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Best Things to Do in Florida: Top Tourist Attractions

Discover the top tourist attractions in Florida, including the iconic Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando.

Florida is a top tourist destination, attracting almost 137.4 million tourists each year with its beautiful beaches, exciting theme parks, diverse wildlife, and historic places. From the excitement of Orlando's iconic theme parks to the tropical paradise of the Florida Keys, there are so many amazing places to explore in the Sunshine State. Florida has an array of unique tourist attractions.

florida tourist attraction

Key West - One of the Most Popular Places to Visit in Florida

With over 1,300 miles of coastline, Florida is synonymous with beautiful beaches. Visitors flock to its signature beaches to soak up the sun, swim in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and enjoy seaside recreation. Here is the list of the best and top tourist attractions in Florida.

Key West - One of the Most Popular Places to Visit in Florida

South Beach - One of the Best Beaches in Florida

Miami's South Beach is one of the most famous and popular beaches in Florida. Located in the lively Art Deco neighborhood, South Beach attracts beachgoers from around the world with its white sand, clear waters, and vibrant atmosphere. It's a great place for people-watching, shopping, dining, and partying into the night at its high-energy clubs and bars. South Beach is one of the top attractions in South Florida.

Miami Beach - A Popular Tourist Attraction

Just north of South Beach, Miami Beach is another iconic Florida beach destination. Spanning 7 miles of Atlantic coastline, Miami Beach has a more relaxed vibe with its luxury resorts, boutique hotels, and laid-back cafes and restaurants. Attractions include Lummus Park, the Miami Beach Boardwalk, and the glamorous Ocean Drive lined with Art Deco buildings. No visit to southern Florida is complete without experiencing Miami Beach, one of the best places to visit in Florida.

Key West - A Unique Tourist Destination

Located 129 miles west of Miami, Key West is a world-famous tropical island paradise. Part of the Florida Keys, Key West enchants visitors with its laid-back atmosphere, historic architecture, literary heritage, and stunning beaches like Smathers Beach. Attractions include the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West Lighthouse, Harry S. Truman Little White House, and the Southernmost Point Buoy marking the southernmost point of the continental United States. Key West is one of Florida's top destinations.

Duval Street in Key West - One of the Most Popular Attractions

Running through the heart of Key West, Duval Street is the main thoroughfare lined with restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions. Visitors love to walk down this vibrant 1.25-mile strip to take in the sights, do some shopping, sample Key lime pie, and visit iconic watering holes like Sloppy Joe's Bar where Hemingway used to drink. A stroll down Duval Street is one of the top things to do in the Florida Keys.

Walt Disney World - The Most Visited Theme Park in the World

Florida is a major theme park destination, with Orlando in particular famed for its world-class theme parks and attractions. A trip to Florida is not complete without experiencing the magic of "The Most Magical Place on Earth."

Walt Disney World - The Most Visited Theme Park in the World

Walt Disney World - The Top Attraction in Florida

Covering over 40 square miles, Walt Disney World near Orlando is the largest and most visited theme park resort in the world. It is home to four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Also part of Disney World are two water parks, Disney Springs for dining and entertainment, and over 25 Disney-owned hotels. Attractions range from iconic rides like "Space Mountain" to nighttime fireworks extravaganzas. Walt Disney World is a must-visit Florida attraction and one of the best places to visit in the state.

Universal Studios Florida - A Popular Orlando Theme Park

Both residents and tourists flock to Universal Studios in Orlando. This world-class theme park features immersive rides, shows, and experiences based on popular films and TV shows from Universal Pictures and other media. Top attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit rollercoaster. Its sister park, Universal's Islands of Adventure, adds thrill rides and attractions with a more adventurous twist.

Busch Gardens Tampa - One of Florida's Top Theme Parks

Busch Gardens Tampa combines a traditional amusement park with a zoo for a one-of-a-kind experience. Opened in 1959, Busch Gardens features several animal habitats showcasing over 12,000 animals alongside adrenaline-pumping rides like Cheetah Hunt, Montu, and SheiKra. Popular shows include animal encounters and live musical performances. Busch Gardens Tampa is one of the top theme parks in Florida and a must-visit attraction.

Everglades National Park - Florida's Unique Wildlife Paradise

From expansive national parks to intimate zoos and aquariums, Florida offers many opportunities to enjoy natural landscapes and observe wildlife up close. Several of Florida's best attractions immerse you in its diverse ecosystems and native species.

