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Bioluminescent kayaking and nesting turtles: 5 reasons to visit Florida this summer

Opportunities to observe sea turtles in Florida include events where turtles are released into the ocean after they've recovered from injuries or illness.
Opportunities to observe sea turtles in Florida include events where turtles are released into the ocean after they've recovered from injuries or illness. Copyright AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
Copyright AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
By Aoife Donnellan
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From Jurassic Park to fine dining, Florida’s coastline has a lot to offer this summer.

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Now that summer is in full-swing, so too is the sea turtle nesting season in Florida, US.

As the days get warmer, the nesting activity of loggerheads, green turtles, and leatherbacks is increasing along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.

But sea turtles aren’t the only reason to visit the ‘Sunshine State’ this summer.

Here are five reasons why visitors are choosing Florida’s coast for their summer holidays.

The turtles are nesting

Beginning in May and ending in October, the designated turtle nesting season in Florida is not to be missed.

Each year, sea turtles crawl out of the ocean to create over 385,000 nests along the sandy shoreline.

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There are loads of good spots to get a glimpse at sea turtle hatchlings in Florida.Canva

Learning about these majestic creatures is illuminating.

There are various ticketed events to sign up for which allow visitors to participate in guided night walks on the beach to see hatchling releases, or to visit the turtle nests from a safe distance.

It’s been 30 years since ‘Jurassic Park’

2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic film, famed for its innovative use of computer graphics to create some remarkably lifelike dinosaurs.

Visit the historic gates of Jurassic Park at Universal Islands of Adventure (IOA) to mark the occasion.

Visitors can ride Florida's fastest and tallest launch roller coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure and Jurassic World VelociCoaster, followed by a sampling of the Jurassic-themed menu at IOA's Thunder Falls restaurant.

The ‘Miami Spice Months’ deal is back

US magazine Bon Appétit has awarded Miami its Food City of the Year title for 2023.

Late summer is the best time to see what all the fuss is about, with the city’s ‘Miami Spice’ restaurant deal returning from 1 August to 30 September.

During this time, tourists can sample food and drinks at some of the city's most coveted dining establishments for a fraction of the usual price. Enjoy 3-course lunches for €25 and 3-course dinners for either €45 or €55.

In 2022, a record of 266 restaurants participated in the event. The official list of participating restaurants this year will be announced in July.

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Fort Lauderdale is celebrating 101 days of summer

The tourist board for Fort Lauderdale in Florida has announced ‘101 days of Summer’, a new campaign to make planning your summer holidays easier.

Fort Lauderdale, on Florida’s Atlantic coast, has 24 miles (38.6 km) of beaches and 300 miles (482.8 km) of waterways. Whether you want to go scuba diving or horseback riding, the area offers a variety of bespoke outdoor activities.

As part of the promotion, visitors are invited to explore the 1,000 Mermaids Artificial Reef, a monumental public EcoArt project created off the coast of Hollywood Beach, opening this year. This ocean-friendly art installation is accessible to skilled divers.

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Fort Lauderdale is packed with stunning coastlines.Canva

You can go bioluminescent kayaking and catch a concert

The famous Florida coast also attracts visitors through its summer events programme.

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Bioluminescence kayaking tours, hosted weekly by SciFridays at Guana Lake, run until the end of September. These unique tours offer visitors the chance to glide their paddles through the waves to activate the glow of marine microorganisms.

Ticketed concerts are hosted at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Anastasia Island and the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, featuring artists such as Jason Mraz and Counting Crows.

Free summer concerts are also available during the St. Augustine Music Festival at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine from the end of June into early July.

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