Florida, the Sunshine State, is a delightful haven for tourism.
Beaches, museums, art features, and cultural flair, often all close to each other, make Florida a vacation location unlike any other!
But with so many fun choices, you might struggle to choose where to go.
To help you decide what sites are must-visit vacation spots for you, here is a travel guide of the 60 top things to do and places to visit in Florida!
1. Castillo de San Marcos
The gray structure rises into the sky, made from stonewalls famous for being “unbreakable”.
Holes of different sizes punctuate the walls, showing off all the battles and wars that the fort proudly stood against as it served the land that would become Florida.
This fortress of sorts was built in the 17th century by Spaniards who needed to keep their trading activities well-protected.
The walls remained strong against British siege for even two months straight, and many cannonballs remain lodged in the stonewall to this day. But how are the walls so strong?
Well, according to the material engineering students who uncovered the secrets of Castillo de San Marcos, the walls are made from a sedimentary rock type named coquina that doesn’t crack.
This is because it is composed of dead marine organism shells that have fluid particles, meaning it almost behaves more like foam than stone.
It was the best material the Spaniards could have chosen – and now, this gem of a fort is one of the state’s many points of interest, providing gorgeous views of the city and bay.
Address: 1 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States
2. St. Augustine
It’s impossible not to acknowledge the wonderful St. Augustine, which is undoubtedly one of the most enticing cities to visit in the state of Florida.
It’s the oldest city in America, which is why it’s one of the most-visited destinations for those who love immersing themselves in history and fascinating architecture.
The city is located along the northeastern side of Florida and is packed with buildings and structures that date back to Spanish colonial times.
You’ve already read about the incredible Castillo de San Marcos, but there are plenty of other things to check out, such as the many stretches of beautiful beach, Anastasia State Park, quirky eateries, and quaint roads.
3. Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is a marvel full of safari action suitable for the whole family.
Located in the Tampa, Florida area, it’s home to over 300 different animal species (and over 12,000 individual animals) that are sure to excite and amaze.
Not much for animals?
Don’t worry; there’s a reason that Busch Gardens is ranked among the top 10 amusement parks in all of America, according to readers of USA Today!
A delightful roller coaster – floorless and extremely thrilling with shocking drops, angles, and speeds, is just one of its many draws.
Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612, United States
If you’re going to spend more time in Tampa, be sure to check out some fun things to do in Tampa!
One of the top things to do in Florida for natural excitement is Gatorland, home to hundreds of alligators, crocodiles, and similar reptiles.
It’s one of the best ways to get back to the roots of good, old-fashioned enjoyment; feeding shows with room for audience participation, interesting tours, and a low price result in a kind of amusement park one may often forget exists in Florida.
Once you’re done with Orlando’s Gatorland, more adventurous tourists can attempt to check out the Gatorland in South Bay – now abandoned with only one building remaining.
It’s certainly fascinating to wander around and reminisce in the eerie, forgotten structure that still stands as a reminder of what once was.
Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837, United States
5. Everglades National Park
If you seek to go sightseeing while in Florida, an absolute must-see spot is the Everglades National Park.
Covering a whopping 1.5 million acres, this subtropical wetlands sits in the southernmost part of Florida.
The wild area has earned a spot on the list of International Biosphere Reserve – and it’s also a World Heritage Site!
Everglades National Park was set up as a result of environmentalists who petitioned the government to preserve its nature.
It was formed in 1947 and is now, behind Yellowstone, America’s second-largest national park.
Primarily, it consists of swamp and subtropical marsh, with river, mangroves, and flatwoods that all act as habitats for hundreds of animal species, including endangered or threatened ones.
If you’re lucky, you might see some of them, such as the state panther, the manatee, the leatherback turtle, and the American crocodile.
Given its large size, most choose to check out only fractions of the Everglades National Park.
A simple walk works wonders, but guided boat tours, tram rides, and hiking tours are also great ways to get a feel of the park and experience its joys.
Address: 40001 State Road 9336, Florida City, FL 33034, United States
6. Dry Tortugas National Park
The Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the best and most beautiful places in Florida to visit.
It spans across the Las Tortugas islands, so named by its “discoverer” Juan Ponce de Leon after the turtles he consumed to survive while he journeyed throughout the tumultuous waters of the world.
Since its discovery in 1513, the islands have grown.
Originally consisting mainly of coral, sea turtles, and saltwater, the Dry Tortugas soon became a common spot for explorers and merchants alike, which unintentionally caused it to host a good many shipwrecks as it earned the nickname “ship trap”.
It then became home to forts protecting the land, then as a prison, then as a coaling station, then again as a location during the war, and, finally, a national park.
The Dry Tortugas is now a large national park, and they’re so remote that they can only be visited via seaplane or boat.
This has made them one of the county’s least visited parks both in Florida and across the nation.
Address: Key West, FL 33040, United States
Coming to Florida with kids who seek fun and exciting activities?
Legoland is an easy bet for one of the best things to do in Florida with children!
It’s the brand’s second-largest theme park, encompassing an impressive 145 acres of land and hosting more than 50 different rides – all Lego-themed!
A wide range of different attractions makes Legoland a real treat.
A water park, tours, rides, places to build Lego creations, shows, life-sized Lego mascots, and everything else you’d need to make any Lego fanatic jump for joy are found all throughout.
There is also a botanical garden and a hotel. The latter had themed Lego rooms, such as wizard, pirate, medieval, and more!
Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884, United States
8. Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove is one of the most delightful tourist attractions for marine animal-lovers in Florida.
The attraction sits in Orlando and is famous for allowing guests to get up close and personal with intelligent, sweet bottlenose dolphins!
You’ll get to talk to, touch, play with, and overall enjoy the company of these lovely mammals.
Apart from dolphins, many other marine creatures are available to befriend, including manta rays.
Apart from that, Discovery Cove has a one-of-a-kind feature where you get to essentially walk “underwater” along the ocean floor with the aid of a dive helmet.
