Florida's Gulf Coast holidays - Slow-paced, sun-soaked and fun
The Gulf Coast is every family’s dream beachside destination. Home to family-friendly hotels, outdoor recreation and fabulous shopping and dining, this is a great region to explore after the excitement of Orlando.
Discover fabulous beaches, cool culture and great recreation
After spending a week or so enjoying the thrills of Orlando’s theme parks, drive a couple of hours to the Gulf Coast region to keep the fun going and get a little bit of relaxation, too. This is your chance to take the Floridian lifestyle a little slower, but still do more than just sunbathing – think water sports by the beach, testing your swing on a golf course or pampering yourself at a spa.
In the south you’ll find fantastic beachside cities and neighbourhoods that adopt this slow-paced way of life. Fort Myers is ideal for those who love to spend their time in the water, offering brilliant water sports including parasailing, kayaking and dolphin watching. Meanwhile, Cape Coral boasts great fishing experiences and the popular Sun Splash Family waterpark that the whole family will enjoy. Sanibel’s sunsets are not to be missed, and there is a peaceful fishing village vibe with shelling activities, seafood restaurants and fishing.
It’s not all beaches in the south – Naples is perfect for sophisticated travellers looking for boutique and designer shopping, whilst Marco Island offers close proximity to the alligator abundant Everglades and luxurious resorts overlooking unspoilt parks.
The North Gulf Coast is just as enticing, and is home to some of Florida’s best beaches. St Pete Clearwater is ever popular with families and couples alike, especially Pier 60 that provides performers, musicians, and incredible views of the sunset at the daily Pier 60 Festival.
The sunshine is always beaming at Tampa Bay, a city known for its almost year-round sunshine and its array of museums, galleries and of course Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Nature lovers will be delighted at the many natural sights to be seen including loggerhead turtles, manatees and dolphins; we’d recommend taking a boat trip to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Sarasota is for culture enthusiasts, home to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which pays homage to the Ringling’s, the family behind America’s most famous circus.