Florida has been popular with both American and international tourists for decades. The path to the theme parks in Orlando is one well trod, but Florida offers far more than just the thrills of Disney and Universal Studios. Cosmos Florida holidays give you the opportunity to explore the Sunshine State and some of its unique activities, which means you can wow friends and family with tales of a holiday out of the ordinary.
Here are 5 hidden gems of Florida to enjoy:
Orlando’s forgotten park
Visitors to Orlando normally only head for the theme parks. But for those seeking a more serene activity on their Orlando holidays, a visit to Harry P. Leu Bontanical Gardens offers a peaceful break from the city’s more popular tourist attractions. A lush tropical oasis where you can meander through 50 acres of botanical gardens, allows you to leave all your worries behind.
Swim with Manatees
Many visitors expect to swim with dolphins, but why not buck the trend and try something different? The manatee is one of Florida’s most recognisable maritime mammals and in Crystal River on the west coast there are plenty of companies that offer the chance to swim with these graceful creatures.
Ancient St. Augustine
St. Augustine is the oldest city not just in Florida, but the entire United States! Known as the ‘Ancient City’, it was founded in 1565 by the Spanish, and the city resonates with rich history, with the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas being key attractions. There are also plenty of opportunities to shop and explore modern Floridian culture.
Windley Key Fossil Reef State Geological Site
Windley Key is one the few places where you can see a coral reef that, incredibly, isn’t underwater. This one rose to the surface eons ago and here it sits in fossilised splendour. Today you can walk around it – fascinating natural history!
Head to the city of Stuart in Martin County on Florida’s east coast and enjoy some sport fishing. Known as the ‘Sailfish capital of the world’, Stuart boasts more than 800 fish species waiting to be caught offshore. Less than an hour’s drive from West Palm Beach, Stuart also offers peaceful beaches, nature preserves, parks, and golf courses.