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Discover some of the essential things to do in Florida

by Pilar Dujan | March 5, 2021
night views of the city of Florida in the United States

Florida is a southern state of the United States of America. It’s famous all over the world for its amusement parks and some of the largest cities in the US like Miami, but there’s plenty of other cool places to visit in Florida that are well worth the trip.

Discover a selection of the best things to do in Florida. No, you won’t find Disney World here: of course it’s at the top of the list for every traveler, but there’s so much stuff to do in Florida that we wanted to highlight the lesser-known activities.

Remember to apply for your ESTA Visa USA before traveling! It’s part of the mandatory entry requirements for USA.  

Things to do in Florida

The Dalí Museum

The Dalí museum is one of the greatest things to see in Florida if you’re an art lover. Dedicated to the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí, this museum in St. Petersburg houses the artist’s second largest collection in the world! 

There are guided public tours available for those who would like to learn as much as possible about the symbolism hidden in Dalí’s works. There’s also a Dalí 360º immersive experience

Kennedy Space Center

If you’re interested in astronomy and space travel, you can’t miss a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral

On top of several related exhibits organized chronologically, your ticket grants you access to an IMAX movie theater and a rocket launch simulator. You will also be given the chance to meet an astronaut and ask him all your questions!

Tour the house of Ernest Hemingway

Famed writer Ernest Hemingway was a resident of Key West. Tourists visiting Florida can tour his house and its gardens, while learning about Hemingway’s life and career.

A fun fact is that he loved cats, and you will see many roaming around the property. Some are direct descendants of Hemingway’s cat, Snow White! You can differentiate them from the rest for one specific feature: they have 6 toes. 

The house is open everyday from 9:00 to 17:00. 

Visit the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens can be found in Delray Beach. It’s on the site of a former Japanese agricultural community that was eventually dissolved because of disappointing results: the Yamato Colony.

Both the museum itself and the gardens aim to showcase Japanese design. You can also learn about the traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the museum’s tea house. This activity is only available on specific Saturdays. 

The Daytona International Speedway

Attention, adrenaline seekers! This entry of the things to do in Florida is perfect for you. 

If you visit Florida at the right time, you could be privileged enough to see a race at the Daytona 500. It’s one of the unique things to do in Florida if you count NASCAR as one of your interests (or even if you don’t!).

Morikami Museum is one of the things to do in Florida

Things to do in Florida for nature lovers

Everglades National Park: explore the Florida swamps

The Everglades National Park is one of the most important of its kind, and also the second largest in the entire country. It's also one of the best places to visit in USA.

In the swamps you will be able to observe many different wildlife species, the most famous of them being crocodiles but, if you’re lucky, you may also spot panthers! Other fun activities besides wildlife watching include kayaking and airboating.

Ocala National Forest 

Explore more than 600 rivers and lakes at Ocala National Forest. You can enjoy a wide range of activities like fishing, boating, swimming, biking and snorkeling. Scuba diving is available only at Alexander Springs. There are also several camping sites.

Visitors also have plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching. Species found in the area include many types of birds, otters, deer, alligators, foxes, wild boars and bears.

Swim with manatees

Not a lot of people answer “What to do in Florida?” with this activity. And for good reason: it’s not widely available in terms of location, and tour groups tend to have very little availability to protect the environment. However, swimming with manatees is one of those activities in Florida that you will carry with you everywhere you go.

To join in this activity you need to be in Crystal River. Thankfully, the city is close enough to bigger cities like Orlando or Tampa. It has to be done in winter, between December and March, because this is the time when the manatees migrate looking for warmer waters. You see them while snorkeling (don’t worry, you’ll be provided a wetsuit). 

The key for a successful visit to the manatees is to practice passive observation: you can’t, under any circumstance, touch them or separate them from their group. Still, having such a close encounter with an endangered species fills the heart. Definitely one of the cool things to do in Florida! 

Dry Tortugas National Park

At Dry Tortugas National Park you will find mostly open water with 7 islands with coral reefs, perfect for snorkeling. You can also tour Fort Jefferson, a 19th century structure, and observe the colorful birds of the area. A camping site is also available for the most adventurous travelers.

The best starting point for this national park is Key West. You can only get to the park by boat or plane. 

Tour the Florida Keys

Did you know they’re one of the top honeymoon destinations in US? If you visit, you’ll see why. 

The best way to get to see all the Florida Keys have to offer is to rent a car from a neighboring city. Foodies will be content with the amazing seafood available, and everyone can enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Crocodiles in Everglades National Park, Florida

Fun things to do in Florida

St. Augustine Ghost Tours

Did you know that St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US… and one of the most haunted

To take advantage of this unique feature, the city has put together several ghost tours for the bravest tourists. Do you dare take part in one of the weirdest things to do in Florida?

Visit Acadia for fossil hunting

This is definitely one of the fun things to do in Florida. You can go fossil hunting in the Peace River in the town of Acadia. Obviously, you get to keep all the fossils you find as souvenirs. They can be up to 25 million years old. 

Tour operators provide all necessary equipment. You just need to bring clothes you don’t mind getting wet and dirty and your two hands to sift the ground to find the fossils. 

Go to Venice to hunt for shark teeth

The city of Venice (the one in Florida, not in Italy) provides a similar alternative to the previous entry. Here you can find prehistoric shark teeth! There are so many fossils lying around that the town is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”. 

Enjoy Florida’s nightlife

The people of Florida have a reputation for being quite wild. The warm weather always helps put people in a party mood, especially near tourist centers like Miami. 

You will find bars and nightclubs everywhere, with live shows, hookah or whatever else you desire. In this website you’ll be able to choose the ones that interest you the most.