March 20, 2024 | Sammy Tran

20 Must-See Attractions In Florida


Florida’s Best Tourist Attractions

Florida is one of the most popular tourist destinations in America. Many people flock to Orlando or the Keys, but there are cool things to see all over the state. 

Check out the top 20 attractions in Florida.

florida tourist attractions

Walt Disney World

When it comes to incredible theme park experiences, few places leave quite an impression like Disney World. 

Millions of people still come to this renowned park every year, and with so many things to do and see, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FloridaRogerMayhem, Needpix

Walt Disney World (cont’d)

Some of the most popular attractions at the park include the Magic Kingdom, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon waterparks, and the Animal Kingdom Park, where you can see some of the world’s most exotic creatures. 

There are also lots of places to eat and shop, as well as shows for visitors of all ages.

Walt Disney WorldChad Sparkes, Flickr

Kennedy Space Center

Welcome to one of Florida’s most thrilling—and educational—attractions. This huge center has seen the birth of many innovations in space exploration, and also provides people with a rare experience to see real rockets and the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Kennedy Space CenterTrump White House Archived, Flickr

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Kennedy Space Center (cont’d)

At the Visitor Complex, people can explore several different zones, which feature cool displays and interactive exhibits that cater to people of all ages. 

With the Behind the Gates Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour, you can see restricted areas of the space center, including old launch sites.

Kennedy Space CenterFarragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Universal Studios

Though it’s often compared to Walt Disney World, many people say that Universal Studios is the better of the two parks

This massive park is full of rides and recreated sets inspired by popular movies and TV shows.

Universal Studios In OrlandoGuy Percival, Public Domain Pictures

Universal Studios (cont’d)

The rides at Universal Studios are some of the best in the world, with everything from thrilling roller coasters to unforgettable 3D and 4D simulator rides

The park is also home to the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where visitors can explore Hogsmeade Village and board the Hogwarts Express.

universal studios orlando Wizarding World of Harry PotterGregory Varnum, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World is a fun, quirky alternative to some of Florida’s other huge theme parks, but it’s got fun for everyone. 

Life-sized models of triceratops, T. Rex, and other species instantly draws the eye and there are lots of cool things to do here.

Dinosaur Worldwynner3, Flickr

Dinosaur World (cont’d)

The park has lots of nature trails, full of dinosaur replicas, a museum with life-like robotic dinosaurs, and chances to dig for fossil replicas. 

There are also two playgrounds and dog-friendly section—it really is perfect for the whole family.

Dinosaur Worldwynner3, Flickr

Art Deco Historic District

Miami Beach is one of the more unique sandy destinations in Florida because it’s where you’ll find the colorful Art Deco Historic District, which features restored buildings from the 1930s and 40s.

Miami Art Deco DistrictMaciek Lulko, Flickr

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Art Deco Historic District (cont’d)

Many of the buildings have been converted into luxurious hotels, condos, and restaurants but they create an unforgettable ambience that reflects that area’s rich history. 

Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue are some of the more popular streets in the area, offering lots of opportunities for incredible views of the ocean and exploring famous locales like The Carlyle and Hotel Breakwater South Beach.

art deco buildings, MiamiView Apart, Shutterstock

Everglades National Park

Protecting 1.5 million acres of swamp and marshland, this crucial ecosystem is the home of some of Florida’s best wildlife. 

Alligators, American crocodiles, panthers, manatees, and river otters are just some of the animals you can see here.

Everglades National Park, FloridaDaniel Kraft, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Everglades National Park (cont’d)

Most people opt to take an airboat to see the Everglades, which lets you get close to the alligators. 

Tours usually last half a day, and most hotels in Miami have services to transport you to the Everglades and back to your accommodations.

Everglades National Park, Floridaslack12, Flickr

Daytona 500 International Speedway

The Daytona 500 is one of the most famous races in the NASCAR Cup Series. It marks the start of the racing season every February, drawing huge crowds to the Daytona International Speedway.

