Things to do in Florida
No matter what your age or interests, there are tons of things to do in Florida. Florida is the place to visit if you are a NASCAR fan. The season begins in February at the Daytona International Speedway and concludes at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. The Everglades is one of the most unique ecosystems in America. It is actually a wet prairie, not a swamp, and the water moves (though very slowly). Visit from December to April during the dry season to see more wildlife and avoid the bugs and afternoon thunderstorms. Take an airboat tour to scout out Florida alligators, and even dolphins and manatees.
Since 2011, the Kennedy Space Center has transformed into a historical museum rather than a living one, but that doesn't affect its marvel. Call ahead for a tour to see parts beyond the visitor center. As one of the oldest settlements in the US, St. Augustine has history and haunted landmarks to explore. Its cobbled roads and small pubs give it a quaint and quirky personality. Stop by the Alligator Farm to see the only facility with every species of crocodile, including Maximo, the 15-foot Australian saltwater croc. As always, Florida provides the strange and exciting.
A few miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale, the community of Davie still has rodeos and old Florida cowpokes. You can see why photographer Bruce Weber favors Grifs for Stetson hats, Roper shirts, and Lucchese boots.
From birds and bobcats to the odd manatee, 730-square-mile Lake Okeechobee is a sprawling waterway you can hike around (there’s a 100-mile-plus trail), or skim over by boat. Fishing’s also a popular activity—its shallow waters make it a great place for first-timers.
Grab a caffeinated pick-me-up at the friendly shop.
Located in Little Havana, this small cigar shop features enormous front windows through which visitors can admire professional cigar rollers, many of whom learned their craft in pre-revolutionary Cuba, manipulate tobacco with utmost precision.
Get a glimpse at the ruins of an early European settlement and some secluded waterfront sands.
For dessert, head to this Amish owned and operated shop for homemade pies, like peanut butter cream or Southern pecan.
This annual arts exhibit of contemporary, large-scale outdoor sculptures and installations started in 1995 as an informal exhibit. Now, it showcases emerging and established artists from around the world.
Headquartered in Key Biscayne, Club Nautico provides powerboat and yacht rentals for those looking to explore the waters off the coast of Miami. The powerboats carry up to 12 passengers, while the yachts accommodate up to 500.
Part of the Collins Park Cultural Center, the Bass Museum of Art houses more than 3,000 works from around the world. The museum is located inside a former Art Deco library, with a modern wing and sculpture garden designed by famed Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.
A graffiti garden with a restaurant and bar created by Tony Goldman, an early South Beach pioneer who jumped from the bankable buzz of Art Deco to street art. It's part free outdoor gallery, part Disney World for grown-ups at this open-air art park next to Wynwood Kitchen & Bar.
The National Marine Sanctuary–owned museum, devoted to the largest coral reef in North America, opened in January 2007; permanent exhibits highlight the Keys' 11 habitats, the living reef, and local weather patterns.
This small hotel bar in South Beach’s art deco landmark, the Raleigh Hotel, offers a taste of a glamorous bygone era with its circa-1940’s mahogany bar, paneled walls, terrazzo floors, and midcentury furniture.
Built in 1916 as a winter home by industrialist James Deering, this Italian Renaissance-style villa and its 10 acres of formal gardens was the first great over-the-top house in town, and it's now open to the public.