Road Trips

Florida Itinerary 10 Days – Epic!

Miami Zoo Guide
Written by Town & Tourist

Florida Itinerary 10 Days – Florida is a large state with many options to satisfy any discerning traveller! From it’s exciting theme parks to the art deco history region & even the Everglades.

Planning your trip will depend upon who is in your group, couple, friends, family? Everyones interests? Budget? and what you wish to get out of your Florida vacation.

In this Itinerary, we have included the popular attractions in Florida, such as Orlando, Miami, Key West and the Everglades!

Day 1: Arrive in Orlando

Fly into Orlando International Airport, or drive down from a nearby state. Orlando is Theme park heaven! So if you have a family or are just a couple of adrenaline junkies, there will surely be something to excite you in Orlando.

From the Iconic Disney World Resort, to Universal Studios and even GatorLand! When we went to Orlando, we chose to head to Universal Studios & Gatorland partly because our kids weren’t really young and partly because we felt Universal Studios kept more people in our group happy.

Universal Studios Orlando:

Universal Studios Florida is an iconic and ever so Awesome theme park in Orlando. Having opening back in 1990, the park has grown from strength to strength & is now world renowned for its movies & TV themed rides. In addition to it’s entertainment shows, areas, shopping and character encounters!

universal-studios-entrance

universal-studios-entrance Orlando.

Here is a list of Attractions you must see: 

  • Studio Tour.
  • Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem.
  • Volcano Water Theme Park
  • Special Effects Show
  • Transformers: The Ride-3D.
  • Jurassic World: The Ride.
  • Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

How long should you spend at Universal Studios?

Universal Studios is not too large and can be squeezed into one day! However, if you are visiting during peak season, then you may wish to spend 2 days to avoid missing out.

If you have longer I would recommended staying at least 1 day for each Universal Orlando Theme Park. So that would be three days, which is a fantastic amount of time to really explore everything. Purchase a Park to Park Pass to get the best deal.

How many Theme Parks are at Universal Studios?

  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Universals Island of Adventure 
  • Universals Volcano Bay (Waterpark)

Which Theme Park is Better?

Islands of Adventure has more thrilling rides than shows, compared with Universal Studios Florida. Universal Studios has more kid friendly attractions & shows, great for young families.

Islands of Adventure has a few Water rides aswell. So as we were here for just 2 days we skipped Volcano Bay Water Park and concentrated purely on Universal Studios & Island of Adventure. We weren’t disappointed!

Volcano Bay Water Park Orlando Florida

Volcano Bay Water Park Orlando Florida. Source: Universal Orlando

What time should I arrive at Universal Studios?

The park officially opens at 8AM, but I recommended arriving at the turnstiles by 6:30 AM . As soon as you enter head to Harry Potter, Escape from Gringotts. This is a fun, family coast to start with, great for young kids with a very low 42inch minimum height.

When this ride opened back in 2014, it was simply a motion simulator. But now it has really transformed into a true fast paced, technologically advanced dark ride. This one perfectly merges together the use of screens & animatronics.

Hogwarts Express: 

If you have a park to park admission ticket, you can board the Hogwarts express and take a magical journey, on Harry Potters  steam engine.

Day 2: Universal Orlando (Island of Adventure)

After warming up at universal Studios catch the Hogwarts express to Island of adventure. Popular rides include Jurassic Parks River Adventure, the Hulk, Spiderman and Harry Potter & the forbidden journey.

Ride Reviews: 

The Incredible Hulk: 

For thrill seekers this is arguably the best roller coaster in the whole of Universal Orlando. The line is themed on bruce banners lab, with audio & lighting to really immerse you in the green giants mindset! With 2 gravity defying loops, a zero g roll and even an underground tunnel, this will definitely get your heart racing!

Dragon Challenge:

Dragon Challenge is another thrilling ride, It’s an inverted coaster with a vertical loop on both tracks and a drop that’s either 95 feet or 115 feet depending upo the track. It has a   top speed of 60 miles per hour.

Island of Adventure Universal Studios Orlando

Island of Adventure Universal Studios Orlando. Source: Universal Orlando

What to wear at Universal Orlando?

  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Sun protection: hats, sunglasses.
  • Flip flops or other shoes you don’t mind getting wet.  (You can store your shoes and socks in a locker for the Islands of Adventure water rides).

How to Purchase tickets at a lower cost?

  1. Buy Your Tickets Ahead of Time. (Don’t buy on the gate!)
  2. Purchase a package – If you plan on staying a few days & visiting a few parks, purchase a package.
  3. Use Your AAA Membership to get discount.
  4. Buy the Lowest-Tier Ticket & Upgrade Later.

Day 3: Gatorland Theme Park (Orlando) 

After a couple of wild at Universal Orlando parks, we decided to mix it up a little and head to the “Alligator capital of the world”. Nestled inside a 110 acre wildlife preserve is a fun packed entertainment resort with allows you to get up close & personal with some crazy crocs!

gatorland-Orlando Florida

Gatorland-Orlando Florida. Source: Gatorland.

