Florida has the longest coastline in the USA after Alaska, but there’s more to the Sunshine State than miles of golden beaches.
If you’re planning a trip to this top tourist destination, you’re in for a treat. There are over 100 state parks in Florida as well as more than 12 national parks, three national and 37 state forests.
Yet, Florida’s also more than a nature lover’s paradise, with some of the best theme parks in the world, fantastic shopping, and exhilarating adventures awaiting every visitor.
Check out these awesome things to do in Florida during your visit.
- Outdoor Fun in Florida
Head out to Amelia Island for a horseback adventure along lovely white sand beaches. With 25 years of experience in these Florida excursions, you know you’re in safe hands while galloping or ambling along these shores.
Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours will open your eyes to life on a working ranch where the unique Florida Cracker cattle roam. As a bonus, you might get to see the endangered Florida panther too.
You can step back in time at one of Florida’s fish camps on one of the state’s many waterways for catch-and-release fishing, boat rides, and an overnight stay in unspoiled environments.
- Florida Historic Sites
Are you wondering what to do in Florida during an afternoon rain shower? It’s easy to work around rain when planning your vacation. Every area of the state offers informative historic attractions to fill your mind and a rainy afternoon.
The best ones include:
- Great Explorations Children’s Museum
- Orlando Science Center
- St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
- Florida Museum of Natural History
- Air Force Armament Museum
- John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
You’ll also find no shortage of outdoor museums in the form of forts, houses, parks, and the Kennedy Space Center.
- Family Fun
Bob’s River Place presents old-school family fun, with riverside fun in the form of a treehouse, ladders, slides, rope swings, and other water-based fun.
The crystal-clear water of Ginnie Springs in High Springs, Florida is a 200-acre adventure playground for the whole family. Bring a tent and camp out in this lovely 200-acre natural setting so you can scuba dive, canoe, and kayak to your heart’s content.
Rent an inner tube and take a traditional tube ride down the Ichetucknee River which meanders through trees and wetlands to the Sante Fe River.
- High Adrenalin Things to Do in Florida
Those who like a little bit of extra excitement will find no shortage of attractions in Florida. There are ziplines wherever tourists gather, kiteboarding’s popular in the Florida keys, and surfers gather wherever the ocean licks the shore.
Do want to take things up a notch? Try hang gliding at Wallaby Ranch, about an hour from Disneyland. You can also try skydiving at Skydive City in Zephyrhills.
Take a helicopter tour over Seven Miles Bridge Key West Florida for a bird’s eye view of this engineering marvel slicing through the Atlantic Ocean.
- Food in Florida
No Florida vacation worth its salt passes without sampling some of the local eats on offer. Key lime pie’s a must, but you shouldn’t miss out on fresh seafood, gator tail, conch fritters, chowder, and ceviche.
Florida boasts a wealth of mom-and-pop stores selling down-home Southern eats as well as a wide variety of international outlets.
There are also numerous award-winning restaurants in the city centers, and you’ll find craft brews in abundance.
If you’re staying in self-catering accommodation, don’t miss the chance to stock up on fresh goods at local farmer’s markets.
- Every Kind of Shopping
When visiting these Farmer’s showcases, you can also treat yourself to local arts and crafts as a souvenir of our trip as well as handmade fashion items.
Ocean Drive’s one of the world’s most iconic boutique shopping destinations with everyone’s favorite designer gear on offer. For more of the same, head to the Florida Mall, Mall at Millenia, and East End Market, or Orlando Premium Outlets.
Tampa Bay’s another top destination for those who love a little retail therapy.
- Florida’s Theme Parks
You’ll need to visit Florida several times to get around all the theme parks on offer here. The first one that springs to mind is of course Orlando’s Disney World, where the magic happens around the clock, but there are plenty of others.
Universal Orlando showcases rides and amusements centered on big screen hits like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Dr. Suess.
Epcot offers a world of diversions for a day or more, while Busch Gardens offers animal adventures a-plenty with themed rides, entertainment, and live animal exhibits.
Who can resist the charms of Seaworld with its rollercoasters and animal shows? Children and adults alike delight in the creations at LEGOLAND.
Blizzard Beach has a range of snow-themed attractions without the chill with a lazy river ride, Summit Plummet, and a chairlift to the top of Mount Gushmore.
- Florida Tours
One of the best ways to get the most out of your stay is by enlisting the help of a professional. Some of the best curated Florida Tours include:
- Clear Kayak Tours in Rock Springs
- Manatee Tours along the Crystal River
- Bicycle Trips around historic districts
- Segway Tours along the beaches
- Boat Cruises in harbors and out at sea
Don’t miss the chance to explore Florida’s fascinating Everglades with an experienced local guide.
You’ll find a huge range of excursions to choose from in every significant area of the Sunshine State.
Expand Your Horizons
It’s no accident that thousands of people move to the Sunshine State every year and millions choose this state as their vacation destination of choice. There are enough things to do in Florida to keep you busy for several lifetimes.
Check out my Florida travel guide for more ideas, or explore the rest of my blog if you’d like to venture further afield.