There are so many activities and things to do in Florida for every type of traveller — the Sunshine State is brimming with beautiful beaches, amusement parks, mystical caves, and an endless number of natural and artificial attractions.
Because of its size, Florida has a variety of climates and ecosystems that are unique to the state, so it’s easy to imagine the vacation possibilities with family and friends.
Where do you even begin with so much to do and see? Of course, right here! Consider this your Florida bucket list, which you should start with.
These 12 new additions should not be overlooked on your next trip to Florida, where great memories are made and tropical dreams are realised.
THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA FOR NATURE AND OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS
Take a Road Trip Through Florida
Florida is one of the largest states in the United States, and it begs you to take your time and get lost for a while. Why not rent a car and take a road trip through Florida for an off-the-beaten-path experience?
North Florida has an incredible mix of woodlands and emerald seashores to explore — the Florida Panhandle is known as The Emerald Coast! North Florida is also steeped in the state’s Spanish Colonial heritage.
Travelling the back roads of central Florida will undoubtedly lead you to classic diners, fantastic Flea markets, fruit and vegetable stands, and red brick courthouses can all be found here.
National Park of the Everglades
The Florida Everglades National Park is the second-largest in the United States, encompassing millions of subtropical marshes and swamps. Lake Okeechobee in central Florida serves as the water source for the Everglades watershed system, which flows southward and west into Florida Bay. The park is a haven for wildlife. In the park’s unique ecosystem, you can see turtles, crocodiles, otters, and even panthers.
Mangrove kayaking, air boating, and pole-boating are popular ways to explore the swamps and interact with various wildlife species. A day trip to the Everglades from Naples, Miami, or Fort Lauderdale, a beachside resort city popular with the LGBT+ community.
THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA FOR ART FANS
The Dali Museum honours the world-renowned surrealist artist Salvador Dali. The museum, located in St. Petersburg, Florida, houses the world’s second-largest collection of his work. Explore the museum and admire over 2,400 famous artists’ works.
The Artsy Island Of Matlacha
Matlacha, the most unexpected and colourful little town in Florida, is located on a spit of land between North Cape Coral and Pine Island off the mainland of southwest Florida. Visit the gallery and gardens of local artist Leoma Lovegrove and have lunch at one of the fun, salty bars on the water.
Clyde Butcher’s Gallery In Ochopee
Photographer Clyde Butcher is well-known not only in Florida but throughout the world for his epic large-format black-and-white photographs of Florida’s most beautiful natural landscapes. When you’re on your way to explore the Everglades, stop by his gallery and former home deep in the swamp.
FLORIDA THINGS TO DO FOR HISTORY AND CULTURE FANS
Aside from Coral Gables, Florida, you’re unlikely to come across another pool or aquatic facility quite like this. The 820,000-gallon pool, carved from a coral rock quarry nearly 100 years ago, is filled with spring water from artesian wells and drained and refilled daily during the spring and summer.
There are two waterfalls and two large historic towers with views of the surrounding area and the pool. The entrances, palm trees, and a signature bridge make this a charming place to visit on a hot Florida day.
Kennedy Space Center
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is a significant attraction that highlights the history of space travel through exhibits on historical space vehicles and various space artefacts. There is an IMAX movie theatre and a rocket launch simulator within the complex. Exhibits are highlighting the Apollo program, as well as a piece of moon rock.
Ernest Hemingway Home And Museum
This former home and museum of Ernest Hemingway, the world-famous American novelist, is a must-see in Key West. Florida’s southernmost point. The modern home is also one of the largest in Key West, with lovely gardens surrounding it. Take a tour and learn about the impressive interiors as well as exciting details about Hemingway’s life.
There are a lot of cats on the grounds because the famous author loved cats. Some of these are descended from Hemingway’s cats, and you can tell which ones they are by their unusual six toes.
You can’t stay here, but if your literary wanderlust gets the better of you, there are plenty of fantastic Airbnb and conch house hotels nearby where Ernest might have brushed up against back in the day.
FLORIDA THINGS TO DO: FOODIES
Visit the St. Augustine Distillery
This small-batch distillery in America’s Oldest City is known for producing high-quality distilled spirits from locally sourced ingredients. Tours are free and 30 minutes, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.
Visit the Flora-Bama Lounge
Kenny Chesney’s down-home beachside bar & grill on Perdido Key on the Florida-Alabama border will appeal to more than just country music fans. The location right on the Gulf is worth the trip, but it’s the live music, local oysters, and tropical vibe that keep everyone partying until the wee hours of the morning every day.
THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA FOR FAMILY
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a popular theme park in Orlando and one of the magical places to visit at Walt Disney World Resorts. Cinderella’s Castle, shaped like a wheel with spokes, is the park’s centrepiece and icon.
The steam engine comes to a halt at Main Street, United States of America, Frontierland and Fantasyland. Explore Magic Kingdom with your family or friends, and don’t miss out on the many themed restaurants and dining options located throughout the park, including a growing selection of vegetarian and vegan food options in a variety of venues.
