By Rebecca Fending
Springtime can be a scary time of year for Florida natives: Invasion of the Spring Breakers. The partying and beach-takeovers can be a major turnoff when it comes to finding things to do around the state during the month of March.
So, what do you do when your kids, grandkids or great grandkids come to visit? Throughout the state, there are several different spots that are great to get away from the spring chaos that is college students. From tranquil beaches to spring training, Florida has several family-friendly destinations for spring festivities:
1. Sanibel Island
With its pristine, white sand beaches and small island feel, Sanibel Island offers the chance to escape the everyday and find your quiet bliss with the family. If you’re a fan of collecting shells, Sanibel will be your new go-to with their expansive and well-kept beaches. Once you’ve added plenty to your collection, you can relax with your toes in the sand and soak in the peaceful sunshine. The island also has diverse wildlife due to its lush flora, including an impressive number of mangroves. This quiet beach is a destination for Florida natives and their families as it’s often overlooked when it comes to college spring break visitors with its lack of condos and typical neon bar signs.
2. Fort Myers
Not far from Sanibel Island, Fort Myers is a great choice for spring break with your family for the same slow, quiet ambiance Sanibel preserves. If you have any fishermen (or women) in your group, Fort Myers offers fishing on their beach pier. No fishing license is needed in Lee County, so the fishing pier is open to anyone and everyone. Fort Myers is also home to JetBlue Park, the spring training ballpark of the Boston Red Sox. For anyone who has ever wanted to go to Fenway, JetBlue is its Floridian clone. Complete with the Red Sox’s signature “Green Monster”, JetBlue is a great attraction for the whole family.
A great potential road trip for those of us farther down the coast, Tallahassee gets a chance to breathe during spring break due to the mass exodus of students. The city has its own museum, appropriately named the Tallahassee Museum, where you can stroll the nature trail and see the various animals they keep. From panthers to otters, the museum promises a great time for the family. And not far from Tallahassee is Wakulla Springs, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater spring. Open from 8 am to sunset, this natural attraction is bordered by a historic cypress swamp. Wakulla’s spotless waters are home to a plethora of aquatic life, including manatees and alligators—a must see for all ages.
Whether you want to escape the spring breakers or simply find new destinations to visit with your family, Florida is home to more than a few beautifully serene getaways. March in the state means getting out and exploring what’s in your backyard, so, put on your safari hat and start planning your spring!