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The Florida Aquarium - Tampa
Robert Carpenter, writer
Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Aquarium in Bradenton
 

FlaTrips.com  is a valuable information resource for anyone wanting to discover a new change-of-pace Florida getaway.We highlight unique festivals and events, museums, state parks, gardens and preserves, cultural and historical attractions, night life, historic lodgings, even free and inexpensive fun things to do.

Northwest Florida
 
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Fort Barrancas – Pensacola Bay

Your visit to this National Park will not only reveal history, but unparalleled beauty. On a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay sits Fort Barrancas. The natural advantages inspired engineers of three nations to build forts on this location. The British built the Royal Navy Redoubt here in 1763 of earth and logs. The Spanish built two forts here around 1797. Bateria de San Antonio was a masonry water battery at the foot of the bluff. Above it was earth and log Fort San Carlos de Barrancas. American engineers remodeled the Water Battery in 1840 and built a masonry fort on the bluff between 1839 and 1844, connected by a tunnel to the Water Battery. This is the current Fort Barrancas: a $1.2 million, eighteen-month restoration project which reopened in 1980...more.
 
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Fort Pickens – Pensacola Bay

 
For centuries, cannons fired devastating iron balls at ships made of wood, and it was sufficient to build armed forts to guard the principal harbors, rivers, and naval yards of the United States. That used to be our Homeland Security...more.



 
Northeast Florida

          3rd Annual Great Southern Tailgate Cook-off
                                   Amelia Island


Bring your appetite to Main Beach Park on Amelia Island on August 24 and 25. Here you’ll enjoy live music by local and regional bands while experiencing the thrill of the barbeque competition…and learn some barbeque tricks to show off at your own tailgate parties...more.

The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) - Jacksonville

Since the Museum of Science & History opened its doors in 1948, space science education has been a top priority. In November 2010, MOSH unveiled a completely renovated Alexander Brest Space Theater (with a 60-foot dome and seating for 200 where you can explore far-off galaxies) A new Konica Minolta Super MediaGlobe II in the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium gives maximum viewing pleasure. Or you might visit the Florida Naturalist’s Center, which houses their collection of live northeastern Florida animals, or stroll back through 12,000 years of northeast Florida history...more.

 

       

                (West) Central Florida

                   The Florida Aquarium - Tampa


At the Florida Aquarium you can discover over 20,000 aquatic plants and animals which represents over 600 different species as a bystander or you can jump in and become part of the exhibit as part of their enhanced guest experience programs. Guests 6 and older can Swim with the Fishes and certified SCUBA divers 15 and older can face massive sharks in their largest exhibit during Dive with the Sharks...more.

 

                    Ybor City Museum State Park

 

It’s safe to say that the Ybor City Museum is the only State Park located in a vintage bakery. It is located in one of only two Florida National Historical Landmark Districts, and is one of few urban State Parks—settings without a natural expanse of forestry and water. The park is only a small assortment of buildings and a courtyard, although they represent a large segment in the chronicles of Tampa and the ensuing Ybor City history...more.

 

 

                 

Southwest Florida
 
De Soto National Memorial - Bradenton

Hernando De Soto, in May of 1539, landed somewhere on Florida’s Gulf coast south of Tampa Bay. Where Bradenton’s 75th Street West dead ends at the water may not be the precise location, but it’s close enough, and has been designated the national memorial site for this early North  American explorer...more.
 
South Florida Museum - Bradenton

The exterior of South Florida Museum is classy. The size of the building too, is impressive, taking up a whole block of downtown Bradenton’s waterfront district. Judging from the street, you would expect extraordinary displays assembled amidst the massive interior, and you would not be disappointed...more.
 

  Southeast Florida

                        17th Annual Key West Lobsterfest


Now is the time for all lobster lovers to visit Key West--to celebrate the opening of Lobster Season--where they throw the biggest party of the summer on August 10-12...more.
 

 

                                 Zoo Miami  

How long has it been since you’ve been to a zoo? The reference isn’t to one of those theme parks with some animal exhibits, but a real zoo. Of course, no one enjoys animals more than kids, so before school starts again maybe its time to consider a day at the Miami-Dade County Zoological Park and Gardens...more.