Recommended Activities

Florida is sand, fresh water springs, beaches, forests, swamps, lakes, prairies, wetlands, and rivers. So no excuses, get out and explore the most diverse land in North America. Below you’ll find a few resources to get you started. Send your activity ideas to Dofla@howtodoflorida.com

Wet Activities

 

Enjoy a natural lazy river

What: Spend hot afternoons at Kelly Park and cool off with a ride down the free flowing, crystal clear stream on an inner tube. Get there early during the summer!
Where: Apopka
 

Experience Manatees face to face

What: Snorkeling/Ecotours with the endangered Florida Manatee.
Where: Sanford
 

Standup Paddleboard Central Florida

What: Join Professional guides on dolphin, manatee, sunset and river adventures.
Where: Orlando
 

Surf Lessons Florida

What: Surf Lessons Florida is a surf school located in Cocoa Beach that provides private and group surf lessons for beginner and advanced students.
Where: Cocoa Beach
 

Swim with the Manatees

What: Get up close and personal with the sea cow.
Where: Crystal River and Homossasa
 

Unique way to wakeboard

What: Cable parks let you ride for an unlimited amount of time without being jerked to your feet like you would with a boat.
Where: Orlando
 

Dry Activities

 

A quiet oasis in downtown Orlando

What: Discover a 50 acre botanical oasis with roses, tropicals, camellias, and more.
Where: Orlando
 

A zipline adventure in Orlando

What: A unique high ropes and zipline adventure park, suitable for anyone over five years old.
Where: Kissimmee
 

Charter your own Houseboat adventure

What: Houseboat adventures on the St. Johns river and Lake George boats that can sleep up to 12
Where: Georgetown
 

Experience a unique natural habitat

What: World’s first large scale man made wetland created to filter pollutants from reclaimed water.
Where: Christmas/Orlando
 

Fish the Cocoa Beach Pier

What: Built in 1962, the Cocoa Beach Pier is a Florida Space Coast historical landmark.
Where: Cocoa Beach
 

Fish the iconic Mosquito Lagoon

What: Learn how to fish the skinny waters of this famous lagoon from expert guides. Capt. Mark Wright was our Redfish Fishing expert.
Where: Cocoa
 

Learn about citrus and nature

What: Over 50 varieties of citrus are available to pick right off the tree or, take a monster truck ecotour of over 2,500 acres of Florida Wilderness.
Where: Clermont
 

Learn how to build your own fishing rods

What: Learn how to build your own custom fishing rods from scratch. Beginner to Advanced classes available, check page for more info.
Where: Oviedo
 

Learn how to survive in the wilderness

What: Byron Kern’s Survival School offers classes in wilderness survival, ranging from overnight trips to full week deep woods survival courses. Our expert for how to Wilderness Survival.
Where: Weirsdale
 

Learn the history of this beach town

What: Discover the rich history of new smyrna beach at this spacious museum that’s filled with photos, documents, and memorabillia.
Where: New Smyrna Beach
 

Learn to Hang Glide over Central Florida

What: Fly from 2,000 feet with some of the most experienced instructors in the world.
Where: Davenport
 

One of Florida’s oldest and best zoological attractions

What: See all 23 species of crocodiles and alligators, ride a zipline over all the exhibits, and see many other extraordinary animals in this century old landmark. Asst. Curator Jon Darlington was our Alligator Experience expert.
Where: St. Augustine
 

Rare and exotic animals, right in Melbourne

What: Meet animals, botanical gardens, go kayaking, feed giraffes and parrots, ride the train, and pet a rhino.
Where: Melbourne
 

Ride an old rail path

What: Multi use rail trail built along the former East Florida and Atlantic Railroad.
Where: Orlando/Winter Park
 

Ride the West Orange Trail

What: Rent recumbent, road and comfort bikes for a day on Orlando’s longest paved trail.
Where: Apopka/Winter Garden/Orlando
 

See and hear a unique sight

What: Experience beauty and serenity of botanical gardens, Singing Tower 60 bell carillon, Pinewood Estate and nature preserve.
Where: Lake Wales
 