You’ll also get to visit a freshwater lagoon that houses tropical birds (eager to be fed by questions) and otters.
It’s undoubtedly the loveliest way to learn about sea creatures in Florida.
Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821, United States
If you want to see more of this beautiful city in Florida, here are some of the best things to do in Orlando!
9. Venetian Pool
The Venetian Pool is among the most famous and best places to see in the state of Florida because it’s America’s biggest freshwater swimming pool.
Located in Coral Gables of Florida, it is a very unique water feature that offers fun and relaxation to visitors.
The pool, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in an abandoned quarry for coral rocks back in 1924, designed to mimic the appearance of a Mediterranean-style Venetian grotto.
Natural grotto caves add to the overall aesthetic.
Perhaps the Venetian Pool’s most iconic feature is its stunningly crystal clear blue freshwater, always clean and clear.
A natural system for filtration.
Originally, the water had to be drained out and replaced daily with artesian spring water, but after backlash from water conservationists, this filtration system allows pool water to be drained out and then back into an aquifer.
This basically means the filtration system cleans the pool and replaces it with its own clean remnants every day – though the traditional method of refilling water is still used in springtime and summer.
Because this means the pool stands empty sometimes, it is often used for events, like concerts.
Address: 2701 De Soto Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33134, United States
10. Salvador Dali Museum
Whoever said old art is just for adults hasn’t seen much of Salvador Dali’s work.
The Salvador Dali Museum is the planet’s second-largest Dali artwork collection and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, by the lovely waterfront.
The building carries Dali’s artistic spirits, with skylights in bubble-like shapes, waxed mustache decor, melting clocks, spindly sculptures, geometric windows, and wrap-around wall lights.
Originally, the Dali Museum’s contents were part of a collection owned by Reynolds and Eleanor Morse in their Cleveland hometown.
In 1982, the collection was moved to its current location in Florida, though only as a warehouse at first.
In 2011, it became an expanded museum and now it houses all sorts of oddities and wonders in more than 2,000 pieces!
All sorts of intriguing works are on display, including surreal paintings and seven masterworks, such as The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and The Hallucinogenic Toreador.
There are also films, photographs, and visiting collections from similar icons of the art world.
The Salvador Dali Museum, Florida is open daily and its special events make it a treat to go almost all the time, and even going this weekend is likely to net you something interesting!
Address: 1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, United States
11. Daytona 500
The Daytona 500 race is the pinnacle of Nascar sportsmanship, often considered the most important of its events.
At the Daytona National Speedway in Florida, this race is held each February as a herald of the racing season.
Originally, before the Speedway’s creation in 1959, these races were held at Daytona Beach.
As per its name, the Daytona 500 spans 500 miles, and its tickets can be quite pricey.
However, the fun adrenaline of the race often makes the Daytona International Speedway one of the go-to places of interest in the state of Florida during the start of the racing season.
Even if you can’t watch a race, you can still go to the speedway; there are events in summer, music festivals at certain times of the year, and tours held regardless of the season!
Address: 1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114, United States
12. Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center, close to Orlando, is a gem of NASA and one of the best activities for space-lovers in Florida who are seeking educational and exciting stuff to do.
The space center is home to all sorts of machinery and items relating to space exploration, from rocket launchers to historic memorabilia.
The Kennedy Space Center spans 140,000 acres and has served as a launch site for some of the country’s most important space shuttle missions.
Exhibits and showcases give you special insight into the world of NASA and two IMAX theaters play all sorts of fascinating and fun films related to space travel and discovery.
If you’re interested, you can opt for a bus tour of the spaceport that shows you the center grounds.
There are many different kinds of tours available, arranged chronologically so you can get a comprehensive look at the history of NASA, its stories, and its goals for the future.
It’s truly out of this world; by the time you’re done, you won’t even feel like you’re in Florida anymore!
Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32899, United States
13. Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Given the rich background of journalist and novelist Ernest Hemingway, it’s no surprise that the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum is one of the many famous places loved by tourists in Florida.
Though the prolific man lived in many locations over his life, this home in particular has a good deal of importance to it.
Located in Key West, Florida on Whitehead street, this house was moved to by Hemingway in the mid-1920s as he moved from Paris to America at the advice of a friend and soon-to-be-legendary author John Dos Passos.
It was a gift by one of his uncles, evidently above what Hemingway could have been able to afford on his own; opulent Spanish-style architecture and luxurious fixings make the house, now, a treat for its design as much as its history.
In this house, Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms and parts of other great novels like Green Hills of Africa, Death in the Afternoon, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
He also got the nickname Papa while living in this house and gained the inspiration for To Have and Have Not.
Now, visitors to the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum get to view over 20 years of memorabilia dating to Hemingway’s time in the home, from his typewriter to his hunting trophies – and more than 50 cats, most of which have extra toes!
Supposedly, these are almost all descended from a six-toed cat that Hemingway owned.
Address: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
14. Miami Beach
Few would visit Florida without taking a trip to one of its top beaches, Miami Beach.
It’s a haven for tourism, culture, and even authentic local experiences.
From families to models and from celebrities to critics, it seems like anyone who is (and isn’t) anyone goes here.
The beach is family-friendly, lined with affordable eateries, and very close by to all sorts of attractions like museums, theaters, and galleries.
Soak up the sun and surf, fish on piers, try some watersports, or do all of the above!
It’s quintessential Florida in a nutshell.
Want to take part in one of the most fun things to do in Florida without dealing with excessive crowds?
Head south to South Beach or South Pointe Park to find a more curated scene with different kinds of people.
Spending more time in Miami? Check out some of the best things to do in Miami!
15. Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale is located along Florida’s southeastern coast and is often considered a must-do for tourists who love picturesque experiences, lovely beaches, and the ability to wander!
It’s one of the best ways to get an authentic taste of Florida, with beaches, sun, relaxation, shopping, and more – and it’s called the Venice of America, and you can’t go wrong with that!
