Ocala has a lot of fun activities they offer throughout the whole year from festivals to markets. As we are nearing the summer, I wanted to share four of our favorite things to do in the local area. These activities are great for families and couples.
Kayaking on Silver Springs or Swim at Rainbow Springs
Winter and spring are our favorite times to kayak, but if you pick a cool morning during the summer it would still be a blast! We recommend checking out Get up and Go Kayaking as it’s our favorite company for kayaking. Their kayaks are clear so you can see everything from them and the tour lasts 2 hours. Silver Springs is one of the few springs that you can still find manatees in throughout the year. Silver Springs also offers glass bottom boat tours as well. Rainbow Springs is another great spring that is about 40 minutes from Ocala and offers swimming, tubing and kayaking. You can also do a tour with Get up and Go Kayaking at that spring as well which includes swimming too.
Zip Lining at Zip the Canyons
This is such a fun activity if you love adventure! They have several different zip lining courses that they offer. I would plan for a cool day or an early morning during the summer as it does get warm in the afternoon. They also offer horse back riding as well.
World Equestrian Center Horse Shows
The World Equestrian Center is a world class equestrian center. They have several free shows throughout the summer going on in the evenings to check out. Plus you can grab a bite to eat at one of their many restaurants they have while you’re there.
Lake Weir is a 30 minute drive from Ocala and has so much to offer for the summer! Check out Eaton’s Beach while there and you can also rent a boat for the day! It’s the perfect summer activity!
5. Sky Zone
This is a great one for kids during the summer to keep cool and have fun! At sky zone you can jump on trampolines, play dodgeball, be a ninja warrior on their course, and they even have a toddler zone.
There are so many different fun activities to still enjoy in Ocala during the summer months. Remember to pack your fan and sunscreen and stay cool! Check out my other blog post on our favorite things to do and see in Ocala, FL!
Central Florida is a highly visited place and when we think of central Florida we think of Disney and Universal Studios. However, central Florida has so many other fun things to do and offer and many of them are a more affordable experience or activity than the major theme parks. I wanted to share our top five favorite activities and adventures in central Florida besides Disney World.
1. Check out Florida’s natural springs
A great activity to check out in central Florida is tubing or kayaking down one of central Florida’s many natural springs. There are several in the surrounding area including Blue Springs, Rock Springs, Juniper Springs, Rainbow Springs, and Silver Springs. They are all so beautiful and great places to explore at an affordable price. Blue Springs offers tubing and kayaking and it’s not a very far drive from Orlando. Some of the springs offer tubing, while others offer kayaking and swimming. You can check out my other blog post on kayaking at Rainbow and Silver Springs.
2. Icon Park
Icon park is a great place to take your kids for the day with tons of activities, shops, and restaurants. Plus they have different events they put on throughout the year as well. You can get a play pass which includes several of the attractions there or you can check out the individual attractions which include the Orlando Wheel, Museum of Illusions, Aquarium, Wax museum, and other rides as well.
3. Disney Springs
If you’re looking for a less expensive way to experience Disney but still with fun for the family Disney Springs is the way to go. They have several restaurants and shops to check out as well as tons of live free entertainment too! When we are wanting to do Disney Springs on a budget we grab pizza from Blaze. There are lots of different types of restaurants in Disney Springs to check out and you could even plan to just grab dessert there and walk around the shops. During different seasons they have fun activities for kids to check out too.
4. Discovery Cove
This experience is definitely an unforgettable one and one that is worth planning for and spending the money on it. It has been one of the most memorable places Corbin and I have been together. It’s an all inclusive day resort with food and snacks provided all day at no additional cost. You get to experience a tropical paradise for the whole day with your family which includes several wildlife and aquatic life encounters. I highly recommend checking their site out when they are having sales etc. and also adding the dolphin swim onto your package as it’s a well worth it experience. They are currently running specials for FL residents. You can check out my full blog post on Discovery Cove under my Travel Category for more info on it.
5. Top Golf
My family and I love going to top golf and Orlando has a huge facility for it. At top golf you get to play golf without being on a golf course. It’s a fun time for families especially with teens and older kids. You can even order snacks and food while you’re there. My husband and I love going with friends and it really is just a fun and relaxing experience. Make sure to book a bay in advance though since the Orlando one can be pretty busy.
There is so much to explore and check out in central Florida! Be sure to checkout my other blog posts under the travel category about more places throughout FL and fun activities!
It’s hard to believe that we are in the month of April and that summer is coming soon! Our baby girl Turner will be making her arrival in about a month and we can’t wait to meet her! We made a trip to Lynchburg, VA in August 2021 which is where I grew up and spent 10 years of my life and also where my husband and I met as well. We experienced a miscarriage shortly after this trip so I had a difficult time wanting to share this post, but would love to share our guide with you now! We both attended Liberty University in Lynchburg and met there. We revisited several places from my childhood and from college, but also tried out some new restaurants while we were there. We also tried to make our hotel reservations budget friendly but also explored some of the nicer places to stay there as well.
