12 Awesome things to do in Florida

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

The state of Florida is sometimes called the Sunshine State. And that immediately tells you what to expect from a vacation to Florida! The subtropical climate makes for very variated landscapes and scenery. From the colonial charm of St. Augustine to Miami's vibrant nightlife and the size of the Everglades. Here are some of Florida's top things to do.

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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things to do in Florida

1. Miami

Miami is one of the most trendy cities in the US. Not only does the city habe a vibrant nightlife with many cool nightclubs, it also has beaches such as Miami Beach which are some of Miami’s best attractions. The tropical beaches alone make Miami a perfect mix between American culture and the Caribbean. The reason for Miami having so much Caribbean influences is because of its population. The Cuban district ‘Little Havana’ is a perfect example of this and definitely one of Miami’s top things to see. A culinary tour ($60) in this neighborhood is one of the most popular tours in Miami.

miami beach - things to do florida

Miami Beach. The white sand and palm trees are gorgeous, aren’t they?

2. Key West

Another thing to do from Miami is a day trip to Key West. This island is the southernmost point of the USA and is known for the many water sports you can try out, the beaches and the historical sites you can visit. Key West’s old town with its special architectural structures is one of Key West’s biggest attractions. One of the most fascinating excursions in Florida is a ride with the conch train that brings you along all of Key West’s top sights. It’s the perfect way to experience the Caribbean atmosphere of the Florida Keys.

things to see in florida: key west

The locals of Key West don’t mind posing for a pic now and then.

3. Fort Myers

During a visit to Florida, a stopover in Fort Myers is very popular with tourists. The city on the west coast of the Sunshine State is described as a place where the atmosphere of ancient Florida is still hanging in the streets. Although most of the travelers come to sunbathe on these beaches, it’s the view of Fort Myers from the Caloosahatchee River which is considered to be one of the top things to do in Florida. Reason enough to come and visit this cosy city!

fort myers things to do florida

Fort Myers has something for everyone. Beautiful beaches and an authentic, peaceful village.

4. Visiting Everglades National Park

Visiting the Everglades National Park is undoubtedly one of the many highlights of Florida. The swamp is the home of crocodiles, alligators and many reptiles. The park is easiest to explore with an airboat. At high speed you float over the water and the swamp between the crocodiles thus makes one of the most booked excursions in Florida. Whether you are a nature lover or not, visiting the Everglades National Park will leave a deep impression. The National Park is one of Florida’s most visited attractions.

wildlife national park florida

In the Everglades National Park you’ll find an incredible amount of wildlife and gorgeous scenery.

5. Fort Lauderdale

With the nickname ‘Venice of America’ you shouldn’t be surprised that the city’s extensive channel system is one of the best things to do in Fort Lauderdale. The channel system, along with the many beaches, attracts millions of tourists making it one of the best things to see in Florida.

Fort Lauderdale florida attraction

Fort Lauderdale lies very close to Miami.

6. Orlando

Orlando is known for theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios and SeaWorld Orlando. It’s therefore not surprising that Orlando is one of the most important attractions in Florida when you’re traveling as a family with children. For the kids, visiting Universal Studios is one of the highlights of Florida. In addition to the ever-popular theme parks, there are many other attractions in Orlando that are worth it to spend a few days here. Alongside the major International Drive, you can shop for more than an afternoon as well.

universal studios orlando things to do

Universal Studios Orlando has great rides and amazing decorations!

7. The Tampa Bay Area

The Tampa Bay Area is located near the Gulf of Mexico and is a region full of cities with a vibrant culture. The bustling nightlife ensures that it’s one of Florida’s best things to do according to many tourists. The amusement parks combined with the Caribbean atmosphere create the true holiday feeling.

tampa bay florida

Florida has a lot of impressive cities, and one not to be missed is Tampa!

8. Biscayne National Park

A visit to Biscayne National Park can’t be anything less than one of the best things to do in Florida. This protected coral reef is a unique experience. The underwater world can be explored during a snorkeling session, but for the people who like to keep it dry I recommend renting a canoe with a glass bottom. This alternative way of viewing the coral reef is one of the most unique attractions of Florida. In addition, you can also camp at one of the two camping sites located on an island. Little sights in Florida bring you as close to nature as this one.

biscayne bay florida attractions

Tired from a busy day? Enjoy the gorgeous landscapes around the Biscayne Bay.

9. Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is home to NASA and is the place where every American flight to space was launched since 1968. The Space Center is located alongside Cape Canaveral near Cocoa Beach. The tours offered will give you insight into how a space flight is being prepared. If you’re in the area, it’s therefore one of the attractions in Florida that you should definitely visit.

kennedy space center florida

If you’re lucky, a rocket might be shot into space while you’re visiting Florida!

10. Dry Tortugas National Park

The many sights in Florida make you wonder if two weeks of vacation is enough to get to know the Sunshine State. Do we ever have enough time?! Those who have had it with the many beaches, amusement parks and other things to do in Florida can visit the Dry Tortugas National Park by boat or plane. It’s one of the remote islands west of Key West. On the islands you can see the impressive Fort Jefferson, a nineteenth-century American fort.

dry tortugas national park key west florida

From Key West it’s not that far to head to the Dry Tortugas National Park. But you need to spend quite some cash to get there!

11. Dali Museum

The Dali Museum in St Petersburg is a museum dedicated to the artist Salvador Dali, exhibiting just about the second largest collection of his work. This makes it one of the greatest places to visit in Florida at an artistic and cultural level.

Dali museum florida

If you thought only Barcelona was insane about Dali… Think twice!

12. Turtle Hospital

The Turtle Hospital located in the city of Marathon is a hospital focusing on the care and rescue of endangered sea turtles. This place may not be one of Florida’s most famous sights, but their noble goal is more than enough reason to add them to this list. The Turtle Hospital is a non-profit organization that helps cure wounded turtles and later helps them rehabilitate in the wild.
The place has both a scientific and educational purpose for visitors via guided tours.

turtle hospital florida

It’s sad to hear that a lot of these beautiful creatures are endangered… Luckily there are organizations like the Turtle Hospital!


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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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