31 Exciting Things to Do in Florida for Every Traveler

Florida is famous for its sun-kissed beaches and abundance of theme parks, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out these exciting things to do in Florida that highlight the state’s diversity, perfect for visitors and locals alike. 

Fun in the Sun: Florida’s Coolest Beaches

1. Clearwater Beach

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Clearwater Beach is a vibrant destination where you can find both adventure and leisure. From water sports to joining in a game of beach volleyball or taking a dolphin-spotting tour, there’s plenty of fun to be had at this beach. 

2. Siesta Beach

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At Siesta Beach, the fun and excitement go beyond its gorgeous white-quartz sand beach. Rent kayaks or paddle boards, or consider booking a private boat tour. If you’re a more adventurous thrill seeker, you can soar above the ocean while parasailing. 

Siesta Beach offers a great mix of excellent scenery and fun entertainment options. 

3. Islamorada

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Located in the beautiful Florida Keys, Islamorada is a great place to visit for water lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. 

While visiting, you can set out into the water for snorkeling and scuba diving adventures or test your fortune at reeling in the biggest catch of the day while sport fishing. On shore, you can check out the vibrant local art scene or indulge in fresh seafood fares at popular local restaurants.  

4. Panama City Beach

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When looking for the best things to do in Florida, you’ll find that Panama City Beach has much to offer and caters to every age. Rent jet skis for the afternoon and rip through the Gulf Coast waters, or head to Gulf Waters and get up close and personal with aquatic wildlife. 

Families and those who are still kids at heart will love spending the day at Shipwreck Island Waterpark.

Epic Adventures: Florida’s Most Thrilling Theme Parks and Attractions

5. Universal Studios Florida

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Experience the thrilling world of Universal Studios Florida. Get immersed in famous blockbuster movies with exhilarating rides and attractions. 

Discover The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where you can cast spells and ride adrenaline-inducing roller coasters. Hang out with the Fast & Furious characters at Universal Studios Supercharged. Join the Vicious 6 from the Minions movie, fight aliens with the Men in Black, and more. 

6. Walt Disney World Resort

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Walt Disney World needs no introduction. This iconic resort in Florida is a must-visit destination for many. It offers unique theme parks filled with enchantment and adventure. You and your family can meet Disney characters, dine in the Beauty and the Beast castle, and enjoy the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade and Happily Ever After fireworks. 

Thrill seekers will find exciting rides like the Guardians of the Galaxy Space Race and the Haunted Mansion. Walt Disney World is overflowing with excitement, thrills, and nostalgia.

7. SeaWorld Orlando

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Experience a splash with sea life creatures at SeaWorld Orlando. This thrilling park combines aquatic shows, heart-pounding roller coasters like the Kraken and the Mako, and hands-on learning experiences for all ages. Discover the ocean’s mysteries, marvel at magnificent sea creatures, and get an adrenaline boost on top-tier rides. 

Dine with the mighty orca, explore emperor penguin habitats, and visit the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium. Enjoy extreme water thrills on rides like Manta and Infinity Falls, and soar through the air on roller coasters like Ice Breaker and Pipeline. SeaWorld Orlando offers fun both underwater and on land, making it a popular destination in Florida.

8. LEGOLAND Florida

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Everything is awesome when you plan a trip to LEGOLAND Florida. Perfect for families, this theme park brings LEGO’s colorful and creative world to life. Guests can take on a wide array of interactive rides like Lost Kingdom Adventure or hit the water park to cool off, with popular attractions such as the LEGO Wave Pool. 

9. Island H2O (Kissimmee)

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Florida has many great water parks, and Island H2O Water Park in central Florida is among the best. This top-tier water park offers maximum thrills at Follow Me Falls, Drop Down, and Live Streaming. Younger or more cautious guests can still participate in the excitement with attractions like Level Up, Reload Rapids, and The Downloader. 

10. Busch Gardens (Tampa Bay)

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With approximately four million annual visitors, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a must-visit attraction in Florida. This African Safari-themed amusement park offers a thrilling array of heart-pounding roller coasters like the Iron Gwazi and Montu. 

Enjoy the Serengeti Safari, a tour of the 65-acre Serengeti Plains, or get up close with cheetahs at the Cheetah Run. It’s a perfect destination for families looking for fun things to do in Florida!

11. St. Augustine Alligator Farm (St. Augustine)

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If you enjoy thrilling adventures, visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Experience Crocodile Crossing, a popular attraction where guests can zipline through treetops and conquer more than 50 obstacles across two courses and seven acres. 

On this exciting adventure, get a bird’s-eye view of red lemurs, crocodiles, alligators, and tropical birds. The farm is a great place to make lasting memories while spending time with loved ones.

12. Andretti Thrill Park (Melbourne)

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Experience big fun at Andretti Thrill Park in Melbourne. Test your driving skills on exciting go-kart tracks like the F1 Speed Track, Jr. Indie, and Rookie Row. Challenge friends to a match at the Wave Rave Bumper Boats, laser tag, or mini-golf. Gamers will love the arcade, with VR games and more than 100 exciting options. 

