking is an option. A number of companies provide transportation for varying costs.

Fishing is the favorite activity in the Everglades, and guided tours are always an option for Florida travelers–including the elderly, young adults and children. Some other intriguing activities in the Everglades are hiking, canoeing, bicycling, kayaking, camping and boating.

First on the list is 10,000 Islands; the attraction opens the way for travelers to embrace the serenity of the Everglades. Hell's Bay is next on the list; the attraction features a network of mangrove creeks, shifting mudflats and sawgrass islands. Third on the list is, probably the favorite of them all, Anhinga & Gumbo Limbo Trails; the attraction is essentially the gateway to a world full of wonders, particularly sights of wildlife. Some of the creatures that freely roam the surrounding area are endangered American crocodiles, manatees, bottlenose dolphins, bald eagles, snowy egrets and ospreys.

Like attractions and wildlife, Florida Everglades has many accommodations available–all of which will make a traveler's stay worthwhile and unforgettable. Located on the famous Tamiami Trail and State Road 29, the Everglades Area Chamber of Commerce serves the communities of Chokoloskee, Carnestown, Everglades City, Copeland, Plantation Island, Ochopee, Lee Cypress, Monroe Station, Port of the Islands and Seaboard


Lake Kissimmee, Florida


Lake Kissimmee, Florida is a part of a system of Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area, (KCOLA) which stretches from Polk to Osceola Counties. Lake Kissimmee is the furthest south of this system’s waterways. The lake is a popular outdoor playground for anglers, boaters, hikers and nature lovers vacationing in Central Florida.

Lake Kissimmee State Park, located in the town of Lake Worth offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, including fishing, boating, hiking, water sports and camping. The park has facilities for both tent and RV camping.
Docks Lake Kissimmee State Park, Kissimmee, Florida
Lake Kissimmee is home to many species of animals. Patient visitors to the area can see alligators, deer, wild turkey, eagles, osprey and herons. Nature photography is a popular activity at Lake Kissimmee with many opportunities to catch these creatures in their native environment.

Anglers can enjoy catching a number of species that reside in Lake Kissimmee, including bluegill, crappie and catfish, but it’s known for largemouth bass fishing. Catching the lake’s large bass is a must-do for many travelers to the area. Many anglers enjoy year-round fishing, Mid-winter temperatures can be chilly, but warm up by mid-day. Licenses are required for both residents of the state and visitors.

Lake Kissimmee is a boater’s paradise with 35,000 acres of waterway to explore. You can launch your boat from the state park or a number of private launches in the Kissimmee area. Kayakers and canoeists also enjoy the beautiful scenery along the lake, which is known as the headwaters to the Everglades.


Campers can choose from a number of campgrounds around Lake Kissimmee, both private and public. Many campgrounds cater to anglers and boaters with information about weather conditions and recent catches.

Hiking is a popular activity around Lake Kissimmee. The state park has 13 miles of hiking trails. Visitors can also hike at other nature parks in the area.

Lake Kissimmee State Park offers a program that allows visitors a look at the life and livelihood of a Florida cowboy in the 1800s. Both adults and children will enjoy this recreation of ranch life that was part of the history of this region. Park employees play the characters of these 19th century cowhands that rounded up cattle, using the cracking whips that gave them the name “Crackers.”



Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are some of the favorite picks of both families and couples visiting Florida. It’s the untouched natural beauty that captivates people of all ages. Add to that their success in combining entertainment and resorts into this setting, without disturbing the area’s wildlife, and you can see why this spot is so popular.

Fort Myers and Sanibel Beaches all focus mainly on the beauty that was original to this stretch of Florida coastline. J. N. Darling helped keep this location untouched by man. A political cartoonist, he pushed the government into action, and he created a wildlife sanctuary on Sanibel Island in Florida. State and local governments now assist in preserving these beaches for future generations to enjoy. Known for being left ungroomed, Ft, Myer and Sanibel beaches are not sifted. In place of professional landscaping you will find wildflowers and forest settings. This keeps the natural beauty from slowly slipping away with the increase in tourism.Lovers Key, Fort Myers, Florida

These Florida beaches tend to draw in plenty of wildlife. The animals enjoy the fact that they can count on the beaches being left unspoiled. Birds feel free to gather along the tidelines in search of food, and the three to four foot sand dunes that are allowed to remain in place create wonderful nesting spots for the local sea turtles. The islands of Cayo Costa and North Captiva in the Sanibel’s are prime examples of wildlife taking advantage of the natural settings.

