Orlando, Amelia Island, The Everglades, and Hurricanes: Your Guide to a Florida Vacation

Orlando, Amelia Island, The Everglades, and Hurricanes: Your Guide to a Florida Vacation

Summer will be here before you know it, and as the last school bell rings for the year, you may be wondering how you will keep your children from going stir crazy over the next few months. If your children do not want to face another summer at a camp and are not too thrilled about spending a few weeks with grandma, there is one other option for you to consider. Why not plan a trip to Florida?

The following guide will prepare you for everything that you need to do before and during your Florida vacation so you and your family can have fun, and stay safe while sticking to your budget. In fact, after reading this guide and taking your vacation, you will be a pro on the shortcuts from Orlando to Miami and the best places to grab a burger. Well, you may not be an expert, you will know everything you need to know to have a blast this summer in Florida.

Orlando

Orlando Florida

Yes, this is the home of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but Orlando offers so much more than Disney. In fact, one of the first things that you should do upon arrival to Orlando is to buckle up and fasten those seatbelts.

Are your children fans of the Fast and Furious movie franchise? Do you get a little excited when you hear a new sequel is coming out? This movie franchise is the highest grossing series ever for Universal Pictures, and as the trailers for a new sequel are hitting television screens around the country, the high-octane ride can now be experienced by visitors this year at Universal Studios Florida. You and your children can investigate the offices of none other than Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), and you will even have the opportunity to look at the cars that have made appearances on the big screen.

If you are planning to stay a few nights in Orlando, why not reserve a room at a hotel that has a lazy river. There is not just one hotel in Orlando that has a lazy river, there are 11. So, if your family enjoys leisurely floating down a river while relaxing, your most difficult decision will be choosing which hotel suits your needs best.

A TripAdvisor survey rated the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek as the best hotel with a waterscape. This hotel is located in close proximity to Disney World, and a shuttle service provides free transportation from the hotel to all of the Disney World parks.

Amelia Island

Amelia Island Lighthouse

If you want to plan a vacation that is a little more upscale, but still has kid-friendly options, Amelia Island is an excellent choice. Sprawling over more than 1300 acres, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort is located at the very tip of the barrier island that is located directly off the coast.

There are almost 4 miles of beautiful, pristine beach to enjoy, and with so many family-friendly activities, it would be impossible for you and your family to have a chance to participate in all of them on your first visit.

Named after King George II of England’s daughter, Amelia, Amelia Island is also referred to as the Isle of 8 Flags. This island is the only property in the United States that has been governed under eight different flags. Although once known as a safe haven for nobles, rumrunners, pirates and confederates, it now has a reputation for being charming and eclectic. Antique shops, quaint and intimate eateries, and art galleries line the 50 block area.

Everglades National Park

The Everglades are a national icon because they are the biggest sub-tropical area of wilderness in the 48 contiguous states. They once reached from Central Florida to Florida Bay. The Everglades is a massive park, and it will take a few hours to drive from one end to the other.

Visitors to the Everglades are often at a loss as to how to begin exploring the park. A lot of the park is inaccessible by vehicles because it is in the swamp. A good idea is to book a trip with a local guiding company. There are many who accept children.

Hurricanes and Florida

Florida had been fortunate in that it had maintained its hurricane-free streak for the past few years. And, when the 2016 hurricane season arrived, it marked the first time in history that the state had avoided a direct hit from a hurricane in more than a decade. However, that all changed when Hurricane Hermine, a category 1 hurricane, made landfall, even though it was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm.

Shortly after, Hurricane Matthew, a category 3 hurricane, appeared. Although it did not directly make landfall, the storm did manage to churn the coast for an entire day, causing fatalities and damaged towns, and also leaving over a million residents without electricity. Many weather experts went on record to say that the 2016 hurricane season in the Atlantic was more active than a normal season.

So, you may be wondering how often a hurricane makes a direct impact on the state. Typically, only one or two hurricanes affect the entire east coast of the United States every year. Of these hurricanes, less than 50 percent hit the state of Florida. Only 37 hurricanes have hit the state since 1851.

All of this means that there is a very low statistical risk that a hurricane will make landfall during your vacation. However, if you are planning your vacation between the months of June and October, you may want to err on the side of caution. Taking out travel insurance, and selecting a hotel that offers a guarantee in case of a hurricane are two options. Both will enable you to be reimbursed if your trip is interrupted or canceled because of a storm.

The summer signals the time of year when your kids are more than ready to put aside their books and school uniforms and trade them for shorts, sandals and sand buckets. This guide has hopefully gone some way to helping you plan an unforgettable summer vacation your children will cherish for the rest of their lives.