Cool Things to Do on the Gulf Coast of Florida

Cool Things to Do on the Gulf Coast of Florida

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Are you looking for the ultimate vacation spot? Look no further than Florida’s Gulf Coast! With miles of pristine coastline and plenty of activities, there are so many cool things to do on the Gulf Coast of Florida. From beach hopping to parasailing and everything in between, you’re sure to have an unforgettable vacation.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or an action-packed adventure, the Gulf Coast has something special in store for everyone.

The gulf coast is home to many interesting attractions. Lovers Key State Park is one of them. You can also visit Discovery Cove, Manatee Springs, and Fort Myers.

1. Lovers Key State Park

There are lots of things to do in Lovers Key State Park if you’re looking for a fun way to spend a day on the gulf coast of Florida. The park features two playgrounds, many picnic areas, and a gazebo.

You can also rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to explore the water, or simply relax on one of the many beaches. There are also plenty of parking areas in the park, so don’t worry about getting around by car.

Snorkeling is one of the coolest things to do in Lovers Key!

There are many species of fish to be found here, and the best way to find them is from the water. You’ll also be able to find conch shells, starfish, and sand dollars.

Lovers Key State Park
Photo Credit: Ebyabe

Hiking is another cool activity to do while in the park. There are several miles of trails to follow in this natural park. The trails are popular with locals and tourists, and visitors can also watch wildlife like West Indian manatees.

Hikers are also drawn to Lovers Key State Park, which is a wonderful place to explore on foot. It features five miles of trails, including the Black Island Trail and the Eagle Trail, which give hikers a great view of the secluded mangroves.

The trails also contain a few exotic plants and wildlife. The park is home to several endangered species including Bald Eagles, American Alligators, and West Indian Manatees.

Another way to enjoy nature at Lovers Key State Park is to take a boat ride through the estuary. This estuary is teeming with wildlife, including manatees, ospreys, and bald eagles. The park also has many beaches and a butterfly garden.

2. Discovery Cove

If you’ve ever been to Florida and been overwhelmed by the theme parks, you may want to take a break from the crowds and spend a day at Discovery Cove.

This peaceful oasis is the perfect escape from the Florida heat and is only open to 1,300 people a day, so you’ll never have to worry about being overcrowded. Make sure to make an advance reservation to avoid disappointment.

While you’re at Discovery Cove, make sure to check out the Pirates of the Caribbean Museum, founded by Pat Croce, if you’re an avid pirate enthusiast. This museum has 48 exhibits and one of the largest collections of authentic pirate artifacts.

Photo Credit: Michael Lowin

There’s a replica of Blackbeard’s blunderbuss and original gold pieces from his ship. You can also learn more about the various buccaneers at their interactive exhibits, which include a treasure hunt.

If you’re a wildlife lover, Discovery Cove is home to several species of birds and other wildlife. You can also visit Lake Louisa State Park and explore over 15 miles of unpaved trails. It’s a great place to learn about Florida’s history, while also having fun.

Aside from the gators, visitors can also check out the Boggy Creek Swamplands. The area is home to local wildlife, and a guided airboat tour will reveal the wildlife. You’ll also have the chance to see alligators and other reptiles.

The area is also home to Shingle Creek Regional Park, which is the perfect place to go fishing and bird-watching.

3. Fort Myers

Fort Myers, Florida, is a city in Lee County. It is the county seat and commercial center. According to the 2020 census, Fort Myers’ population was 86,395; it was 62,298 at the 2010 census. It is a popular tourist destination that offers many attractions.

Fort Myers is a historic seaside city in the lower Gulf Coast of southwest Florida. Unlike other beach towns along the coast, Fort Myers is not directly on the Gulf of Mexico, but sheltered by a group of barrier islands.

Fort Myers Beach is located on Estero Island, and Cape Coral is on the mainland.

Fort Myers
Photo Credit: Matthew Straubmuller

Visitors can also view manatees in Lee County Manatee Park. Manatees come to the park during cold months and can be easily seen from a kayak or canoe.

