The Ultimate Florida Bucket List
30 Things to do in Florida: The Ultimate Florida Bucket List
Florida is full of adventure and unique places. Whether you're a tourist or a resident, this state has everything from theme parks to sunken gardens, famous beaches, and historical cities. Here we have put together 30 cool things to do in Florida.
Devil's Den - Williston
This underground spring is one of the U.S.’s most prehistoric places! The spring of Devil’s Den is 120 feet in diameter and averages 72 degrees year-round. With a depth of 54 feet, many people come here to snorkel, scuba dive, swim, rent a cabin or park their RV for some overnight adventures!
Ginnie Springs - High Springs
Ginnie Springs is located near the Santa Fe River and it is known for its clear, cold water. This is one of the best things to do in Florida during the hot summers! There are caverns with sand and limestone bottoms and you can also float your way around the springs on inner tubes, kayaks, paddle boards, and more! If interested, you can also scuba dive or snorkel in “Florida’s favorite freshwater dive” or camp by at the wooded acres for a full adventure!
Ringling Museum - Sarasota
This museum is giant as it has a variety of different exhibits to explore! The 66 acres include the John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art, which displays antiques and modern works, to the Circus Museum at the Ringling, which is an interactive American circus museum, you can spend hours exploring here. The Bayfront gardens are also gorgeous and you can visit the Ca’ d’ Zan mansion on the property!
Bok Towers - Lake Wales
Bok Towers is a contemplative garden and bird sanctuary in Lake Wales, Florida. With 250 acres of vast plants, flowers, trees, and art, this place will take your breath away! It features a 205 ft tall Singing Tower with carillon bells and you can also hike the Pine Ridge Trail or visit the Pinewood Estate if you’re feeling adventurous!
Disney World - Orlando
Walt Disney World is one of the most famous aspects of Florida! The four parks include Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, and feature different rides and themes around each park. With character meet and greets, fantastic food, shows, and rides around every corner, you’re bound to have the most amazing time here! There is also the surrounding area of Disney you can check out, such as the resorts and Disney Springs!
Universal Studios - Orlando
Often seen as Disney’s “competitor” Universal Studios is another outstanding theme park in Orlando, especially for those who love Marvel and Harry Potter! Universal has three parks: Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is split between two parks and you can take the Hogwarts Express between the two! For movie lovers alike, this theme park is one of the best things to do in Florida as there is so much history and love for classic films throughout each park.
Dome Houses in Florida - Cape Romano Island
Close to Cape Romano Island, the Dome Houses are one of the most unique things in Florida! The Cape Romano Dome Houses are only accessible via water and their offshore location catches the attention of many. Six dome-shaped homes sit on stilts, surrounded by water. These homes are abandoned. After being built in the 80s, the firm beach on which the domes were built eventually faded away, and now the domes are surrounded by water making them the perfect setting for wildlife and tall tales.
Kennedy Space Center - Merritt Island
The Kennedy Space Center is one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centers! At the space center, you can meet an astronaut, see the Space Shuttle Atlantis, go through the U.S. astronaut hall of fame, and visit the rocket garden. This center lets visitors get an up-close and hands-on view of humans in space. From exploring NASA’s space shuttle program to discovering more about upcoming space exploration, the Kennedy Space Center is educational and fun!
Saint Petersburg Sunken Gardens - Saint Petersburg
The Sunken Gardens is one of the most unique things as there aren’t many gardens like it. The Sunken Gardens are 4-aces of botanical gardens that have existed for more than a century. They are one of the oldest attractions in the U.S., let alone in Florida. This paradise located in the city is a great living museum that has a vast amount of tropical plants, meandering paths, waterfalls, and more. The gardens also offer tours, special events, and horticultural programs if it interests you! A romantic stroll here is one of the things to do in Florida for couples. Take photos and admire the views together.
Dry Tortugas National Park - Key West
It’s strange to think of a National Park in Florida but Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most fun things to do in Florida! Located along the Gulf of Mexico, east of Key West, the 7 islands of this park are surrounded by coral reefs perfect for exploration. Famously, Loggerhead Key has a lighthouse and is known for its sea turtles because Loggerhead Reef is nearby! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can check out Windjammer Wreck, which is the remains of an 1875 ship! It’s perfect for scuba and snorkeling!
Castillo De San Marcos - Saint Augustine
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the United States! Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay, it is now a national monument! With Spanish stones, this structure was built to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. While visiting you can explore rooms that once housed soldiers and prisoners, tour the courtyard and gun deck, and watch weaponry demonstrations while learning about its history!
Daytona International Speedway - Daytona
Daytona International Speedway is a racetrack that opened in 1959, where it has been home to the Daytona 500, which is arguably one of the most prestigious races in NASCAR history. When you’re not witnessing a famous event, you can also participate in speedway tours and enter the world of racing!
Butterfly World - Coconut Creek
Butterfly World is the largest butterfly park in the world! Opening in 1988, this facility houses over 20,000 live butterflies across 3 acres. There are also botanical gardens, a working butterfly farm, and a research facility featured here! Recently the park has expanded to include aviaries for tropical birds and a lorikeet center!
Duval Street - Key West
Duval Street is a downtown street in Key West that runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. With its vibrant, hole-in-the-wall bars, historical haunts, shops, and galleries there is not a dull moment on this street! Exploring here is one of the things to do in Florida at night. You can embark on bar crawls here, run with the bulls, go on a ghost tour, visit Hemingway’s house (which features 6-toed cats!), and eat famous Key lime pie all while enjoying the sun and nearby beaches!