Everglades National Park - Florida's Unique Wildlife Paradise

Everglades National Park - A One-of-a-Kind Ecosystem

Everglades National Park protects the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. Visitors can explore sawgrass marshes, cypress swamps, mangrove forests, and the Florida Bay estuary by boat, walking trails, and safari tours. Popular activities include wildlife viewing, especially alligators, crocodiles, manatees, dolphins, Florida panthers, and over 350 species of birds. The Everglades ecosystem is truly unique with one-of-a-kind flora and fauna. It's one of the top attractions in Florida.

Dry Tortugas National Park - A Remote Island Paradise

Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Dry Tortugas National Park lies 68 miles west of Key West surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico’s blue waters. This remote paradise is home to historic Fort Jefferson, spectacular coral reefs and marine life, lighthouses, and pristine beaches with nesting sea turtles in season. Visitors can snorkel, scuba dive, go fishing, hike, camp, and observe seabirds. Dry Tortugas is one of Florida's hidden gem attractions.

Manatee Viewing - A Popular Florida Activity

Florida’s subtropical climate attracts manatees who migrate here in winter. Popular spots to see manatees include Blue Spring State Park, Crystal River, Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, and Lee County Manatee Park. These gentle “sea cows” congregate in warm waters and can be observed swimming and surfacing for air from viewing platforms. Swimming with manatees is prohibited, but it's amazing just to watch them in their natural habitat. Manatee viewing is one of the unique things to do in Florida.

Castillo de San Marcos - A Historic Florida Fort

History buffs find plenty to pique their interests among Florida’s heritage sites and museums celebrating everything from Spanish colonial days to the pioneering space age. Walk through centuries of history at these top historical attractions.

Castillo de San Marcos - A Historic Florida Fort

Castillo de San Marcos - Florida's Oldest Fort

This impressive stone fortress in St. Augustine dates back to 1695 when Spain controlled Florida. It is the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. Guided tours and historical reenactments bring the colonial era to life. The fort protected St. Augustine, one of the oldest European settlements in North America, which hosts many other historical attractions like the Spanish Quarter and Fort Mose Historic State Park. It's one of the best historic places to visit in Florida.

St. Augustine’s Historic District - Oldest City in Florida

Stroll the cobblestone streets and discover more than 140 colonial buildings within this historic district, some dating back to the late 16th century. Top attractions include The Oldest House Museum, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. No visit to Florida is complete without experiencing the history of the nation’s oldest city established in 1565. It's one of the top historical attractions in Florida.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens - A Lavish Historic Estate

This opulent 1916 mansion features lavish Italian Renaissance-style architecture with art-filled rooms and immaculate gardens in southern Florida's Miami area. The estate was built as the winter home of industrialist James Deering to mimic a centuries-old Italian villa, providing a glimpse into Gilded Age excess. The grounds contain 10 acres of formal gardens, courtyards, fountains, and a historic village. Vizcaya is one of Florida’s most magnificent historic homes open for public tours.

Kennedy Space Center - An Epic Attraction for Space Lovers

Beyond beaches and theme parks, Florida has an array of other incredible attractions and destinations worth exploring. From aerospace wonders to pop culture icons, don't miss these other top things to do in Florida.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center - Florida's Epic Space History

Immerse yourself in the epic story of America’s space program at Kennedy Space Center near Orlando. Take a bus tour through restricted areas to see historic launch pads and the Apollo/Saturn V Center housing one of the giant moon rockets. Experience the space shuttle Atlantis up close, see real capsules, engage in interactive simulators, and maybe even watch an actual launch. This one-of-a-kind attraction is a must for anyone interested in space exploration. It's one of Florida's most unique and popular tourist attractions.

Art Deco Historic District - Miami Beach's Iconic Architecture

This colorful neighborhood in Miami Beach holds one of the largest collections of Art Deco architecture in the world. The Historic District runs along famous Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue with over 800 historic buildings featuring pastel facades, neon lights, glass bricks, chrome artwork, and porthole windows embellishing hotels, theaters, restaurants, and apartment houses. Pop culture lovers can even take a guided tour to Hot Spots seen on Miami Vice! It's one of the top attractions in South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale - Florida's Yachting Capital

Known as the “Yachting Capital of the World,” Fort Lauderdale boasts over 300 miles of navigable waterways, beautiful beaches, upscale shopping, and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Attractions include the Fort Lauderdale Beach promenade, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Stranahan House Museum, Las Olas Boulevard, and Port Everglades. Fort Lauderdale has an elegant resort city vibe and is one of the best places to visit in Florida.