Fort Lauderdale packed with great places to check out, including the Strip (a promenade full of boutiques, restaurants, hotels, shops, and bars), the 1901 Stranahan House (the oldest building that remains standing in the city), and attractions like Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and the Swimming Hall of Fame.
That’s not all! If you’re spending more time here, be sure to check out some of the fun things to do in Fort Lauderdale!
16. Bok Tower Gardens
The Bok Tower Gardens are among the most beautiful places in Florida for sightseeing and architecture.
It was built for Edward W. Bok and Mary Louise Curtis Bok by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr, completed in 1926 after five years of work.
The couples wanted to create a bird sanctuary after visiting Lake Wales Ridge in the winter.
Bok essentially gifted the Bok Tower Gardens to Florida and its people and it’s full of fun and beautiful vacation spots to find and marvel at.
This includes the Iron Mountain (one of the state’s highest points), a 205-foot singing tower of Art Deco, and neo-gothic style (marked by a brass door; you need to pay to enter), and of course a carillon – one of the finest in the world.
There is also a carillon library packed with photographs, books, scores, recordings, and articles about the instrument.
The carillon is played twice daily at one and three in the afternoon respectively.
Address: 1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853, United States
17. Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is one of the best places to visit in Florida if you’re seeking a vibrant coastal town that shows off the liveliest parts of Florida’s coast.
It’s full of stretches of beach, vibrant nightlife, and options for all ages.
There’s no shortage of things to do at Panama City Beach.
There’s Shipwreck Island Waterpark (with waterslides and pools), Gulf World Marine Park (where you can swim with marine life), Lake Powell, Camp Helen State Park, Russell-Fields Pier, and even the Gulf of Mexico itself.
A mix of wildlife paradise and nightlife haven, you’re sure to find something to love in this little town!
Address: 7940 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States
18. Neptune Memorial Reef
A mix of mystery, fun, adventure, and the somber eclipse Neptune Memorial Reef, a “lost city” 40 feet beneath sea level.
It was originally called the Atlantis Memorial Reef that serves as an artificial reef for marine life and an underwater cemetery.
Its current name is earned from its sponsor, a cremation company called the Neptune Society.
Located a short distance from Miami’s Key Biscayne, the Neptune Memorial Reef opened its gates in 2007.
Designed by local artist Kim Brandell, it spans 16 acres and was specifically designed to be a hospital home for coral and marine life.
Divers can check out the place and swim through the park to observe the many memorials.
The Neptune Memorial Reef holds cremated remains that have been cast into memorials of concrete, arranged throughout the memorial park.
A mix of steel and bronze accents add flair and enchanting touches to the concrete.
One famous person laid to rest here is Bert Kilbride, who was once the world’s oldest scuba diver.
As far as Florida attractions go, it’s one of a kind!
Address: 3.25 miles offshore, Key Biscayne, FL 33149, United States
There is no shortage of things to see in Clearwater, noted for housing a 3-mile expanse of one of the best beach stretches in Florida.
It’s among the favorite tourist attractions for beachgoers and divers, especially given its narrow but long-reaching barrier reef.
Hotels, eateries, and resorts line the sands, and its small-town aesthetic makes it a great, quieter vacation location in Florida.
Apart from heading to the beach, while in Clearwater, Florida, you can visit the Moccasin Lake Nature Park (full of boardwalk trails), Pier 60 (a great place to watch street performances and the sunset), the Bright House Field (where spring training is held for the baseball team of the Phillies), or the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (which is home to the dolphins that starred in the Dolphin Tale films).
20. Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is the epitome of bucket list spots in Florida, full of excitement and fun that brings anyone’s inner child out to play.
It’s such a popular spot that it’s widely considered a staple for what to do in Florida.
You’ll get to experience all the magic, whimsy, and charm of Disney up close and personal at Walt Disney World, situated in Orlando, Florida.
The amusement park is packed with rides of all sorts, delicious Disney-themed treats, great souvenir shopping, and more!
You’ll also get to take pictures with awesome character actors.
If you’re going this weekend, consider a Fastpass that lets you skip some of the very long lines.
Address: World Drive, Orlando, FL 32830, United States
21. Fort Pickens
Fort Pickens sits at the far end of all the beach and coast stretches in Florida.
As a military fort that dates back to the Civil War and early 19th century times, it’s one of the points of interest in the state known for its historical value.
The fort was finished in 1834, built as a result of remaining fears because of the War of 1812.
Its original function was to protect Pensacola Bay as the region moved on past the wars of yesterday to the hope of tomorrow.
It was mainly built by slave labor in difficult and inhumane conditions, and its engineer would eventually join the Confederacy.
Ironically, during the Civil War, this fort never left union control despite being attacked by its own engineer and many other Confederate forces!
After the Civil War, Fort Pickens would serve as an Indian Wars prison, even housing Geronimo.
Now, though, the fort rests in peaceful times in this corner of Florida.
Its remains are a national park and allow you to look through prisoner cells, officer quarters, gunrooms, mine chambers, exercise spaces, and cannons.
Address: 1400 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561, United States
22. Key West
It’s impossible not to think of Key West as one of the main cities to visit in Florida.
It’s actually the most western inhabited island in all of the United States.
As part of the Florida Keys, Key West is fun, vibrant, culturally rich, and packed with activities.
Streets are lined with bars, eateries, and stores that all give you more of a taste of Cuba than the state you’re in due to how near it is to the border.
While here, be sure to check out Duval Street (colorful and loved by tourists for its old buildings and Caribbean heritage), Mallory Square (a lovely spot full of street performers and great sunset views), the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory (for free-flying butterflies and exotic flowers), and the Key West lighthouse (that rises 65 feet into the air and provides great ocean views).
If you’re going to spend more time in Key West, don’t forget to check out some of the best Key West attractions!
23. Universal Studios
To talk about Florida and its tourist draws without mentioning Universal Studios is almost a crime!
Just like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios is a staple for pop culture-lovers.
Witness all your favorite moments from the entertainment world come to life right here in Florida!
To save money, it’s advisable that you purchase a multiday ticket in advance and plan your trip accordingly.
