Florida's fabulous year-round weather and range of exciting destinations make it the perfect choice for a family-friendly Thanksgiving vacation. Visit one of the many idyllic beaches, get back to nature in the mysterious landscape of the Everglades, or seek some thrills at one of the fantastically fun Orlando theme parks.
Orlando, located in the famed Orange County, is the ultimate family destination. The Disney and Universal theme parks are both packed with thrilling rides, parades, and special Thanksgiving events. Away from the heady excitement of the parks, the city of Orlando has much to offer. Highlights for those traveling with kids include the Orlando Science Center, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and catching a baseball or football game at one of the numerous stadiums in town.
Just a 30-minute drive from Jackson International Airport is the glorious beach of Amelia Island. This calm and relaxing area is perfect for kicking back during a long family weekend with the kids. It also has a more peaceful and authentic vibe than other nearby beaches. The 13 miles of stunning coastline is only matched by the range of activities on offer, such as horseback riding, river cruises, and fishing.
Often called the Venice of America, the city's miles of meandering canals set Fort Lauderdale apart from other beach localities. As well as the long stretches of golden beaches, Fort Lauderdale is also home to attractions like Butterfly World and Billie Swamp Safari. And of course, the majestic Everglades are located nearby.
As part of the ultimate Florida Thanksgiving getaway, you may want to chill out on one of the state's pristine beaches. Step back in time at one of the many wonderful resort towns, and spend some blissed-out hours soaking up the sunshine from the comfort of a lounger.
Located at the most southerly tip of the United States, the island and town of Key West are quite simply paradise. With charming features like the Wildlife Rescue Center and Sanibel West Lighthouse, there's plenty for all the family to enjoy. The beaches, meanwhile, are sublime - swim with dolphins, visit nature reserves, and enjoy thrilling water sports after relaxing under the Caribbean sun.
This charming island radiates old-time charm and is packed with fabulous restaurants, vintage bungalows, and mom-and-pop stores. The vibe here is serene - spend your days biking along the pristine coast and fishing for your own dinner at the end of the vintage Rod & Reel Pier.
Located on the Gulf Coast, this wonderful island and its glorious beaches are best explored by foot or on a rental bike. Famed for its vast array of seashells, Sanibel is also home to stunning wildlife ranging from flamingos to seabirds. Spend the afternoon spotting manatees on a kayaking tour of Tarpon Bay before taking in the spectacular sunsets.
Perhaps you want to use your Florida Thanksgiving Getaway as a chance to indulge in some retail therapy - well you'll have plenty of choice. From quaint independent shops to large malls with all the best brands, the options are endless.
Tampa is a beautiful city blessed with mild winters and shopping opportunities aplenty. The SoHo District is packed with chic, upscale stores while Couture Designer Resale Boutique is considered one of the leading providers of luxury goods in America. Excellent sales are plentiful around Thanksgiving but if you want to bag a vintage bargain then Big Top Flea Market is the place to go.
Naples in south-west Florida is a hotspot for shopping. The charming 5th Avenue South, just a few blocks from the waterfront, is packed with traditional stores and cafes, offering a real boutique retail experience. Miromar Outlets, meanwhile, is a large shopping complex with designer and budget brands, with everything from bags to blouses.
Florida's hub for culture and shopping offers an eclectic range of shops to suit all budgets, centering around Collins Avenue between 15th and 3rd streets. South Beach's Lincoln Road also hosts an array of lovely stores selling clothes, electronics, and accessories.