The best things to do in Florida this summer from theme parks to manatee boat rides

With the Gulf’s fantastic beaches, amazing wildlife and myriad golf courses, it’s no surprise Florida is always a favorite for a holiday of sun and fun.

But the Sunshine State is also incredibly diverse — and nowhere more so than Orlandothe city whose allure is world-renowned theme parks, fantastic outdoor adventures and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Experience it all on a paddleboard adventure


Experience it all on a paddleboard adventure

Therefore, a vacation in Orlando is just right for every traveler. So take advantage of the unbeatable offers that are available now travel republicone of the UK’s most established online travel agencies.

Get a ticket to one of Florida's many theme parks


Get a ticket to one of Florida’s many theme parks

It’s Orlando, but not as we know it

Orlando and its theme parks cover a surprisingly large area, so it helps to have a little local knowledge to understand it all.

Rachel Houston, a travel enthusiast and native of Orlando, recommends starting your vacation at Disney World Resort: the attraction that put Central Florida on the map.

“My family and I love Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios,” she says. “From the rides to the drinks at Oga’s Cantina, there’s something for everyone.”

Encounter manatees in their natural habitat


Encounter manatees in their natural habitat

water worlds

To truly immerse yourself in all that Orlando has to offer, you need to get off the tourist path every once in a while to combine the obvious attractions with something out of the ordinary.

“One of my favorite places to get away from the hustle and bustle is Wekiva Island,” says Rachel. “It’s north of Orlando, in Longwood, and they have kayaks and canoes for rent.

“Wekiva Island itself has a bar, live music, food truck, and a fire pit for when winter temperatures drop to 65 degrees and we Floridians get cold!”

Further north is Blue Spring State Park, another Rachel recommendation, where you can swim, fish, hike, kayak, and even spot manatees.

These gentle giants can also be seen underwater at the Crystal River The real manatee adventure in Florida* The tour ensures an unforgettable snorkeling experience.

Stay on the wildlife theme with the Great Florida Birding Trail—which includes 17 Orlando-area locations—where you’ll encounter bushes of bald eagles, burrowing owls, cranes and pink spoonbills.

Florida's waterways await


Florida’s waterways await

Alternatively, get some adrenaline pumping in the great outdoors Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure, south of Orlando. It combines whizzing through the wetlands with a safari element — searching for freshwater turtles and alligators in their natural habitat.

More leisurely boat trips are available closer to town. “There’s a fantastic scenic boat tour of the chain of lakes around Winter Park,” reveals Rachel.

“You can rent a boat for a private group or take others past waterfront villas before being dropped off near Park Avenue to explore the shops and restaurants.

“For food and drink, I recommend Ava, ABO (Atlantic Beer & Oyster) and The Wine Room.”

global food

Other restaurants throughout Orlando worth visiting include the Bull & Bear at the Waldorf Astoria for fine dining.

Or try one of the 40 restaurants featured in the latest Michelin Guide, covering a wide range of cuisines, from Ethiopian at Selam and American at Maxine’s on Shine to Filipino at Kaya and Japanese with a Florida twist at Soseki.

Take a small step into history at Kennedy Space Center


Take a small step into history at Kennedy Space Center

Beyond Orlando

To make your Florida vacation even more fun, add day trips and attractions to your wish list, such as visiting the Kennedy Space Center on the east coast – plus one airboat ride* on the nearby St. Johns River and Lake Poinsett – or with speedboat dolphin watching on the West Coast Clearwater’s Sea Screamer.*

Need more inspiration for putting together your dream Orlando vacation? Find great deals on flights, accommodation and attractions at Travel Republic.

So join the more than one million holidaymakers each year who trust Travel Republic to create their ideal, one-of-a-kind sun vacation.

room for manoeuvre

Orlando offers great accommodations for all tastes and budgets

If you want to spend some money, you can choose one of the most luxurious hotels in Orlando: the Waldorf Astoria. It’s sophisticated and elegant, and comes with perks like free shuttle service and early entry to Disney parks.

A shuttle service to all major parks is also a benefit for guests Wyndham Orlando Resort near Celebration, a purpose built small town with lots of charm. Resort fees are waived for stays of eight nights or more when booking through Travel Republic. You can stay seven nights room only (with British Airways direct flights from London Gatwick) from 6 September 2023 from £770 per person, based on two adults sharing.

Let the theme parks come to you Caribbean Royale, another option in the Disney area whose free-form pool has its own waterslide. Here, a seven night stay including direct flights on Aer Lingus from Manchester from 4th September 2023 costs from £937 per person, based on two adults sharing.

Stay even closer to the action Rosen Plaza Hotellocated on the attraction-rich International Drive.

You can opt for a self-catering stay in Kissimmee Margaritaville Resort Orlando Cottages, whose one- to eight-bedroom condos are a rarity in Orlando. A 7 day short break using direct flights with Aer Lingus from Manchester, departing 9th October 2023, costs from £1,312 per person, based on two adults sharing a room.

Alternatively try it Championsgate Resort Platinum Homes, a gated community near the quirky Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. For seven nights and direct Aer Lingus flights from Manchester departing 25th September 2023 it costs from £1,214 per person based on two adults sharing a room.

A little cute sim pongie

Choose an eSIM and save

Make your Florida vacation an even bigger bargain by picking up one of Travel Republic’s cheap eSIMs.

These handy, fast and affordable digital cards come with personalized data plans to suit your needs, making them a fantastic way to stay connected without the need for a physical SIM card.



Book your Orlando vacation with travel republic – Bound atole. Rated excellent on Trustpilot.

*Get an exclusive 10% discount on select experiences (applied automatically at checkout). Read more about what Orlando has to offer Here



Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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