Few regions in the country offer paradise, adventure and ecotourism in one central region, but on Florida’s Sports Coast, your family can experience it all. With miles worth’ of turquoise-colored coastlines, over 100,000 acres of immaculate wilderness and lush rolling hills, Florida’s Sports Coast is an outdoor lover’s oasis that’ll get your family’s heart pumping.
Located on the west coast of the Sunshine state, Florida’s Sports Coast is comprised of four action-packed cities—New Port Richey, Dade City, Zephyrhills and Wesley Chapel—that each provide plenty of activities (and space!) both adults and children will appreciate.
From safari rides and skydiving to gigantic, inflatable waterparks and overnight island camping, Florida’s Sports Coast is a destination for one-of-a-kind experiences. Which adventure will your family pick?
When in Florida, it’s almost inevitable you’ll spend time by the water. To stray from a typical trip to the beach—and simultaneously skip out on packing all the baggage when heading shoreside —visit The Lift Adventure Park. The giant waterpark, which sits on a spring-fed lake in Hudson, Florida, features an inflatable, aquatic playground where you and your stunt artists can try awesome tricks. Your kiddos can brag that they actually ran on water.
For some friendly competition in your group, double dare your children to a race across the floating jungle ropes course or see who can get to the imaginary finish line during a wakeboarding ride.
Nicknamed “The Zephyrhills Parachute Center,” Skydive City is one of the world’s most premier dropzones. Skydivers from over 80 countries have trekked to Zephyrhills, Florida to soar through the Pasco County sky and get a once-in-a-lifetime view of the breathtaking terrain. Skydiving activities range from tandem jumps and group jumps to camera training and even water landings.
Don’t forget to take a special keepsake video and photo package home, as you’ll want to remember this experience forever.
You don’t need a passport to get face-to-face with wildlife at Giraffe Ranch. Located in Dade City, the native wilderness reserve features 45 acres of wetlands, lush pastures and a mix of both exotic and domestic animals that hail from Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Take your little ones on an African safari drive or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at a guided camel-back or segway tour instead.
Giraffe Ranch, which has been family-owned and operated for almost two decades, is home to camels, rhinos, pygmy hippos, Brazilian tapirs and, you guessed it, giraffes—which your youngsters will adore feeding by hand.
If your family enjoys heart-pumping, adrenaline-rushing activities, TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park should top your list of must-visit locations when in Florida’s Sports Coast. Not only does the outdoor playground tout 10 different treetop courses and over 100 elements, but it’s also situated in one of Florida’s famous old-growth forests. Adults and children alike can burn off energy—and test their Tarzan-like skills—by zip lining, jetting across a cable walkway or climbing a wood obstacle course, to name a few.
Want to test your skills during late hours? TreeHoppers offers “cosmic night climbs” where you can soar across nine fun courses that are lined with lights while listening to energetic tunes.
If your water babies can’t get enough of offshore adventures, arrange an unbelievable charter with Windsong Charters in New Port Richey. Choose from a fishing, sailing and scalloping cruise or opt for the manatee-spotting tour through Anclote Island Preserve State Park. If you’d prefer to explore the waters at your leisure, rent any of the paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and pontoon boats for an adventurous afternoon.
Looking for something that’s a little more off-the-beaten path? Trade your hotel room for a night of island camping on Anclote Island North Beach. You’ll be able to swim, tan and relax during the day then enjoy a memorable beach bonfire as the sun sets—without anyone else in sight.
Although Augusta, Georgia is the homeland of The Masters, Florida’s Sports Coast offers comparable ranges golf courses that’ll lure in any dad in the family. The most renowned in the region is Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, which holds the top rank for its two Arnold Palmer Signature golf courses. Its rolling hills, emerald drives and palm-shaded ponds will also make you feel like you’ve been transported to a golfing haven.
As dad hits the links—trust us, moms, we didn’t forget about you and the youngsters—head to the resort’s self-proclaimed “super pool.” The 500,000-gallon pool spans across 270 feet and offers lap lanes, water basketball, volleyball nets and hot tubs. You can also spend time at the Kids’ Club for gaming fun. Challenge your little ones on the Xbox One, ps4, Nintendo Switch, or air hockey table.
Dive into planning by heading to flsportscoast.com to choose places to eat, family-friendly hotels and additional activities.