The warm (but not too hot) spring weather is the perfect time to take your family on a fun weekend getaway. So pack up the kids, get on the road and enjoy these family friendly destinations.

Sanibel Island


Wandering the beautiful beaches filled with sea shells is a popular activity for visitors of all ages. Families can take a shelling cruise or charter with a captain who knows where to find the best shells. The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel Island is a must see for shell enthusiasts. Kids will enjoy the undersea-inspired interactive children’s section.

Sanibel Sea School

Looking to fit in a little education, plan a visit to the Sanibel Sea School. Located on Sanibel Island, children and adults can learn about marine ecosystems using the barrier island habitats of Sanibel and Captiva. Students can touch feel and understand the ocean and its inhabitants.

Paddle On

The Great Calusa Blueway has nearly 190 miles of clearly marked waterways and trails to explore the area’s bays and estuaries. Guided tours are available or explore on your own. The trail utilizes GPS coordinates. Key points are marked along the trail to aid paddlers in navigation and detailed maps are available.

Go Wild!

Babcock Wilderness Adventures offers a 90 minute tour of Telegraph Cypress Swamp and scenic woods on a swamp buggy. View native wildlife like panthers, alligators, deer, wild turkey cattle and boars. Daily tours are available by reservation only.

Where to Stay:

Casa Ybel Resort, Sanibel Island

For more information:

Fort Myers

Step Back in Time

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates covers 20-acres of riverfront land with a laboratory, experimental gardens, rare antique automobiles and other memorabilia from the inventor. Next door, Henry Ford’s winter estate features several antique vehicles on display.

Imagine That!

The Imaginarium- This museum boasts more than 60 interactive exhibits that are at fun and educational. The Imaginarium is the type of place where you can touch a cloud, become a weatherman, brave a Florida thunderstorm, or even help excavate dinosaur remains. No visit is complete without taking part in the “Hurricane Experience.”

Butterfly Kisses

The Butterfly Estates- Surround yourself with thousands of butterflies in the Downtown Fort Myers River District at the new Eco-Attraction named The Butterfly Estates. With southern style veranda wrapped restaurant, Mother Natures Gift Shop, featuring our exquisite nature oriented gifts and Caterpillars Ice Cream Shop & Fudge Factory, where guests are lured in by the sweet aromas of homemade fudge and fresh ice cream. Our 3,614 sq. foot Glazed Glass Butterfly Conservatory is home to cascading waterfalls with lush tropical nectar plants and butterflies that delight guests with their astounding beauty.

Where to Stay:

Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa, Fort Myers

Pink Shell Beach Resort and Spa, Fort Myers Beach


“Escape” to Africa

Busch Gardens – experience the tallest roller coaster in the State of Florida and also one of only three inverted roller coasters in the world. SheiKra takes guests on a 3-minute wild ride 200 feet in the air and then plummets’ them straight down to the ground and ends with a “splashy” finale. Don’t miss “KaTonga,” a Broadway-style, theatrical event that takes visitors into the heart of the African jungle. The Serengeti Safari wild expedition puts you in the center of the action! Unlock the mystery to the eland antelope’s mysterious clicking, discover the naturalistic beauty of the Serengeti Plain, and experience the thrill of feeding antelopes and giraffes.

Close Encounter

Lowry Park Zoo- Guests can swim with the fishes in the aquarium’s largest exhibit, The Coral Reef. This 500,000-gallon tank features more than 2,300 fish including grouper, tarpon, Angel fish and the star of the exhibit, a mature green sea turtle named Flip.

While there are several other extreme options, including “Shark Feeding: Behind the Scenes” one of the most popular is the “Penguin: Backstage Pass.” Guests can have a close-up encounter with several of the African Black-footed penguins found at the aquarium in the Penguin Suite behind the scenes.

Down to a Science

The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) – Guests can feel the rumble of a rocket launch, touch butterflies of every kind and watch one of many IMAX productions in Florida’ first IMAX theatre. The educational Kids In Charge! Makes MOSI the largest children’s science center in the country and provides interactive games and experiences for “kids” of all ages.

Where to Stay:

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay

The Westin Tampa Bay

For more information