FLORIDA ROAD TRIP – 10 BEST THINGS TO DO
Florida is a very beautiful place with a lot of things to do but when it can also be overwhelming if it is your first visit. You will find below 10 things to do while visiting the Sunshine State.
- Ride a bike in Key West
The Florida Keys are a unique, fun, and dynamic place to visit while in Florida. Key West is wonderful and has so many things to offer, including several different ways to get around and discover what the city has to offer. One of my favorite things to do to explore the city is to rent a bike and ride around the area . It gives you a lot of freedom: you can stop whenever you want to eat, go to the beach, and just take pictures of the beautiful island without worrying about parking (which, believe me, on a small island full of tourists is a major perk!). Make sure to go to Duval Street for plenty of options when it comes to food, fun local shops, and bars.
- Enjoy the Art Deco in Miami
To say that there are a lot of things to do in Miami is an understatement. In fact, I’m willing to go out there and say that Miami gives New York City a major run for its money when it comes to being “the city that never sleeps.” If it is your first time in the city, your must-visit spot is South Beach, one of the most popular beachside areas in the world. There, you’ll find more restaurants and bars than on any other waterfront street in Florida, as well as famous destinations like the Versace Mansion. You will discover a beautiful architectural style called Art Deco. There are more than 800+ buildings throughout South Beach and Miami that were built between 1923 and 1943 (the Art Deco period). You will recognize them by their pastel colors and interesting geometric shapes. You can even do a tour where you will learn all about Art Deco history. It is very interesting and I highly recommend it!
- Walk up and down Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale
Las Olas is to Fort Lauderdale what Lincoln Road is to Miami. This is the heart and soul of Fort Lauderdale. You will be able to walk the 2-mile corridor alongside the beautiful beachfront and encounter modern high rises, unique eateries, and many shops along the way. This is definitely a must-do while in Fort Lauderdale. It’s a scenic walk you do not want to miss.
- Go see the Mouse in Orlando
Orlando is mostly known for Walt Disney World. Millions of people are constantly coming to Orlando just to visit Disney – and for good reason. With 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), 2 water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), — hotels, and Disney Springs (a free-to-visit mall and pavilion that offers up all things Disney), you will not run out of things to do and eat. If you are in Orlando and want to get out of the theme parks, here is an article about things to do in Orlando.
- Enjoy the Beach in Clearwater
Clearwater is our go-to beach. Located on the Gulf Coast and only 2 hours from Orlando, this is where we go whenever we want to enjoy a day at the beach, and it never disappoints. The beach is beautiful, with fine white sands and clear blue skies. There are a bunch of places to eat and grab a drink around Clearwater, and it’s a popular, vibrant destination for families and young people alike. If you do not want to lounge on the beach all day, there are a lot more adventurous activities available (dolphin watching boat, pirate’s cruise, jet skis… to name a few).
- Learn about Historic St Augustine
St Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, and is the oldest existing city in the United States. Florida is a pretty young state, and it is not common to have a city with so much history (after all, the next historical period of note was the Art Deco period of the early 20th century that we talked about below. That’s quite a time jump!). I highly recommend spending a day there and walking along the historic district. You will be able to see the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the US, the oldest street, Flagler University… and so many quaint shops, restaurants, and cafes along the way. There are so many things to see and do.
- Pick up shells at Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island is one of the most beautiful places on the gulf coast of Florida. Many people go there to pick amazing shells. Because of the island’s orientation, the tide brings shells to the beach, which makes it the world’s best shelling ground. Take a walk on the beach, and along the way you will be able to pick up shells of all colors and forms. They’re a great (and free!) souvenir to bring back. You will find a huge amount of shells washing ashore during winter when the cold and the storms kill the shellfish. Be careful (and thorough!), because it is illegal to pick up live shells.
- Watch baby turtles hatching
Turtle nesting season is from May to October. The turtles come nest alongside the Florida coast by digging holes with their flippers, and they drop about 100 eggs, cover them up, and return to the ocean. The baby turtles hatch about 60 days later. If you are interested in volunteering during nesting season, you can look for nighttime turtle walks, which are organized by several different associations in the area. Nature is so unpredictable, so there is a chance you might not be able to see any turtles, but this is an amazing and worthwhile activity to try and do. Check out websites like this one and try to reserve your spot as early as you can.
- Ride an Airboat in the Everglades
The Everglades is 1.5 million acres of preserved wetland. It is home to hundreds of animal species, including 70 species currently on America’s endangered list. What better way to discover the Florida wilderness than going on an Airboat Tour in the Everglades? The answer is that there is none. You will be able to witness the rich wildlife of the Sunshine State in its natural habitat. If you are lucky, you will see many bird species, turtles, snakes, and probably a couple of gators. This is a wonderful place to discover the rich but fragile Floridian Ecosystem.
- Play golf in Palm Beach
Florida has warm weather all year long, which makes it a prime destination for golfers from the world. Palm Beach is well known for its great golf courses. I am sure you have heard about Mar-o-Largo before! If you are a golf fanatic, then Palm Beach’s greens will not disappoint you! And ladies: if you are not into golf, you can go shopping while your man is perfecting his swing!
Of course, there are a lot of things to do in Florida that we didn’t cover here but I think this is a great “start-off bucket list” to get you well acquainted with Florida’s most classic and must-see destinations . What are the best things you’ve done in Florida?