SeaWorld Orlando is an aquatic theme park and a popular marine attraction in Orlando. The park contains many ocean habitats and provides numerous opportunities to view marine wildlife. The theme park is divided into sections called “seas,” Each sea focuses on a different aspect of the ocean.
The Epcot Center is the most magical place on the planet, and once inside, it will guide you through 12 different unique destinations based on replicas of each country represented. You’ll feel as if you’re in the country and will be able to have an authentic experience.
Each country has its architecture, cast members dressed in traditional attire, food, beverages, and souvenir shops. You could be eating fish and chips in England one minute and fluffy pretzels in Germany the next.
The 800-plus-acre Universal Studios entertainment theme park and production studio in Orlando include three distinct parks: Universal Studios, Island of Adventure, and the Volcano Bay waterpark, as well as more fun than you can imagine. It’s great fun for kids of all ages, but adults will especially enjoy Universal CityWalk, a shopping, dining, and dancing destination.
Orlando is a family destination, with children running around at various theme parks. But, once you’ve had your fill of theme parks and a few good day trips from Orlando, the city has much more to offer than the typical family holiday. The resorts are fantastic places to enjoy some serious fine dining at various signature restaurants.
Aside from the delicious food, the on-site spas, outdoor hot tubs, pools, and cabanas provide additional relaxation. In the evenings, head over to Universal City Walk, which is the place to be when the sunsets.
There’s a mix of fantastic food, raucous bars, wild clubs, and magical music. Orlando is a beautiful city that is well worth a visit, and you’re never too old to enjoy a fantastic holiday to this popular Florida destination.
FLORIDA THINGS TO DO: BEACH LOVERS
Sanibel And Captiva
Southwest Florida travel has so much to offer a first-time visitor to Florida who enjoys nature and a genuinely natural coastal experience. If you want treasure hunting and beachcombing, you must go shelling on Sanibel Island.
Hunt for Shark Teeth in Venice
On the western Gulf Coast, Venice, Florida, offers something truly unique for beachgoers: buckets of prehistoric shark teeth! Can find these shark teeth throughout Florida and on the state’s Atlantic coast.
But because these blackened fossilised gems are so abundant in Venice, it’s recommended that you rent a “Florida snow shovel,” which is essentially a wire basket on a long stick to sift through the sand instead of your hands.
And the payoff is immediate: with each scoop, you’ll scoop up handfuls of fossilised shark teeth! Divers can quickly go 15-20 yards offshore and find much larger teeth that will make their relic hunter buddies jealous.
Miami South Beach
Most visitors to Miami can’t wait to soak up the rays at one of Miami’s 30-mile stretch of coastline’s spectacular beaches. South Beach, which is very popular and glamorous, is a fun place to people-watch while enjoying the beach. South Beach is an excellent, flashy, and well-known spot to see, but beware of the red ropes. If you get into the right club, you might even run into a celebrity.
The club scene in the city centre is friendlier and less stressful, with plenty of opportunities for dancing and drinking. It’s easier to transition from pub to club when there’s a more welcoming atmosphere and fewer entry restrictions.
THINGS TO DO IN FLORIDA FOR GARDEN ADVENTURERS
Naples Botanical Garden
The Naples Botanical Garden in southwest Florida has well-kept and curated grounds. It’s the ideal location for a leisurely tour of Florida’s Paradise Coast, a more natural and peaceful part of the state.
The gardens showcase the region’s various ecosystems and contain over a thousand different plant species. The Balinese Garden is tranquil and peaceful, making it ideal for meditation and reflection. The Smith Garden is especially enjoyable for families, as it includes a kid-friendly zone as well as ponds, beautiful trails, and a shop and café.
Seasonal exhibitions and celebrations, impressive flower shows are held throughout the year. Aside from visiting Naples’ best beaches, the Botanical Gardens are just one of the many fun things to do in Naples.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Visit the Bonnet House if you’re looking for a piece of vintage Fort Lauderdale. This 35-acre 1920s historic estate on Fort Lauderdale Beach is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the former winter home of artists Frederic and Evelyn Fortune Bartlett. Nonetheless, unlike other lavish show-palace homes of the time, the Bonnet House feels distinct approachable and whimsical.
The house and gardens have been well-preserved in their original 1930s and 1940s state, retaining the home’s intimate feel. Take a guided tour to this lovely place and parks — the orchid greenhouse, with 1,500 orchids, is stunning.
Bok Tower And Gardens
The 205-foot-tall “singing tower” surrounded by a 250-acre lush garden at Bok Tower and Gardens in Lake Wales, so named because of the carillon bell concerts that are played throughout the day — is one of the most popular and unique places to visit in Florida. It’s enjoyable all year, but springtime is the best time to go when all the colourful flowers are in bloom.
Explore Sunken Gardens
Explore the hidden paths of St. Pete’s Sunken Gardens, which features a stunning landscape and sparkling waterfalls in a tropical paradise. The gardens are a living museum containing some of the area’s oldest and most unusual exotic plants.