See exotic wildlife without going on a safari

What: The zoo boasts over 400 animals, botanical gardens, a splash park, animal encounters, and ZOOm Air Adventure aerial course.
Where: Sanford
 

See the natural Florida on horseback

What: Horseback riding through hundreds of acres of Florida Wilderness. Riding for beginners to advanced.
Where: Kissimmee
 

See wildlife from many angles

What: Journey deep into the 4,700 acre Florida Forever wildlife conservation area. Choose your own fully guided adventures: Coach, Horseback Safari, or New Zipline Safari.
Where: St. Cloud
 

See Winter Park from the water

What: Enjoy a peaceful cruise through the city of Winter Park’s canals and lakes. See many historic mansions and wildlife.
Where: Winter Park
 

The Great Southern Cracker Roadshow

What: The day will feature musical acts, southern food, crafts, food trucks, and book signings by several local authors, all celebrating Florida’s Cracker Culture.
 

Up-close reptiles

What: A combination nature center, zoological park, museum, sanctuary and farm that allows visitors to view many reptiles, including venomous snakes!
Where: DeLand
 

Visit a slice of Old Florida

What: Historic Mount Dora is a great little town in Central Florida, northwest of Orlando. Opportunities exist for outdoor activities, as well as what Mount Dora is famous for: some of the best antiques in Florida.
 
 

Wet Activities

 

Chart your own kayak adventure

What: Full service kayak rental company offers daily to weekly rentals, guided tours and fishing trips.

Where: Lee County

More: http://www.kayak-excursions.com/

 

Crabbing with an Old Salt

What: Be a crew mate on Captain Gus’ commercial crab boat and learn to pull and bait traps. Clean, steam and eat each of stone crabs and blue crabs on Tampa Bay. Capt. Gus was our how to Crabbing expert.

Where: Ruskin

More: http://www.crabbyadventures.com/

 

Dive into warm springs

What: The only warm water mineral spring in Florida, and the largest in the world.

Where: Nort Port

More: http://www.warmmineral.com/

 

Escape to peaceful ecosystems by canoe

What: Canoe Escape offers 6 different self guided, day trip combinations along the Hillsborough River through a diverse ecosystem.

Where: Thonotosassa

More: http://www.canoeescape.com/

 

Speed Boat Adventures

What: Experience a guided and narrated tour of the St. Petersburg waterways and Tampa Bay…with a twist. You are able to navigate and captain your OWN speedboat for the entirety of the tour while following our trained guides via radio communication.
 

Dry Activities

 

A glimpse into Victorian Florida

What: The museum’s mission is to interpret the Tampa Bay Hotel at the turn of the century and the Victorian lifestyles of America’s gilded age.

Where: Tampa

More: http://www.plantmuseum.com/

 

Exotic animals, right in Tampa

What: The zoo features more than 2000 animals, interactive exhibits, rides, and shows.

Where: Tampa

More: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com/

 

Fish on a historic pier

What: Fishing pier, remodeled with more amenities in 2007.

Where: Bradenton Beach

More: http://www.cityofbradentonbeach.com/pier.php

 

Go fishing with one of the highest ranked guides in Fort Myers

What: Set out with Captain John Simoneau for a fishing or sight-seeing tour in and around Fort Myers.

Where: Fort Myers, FL

More: http://www.fishingbuddycharters.com/home.html

 

Learn about natural Florida

What: Nature Preserve – fishing pier, paddling trails, nature & history center.

Where: St. Petersburg

More: http://www.weedonislandcenter.org/

 

Learn to captain a sailboat

What: All inclusive sailing school, from simple 2 hour lessons to courses that will prepare you to sail around the world.

Where: Ft. Myers

More: http://www.offshoresailing.com/

 

Learn to Fly Fish on Pine Island

What: Learn to fly fish, classes for beginners as well as advanced technique classes for those more familiar with the sport.

Where: St. James City

More: http://www.floridaflyfishingschools.com/

 

See Manatees

What: Located at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station, the center features tons of local wildlife, and in the winter, manatees.

