Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to Do in Florida!

Since Ponce de León first discovered it in 1513, Florida has attracted people for its beautiful weather, beaches and lush scenery.

When most of us think of the Sunshine State, we think of all that - along with oranges, "Miami Vice" and of course, all those family-friendly resorts like Disney World. But there's so much more to experience in Florida, and here are 20 of the coolest things to check out.

Castillo de San Marcos

This St. Augustine masonry fort is the oldest in America, dating back nearly 350 years. Within its walls are the memories of the Spanish, British, African American, Native American and other cultures that helped forge our nation. Plus, there are cool cannons!

Tarpon Springs

It's famous for the natural sponges retrieved from the sea - and the Greek community that sprung up around that industry. Besides the opportunity to go sponge diving (or just take a tour to see how it's done), you can enjoy some of the best Greek food anywhere in America.

Everglades National Park

It's the largest subtropical wilderness area in America, and the second largest national park (after Yellowstone). Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching and fishing are all popular activities - but the most fun is taking an airboat ride around some of its million-plus acres.

Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

Located in Miami, it's the former winter home of billionaire businessman James Deering (International Harvester). Formal gardens, more than 2,500 pieces of art - it's so impressive that its played host to members of royalty.

Silver Springs

The glass-bottom boat tours are Florida's oldest attraction and have lost none of their appeal. Besides getting a fantastic look at the underwater flora and fauna, you'll glide over things like sunken boats and artifacts from when Hollywood used the springs for movie shoots.

Dive for your dinner

The Plantation on Crystal River offers a fun package that lets you dive for scallops - then have them cooked for your dinner. Scallops live in three to eight feet of water, so snorkeling is the easiest way to nab them. Plus, you can stay cool, all at the same time.

Wekiwa Springs

This 7,000-acre state park is just outside of Orlando - and a prime spot for cooling off on a hot summer's day. You can take a guided canoe tour - or just skip it and plunge into the icy waters of the springs.

Florida Caverns State Park

Sure, you can camp, hike, ride horses…but the underground air-filled caves are the big attraction with the many crazy rock and limestone formations. There are guided tours, which are super-interesting…and get you out of the heat. (Marianna)

Swim with the manatees

These gentle creatures are beloved in Florida, and there are several places where you're allowed to passively observe them in their watery home. Check out manatee tours to learn where you can snorkel alongside of them.

Orlando Science Center

This marvelous place features four floors of engaging exhibits, big-screen movies and more that makes learning new things actually fun. Locals know this is a great place to bring the kids - or bored adults - on a rainy day.

Savor an International Food & Wine Festival

From early October to mid-November, Disney's Epcot Center hosts this popular festival. Celebrity chefs cook up their specialties, there are beer and wine tastings/seminars, concerts and more. It's the happiest place on earth for foodies.

Daytona Blues Festival

The super-popular three-day festival in October attracts dozens of up-and-coming artists, along with big names. There are also fun after-parties at local bars and restaurants, and best of all, the event raises tons of money for local charities.

Set your kite aloft

"Kitetober" is one of Miami's biggest fall events. Whether you want to learn to build one, watch experts zig and zag or try your skill in a kite-flying competition, be prepared to keep your eye on the sky!

Explore the Keys

This strong of islands stretches 120 miles off Florida's tip, and offer incredible opportunities to fish, scuba dive and snorkel, go boating - or just hit one of many laid-back bars in Key West. It's the lifestyle made famous by Jimmy Buffet.

Ernest Hemingway House

For over a decade, Hemingway lived and wrote in this Key West home, and it still features some original furnishings (and a bookstore, of course). Perhaps the most famous feature are the 40-50 descendants of a six-toed (polydactyl) cat "Papa" was given back in the day - they call the property home and are cared for by staff.

Own your own bit of sunshine

Florida is known for its oranges. So bypass that carton of juice and head to any one of dozens of groves that will let you pick a fresh one right off the tree. You'll forget that it's winter once you take a bite.

Kennedy Space Center

One of the nation's most important sites for space flight is worth a visit. Bus tours help cover the 140,000 acres in Titusville. Inside are incredible displays of rocketry, fantastic IMAX movies and you can even meet a real astronaut. Or three.