Daytona 500 International Speedway, FloridaZach Catanzareti Photo, Flickr

Daytona 500 International Speedway (cont’d)

The Speedway was built in 1959, which shifted the race scene from the sands of Daytona Beach to a proper track. 

February is the best time to go, so you can watch the race. But even if you can’t make it then, there are cool tours of the Speedway year-round.

Daytona 500 International Speedway raceLevel 5 Motorsports, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld is another huge amusement park that’s popular among family vacationers. 

In addition to the famous dolphin and whale shows, people can also see cool performances from a range of other animals, including otters, sea lions, and even a few cats.

SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida, United StatesRobert Linsdell, Flickr

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SeaWorld Orlando (cont’d)

There are many exhibits that offer unique opportunities to learn about marine life—one of the main highlights is the Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin display. 

SeaWorld also has lots of cool rides, like the high-speed Mako roller coaster and the Journey to Atlantis water ride.

SeaWorld Orlando Florida rideVIAVAL TOURS, Shutterstock

Busch Gardens Tampa

This African theme park is one of Tampa’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s also one of the largest zoos in North America.

 As well as standard enclosures which are home to animals like lions, tigers, and gorillas, people can also go on a safari ride to see animals like zebras, giraffes, and rhinos roaming free.

Busch Gardens Tampa FloridaJeremy Thompson, Flickr

Busch Gardens Tampa (cont’d)

Busch Gardens also has lots of other tours and live shows, which offer unique opportunities to get close to animals like penguins, elephants, and tigers. 

There are also lots of thrill rides, with something for people of all ages.

Busch Gardens in Tampa, FloridaJoni Hanebutt, Shutterstock

Dry Tortugas National Park

Comprised of seven beautiful reef islands, Dry Tortugas National Park is the perfect place for snorkeling and basking on pristine sandy beaches. 

To get the park, you’ll have to take a catamaran boat from Key West, about 70 miles away.

Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. Fort JeffersonVarina C, Shutterstock

Dry Tortugas National Park (cont’d)

Fort Jefferson, built in the 1800s, is the main attraction at the park. Visitors can also camp here, creating the unique feeling of living on a deserted island once all the other tourists are gone.

Dry Tortugas National Park FloridaDry Tortugas NPS, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Duval Street

Key West is a popular destination in Florida, and one of the highlights here is Duval Street. 

Many of the shops and restaurants on Duval Street have outdoor patios and are in old buildings that have been beautifully restored.

Duval StreetPietro Valocchi, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Duval Street (cont’d)

The atmosphere on Duval Street is always lively, so even just going for a stroll there is fun. 

There are also many interesting residential areas to explore, and nearby attractions like the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.

Duval Street, Key West, FLArtiom Photo, Shutterstock

See The Manatees

Florida has several great spots to see these loveable sea cows. November to mid-April is the best time to see them. 

One of the best free places to get close to these creatures is the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center. It’s located at the Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach and the manatees come here to bask in the warm water that cools the power plant. 

Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing CenterFWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Flickr

See The Manatees (cont’d)

For those who are a bit more adventurous, there are also several opportunities to swim with the manatees. 

One of the best places to do this is at Crystal River. The manatees are attracted to the warm springs here and no strangers to curious tourists.

Manatees , Crystal River , Florida, Hot SpringsThierry Eidenweil, Shutterstock

St. Augustine’s Historic District

This is considered to be one of the oldest settlements in Florida, and it’s home to some of the best historic architecture in the state. 

One of the most popular attractions is Flagler College. It was built as a hotel in the late 19th century by railroad magnate Henry Flagler. Now, it’s one f the most photographed buildings in St. Augustine.

St. Augustine’s Historic DistrictBob, Flickr

St. Augustine’s Historic District (cont’d)

A visit to this district must also include a stop at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. 

Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in North America. It was built in the 17th century and has been well-maintained over the years. Even for people who aren’t into history, it’s an impressive sight.

Castillo de San MarcosRed Lemon, Shutterstock

Edison And Ford Winter Estates

Located in Fort Myers, these two mansions offer a rare glimpse into the lives of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company. 

At Edison’s house, and in the outbuildings on the grounds, you can see where the famous inventor conducted his experiments.

