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Ready for some Florida fun? There are so many amazing things to do in Florida. If you are planning a Florida vacation it can be tough to figure out the top things to do. As a local Florida family, we are sharing the top things to do in Florida.
Top Things to Do on a Florida Vacation
Let’s jump into the top things to do on a Florida vacation.
Another popular outdoor activity in Florida is taking an airboat ride. You will have the wind in your face as you zoom through the water. Airboats can also get into marshy areas, so you will see more wildlife like the Florida alligators. You can take an airboat ride throughout Florida.
My favorite spot to take an airboat ride is in the Everglades National Park. The Everglades are in South Florida (right above the Florida Keys). Taking an airboat ride is a thrilling way to experience Everglades National Park.
If you are visiting Florida, you have to visit one of our amazing beaches. You are close to a beach, even in the middle of the state. The closest beach from Orlando is only 45 minutes away, so plan a day trip (even if you are visiting Disney World).
One of the most exciting things to do on a Florida vacation is watch a rocket launch. You can drive to the Cape Canaveral area (about 45 minutes from Orlando) and watch a rocket launch at the beach or even at Kennedy Space Center.
If you cannot make it out to Cape Canaveral, you can still see the rocket launch (at a distance) from Orlando. You can find all of the upcoming launches at kennedyspacecenter.com.
Did you know there is a National Park in the ocean near Key West? This National Park is called Dry Tortugas. You can only get to Dry Tortugas via a ferry called the Yankee Freedom III or seaplane. There is a fort called Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas with an incredible walkway around the island. You can explore the fort or snorkel around the island.
We loved our experience in Dry Tortugas. They even have a Junior Ranger Program for the younger kids. The ferry takes over 2 hours to get from Key West to Dry Tortugas, so it is a long boat ride. You are also boating into the ocean, so it can get rough. If you get seasick, you may want to skip this adventure.
Our favorite Florida vacation destination is the Florida Keys. If you are looking for a tropical destination, but do not want to leave the states; you may want to consider the Florida Keys. This destination reminds me of the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
The Keys are about an hour from Miami starting with Key Largo. There are several main islands from Key Largo to Key West. You can explore land activities like the Turtle Hospital, Butterfly Garden, or Duval Street in Key West. You can also explore water activities like sailing, snorkeling at reefs, or kayaking.
If you are visiting Florida, you do need to visit the most magical place on Earth . . . Disney World. There is so much to do at Disney World. We love the Disney Theme Parks and Disney Springs. If you are limited on time, plan on visiting at least Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These are the two most popular theme parks at Disney World.
Another popular Florida theme park is the Universal Orlando Parks. There are two parks called Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Both of these parks include the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
If you are planning a visit to Florida, you do want to make some time for Universal Orlando Resort.
One of the most exciting theme parks in Orlando is Discovery Cove. This park is a whole experience. You will swim with tropical fish, rays, and even dolphins at Discovery Cove. You also pay one price and everything is included from meals to snorkeling gear to alcohol for adults. Discovery Cove is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and definitely a must do in Florida.
Did you know the oldest city in the United States is actually in Florida. This city is called St. Augustine. This city is about 2 ½ hours from Orlando in North Florida. You can wander down the cobblestone streets (eating and shopping along the way) or watch the boats from the top of the fort.
You may even want to take a tour of St Augustine via horse drawn carriage. In the evening hours, you can take a ghost tour. St. Augustine is one of the most haunted cities in the US.
Another top thing to do in Florida is LEGOLAND. This theme park is a must do for families with younger children. LEGOLAND Park is about an hour from Orlando. If you have any LEGO fans in your family, you will want to plan a day trip to LEGOLAND. You will meet some LEGO friends, enjoy rides for all ages, and cheer for classic shows like the water ski show. It is an amazing day for younger families.
Snorkel in a Reef
Our next top thing to do in Florida is snorkel in a reef. In the Florida Keys, there are lots of opportunities to snorkel or dive at coral reefs. The 3rd largest Great Barrier Reef is also located off the coast of Key West.
You can rent a boat to snorkel at the reefs or hire an expert. We like taking the Fury excursions out of Key West. These boat captains know the conditions and always find the best possible reef for your day on the water.
Kayak with Manatees
One of the most amazing animals we have in Florida is the manatee. It is also called a sea cow. You can see these animals at Epcot and SeaWorld Orlando or you can see them in the wild.
You can go to Titusville, Crystal River, or Homosassa Springs to see manatees from land or by canoe or kayak. If you are more adventurous, you can even swim or snorkel with manatees. These gentle creatures are amazing to see up close, but do not touch them because they are protected.
If you love seafood, Florida is the perfect place to visit! You can find seafood in any of our beach communities on the East Coast or West Coast of Florida. One of our favorite places to get tons of seafood is the Florida Keys. If you like to fish, you can even take your catch to restaurants to cook it up for you.
Key Lime Pie
Another top thing to do in Florida is get Key Lime Pie. You can get Key Lime Pie at almost every restaurant in the Florida Keys. You can even get unique desserts like Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie or Key Lime Pie Ice Cream. If you come to Florida, you have to try Key Lime Pie.
Little local tip, you can get Key Lime Pie from our local grocery store called Publix. You can get it across Florida. The recipe for the Key Lime Pie came from the Florida Keys Publix, so you know it is a local favorite.
Lion Country Safari
One of the coolest animal adventures in Florida is the Lion Country Safari in South Florida. You actually drive your car through animal exhibits. Be prepared to wait for a giraffe to cross in front of your car or for an animal to lick your window. Your whole family will love the Lion Country Safari.
Our next top thing to do in Florida is SeaWorld Orlando. This park is filled with animal experiences, education, and thrill rides. Some of the best roller coasters in Orlando are actually at SeaWorld.
This park is perfect for kids of all ages. There is something for everyone.
Volcano Bay Water Park
We have a lot of water parks in Florida. There are (5) in Orlando. One of our favorite water parks is Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort. This water park makes you feel like you are in the Polynesian islands with tropical palm trees, flowers, and tikis. Your whole family will love the wave pools, lazy rivers, tube slides, and body slides. Plus, the little ones will play all day in the splash park, just for them.
You will also love the TapuTapu option. You will receive a band as you enter the gate. You will use this band to make reservations for rides, order food for lunch, and get pictures throughout the park. Volcano Bay is an epic water park and a must do in Florida.
Visit a Springs
Our next top thing to do in Florida is a hidden gem. Did you know there are 700 springs in Florida? Many of these springs are located in Central Florida. Springs are a chilly 72 degrees year round. You can tube down runs, snorkel in the crystal blue water, or watch for manatee. The springs are a refreshing and inexpensive way to cool off in Florida.
Hunt for Shark’s Teeth
One of the coolest things to do in Florida is hunt for shark’s teeth. You can find shark’s teeth at almost every beach on the Atlantic Ocean side of Florida.
You can also find shark’s teeth in springs throughout Florida. This is a fun souvenir to remember your Florida vacation.
Watch a Sunrise or Sunset
We have traveled around the world. However, some of my favorite sunsets are in Florida. We like taking a sailboat sunset cruise out of Key West. We got to experience a lot of sunsets on the Jolly Rover II during a recent sailboat adventure. You can click out the eye in the sky with that adventure.
We were on this sailboat for a week. However, you can reserve an evening on the Jolly Rover II or a catamaran cruise on Fury. It is such an incredible way to enjoy a Florida sunset.
We hope these ideas inspire family adventures during your Florida vacation. What is your favorite thing to do in Florida?