Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the country, but there’s more to do than just lay on the beach all day! For the ultimate vacation to the Sunshine State, here’s a list of the best things to do in Florida.
1. St. Augustine
If you’re traveling to Florida, the nation’s oldest city should be at the top of your must-visit list! St. Augustine has no shortage of attractions, including shopping on St. George Street, ghost tours of the city, and plenty of world-class restaurants. Don’t leave without stopping by Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the United States.
2. Walt Disney World
If you go to Florida and don’t visit Disney World, did you really go to Florida? Disney promises a magical time for both adults and children, and it’s impossible to get bored with so many thrilling rides, interesting food options, and special character meet-ups. For the full experience, stop by all four parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
3. Rainbow River
If you’re looking for a good place to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine, Rainbow River is a great option. Visitors can rent kayaks and canoes to paddle down the river, but the park is most famous for tubing down the river. It takes about 2 hours to float downstream, giving you ample time to kick back and soak up the sun.
4. Busch Gardens
Florida is famous for its theme parks, and Busch Gardens is one of the best. Located just outside of the Disney hubbub, Busch Gardens is an African-themed park with roller coasters, animal shows, and safari rides. You can even feed a giraffe! If you’re feeling brave, board the Falcon’s Fury and scream your head off as you endure the 335-foot free-fall drop while facing straight down.
5. The Florida Keys
Want to really live the island life? The Keys is Florida’s most laid-back tropical getaway! Boating, paddle boarding, snorkeling, tarpon feeding…the list of things to do in the Keys is virtually endless. While there you should also make an effort to see some wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, and alligators.
6. Don CeSar
Located directly on the sand of St. Pete Beach, this hotel will make you feel like a movie star! The hotel opened in 1928 and has hosted many famous guests, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Britney Spears. Known as "The Pink Palace," the hotel is ideal for anyone seeking a luxurious beach getaway.
7. The Everglades
The Everglades consists of 1.5 million acres of wetlands and is home to almost as many alligators! The best way to get up close and personal with the wildlife is to take an airboat tour through the swamp. If you’re not up to that, you can always opt for a swamp walk or bird-watching. Just make sure to bring plenty of bug spray!
8. Lowry Park Zoo
This zoo, located in Tampa, has been recognized as one of the best in the nation. Although it’s plenty of fun on a normal day, the zoo hosts many events year-round, including a Halloween celebration, a Chinese lantern festival known as "Zoominations," and even a 5K race known as "Zoo Zoom."
9. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Located at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, fans of the Harry Potter series will delight in this immersive experience. Guests can explore the enchanting village of Hogsmeade, enjoy a Butterbeer, and even pay a visit to Hogwarts itself. Plus, after you’ve fully explored the land of Harry Potter, the rest of the park is open to you as well.
10. The Dalí Museum
Art and creativity enthusiasts will find their happy place at the Dalí Museum. Located in St. Petersburg, the museum is the permanent home to 96 of Dalí’s famous oil paintings, as well as his drawings, prints, photographs, and more. Guests also have a photo opportunity with the giant mustache statue in the garden behind the museum. Plus, the building itself is a work of art, making the Dalí Museum easily one of the best things to do in Florida.
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About the Author
Skye Sherman// Skye Sherman
Skye is a private pilot, scuba diver, and travel writer who is passionate about exploring the globe. Follow her adventures on Instagram at @skyesherman