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Things to Do in Florida

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Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
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7 Tours and Activities

Pressed in our collective memory, the Titanic means more to us than a giant ship that simply sank—its sinking was the defining moment for an era, the end to runaway idealism while signaling a return to pragmatism for the American people. With 10 full-scale room recreations, over 100 artifacts recovered from the real Titanic (including 21 that have never been seen by the public until now), character actors and tour guides, a dinner show and intense interactive exhibits, Titanic the Experience in Orlando offers what other museums cannot—a gripping, immersive and real-world connection to this defining moment in history.

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Hard Rock Cafe Key West
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The Hard Rock Cafe is famous for its many locations in cities around the world, and its Hard Rock Key West is the Southernmost member of the chain in the continental United States. The cafe is primely located in the center of the action on Duval Street, and features the American cuisine and rock ’n’ roll memorabilia of its other restaurants — but with a tropical twist. Boots from Jimi Hendrix, a velvet jacket from Stevie Nicks, and a Les Paul guitar that was broken in concert by the band Nine Inch Nails are showcased, among others.

It’s particularly evident how special this Hard Rock Cafe is when dining al fresco on their patio, where you can feel the ocean breeze. Whether you go for a fruity cocktail or a full dinner, the Hard Rock Cafe Key West blends seamlessly into its surroundings. Accompanied by music playing from the stereo or one of the live entertainment acts, it may be the ultimate cheeseburger in paradise.

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WonderWorks Orlando
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A firm departure from the everyday, WonderWorks Orlando offers what most attractions cannot – a spin on this thing we call reality. Built to resemble an upside-down laboratory, this science museum offers over 100 hands-on exhibits built to test your belief of what is real and what is illusion. Filled with “oh, wow” moments that include rope obstacle courses, zip lines and laser tag, WonderWorks Orlando is an engaging step into science and discovery – one that will leave the whole family full of wonder.

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Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
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The ideal destination for curious people of all ages, the Museum of Science & Industry offers numerous exhibits and attractions designed to pique one's scientific interest.

With over 450 hands-on attractions, MOSI offers a unique interactive experience to its visitors. Feel free to lie down on a "bed of nails," allow a butterfly to land on your shoulder in the "Bioworks Butterfly Garden," enjoy an astronomy show in the Saunders Planetarium, or take a ride on the famous "High Wire Bike," suspended on a cable 30 feet (9 meters) above the ground. No matter how daring you are or how interested in science, the museum offers engaging opportunities designed to draw in visitors of all ages. "Kids in Charge!,"the largest children's science center in the United States, is the perfect place to bring those in the 12-and-under crowd. The attractions there emphasize the value of learning through play by bringing together science and creative thinking, and inspiring the imagination.

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SEA LIFE® Orlando
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Sea Life Orlando is a brand new attraction in the city that only opened in May 2015. Roughly 40,000 gallons of water and 45,000 pounds of sand make up the home of over 5000 sea creatures, including green sea turtles, jellyfish, seahorses, black tip reef sharks and colorful clownfish. Some of the activities that visitors to the facilities can take part in include the Interactive Rockpool, where you can touch starfish, spot hermit crabs and learn about coastal rock pools as well as the Atlantic Ocean Exhibit with its 360-degree tunnel. There, guests can admire sharks and exotic fish from all angles and watch rays float gracefully overhead. Regular talks combined with feeding times let children and adults learn more about the animals as well. It’s a good idea to schedule a visit around those feeding times, as the wildlife will be the most active during those hours.

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Miami Design District
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The Miami Design District is dedicated to innovative fashion, design, architecture and dining. The area juxtaposes design brands with restaurants, international art collections and permanent and temporary art installations, while its new buildings exist with transformed historic ones. Design showrooms fill the area, including Holly Hunt, Knoll, Luminaire Contract and Ann Sacks, while retailers like Christian Louboutin, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Prada also saw the potential for the area and have opened stores here.

The neighborhood continues to evolve, and new renovations continue with additional luxury brands like Givenchy, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Van Cleef & Arpels slated to open shop. The long-term dream for the district is for it to exist as a renowned destination for cutting-edge fashion, art, design and culture, while maintaining its commitment to creative experiences.

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Las Olas Beach
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For a top Fort Lauderdale beach experience head to Las Olas Beach. The sand is soft and white and the water is clean and calm, making it a great beach for families. In fact, even the most apprehensive swimmers appreciate this attraction’s warm translucent waves. Visitors to the beach enjoy sunbathing, swimming and body boarding. Don’t worry if you don’t have beach chairs or umbrellas, as they are available to rent for a fee (about $20 for an umbrella and $12 for a chair per day).

Because of Las Olas Beach’s popularity those who want a quieter experience should go earlier in the morning, while those craving something more lively should go in the afternoon and early evening. On the weekends the beach can get wild, especially as there are many bars around.

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More Things to Do in Florida

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

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If you want to scream your lungs out on a steel roller coaster, only to get off and come face to face with a giraffe, Busch Gardens is probably the place for you. An exciting and surprising hybrid between a zoo and a theme park, Busch Gardens perfectly blends the serene beauty of the wild with the thrilling excitement of amusement park rides. Half of the Gardens offers the attractions of an African safari, where one can see over 3,000 different animals spread out over the park's 335 acre (136 hectare) grounds. Animal attractions range from a bird observatory to a tug-of-war competition with a tiger. Just as diverse as the animal selection are the ride choices, which include huge roller coasters, a white water rapids ride, and a zip line, among many other options. There are also countless other shows, restaurants, and attractions sprinkled throughout the park, making it the perfect place for the entire family to enjoy a day of fun.
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Harry S. Truman Little White House

Harry S. Truman Little White House

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Located in what is now called the Truman Annex in Old Town Key West, the Harry Truman Little White House was the winter White House for President Truman for a total of 175 days over the course of 11 visits. However, Truman is not the only president and notable figure to enjoy some respite in Key West.