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter EstatesIrina Wilhauk, Shutterstock

Edison And Ford Winter Estates (cont’d)

The estates are also home to the Edison Botanical Research Lab, which was created in 1928, is where Ford and Edison analyzed thousands of different plants from around the world. 

Now, it’s a designated National Historic Chemical Landmark.

Edison and Ford Winter EstatesEQRoy, Shutterstock

The Ringling

Built in the 1920s, this Venetian property is where you’ll find the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, the Ca' d'Zan residence. 

At the Circus Museum you can learn about the history of the Ringling Bros. and see all sorts of circus props, costumes, and other memorabilia. The Museum of Art houses their incredible art collection with classic works from El Greco, Velasquez, and Rubens.

The Ringling Museum, Sarasota FloridaHans Olav Lien, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Ringling (cont’d)

The site is also where you’ll find the Ca' d'Zan. This waterfront mansion was the home of John and Mable Ringling. It was inspired by the palaces they saw in Venice and comprises 36,000 square feet

The house was completed in 1926 and remains one Florida’s greatest architectural marvels.

the ringling sarasota FloridaAnna Katharina Meyer, Shutterstock

Salvador Dali Museum

Located in St. Petersburg, the design of this unique building was inspired by the strange creativity of the renowned artist. The curved glass features create a striking look and the grounds are located on the city’s beautiful waterfront.

Salvador Dali MuseumMatthew Paulson, Flickr

Salvador Dali Museum (cont’d)

Inside the museum, visitors can get a close look at Dali’s work and learn more about his life and how his experiences influenced his artistic style. It’s a beautiful, mind-bending experience that’s well worth the visit.

Salvador Dali MuseumArt Anderson, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Visit Beaches In Naples

Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. And of all the wonderful beaches in this area, the ones in Naples are the best. 

Aside from holidays, Naples’ beaches don’t get as crowded as others in Florida, so there’s lots of spots for you to bask in the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters.

Beach in Floridadicau58, Flickr

Visit Beaches In Naples (cont’d)

Naples’ Beaches are known for their laid-back vibes, but if you’re looking for something a little more lively, check out the volleyball courts near the historic Naples Pier. 

In addition to the beaches, Naples is also home to several state and local parks, and lots of places for luxurious shopping and dining.

Naples Pier in Naples, Foridaaction sports, Shutterstock

The Great Florida Birding And Wildlife Trail

Florida’s unique ecosystems attract a wide variety of wildlife, especially birds. One of the best ways to see all the different species is to follow the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. 

The trail starts in Pensacola and stretches all across the state.

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife TrailFlorida Fish and Wildlife, Flickr

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail (cont’d)

The trail is divided into four sections—East, Panhandle, South, and West—and has 510 designated spots for birdwatching. 

Many of the sites of are in state and national parks, offering an opportunity to explore some of the country’s most pristine natural landscapes.

The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trailpicturin, Shutterstock

Gulf Island National Seashore

The Gulf Island National Seashore is where you’ll find some of the most pristine beaches in Florida. The sands here are soft and white, and dip into the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

They’re the perfect place to relax, but the views are also unforgettable.

Gulf Island National SeashoreMarcus Calderon, Flickr

Gulf Island National Seashore (cont’d)

Many of the beaches are part of the Gulf Island National Seashore, so they’re protected against widespread development. Because of that, visiting these beaches is a great chance to see natural, untouched seashore.

gulf island national seashore floridaNatalieMaynor, Flickr

Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids Show

If you’ve ever wanted to see a mermaid, this one’s for you. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has lots of natural water attractions, including waterslides and a river boat tour of the area. 

But the most popular display here is the mermaid show at the underwater theater.

Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids ShowBrett Davis, Flickr

Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids Show (cont’d)

Weeki Wachee’s mermaids have been putting on a show for more than 60 years. You can watch the performance in the underwater theater, which seats 400 visitors. 

Though may seem a bit odd, the mermaid show is highly rated and well worth the visit.

Weeki Wachee MermaidsBrett Davis, Flickr


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