The Ringling - A One-of-a-Kind Museum Complex

This multi-museum complex occupies the grounds of the former winter estate of John and Mable Ringling. The Ringling showcases an impressive art collection in the Museum of Art, a 66-room Gilded Age mansion brimming with European treasures, the charming Tibbals Learning Center with a miniature circus, and the Circus Museum highlighting Ringling Bros. history. The Ringling grounds contain rose gardens, statues, and a Ca' d’Zan terrace with bay views. It's one of Florida's unique hidden gems.

Salvador Dalí Museum - St. Petersburg's Surrealist Showcase

This is one of Florida’s most unique museums dedicated entirely to the works of eccentric surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. The stunning modern building houses the largest collection of Dalí’s paintings outside of Europe including many of his masterpieces. Highlights include Dalí's Hallucinogenic Toreador, Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and more surreal dreamscapes brought to life on canvas. It's an eccentric and fascinating attraction.

More Great Places to Visit in Florida

Beyond its main attractions, Florida has an array of other amazing destinations worth exploring. Discover some of Florida's hidden gems and best places to visit.

Naples and its Beaches - A Luxury Coastal Destination

Known for its luxury resorts and high-end shopping, Naples offers a more exclusive Florida vacation destination. Attractions include spectacular white sand beaches like Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples Pier, Naples Botanical Garden, arts and culture, golf courses, and indulgent spas. Use Naples as a home base to explore the Everglades, Ten Thousand Islands, and other southwest Florida gems.

Pensacola Beach - Panhandle Paradise

Stretching for over 150 miles along the Florida panhandle and Mississippi coast, this protected parkland encompasses stretches of undeveloped beach, tranquil waters, and backcountry. Visit historic Fort Pickens, tour Fort Barrancas, hike or bike the trails, try water sports, go fishing, observe wildlife, or simply relax on the peaceful beaches. Pensacola Beach offers the iconic Florida coastal experience.

Sanibel Island - Seashell Heaven

In addition to a vibrant downtown, Fort Myers offers access to tropical Sanibel Island and Captiva Island off Florida's Gulf coast known for seashells, resorts, wildlife refuges, bike paths, and relaxing beaches. Sanibel is famous for the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 230 species of birds along with beaches like Bowman’s Beach. The islands exude a tropical paradise vibe.

Amelia Island - Coastal Charm

Just 35 miles from Jacksonville lies this eclectic barrier island mixing beautiful beaches, luxury accommodations, quaint shops and restaurants, along with diverse historical and natural attractions. Visitors love Amelia Island's laid-back charm, 13 miles of peaceful beaches, Victorian architecture, and activities like kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and walking trails. The island has something for everyone seeking a relaxing coastal getaway.

Experience the Magic of Florida!

With its sunshine, beaches, attractions, activities, wildlife, and cultural experiences, Florida promises unforgettable memories for visitors from around the world. From family fun at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to the tropical allure of Key West, Florida has so many incredible destinations to explore. The diversity of attractions, parks, museums, beaches, restaurants, and experiences make Florida a premier travel destination with endless possibilities for adventure. Pack your swimsuit and sunglasses and come immerse yourself in all the Sunshine State has to offer!

Which beach in Florida is known for its Art Deco architecture and nightlife?

South Beach is known for its Art Deco architecture and nightlife.

What are some of the best thrill rides and attractions at Universal Studios theme park in Orlando?

Some of the best thrill rides and attractions at Universal Studios theme park in Orlando are the Hulk Roller Coaster, Rip Ride Rockit, and other extreme thrill rides.

What is a unique way to experience the Florida Keys besides driving down the Overseas Highway?

A unique way to experience the Florida Keys besides driving down the Overseas Highway is to take a seaplane tour or a glass-bottom boat tour.

Where can you see manatees swimming and surfacing for air in their natural Florida habitat?

You can see manatees swimming and surfacing for air in their natural Florida habitat at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Blue Spring State Park.

Besides theme parks and beaches, what is one of the top unique tourist attractions in South Florida worth visiting?

One of the top unique tourist attractions in South Florida worth visiting is Little Havana, which offers a taste of Cuban culture with its food, music, and art.

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