The Fort Myers Beach lies across seven miles of sandy white coastline. Families love the area. Because the water is shallow, without an undertow, parents can sit back and relax while the children splash about. Even though the beaches in this part of Lee Island Coast of Florida are kept in their original state, they are still exciting. Resorts, seafood restaurants, and nightlife are all very common. Fort Meyer’s outdoor activities include wildlife watching, but this isn’t all there is to do. The water creates an atmosphere of family fun with kayaking, swimming, and boating.Natural Landscape and Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel is famous for being a toned down vacation destination. Families really appreciate the slower pace. It is reached by crossing a three mile long bridge from Fort Myers. The rural charm is kept alive here by not having tall buildings, streetlights, or spotlights to spoil the natural beauty. Sanibel is an excellent example of ecotourism, with fifty percent of its land left undeveloped. They have created a wonderful balance between resorts and wildlife. Visitors will be amazed by sightings of dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, and bald eagles, only to turn around and have lunch in a seaside café or stroll through the shops and galleries.

Of the many beaches that make up Fort Myers and Sanibel, there are a few that really stand out. Estero Island Beaches draw people from around the world. Parents are found resting under beach umbrellas while little ones make sand castles. Boating, fishing, and kayaking are all great activities here, along with discovering the seafood, resorts, and shopping that is available.

Time Square is the place to go for entertainment. The days are filled with shopping and dining, but once the sun goes down there are endless festivities. This is the home of both the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival and the American Sand Sculpting Championship.

Lover’s Key State Park is a secluded section, reached only by trolley or a stroll along the boardwalk. Travel a little further south and you will stumble upon Florida’s only dog beach. It’s also a great spot for shell collecting.


Gatorland, Kissimmee, Florida

Gatorland, Kissimmee, Florida is one of the best locations to become acquainted with the real Florida. The zoological park is world renowned for being home to the unique albino alligator. In addition to having many spectacular alligators, several other species are located in exhibits throughout the property. Gatorland also offers one-of-a-kind thrilling adventures sure to make lasting memories.

Guests can expect to see Sandhill Cranes, Burmese Pythons, Giant Tortoises, Snakes of Florida, and many birds. The facility contains a breeding marsh to guests to experience the life cycle of the alligator. There is an extensive exhibit highlighting snaggle-toothed crocodiles from around the planet like Cuban Crocodiles, Nile Crocodiles, saltwater crocodiles, and jungle crocodiles. The Screamin’ Gator Zip Line combines the alligator exhibits with a high speed ride. Riders fly over live alligators for a distinctive bird’s eye view of the reptiles.Gator Wrangler, Gatorland, Kissimmee, Florida

Spectacular shows are held throughout the day at the Gatorland Kissimmee. The Gator Jumparoo Show is the classic experience that made the park famous. Dozens of large alligators snap at the opportunity to complete for a chicken dinner. The fearsome reptiles even jump high about the water providing a great photo memory for visitors to show their friends. The Gator Wrestling Show is also a well known spectacle with brave or crazy employees boldly wrestle the dinosaur like creatures. One of the newest shows at Gatorland is the Rookie Wrestlin’ Photo. Guests can jump on the back of a live alligator for a photo with the majestic creature. Up Close Encounters is an interactive entertainment event with snakes, insects, and other exotic animals coupled with a comedy show. Adventure Hour is a special behind-the-scenes tour requiring advanced reservations that brings guests up close and personal to alligators in the middle of the Breeding Marsh.

Another interactive experience the whole family with remember is Allie’s Barnyard Petting Zoo, with tons of lovable creatures waiting to be petted and fed by enthusiastic guests. Gatorland also offers a special nighttime excursion by advanced reservation only. The evening tour is not for the faint of heart but is a wonderful journey to see the prehistoric alligators in a unique setting. Participants walk through the boardwalk extending through the Breeding Marsh. The only light is from a flashlight providing which lends to an exciting time when a mysterious rustling in the dark is heard. The alligators eyes shine a primeval red when lit by flashlight.