Family Friendly Florida – More Than Just The Sun!

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Now that Christmas is out of the way and the better weather is starting to return to some parts of the southern states now is the perfect time to start thinking about your next family getaway. Even if you aren’t in a position to book it now, it’s the perfect time to start looking at options for the summer holidays, or maybe a great option for spring break with the kids this year. If that sounds like you, never fear. Check out these great things that Florida has to offer and why you need to check it out this year if you haven’t before.

Amusement Park Central

Simply put, Florida is an absolute haven for amusement parks. Between Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, Legoland, Epcot and Disney World (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!) you will have no trouble at all finding the perfect amusement park to entertain everyone in the family from the time you set foot in the Sunshine State until you depart! You can even stay at Walt Disney World to make it easy to access some of the best in Florida’s parks. What kid wouldn’t want to stay at the world famous Disney World?!

Cruises Galore

Speaking of Disney, did you know you can catch a great Disney Cruise from Florida? Not only that, but if you’re looking for a great option for getting away and you want to explore a bit of the Caribbean, Florida is the perfect point from which to sail. Many cruises around the Caribbean leave from Florida ports, so what better way than to take advantage of the close proximity than to add a short cruise to your Sunshine State holiday?

The Keys – What More Can We Say?

If you want some of the most pristine beaches without having to leave Florida, head to the Keys. This string of pearl-like islands in the extreme south of the state give the Caribbean islands a run for their money. With luscious resorts that cater to both couples and families it’s an easy addition to any Florida holiday that will have everyone jumping for joy.

Cape Canaveral And The Kennedy Space Centre

Quench the thirst of the budding astronaut in your family and take a trip out to the world famous Cape Canaveral to experience a live rocket launch. Watch real astronauts be blasted into outer space to work on the International Space Station or watch satellites get sent up for research purposes. Even if you can’t make a launch itself you can head over to the Space Centre where you can check out some impressive displays including Buzz Aldrin’s moon suit, still covered in dust.

The Everglades

And finally, for all the nature lovers in the family the Florida Everglades are an absolute ‘do not miss’. Bursting with wildlife and things to do such as going diving to see corals, hiking, jet skiing and more the Everglades is a great place to get the family out and enjoying nature and all it has to offer. Don’t forget to watch out for alligators!

So if you’re looking for a place that has everything for everyone, rest assured that Florida won’t disappoint. So what are you waiting for? Book your next epic trip to Florida today.

Taking Your Kids To Florida For The First Time

From the moment that we broke the news to the kids that we were heading to Florida for our vacations, we saw their eyes light up like never before, filled with joy, magic and excitement. In terms of family holidays, Florida is like the Mecca for kids, and parents alike with its sunshine, theme parks, beaches and action packed activities.

If you are going to go to Florida for your holidays, especially if it is the first time with kids, you need to make sure that you are prepared. It is often said that you’ll need a holiday after your Florida trip, because of the amount which you’ll be cramming in to your time there, and I can most certainly attest to this. I wanted then, to give you some tips on how to prepare to take your kids to the Sunshine State for the first time.

Itinerary

Most vacations we go on, we like to just go with the flow, see what there is around us and decide our activities once we got to our destination, with Florida vacations however, this doesn’t cut the mustard. Because of the sheer volume of tourists in Florida, and the amount of things available to do, you really need to be on your game in terms of planning. I would recommend having a meeting with your kids and show them the kind of adventures available, and make a decision as a family.

Early Booking

Once you know what your itinerary will be, it is time to get booking up for your park tickets, events and your accommodation. I would recommend that you don’t buy a package deal for your vacation as it works out much cheaper to book your flights, accommodation and tickets separately. This will take a little bit of extra planning on your part but it will save you a great deal of money.

Packing

When packing your suitcase you should of course pack as you normally would for a sunny holiday, I should note however that with Florida, you’re going to need a few extra bits too. The biggest recommendation that I can give is that you take a very strong and comfortable pair of shoes with you, especially for the kids. We made the mistake of letting our little girl wear sandals on the second day, and the blisters caused us problems throughout the holiday. You will be doing a lot of walking around, and it will be very hot. It is also a good idea not to fill your suitcase and you will find yourself buying a great amount of stuff in the US, and you need space to bring it home.

Flying

The flight to Florida from the UK is around 9 hours and so you’ll need to make sure that you have planned things to keep the kids entertained. Make sure that their phones or tablets are loaded up with music and movies, as well as making sure that you pack books and toys for them. We actually created a small pack for each child with a camera, a notebook and some other fun bits, so that they could document their own Florida trip, something which they absolutely loved doing and that kept them occupied for a long time.

Florida really lives up to the hype and you are going to have an amazing time there with your children.

Best neighborhoods in Miami to buy a home

The last few years have cemented what many have been thinking: the real estate market in the Miami area is back with a vengeance. With Florida mortgages still being relatively affordable compared to where they were before the 2008 crash, now is the time to get in before things get crazy again.

With plenty of homes in desirable neighborhoods below their historical value, now is the time to stop renting and start building some equity in one of the most dynamic cities in the Americas.

If you are ready to put some skin into the property investing game, here are some neighborhoods where you should begin your search.

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1) North Miami Beach

Undoubtedly, Miami Beach is one of Greater Miami’s most glamorous spots. However, many buyers looking to invest in the real estate market in Miami erroneously assume they could never afford to put a down payment on a shoebox there, let alone a condo.

While this might be true in South Beach and Miami Beach proper, the city of North Miami Beach is home to developments that are more accessible to the entry-level real estate investor.

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway across from the northern reaches of Miami Beach, you won’t be far from the hottest action this area has to offer, but you’ll get to come home to a quiet, established neighborhood filled with long-time residents.

Around home, you’ll have easy access to Miami’s Chinatown, situated between 163rd and 167th Street on the west end of town and filled with plenty of amazing dining and shopping options from the Far East.

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2) Coconut Grove

Looking to get value for your real estate dollar? If you aren’t opposed to buying previously owned homes, investing in Coconut Grove might be a good move for you.

As the oldest neighborhood in Miami, and the historic center of this city’s counterculture movement, this place has an interesting backstory to it.

Today, it is one of the most sought after addresses in the city, as it is close to downtown, a number of glitzy high rise developments have broken ground here in recent years, it has marinas filled with expensive yachts, as well as a downtown filled with trendy businesses.

The newer properties may be out of reach, but there are plenty of bungalows from the 60s and 70s and condos that may work for your budget if you act fast.

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3) Wynwood

Want to live downtown? Out of all the options available, Wynwood is the one that has the perfect combination of amenities, value for money, and a location that puts you within a healthy stroll from Miami’s CBD.

With over 70 art galleries and frequent on-street art installations throughout the year, culturally-attuned individuals will love living in this part of Miami.

Additionally, with plenty of trendy microbreweries and restaurants, you won’t ever be left wanting for innovative food and drink options, which is good news for those days when you don’t feel like cooking.