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Palm trees and a beach in Key West, Florida

Things to do in  Florida

Here comes the sunshine

There’s more to this panhandle US state than just Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom. An airboat experience in the Everglades showcases one of the world’s largest wetlands, the powdery sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico offer the perfect getaway, and a walking tour of Miami’s vibrant food scene lets travelers in on some of the eclectic elements that make up Florida’s spirit. From Kennedy Space Center to the string of islands that make up the Florida Keys to, yes, Orlando’s ubiquitous theme parks, the Sunshine State mixes outdoor adventure, diverse culture, and family fun to form an all-in-one destination that delights all ages.

Top 15 attractions in Florida

Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace, a vibrant waterfront mall in downtown Miami—and the city’s most-visited attraction—sits above Biscayne Bay and features many shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The open-air market has more than 100 shops ranging from apparel to bath products to electronics, and often live performers are on hand to keep shoppers entertained.More

Fort Lauderdale Beachfront

Thanks to more than 23 miles (37 kilometers) of pristine sand, visitors to the Fort Lauderdale beachfront are spoiled for choice when it comes to water sports and sunbathing spots. Spend the day swimming, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, or more—or stay on land playing volleyball, jogging, or just kicking back in a lounge chair.More

Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

If you've ever dreamt of swimming with manatees in their natural habitat, Florida’s Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is where to go. Established in 1983, the 177-acre (71-hectare) refuge is home to America’s largest concentration of the 1,000-pound gentle giants. West Indian Manatees flock to the more than 70 turquoise-colored springs in Crystal River for warmth during winter. With hundreds of manatees in a small area, sightings are frequent.More

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale is a linear public park located by the New River in the historic downtown district of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its tropical landscaping and winding pathways link some of the city’s best attractions.More

Mallory Square

Overflowing with Key West quirkiness, Mallory Square draws a crowd at sunset thanks to its many restaurants, street performers, and daily Sunset Celebration. During the day, visitors come for some of Key West’s best shopping and to admire the open-air sculpture garden, which pays tribute to famous local residents.More

South Beach

Miami's South Beach neighborhood features 10 miles (16 km) of beaches with a buzzing, carnival-like atmosphere. With a trendy Caribbean-chic café culture and an impossibly hip and sexy nightlife scene, the area is a non-stop people-watching mecca.More

Flagler College

With its red-tiled roofs and wide landscaped lawns, the campus of Flager College features some of the most beautiful Spanish Renaissance architecture in the country. It is routinely named one of the most beautiful universities in the United States, which makes sense given that it was converted into a school from a former resort.The Ponce de Leon luxury hotel (now the college) was first built in 1888. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was one of the first buildings to granted electricity by General Electric. Often sunny, Flagler College is also a remarkably pleasant place to stroll through. Its brick archways, gleaming fountains, and tall palm trees are reminiscent of southern Spain.Luxurious details such as Tiffany stained glass windows and painted murals now adorn campus facilities such as dining halls, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful to behold. Don’t miss the original lobby complete with an elegant 68-foot domed ceiling.More

Intracoastal Waterway Fort Lauderdale

Stretching 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) between the United States' Atlantic and Gulf coasts, Fort Lauderdale's Intracoastal Waterway provides easy access to maritime activities and on-shore attractions along the 300 miles (483 kilometers) of inland canals that wind through south Florida's unmistakable sky-high resorts and Everglades ecosystem.More

Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center has been hurtling humans and shuttles into space since 1968 and is still a primary site for NASA launches. Parts of the sprawling campus are open to the public with daily tours offering opportunities to interact with real astronauts, test your skills with a simulated space flight, and see artifacts from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.More

Little Havana

Vibrant Cuban culture permeates every aspect of the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida—you’ll find it in the colorful murals, the monuments to heroes past and present, the residents facing off in the domino park as they discuss politics, and in the cigar rollers at work amidst the ever-present aroma of Cuban coffee.More