There are so many different restaurants in Lynchburg and we couldn’t explore them all since we were there for a short weekend trip, but here are some of our favorites from when we lived there as well as places we tried this trip too.
Iron and Ale
The Water Dog
Isabella’s Italian Trattoria
The Neighbors Place
La Villa Italian Restaurant
The Crown Sterling
Millie’s Living Cafe
Texas Inn/Texas T Room
Market at Main
My Dog Duke’s Diner
Fifth and Federal Station
Blue Ridge Bagels
La Vida Coffee + Market
White Hart Cafe
The Muse Coffee
Dublin 3 Coffeehouse
Bean Tree Cafe
Mission House Coffee
Golf Park Coffee Co
5th Street Grind
Rolled Cold Creamery
Mister Goodies Ice Cream
Things to do
Putt Putt Fun Center
Crab Tree Falls
Sharp Top and Round Top
Devi’s Marble Yard
Liberty University/Freedom Tower
Liberty Skii Lodge
Lynchburg Community Market
Places to Stay
The Virginian Hotel
Tru by Hilton Lynchburg
Craddock Terry Hotel
Acorn Hill Lodge
Hilton Garden Inn
There is so much to do and see while you’re there! One of our favorites though is all of the hiking there, especially exploring the Peaks of Otter and Crab Tree Falls. Both of those hikes are beautiful and so memorable.
We hope to make it back there someday with our baby girl and show her some of our favorite places! Let us know in the comments if we missed any favorite spots in Lynchburg and be sure to follow us along on this blog for more travel adventures and updates on our life!
Tampa, FL is a top destination in Florida and there is a lot to see while you’re visiting there! I compiled our favorite things to do while visiting Tampa along with the best places to stay.
We love exploring downtown Tampa and there sure is a lot to explore. There are several restaurants, shops, events, and unique spots. Some of our favorites include:
Tampa Museum of Art
There is so much to do and see downtown. One of our favorites is the Florida Aquarium. It’s a great activity rain or shine and has so much to do and see, especially for kids. It’s around $34 for adults and $29 for kids. It’s open Monday-Sunday 9:30 am to 5 pm. You can explore their many habitats including our favorites the Wetlands of Florida and Coral Reef.
Yacht Starship Cruises
This needs to be at the top of your list for date night during your stay in Tampa. This is probably one of our favorite date nights yet in any city. You get to experience life on a yacht for a 2 hour cruise. They have several cruises to choose from whether you want a brunch, just to enjoy drinks, or dinner. We recommend doing the dinner cruise to get the full experience.
This is another great fun activity to check out for family fun in Tampa. They have so many different animals to see and fun activities including a bird show where birds fly over your head. Our favorite part was the Penguin encounter. They have several extra up close encounters that you can pick from for an extra charge but are so worth it. They also have several rides to help you cool off during the day. It’s $50 for 12 and up for admission to the zoo and the encounters are $20-$30 depending on which encounter you choose.
You must check out the Ybor which is the old historic Tampa downtown that has been redone but still has the historic feel. There are a bunch of shops and restaurants to check out and it has such a fun vibe. We love Mayday Ice cream here and highly recommend checking it out!
Tampa has a lot to offer and is a really fun and exciting city to check out! Be sure to check out our blog posts on two of our favorite places to stay in downtown Tampa and our unique date night idea for Tampa under our travel category.
Florida has many beautiful springs throughout the state. You can visit any of the springs anytime of year since the water stays 72 degrees. You can kayak, paddle board, and swim at many of them. We absolutely love kayaking in a clear kayak with get up and go. They have several locations to kayak and it’s such a fun activity.
We had the opportunity to kayak at Three Sister Springs last summer and it was a blast! Three sister springs is connected to crystal river which is connected to the gulf side of Florida. When you kayak with get up and go, you first kayak part of Crystal River to get to Three Sister Springs. It’s called three sister because there are three springs connected.
The best time to kayak is November through March as it’s manatee season. You will see lots of manatees all year round. You will see the most though during manatee season. We saw some manatees and dolphins in the river when going during the summer as well. Be ready for a good arm workout!
It costs $60 per person to kayak with get up and go. It’s so worth it for a 2 hour tour with a tour guide and you also can see everything with the clear kayak. This is one of our favorite FL spring and fall activities and we highly recommend checking out all of the local springs. Be sure to check out my other posts about Kayaking on Silver Springs and Rainbow Springs and follow us for more Florida travels.