Make that list and check it twice. Yes, the "twice" comes in handy because we're still utilizing the "to do" list from last years June/July issue courtesy of Adventures with Ben. From theme parks to tubing, Ben has the ideas to turn your ho-hum summer to must-do summer in the sunshine state. What are you waiting for, dive in below:
Photo Garrett Frandsen
1. Miami Beach
From the architecture on Ocean Drive, the nightlife at some of the country's top clubs and pristine beaches, Miami never disappoints. And if you're traveling with a group of friends, split the cost of a hotel room at the Fontainebleau or The Perry (formerly the Gansevoort) for great pools, people watching and luxury indulgence.
2. Tubing Down the Rainbow River
On the exact opposite end of the spectrum from Miami Beach, is tubing down the Rainbow River. Caravan up with your cars loaded with inner tubes (or rent on-site), a picnic lunch and your swim suit and drift lazily down the refreshingly crisp and clear Rainbow River. Arrive early as parking fills up fast and leave your worries behind. A must-do for any local.
3. Silver Moon Drive-In
Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to go to a drive-in movie theater. Unfortunately, they are few and far between. But an hour from Orlando, in the City of Lakeland, you'll find the Silver Moon Drive-In. And it's so perfect, like I always imagined it to be. For just $4 per person, you get a double feature with first-run movies. You can't get a better deal than that! Bring your lawn chairs, dinner (or purchase at the snack shop) and cuddle up with that special someone. It's a gem that you'll want to visit over and over again.
4. The Daily City Food Truck Bazaars
In the past year, Orlando's Food Truck scene has exploded. And while it's not a long-distance trip per se, it's always an adventure. It's not uncommon to see 20-30 trucks lined up ready to please the most discriminating of taste buds. From BBQ to fish, cupcakes to tacos, home-style comfort food and everything else imaginable, it's always a win at the food truck bazaars. You never know who you'll run into and what culinary treasures you'll discover.
5. Theme Park Events
Sure the theme parks are the big behemoths in town that sometimes are criticized for their saccharin-like take on reality and out-of-control prices, but they are a sure-fire crowd pleaser when family from out of town comes to visit. Plus, if you visit for a special event like the Epcot Food & Wine festival, you get a bit more value for your dollar. The nighttime shows are just fantastic and Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village is one of the best restaurants in the area.