If you are in the Orange State, rest assured that there are plenty of things to do that will keep you busy. Catch some rays from the ever-present sun on one of the beaches along the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, explore the alligator-filled Everglades or spend the day at Disney World. You will have all the reasons to enjoy this vacation-ready location. Finding things to do in Florida is only as difficult as choosing which area of the state to explore first. Check out some of these most popular destinations as you spend some time in the Sunshine State.
1. Watch Underwater Creatures with Destin Snorkel
With its position on the crystal clear waters of the Florida panhandle, Destin Snorkel offers some of the best opportunities around for getting up close and personal with underwater creatures. This group is Coast Guard-approved. It offers options for passengers of all ages, sizes and abilities.
There are many dolphin-watching, snorkeling and sunset boating tours available. Additionally, you can book your own adventure. If you are looking for more adventurous things to do in Destin Florida, check out the SNUBA training. You will have the chance to swim underwater at up to 20 feet. Costs depend on the trip you choose and on the ages of the participants.
2. Visit a Theme Park in Orlando
Florida is perhaps most famous for its Orland-area theme parks. You will find the hub of theme parks in the sprawling Disney World complex, which includes the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios parks. With prices around $100 per person for a basic ticket each day, Disney World is undoubtedly one of the biggest tourist draws for the entire state.
However, Disney is not the only theme park that provides things to do in Orlando Florida. For about the same price, you can visit Universal Studios and its Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter parks. Orlando is also home to Discovery Cove, where you have the opportunity to personally interact with bottlenose dolphins and other marine animals. Finally, for things to do in Florida, check out Orlando’s version of Sea World. There you can see live performances starring killer whales, walruses and other types of aquatic life.
3. Learn at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa
Although Busch Gardens Tampa is a big draw for the city, you should also check out the Museum of Science and Industry for things to do in Tampa Florida. Known more commonly as MOSI, the museum is dedicated to encouraging kids to learn more about science, industry and technology. You will find more than 450 different hands-on activities. The museum also includes a 3D printing exhibit, a butterfly garden and a drone and robot zone.
Perfect for sudden Florida rain showers, the museum is the only IMAX Dome Theatre for things to do in Florida. It features movies and other shows every day on the hour. You can visit MOSI from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday or from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. General admission costs $20.95 for children ages 3-12 years and $26.95 for adults. This price includes entrance to the exhibits, one IMAX film, one stargazing show at the planetarium and one 3D experience in the Coleman Science Works Theater.
4. Gaze at the Mermaids at The Wreck Bar
If you are in the area, one of the most interesting things to do in South Florida is to watch a mermaid show at The Wreck Bar that is located in the B Ocean Resort. Since the show debuted in the 1950s, people have been flocking to this bar that is decorated to look like a sunken Spanish galleon. You will get an underwater view of the B Ocean Resort pool through portholes that are all around the bar. Women, including the infamous MeduSirena, appear as mermaids and provide graceful aquatic movements that will capture the attention of everyone in your group.
Patrons of all ages are welcome to the 30-minute shows that take place at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. However, late night shows are only for patrons who are ages 21 years and older. Guests have to to pay for food and drinks during the shows. The mermaids are available for pictures after their performance.
5. Honor Soldiers at the Navy SEAL Museum
Because it is the only museum of its type, visiting the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce is one of the most unique things to do in Florida. Displaying the history of the Navy SEALs, this museum is in the same place that the Underwater Demolition Teams and the Naval Combat Demolition Units once trained for D-Day during World War II. You will discover the uses for outdated and current Navy SEAL equipment, rare artifacts from past missions and a special memorial dedicated to fallen Navy SEAL teams and operations.
The museum is closed on Mondays, but you can visit Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Children ages 6-12 years must pay $5 to enter, and anyone over 13 years costs $10.
6. Explore the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
As the public side of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, you can explore the Visitor Complex when you are looking for things to do in Florida. Climb aboard one of the historic space vehicles, examine artifacts from the history of space travel and ride in the launch simulator to get a feel for what space travel would be like. You can take a bus tour of the Kennedy spaceport or wander the Apollo/Saturn V Center for more information about the Apollo program for additional fees.
General admission is $40 for children ages 3-11 years and $50 for adults over 12 years. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers several add-on options for additional fees. It also includes lunch with an astronaut for less than $30 per person and a tour of the launch pad and the Vehicle Assembly Building for less than $25 each.
7. Drive Through the Lion Country Safari
Try a trip through the Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee. Less than half an hour from West Palm Beach, this first cage-les, drive-through zoo allows you to possibly see more than 900 different animals as they walk around your vehicle. These creatures include zebras, white rhinos, ostriches and lions, and many of them will get very close to you. There is also a walking portion of the safari in which you can enjoy paddleboats, to play miniature golf and to feed birds, fish and giraffes.
Lion Country Safari is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the walking portion does not begin until 10:00 a.m. Visitors from the ages of 10-64 years will pay $35 each while kids ages 3-9 cost $26. Bring your binoculars and camera, and you will not be disappointed with the impressive views of the animals.
8. Stay at the Dry Tortugas National Park
There are few things to do in Florida that are as relaxing as staying at the Dry Tortugas National Park. This ancient and protected national park is only 104 acres in size when you include all seven small islands, and only 1 percent of the area is above water. You will find hundreds of reptiles and birds, five distinct species of sea turtles and historic Fort Jefferson.
Only 68 people are allowed on the islands at once, so you will want to be early to be part of the first come, first served system of occupation. Just 20 people can stay overnight in the Garden Key campground, which costs $10 per camper. You will need to provide all of your own provisions, including drinking water, and you should be prepared for unpredictable weather and strong winds. Wood fires and personal fuel sources are forbidden in order to protect the wildlife and the natural habitat.
Florida offers many different activities that are exciting and memorable. From the thrills of Orlando theme parks to the beauty of the natural landscapes and the wildlife of the panhandle and the southern tip, these things to do in Florida are sure to keep your interest. Check out some of these options that will help you have fun in the Sunshine State.