A New Year is a great time to reflect on how fast the previous year flew by. This realization can provide a much-needed adjustment in priorities, where making quality time for family moves to the top of the to-do list.
Although the world-famous mouse and a costly trip to his castle is at the top of every kid’s wish list, there are several other day-trip destinations for Jacksonville area residents where memories can be made for much less coin.
Here are 4 fun day trip or long weekend ideas that don’t come with as hefty a price tag:
1. Swim with the dolphins.
As the world’s first oceanarium, Marineland recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. This top Florida destination allows children of all ages the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures in a wide range of experiences -- from swimming in the water with dolphins to acting as trainer for a day, or even holding a canvas while dolphins paint a custom work of art! Be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
2. Go on a beach treasure hunt.
There are countless beaches in Florida where a beach scavenger hunt can provide hours of family fun. Less than 4 miles from Nocatee are the white sands of Ponte Vedra Beach. Be sure to print out a free scavenger hunt printable for each family member. If you really want to factor in the possibility of finding real treasure, explore the sands between Cape Canaveral and Stuart, where legend has it, 11 Spanish galleons carrying millions of dollars in gold, silver and jewelry all wrecked along Florida’s Atlantic coastline.
3. Take ziplining to the next level.
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm offers an unforgettable experience -- including ziplining through the park, right over the heads of hungry alligators. Crocodile Crossing offers two courses to choose from, the Sepik River Course with five zip lines about 20 feet high, or the Nile River Course with eleven ziplines and a height of 60 feet. Reservations are recommended.
4. Canoe in crystalline water.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park protects the northern part of the Ichetucknee River, a pristine body of water fed by eight natural springs. Hiking, swimming, snorkeling, tubing and scuba diving are also enjoyed in the park, where the water is clear and manatee sightings are common.
For more information on new homes in Nocatee, visit nocatee.com, call 1-800-NOCATEE or stop by the Nocatee Welcome Center.