32 Exciting Things to Do in Florida Other Than Disney

Florida is known for many things, from its sunny beaches to its world-renowned theme parks. While Walt Disney World may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Florida, there is so much more to this vibrant state than roller coasters and princesses. If you’re looking for exciting activities and unique experiences in Florida, look no further! In this blog, we’ll explore 32 thrilling things to do in the Sunshine State that don’t involve Disney. From space exploration to wildlife encounters, there’s something for everyone in Florida.

1. Explore the Astronaut Hall of Fame

Astronaut Hall of Fame
Astronaut Hall of Fame

Located at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, the Astronaut Hall of Fame is a must-visit destination for history buffs and space enthusiasts. This interactive museum offers a fascinating look into the history of space exploration and the brave men and women who have ventured beyond our Earth.

Step back in time as you explore the exhibits and see real-life artifacts from NASA missions, including spacesuits, lunar landers, and even the actual capsules that carried astronauts into space. The museum also features immersive displays and simulators that give visitors a glimpse into the rigorous training that astronauts undergo.

One of the highlights of the Astronaut Hall of Fame is the opportunity to meet and greet with actual astronauts. Hear their stories, ask questions, and gain insight into the challenges and triumphs of space travel. For an even more behind-the-scenes experience, you can take a guided tour of the Kennedy Space Center, where you can witness the launch pads, tour the Vehicle Assembly Building, and even catch a rocket launch viewing party.

2. Visit the Rocket Garden

 the Rocket Garden
the Rocket Garden

If you’re fascinated by the history of space exploration, a visit to the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center is a must. Located in Cape Canaveral, Central Florida, the Rocket Garden is a unique outdoor exhibit that showcases a collection of historic rockets and space vehicles used in NASA missions.

This enchanting garden allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of the most iconic spacecraft ever built. Explore the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft, and stand in awe of the towering Saturn V rocket, which propelled astronauts to the moon. As you wander through the garden, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the incredible engineering and technology that made space travel possible.

Guided tours are available, or you can explore the Rocket Garden at your own pace. Interactive exhibits and displays provide insight into NASA’s space exploration history, making it an educational and immersive experience for the whole family. Whether you’re a space enthusiast or simply curious about the wonders of the universe, a visit to the Rocket Garden is sure to leave you inspired.

3. Dolphin-Watching Opportunities

Dolphin-Watching Opportunities
Dolphin-Watching Opportunities

Florida’s coastlines are home to an abundance of marine life, including playful and intelligent dolphins. If you’ve ever dreamt of seeing these magnificent creatures up close, Florida offers plenty of opportunities for dolphin-watching.

One of the best places to spot dolphins is along the Gulf of Mexico, which is renowned for its clear waters and thriving marine ecosystem. There are many boat tour operators in popular beach destinations like Sarasota, Clearwater, and Key West, offering guided excursions specifically designed for dolphin watching. These tours often include knowledgeable guides who can provide insight into the behaviors and habitats of dolphins, ensuring a memorable and educational experience for the whole family.

As you glide along the water, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins leaping out of the water or swimming alongside the boat. These graceful creatures are known for their acrobatic displays, and there’s nothing quite like witnessing them in their natural habitat. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these magical moments and create memories that will last a lifetime.

4. Relaxing Beach Activities

Relaxing Beach Activities
Relaxing Beach Activities

With its vast coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Florida is the perfect place to indulge in relaxing beach activities. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or an exciting day of water sports, Florida’s beaches offer something for everyone.

The Sunshine State boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, from the powdery white sands of Siesta Key Beach to the crystal-clear waters of Clearwater Beach. Spend the day lounging on the sand, soaking up the sun, and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of water sports available, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. Explore the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico and discover the natural wonders that lie beneath the water’s surface through snorkeling or scuba diving.

If you prefer a more laid-back beach experience, why not try a beach yoga class? Many beachfront resorts and studios offer outdoor yoga classes, allowing you to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul against the backdrop of the ocean. Alternatively, pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch with loved ones, surrounded by the natural beauty of the beach. Whatever your preference, Florida’s beaches provide the perfect setting for relaxation and fun.

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5. Dive into Art at the Orlando Museum

 the Orlando Museum
the Orlando Museum

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the Orlando Museum of Art is a cultural gem that showcases a diverse array of artistic masterpieces. With over 2,400 works of art from around the world, the museum offers a rich cultural experience for art enthusiasts of all ages.

