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10 Awesome Florida Spring Break Destinations That Aren't Disney

March 03, 2022

Move over Mickey. Here's where you really want to go in Florida for spring break this year.

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Photo: Bradenton Area CVB

Fantastic Alternative Spring Break Destinations

Florida has long been a perennial favorite for families eager to escape the winter doldrums for a warm and breezy spring break getaway. Many flock to Walt Disney World, but given school breaks are among the most crowded times of year to visit the resort, you may find yourself spending more time in line and less time relaxing. There's a lot to do in Florida, so we've pulled together 10 of the most amazing spring break ideas for families (that aren't Disney).

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Photo: Miles Saunders / Discover Crystal River Florida

Crystal River

On Florida's Nature Coast, gentle manatees rule the waters. At Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, warm natural springs serve as a refuge for manatees in cool months thanks to a near-constant temperature of 72 degrees. Take in the wildlife from above by way of a quarter-mile boardwalk or get in the water on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. At nearby Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, a whimsical mermaid show will delight every member of the family. Stay at Plantation on Crystal River where you can book a manatee snorkeling tour to get up close with these gentle creatures in the Kings Bay estuary.

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Photo: JoNell Modys / Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB

Marco Island

For those eager to inject some learning into a spring break vacation, look to Marco Island on Florida's Gulf Coast. Here, budding marine biologists can help researchers catalog bottlenose dolphins as part of the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project. Expect to see upward of 20 playful dolphins splashing in the waves alongside the 30-foot Dolphin Explorer catamaran. When not seeking out dolphins, plan on shelling at Tigertail Beach at low tide. This pristine public beach is one of the best places to find rare, colorful seashells. Book a stay at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. They've got a kids’ camp and a bakery tour just for children.

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Photo: ICON Park


Orlando is practically synonymous with Mickey Mouse, but there's much more to do here. Book a stay on International Drive at CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort where you'll be right in the middle of everything, including ICON Park. It's home to top family attractions like SEA Life Orlando Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Arcade City and the iconic 400-foot tall ferris wheel, The Wheel at ICON Park. Be edu-tained at WonderWorks and stay for the Outta Control Magic Dinner Show. Looking for high flying adventures? The Orlando Circus School is less than two miles from ICON Park. Need a theme park? Universal Orlando's three uber-popular theme parks are a short drive.

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