If you love a good heart-pumping adventure, you’ve come to the right state. Florida is full of exciting things to do and beautiful places to explore, most of which require no special skills or training. Every Floridian should try these once-in-a-lifetime adventures:
1. Swimming with manatees in Crystal River
These gentle giants are as Floridian as Key lime pie. Though they can weigh more than 1,000 pounds and reach almost 10 feet in length, manatees are known for their sweet nature and curiosity.
2. Exploring the Everglades
This is the perfect place to escape the noise and hurry of modern life. The Everglades contains more than a million acres biologically diverse natural beauty that Florida was famous for long before theme parks.
3. Sightseeing in the nation's oldest city
St. Augustine has something for everyone. This city offers fascinating history, architecture, natural beauty, great dining and plenty of ghost hunting opportunities.
Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, the Fountain of Youth, Flagler College, and Anastasia State Park, just to name a few.
4. Dry Tortugas National Park
This once-abandoned fort on an isolated island 70 miles west of Key West was actually never completed. The skillful masonry and undeniable beauty of its surroundings make this a place like no other.
5. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Titusville
Does your child dream of becoming an astronaut? You'll both have a blast at the Kennedy Space Center. Here you can see a real space shuttle, experience a simulated shuttle launch, and possibly even meet an astronaut.
6. Hunting the Skunk Ape in Ochopee
Nothing says Floridian adventure like tracking Florida's stinky version of Bigfoot at this research center/campground in the Everglades. This quirky roadside attraction will take you back to road trips of your childhood.
7. Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park, Gainesville
Journey into the Earth in this massive and ancient sinkhole in North Florida. The 120 feet down winding steps leads to a "miniature rain forest," with lush foliage and trickling springs. Arrive at 9:45 a.m. on Saturdays for ranger-led tours.
8. Exploring the Florida Reef
Did you know the Sunshine State is home to the third largest coral reef in the entire world? Visit Biscayne National Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to immerse yourself in its ethereal beauty.
9. Touring an actual ancient Spanish monastery in North Miami Beach
You read right: There's a real medieval monastery sitting in South Florida. How does that happen? In the
'20s, the monastery was purchased in the by newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. He planned to move the structure to California, but shipping complications stalled the process. It ended up in storage for many years, until it was bought again in the 1960s, moved, and reassembled piece by piece in its current home in North Miami Beach.
10. Dinosaur World, Plant City
Do you know a little one who's obsessed with T-Rex? How about an adult who loves Jurassic Park?Explorers both young and old will have a blast and learn a lot at this unique park in Plant City. Dinosaur World features more than 200 life-sized dinosaurs, a fossil dig, interactive shows, and gem excavation.