31 Unique Things to Do in Florida

As a long-time resident of the Sunshine State, I’ve had the opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of Florida and discover some of its hidden gems. From the bustling theme parks of Orlando to the tranquil beaches of the Gulf Coast, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this diverse state.

But if you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, something that you won’t find in every guidebook, then you’ve come to the right place. So I’m going to share with you some unique and unexpected activities that you can only find here in Florida!

1) Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Spend an afternoon at Dry Tortugas National Park, where you’ll find a spectacular array of natural beauty blended with historic allure. Nestled nearly 70 miles west of Key West, your journey there is an adventure in itself via boat or seaplane!

Explore the Wonders:

  • Dive into the park’s inviting waters, known for visibility that reveals vibrant coral reefs teeming with life.
  • Walk along the soft, white sands, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea.
  • Step into the past at Fort Jefferson, a monumental coastal fortress that speaks volumes of 19th-century military ingenuity.
  • Enjoy an underwater exploration while snorkeling among diverse marine habitats.

2) Cape Romano Dome Home

view of the Dome Home in Cape Romano, Florida
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. It had a modern kitchen powered by solar panels when it was first built.

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

Related: Check out some of the best coastal towns in Florida, each with its own unique charm and beautiful beaches!

3) Solomon’s Castle

view of pathway leading up to Solomon's Castle in Ona, Florida
Solomon’s Castle, Photo Credit

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 tour the castle, which costs $12 for adults and $6 for children.

4) Coral Castle

flower garden in front of Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida
Coral Castle

One man, Edward Leedskalnin, built this castle 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.

Related: Here are some of the best places to Airbnb in Florida so you can experience the most amazing beach vacation possible in the sunshine state.

5) Castillo de San Marcos

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

6) Ginnie Springs

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

7) Explore Kennedy Space Center

view of a rocket at the Kennedy Space Center before sunset
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.

8) Fort Matanzas

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

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.

9) 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.

10) Manatee Refuge Crystal River

manatee swimming in Crystal River
Manatees swimming in the 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 take a boat tour through Kings Bay.

11) Everglades National Park

native bird and her offspring in 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!

12) Key West Lighthouse

view of the 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 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.

13) Big Cypress National Preserve

This preserve is located in southern Florida and is 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.

14) St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

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

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.

15) Bok Tower Gardens

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

The Bok Tower Garden was built in 1929 and is 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.

16) Seven Mile Bridge

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.

17) Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

sponges on a boat in Tarpon Springs, Florida

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 filled with souvenirs and other items made out of sponges.

Related: Looking for the ultimate guide to Clearwater Beach? Check out our list of the best things to do!

18) Mallory Square in Key West

colorful kiosks with souvenirs in Key West, Florida
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!

19) Bioluminescence Tours

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

Florida is home to many different species of bioluminescent organisms. These organisms emit light and 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.

20) Go kayaking to the Shell Key Preserve

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

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

21) Go snorkeling to see Christ of the Abyss

Christ of the Abyss

Nestled within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, this nine-foot-tall serene statue of Jesus Christ awaits in the ocean’s embrace, at a depth accessible to both snorkelers and divers. The statue was created by Italian sculptor Guido Galletti and was submerged in 1965 as a tribute to scuba divers and to promote ocean protection.

Remember to respect the site by observing without touching; the statue’s surface is a habitat for delicate fire coral. The inclusive experience, combined with the rich biodiversity of the park, provides an unforgettable snorkeling adventure. Keep an eye out, as you may be lucky to spot turtles during your underwater journey!

22) Florida Caverns State Park

Florida Caverns State Park is a true natural wonder located in the panhandle region of the state.

This unique park features a series of underground caves that were formed over millions of years by the slow dissolution of limestone.

You can take a guided tour of the caverns and marvel at the stunning formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones.

The park also offers hiking and biking trails, fishing, camping, and picnic areas, making it the perfect destination for a family outing or a weekend getaway.

And for those who are interested in history, the park has a rich cultural heritage, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years.

23) Attend the drum circle at Siesta Key

The drum circle at Siesta Key is a unique and lively experience that has become a beloved tradition for locals and visitors alike.

Every Sunday evening, as the sun begins to set, musicians and drummers gather on Siesta Key Beach to create a vibrant and rhythmic jam session.

The drum circle is open to anyone who wants to participate, so bring your own drum or percussion instrument and join in the fun.

The atmosphere is electric, with people of all ages and backgrounds dancing, singing, and celebrating life.