Universal Studios is often very crowded and busy, so you might also want the Universal Express Pass option on top of that, which lets you skip the line.
If you come back often, you can even get a season pass for super special treatment.
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
24. John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has a rather fun history and a tale that is more than worth it to explore.
John Ringling, a circus magnate, and entrepreneur, and his wife Mabel spent much of their fortune on this huge mansion that housed their art collection.
The Venetian-styled building in Sarasota is nothing short of beautiful and its contents were left to Florida when they passed away.
For a long time, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was sorely neglected.
At long last, though, the Florida State University received the rights to manage the museum by the state in the year 2000.
They raised funds to put in a Visitor’s Center and turn the estate into a lavish museum that focused not just on the art collection of the Ringlings, but also on artifacts pertaining to the life and times of the circus tycoon.
They also added a lovely rose garden to the grounds.
The art collection showcased here is rather eclectic, as it was the Ringlings’ own personal collection.
From Cypriot works to Old Masters, they are all displayed in this wonderfully restored structure.
At the circus museum, you can view a bit of an oxymoron – the planet’s largest circus miniature!
Address: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243, United States
Before you venture out, here’s what to do in Sarasota for a memorable vacation!
25. Delray Beach
Delray Beach isn’t actually a beach; rather, it’s a small coastal town situated in Miami.
It was founded by Seminoles and is the most peaceful little spot you’ll probably be able to find in that part of Florida.
After all, there’s a reason it’s called the Village by the Sea!
Delray Beach has a very bohemian feel to it and has a lot of energy in its streets, but it’s low-key and relaxing, leaving behind luxury for simplicity and charm.
If you walk through Atlantic Avenue, you’ll appreciate the delightful lights, and all throughout the town, quaint eateries, local shops, and quirky galleries await.
Bright beach stretching two miles, blissfully free from overcrowded stress, is another big draw.
Though it may not be as exciting as the rest of the state, Delray Beach is a must-see for anyone tired of the glam and glitz of Miami.
It’s got the greatest options for kicking back and relaxing!
26. Manatee Springs State Park
Manatee Springs is one of the most beautiful places in the state of Florida, located on the northwestern side.
It was named by William Bartram, a naturalist, in the 18th century after something surprisingly morbid for a place so gorgeous – after the carcass of a manatee, washed up along the Suwannee River.
Since its slightly sad beginnings, Manatee Springs has become a state park, and it continues to live up to its name in a much more positive way.
The springs stay at an even and warm temperature of 72º F throughout the entire year, so manatees swim up into the park for a spot of good temperature in the winter.
Speckled perch, alligators, and large-mouth bass also come here during the time.
Watching the activities of these animals is fun and thrilling, and if you go kayaking in the park, these animals often swim up to you and ask for pets!
You might even spot baby manatees, as the warm waters make for a great manatee nursery!
Address: 11650 NW 115 St, Chiefland, FL 32626, United States
27. Siesta Key
Siesta Key is probably most known for being a star of certain reality TV shows on MTV, but those shows painted an incorrect picture; in reality, Siesta Key is one of the best places to visit in Florida!
The island houses 8 miles of heavenly white sands and blue surf, and it was clearly chosen for a show centering on privilege and wealth simply because of its beauty and opulence.
A more low-key part of the island, and part of the reason it’s one of Florida’s coolest tourist attractions, is Siesta Key Village.
It’s like a blast from the past here and you’ll feel like you walked into a 1950s set!
Seafood eateries selling fresh catches daily, homemade ice cream parlors, and small cafes all make for a quaint and rustic experience.
The island may be small, but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in flavor!
28. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens were once the estate (and villa) of the famous socialite and industrial executive James Deering – who was also a conservationist.
Originally, it covered 180 acres of land and was designed to conserve native forest and mangrove swamps.
Situated on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, it’s a great spot for sightseeing and relaxation and is one of the Florida attractions that is sure to satisfy nature-lovers.
The main building was constructed between the years 1914 and 1916 and was used by Deering as a winter home upon completion.
Meanwhile, the rest of the home continued being built for seven more years until Deering passed away at sea.
His nieces then inherited the property, and they both decided to sell off parts of the estate in order to pay for the maintenance required on the rest of it.
Twenty years later, Miami’s Mercy Hospital and the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Augustine had a lot of the land donated to them.
Then, fifty acres surrounding the main building were purchased by the Miami-Dade County and restoration efforts led to the estate becoming a National Historic Landmark.
Now, it’s a mix of fun and picturesque with Italian Renaissance gardens, native woodland, and historic outbuildings that all make a tourist location and a host for ceremonies.
Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129, United States
Destin is one of the top Florida’s places to see, and that’s partly due to its nickname: the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.
Situated on the Florida Panhandle, it’s famous for gorgeous beaches, great fishing, and excellent golfing opportunities.
It was once a fishing town, but a connecting bridge caused its population to grow, and it is now home to at least 13,000 residents.
Need some ideas for ways to fill your time here?
Go to the Big Kahuna water park, walk on Destin Harbor Boardwalk, enrich yourself at the Destin History and Fishing Museum, immerse yourself in history at Fort Walton Mound, or get close to nature at Henderson Beach State Park.
If you’re going to be spending more time here, don’t forget to check out some incredible things to do in Destin, Florida!
30. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a fantastic and fun way for butterfly-lovers to get some excitement.
Hundreds upon hundreds of butterflies and moths enjoy a natural habitat of beautiful flowers.
There are also flamingos and other exotic birds from outside of Florida to gaze upon!
Head to the conservatory’s learning center to learn about metamorphosis and the life cycles of moths and butterflies, as well as how they eat, reproduce, and move.
There is also the Wings of Imagination art gallery that allows you to view vibrant technicolor renditions of butterfly-themed art.
So the next time you’re in Key West, Florida, be sure to drop by!
Address: 1316 Duval St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
31. Devil’s Den
Still asking about what to visit while in Florida?
The state is home to plenty of other sites of wonder and awe – like the Devil’s Den!
