For a family-friendly Florida vacation, you may already have dollar signs and Mickey ears in your view. Skip the crowds and enjoy a quieter reprieve in one of the state’s quaint, off-the-beaten-path towns like Lakeland. While technically a college town, it is far more subdued than you might think.
Whether driving through between major cities Tampa and Orlando or taking a daytrip from nearby towns like Plant City or Auburndale, Lakeland is for the flea market hunters, community event lovers, green thumb wannabes and antique scavengers in your crew.
Take the green route — think more botanical and less financial — and enjoy the city’s many natural (and free) escapes. Hit the reserve on a walk, run or bike ride at Circle B Bar Reserve. Pay a visit to Lake Hancock and in the lush, green, marshy landscape and get a quick workout in. Expect to see a gator or two, especially along Alligator Alley or Gator Creek Reserve. Go birdwatching at Lakeland Highlands Scrub and pack lunch for an impromptu picnic.
This Central Florida town is actually loaded with locales for history buffs and art lovers, including the botanical variety. Stop at Hollis Garden for a lakeside stroll amid beautiful seasonal flowers and well-manicured topiaries. Check the garden’s website for local events and free concerts, held year-round and typically all-ages.
Get eyes on some art and culture while in the area with a stop at Polk Museum of Art. One of the top-rated museums in the state, Polk is a privately owned, non-profit offering exhibits, events and art classes throughout the year. Sign the kids up for some activities and art lessons for a break from the Florida sun — with a dash of educational value they will be having too much fun to notice.
Go lake hunting! Renting a car in Florida is usually a must, especially if you want to enjoy a multicity trip, so take advantage and see the sites. Hop in the car or rent a bike and explore the area’s many lakes and nature preserves. From Lake Mirror and Saddle Creek Park to Lake Gibsons and Lake Parker, you’ll have your hands full visiting them all.
Lakeland is a pedestrian-friendly town, so getting around by bike will be a fun, throwback way to enjoy a summer vacation like a local. Head to downtown Lakeland for a wide variety of restaurants, bars and nightlife. Nothing too crazy, though, as this locale is one of the more tame college towns in the state.
Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
It’s time to start planning your next family trip. Take a visual journey through these U.S. locations where historically significant moments in the Civil Rights movement occurred.
Valentine’s Day is a good excuse for parents to take a weekend getaway and break from family travel with kids. You don’t need to travel far to find a romantic country inn or B&B; they are scattered throughout the United States and Canada. From New Hampshire to South Carolina, you’ll find a warm welcome this winter at these cozy inns.
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