Where: Apollo Beach

More: http://www.tampaelectric.com/manatee/

 

Surrealism on Florida’s West Coast

What: Houses the largest collection outside of Europe of the works of the artist Salvador Dali.

Where: St. Petersburg

More: http://www.thedali.org/

 

Take a quiet ride on the high seas

What: Sailboat and captain offering many trip options from short sunset cruises to multiple night all inclusive trips.

Where: Ft. Myers

More: http://www.sailmagicwind.com/

 

The world of seashells, on display

What: Promotes collection based research on shells and mollusks with emphasis on southwest Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
Where: Sanibel Island
 
 

Wet Activities

 

Learn the hot new watersport

What: Learn how to stand up paddleboard in 1 lesson. We teach safety, knee paddle, stand up paddle, turns and surfing moves.
Where: Ft. Lauderdale
 

Learn to surf from a pro

What: Professional surfer lessons offered at multiple beach locations. Surf training and ocean education to start your surf journey.
Where: Ft. Lauderdale
 

Rent a kayak and explore on your own schedule

What: Full service kayak rental company, also offer classes and guided kayak tours.
Where: Wilton Manors(Ft. Lauderdale)
 

Scuba trips and training

What: PADI 5 star instructor dive resort, can do everything from a glass bottom snorkel trip to train and receive advanced scuba instruciton.
Where: Ft. Lauderdale
 

Swim in a historic grotto

What: Historic pool formed from a rock quarry and spring. Truly unique.
Where: Miami
 

Take to the water and the air, all at once.

What: The only kiteboarding expert and concession in Dade County. JP Lurkin was our how-to kiteboarding expert.
Where: Miami (Key Biscayne)
 

The only Country Club for Scuba Divers

What: The Scuba Club offers dives and classes to all levels of divers, from beginners to divemaster certifications, as well as international dive trips.
Where: West Palm Beach
 

Wakeboard the largest cable park

What: SkiRixenUSA is in the business of teaching people to learn how to wakeboard and waterski. Longest standing cable way in America.
Where: Deerfield Beach
 

Dry Activities

 

Learn about Natural Florida

What: Nature center, provides guided tours, school programs and kayak/canoe tours.
Where: Boca Raton
 

Catch your record Largemouth

What: Largemouth and Peacock Bass fishing in many locations throughout South Florida. Will also do trips anywhere in the state.
Where: Ft. Lauderdale
 

Experience a safari, right in the city

What: One of the world’s great zoos, Zoo Miami houses more than 1,200 animals is a cageless setting.
Where: Miami
 

Explore a rainforest, right in Florida

What: Features some of the world’s most unique fruit and flowering trees, palms, and other tropical species.
Where: Miami
 

Have a classic Glades adventure

What: Coopertown Airboats are the longest running airboat company in the Everglades, see and learn about nature aboard their fleet of airboats. Jesse Kennon was our Alligator Experience and Airboat how-to expert.
Where: Coopertown (west of Miami)
 

Learn where sugar comes from

What: 4 hour heritage and agriculture tour of the area’s sugar industry.
Where: Clewiston
 

Pick your own strawberries, and more

What: Bakery, farm stand and U-pick strawberries. Famous for berry sundaes and shakes Open mid Nov-last Sat. of April
Where: Homestead
 

See and taste flavors of the world

What: The only tropical botanical garden of its kind containing over 500 varieties of fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and nuts.
Where: Homestead
 

See marine life

What: Whale, dolphin, and sea lion show, feeding and educational presentations through the day.
Where: Key Biscayne
 

See native Florida and natural history

What: Learn about Seminole Indians, take swamp buggy and airboat nature tours. Boardwalk nature trail, reptile exhibits, camping village.
Where: Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation
 

Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit

What: Visitors can explore different Florida marine habitats and learn about different marine ecosystems. There are several large coral reef displays, aquarium displays and a touch tank where you can meet some sea creatures.
Where: Fort Pierce
 

Stroll through a wildlife preserve

What: Mile long boardwalk through wildlife habitat home to alligators, and 140 species of birds.
Where: Delray Beach
 

Wet Activities

 