The Ringling Museum

The Big Top comes alive in this fantastic museum in Sarasota. Not only are there miniature displays, there are also many historic artifacts. If clowns scare you, there's another building devoted to the family's massive (and world-class) art collection - and the mansion that you can explore.

The Daytona 500

Before the Daytona National Speedway was built in 1959, this important race was run along the hard-packed sand of the beach. Kicking off the racing season in February, it's considered one of the premiere NASCAR cup events.

Salvador Dali Museum

One of the 20th century's most unique artists has a ton of his work housed in a building that's as "out there" as some of his pieces. Besides paintings and sculpture, there are wonderful insights into his life and creative process. (St. Petersburg)

Share your favorites!
Florida Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You

Florida Strawberry Festival

10:00 AM
Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City, FL
Learn More

Oak Ridge Boys

3:30 PM
Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City, FL
Learn More

Central Florida Fair

4:00 PM
Central Florida Fair, Orlando, FL
Learn More

African American Collage Art

4:30 PM
South Creek Branch Library, Orlando, FL
Learn More

Cirque du Soleil: Drawn to Life

5:30 PM
Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL
Learn More

Sammy Rae & The Friends

7:00 PM
House of Blues Orlando, Orlando, FL
Learn More


7:00 PM
The Abbey, Orlando, FL
Learn More
Show More
Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
800 US 98 S, Lake Bonny Park, Lakeland, FL
Lakeland Skate Park is for skate boards and inline skaters only. NO BIKES or motorized vehicles are allowed in the park. Lakeland Skate Park provid... Read More
1400 Broadway Boulevard South East, Polk City, FL
Located midway between Tampa and Orlando in Polk City, Florida, Fantasy of Flight is an aviation-themed attraction that takes visitors back to Earl... Read More
4825 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL
The Family Fun Center is the best place for family fun in Lakeland, FL. We have entertainment for all ages including  arcade games, Mini-golf,... Read More
4399 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL
About Us:Polk's Nature Discovery Center sits on one of Polk County's treasured Environmental Areas, Circle B Bar Reserve. The facilities at Circle ... Read More
4175 Medulla Road, Lakeland, FL
The Florida Air Museum, Floridas “Official Aviation Museum and Education Center” features a dynamic display of the best examples aviati... Read More
16000 State Rd 471, Lakeland, FL
Colt Creek State Park is more than 5,000 acres of native Central Florida habitat, a place to explore the natural communities and wildlife that make... Read More
4626 Krusen Field Road, Zephyrhills, FL
SKATE AT YOUR OWN RISK Action sports are hazardous recreational activities. There are certain inherent risks in the use of the Skate Park, includi... Read More
5039 4th Street, Zephyrhills, FL
WaterPlay offers kids a fun and safe way to cool off under fountain jets and falling buckets of water. Located in Zephyr Park at Fourth Street and ... Read More
1010 N. Church Avenue, Suite 1, Mulberry, FL
5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, FL
Dinosaur World is the name of three outdoor museums, one in Plant City, Florida, one in Cave City, Kentucky, and the third in Glen Rose, Texas, whe... Read More
15402 U.S. 301 North, Thonotosassa, FL
Except for occasional reenactments, the cannon and guns are now silent at Fort Foster. No longer do Seminole Indians have to fight to keep a footho... Read More
One Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL
Legoland Florida, Central Florida's newest theme park, is a 150-acre, full two-day interactive family theme park specifically designed for families... Read More
Brandon Skate Park, Brandon, FL
About Us: Opened in 2012, 11,000-square-foot Brandon Skate Par built by Team Pain, funded and operated by Hillsborough County. • Entrance to... Read More
6920 East Fletcher Avenue, Tampa, FL
Lettuce Lake opened in 1982, and quickly became a hub of activities. The 240-acre site offers something for everyone. Wooded picnic areas and playg... Read More
17302 Commerce Park Boulevard, Tampa, FL
Located in New Tampa Community Park, the Recreation Center has a 12,500 square-foot gymnastics area, which includes a gymnastic pit, tumbling strip... Read More
Show More
Select a Florida town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Gilchrist County
Lafayette County