What is Unique to Florida? 20 Unique Florida Attractions

Florida is known as the Sunshine State, making sense because of its ideal year-round climate. But Florida also offers visitors plenty of things to do and see that can’t be found anywhere else in the U.S.

From our southernmost point (the tip of Key West) to the country’s beautiful Spanish architecture in St. Augustine, you can see all sorts of unique sightings in Florida.

Here are 20 unique Florida attractions that you won’t find anywhere else.

Top 20 Unique Things To Do In Florida

If you’re planning a trip to Florida and want to see famous Florida landmarks, then make sure that you’ve given yourself enough time for leisurely activities. Here are 20 unique things you can do in Florida.

1) Cape Romano Dome Home

You won’t see anything quite like the Cape Romano Dome Home. It offers one of the most unique places to stay while visiting Southwest Florida.

If you’ve never heard of this structure before, this Dome Home is six connected domes built in the 1982s and abandoned in 1992. When it was first built, it had a modern kitchen that was powered by solar panels.

They were originally built on land too but over the years, hurricanes and erosion have displaced the dome structures. The domes are now only accessible by boat or kayaking, but they make for an exciting sight.

view of the Dome Home in Cape Romano, Florida

2) Solomon’s Castle

This is a 12th-century-style castle that Howard Solomon built in 1974. It is located in Ona, about an hour’s drive from Tampa. The castle is made out of recycled materials, and it houses a museum, an art gallery, and a blacksmith shop.

You can also take a tour of the castle, which costs $12 for adults and $6 for children. If you’re looking for a unique place to visit, then be sure to check out Solomon’s Castle.

3) Coral Castle

This is a castle that one man, Edward Leedskalnin, built, made entirely out of coral. It is located in Homestead, about an hour’s drive from Miami. The castle took 28 years to build and contains many mysterious features, such as a nine-ton gate that moves with just a push.

You can take a tour of the castle for $10, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

flower garden in front of Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida

4) Castillo de San Marcos

This is the oldest fort in the United States, and it is located in St. Augustine. The Spanish built the fort between 1672 and 1695, and it was used to protect the city from pirates, invaders, and colonists. You can take a tour of the fort for $10, and it’s a great way to learn about the history of Florida.

view of Castillo de San Marcos and surrounding waters with the Matanzas River in the background

5) Ginnie Springs

This is a series of seven springs located in High Springs. The springs are crystal clear and offer a great place to cool off on a hot day. You can also go tubing, kayaking, and canoeing in the springs. This spring is a popular diving and snorkeling spot in Florida.

Related: The Best Beaches in Siesta Key, Florida You’ll Love to Visit

three scuba divers swimming underwater near fish in Ginnie Springs, Florida

6) Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is a great place to learn about the history of space exploration and the future of space travel. This is a must-visit for anyone interested in space exploration.

You can tour the center, including a simulated space shuttle launch. You can also see where astronauts train for their missions.

view of a rocket at the Kennedy Space Center before sunset

7) Fort Matanzas

This fort was built in 1742 by Spanish settlers. It was initially used as a military base and trading post. It’s located on St. Augustine Beach, and you can take a ferry to the fort for $8. The fort has a fascinating history, and it’s now listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and as a U.S. National Monument.

view of Fort Matanzas National Monument from the water in St. Augustine, Florida

8) The Florida Reef

The Florida Reef is the only living coral reef in the continental United States. It’s located off the coast of Key Largo, and you can snorkel or scuba dive to see the reef. There are also glass bottom boats that offer tours of the reef. The Florida Reef is a great place to see some of the world’s most beautiful underwater creatures.

9) Manatee Refuge Crystal River

This is a great place to see manatees in their natural habitat. You can take a boat tour of the refuge, and you might even get to see a manatee up close. Visitors can swim with manatees during certain times of the year, and they can also take a boat tour through Kings Bay.

manatee swimming in Crystal River

10) Everglades National Park

The Everglades is a large swampy area home to many different animals, including alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and turtles. It’s located in southern Florida, and you can take an airboat tour through the Everglades. You might even see some of the animals up close!

native bird and her offspring in Everglades National Park

11) Key West Lighthouse

The Key West Lighthouse is a historic landmark that was built in 1848. It’s located in Key West, the southernmost point in the continental United States.