Southernmost Point of the Continental USA

The Southernmost Point of the Continental USAmonument is a quick but must-do photo op while vacationing in Key West. The iconic buoy-shaped concrete marker indicates that you’re in the southernmost point of the continental United States, just 90 miles (145 kilometers) to Cuba. Snap a pic and then get busy enjoying island life in this legendary Florida destination.More

Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum

The historic Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum has played many roles in the state of Florida since being built more than 400 years ago. During the colonial period of the 16th century, it served as the official residence and offices of the Spanish governors of Florida. The mansion was then rebuilt in 1710 after being destroyed by British forces. British governors of East Florida ruled from the structure during the American Revolutionary War, often throwing lavish parties. In 1821, history was made here when the Spanish governor turned over the control of Florida to the United States.Once a part of the new nation, it served as a U.S. post office, courthouse, and customs building before opening as a museum in 1991. The structure itself holds centuries of history, though its exhibits go into further detail the significance of the house and the area. Many archaeological artifacts, including Spanish gold and Native American canoes, tell the stories of the multiculturalism that influenced Florida and St. Augustine as it is today.More

Las Olas Boulevard

You can spend a full day strolling up and down this eclectic South Florida district, which is filled with art galleries, boutiques, and al fresco dining options. The 10 blocks that span all the way to the ocean are lined with palm trees and Mediterranean architecture, and set the stage for a relaxing day or night in Fort Lauderdale.More

Sand Key Park

Beach-loving families (and anyone else looking for accessible white sands with great wildlife-watching opportunities) can find it at Clearwater’s Sand Key Park. Situated on the northern end of the barrier island Sand Key, this small park boasts ample amenities, including a playground, bathrooms, and lifeguards during the summer season. On the Gulf of Mexico side, visitors can find a wide, welcoming white sand beach where sea turtles sometimes lay their eggs. The park also includes a salt marsh where birdwatchers can spot herons, roseate spoonbills and great horned owls, among many other bird species. Beach loungers and water sports fans can find equipment rentals on-site—everything from cabanas and beach umbrellas to kayaks and bicycles.More

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum

Located at the nation’s oldest port, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time by exploring the active lighthouse and various educational exhibits. The black-and-white striped, red-topped lighthouse, built in 1874, welcomes guests to climb up for sweeping views of the Florida coast.More

Top activities in Florida

Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami
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Key West Sunset Sail with Full Bar, Live Music & Hors D'oeuvres
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Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami

Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami

Miami to Key West Day Trip with Activity Options
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Manatee Snorkel Tour with In-Water Divemaster/Photographer
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Naples Sightseeing Boat Tour

Naples Sightseeing Boat Tour

Clear Kayak Tour of Crystal River
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Clear Kayak Tour of Crystal River

Tampa Bay CityPASS

Tampa Bay CityPASS

2-Hour Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour in Rock Springs (Small-Group)
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Key West Day Trip from Miami with Activities
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Calypso Queen Tropical Party Buffet Cruise
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Recent reviews from experiences in Florida