The drum circle at Siesta Key is not just a performance, but a communal experience that brings people together in a celebration of music and community.

So if you’re in the Sarasota area on a Sunday evening, make sure to head to Siesta Key Beach and experience the magic of the drum circle for yourself!

25) Swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove

Swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove!

Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive, immersive marine park located in Orlando, Florida. Unlike traditional theme parks, Discovery Cove limits daily admission to only a few hundred guests, providing an intimate and exclusive experience.

The park offers a variety of activities, including swimming with bottlenose dolphins, snorkeling with tropical fish and rays, and wading with playful otters.

Guests can also relax on a beautiful beach, explore a coral reef, or take a nature walk through lush gardens and waterfalls.

For an even more luxurious experience, guests can upgrade to a private cabana, complete with a personal host, a stocked mini-fridge, and premium amenities.

Discovery Cove is the perfect destination for anyone who loves marine life and wants to experience it in a unique and immersive way.

26) Swim in the Venetian Pool

The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables

The Venetian Pool is a unique and historic public swimming pool located in Coral Gables, Florida. It’s a registered historic place and has been recognized as one of the top swimming pools in the world.

Originally built in 1924 from a coral rock quarry, the Venetian Pool was designed to look like a Venetian lagoon, complete with waterfalls, caves, and bridges.

The pool is fed by spring water from an underground aquifer, making it both crystal clear and refreshingly cool.

The pool is open year-round, with extended hours during the summer months, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

27) Visit the Salvador Dali Museum

Salvador Dali Museum

The Salvador Dali Museum is a unique and fascinating museum located in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The museum is dedicated to the life and work of Salvador Dali, one of the most famous and influential artists of the 20th century.

The museum’s collection includes over 2,400 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs, as well as a wide variety of Dali’s personal belongings and archival materials.

The building is a work of art, with a striking glass entryway and a geodesic glass dome allowing natural light to flood the galleries.

The museum also offers educational programs and special events, including lectures, film screenings, and art classes.

28) Ride the Jungle Queen Riverboat

The Jungle Queen riverboat cruises along in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jungle Queen Riverboat in Fort Lauderdale

The Jungle Queen Riverboat is a classic and iconic attraction located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The riverboat has been cruising the city’s waterways since 1935, offering visitors a unique and memorable way to experience the area’s natural beauty and historic sites.

The Jungle Queen Riverboat offers several tour options, including a sightseeing cruise that takes passengers along the New River, through the Intracoastal Waterway, and past some of the city’s most beautiful mansions and yachts.

The riverboat also offers a dinner cruise that includes a delicious all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner, live entertainment, and a fully stocked bar.

The Jungle Queen Riverboat is a family-friendly attraction that is perfect for visitors of all ages.

So if you’re looking for a fun and unique way to experience Fort Lauderdale, hop aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat and enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful city from the water.

29) Eat a slice of cake at the Bubble Room

Tropical Breeze Cake at The Bubble Room via Facebook

The Bubble Room, nestled in the heart of Captiva Island, Florida, welcomes you with a nostalgic atmosphere brimming with vintage charm. Adorned with a treasure trove of 1930s and 1940s memorabilia, the restaurant’s vibrant ambience is a delightful backdrop for an unforgettable dining experience.

The menu is just as unique, featuring a variety of delicious and creative dishes, including their famous “Bubble Bread” and “Jungle Steak”.

The restaurant also offers a wide selection of desserts, including their signature “Orange Crunch” cake. The classic Key Lime Pie and Red Velvet Cake are also to die for!

30) Swim in the Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den is a prehistoric underground spring located in Williston, Florida. The spring is over 100 feet deep and features crystal-clear water that remains a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

The unique geological formations and crystal-clear water make Devil’s Den a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers looking to explore a one-of-a-kind underwater environment.

The underground spring is surrounded by a beautiful forest and wildlife area, providing a picturesque and tranquil setting for visitors.

31) Visit the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse

Ponce de Leon Lighthouse, Florida.

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum is a historic landmark and museum located in Ponce Inlet, Florida.

The lighthouse was completed in 1887 and is the tallest lighthouse in Florida, standing at 175 feet tall.

While you’re here, climb the lighthouse’s 203 steps for panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding areas.

The museum features exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and its keepers, as well as exhibits on local maritime history and artifacts from shipwrecks.

The grounds surrounding the lighthouse include a restored keeper’s dwelling, a gift shop, and a nature trail.

The Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum is a popular destination for history buffs, families, and anyone interested in the rich maritime history of Florida.

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