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Ten Things to Do in Florida

Options include Walt Disney World, South Beach, Everglades

By Kevin Litwin on January 21, 2015

Girl holds alligator in front of swamp
Jeff Otto

Looking for things to do in Florida? When many people think of Florida vacation destinations, Walt Disney World comes to mind. But Mickey’s house is not the only place to have fun in the Sunshine State:

Say Hi to Mickey at Walt Disney World

The most visited vacation resort in the world is Walt Disney World, an entertainment complex near Orlando that welcomes 55 million people each year. On site are 27 themed hotels, two water parks and amusement attractions like Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Typhoon Lagoon, Animal Kingdom and ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Get Keyed Up in the Florida Keys

Off the far southern coast, the Florida Keys are a collection of 60-plus islands known for their tropical climate along with tourism sites, fishing and scuba diving. The most popular destinations are Sunset Key, Key Largo and Key West, with Key West making up 33 percent of the entire population.

Go Above and Beyond at the Kennedy Space Center

Home to NASA and 13,000 employees, the John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island near the Atlantic Ocean offers tours of the center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features displays of rockets, space suits, moon rocks and other artifacts.

Tan, Shop and Party at South Beach

Both the daytime and nighttime hours are filled with energy at South Beach, a section of Miami famous for its public beach along with nightclubs, restaurants and boutiques. Many visitors to this Atlantic Ocean paradise enjoy tanning as well as people watching, and the lifeguard towers are decorated with unique designs.

Live Your Favorite Movie at Universal Studios Orlando

Located at Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure is a theme park with seven distinct “islands” that provide visitors with different adventure experiences. Visitors begin in a Port of Entry and make their way to attractions like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Seuss Landing, Marvel Super Hero Island and Jurassic Park.

Drive on the Beach

Known for its hard-packed sand that allows motorists to drive on the beach, Daytona Beach has long been a tourism destination for vacationers. Besides the expansive beach that fronts the Atlantic Ocean, points of interest include The Ocean Center, Daytona Lagoon Water Park, the Daytona 500 Experience and Main Street Pier.

Go Wild at Busch Gardens

One of America’s largest zoological attractions is Busch Gardens Tampa, which houses 2,700 animals along with exhibits such as Rhino Rally, Scorpion, Sand Serpent and Jungala. Several rides are also available, including a SheiKra vertical dive coaster, Cheetah Hunt triple launch roller coaster, and a Falcons Fury vertical drop.

Golf and Party at Amelia Island

Near the Florida-Georgia state line is Amelia Island, where many northerners stay because it’s one of the first vacation spots when entering Florida. Seven golf courses grace the city, and Amelia Island hosts yearly festivals devoted to shrimp, jazz, films, chamber music, the blues and a Concours d’Elegance automotive event.

Let the Fin Begin at the Florida Aquarium

More than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from the Sunshine State and throughout the world are on display at the Florida Aquarium, located in downtown Tampa. Fresh-water exhibits, salt-water displays and miniature coral reefs highlight the attraction, and the aquarium is also diligent in research and conservation efforts.

View Swamp Things at Everglades National Park

Nearly one million people annually visit Everglades National Park, the largest tropical wilderness in the nation. The busy season is December to March when mosquitoes are least active, and camping is available year round. Visitor centers are located just west of Miami as well as near Homestead and near Everglades City.

Enjoy the Gulf of Mexico at Clearwater Beach

Along the Gulf of Mexico, Clearwater Beach has 2.5 miles of white sand beaches and offers shopping, fine restaurants, night spots and fishing charters. One of the main attractions is Pier 60, a long fishing dock that hosts street performers and musical acts each night as the sun sets.

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