Happy Independence Day! To help you celebrate the Fourth of July, I’ve put together a guide to some of the other amazing attractions that Florida has to offer. I went on holiday recently with my family to this very sunny state. Having already done the big theme parks on previous holidays, we really wanted to try something different this time around, and experience even more.
So what are you waiting for? Check out some of the best things that you can do here.
Visit Bok Tower and Gardens
Known as the ‘singing tower’, Bok Tower can be found about an hour’s drive south of Orlando. Surrounded by lush gardens, the view from the tower itself boasts must-see scenery and fantastic architecture. It also hosts small concerts at 1pm and 3pm every day, with special live performances by Greet D’hollander, from mid-October to mid-May. When you’ve finished seeing the sights from a height, take a walk around the stunning gardens and see the wide variety of wildlife including 126 different species of birds, tortoise, snakes and much more!
Watch a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game
If you’re in America, why not watch one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sport in the country? The Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has a ground capacity of 66,000 which guarantees an electric atmosphere. Tailgating, where fans hang out by their cars and enjoy a BBQ and a few drinks, starts a few hours before kick-off, so you can turn an hour-long game into a whole-day event. Get involved in the fan zone before the game, with chances to win prizes including T-shirts, drinks, vouchers and lots of other merchandise!
Feel the speed on Kissimmee Race Track
Kissimmee is the home to the largest track in Central Florida, at almost one mile long, which includes three bridges. The thrilling Super Track Course is designed for all drivers, regardless of age or experience. Kissimmee Go-Karts was first opened over 20 years ago, and people have been flooding in ever since. I went with my family and we were racing around for 40 minutes; of course there could only be one winner, but we’re still debating who crossed the line first. My mum thinks it was her, but she’ll never admit that she lost!
Shopping at The Florida Mall
Found 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport and popular area attractions, The Florida Mall is Central Florida’s largest shopping centre. Spanning 1.7 million square feet and welcoming more than 20 million visitors each year, this dynamic shopping destination offers more than 250 retail, dining and entertainment options to be enjoyed by everyone.
See the sights from the Orlando Eye
Discover the magic and natural wonder that Orlando has to offer, from high in the sky. Be lifted away in a capsule of relaxation to see Orlando in a way you’ve never seen it before. The 400-ft tall Orlando Eye gives you incredible 360° views of Central Florida; sights include downtown Orlando’s skyline, the lakes and lush landscape. On a really clear day, you’ll see Cape Canaveral on the east coast of Florida, which is almost 60 miles away!
Dinner at Charley’s Steakhouse
Charley’s Steakhouse is an award-winning steakhouse with three restaurants across Florida. Their incredible steak goes through a step-by-step process; they start with Midwest grain-fed USDA Prime & Choice beef, age it onsite for four to six weeks, then cut the meat fresh each day and season for 30 hours to create a distinctive flavour. The steak is then flame-grilled over a 1,200 degree open pit, fuelled with a combination of Florida citrus and Oak wood, which is all locally sourced.
Delicious food at Ellie Lou’s BBQ
Ellie Lou’s BBQ is an independently owned restaurant with a passion for BBQ. With a homely feel, fantastic service and incredible food, Ellie Lou’s is a must-visit! It’s located west of Orlando in a town called Ocoee, and this BBQ shack will stick to their slogan and ‘rub you the right way’! Having visited Ellie Lou’s at the beginning of my holiday to Florida, we went back three times in one week and ordered the exact same dish each time!
And last, but by no means least, breakfast at Keke’s
Looking for one of the best breakfasts in Florida? Look no further than Keke’s. With over 30 restaurants across Florida, wherever you stay on your holiday here, there’s always one close by! They have such a wide variety of breakfasts available including waffles, pancakes, French toast and omelettes; my personal favourite was the stuffed French toast. All breakfasts come with a wide range of toppings available, and all their food is locally sourced, with fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products being delivered daily.
So, there’s my list of must-do’s on your Florida holiday. What other attractions in Florida have you experienced that don’t involve theme parks? Do you have any other recommendations that I’ve missed off? Let me know in the comments below.