Located near Williston, Devil’s Den is an underground river that now has a cave entrance to the surface, thanks to the collapse of its roof.
In other words, this is a rare opportunity for visitors to go scuba-diving in a subterranean river.
The waters stay a balmy 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year round, so you’re reassured of a comfortable diving experience no matter the season.
It makes for a wonderful sight on cold winter mornings, where visitors can see the steam rising up from the river’s cave chimney!
Visitors will have to be serious divers and snorkelers, however.
Devil’s Den is a private scuba diving training and recreational facility that does not allow casual visitors, swimmers, pets, and children under the age of 6.
You – or a guardian, should you be under 18 – will also have to sign an insurance liability waiver upon entering the property as well.
Address: 5390 NE 180 Ave, Williston, FL 32696, United States
32. Anna Maria Island
Florida is home to all sorts of postcard-worthy beaches that are perfect for all sorts of fun activities.
Anna Maria Island, however, may just take the cake.
Located south of St. Petersburg, Florida, this island is seven miles long and full of scenic charm.
Visitors asking about what to see here will find that there’s plenty in the form of beautiful sunsets and untouched nature.
If you’re not enjoying a sunset with a grouper sandwich from a lounge chair on the docks, you ought to be snorkeling through Egmont Key or joining a kayaking tour.
Interested in marine biology?
The island is home to all sorts of stingrays, dolphins, and even manatees.
Additionally, history buffs will also find plenty to marvel at as well!
From abandoned shipwrecks to historic Spanish-American sea forts, there’s plenty to see and do on this quiet little island.
33. Coral Castle
Looking for a castle?
You don’t have to fly all the way to Europe for one.
Located in Florida is perhaps one of the most unorthodox locales on the list of famous places the state has to offer.
Originally named Rock Gate Park by its builder, the strange and wondrous castle is usually known these days as Coral Castle.
After he was jilted by his partner the day before their wedding, Latvian Ed Leedskalnin boarded one of the many ships to the US, where he eventually settled in Florida.
He evidently never got over his lost love, however, and tapped into his stonemason heritage to build Coral Castle.
Despite his height and weight of 5 feet and 100 pounds, Leedskalnin managed to cut, shape, and move blocks of Oolitic Limestone that weighed over 30 tons and were often over 25 feet tall – all for the construction of his monument of love.
The completed castle contains incredible things like a stone rocking chair and a 9-ton gate that, astonishingly, only needs a light touch to spin open.
Due to his secretive working habits, some have speculated that Leedskalnin may have used magic to build his castle.
Of course, the most reliable way to find out the truth is to check out the castle yourself!
Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL 33033, United States
34. Amelia Island
The world is full of beautiful places – and Florida is home to some of them.
At the top of the list is Amelia Island, a hidden gem squirreled away into one of the chains of barrier islands that dot the East Coast.
Once home to roaming pirates, Amelia Island’s beaches are now better known for its idyllic scenery, quiet charm, and its shrimp industry.
Hop on over to enjoy nature at its most serene, or check out one of the many outdoor activities the island has to offer!
Want to experience more thrill? Located about 40 miles from Amelia Island, here are some Jacksonville attractions to not miss!
35. Fort Myers
War has left its mark on Florida, in a way that cannot be ignored or denied.
So it’s only natural that some of the best tourist attractions in the state include leftovers of that era of blood.
These days, however, visiting them is less of a depressing reminder.
Instead, it’s actually one of the many fun things to do in Florida!
Originally a fort constructed on the banks of Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers these days is a modern commercial center with easy access to Florida’s famous beaches.
Once you’re done snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, or just plain relaxing, it’s a quick jaunt to the Imaginarium Science Center – an aquarium that doubles as a hands-on science museum!
Don’t worry if you’re a history or nature buff, either.
The city still has plenty to offer in those spots!
Try checking out the historic homes and buildings on the grounds, or one of the many wildlife and nature preserves in the general vicinity!
36. Sanibel Island
One of the best things to do in Florida is to simply just lie down on a beach and enjoy the quiet sights and sounds of nature.
Sure, it might not sound super fun or exciting, but sometimes that’s just really all you need.
And Sanibel Island is more than capable of filling that need to do absolutely nothing!
Don’t want to lounge on a beach all day?
Don’t worry, there’s plenty of other things to do still.
You can try swimming, boating, and snorkeling in the pristine waters around the island, or consider combing the beaches for the abundant amount of seashells that wash up onto the beach.
Additionally, half of Sanibel Island is home to a massive mangrove forest, which houses some 245 different bird species – along with all sorts of animals, reptiles, and sea creatures native to the lands and seas of Florida!
37. Southernmost Point Buoy
Looking for the southernmost point of the United States?
This massive concrete monument claims to mark the exact point!
In reality, this isn’t actually the case – Hawaii is actually located further south.
It’s still one of the many major Florida attractions the state has to offer, however, since it still works as a marker for the southernmost point of the continental US.
Located in Key West, Florida, the monument is surrounded by all sorts of themed hotels, inns, shops, bars, and gift shops that have sprung up to serve the tourism boom.
So despite it simply being a marker for a physical location, the space surrounding the monument is bustling with all sorts of activities!
It’s a good idea to go there first thing in the morning before the crowds start coming in.
Grab yourself a cup of Cuban coffee, then drive on down to check out the fascinating sight yourself!
Address: Whitehead St &, South St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
38. Mount Dora
Don’t let its small size and quaint atmosphere fool you – Mount Dora is still jammed packed with all sorts of fun things to see and do.
Located near Orlando, the town is full of Old Florida charm – from its vintage clapboard houses to its antique handmade shops.
If you’re someone who loves exploring, this small town is for you.
Art, wine, spices, and knick-knacks line the streets here, and the shops are full of fascinating antiques.
It also happens to be close to other wonderful attractions – like some of the greatest natural swimming holes in Florida!
If you’ve ever been a fan of The Truman Show, you may already have a point on your bucket list dedicated to visiting this locale in Florida.