13. Lion Country Safari (Loxahatchee)

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Venture into the wild at Lion Country Safari, Florida’s first drive-through safari and walk-through amusement park. This unique destination offers up-close encounters with wildlife in a free-roaming environment. 

From the comfort (and safety) of your vehicle, you can journey through the park’s four-mile-long drive, where you can see lions, giraffes, and more in their natural habitat. After the safari, guests can walk through the park, which features animal displays, rides, a petting zoo, and many interactive experiences. 

14. Murder Mystery Dinner Train (Fort Myers)

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All aboard for a thrilling theatrical “who dunnit” and exceptional culinary experience on the Murder Mystery Dinner Train, hosted by Seminole Gulf Railway. Passengers partaking in the comical murder mystery are given clues and then encouraged to put on their thinking caps and use their sleuthing skills to solve the mystery. 

While aboard, guests will be served a decadent meal while following along with the storyline. The Murder Mystery Dinner Train is a great way for you and your partner to spend a weekend together while enjoying dinner theater. 

The Great Outdoors: Exploring Florida’s Natural Wonders

15. Three Sisters Springs (Crystal River)

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Three Sisters Springs, located inside the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, is a perfect way to spend a day in the beautiful natural habitats of Florida. You can sightsee wildlife, hike or bike trails around the refuge, or swim with gentle manatees. Guests can access in-water recreation such as swimming, boating, or kayaking in Three Sisters Springs at any public boat ramps or launches in Kings Bay. 

Take the daily shuttle to the refuge through the Three Sisters Springs Center for easy access. Whether you want to snorkel, swim, kayak with nature’s gentle giants, or stay on shore to trek through Florida’s beautiful wetlands, Three Sisters Springs provides an exciting experience for all. 

16. Florida Caverns State Park (Marianna)

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Journey underground to explore the mysteries beneath the Sunshine State at Florida’s Caverns State Park. This state park, popular with families and spelunking enthusiasts, offers a glimpse into the past and a peek at natural wonders such as stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, and columns that make up the caverns. 

You can book tours for a guided, educational experience of the cave miners of yesteryears and spot local cavernous wildlife such as bats, cave mice, spiders, crickets, and more. A trip to Florida Caverns State Park is a great way to spend time with family and learn about the history and science behind the caves. 

17. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo)

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Known as America’s first underwater state park, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park offers visitors a variety of ways to enjoy this slice of tropical paradise in Key Largo. Book a private guided snorkeling tour (with up to six guests) amongst the coral, widely considered to be among the most beautiful and diverse in the world.

For more underwater adventures, you can take a scuba diving tour, allowing you to get a deeper dive and a better view of the living coral reef and its aquatic residents. If you’re looking for a drier experience, the state park also offers glass-bottom boat tours, where visitors can stay dry while viewing the undersea world on a 65-foot, high-speed catamaran. 

18. Everglades National Park (Southern Florida)

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The Everglades National Park, spanning more than 2,400 square miles, is the third largest national park in the contiguous United States and offers a variety of ways to enjoy the area. Here, you can hike, fish, boat, kayak, and even camp in the natural habitat with wildlife that calls the park home. Guided ranger tours are available, as well as boat tours, airboat tours, and canoe and kayaking tours. Freshwater and saltwater areas are open to anglers with proper licenses. 

Campers can enjoy a peaceful night under the Floridian stars at RV sites, wilderness campgrounds accessible by canoes or motor boats, or more traditional tent camping experiences around the park. 

19. Devil’s Den (Williston)

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Step back into time at Devil’s Den, an enchanting underground spring in a cave in Williston, Florida. This natural wonder calls adventurers to explore its ancient, crystal-clear waters. Visitors can snorkel or scuba dive while being surrounded by prehistoric rock formations and fossil beds that tell a story millions of years old. 

So why is this place called Devil’s Den? If you’re lucky enough to get there on an early, cool morning, you’ll see steam resembling smoke from the entrance top, thus offering an eerie, ethereal atmosphere to the natural spring. 

Art, History, and Heritage: Exploring Florida’s Cultural Scene

20. The Salvador Dalí Museum (St. Petersburg)

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A trip to the remarkable and surreal Salvador Dalí Museum in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida is a must-do for art lovers. Here, you’ll find the most extensive collection of artwork by Salvador Dalí, a famous Spanish surrealist. Guests can expect to spend at least two to three hours viewing the beloved alternating artwork exhibits and can listen to a guided tour to learn about this incredible artist, the inspiration behind his work, and more. 

21. Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral)

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Immerse yourself in a journey into space at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. Visitors can learn about and train to live on Mars with the Astronaut Training Experience, feel the excitement of launching into space on the Shuttle Launch Experience, and meet with NASA astronauts who give insight on how to travel and live amongst the stars. To take advantage of all the Kennedy Space Center offers, visitors should plan to spend a minimum of six hours at the park. 