Attractions: 

  • Animal Encounters
  • Photo Opportunities
  • Gator Wrestling  (Gator Wranglers getting to grips with 6-8 feet alligators)
  • Gator shows (Gator  Jumparoo, the gaters jump high out of the water to grab food from the trainers hands.
  • Petting Zoo – Where you can observe some cutter & gentler animals!

Insider Tip: 

Allocate at least a couple of hours at this park.

gatorland_adventure_hour

gatorland adventure hour. Source: Orlando Attractions

Day 4: Kennedy Space Centre

Located just one small step from Orlando, is Kennedy Space Centre! (It can be reached by  by car in 1 hour.)

This is probably one of the most iconic attractions in the area. Kennedy Space Centre has been the primary launch centre for NASA human powered flights, since 1968.

Rocket-Garden_square Kennedy Space Centre Family tips guide

Rocket Garden Square at Kennedy Space Centre. Source:

The Kennedy Space Centre visitors area is organised into various “Mission Zones” with a variety of attractions and interactive exhibits on offer…detailing NASAs space launch history from the past to the present.

This is a fantastic place for families, but also really interesting & educating for adults of all ages!

Canaveral National Seashore:

While in the area you should also check out Canaveral National Seashore  located on a barrier island around 15 minutes north of Kennedy Space centre.  It is a recreational Paradise of natural beauty. Perfect for hiking, fishing, Kayaking, swimming, camping & even horse riding!

Insider Tip:

Be sure to check out, the sea turtle conservation & the interactive exhibits around the park. Suitable for all ages.

sea-turtles-Canaveral National Seashore-

Watch the Baby sea turtles during nesting season at Canaveral National Seashore.

When is nesting turtle season?

The majority of turtle nesting in Florida occurs between May 1st and October 31st.

Fun Fact: Approximately, 90% of all sea turtle nesting in the United States takes place on Florida’s beaches!

It is vital that residents and visitors do their part to make sure the turtles have a safe and successful nesting season.

Florida Shores are also great for Crab Fishing! See Top 12 U.S states to go Crab Fishing! License for your state??

Day 5: Head to Miami

Miami is 3.5hr drive from Orlando by car. You could also take the bus/coach for as little as $20, journey takes between 4-6hrs or even fly in.Miami has a diverse range of travel options from downtown resorts, to coastal vacation rentals.

An Iconic accommodation is the FontaineBleau Resort, a historical place where a number of celebrities stayed such as Frank Sinatra. These days it has undergone a complete renovation & now offers a range of opulent accommodation & nightly shows.

miami-Florida- 10 day -itinerary

miami-Florida- 10 day -itinerary

Even if you don’t stay there it’s a great place to check out one evening, experience the fine dining, found out more out the history of the resort & even check out one of the vibrant evening shows.

For Accommodation at FontaineBleau Resort, Book well ADVANCE! As places at this iconic hotel sell out fast! To check the latest availability & prices, see Booking.com/Special-Search

Day 6: Miami Tour & Miami Zoo.

I recommend, checking the city life in Miami during your first full day here. Experience the energy, the culture and even the Miami Lifestyle. A popular way to see all the sights is via a tour , this is a nice way to learn about the city, get your bearing & see all the great spots so you can decide what activities to do on the next few days of your trip.

Ocean Drive:

A stroll down Ocean Drive, will really open your eyes to Miamis art deco style and reveal it’s colors. There is also, lots of great places to eat here, family activities and even a vibrant Nightlife along the main strip.

Ocean Drive Miami

Ocean Drive Miami. Source: www.lasikdocs.com

Miami Zoo: 

With so many attractions to choose from in Miami, it’s hard to know where to start. Miami Zoo, is a good place to keep everyone happy, suitable for families, couples and even groups of friends!

Miami Zoo, as a large selection of some of the most exotic wildlife in the world! It also hosts a variety of fun packed & interesting activities & animal exhibits. You can explore the zoo on foot alone, take a guided tour and even a comfortable driving tour over the 750 acres of land!

Miami Zoo Guide

Miami Zoo Guide. Source: Miami Zoo.

Popular Attractions:

  • Safari Camps
  • Wildlife Close Encounters
  • Water Parks
  • Animal Exhibits (Great for Families)
  • Rafting Excursions
  • Kids Playgrounds

Fairchild Botanical Gardens:

If you don’t fancy the zoo, then why not head down to Fairchild Botanical Gardens, for a relaxing stroll through the lush greenery.

Miami Museum of Science:

Another educating option is the check out Miami Museum of Science, which can also easily take up an entire day! At the Museum, you can experience a variety of exhibits, interactive props and exciting demonstrations. There is even a wildlife section & Planetarium.