An up close dolphin experience

What: Swim with dolphins and sea lions
Where: Key Largo
 

Dive the Vandenberg wreck and other sites off Key West

What: The largest full service dive center in the Keys offers everything from snorkel trips to night and wreck scuba dive adventures.
Where: Key West
 

Feel like you’re sitting on water

What: 100% clear kayaks allow for a unique experience.
Where: Key West
 

Hand feed tarpon

What: Hundreds of giant tarpon wait by the docks of Robbie’s to be fed by hand.
Where: 77522 Overseas Hwy. Islamorada, FL
 

If it’s on the water, they’ve got it

What: One stop shop for all water activities: Enviro Tours, parasailing, sailing, wave runners, sunset cruises, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc….
Where: Key Largo
 

Interact with sealife

What: Learn and swim with dolphins, sea lions, and stingrays.
Where: Islamorada
 

Scuba experience without the hassles

What: Snuba is safe, family fun, and easy.
Where: Key West
 

The experience of scuba, while staying dry(er)

What: Launches straight into the back country and mangrove islands of the keys with clear bottom kayaks and carolina skiffs.
Where: Big Pine Key
 

The most unique dives in the Keys

What: Capt. Slate’s Dive Center offers a multitude of aquatic experiences – from half day snorkel trips to full on deep water wreck dives and close encounters with creatures of the deep. Capt. Slate was our how-to Marine Life Experience expert.
Where: Key Largo
 

Tour the backcountry by kayak

What: Most unique kayak tour, remote islands, view lots of wildlife, above and below water.
Where: Sugarloaf Key
 

Dry Activities

 

Experience a slice of Keys history

What: Pigeon Key is the site of a historic group of buildings built by Henry Flagler during the construction of the 7 Mile Bridge. A ferry to the island takes you there.
Where: near Marathon
 

Ferry to the Dry Tortugas

What: Yankee Freedom provides daily ferry service from Key West to Dry Tortugas for day trips and overnight camping trips.
Where: Key West
 

Islamorada’s fishing headquarters

What: Robbie’s Marina is a great place to start any fishing adventure in Islamorada, from offshore to backwater fishing, snorkeling and ecotours, they have a guide for it. Even feed the tarpon! Mark Poetz was our how to Lobstering expert and Brian McCadie was our how to Party Boat expert.
Where: Islamorada
 

Learn to fly fish from the best

What: Weekend long fly fishing school, includes 2 evening receptions with instructors.
Where: Islamorada
 

Take a seaplane to the Dry Tortugas

What: Seaplane tours to Dry Tortugas, spot sea life and sunken ships through crystal clear water.
Where: Key West
 

The Keys from above

What: See the Keys from a private helicopter tour.
Where: Marathon
 

The only freshwater in the Keys

What: Sinkhole from the old railway days blossomed into a wildlife attraction in the heart of Key Deer Refuge.
Where: Big Pine Key
 

Tour the haunted side of Key West

What: Lantern led tour of Old Town Key West, visiting various supposedly haunted locations.
Where: Key West
 

Wet Activities

 

Get on the water at Coldwater Creek

What: Canoeing, kayaking, tubing and camping on Coldwater Creek, with its sugar white sand banks and beaches.
Where: Milton
 

Glide down the Blackwater River

What: Day and overnight camping canoe trips on the Blackwater River, the only pristine sand river in the US.
Where: Milton
 

Learn how to Cave Dive

What: Learn the technical and practical aspects of cave diving – courses range from basic cave diving procedures to instructor courses
Where: Marianna
 

Dry Activities

 

Fly fish the Pensacola area

What: In and offshore fly fishing for any gamefish imaginable.
Where: Gulf Breeze
 

Learn about man’s exploration of the deep

What: Man in the Sea Museum showcases the progress of underwater technology, from the earliest days of diving to the most modern underwater habitats.
Where: Panama City Beach
 

Learn about Navy Aviation in it’s birthplace

What: The world’s largest naval aviation museum- collection includes 150 historic and one of a kind aircraft and 300,000 square feet indoors and 37 acres outdoors of relics.
Where: Pensacola
 

Learn to sail on the Emerald Coast

What: A family-owned sailing school that provides certified instruction, bareboat and captained charters along the Emerald Coast.
Where: Gulf Breeze
 