Located between the well-known party towns of Destin and Panama City, Seaside is a quaint and idyllic town that genuinely is just as cozy as it appears in the movie.
Visitors dropping by this tranquil little town will find it to be a wonderful respite after traveling through the busier parts of Florida.
Here, you can enjoy the sight of pastel-colored homes lined up behind white picket fences, and a gorgeous example of the many beaches the state is famous for.
Seaside is also home to an annual concert that draws in some of the best musical artists from across the country.
If you’ve missed the date, however, not to worry – there’s still plenty of local shops and restaurants to visit, and even a fantastic farmer’s market!
For those hunting down the “Old South” charm and history, one of the many points of interest the Florida Panhandle has to offer in that regard is Apalachicola.
And it’s not too hard to see why that’s the case!
Crammed full of preserved, historic homes and oak-lined streets, this small fishing village allows visitors to step back in time to see how beautiful Florida was when it was still overwhelmed with nature and greenery.
Additionally, visitors here will also get an opportunity to see and experience how the timber, oyster, and fishing industries are like on a ground level.
If you’re just looking for a quick retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, Apalachicola has got you covered too.
The town is surrounded by half a million acres of forest, and as such will envelop you in the tranquil peace nature has to offer!
Want to experience more thrill? Located about 199 miles from Apalachicola, here’s what to do in Pensacola!
41. St. Petersburg
One of the best cities to visit in Florida is – hands down – St. Petersburg.
Thanks to its location on a peninsula, this modern city is lined with beautiful beaches from all sides.
So if you’re someone who loves kayaking, hiking, or camping on the beach, St. Petersburg – nicknamed “Sunshine City” – is the best place to be!
If the beaches are too full of beach-goers for your liking, however, don’t worry.
St. Petersburg is also home to fishing charters.
Hop down to the docks to watch fishermen at work, or to the nearby Locale Market for fresh seafood and local delights!
The city is also home to several world-class museums and sees all sorts of cultural, musical, and food-based events all year round.
Assuming you miss seeing any of these events, there’s still plenty of restaurants and pubs to comb through, a lively nightlife to check out!
42. Florida Museum of Natural History
Of all the fun and unique tourist spots to visit in Florida, the last thing you’d expect to see on the list is a stuffy museum.
After all, what exciting activities could there be in such a place?
The Florida Museum of Natural History, however, may just change your mind.
Home to all sorts of incredible exhibits, the museum is a marvel to look at no matter what time of the year.
Drop by to check out all sorts of fossils, or even the butterfly rainforest exhibit!
Address: 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611, United States
Want to explore Gainesville more? Here’s what to do in Gainesville!
43. International Drive
You might not have expected a driving down a thoroughfare to be one of the top cool things to do in Florida, but the International Drive is an exception to the rule.
Also known as the I-Drive, it serves as an 11 miles-long tourist strip full of all sorts of attractions.
It is essentially a theme park you can walk through!
Here, visitors can find all sorts of entertainment.
You can find mini-golf fields, live shows, an incredible assortment of dining options, and various shops.
The I-Drive is also home to a go-kart track, a museum, all kinds of amusement rides, escape rooms, and even an option to go on a helicopter ride!
Additionally, kids and adults alike will also find the waxwork museum and Ripley’s Believe it or Not! exhibition to be fascinating to visit.
All in all, the I-Drive is guaranteed to be a wonderful experience for friends and families visiting Florida!
Address: International Dr, Orlando, FL, United States
Looking for fun on the coastline of Florida?
Then one of your must-see destinations is Naples!
With its gorgeous white beaches that stretch out for miles, Naples has rightfully earned its spot as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida.
Not a fan of sand?
The 1888 Naples Pier has got your back.
This iconic pier is a lively place, full of people fishing or keeping an eye out for the local marine life.
If you’re struggling to see anything but still want to check out the local wildlife, Naples Zoo may be the solution for you.
Located at the Caribbean Gardens, visitors can watch animals flocking onto various small islands dotting an artificial lake.
This is perfect for any nature lovers who are interested in checking out the regional wildlife making their homes here.
Additionally, there’s plenty of history and culture to be found here too!
45. Pirate & Treasure Museum
Ever had some pirate-themed vacation ideas you wanted to try out?
Florida is perfect for this goal, thanks to the St. Augustine’s Pirate and Treasure Museum.
Founded by Pat Croce, this museum features 48 different exhibits and one of the largest collections of authentic pirate artifacts in the world.
Some of the incredible things on display in this museum include the likes of Blackbeard’s blunderbuss and some of the original gold pieces retrieved from his ship.
The museum also has informative exhibits about the life of various buccaneers and the treasures and weapons they had collected during their life while raiding the coast of Florida.
The museum is also home to a treasure hunt that will certainly keep your kids entertained from room to room – though if you’d like, you can tap into your inner child and try hunting down said treasure yourself too!
Address: 12 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States
WonderWorks is known to be one of the best places to visit in Florida if you have kids, and it’s easy to see why.
This fun theme park is one-of-a-kind and can be found nowhere else save in Florida.
And it’s easy to spot too – it looks like a building that has been uprooted and deposited upside-down!
Children will find this educational theme park to be an exciting and thrilling experience.
The themed exhibits combine science shows with hands-on exhibits and physical challenge zones, allowing children to run through the place and bodily learn about the science and the world around them – all while having a blast!
The museum is located on the famous International Drive – so if you’re already there, visiting it is just one of the many things you can do while exploring the entertainment and theme park strip!
Address: 9067 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
47. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
While the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens are now one of the best Florida attractions the state has to offer, it didn’t have the most straightforward history.
It was established in 1906 by George Morikami, a 19-year-old who was one of the many Japanese farmers hoping to cultivate pineapples in South Florida.
After his death, the nearby city of Delray Beach became a sister city to Miyazu in Morikami’s honor, and his farmland transformed into a tranquil Japanese oasis.
Full of manicured gardens and informative exhibits, the gardens will certainly soothe the minds and souls of all who visit!