Legoland - Orlando
This theme park is known for being family-friendly, as it focuses on the construction of Lego toys. Everything is designed to be like a Lego! The rides look like blocks and pieces, and the park is filled with displays of famous pieces. There is an awesome hotel you can stay at to really immerse yourself in the brand! Staying here feels like you have shrunk down and are now a little Lego too!
Naples Botanical Garden - Naples
Naples Botanical Garden is a 170-acre paradise! Stepping in here, you can see plants from all around the world with beautiful horticultural design and attention to sustainability! Today, the garden welcomes over 220,000 guests per year to experience the education centers, shops, halls, themed gardens, and flora that continue to grow.
The Dali Museum - St. Pete
This museum houses the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s work outside of Europe. Set on a waterfront setting, the architecture, and exhibits of this museum call people to St. Pete for this gorgeous experience. Make sure to also check out the Avant garden for a sense of tranquility and do not miss out on the building itself. The cafe is also cute and the gift shop has so many unique souvenirs.
Wynwood Walls - Miami
This unique outdoor destination features HUGE street murals from artists across the globe! The walls are now considered a museum as they feature some of the greatest artists that have worked in graffiti and street art. People come from all over to experience this art and you can take official tours or just navigate the murals by yourself.
Everglades National Park - Homestead
Everglades National Park is a 1.5 million-acre preserve that features wetlands on the southern tip of Florida! Made up of coastal mangroves, marshes, flat woods, and a variety of animal species, this is a fantastic thing to do in Florida, as you can drive through the everglades or take a boat out to enjoy the natural beauty. Don’t forget to book an airboat tour! Lots of hiking trails also help you navigate this beautiful park, and if you’re lucky, you can see some endangered Florida animals such as the Florida Panther and West Indian manatee!
Busch Gardens - Tampa
Busch Gardens is a great addition to your Florida bucket list as it is a perfect combination of a zoo and a theme park! Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an African-themed theme park that is over 335 acres and features a variety of animals such as hippos, elephants, otters, lions, giraffes, and so much more! You can even see some surgeries take place in the watch center of the animal hospital! Aside from the animals, there are also shows and lots of thrill rides! Known for its high-speed coasters, you will love the adventure this park brings!
Southern Most Point of the Continental USA - Key West
This is the lowest latitude in the North American States and is anchored by a concrete buoy. Eighteen feet above sea level, this is a popular destination and tourist attraction off of Whitehead Street.
Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a barrier island located on the Gulf Coast offering many Florida vacation activities. It is well known for its broad beaches, such as Manatee Beach Park, and its small city is like a resort, lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants. With a wooden pier and cute markets, lots of tourists love to explore the area that sells food, art, and jewelry in between their time on the sand and in the water!
Venetian Pool - Coral Gables
Created across 4-acres, the pool has gone through several phases over the years and has become a National Historical Place. Occupying over 820,000 gallons of fresh water from artesian wells, this is the largest freshwater pool in the United States. It varies in depth (4 feet from 8 feet), features a waterfall, and has a kiddy pool, bridges, grottos, cafes, and sandy areas!
Manatee Springs State Park - Chiefland
Manatee Springs State Park is one of the few Florida state parks that have a spring flowing directly into the Suwannee River. This spring features boardwalks beneath cypress forests and in the cooler months, you can spot manatees in the clear water. One of the best activities in Florida is kayaking with manatees. Other birds, mammals, and fish are spotted year round. From camping to tubing to walking the 32-mile Nature Coast State Trail, this park is full of adventurous things to do and explore!
Weeki Wache Springs Park
The 12,000-acre Weeki-Wachee preserve is one of the most unique things in Florida because they have mermaids! The Weeki Wachee Springs Park is one of the most commonly visited areas in Florida, as the springs feature cool, clear waters, slides, diving platforms, areas to sit and eat, and more. Better yet, though, this city is known for its legend of mermaids: every day there is a live mermaid show, but if you’re not feeling the fictional wildlife, you can go down the springs and onto the river to kayak and see more wildlife.
Cassadaga - Voluisa
This small town in Voluisa County is known for its psychics and mediums. Known as the “Psychic Capital of the World,” many travels far and wide just to experience the vibe and spiritualness of this area. The streets and small homes are quaint but provide specific energy. Between its medium, psychics, healers, haunted hotels, and healing energy, this city is really a village that feels a world away from everything else.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Previously known as Villa Vizcaya, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is the former villa and estate of James Deering and was built in 1916. This National Historic Landmark is an experience and therefore we are adding it to your things to do in Florida itinerary as it is a unique cultural gem. This Gilded Age estate on Biscane Bay is surrounded by 10 acres of gardens, mangroves, and rocky lands. During your tours here you can do a food lab, discover what is in bloom near the Fountain Garden, and explore the estate’s stunning architecture.
Juniper Springs - Ocala
Found in the Ocala National Forest, this is the place to go for swimming, kayaking, and hiking. It is also a great place for wildlife viewing, including otters, American eels, and even albino gray squirrels. The beautiful blue water is super clear making it ideal for snorkeling. With a year-round temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, it is refreshing in the heat of a Florida summer. You can also camp at this spring. The dense canopy provides plenty of shade, picnic tables, and restrooms.
And there you have it: a Florida bucket list that is full of stops that are perfect for any tourist or resident alike! From unique places to highly anticipated beaches or theme parks and all the natural beauty in between, Florida is not a dull state. You can spend forever exploring all Florida has to offer, but these stops are where we recommend starting!
Go on and explore the Sunshine State– we promise you won’t be disappointed!
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