The park is a popular attraction for families with children. In addition to the aquarium, there are several other attractions to keep kids busy during their stay in Fort Myers.

The Arcade Theater was built in Downtown Fort Myers in 1908. It was originally a vaudeville house. Famous men like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford viewed films here.

Later, the Arcade Theater became a full movie house, with two screening rooms. Afterward, the theater was renovated due to the changing moviegoing culture.

The Arcade Theater now houses the Florida Repertory Theatre, a local theater.

Fort Myers is a family-friendly vacation destination in southwest Florida. Whether you are looking for adventure or just relaxing, Fort Myers is a great place to visit. There are plenty of things to do, from sailing to kayaking.

4. Crab Island

Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Crab Island is a fun place to visit and offers a lot of different activities. Water sports are very popular, and you can also see dolphins and other marine creatures.

You can also relax on a float or kayak, or try your hand at fly fishing. A few floating restaurants and food vendors can also be found on Crab Island.

If you are a foodie, try the fried seafood baskets at Dewey Destin’s Seafood. You can also grab a sandwich or order something from one of the waterside restaurants. While you’re there, make sure to grab a cold drink.

Crab Island
Photo Credit: Corygodar

You can also check out the waters on Crab Island at high tide. The water here is the prettiest at that time because the Gulf of Mexico waters flow into Choctawhatchee Bay. Be sure to check the tide chart before heading there if you’re a first-time visitor.

Crab Island is a famous sandbar near Destin, Florida. Its shallow water makes it perfect for water sports. The gulf waters are shallow, so you can easily paddle around on it without fear of crashing into any big waves. Crab Island is also home to hermit crabs and a variety of seashells.

Crab Island can be accessed by boat or jet ski. There are several businesses in the area that rent boats. You can also sign up for a boat tour with a local captain. Tiki Cruise boats also offer fun activities. You can also try paddleboarding.

For the water-loving vacationer, Crab Island is a great destination. This tiny island off the coast of Destin is popular with tourists and locals. A beautiful beach with warm water is just minutes away.

27 Free Things To Do On Florida’s Gulf Coast

30 Free Cool Things To Do On Florida's Gulf Coast

Are you looking for an amazing vacation destination that won’t break the bank? Look no further than Florida’s Gulf Coast with over 27 free things to do!

You’ll have plenty of fun activities to choose from. From exploring nature and taking in the sights to learning about local history and culture, Florida’s Gulf Coast is packed with experiences that won’t cost you a dime.

