Originally built to supplement Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, this Florida theme park has become the flagship for the Disney theme park empire around the world. The sprawling complex encompasses multiple theme parks, golf courses, water parks, and hotels, and has attracted more annual visitors than any other park of its kind. The iconic Cinderella's Castle marks the Magic Kingdom, and a massive geodesic dome stands at the entrance of EPCOT, a planned community of the future. Disney's Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom round out the theme parks included in this epic Florida wonderland.
This theme park brings the magic of the movies to real life. Blockbuster films like Jaws, Twister, Terminator and Transformers are all reimagined as rides, often featuring the originals stars to add authenticity to the experience. Since Universal is a working studio, its films are the ones most well represented, although it has licensed out other popular titles like Ghostbusters and Shrek. There are also actors dressed as various famous movie stars and characters roaming different areas of the park at any given time, including Marilyn Monroe, Sideshow Bob, and Optimus Prime.
South Beach, the southern end of Miami Beach, has the distinction of being the oldest section of town. It rests between Biscayne Bay and the the Atlantic Ocean. Since its beginning in the early 20th century, it has changed in appearance due to increased development and the ever present danger posed by hurricanes. Its vast array of Streamline Moderne art deco architecture landed it on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The beach features a variety of parks and cultural destinations, including the Miami Holocaust Museum and the World Erotic Art Museum Miami.
Space enthusiasts flock to this center to take in the groundbreaking history of America's space program. Visitors marvel at the restored Saturn V launch vehicle, which was the method of getting astronauts into space during NASA's Apollo era, as well as the two launch pads and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. The Space Mirror Memorial is a black granite slab inscribed with the names of astronauts who have given their lives in pursuit of space exploration. There are also exhibits detailing the very beginnings of the space program, videos that show behind the scenes glimpses of Mission Control, and the Rocket Garden, featuring different rockets used throughout the space program's history
Key West is both a city and the island on which the city is built. Many U.S. Presidents have come to the island, including Truman, Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Carter. The Key West Historic District in the city's Old Town features many attractions like an aquarium, a tropical garden, and the armory. Ernest Hemingway's house still stands here, complete with a pack of cats descended from his original pet. The famous playwright Tennessee Williams is said to have written a first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire while staying here.
Kids and adults love to visit the vast array of aquatic life on display here. From the Dolphin Theatre to the Manta roller coaster, SeaWorld Orlando makes learning about the ocean's marine life a fun and engaging experience. Dolphins, pelicans, turtles, flamingos and manatees reside in the Sea of Shallows. The Sea of Legends brings nautical tales of fancy to life, including the lost city of Atlantis and the mythical Kraken. The Sea of Power is arguably the most famous attraction, featuring the park's celebrity performing orcas.
Busch Gardens Tampa is the ultimate animal theme park with 335 acres of land and more than 2,700 animals. Over time it began to incorporate more rides and entertainment options, making it a family-friendly destination. While Busch Gardens locations exist elsewhere, this location features African themed rides, decorations, and animals in its wildlife area. Although no longer operated by Anheuser Busch, the park retains a stable of Clydesdales as a hat tip to its beer related origins. When you're here you can enjoy thrilling roller coaster rides, shows, animal exhibits, adventure safari tours, and various kid friendly attractions.
This masonry fort was built in 1672, when Florida was still under the rule of Spain, making it the oldest in the continental United States. The fort was so strong that it withstood two sieges by the British. Over the course of its long and storied history, it has been under the control of Spain, Britain, the United States, and the Confederate States during the Civil War when Florida seceded from the Union. Spain, Britain, and the U.S. have all controlled it twice, as treaties were made and territories exchanged.
The reason for the naming of this town is, pardon the expression, very clear. The water is a brilliant cerulean blue, beckoning visitors to the area's white sand beaches for hours of oceanside relaxation. Pier 60 entices visitors with a playground, a snack bar, and street performers and musical acts when the sun sets into the Gulf of Mexico. The Beach Walk features showers for sand covered beachgoers, drinking fountains, and various watering holes.
This national park is the third largest in the country, after Yellowstone and Death Valley. The park was established in 1934 when development of the South Florida sealine threatened the vitality of the area. More than just a wildlife refuge, the park was the first of its kind to protect an entire ecosystem. Many of the animals inhabiting the park are endangered or threatened, like the American crocodile, the Florida panther, various types of turtles, the Cape Sable sparrow, the Schaus swallowtail butterfly, the wood stork and the West Indian manatee.