They run various exhibits throughout the year, including one called Bodies! Be sure to check the Museum timetable in advance to see whats on. This is a great attraction for all ages.

Day 7: Miami Beach & Seaquarium

After a big day touring the city & getting wild at Miami Zoo, you should spend a morning at the famous Miami Beach. The wide beaches run from North Shore Open Space Park, through palm fringed Lummus Park, all the way to South Pointe Park.

South Beach – Is one of the most Iconic parts, popular with models, movie stars and celebrities. A great place to check out.

Miami Beach Venice Beach Artistic Photo Sunset

Miami Beach Venice Beach Artistic Photo Sunset

Miami Seaquarium: 

After checking out Miami Beach, head down to Miami Seaquarium, this is a fantastic place which can easily take a full day up!

Here you can experience close encounters with everything from Dolphins to Manatees! It’s suitable for all ages and of course perfect for families.

The facility is in partnership with wildlife conservation, so you can sleep well at night knowing there is ethics behind the entertainment. Miami Seaquarium also offers many bucket list experiences to dive right into, where you can literally get your feet wet!

Miami Seaquarium

Miami Seaquarium

Bucket List Experiences:

  • Swim with cute seals
  • Become a sea life trainer for the day
  • Dive into the reefs while wearing a dive helmet.
  • Variety of Exhibits & Attractions.

Marlins Field Baseball:

Another option instead of Miami Seaquarium, is to head to a Ball game at Marlins Field Ball Park. Catch a Major league Baseball match or even take a tour round the facility.

Miami:

Miami is such a vibrant, diverse city you could easily spend over one week here and still not experience everything! But I recommended three days as a Minimum to really get the most out of the city!

Day 8-10: Everglades National Park

Miami is a great city, but also the national parks and nature reserves surrounding are definitely worth a trip!

The most iconic of these has to be the Everglades National Park, located just 30 miles from Miami centre, a trip here takes between 35-45minutes via highway 45 (Tamiami Trail). You can chose to drive, hire a rental or take a tour there with hotel pickup & drop off from Miami.

Everglades National Park Guide - Florida 10 Day Itinerary

Everglades National Park Guide – Florida 10 Day Itinerary

Everglades Activities:

The Everglades are the ideal location, to experience a variety of fun activities from Hiking, swimming, fishing & boating to camping. My favourite though, has to be the airboat rides through the alligator swamps!

Insider Tip: 

Check out the National Park Service (NPS), website for the designated fishing areas.

everglades National Park Air boat Alligator tour

everglades National Park Air boat Alligator tour

Biscayne Park & Big Cypress:

Other popular parks nearby include, Biscayne Park & Big Cypress these are great places to both camp & explore nature!

Insider Tip:

I would recommended allocating at least one day to explore the national parks. Tours are recommended, especially if heading back to Miami.

Day 10: Florida Itinerary 10 Days (Fly Home):

After the everglades head back to Miami to catch a flight home. However, if you have longer I would recommended heading down to Key west, for at least 2-4 days more.

Day 10-12: Road Trip from Miami to Key West. 

A trip to South Florida, would not be complete without heading to see the gorgeous Florida Keys. The southern most point in the United States of America.

Road Trip from Miami to Florida Keys:

A road trip from Miami to Key West, is one of the most scenic and breathtaking driving routes in America! 

It will take you over the famous overseas Highway 1, and meander through over 40 islands before reaching Key west. The journey is around 1hr 15 mins to Key Largo from Miami then another 4 hours along highway 1 to Key west.

seven-mile-bridge-florida-united-states.jpg

seven-mile-bridge-florida-united-states.jpg

Flights from Miami to Key west:

If you wish to save time, you can also get cheap flights to Key west or tour packages from Miami.

Insider Tip:

The helicopter or plane rides over to Key west offer unbelievable scenery, of the gorgeous eco system & crystal waters.

Activities at Florida Keys:

From Key Largo to Key west, there are plenty activities on offer. From simple strolls, and chilled bike rides and to sport fishing & boating excursions.

Where to stay at Florida Keys?

I would recommend, staying on the islands for a few days as the areas spans over 100 miles so plenty to explore. Many tourists choose to stay in Marathon Key which has a wide selection of resorts & a vibrant culture!

For a selection of Hotels & resorts, at Marathon Key, check out the following link HERE. As Marathon Key, is such a small & popular area places tend to sell out fastBook well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Marathon Key is a great place to spring board yourself to go and explore the other islands. The area also has a local population which combines art & culture in the most fantastic way!

Festivals & Events at Florida Keys:

It makes sense to check what events & festivals may be happening in the Florida Keys area, during your vacation. There is always plenty going on & lots to explore.

A really Unique festival is the Underwater Music Festival 2019: Florida Keys July Spectacular!

Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival

One of the talented mermaids playing her fishy flute. Florida Keys Underwater Music Festival.

About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.