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J_Joel Oct 29th, 2014 09:24 PM

Best way to see South & Central Florida in a week.
Hello - We are spending the first week of January exploring South/Central Florida, after spending a week in the keys.

We are thinking of the Everglades, going to "See Winter" at the Aquarium in Tampa area, and then a final stop to Epcot before heading home. Is this too ambitious? We will have 5 days to do this.

For the Everglades, would like to find a place that encompasses canoeing/kayaking. Any suggestions there?

Thanks all!

J Joel

Ackislander Oct 30th, 2014 02:29 AM

Everglades City and Chokoluskee on the west side of the Everglades National Park are fascinating places, and there is lodging in Everglades City.

You can certainly canoe and kayak in the Ten Thousand Islands, and I think there is a canoe "trail" from the National Par Headquarters. I would want something marked because pretty much every one of the 10K Islands looks like every other island.

When you cross the Turner River on US 41, stop to look at the alligators. But don't kayak there: these guys are wild!

Frankly, I can't think of anything in Central Florida worth seeing except along US 27 (once in your lifetime to see orange groves) and Mt Dora and environs. But I am not a fan of theme parks.

J_Joel Nov 3rd, 2014 09:45 PM

Thanks for your help. We're from So California so Disneyworld is not on our list, but Epcot is. Will assume one day will be enough there. And yes, we have seen orange groves

Thanks for the info on Everglades. Will make a special note of the areas you suggested.


Dukey1 Nov 3rd, 2014 11:11 PM

Depending on your actual interests you can do EPCOT in a long day and you may as well stay on for the fireworks show at closing.

NeoPatrick Nov 4th, 2014 05:19 AM

Minor point, but Epcot IS part of Disneyworld. I think you simply meant that "Magic Kingdom" is what you aren't interested in.

gmoney Nov 4th, 2014 08:38 AM


Just so you know Disney World is made up of 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom). Also, Winter is at the Clearwater Aquarium not at the Tampa Aquarium. You should be able to do all this in 5 days.

flpab Nov 9th, 2014 05:45 PM

Epcot is my favorite of the parks. The fireworks/laser show is great at night and as Dukey said stay and see this. Central Fl has a lot of great things to see and do but you didn't ask about that but must add we are more than Disney and the theme parks.

J_Joel Nov 9th, 2014 10:43 PM

Thank you all. I am glad we should be able to do see a lot in the 5 days. I need to learn more about Epcot. We are two empty nesters, no grandkids, so probably a day at EPCOT would be more than enough (with fireworks of course). And yes we do want to see Winter. Have relatives living in the Sarasota area that we want to visit with, so seems like Clearwater will be a good destination for us.

So flpab, if we headed from the Everglades to Sarasota/Clearwater area and then on to Epcot, anything else we don't want to miss?

Thanks again

Dukey1 Nov 10th, 2014 11:40 AM

TTT for Travel Agent Flpab

flpab Nov 10th, 2014 02:14 PM

Jan is a good time to see Manatees. I have swam with them back in the day but now they don't like you to do that. They would swim up to you and want you to scratch them. So sweet.


Living with the Land - interesting
The American Adventure - good
The Seas with Nemo & Friends- ok

Mission: SPACE Orange - Don't do if you have motion sickness
Morocco Pavilion -ok
Mexico Pavilion - it is Mexico, ok
United Kingdom Pavilion - Good beer pub
O Canada! - See the imax film- many people like to eat here.

Test Track Presented by Chevrolet - VERY FUN!!!
Impressions de France - Best bakery
Norway Pavilion -Do the ride there.
China Pavilion -ok
Ellen's Energy Adventure - must be new
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth - at night laser show and fireworks *****
Reflections of China
Spaceship Earth- must do
Japan Pavilion - good sushi
Germany Pavilion - great brats and beer
Agent P's World Showcase Adventure- have not done
Italy Pavilion- fun
France Pavilion - good restaurant but need reservations leaving the Keys this is very I interesting.

Orlando has Winter Park. One of the loveliest old Florida cities. Great museums, downtown area and good restaurants.
Airboat rides are a must do for many, Very fun and you can find them many places in Central Fl.

I live on the east coast but you don't really have time but we have great beaches. Canaveral Seashore, Playalinda beach is the best imo.

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