When most people think of visiting Florida, particularly during the scorching summer months, beaches are the first thing that come to mind. While the Sunshine State’s picture-perfect stretches of sand are well-worth checking out, there are countless other fun attractions in Florida that deserve a spot on your itinerary. Here are some of the best things to do in Florida this summer.
Admire the Scenery in a Beautiful Garden
Image via Flickr by Ethan Oringel
Florida is known for its diverse plant-life, and a stroll through one of the state’s scenic gardens is a great way to appreciate it. Don’t miss the enchanting Bok Tower Gardens north of Lake Wales, which center on a distinctive, 205-foot tower modeled after Europe’s iconic Gothic structures. Walk down 15 feet below street level to explore St. Petersburg’s Sunken Gardens, which were originally carved out of an ancient lake.
See alligators, iguanas, river otters, and, of course, flamingos at Flamingo Gardens in Davie. Spanning over 60 acres, Flamingo Gardens encompass a tropical plant house, citrus groves, as well as a butterfly and hummingbird garden. Take a delightful tram tour of Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, the largest tropical botanical garden in the country.
Go on a Camping Trip
Florida offers some of the country’s most varied camp sites, ranging from idyllic beaches to lush forests. Experience a mini-safari at Lion Country Safari KOA in southeast Florida, which is located next to the Lion Country Safari reserve. During the day, drive through the 320-acre reserve and see thousands of free-roaming animals, including zebras, African elephants, and lions. Alternatively, enjoy campfire singalongs with Disney characters, as well as hay rides and fireworks at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.
Learn about the rich history of Fort Clinch State Park, which features a Civil War-era fort where soldier re-enactments are performed on the first weekend of each month. The park is also home to a fishing pier in addition to serene hiking and biking trails, plus its oceanfront campgrounds are backed by picturesque natural dunes. After roughing it in a tent for a few nights, treat yourself to a night of comfort at one of the many wonderful hotels in Florida.
Cool Off at a Water Park
Image via Flickr by Paladin27
There’s no better way to beat the Florida summer heat than with a visit to one of the state’s fantastic water parks. Slide down the Dolphin Plunge at Aquatica in Orlando, an innovative slide that propels riders through clear underwater tubes surrounded by swimming dolphins and whales. Boogie board on the FlowRider at Rapids Water Park in West Palm Beach, or check out the famous mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park before enjoying a river cruise at the adjoining Buccaneer Bay Water Park.
Disney World’s Blizzard Beach is designed around the quirky concept of combining a water park with a ski resort. The result is “melting snow” waterfalls, water sled runs, and a 90-foot-tall snow-capped mountain known as Mt. Gushmore.
Discover how rewarding a summer trip to Florida can be by enjoying these exciting activities.