Beyond Walt Disney World, there's more fairytales to be found in Florida. From the emerald-green waters of the Panhandle in the north to the lush wetlands of the Everglades in the south – and every vibrant city, historic landmark, and sandy beach in between – Florida is a wonderland of beauty, excitement and charm that will leave you wanting more after every visit.
That's why, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary
, we''ve listed our top 20 things to do in Florida for an epic 2023 and beyond!
Everglades Airboat Tour
Gliding through the surprisingly lush swamps of the Everglades National Park on an exhilarating airboat ride is one of Florida's most unique activities. They may go fast but you will still be able to catch native wildlife such as alligators, crocodiles, snakes, panthers, and a cornucopia of beautiful birds. And for a slower pace, try kayaking your way through Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge on an unforgettable overnight trip.
Meander Miami's South Beach
Famed not just for its endless stretch of lightly toasted sands, South Beach
is also home to around 800 art deco buildings peppered along Ocean Drive. Get lost amid 11th and 14th Streets while snapping photos and exploring the bold colours, smooth curves and tropical themes of the architecture that defines a bygone era.
Taste Europe at the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
While you're in Miami
, this striking Mediterranean-inspired mansion is well worth a visit. Built by millionaire James Deering, it's filled with beautiful artwork, precious antiques, and remarkable sculptures. Deering's family have maintained the building and its immaculate gardens for decades so the public can enjoy it in all its European-influenced glory.
Feel the Magic at Walt Disney World Resort
There might be more to Florida, but we could never skip this attraction. Topping most people's bucket lists of things to do in Orlando
Florida is visiting its world-renowned theme parks, in particular Walt Disney World Resort and its four incredible parks. Its magic is inimitable and enchants millions of visitors of all ages year after year. There's no place on earth that packs in as much joy!
Day Tripping in Tampa Bay
Just a couple of hours' drive away from Orlando sits the lively city of Tampa
, famed for its eclectic food, drink and shopping along Tampa Riverwalk, the rich cultural heritage of Ybor City and of course the epic rides and animal encounters at Tampa Bay's Busch Gardens
. Spend a day, or two, or three here and absorb this captivating city.
Launch Yourself to the Kennedy Space Center
About an hour east of Orlando takes you to Merritt Island and the excellent Kennedy Space Center
, which makes for a great day out and offers the chance for everyone of all ages to marvel at the glory of space exploration, including breath-taking shuttles and real-life rockets.
Make a Splash at SeaWorld Orlando
One of Florida's most loved attractions, SeaWorld Orlando
is part-aquatic zoo and part-theme park, which equals to one great adventure that can be done in just a single day. Featuring some of the area's best roller coaster rides as well as a host of thrilling animal exhibits including penguins, dolphins and sea lions, here you're guaranteed an unforgettable experience.
Explore a fictional fantasy world at Universal Orlando Resort
Peerless in its dedication to all things movie-related, Universal Orlando Resort
boasts two world-famous theme parks and a fabulous water park, plus the lively CityWalk and a range of unique themed hotels. From spellbinding thrills to otherworldly adventures, you won't want to miss ANY of it!
Traverse the Gulf Coast Beaches
With 779 miles of striking white sands along Florida's eastern shoreline, there are plenty of things to do and see on the glittering Gulf Coast
. Twin an Orlando stay with a few nights soaking up the dynamic coastal towns of Clearwater
or St Petersburg
, getting in some water sports action at Panama City Beach
or shelling your heart out on Sanibel Island
Scuba Dive in the Keys
Of all the fun things to do in Florida, scuba diving and snorkelling in the Keys is one of the most desirable. It's not called the 'Dive Capital of the World' for nothing, you know! Key Largo
is the first island you will come to on your journey and is home to the only natural coral reef in the continental US, making it the prime spot for exploring its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life.
