31 Things to do in Florida

With a wealth of warm waters, tranquil mangrove forests, and pristine white beaches, Florida’s a dream if you love the great outdoors. You've also got the world's most exciting theme parks to play in, charming towns and cities to explore, and some of the best nature reserves in the USA. Holidays to Florida could include an impressive mix of partying in Miami’s South Beach area, alligator-spotting in the primeval Everglades, and visiting your favourite princesses at Walt Disney World.

Beach life, natural life and nightlife

With Florida’s pristine beaches, diverse landscapes and array of wildlife, you’re going to want to go exploring. Set aside time to tour the wetlands, swamps and grasslands of the Everglades in Central Florida - it’s your chance to spot alligators, manatees and sea turtles in the breathtaking surroundings of a truly unique ecosystem. Nature fans will also love the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, home to 50 species of butterfly, and Shingle Creek Regional Park in Kissimmee, where you might see otters, wild turkeys and white-tailed deer.

But, top of the list of adventures in this corner of the States is a visit to the unspoiled tropical beaches of the Florida Keys. Travel the Overseas Highway between these tiny islands to discover turquoise waters, coral reefs, colonial history, and powdery sands. There are more superb beaches over on the west coast, in Florida’s Tampa Bay area. It’s home to Caladesi Island State Park, which is perfect for a family day of swimming, picnics, and playing in the sand. There’s a ferry to get you there, or you could paddle across by canoe!

As evening draws in, get your glad rags on and sample Florida's lively nightlife - it’s a real draw for couples and party animals of all orientations. It’s headlined by the nightclubs in Miami (especially the Art Deco district) and the bars of Key West where the cocktails flow, Caribbean-style.

Meet film heroes, exotic animals and space travellers

A family holiday to Florida isn't complete without visiting one of its famous theme parks, and Walt Disney World in Orlando is the jewel in the state’s crown. In this mega amusement park, you can experience rides that the whole family will enjoy while spending time with Mickey and friends, and visit endangered species at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. For movie magic, jump into your favourite sets at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (home to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) or Universal Islands of Adventure, where The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just one of the exciting attractions of a holiday to Universal Orlando Resort.

After that, you'll need to cool off, so don your swimwear for a splashabout at one of the many themed waterparks. Top of the list are Universal’s Volcano Bay, Disney’s Blizzard Beach and the LEGOLAND Waterpark.

Outside Orlando, the African-themed Busch Gardens Tampa Bay effortlessly combines rollercoasters with wildlife and live entertainment. Or, for a day out with a difference, head to Florida's Space Coast and the world-famous Kennedy Space Center, where you can meet astronauts, walk amongst towering rockets and experience what a shuttle launch really feels like.

Things to do

Best hotels in Florida