Address: 4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446, United States
48. Naval Aviation Museum
In need of informative entertainment for the aviation buff in your life?
Perhaps the Naval Aviation Museum is just what you need.
Located in Pensacola, this museum is one of the best places to go to if you’re looking for a fun way to learn more about naval aviation – both its history and its present.
Here, visitors get to explore the inside guts of various airplanes and experience what it’s like to be inside each and every single one of the 150 aircrafts they have on display – including helicopters and biplanes!
Additionally, the museum is home to a flight simulator that allows visitors of all ages to try being a naval pilot exploring the skylines of Florida.
The museum has a wide-screen theatre that screens all sorts of aviation films, which is great for those who have an interest in film as well.
Otherwise, there’s plenty of exhibits that chronicle the history of various branches of military aviation as well!
Address: 1750 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32508, United States
49. Seacrest Wolf Preserve
Lovers of wolves take note – while Florida has all sorts of fascinating locales, this may just be one of the many cool places you will have to visit.
Founded in 1999 by a husband and wife duo, the Seacrest Wolf Preserve is the only one of its kind in the entirety of Florida.
The preserve is predominantly home to timber wolves and arctic wolves, who were originally bred as captive animals and therefore cannot be returned to the wild.
Here in Florida, they are cared for alongside all sorts of other animals, and are part of the outreach to educate the public about healthy wild wolf populations in a fun and engaging manner!
So if you’re looking for a nice and educational experience for yourself and your loved ones, the Seacrest Wolf Preserve is the perfect place for you!
Address: 3449 Bonnett Pond Rd, Chipley, FL 32428, United States
50. Florida Caverns State Park
The Florida Caverns State Park is an incredible option for where to visit if you like nature and geology.
It offers one of the most unorthodox kinds of nature tours in the state: a delve into a limestone cave network in Marianna.
These caverns are subterranean and rich with flowstones, stalagmites, and stalactites.
There’s a surreal sort of aura about them that makes them feel almost like works of art – impressive, considering the caves originally began their formation a whopping 38 million years ago!
In fact, the caves all began life underwater.
Sediments, coral, and more hardened into limestone with the drop of water levels.
Those who choose this state park in what to do will be able to spot things like remains and fossils in the walls, such as shark teeth, fish vertebrae, and even a nautilus or two.
For more ways to pass the time after exploration, check out the state park’s nine-hole golf course!
Address: 3345 Caverns Rd, Marianna, FL 32446, United States
If you’ve got more time, don’t forget to check out some fun things to do in Tallahassee, located about 70 miles from Florida Caverns State Park!
Cassadaga isn’t one of the more conventional tourist places to travel for visitors to Florida, but for those who like the wacky or strange, it’s a fun stop.
It is a spiritualist camp founded by George Colby, a medium, in 1875, with the aid of Lily Dale, New York spiritualist community members.
It began its life as part of the homestead grant land given to Colby.
At first, Cassadaga only spanned 35 acres, but now, it reaches 57 acres, with a total of 55 homes set up within.
Residents are typically mediums, psychics, or similar spiritualists who provide palm reading, seances, and more from within their homes.
The atmosphere is very much a departure from typical Florida and it’s an intriguing place, no matter which way you look at it.
While is Cassadaga, try to attend a Sunday Service, which is preceded by a healing service, or check out their bookstore to learn more about their beliefs.
Though it’s quite outlandish, Cassadaga is worth the visit, as it’s officially on the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District.
52. Sunken Gardens
The Sunken Gardens only exist in Florida now because of the actions of one man named George Turner, Sr., a local plumber.
He purchased the land that would become this garden in 1903 along the outskirts of St. Petersburg, Florida.
On the land was a lake spanning four acres, and Turner, as a gardener, wanted to access the fertile soil at the 15-foot-deep base of the lake for his garden activities.
He used his knowledge as a plumber to drain the lake and then, once he completed this task, set about creating a garden that would soon be one of the state’s most popular places.
In the humidity and fertility, Turner planted citrus trees and vegetables.
In the years that followed, he would add all sorts of tropical plants, useful walkways, and even tropical birds.
He funded all of this through purchases made by residents who paid for his fruit and vegetables.
Likely seeing a lucrative opportunity, the family of Turners bought the Sanitary Public Market building next door and converted it into the World’s Largest Gift Shop, among other things.
After interest dropped and the gardens became neglected, they were saved as a historic landmark by the town of St. Petersburg – and that’s how they got where they are today!
If you visit, make sure to stop by the Cactus Garden, the butterfly courtyard, and the flamingo flock.
You’ll love the lush greenery and tropical vibes that speak so truly of Florida’s nature!
Address: 1825 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704, United States
53. Stetson Mansion
Stetson Mansion is among the best opulent destinations in Florida.
It’s often referred to as the grandest, biggest, and most historic house of its kind built in the state prior to the 20th century.
Going on a tour of the mansion and learning of its history is one of the fun things to do in Florida.
You’ll learn about John B. Stetson, the hat mogul who lived here, and how Thomas Edison installed the very first kind of electricity here for Stetson!
Address: 1031 Camphor Ln, DeLand, FL 32720, United States
54. Bulow Plantation Ruins
The Bulow Plantation Ruins were created by Charles Wilhelm Bulow, who purchased a shocking 9,000 acres of land here to form his estate, named Bulow Ville – or, now, Bulow Plantation.
The ruins are now a part of Florida State Parks, having come a long way since its 19th-century origins.
Bulow used the land to grow indigo, sugarcane, rice, and cotton.
Everything about the location and land was convenient for his cause.
He used 300 slaves to clear the forested portion that encircled the plantation, but he died two years later and was succeeded by his 16-year-old son.
The Florida Wars raged not long after and the local militia removed Bulow from the property so they could use its strength as an operational base.
Unfortunately, they were attacked and the plantation was burned down after just 15 years of life.
If you’re into site seeing the eerie, visiting the few remnants of the Bulow Plantation is a fun endeavor and a surefire must do.