As you step inside the museum, you’ll be greeted by captivating exhibits featuring contemporary art, American art, and African art, among others. Marvel at the talent and creativity of renowned artists, both past, and present, as you explore the galleries filled with paintings, sculptures, and other visual delights. The museum also hosts special exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and events throughout the year, providing opportunities to engage deeper with the art world.

For those seeking outdoor beauty, the museum’s breathtaking sculpture garden is a must-visit spot. Take a stroll through the garden, surrounded by stunning artworks set against the backdrop of nature. It’s the perfect place to escape the bustling city and reconnect with art and beauty.

Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply appreciate beauty, the Orlando Museum of Art is a must-visit destination in Florida. Immerse yourself in a world of creativity and inspiration, and leave with a newfound appreciation for the power of art.

6. Participate in Interactive Exhibits

Participate in Interactive Exhibits
Participate in Interactive Exhibits

If you’re looking for a fun and educational experience for the whole family, look no further than the Orlando Science Center. Located in downtown Orlando, this interactive museum is a treasure trove of knowledge, offering a wide range of exhibits and activities that cater to all age groups.

At the Orlando Science Center, you can explore a variety of interactive exhibits that cover a wide range of subjects, including physics, biology, and astronomy. Get hands-on with the displays, engage in experiments, and learn through touch, exploration, and experimentation. From the thrilling world of outer space to the intricate workings of the human body, there’s something for everyone to discover and enjoy.

The museum also hosts special events, workshops, and live presentations, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the world of science. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the natural world by visiting the NatureWorks exhibit, or witness the power of live science demonstrations at the Dr. Phillips CineDome.

With its engaging and interactive displays, the Orlando Science Center provides an enriching educational experience that will leave you inspired and excited about the fascinating world of science.

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7. Relax in Lake Eola Park

Relax in Lake Eola Park
Relax in Lake Eola Park

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a serene oasis surrounded by a bustling cityscape. Spanning 43 acres, this urban park offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Take a leisurely walk around the lake, or rent a paddleboat or swan boat to explore the calm waters. Glide along the lake as you take in the picturesque views of the downtown skyline and the iconic fountain, which lights up at night with colorful displays. If you’re lucky, you might spot some of the park’s resident swans gracefully gliding across the water.

Lake Eola Park is the perfect place for a picnic or a leisurely afternoon lounging on the grass. The park features picnic areas with tables and grills, as well as plenty of green space for outdoor activities. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, be sure to check out the Orlando Farmers Market, where you can browse local vendors and indulge in delicious food and unique crafts.

8. Enjoy a Picnic by the Lake

Picnic by the Lake
Picnic by the Lake

If you’re looking for a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic in downtown Orlando, look no further than Lake Eola. This beautiful park is home to a picturesque lake, vibrant green spaces, and plenty of amenities to make your picnic experience unforgettable.

Lake Eola offers the ideal setting for a leisurely outdoor meal with family or friends. Spread out a blanket on the grass, or make use of the picnic tables and grills available throughout the park. Take in the mesmerizing views of the lake and the city skyline as you savor your favorite snacks and soak up the sunshine.

As you enjoy your picnic, you might catch a glimpse of the park’s resident swans gracefully swimming in the lake. These elegant creatures have become beloved symbols of Lake Eola and are a joy to observe.

After your meal, take a stroll around the lake to explore the park further. You can rent a paddleboat or a swan boat and take to the water for a unique perspective of the park. Don’t forget to capture the memories of your picnic with some beautiful photos of the lake and its surroundings.

Lake Eola Park truly is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic in downtown Orlando. With its natural beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and stunning views, it’s no wonder that locals and visitors alike flock to this hidden gem for a relaxing day outdoors.

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9. Take a Swan Boat Ride

 Take a Swan Boat Ride
Take a Swan Boat Ride

For a unique and memorable experience in downtown Orlando, hop aboard a swan boat and take a leisurely ride on the glistening waters of Lake Eola. These iconic swan-shaped paddleboats are a beloved attraction at the park, providing a fun and family-friendly activity for visitors of all ages.

Renting a swan boat allows you to explore the lake at your own pace, allowing you to take in the breathtaking views of the downtown Orlando skyline and the park’s natural beauty. Glide through the calm waters, feeling the gentle breeze against your face as you enjoy the serenity of the lake.