The house originally served as the base commandant’s house for the naval submarine station at Key West. President Taft was the first to visit in 1912 and Thomas Edison resided in the house during World War I. Over the years, six American presidents have used the residence, but the most important usage was by President Harry Truman from 1946 -1952. Due to advances in technology, Truman realized that he could continue to act on matters of importance outside of Washington, D.C. and thus, the Little White House became his home from November-December and February-March, allowing the president a time of rest and recuperation.

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Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

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No coastal city would be complete without its own shipwreck legends, and Key West is no exception. The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum allows you to explore artifacts from some of the most famous ships that went down in the Florida Keys.

The shipwrecks are mostly from merchant and slave ships in the 17th and 18th centuries. The artifacts on board serve as a window to the past, revealing a great deal about trade, colonization, slavery, and even daily life from the time period. One of the most famous ships to run aground in the Keys, the Henrietta Marie, is believed to be the world’s largest source of tangible objects from the early years of the slave trade. A visit to the museum lets you view historical artifacts in an new way, as the shipwreck legacy casts an eerie and exciting feeling over the objects.

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Clematis Street

Clematis Street

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Clematis Street is right at the historic heart of West Palm Beach and is home to some of the area’s best restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Busy by day and perhaps even busier by night, the colorful district is home to twelve historic landmarks that tell the story of the area. Detailed architecture represents centuries of eclectic styles, while the many fountains and gardens (along with oceanfront location) make this an especially scenic spot. Boutiques line the street, which is full of antique shops, restaurants, art galleries, and cafes (Antique Row features 40 specialty shops alone.) Boats dock at the floating pier at the water’s edge, and year-round water sports and activities can be launched from nearby. By night there are often live music performances or music booming from one of many nightclubs. The area is known for its nightlife particularly on Thursday nights, when it transforms into a lively street party called ‘Clematis By Night.’

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Rickenbacker Trail

Rickenbacker Trail

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Rickenbacker Trail is considered one of the best places for biking in Miami. Spanning the entire island of Key Biscayne, the 8.5-mile path includes well-known spots like Virginia Key Beach, Crandon Park and the Miami Seaquarium, and begins in southern Miami before continuing south along Rickerbacker Causeway/Crandon Boulevard.

There are picnic areas, coastal dunes and even an amusement center at the popular Crandon Park, which sits at the northern end of the trail. Visitors often snorkel, kayak and hike here, or visit the museum and historical lighthouse. Another spot is Bill Baggs Cape State Park, which includes one of the more low-key beaches along the trail. If you stop in Virginia Key, there are beverage, snack, and ice cream vending machines on site. Be sure to try smoked fish at Jimbo’s, a tiny restaurant shack that has earned quite a reputation.

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Medieval Torture Museum

Medieval Torture Museum

3 Tours and Activities
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Las Olas Boulevard

Las Olas Boulevard

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Beginning from the beach, Las Olas Boulevard is a main thoroughfare of the Fort Lauderdale with numerous upscale shops, restaurants, and galleries. Lined beautifully with tall palm trees, it’s a beautiful hotspot of activity both by day and night. The ten main blocks that run from the ocean through to the city are well decorated with antique lamp posts, olive trees (with twinkling lights at night,) and Mediterranean style architecture. Many of the area’s best restaurants are located here, several offering al fresco dining as a way to take in the fresh air.

Shoppers can find more than 65 retail stores along the boulevard, while art lovers can enjoy the many museums and galleries. Nightlife comes to life every evening as well, when bars and restaurants become especially lively. Those looking for a scenic stroll would do well to walk along the eastern side of the boulevard, which is lined with canals and some of the area’s most beautiful homes.

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Jungle Island

Jungle Island

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Jungle Island (formerly Parrot Jungle Island) is a glorious homage to tourism kitsch. This is one of those places kids beg to go, so just give up and prepare for some bright-feathered, bird-scented fun. Actually, the 18 acre (7 hectare) waterfront facility, lushly landscaped and using a minimum of pesticides, is pretty impressive, thanks in part to the parrots, macaws, flamingos, and cockatoos flying about in outdoor aviaries.

The Cape Penguin colony is especially cute, as is Crocosaurus, a 20 foot (6 meter) long saltwater crocodile that lives in Serpentarium. Other critters include snakes, crocodiles, gibbons and orangutans, not to mention tortoises, iguanas, and a rare albino alligator on exhibit. You can even see animals in action, as Jungle Island host a number of shows starring roller-skating cockatoos, card-playing macaws, and numerous stunt-happy parrots. Nearby is Pinecrest Gardens, which has a petting zoo, mini-water park, and a lake.

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Universal's Islands of Adventure

Universal's Islands of Adventure

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Take an unforgettable journey through uniquely themed islands where your favorite adventures come to life. Soar above Hogwarts™ in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Hogsmeade™, help save the city on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®, and escape the jaws of a T-rex on the Jurassic Park River Adventure®.

Plus, with a Park-to-Park admission ticket you can ride between both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ on the HogwartsSM Express.*

HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s14)

*Additional restrictions apply. © MARVEL. Jurassic Park River Adventure ® Universal Studios/Amblin. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2014 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

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