Address: 3501 Old Kings Road, Flagler Beach, FL 32136, United States
55. Warm Mineral Springs
The Warm Mineral Springs are located in Florida’s North Port within a sinkhole left behind by a subterranean cavern collapse that occurred more than 30,000 years prior.
A vent 200 feet below surface level is the water source, with over 20 million gallons of water – warm and mineralized – pumped out from it daily.
The geothermal water enjoys a heat of about 97 degrees, cooled to 85 degrees, and makes for a good place to add to vacation ideas in Florida.
There’s also something eerie to add to the top of this list of uniqueness – the artifacts and bones of seven individuals and a 10,000-year-old log were found by William Royal, an archeologist, in the 1950s.
The Warm Mineral Springs are not a health spa of sorts, with many rushing to bathe in the “healing” mineral waters.
The natural spa facility allows you to relax in the water as long as you respect its archeological cruciality.
Address: 12200 San Servando Ave, North Port, FL 34287, United States
56. Spook Hill
Looking for unique things to do while in Florida?
Check out Spook Hill in Lake Wales, which has proudly earned its unusual name thanks to the many legends that surround it.
Spook Hill is also called “gravity hill” or “magnetic hill” because any cars placed in neutral here will give off the appearance of going uphill.
Some legends state that the hill is haunted and responsible for the anti-gravity nature of the Florida hill.
Check it for yourself for the fun of it and see what you think!
Address: N. Wales Dr., Lake Wales, FL 33853, United States
Ellaville is a town that dates back to the civil war era, and it did very well in this spot up until about the 19th century.
It was founded by businessman George Drew, who would go onto become the first post-Reconstruction Florida governor.
It was named after his African-American servant Ella.
The construction of a sawmill in Ellaville in this part of Florida drew people into the town as it employed over 500 workers.
Eventually, a dock, station, schools, churches, lodge, and more were built in the booming town that would one day become one of many Florida attractions.
Unfortunately, after finding political success, Drew sold much of his shares in local companies and left Ellaville.
The mill burned down in 1898, and rebuilding took up pinewood resources needed for harvest.
Flooding, the Great Depression, and the eventual post office closure led to the town’s demise.
If you head to Ellaville now, you’ll see that little of it is left standing, but strangely, some once-abandoned homes are occupied again.
It’s worth the treat of walking through the town if you like abandoned places and history!
Address: Madison, FL 32340, United States
58. Ancient Spanish Monastery
The Ancient Spanish Monastery of Florida doesn’t really have an official name, but it’s one of the state’s definitely tourist draw sites because of the three Spanish cloisters that make it up.
These cloisters were built between 1133 and 1141 AD and served as a Cistercian monastery’s structure for 700 years until the 1830s when the cloisters were seized in the First Carlist War.
The cloisters were then turned into a grainery.
Eventually, Florida was sold by Spain to America in 1819, and a man named William Randolph Hearst took great interest in the cloisters and purchased them in 1925.
He then took them apart stone by stone into 11,000 boxes to ship them to his California home, but the boxes were all quarantined and the stones messed up in the process of checking them.
After Heart’s passing, the cloisters were finally reconstructed in Florida with the goal of becoming a fun tourist hotspot.
After 19 months of hard work determining what stones went where, labor paid off, and now this monastery is one of the places to go for history lovers!
Address: 16711 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, United States
59. The Kampong
Known to be one of the best vacation spots in the world, The Kampong is technically one of five gardens that make up a huge national botanical garden, but this garden is the only one located in Florida while the rest reside in Hawaii.
The Kampong is a tropical garden that benefits greatly from the monsoon climate of Miami, allowing for a laboratory of horticulture and lush nature.
The Kampong can be found in Coconut Grove and is one of the best places in Florida to get your fill of a natural paradise.
Originally, it was an estate that belonged to the famous plant explorer Dr. David Fairchild.
Fairchild brought over 200,000 different kinds of exotic plants, and he named the grounds after a Javanese word, borrowed from the English word “compound”, that means an enclosed village.
If you add visiting the Kampong to your list of what to do, you’ll stroll through thick foliage and meticulously planted cultivars for all kinds of tropical flora, like carambola, avocados, bananas, mangos, and more.
It’s a great and fun way to experience a world that simultaneously feels integral to and completely separate from Florida, all at once!
Address: 4013 Douglas Rd, Miami, FL 33133, United States
60. Castle Otttis
Castle Otttis is one of the most interesting places to explore in Florida – and that mysterious air of it is even more intensified by the fact that only private tours can be arranged on the privately-owned property.
The castle, inspired by millennia-old Irish castles, was designed with the intention of being open to the elements as a “landscape sculpture” by builders Ottis Sadler and Rusty Ickes.
The castle, which is intentionally spelled with three “t”s, rises over 50 feet into the air.
Its creators’ goal was to make artwork invoking a mix of Christian and Irish influences and they completed it themselves, never intending for it to become a business or residence of any kind.
The exterior boasts a 7 million pound split face facade with 88 openings, ramparts, and reinforced steel rods.
The interior, which took three years to finish, boasts southern heart-pine and cypress wood creations – staircases, pews, a bishop’s chair, a pulpit, a choir loft, and an altar.
Castle Otttis sits in St. Augustine, Florida, just along the shoreline and is officially American Institute of Architects recognized.
Events are often held here, and though it’s not a conventional fun type of location, it’s still worth a sightseeing visit for the sheer magnitude of the effort and artistic inspiration involved.
Address: 103 3rd St, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Florida
Apart from being one of the most beautiful states, Florida is such an interesting place, offering some of the best bucket list-worthy attractions you’ll find in the country.
No matter what you’re interested in, there’s no shortage of fun vacation spots for adults, for children, and for families.
With such a vibrant community, there’s also something to enjoy in Florida, whether you plan a trip for tomorrow, this weekend, this week, or beyond.
Hopefully, this list of the best things to do in Florida has helped you figure out which of its many locations is at the top of your to-visit plans!