Beat the Heat: The Coolest Florida Destinations All Summer Long
Florida Offers a Wide-Range of Chill Experiences for a Wet and Wild American Summer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla (July 2018) – While July is the hottest month of the year, with average temperatures in the mid-80s, the Sunshine State offers reprieve from the heat with a variety of fun and exciting getaways geared toward staying cool. While some may want brave the heat to visit Florida theme parks, slathered in sunscreen, Florida’s Northwest and Central regions, as well as the Emerald Coast, alternatively offers travelers the opportunity to experience some of the state’s world-famous beaches, waterways and one-of-a-kind indoor activities. From The South Florida Museum, Downtown Bradenton’s natural and cultural history museum, to Alachua County’s refreshing Poe Springs, Florida welcomes travelers to discover some of the Sunshine State’s coolest attractions this summer.
Bradenton, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key
- Introducing Horse Surfing located in Palma Sola Bay, one of the only places in the country where it’s offered, guests can ride horseback along the cool shores of the Bradenton area. An aquatic fantasy, riders travel with the horses into deeper waters and can stand up to try “horse surfing” for a vacation experience they will never forget.
- Downtown Bradenton is the proud home of the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, The South Florida Museum. Must-see stops within the museum include, fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest mammals and marine species, the Montague Tallant collection of prehistoric and early post-contact archeological artifacts and the Bishop Planetarium. Visitors can also visit the museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium, a rehabilitation center for injured Manatees.
Gainesville and Alachua County
- Gainesville’s newest park, Depot Park, boasts the coolest splash pad in Alachua County. The park, open from dawn to dusk, features the Blue Grotto Splash Pad which was creatively inspired by caverns in North Central Florida. Interactive water jets, water cannons, fossil hunts and waterfalls provides water fun for all ages and is free to the public!
- Poe Springs, a shallow spring located right outside High Springs, is one of Alachua County’s least crowded water attractions. The shallow depth and low crowd numbers make it an excellent destination for families with small children. Poe Springs pumps an average of 45 million gallons of cool, refreshing water daily, and feeds into the Santa Fe River. Activities include swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, picnics, playground, soccer, volleyball, and nature trails.
Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island
- With its amazing beaches, emerald-green waters, water-based activities, and water-based attractions, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island is one of the coolest destinations in Florida. Big Kahuna’s Water Adventure Park is Destin’s leading spot to take the family when a break from the sunny beach is needed. The water park offers more than 40 exciting water attractions, including slides, water rides, a lazy river, and the Honolulu Half Pipe with wave simulator.
- The Gulf Islands National Seashore, located along Choctawhatchee Bay on Okaloosa island, offers recreation, exploration and education – visitors can do it all here, including swimming, snorkeling, fishing, hiking and boating.
LEGOLAND® Water Park
- Debuting in March of this year, LEGOLAND® Water Park offers awesome family-fun all summer long. Whether racing down a pair of enclosed slides on Twin Chasers or building a floating LEGO® creation in Build-A-Raft River, LEGOLAND Water Park offers a variety of attractions and amenities for every brick fan, highlights include:
- A water play area with shorter slides and interactive, giant DUPLO® animals geared towards children 6 and younger.
- A hands-on LEGO attraction, Build-A-Boat, where up to four guests at a time can customize their own miniature watercraft and race them down rushing rivers.
- A giant water play structure complete with winding slides, water spouts and topped by a 300-gallon bucket that dumps water on guests below every few minutes.
- A LEGO-themed wave pool where the waves are just big enough for all ages to enjoy.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 112.4 million visitors in 2016. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors spent $108.8 billion and supported 1.4 million Florida jobs. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA – the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida – $3.20 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to VISITFLORIDA.org or follow us on our industry social media channels: SunshineMatters.org,Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism.