20 of the Best Things to Do in Florida

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Recently updated on July 29th, 2022 at 07:00 pm

Looking for the best things to do in Florida? Tourist attractions in Florida are the perfect and one of the largest places to go for the ultimate family vacation, as well as the ultimate romantic getaway or adventure-seeking adventure.

Known for its climate, which makes it the “Sunshine State”, you can find the beauty, the inspiring landscapes, the jet-set lifestyle, and the wildlife in Florida. And then there’s the entertainment. Florida has many things to offer.

You can also organize your flights yourself, or combine them with accommodation in different parts of Florida as part of a Florida road trip.

No matter what type of vacation you choose, there are plenty of tourist attractions and things to do!

Here are just a few suggestions to help you get started:

1. Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

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A day at one of the Disney theme parks is a must on any Florida vacation. You can meet your favorite cartoon characters, and enjoy the thrill of a lifetime on large dippers or rollicking rollercoasters. You’re sure to have fun.

The Walt Disney World Resort sometimes referred to as Walt Disney World Resort and Disney World, is a tourist attraction complex in Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, Florida, near the communities of Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida.

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S. The resort was opened in Florida in the year 1971 and was designed around the concept of inter-connectedness.

It encompasses more than two hundred different shops, restaurants, hotels, and other attractions located throughout its seven themed villages.

Among these are Disney’s Epcot Center and the Animal Kingdom.

2. Explore the Everglades, Florida

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The vast swampy area is home to many animals, large and small. It really shows Florida’s wild side. You can take a guided tour to see the immense size of the reserve and the amazing wildlife species that live there.

It’s a good thing that most people who visit Florida don’t have to list of things to do in the Florida Everglades. It’s one of the best parts of being a Floridian.

That is unless you want to plan a trip to the Everglades in order to look for a certain species of tropical birds or plants.

If you do happen to stumble upon a species you love, you will be able to take pictures and enjoy it at the same time.

There are actually dozens of areas in the Everglades where people can go to enjoy all sorts of adventures.

In fact, there are more adventures in the Everglades than in any other place in the world.

It’s the perfect place for nature-lovers, adrenaline junkies and total newbies all rolled into one.

3. Everglades National Park – Miami, Florida

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Everglades National Park protects the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. It is a hot spot for rare and endangered wildlife like panthers, manatees, American crocodiles, and wood storks to name just a few.

The park has several different ecosystems that make it home including hardwood forests, cypress swamps, coastal prairies, estuaries, and coral reefs.

Visitors come from all over to enjoy fishing trips on Florida Bay or kayaking down one of many canals which lead into this vast wonderland.

If you’d happen to be there during the winter months when herons migrate through the national park everglades and route south then you have lucked out! You will see hundreds if not thousands of these magnificent tropical birds.

National Park Everglades is home to a number of national treasures that you may not even realize are there unless you know what to look for!

There’s the Ernest Coe Visitor Center which houses exhibits about Florida Bay and its animals, how they live in this ecosystem, and how we can protect it.

There’s also Shark Valley which offers an easy walk along a boardwalk leading through freshwater marshes full of wildlife often found living near waterways like turtles, alligators, and mangrove trees with their long roots hanging into the water–it’s amazing!

4. Dry Tortugas National Park – Key West, Florida

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Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote island park that sits on the edge of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

It features some incredible coral reefs, nesting sea turtles, and amazing bird-watching opportunities. Visit this beautiful spring to experience nature in its purest form!

Located just about 100 miles away or so from Key West, this national park provides many opportunities for visitors such as kayaking, snorkeling, and more!

You can pretend you’re castaways in paradise in Dry Tortugas National Park.

The shallow waters surrounding the island make for fantastic snorkeling and diving, as well as tours of Fort Jefferson which is filled with history about its construction and Civil War prisoners like Samuel Mudd–the doctor who assisted John Wilkes Booth after his injury.

5. Visit the Florida Beaches

1. St. Augustine Beach

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St. Augustine Beach, Florida is a long stretch of shoreline on the Atlantic Coast that also offers some of the best diving in North America. Located between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, it’s just over one hour drive to St. Augustine from Orlando International Airport (MCO).

You can find many things to do in the St. Augustine area like visit Castillo de San Marco or Fort Matanzas National Monument, rent a bike

With its wide range of accommodations for all budgets—from campsites to luxury resorts—it’s a great destination for any budget.

The beaches in St. Augustine Beach are either black or white sand, and unlike some other parts of Florida, the water is consistently calm with gentle waves rolling up on shore-perfect for swimming!

With its wide range of accommodations for all budgets—from campsites to luxury resorts—it’s a great destination for any budget.

With the beaches in St. Augustine Beach, you will find that the water is consistently calm with gentle waves rolling up on shore—perfect for swimming! The area is also home to Anastasia State Park.

2. Miami Beach

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Miami Dade is the perfect place for you. It has several popular public beaches including an 18-mile long strand called the Miami-Dade Causeway. The beach has lots of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.

If you want to be close to the beach and have access to cool water, then you should consider South Beach. The beach is one of South Beach’s main attractions, especially for those who love the sun and the sand.

Take a trip down to Miami for a day of fun and mingling in a similar A-list environment. There are tons of hotels, condos, and other housing options available here, and the view is definitely something to behold.

Just make sure you check out the times and seasonings of local restaurants and attractions so you know what is best for you.

3. Panama City Beach

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Panama City Beach is a beautiful, white-sand beach and popular vacation destination in northwest Florida. It is renowned for miles of beautiful white-sand beaches fronting the pristine, calm, crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, among two protected nature preserves nearby, is also bordered by the Gulf and boasts magnificent hiking trails and excellent fishing piers.

In addition to magnificent beaches, the area is renowned for its vast natural wildlife. Guided tours of the Panama City Beach marshes will show you the sights and sounds of all sorts of birds, animals, and insects as you explore the natural landscape.

One of the popular activities is sky wheel surfing, which utilizes an inflatable sky wheel that lets participants take to the skies on a breathtaking ride. There are several beaches at the camp, Helen State Park.

6. Universal Studios – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Orlando, Florida

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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida is a recreation of Hogsmeade Village and part of the larger Universal Studios theme park. It’s one of two locations that react to guests by speaking with wizard-like voices when they get too close to an interactive object or character.

The voice system uses over 100 speakers hidden throughout the area as well as 40 subwoofers located beneath each major attraction which respond to more than 20 different commands spoken into individual microphones at any given time.

Muggles can explore Diagon Alley and Gringotts Bank on their own for free before entering the Forbidden Journey ride where they’ll encounter Dementors, dragons, Hippogriffs, Dumbledore, and other characters from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Muggles can also explore Hogwarts Castle before entering the Flight of the Hippogriffs ride, which is a mini roller coaster based on Hagrid’s first Care of Magical Creatures class where students learned to fly hippogriffs.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando has been so successful that Universal Studios soon plans to build similar areas for other popular books including JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (based on Newt Scamander) as well as The Hunger Games franchise (where visitors will be able to dine at an outdoor cafe in District 12).

7. Salvador Dali Museum – St. Petersburg, Florida

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Salvador Dali’s world-leading collection of art is located in Figueres (Spain). The second-largest collection dedicated to the most well-known surrealist in the world is located on the waterfront of St. Petersburg.

The building itself is surreal, with its melting clocks, spindle-legged horse, and waxed mustaches.

Since 1982 when the large art collection of Reynolds and Eleanor Morse moved from Cleveland, St. Petersburg has been the home of the Dali Museum. The current museum has over 2000 works and was moved from its original warehouse in 2011. 

The “Sunshine City” in Florida, where the local newspaper used to promise a free copy if it wasn’t shining, is the perfect place for Dali’s artwork. It’s also a fitting location since it’s now on display at the museum. The building is surrounded by huge, bubble-like skylights.

There are also wall-lights that light up the walls. The sun streams through 900 strangely-shaped windows.

Combining this effect with Dali’s fluid art, organic paintings, and the swirling central staircase, it creates the feeling that you are walking in the body of a living creature. It does feel a bit surreal.

8. Busch Gardens – Tampa, Florida

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Busch Gardens, Tampa, is owned and operated by SeaWorld. It features exciting roller coasters and safaris. The park also houses more than 12,000 animals, including 300 species that outnumber some zoos. 

The famous Sheikra roller coaster is a thrill-seeker’s dream. It drops riders face down at an alarming 90-degree angle and speeds up to 62 mph. USA Today readers ranked Busch Gardens among the 10 best amusement parks in America.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers everything you could want in a great theme park. You will find every kind of ride at the Gardens, which is a great entertainment venue.

This is a top-rated theme park in North America and is set in a beautiful botanical garden. This theme park has a lot to offer. You can see different species of plants, and learn more about the flora.

Another thing you can do at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay?

Explore the wildlife and learn about the African fauna.

The park’s large zoo is a major draw. Locals and tourists alike love the Busch Gardens.

Every year, the park attracts more than 4 million people from all around the globe.

9. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens – Miami, Florida

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One of the most stunning and interesting cultural attractions in Miami is Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and definitely one of the best things to do in Florida.

In addition to its art and architectural beauty, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is also a nature preserve with some of the oldest living trees in Miami-Dade County.

The grounds are home to parrots who can be seen flying overhead or perched on the branches of the estate’s many trees.

The Hearst Castle of the East is a masterpiece constructed in 1916 by industrialist James Deering.

It’s often referred to as “the castle” because it features art, intricate architectural detail, and ornate accents, making for an authentic medieval feel.

Open to visitors year-round, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is sure to please any traveler with a love for art, history, and architecture as well as those looking for an introduction to Miami’s natural beauty.

10. Daytona 500 – Daytona Beach, Florida

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Everyone is familiar with the Daytona 500 race and that Daytona Beach is a popular destination for tourists on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. You’ll find it close to THE DAYTONA, a hotel that boasts a host of thrilling NASCAR races, 18-hole championship golf courses, and a wide coastline with sun-filled beaches and a lively boardwalk.

Daytona conjures up images that include lightning-fast stock cars and palm trees as well as beautiful Florida winter weather.

If you are a fan of sports, especially NASCAR, it is likely that one day you will be able to attend the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Let’s say that you have decided to go.

What now?

Is it too expensive and difficult to attend NASCAR’s Super Bowl? It’s not. It is actually one of the most popular (and inexpensive) major sporting events.

It may be too late if you are reading this right now. It’s never too late to start planning for next year to make it perfect.

These are seven things that you should know in advance.

Guide to Daytona 500:

If you are interested in attending the Daytona 500 or any other NASCAR event, you must first secure your lodging and plane tickets.

It pays to get this done as soon as you can, regardless of whether it is camping, a hotel, or an RV in the field. These items are subject to fluctuating prices. They will experience the greatest price increases and demand as the race week draws nearer. It is a good idea to start looking for summer.

Because of the wide variety of accommodations, entertainment, and dining options, “most” people choose to stay close to the beach. You should also remember that there is more nightlife and partying if you stay on North Atlantic Avenue. It is quieter the further you travel towards Ormond Beach. It’s also cheaper.

Insider tip: It sounds great to stay in the infield, but if your vehicle is not available, you will be stranded. If you plan on sleeping in, the roaring cars may make it difficult.

11. Sea World, Discovery Cove – Orlando, Florida

Discovery Cove is a Florida theme park located in Greater Orlando. You can interact with many marine animals, including bottlenose dolphins. It is adjacent to Aquatica and SeaWorld Orlando, which are sister parks.

Discovery Cove guests have the opportunity to interact with exotic birds and tropical fish as well as land mammals. Sea World Parks & Entertainment is the operator of Discovery Cove.

The park allows you to make a reservation to talk, touch, swim, and play with bottlenose dolphins. Before moving into the dolphin pool, guests will be given a safety orientation by a trained dolphin adventure guide.

The coral reef at Discovery Cove allows guests to use the park’s snorkeling equipment to interact with thousands of tropical fish.

This includes an underwater shark tank and a tigerfish tank. After a Discovery Cove orientation, guests can swim in the Stingray Tank. This tank contains dozens of rays that can reach up to 4 feet wide.

12. Duval Street – Key West, Florida

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Duval Street is the place to be if you want the authentic flavor of Key West, the southernmost point in the United States. You will find a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and exciting nightlife here.

If you’re a local, shopping in Key West can be fun. There are many shops in Key West and most people know where to go.

You can browse the charming boutiques on Duval Street or Mallory Square to purchase Cuban cigars or sea sponges.

Enjoy a drink at Captain Tony’s or Sloppy Joes to channel Hemingway.

Grab your souvenir tee-shirt and enjoy live music at Hog’s Breath.

The famous Whistle Bar balcony is where people can watch, or go upstairs to see the Garden of Eden. Margaritaville offers a delicious cheeseburger. You can then walk the streets while you shop at one of the many quirky shops for authentic souvenirs and local art.

13. Ernest Hemingway Home – Key West, Florida

This unique property is located also located at the southernmost point, in Old Town Key West, and was once home to one of America’s most respected authors.

Ernest Hemingway spent more than ten years living and writing here. He called Key West his home and found great comfort in the turquoise waters around this small island.

Take a step back in time to see the gardens and rooms that were home to the Nobel Prize winner’s most prolific period of writing.

Tour guides will provide informative narratives during your guided tour. Enjoy the tranquility of the 40+ cats that live here as you wander through the lush gardens.

14. Universal Studios Volcano Bay – Orlando, Florida

Water is life. Joy is the essence of life. This is Universal’s Volcano Bay, a water theme park. This is the carefree attitude that the Waturi Islanders, a group of people who live on the Pacific island of Waturi, have lived for centuries.

This all-new park allows you to live the Waturi lifestyle. Here, thrills and relaxation are in perfect harmony.

You can have a full day of entertainment with nothing stopping you.

This gives you more time to slide down, navigate whitewater torrents and drift down winding rivers, or just relax in your own waterside cabana.

15. Kennedy Space Center – Cape Canaveral, Florida

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This is a must-see event for all space enthusiasts. Even if your interest isn’t too deep in planets and stars, you will be captivated by the sheer magnitude of space travel.

You can take a guided tour of the Launch Control Center, the Vehicle Assembly Building, and Cape Canaveral.

One of these apps makes it easy to plan your visit to the Kennedy Space Center or any other site around KSC. The Visitor Center app provides all the information you need to plan your trip to KSC, including an itinerary planner and launch date information.

You can access NASA TV from your smartphone with the official NASA app. It provides information on all current and upcoming launches, as well as news and updates about NASA missions.

The Apollo / Saturn V Center is of particular interest.

The Center is dedicated to commemorating the country’s moon missions. It includes an authentic Saturn V rocket, the Apollo 14 capsule, and the firing area used to launch men to orbit the moon.

16. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – Sarasota, Florida

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is a museum founded in 1927 by circus magnate, art collector, and philanthropist John Ringling.

The museum’s collection includes more than 18000 objects including Asian artwork from China, Japan, and Korea; ancient sculptures from Greece and Rome; paintings by the French Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir.

There are also portraits from Old Master painters like Rubens and Rembrandt hanging alongside modern masterpieces by Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Dwight James Baum, an architect, designed the mansion with help from Owen Burns and assistance from the Ringlings.

17. Castillo de San Marcos – St. Augustine, Florida

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Castillo de San Marcos is the only 17th-century fortress left in North America. It protected the Spanish colony at St. Augustine against two British sieges during the European settlement of the Americas.

It is now a National Monument and provides a unique look into Florida’s past. It is constructed from a distinctively Florida stone, coquina. 

This stone fortress is located on 20 acres along Matanzas Bay. It can be seen from any location.

Castillo de San Marcos is a must-see if you visit St. Augustine. It’s the massive, star-shaped stone fortress that you will see as you approach the historic district from the north. 

This national monument is located at the southern end of a riverside promenade. It is home to dog walkers and morning walkers as well as tourists with cameras. It is the oldest masonry fort built in the United States.

The exterior of the fortress is impressive, but it’s worth the effort if you are a history buff. 

Alternately, you can just be dwarfed by the surroundings. It is situated on a 20-acre site of grassy land near the river, which is also great for picnicking.

18. Sea World – Orlando, Florida

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One of the top attractions in the area is Sea World Orlando Florida. You will need to walk a lot to see all of the attractions.

The zoological park is made up of three parks: Discovery Cove, Sea World, and Aquatica. It offers plenty of entertainment for all ages. Experience Antarctica’s icy landscape through the eyes and experiences of Puck, a penguin. This family adventure is an exciting one. 

You will have the opportunity to visit a penguin colony and observe their behavior. Swim with white belugas whales for an intimate experience.

As you get to know one of the Arctic’s most interesting creatures, touch and communicate with them under the guidance of your personal animal trainers. 

The mighty Kraken is a fearsome rollercoaster ride that will take you to the top of the world. It was named after the giant of the ocean, which inspired many sailors’ fears.

This steel rollercoaster rises above the horizon and is rated as one of the top world coasters by riders.

19. Gatorland – Orlando, Florida

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You can view, feed and pet the thousands upon thousands of crocodiles and alligators that are on display. You will find many exotic birds as you walk through the Aviary.

The Alligator Breeding Marsh offers the ultimate thrill: climb the observation tower! For a fun experience, take your kids to the petting area or see real Florida Panthers.

You can see snakes, critters, reptiles, tortoises, and albino-gators. You can burn calories with fried gator bites or french fries and soda by taking a nature walk. To see Florida in its entirety, take the Stompin’Gator Offroad Adventure along with your family.

When you’re short on things to do in Gatorland Orlando, the Bobcat Bayou or Gator Gully Splash Pad will keep you entertained.

For thrill-seekers, make sure you visit the New Screamin Gator Zipline or Gator Gauntlet Zipline.

20. Fun Spot – Orlando, Florida

Are you looking to find a fun place in Orlando?

Look no further than Fun Spot. This amusement spot can be found at 5551 Del Verde Way in Orlando, Florida 32819.

It’s located just off International Drive near Kirkman at Ferris Wheel and Universal Studios I-4 exit75A. It is open Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. – 12 a.m., and features Go-Kart tracks and bumper cars, boats, arcade games, and rides. What more can one ask for?

This mini-park is filled with Go-Karts. A Go-Kart armband, which costs around 35 dollars, allows you to ride the Go-Karts unlimited times and play unlimited games. A similar package is available for 25 dollars for children.

You can also get an armband called the Track Sampler for only $20 which allows you to test each track. This should be enough if your child is a serious Go-Kart enthusiast. They have great deals for those who love Go-Karts.

Fun Spot offers the latest electric bumper cars. You can bounce and bump riders in all directions with circular cars. This is great family entertainment for all ages.

These cars are similar to bumper boats but without the water. Fun Spot also offers bumper boats if you want to make a splash.

While you motor around with your family and friends, you can also splash and bump under a fountain filled with water.

Both allow you to race like the Go-Karts but you can also crash into other people, dry or wet. These attractions are great for those who like to crash.

21. Wonderworks – Orlando, FL

WonderWorks will live up to its name, from the quirky exterior to the unique exhibits within the interactive attraction and adventure.

Legend has it that the museum began as a secret laboratory that conducted research on an isolated island in the Bermuda Triangle. Professor Wonder led a group of world-renowned scientists who were charged with harnessing the power and potential of a tornado to make it possible for man.

The tornado’s power was unleashed in the laboratory, creating a massive vortex that spun around and tore the lab from its foundation.

The lab was carried thousands of miles by the tornado’s power, which landed it upside-down on top of a brick warehouse in Orlando. Amazingly, all the research and experiments survived intact and were functional.

Everything will be upside down when you enter the building for the first time. Inverting the building is necessary to enjoy it.

You can take a look inside the tunnel to see the world flip right-side up. You can then enjoy over 100 hands-on displays that will challenge children and adults with a variety of hands-on exhibits.

There are many activities waiting for you, including simulator rides that focus on flight and earthquakes, a bed of nails, and devices that let you create your dream rollercoaster and then test it through simulation.

Wonderworks is such a unique experience, so try it out if you’re feeling adventurous or curious about how humans have harnessed natural power to help our lives become easier.

Combining Wonderworks with your Orlando Florida vacation packages will make your stay unforgettable.

This is a list of the best things to do in Florida.

There’s so much more than just Disney and Universal Studios, too!

Make sure you visit the New Screamin Gator Zipline or Gator Gauntlet Zipline for an adrenaline rush near Orlando.

Also try Wonderworks, which has over 100 hands-on interactive displays that will challenge children and adults alike.

Florida is full of attractions that are worth visiting whether your interests be family-oriented or adventurous.

Have fun exploring this amazing state on your next vacation!

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