Are you planning – or have you planned over the winter – a tropical vacation and trip to the beach? So many people in New England, where I now live, head to Florida for April (Spring) vacation that when I lived in Florida I dreaded that month. With the state overrun by tourists, Disney World would sometimes have to close it’s gates when filled to capacity – and that’s a big place! My sister-in-law and her family would come stay at Hotel Carter (my house) and drag us to the attractions which we had visited too many times already, and force us to spend money we didn’t have.
But Florida is a great place to visit and if you want to avoid going in the mid-summer heat, then for those of us with kids, who have to work around their vacation time, April is it. And if you have relatives you can mooch off of down there – go for it!
April is a great time to stay at the beach too. The water may be too cool for locals who are used to the 80 degree summer water temperature, but northerners would most likely love the ocean water. Being around a beautiful beach is more my idea of a vacation than standing in long lines, with millions of other people at Disney World, so my vacation would take place at a beach. (And Disney, Universal Studios, etc. are centrally located so you can always take a day trip there.)
New Smyrna Beach was always a favorite and it’s close to Daytona so visiting the Daytona Speedway and Museum would be fun. I went there on a field trip with one of my kids and we got in a bus that drove us around the track. You wouldn’t believe the steep sides where the drivers race! It’s worth the visit. There is a small lake nearby that was made when they dug up the dirt to make those driving hills.
If it’s shell collecting you want, plan to visit or stay on Sanibel Island on the Gulf coast. It is the 3rd best shelling spot IN THE WORLD! (updated to say: Sulu Islands, Philippines and Jeffries Bay, South Africa are #1 and #2.) I wish we’d have been able to get over to Sanibel more often when I lived in central Florida. It was only 4 hours away, but the cost was just something we couldn’t afford back then. We did get there a few times. Now the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is open with interesting seashell info and history.
Don’t forget to visit the numerous state parks all over the state. And head out on the water on a charter boat or rent a boat yourself and navigate the IC (Intracoastal Waterway). Doing some low-key, untouristy-like trips may make some excellent memories.
Have a great Florida vacation!
- Lovin’ Some Disney World Snacks, Only This Time, They’re Drinks! (mouzekateerz.com)
- Florida Here I Come (colryan.wordpress.com)
- Walt Disney World Annual Average Temperature/Weather (meetthemagic.com)
- Identifying Similar Small Shells on Sanibel Island (seashellsbymillhill.com)
- Donate a Seashell Kit to Your Child’s School (seashellsbymillhill.com)