Swan boat rides are the perfect activity for families, couples, or solo travelers looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of Lake Eola. Children will delight in the whimsical fun of riding in a swan-shaped boat, while adults can relax and unwind in the tranquil surroundings.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic outing or a fun adventure with the whole family, a swan boat ride on Lake Eola is a must-do activity in downtown Orlando. Create lasting memories as you experience the magic of gliding across the water, powered by your pedaling.

10. Unleash Your Inner Scientist at the Orlando Science Center

 the Orlando Science Center
the Orlando Science Center

If you’re a science enthusiast or simply curious about the world around you, the Orlando Science Center is the perfect place to unleash your inner scientist. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the center offers a wide range of exhibits, activities, and experiences that cater to visitors of all ages.

Step into the world of science as you explore the center’s interactive exhibits, which cover a broad spectrum of topics, from space exploration to biology and beyond. Engage with hands-on activities, experiments, and demonstrations that allow you to learn through touch, exploration, and fun.

The Orlando Science Center is also known for its educational and entertaining live shows, where you can witness the wonders of science come to life before your eyes. From explosive chemistry demonstrations to mind-bending physics experiments, these shows are sure to leave you amazed and inspired.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into specific areas of science, the center offers workshops, classes, and camps for all ages. From coding classes to robotics workshops, there are plenty of opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills in a fun and engaging environment.

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11. Participate in Hands-On Exhibits

Participate in Hands-On Exhibits
Participate in Hands-On Exhibits

One of the highlights of the Orlando Science Center is its extensive collection of hands-on exhibits, which provide an immersive learning experience for visitors of all ages. These interactive displays allow you to engage with science uniquely and excitingly, making learning fun and accessible.

Explore the world of physics as you experiment with simple machines and discover the laws of motion. Test your problem-solving skills in the engineering zone, where you can design and build your structures. Learn about the fascinating world of biology through interactive exhibits that allow you to observe and understand the complexities of life.

The center’s interactive exhibits also cover topics such as chemistry, astronomy, and environmental science, offering something for everyone. Get hands-on with experiments, observation stations, and even live animals, as you gain a deeper understanding of the natural world.

Whether you’re a science enthusiast or simply curious about the world around you, the Orlando Science Center’s hands-on exhibits provide a unique opportunity to learn, explore, and have fun in central Florida. Immerse yourself in the wonders of science, and discover the magic of discovery.

12. Visit the Planetarium

 the Planetarium
the Planetarium

When visiting the Orlando Science Center, a trip to the planetarium is a must for astronomy enthusiasts and anyone who wants to explore the wonders of the universe. Step into the state-of-the-art facility and prepare to be mesmerized by the beauty of the night sky and the mysteries of the cosmos.

The planetarium offers a wide range of shows and presentations, each providing a unique and educational experience. Sit back and relax as the high-definition projector transports you to distant galaxies, showcasing the beauty of the cosmos like never before. From exploring the solar system to diving deep into the history of space exploration, these shows offer a captivating journey through the vastness of space.

The Orlando Science Center’s planetarium is not just for stargazing. It also hosts special events, lectures, and workshops, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the world of astronomy. Gain a deeper understanding of the celestial bodies that surround us or learn about the latest discoveries in the field of space science.

A visit to the planetarium at the Orlando Science Center is a perfect blend of education and entertainment. Be prepared to be inspired, fascinated, and awed as you embark on a cosmic journey through the stars.

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13. Discover the Everglades on an Airboat Tour

 the Everglades on an Airboat Tour
the Everglades on an Airboat Tour

No trip to Florida would be complete without exploring the unique beauty of the Everglades, and one of the best ways to do so is by taking an airboat tour. Set off on an adventure through the vast wetlands, mangroves, and sawgrass prairies that make up the iconic Everglades National Park.

An airboat tour allows you to navigate the shallow waters of the Everglades, providing access to areas that are inaccessible by land or traditional boats. As you glide along, keep your eyes peeled for the park’s most famous resident, the alligator, which has earned the Everglades the title of the “Alligator Capital of the World.”

The experienced airboat captains, who are often local experts, guide you through the park, sharing their knowledge of the ecosystem, wildlife, and history of the area. They can spot wildlife from afar and will point out the unique plants, animals, and birds that call the Everglades home.

The airboat tour is not just a thrilling way to experience the beauty of the Everglades, it’s also an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the delicate balance of this unique ecosystem. Learn about the challenges the Everglades face and the importance of conservation efforts in preserving this natural wonder for future generations.