22. Mermaid Show at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (Weeki Wachee) 

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Underwater fairy tales and natural wonders come together at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park’s Mermaid Show. Here, you can watch mermaids perform their unique version of the beloved fairy tale The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. Watch mermaids perform theatrical musical numbers and incredible feats like drinking and eating underwater. 

Afterward, enjoy more of what Weeki Wachee offers, such as swimming in the springs of Buccaneer Bay, paddleboarding down the Weeki Wachee River, or renting a kayak and exploring the surrounding areas independently. 

23. Hemingway Home and Museum (Key West)

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Nestled in the heart of Key West, the Hemingway Home and Museum is a tribute to one of America’s most iconic writers, Ernest M. Hemingway. Acquired and restored in the 1930s, this residence is now a National Historic Landmark. 

Explore rooms filled with Hemingway’s personal belongings, which offer a glimpse into his life and legacy. Daily guided tours, lasting around 20–30 minutes, provide fascinating insights into Hemingway’s time and life on the island. 

24. St. Augustine Lighthouse (St. Augustine)

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Ascend the steps of the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of America’s oldest city. The lighthouse and accompanying museum offer a glimpse into Florida’s maritime past and the area’s rich history, including stories of local hauntings for those who enjoy a bit of mystery. 

25. Daytona International Speedway (Daytona)

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For fans of NASCAR and high-octane excitement, visiting the Daytona International Speedway is an unforgettable highlight for any Florida trip. The Speedway hosts the legendary Daytona 500 and offers immersive tours that bring you up close to the heart of racing action. 

Choose from the one-hour Speedway Tour or the more extensive 2.5-hour VIP Tour, which runs on select weekdays and includes exclusive access to the NASCAR Archives and Research Center and the press box. 

Get Wet and Wild: Explore Florida’s Best Water Activities

26. Shipwreck Diving Tours

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Diving enthusiasts can find underwater adventures waiting in the Florida waters. Some of the best shipwreck diving tours can be found at Spiegel Grove, Vandenberg, and Oriskany. At Spiegel Grove, divers can access the upper decks and explore around 50 feet below the ocean surface. 

The Vandeneurg, located 90 miles from Key West, can be found sunken in nearly 140 feet of water, where divers can find a diverse array of more than 100 species of fish. Or, you can explore one of the largest artificial reefs in the world at the Oriskany shipwreck diving site, located one hour by boat from the shore of Pensacola. 

27. Surfing

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The massive coasts of Florida offer exceptional surfing for everyone, from beginners to seasoned surfers. Popular surfing spots for beginners can be found at Cocoa Beach, while Ponce Inlet and Jacksonville offer some of the best big waves. Head to Sebastian Inlet and Pensacola Beach if you want big breaks and swells. 

28. Cave Diving at the Blue Grotto

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Whether you are a seasoned diver or looking to learn, Blue Grotto Dive Resort has everything you need to do so safely. Blue Grotto, located near Three Sisters Springs and Devil’s Den, allows visitors to dive nearly 50 feet deep in crystal-clear waters. 

This natural spring sinkhole is also a popular spot for diving instructors’ courses because the lower basin is restricted to the general public due to its lack of ambient light and depth of 100 feet. 

29. Snorkeling in Dry Tortugas National Park (Fort Jefferson)

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Located only 70 miles from the Florida Keys and Key West is Dry Tortugas, where you can enjoy a day of snorkeling amongst living coral reefs, exotic sea creatures, and colorful tropical fish. Whether you are new to snorkeling or a seasoned pro, Dry Tortugas has plenty of snorkeling spots to fit all levels. 

The park has limited access, so visitors are encouraged to plan for travel accommodations, camping reservations, and food options to make the most out of their trip to Dry Tortugas. 

30. Catamaran Tours

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Set sail on a catamaran tour, where you can relax and enjoy Florida’s stunning coastal scenery. These tours offer a laid-back way to experience the beauty of the oceans and waterways around Florida’s coast, with opportunities for spotting wildlife, sunbathing, and enjoying the Gulf Coast breeze. Popular catamaran tours set off from Miami, West Palm Beach, Key West, and Clearwater. 

31. Thriller Speedboat Tours

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Experience the rush of excitement on a speedboat tour with Thriller Miami Speedboat Adventures. This high-octane adventure lets you zoom along Miami’s scenic coastline, offering a unique perspective of Florida’s beautiful coastal landscape. Explore celebrity mansions on Star Island and Miami Beach, and marvel at the Miami skyline during this thrilling 45-minute speedboat tour.

Visit Florida: Where Every Path Leads to Adventure

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In Florida, every day brings a new opportunity to create lasting memories. Dive into the vibrant life beneath the waves, soak in the sun on immaculate beaches and national parks, or get your adrenaline fix at any of the many theme parks. 

The Sunshine State is a playground of endless possibilities, catering to the dreams of every visitor. Isn’t it time you visited Florida and experienced its wonders for yourself?

This article was originally produced and syndicated by Financially Well Off.