  1. Clearwater Beach, Siesta Key, and St. Pete Beach are all great places to swim. These beaches are popular for water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, and windsurfing.
  2. Enjoy a stroll along the charming streets of Gulfport. It’s a small, friendly town with big hearts. A variety of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants can be found in this charming town. The Gulfport Casino offers live music and dancing as well as other events.
  3. Explore the Everglades mangroves, marshes, and other natural wonders – The Everglades is an area of vast wetlands that provides a unique opportunity to see the natural beauty of Florida. You can either take a boat tour or hike the trails throughout the park.
  4. The Ringling Museum of Art is located in Sarasota. This museum has a large collection of American and European art as well as a circus museum, and a Ca’d’Zan mansion. The Ringling Museum has a lovely rose garden and a large bayfront lawn, perfect for picnics.
  5. Clearwater’s Pier 60 is a great spot to view the sunset. The pier is also a great place to take a walk or go fishing while you wait for the sunset.
  6. Homosassa Spring Wildlife State Park offers a chance to take a dip in the natural hot springs. These hot springs are great for relaxing and unwinding. You can also view a variety of wildlife from the park’s boardwalks, including alligators and manatees.
  7. The historic district of Pensacola is a charming area that features many historic homes and buildings dating back to the 19th Century. The district is open to self-guided tours. Visitors can also learn more about the area’s history.
  8. Enjoy a dolphin-watching cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors can take a boat trip through the Gulf of Mexico and see dolphins in their natural habitat. These tours allow you to see these playful and intelligent animals up close.
  9. The Florida Aquarium is located in Tampa. It features a wide range of exhibits that showcase marine life from all over the globe. You can view everything from sea turtles to sharks and you can even dive into the aquarium’s coral reef.
  10. Visit Tampa’s historic district, Ybor City – The historic area was once the heart of Tampa’s cigar business and now houses a number of bars, restaurants, and shops. You can walk the streets and learn about the history of the area.
  11. Juno Beach Pier allows you to see sea turtles hatch – During certain seasons, the Juno Beach Pier provides the opportunity to observe sea turtles making their way to the ocean. To learn more about these fascinating creatures, visitors can join a guided tour.
  12. Hike in the Apalachicola Forest – There are many trails that offer hiking opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the Apalachicola Forest. You can walk through pine forests and along streams.
  13. Visit the Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg. The Salvador Dali Museum houses the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s works outside Europe. It includes over 2,000 paintings and drawings as well as sculptures and other pieces. The museum has galleries you can visit to learn more about Dali’s life and work.
  14. Walk along the beautiful Anna Maria Island beaches. This barrier island is located in the Gulf of Mexico. There are many beautiful beaches on the island with soft sand and crystal-clear waters. You can also go fishing, sunbathing and swimming.
  15. For live music and dancing, visit the Gulfport Casino Ballroom – This historic building offers a range of events throughout the year. The beautiful ballroom hosts live bands and ballroom dancing.
  16. Guided tours of Naples’ historic homes – Naples is home to a number of historic homes that are open for public tours. To learn more about the history and architectural styles of the homes, visitors can take a guided tour.
  17. Visit the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry to see the free exhibits. The Tampa Museum of Science and Industry has a variety of interactive exhibits that enable visitors to engage in science, technology, and industry.
  18. You can bike along the Timucuan trail in Jacksonville. The Timucuan trail is a multi-use trail that runs 46 miles through the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. You can hike, bike, or ride on horseback along the trail. It also offers the chance to see the natural beauty of the region.
  19. You can visit the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg to see the free exhibits. The Museum of Fine Arts has a wide range of exhibitions that feature paintings, sculptures, and other artworks from all over the globe. The galleries are open to the public and visitors can learn more about artists and movements.
  20. Enjoy a scenic drive on the Overseas Highway from Key West – The Overseas Highway takes you from Florida to Key West through beautiful scenery, including coral reefs and mangroves as well as miles of clear water.
  21. Visit Spanish Point Heritage Park, Osprey. This park offers information about the area’s history, culture, and early settlers.
  22. Guided kayak tours of the Everglades mangroves – Visitors can enjoy a guided kayak trip to explore the Everglades mangroves and see the wildlife close up.
  23. Visit the South Florida Museum in Bradenton to see the free exhibits. The South Florida Museum has a wide range of exhibits that showcase the natural history, culture, and prehistory of Florida.
  24. You can take a stroll along Fort Pickens’ historic coastal fortifications. Fort Pickens was an important coastal fort during the Civil War. You can tour the fort to learn more about its history.
  25. Visit the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg to see the free exhibits. The Florida Holocaust Museum has a variety exhibits that educate about the Holocaust and its lessons. A particular focus is on the Florida Community’s experiences.
  26. Enjoy a scenic drive on Scenic Highway 30A. This scenic stretch of road runs along the Gulf of Mexico and passes through small coastal towns, offering stunning views of the Gulf and beaches.
  27. Visit the Tampa Bay History Center to see the free exhibits. The Tampa Bay History Center has a range of exhibits that examine the history of Tampa Bay and its people from its earliest inhabitants up to today.
  28. Visit the Gulfport Historical Museum to see the free exhibits. The Museum has a range of exhibits that cover the history of Gulfport, its people, and the past from its earliest inhabitants up to today.

From sun-filled days at the beach to evenings filled with a variety of entertainment, there are plenty of cool things to do in this part of the Sunshine State.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with family or friends, you’ll find activities that everyone will enjoy.

From parasailing and jet skiing to wildlife viewing and boat tours, there is something for all ages!

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