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Looking for ways to beat the heat with making the trek to the beaches? Here are 5 great alternatives the typical family weekend beach trip!

Last updated 7 years ago

Weeki Wachee Springs and Buccaneer Bay Water Park: This state park has an abundance of summer fun - boat rides, animal shows and living mermaids, of course. The allure of the water rides at Buccaneer Bay is worth the extra cost of admission, bringing the total to $26 for those over 13 years, and $12 for kids. The park also has picturesque, shaded picnic areas along the water.

Ginnie Springs: Located just outside of High Springs, this privately owned oasis is home to seven separate natural springs along the Santa Fe River. The admission of $3 for children under 14, and $12 for adults, gains access to a beautiful campground, and more importantly the crystal-clear 72-degree waters. Whether you choose to swim, snorkel, tube or scuba dive is up to you, but Ginnie Springs' reasonable rental prices allow for an extremely eventful and enjoyable trip.

Sulphur Springs Pool: This swimming complex is miles away from your average public pool. Located in central Tampa, this 7,300-square-foot pool is a favorite with kids because of its splash zone, waterfall and water slide. The grounds also feature a volleyball court, playground, picnic tables and grills. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children and seniors.

Crystal River swim with manatees: Departing 7 a.m. daily, manatee tours guarantee interaction with these amazing Florida animals. Get a close look at the friendly sea cows in their natural environment, and enjoy the opportunity to make a connection with a wild animal that will never be forgotten. Even better, a percentage of the excursion cost goes to a charitable organization that protects the manatees of Citrus County and educates businesses on waste handling.

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park: A great and completely free way to beat the heat, this new addition to downtown Tampa is the perfect way to spend the day. Built using sustainable construction, this beautiful urban design is home to a plethora of play areas and activities. Two different interactive fountains are on the property, as well as a dog park, trails, live performances and pavilions


Try for other great summer ideas!  Enjoy!



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