Twenty Things to do on Florida’s Gulf Coast (Besides Walt Disney World and that won’t break the bank):
My family will be spending Spring Break in the southern part of Florida’s Gulf Coast this month and am looking for family friendly, budget friendly activities to keep my pre-teen son busy. I went on the search for such fun and here are some adventures we thought sounded interesting and worth a try:
1. Go seashell hunting
2. Visit Manatee Park
3. Shop and walk Miromar Outlet Mall
4. Take a sunset cruise
5. Go Geocaching
6. Visit Sanibel Island
7. Have lunch/dinner overlooking the Gulf of Mexico
8. Drive to the Everglades National Park; ride an Airboat through the Everglades
9. Walk the beach in Naples
10. Cruise the Caloosahatchee River on a river cruise
11. Visit the Naples City Zoo
12. Play miniature golf
13. Kayak the tropical Estero River
14. Visit the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
15. Have homemade scoop (or two or three) at Royal Scoop
16. Visit/Hike the Estero Bay Preserve State Park
17. Tour the Southwest Florida Museum of History
18. Ride the Key West Express for the day
19. Lay poolside and dip in the pool
20. Go (Stand up) Paddle boarding
This year my family will be heading to Florida’s Gulf Coast for spring and the first question my pre-teen son asked was “What is there to do in the Gulf Coast?” then he quickly made the statement “I don’t want to be bored on spring break”. I knew I had to think outside the box to keep him engaged and not secretly wishing he was at Walt Disney World or worse yet asking to play on his electronic devises.
In order to remain a budget friendly vacation, I signed up for Groupon several months back. Not only in my city of residence, I also added a destination of Naples, Ft. Myers and the Bonita Beach area. I can honestly say, I have been inundated with emails for vacation ideas and deals. I found a few activities on Groupon but remind you to read the fine print, know the details of each activities including any expiration dates, and if there is a different cost for youth.
I booked a one and one half hour river cruise in Ft. Myers through Pure Fort Myers. We will cruise the Caloosahatchee River to see the Mangrove Forests, Manatees, Dolphins and Bald Eagles. I purchased the adult tickets through Groupon for the discounted adult price then contacted the Company directly to purchase the youth ticket (which was less than the discounted adult ticket) and to booked our reservations.
I have been to Florida’s Gulf Coast years ago and visited Sanibel Island and Captiva and loved it. This year, we are planning to wake early one morning and make the drive over the causeway to Sanibel island for the day. Being that everyone else is also on Spring Break in this area, traffic will be heavy so we hope to avoid the delays by starting our day very early. The sea shelling on the Island is said to be one of the best locations for collecting beautiful intact shells. In addition, the beaches are pristine and what better place to soak up the Florida sun and relax with family.
As with any vacation, there always seems to be a day that Mother Nature has plans of her own where the weather is less than ideal; be it overcast skies or even rain. It is always wise to have a few backup plans that can take place indoors away from the elements. We hope to make a half day trip to the Miromar Outlet Mall rain or shine. Not only can we be inside out of the weather, but we can also make a few budget friendly purchases while staying dry. And if the weather is nice after all, the Mall has many open area seating and fountains for relaxing mid shopping.
Another hobby that my family has been involved in, is Geocaching. To read about Geocaching click here. There will be plenty of geocaching locations in the area and we look forward to adding more finds to our already long list.
With twenty family and budget friendly adventures to spend our time while vacationing in Florida’s Gulf Coast, I’m sure we will have plenty of things to do and my son will never complain he is bored.