Bathe in Florida's Natural Springs
Florida boasts 33 first-magnitude natural springs – and over 1000 in total – more than any other US state. These effervescent wonders display an ethereal aquatic world of crystal-clear waters, willowy plants, and intriguing wildlife such as manatees, otters, and loggerhead turtles. Explore Rainbow Springs, Silver Springs and Wakulla Springs State Park for swimming, glass-bottomed boat tours, and some of the best wildlife-watching in the world.
Delve into History in St. Augustine
Known as the 'Nation's Oldest City', St. Augustine
was founded in 1565 and has remained continuously inhabited since then. Just 55 miles north of Daytona Beach, this charming city features historical landmarks such as Castillo de San Marcos, beautiful beaches, and several excellent museums.
Ride a Seaplane to Dry Tortugas National Park
This one-of-a-kind park comprises seven separate islands that are accessible only by seaplane or boat, but if you're already in Key West
it's a must-see destination. Its abundance of marine life including protected coral reefs and tropical fish makes for incredible snorkelling opportunities. Also, marvel at the 19th-century Fort Jefferson and spot the famous turtles at the Loggerhead Key lighthouse!
Enjoy a Race Day at Daytona International Speedway
Whether you're a car enthusiast or not, a visit to the home of NASCAR is a must if you're in the Daytona Beach
area. Take a VIP tour around the speedway, explore the archives and museum, and if you time it right you may catch the world-famous Daytona 500 for an experience like no other!
Roam The Ringling in Sarasota
Officially named the State Art Museum of Florida in 1980, The Ringling is a huge museum complex presenting the impressive art collection of legendary circus owners John and Mable Ringling. Wander its 66 acres and explore the Circus Museum, the Ca' d'Zan mansion and the verdant Bayfront Gardens for a magical and educational day out just south of Tampa.
Explore the Charming City of Naples
This upscale destination is a city with a small-town vibe. Resting on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples
oozes sophistication from its high-end boutique shopping and dining to its fine art and world-class golf – it's truly the place to be seen. A walk around the stunning botanical gardens is a real highlight!
Chill Out on Anna Maria Island
Another Gulf Coast gem, Anna Maria Island
is paradise on earth. With a range of gorgeous villa and apartment accommodations and seven miles of white-sand beaches, this is a spot in which to completely unwind away from the livelier destinations and enjoy some uninterrupted family time in the sun by the sea.
Enjoy the Idyll of Ichetucknee Springs State Park
The six-mile Ichetucknee River is one of Florida's best for tubing, paddling, and swimming, and its warm, translucent waters also make it an excellent spot for snorkelling. You can spend hours here hiking, bird watching, canoeing, or simply picnicking among the idyllic wildlife such as beavers, otters, softshell turtles, and even wild turkeys.
Take a Snap at Gatorland Orlando
If you're going to come across an alligator in Florida, your safest bet is at the aptly named Gatorland
, a 110-acre wildlife reserve also known as "The Alligator Capital of the World". More than 2,000 of these impressive hunters reside here, as well as a unique zip line attraction and a fantastic off-road vehicle adventure in the swamp – amazing experiences you can really sink your teeth into!
Go All-in at Discovery Cove
Florida's premier all-inclusive park is located next to SeaWorld Orlando and offers a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. A day's visit includes swimming with dolphins, all your food and drink, white-sand beaches and a lagoon with waterfalls and a lazy river, snorkelling with amazing tropical fish, up-close animal encounters, and all your wetsuit gear – so turn up in your bathing suit and you're ready to go!
An Ocean Florida Bonus - Enjoy Orlando for Free
When you travel with Ocean Florida, you'll receive four free Orlando experiences valued at $440.
This exclusive Ocean Explorer
bundle provides you with a 7-day I-Ride Trolley Pass to access I-Drive's exciting attractions and tickets for the Wheel at ICON Park to view Orlando from above. You'll also receive a $20 shopping voucher to find that perfect souvenir and a seat at a comedy dinner show with bottomless pizza and beer!
Ready to dive in? Get in touch today to start planning your next Florida holiday for 2023 & 2024!