Better than I could have imagined!!!
Ralaina_T, Jan. 2023
1-Hour Evening Airboat Ride
I really loved how peaceful it was out on the lake when we stopped and got to see all of the cool birds!
The Everglades for me 2023
Barry_N, Jan. 2023
Everglades Airboat Safari
I could not understand the drivers comments in English, too fast and too accented.
Fast ,Loud,and Fun
Gregory_A, Jan. 2023
Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter
Like they say try to go earlier in the day if you want to see anything.
Enjoy kayaking with helpful guides in a beautiful setting
Debbie_S, Dec. 2022
2-Hour Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour in Rock Springs (Small-Group)
We enjoyed the chance to see a different part of Florida, get some exercise and experience with kayaking.
Strongly Recommend
Jason_W, Nov. 2022
2-Hour Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour in Rock Springs (Small-Group)
Kayaking in a beautiful spring is an amazing experience!
Excellent trip to the Everglades.
Matthew_J, Nov. 2022
3 - 4 hours Everglades Tour from Miami
Definitely worth a trip to see a different side of Florida.
Trolley Tour of St. Augustine, Florida
Terry_M, Nov. 2022
St. Augustine Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Great way to see places, museums, etc.
Awesome adventure and tour guide
Rebekah_O, Nov. 2022
Clear Kayak Adventures through Silver Springs
Bryce went out of his way to give us some fun trivia about Silver Springs and be sure we saw, and got some awesome pictures, of the animals.
Great Manatee adventure
Casey_R, Sep. 2022
Manatee and Dolphin Kayaking | Haulover Canal (Titusville)
We got to see a dolphin chase some small fish right up to where we were launching.
Great tour
Emily_R, Sep. 2022
Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Adventure in Key Largo
Great tour, good opportunity to see the sealife of the Florida Mangroves and knowledgeable tour guide.
Good excursion
Elizabeth_J, Aug. 2022
Florida Everglades Airboat Adventure and Wildlife Encounter
Was able to see gators and pet a bsby gator during the exhibit.
Must see with kids!!
LeeAnn_H, Feb. 2023
Paddle Board or Clear Kayak and Swim Adventure at Wekiwa Springs
Gorgeous springs!!
Exceptional Everglades tour
Shelly_B, Jan. 2023
3 - 4 hours Everglades Tour from Miami
We did see one alligator too which was neat to see in their own habitat.
Super fun- would highly recommend!!
Jason_K, Nov. 2022
Island Time Boat Cruise
We were supposed to be in Florida for a hockey tourney that got cancelled by our school division so we we’re looking for fun things to do.
Good value, worth the money
Bailey_B, Oct. 2022
Miami Skyline 90 min Cruise of South Beach Millionaire Homes & Venetian Islands
It was fun and a great way to see Miami from the water.
I was a bit scared once...
Teodora_R, Oct. 2022
Miami to Key West Day Trip with Activity Options
The driver, and our guide Louis were so nice and helpfull to everyone, and answered all the questions in English and in Spanish fluently.
Fun unique boat experience
Debbie_R, Sep. 2022
CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Beach
Dolphins came up right by our boat, excited to see them so close.
Dolphins galore!
Bethany_F, Aug. 2022
Two-hour boat tour of the Indian River Lagoon
Ed was so knowledgeable and skilled at looking in places most likely for us to see Florida's wildlife.
Have been on this tour...
Mike_B, Aug. 2022
Florida Everglades Airboat Tour and Wild Florida Admission with Optional Lunch
This time got to see a gator egg nest, mother and infant (12” long) gators in the wild!
Brilliant trip for all the family
Sue_W, Jul. 2022
Florida Everglades Airboat Tour and Wild Florida Admission with Optional Lunch
The boat trip was definitely a family favourite, lovely to see the Florida wildlife, on a warm day it was great to be on the water for an hour
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All about Florida

When to visit

The Sunshine State is—you guessed it—quite sunny year-round. Summer is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit, though snowbirds and locals love the cool(er) weather winter brings. The shoulder seasons are ideal for most visitors. Spring brings outdoor fun like SunFest in the south and the Interstate Mullet Toss in the Panhandle. Fall is just as wonderful (hurricanes permitting), as manatees start arriving in Silver Springs State Park and international boat shows fill the waters.

Getting around

No doubt about it: You need a car to get around Florida. Interstates 4, 10, 75, and 95 act as arteries connecting cities like Miami to St. Augustine, Tampa to Orlando, Naples to Fort Lauderdale, and Pensacola to Jacksonville. Intercity travel varies; most cities have extensive bus routes and ridesharing is always an option. With flat roads and a beach never more than 60 miles away, you’ll be thankful for the flexibility—and air conditioning—a rental car provides.

Traveler tips

Florida’s theme parks and beaches are the major draw, but this state is so much more than its main attractions. Venture into the interior of the Panhandle and get lost in natural bliss in places like the Apalachicola National Forest and Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. Plan your itinerary with history in mind, too. Two of the country’s first incorporated African-American cities were founded in what’s now Sanford and Eatonville, and they’ve got the Southern and soul food to prove it.

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