The lighthouse has been restored, and it offers tours every day from 10 am to 5 pm. You can take a tour of the lighthouse for $10, and it’s a great way to learn about the history of Key West.

view of the Key West Lighthouse

12) Big Cypress National Preserve

This preserve is located in southern Florida, and it’s a great place to see some of the state’s wildlife. The preserve is home to animals, including alligators and manatees. You can also go canoeing or kayaking in the preserve, so the Big Cypress National Preserve is a great place to enjoy the outdoors.

13) St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

This zoological park is located in St. Augustine, and this is a great place to see alligators up close. You can even hold a baby alligator! You can see all sorts of unique animals including sloths, lemurs, crocodiles, snakes, and birds.

large alligator named Bomber sitting in front of Alligator Farm Zoological Park sign
Bomber, the largest American alligator! Photo Credit

14) Bok Tower Gardens

The Bok Tower Garden was built in 1929, and it’s now a National Historic Landmark. This beautiful garden is located in Lake Wales, about an hour’s drive from Orlando. The gardens are home to many different plants and flowers, and you can also see some of the state’s wildlife.

palm trees in front of the Bok Tower Garden in Lake Wales

15) Seven Mile Bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous bridge that connects Knights Key and Little Duck Key. It’s one of only two bridges that are still operational in Florida. The bridge is open to cars, and you can also walk or ride your bike across it. You can drive across the bridge, and you might even see some of the state’s wildlife.

The Seven Mile Bridge is a great place to learn about the engineering of Florida. The views from the bridge are absolutely stunning, and it’s a great place to take some photos.

Related: Top 19 Romantic Getaways in Florida for Couples

16) Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

The Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks are a great place to learn about the sponge industry in Florida. The docks are located on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Tarpon Springs, about an hour’s drive from Tampa. It has a large cluster of docks that are occupied by sponging boats.

The docks also house several shops and restaurants, which are filled with souvenirs and other items made out of sponges.

sponges on a boat in Tarpon Springs, Florida

17) Mallory Square in Key West

Mallory Square is a popular tourist destination in Key West. It’s located on the waterfront, filled with shops and restaurants. You can also find street performers, such as magicians and jugglers. Mallory Square is a great place to watch the sunset!

colorful kiosks with souvenirs in Key West, Florida

18) Bioluminescence Tours

Florida is home to many different species of bioluminescent organisms. These organisms emit light, and they can be found in the waters around Florida. You can take a kayak tour, and you’ll be able to see these organisms up close. Bioluminescence Tours are a great way to learn about the ecology of Florida.

Related: 20 Fun Things To Do in Cocoa Beach, Florida

beautiful blue bioluminescence in the water outside of a kayak
Photo Credit: BK Adventure

19) Shell Key Preserve

The Shell Key Preserve is a small collection of barrier islands, and it’s a great place to see some of the state’s wildlife. The preserve is home to many animals including Black Skimmers and American Oystercatchers. You may get lucky and spot some manatees, dolphins, or turtles too.

You can also kayak, snorkel, collect seashells, or sunbathe on the beach. There is even a spot to go camping overnight!

Related: The Best Things to Do in St. Petersburg, Florida

aerial view of Shell Key Preserve
Aerial view of the Shell Key Preserve! Photo Credit

20) John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

This state park is located in the Florida Keys near Key Largo, and it’s a great place to see some of the state’s wildlife. The park is home to many different fish species, and you can also go snorkeling or diving. You can take a glass-bottom boat tour, and you might even see some turtles.

woman is snorkeling next to the Christ of the Abyss statue in Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

When is the Best Time to Visit Florida?

The best time to visit Florida is between December and May. The weather is milder during these months, and you’re less likely to experience a hurricane. However, if you visit during hurricane season, be sure to have a plan in place in case of inclement weather.

You should also avoid visiting during the summer, as the heat and humidity can be unbearable. So, if you’re looking for the best time to visit Florida, be sure to plan your trip between December and May.

Conclusion

Florida is a great place to visit. There’s something for everyone in Florida, from theme parks and beaches to gardens and history museums. No matter your interests, you can find an attraction that is unique to the Sunshine State. So if you’re looking for a vacation destination with plenty of variety, be sure to add Florida to your list.

Have you visited any of these unique Florida attractions? Let us know in the comments below.

Nicole Mickle

I've lived, worked, and played in Orlando my entire life. Let's make the most out of your Florida lifestyle! I'm here to help you take overwhelming interior design options and simplify them room by room.

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