Offshore fishing, however you want

What: One of the area’s newest charter boats. Offering bottom, trolling, and rig tuna fishing.
Where: Pensacola Beach
 

See Florida’s tallest waterfall

What: Falling Waters State Park contains Florida’s tallest waterfall, starting at ground level and dropping over 70 feet into a nearly cylindrical sinkhole.
Where: Chipley
 

Wet Activities

 

A human powered adventure

What: Guided and self guided kayak tours of Amelia Island and the surrounding natural areas.
Where: Jacksonville
 

Dive deep under Florida

What: The only place on the east coast where you can scuba 200ft and still be in open fresh water.
Where: Ocala
 

Learn to Catch Scallops

What: Capt Bob Erdman can get you out to the scallop beds and help you catch your limit! Our expert for our Scalloping segment. Fishing trips available as well.
Where: Steinhatchee
 

Ride and swim with horses

What: Guided trail rides and swimming with horses in the Oklawaha River.
Where: Ft. McCoy
 

See another side of Jacksonville

What: Kayak lessons for all levels of expertise, team building courses, and kayak tours off all areas near Jacksonville.
Where: Jacksonville
 

Dry Activities

 

50 acres of nature, right in the city

What: Located in the center of Jacksonville: environmental programs, trails,natural history museum, butterfly and hummingbird gardens and native animals.
Where: Jacksonville
 

Canoe the Suwannee River

What: American Canoe Adventures is a full service canoe and kayak rental company on the Suwannee River, they can plan overnight to weeks long trips for you. Charlie Shaw was one of our experts for Canoe Camping and they also supplied our canoes.
Where: White Springs
 

Climb a working lighthouse

What: A working light station and museum, preserving NE Florida’s rich maritime history.
Where: St. Augustine
 

Horseback trail rides in N. Florida

What: Relax and enjoy beautiful guided trail rides through the Florida Horse Park and on the Ocala Greenway Trail System
Where: Ocala
 

Learn outdoor skills that could save you

What: Learn how to survive in the FL backcountry when “things go wrong”. Learn how to stay warm/cool, make a fire without matches, etc..
Where: Weirsdale
 

Learn to sail in St. Augustine

What: ASA certified sailing school based out of St. Augustine
Where: St. Augustine
 

Learn to sail where Chad did

What: Sailing club based in the Jacksonville area that offers classes.
Where: Orange Park
 

Pick your own blueberries at Yancey’s

What: U pick farm, typically opens late May or June. Call for details.
Where: Silver Springs
 

Ride the famous glass bottom boats

What: Silver Springs is perhaps most famous for its glass bottom boats that let visitors peer deep into the spring’s crystal clear waters.
Where: Silver Springs
 

Sail aboard a schooner

What: Charter cruises and ghost tours aboard a 72′ replica of a nineteenth century blockade runner. Daily day and night cruises.
Where: St. Augustine
 

floridastateparks.org

This website will help you plan your visits to Florida’s 174 award-winning state parks, trails and historic sites.

Summertime means family vacations for many people. If a state park is your destination, you can use this website to find a great place to camp under the stars. More than 50 state parks offer camping for tents, campers and RVs. If you prefer air conditioning and a roof, then cabins are the way to go.

floridatrail.org

The Florida Trail Association develops, maintains, protects, and promotes a network of hiking trails throughout the state, including the unique Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST). Together with our partners we provide opportunities for the public to hike, engage in outdoor recreation, participate in environmental education, and contribute to meaningful volunteer work.

floridapaddlingtrails.com

FPTA paddling trails are divided into 15 regions with a total of 32 segments. Regions begin at Big Lagoon State Park near Pensacola, extending around the Florida peninsula and Keys and continue up the east coast to Fort Clinch State Park near the Georgia border. Interior regions cover the Suwannee River, Ocklawaha and Wekiva Rivers and lakes in Central Florida. Our paddling trails include every type of Florida habitat, from swamps to barrier island dune systems to salt marsh and mangroves.

nps.gov

Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year. But our work doesn’t stop there.

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