A Friendly Guide to the Sunshine State: Things To Do In Florida
If you’re looking to spend some time in the Sunshine State, you’ve made an excellent choice. Florida, where the sun shines bright and the orange juice is fresh, is home to a plethora of exciting adventures waiting for you. Here’s my ultimate guide to exploring Florida in the best way possible. Grab your sunscreen and shades; we’re going on a trip!
1. Get Lost in the Magic: Disney World and Universal Studios
Okay, I know this is the most obvious, but seriously, no trip to Florida is complete without a visit to the enchanting Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando. Whether you’re 8 or 80, the magic is undeniable. From the Cinderella Castle to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there’s something for everyone. Plan ahead, wear comfortable shoes, and don’t forget to bring some Disney or Harry Potter-themed outfits for those Insta-worthy snaps!
2. Beach Bumming: Florida’s Gorgeous Coastline
Did someone say beaches? Florida boasts some of the most stunning beaches in the USA. Here are my top picks:
South Beach, Miami
Head down to South Beach for glitzy vibes, electric nightlife, and eye-candy art deco buildings. Don’t forget to take a walk along the iconic Ocean Drive.
For a more family-friendly setting, Clearwater Beach is a must. The calm waters and pristine sands make it perfect for swimming and sandcastle building. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins.
Key West is the southernmost point of the continental U.S., and it feels like paradise. The laid-back atmosphere and beautiful sunsets make it the perfect place for relaxation and reflection.
3. The Natural Side of Florida: Springs, Swamps, and Wildlife
Florida isn’t just about theme parks and beaches; it also has some remarkable natural wonders.
Everglades National Park
For a wild adventure, venture into the Everglades National Park. Take an airboat tour to explore the swampy grasslands, and keep an eye out for alligators and a diverse range of bird species.
This is a unique gem where you can swim with manatees! Yes, you heard it right. Crystal River is the only place in the U.S. where you can legally swim with these gentle giants. It’s a life-changing experience, trust me.
4. Space Enthusiasts Rejoice: Kennedy Space Center
If you’re even remotely interested in space, rockets, or science, the Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit. Located on Merritt Island, this iconic site has been the launchpad for countless NASA missions. Take a bus tour, experience a shuttle launch simulator, and maybe even meet an astronaut!
5. Indulge in Florida Cuisine
Let’s talk food! Florida’s culinary scene is as diverse as its population. Must-try dishes include:
Grab a classic Cuban sandwich, a delicious combo of ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.
Key Lime Pie
You can’t leave Florida without trying Key Lime Pie, a perfect mix of tangy and sweet, made with key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk.
Florida’s coastline offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Gorge on shrimp, oysters, and grouper. And while in the Keys, definitely try conch fritters!
6. Immerse Yourself in Culture and History
Florida’s rich history and culture are often overlooked. Here are a few places where you can experience it firsthand.
As the oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine is brimming with history. Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, stroll down St. George Street, and take a sip from the Fountain of Youth.
Miami’s Little Havana
For a slice of Cuban culture, head to Little Havana in Miami. Enjoy Cuban coffee, play a game of dominos in the park, and dance to the rhythm of Latin music.
7. Shop Till You Drop
If you’re a shopaholic like me, Florida won’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for designer labels or quirky souvenirs, there’s something for every budget.
Located in Sunrise, Sawgrass Mills is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States. You might need to wear your running shoes to cover it all!
For a more themed shopping experience, Disney Springs offers an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Perfect for picking up Disney memorabilia!
8. Sports and Outdoor Activities
For those who love staying active, there’s no shortage of sports and outdoor activities in Florida.
Florida is a golfer’s paradise with some of the best golf courses in the country. Whether you’re a pro or just starting, you’ll find a course that suits your skill level.
With an extensive coastline and countless lakes and rivers, Florida is an angler’s dream. Charter a boat, or simply fish from a pier or the shore.
9. Festivals and Events
Florida is home to a myriad of festivals and events throughout the year. From the Florida Strawberry Festival to Miami’s Art Basel, there’s always something happening.
Wrapping it Up
That’s quite a list, but it just goes to show how much Florida has to offer. Whether you’re seeking thrills in theme parks, relaxing on pristine beaches, delving into history, or enjoying the great outdoors, Florida has something for everyone. Pack your bags and let the Sunshine State sweep you off your feet!