14. Encounter Florida’s Wildlife

Encounter Florida's Wildlife
Encounter Florida’s Wildlife

The Everglades is not only home to alligators but also to a diverse array of wildlife that thrive in its unique ecosystem. Exploring this national park offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife encounters, allowing you to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

As you embark on an airboat tour through the Everglades, keep your eyes peeled for the variety of wildlife that call this park home. From wading birds, such as herons and egrets, to elusive reptiles like the colorful anole lizard, the park is teeming with life. If you’re lucky, you might even spot the rare and endangered Florida panther, the state’s official animal.

Birdwatchers will be in paradise, as the Everglades is a haven for numerous species of birds, including the iconic roseate spoonbill and the majestic bald eagle. Binoculars in hand, you can spot these feathered beings as they soar through the skies or perch among the cypress trees.

For marine life enthusiasts, the coastal areas of the Everglades offer the chance to encounter dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles, among other fascinating marine creatures. Witnessing these animals in their natural habitat is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience.

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15. Learn about the Unique Ecosystem

 the Unique Ecosystem
the Unique Ecosystem

The Everglades is home to one of the most unique and fragile ecosystems in the world, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and those interested in learning about the natural world. A guided tour through the park can provide a wealth of knowledge about the delicate balance of this extraordinary ecosystem.

The Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness area in the United States, spanning over 1.5 million acres. It is characterized by its shallow, slow-moving water, which creates a habitat perfect for a wide variety of plant and animal species. The unique combination of wetland, forest, and marine environments makes the Everglades a diverse and complex ecosystem.

When you join a guided tour, whether it be an airboat tour or a guided hike, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the science, history, and conservation efforts of the Everglades. Expert guides will share their knowledge of the unique plants, animals, and geological features that make the park so special.

Explore the different habitats of the Everglades, from the sawgrass prairies to the cypress swamps, and gain a deeper understanding of how the various elements of the ecosystem interact with each other. Discover the important role the Everglades play in the water cycle, as the “River of Grass” helps to recharge the state’s water supply.

16. Swim with Manatees at Crystal River

. Swim with Manatees at Crystal River
. Swim with Manatees at Crystal River

Crystal River, located on the Gulf of Mexico, is known as the “Manatee Capital of the World” and offers a unique opportunity to swim with these gentle giants in their natural habitat. If you’ve ever dreamt of coming face to face with these fascinating marine mammals, a trip to Crystal River is a must.

During the winter months, when the Gulf of Mexico cools down, manatees seek refuge in the warm waters of the natural springs found in Crystal River. These springs maintain a constant temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit, providing the perfect sanctuary for manatees to survive the colder temperatures.

Several tour operators in Crystal River offer guided snorkeling or kayaking tours that allow you to swim alongside manatees responsibly and respectfully. With the guidance of experienced and knowledgeable guides, you can learn about the behavior, habitat, and conservation efforts of these gentle giants.

As you enter the water, you’ll be mesmerized by the peaceful presence of the manatees. Observe their graceful movements as they glide through the water, and listen to the gentle sounds of their breaths. You may even have the opportunity to interact with them, as some manatees are known to be curious and approachable.

Swimming with manatees in Crystal River is not only a thrilling and unforgettable experience, but it also allows you to gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and importance of these magnificent creatures and the need to protect their natural habitat.

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17. Guided Tours for Best Experience

 Guided Tours for Best Experience
Guided Tours for Best Experience

When exploring the natural wonders of Florida, embarking on a guided tour can enhance your experience and provide valuable insights into the history, ecology, and culture of the area. This is especially true when visiting places like Crystal River, where the local expertise can greatly enhance your encounter with the region’s unique wildlife, such as the manatees.

Guided tours in Crystal River offer the best ways to responsibly interact with manatees and ensure the safety of both the animals and visitors. These tours usually include a knowledgeable guide, who can provide detailed information about manatees, their natural habitat, and the conservation efforts in place to protect them.

Guides can lead you to the best spots for manatee encounters, increasing the chances of having an up-close and personal experience with these gentle giants. They can also educate you on the best practices for swimming with manatees, ensuring the well-being of the animals and the preservation of their natural habitat.

A guided tour can also provide access to special areas that are not easily accessible by the public, such as private springs or lesser-known natural wonders. By having a knowledgeable guide, you can uncover hidden gems, learn the history of the area, and gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and ecological importance of the Crystal River region.

Whether you’re interested in wildlife encounters, natural beauty, or cultural immersion, opting for a guided tour in Crystal River opens up a world of possibilities and ensures the best possible experience during your visit to this enchanting area.

18. Learn about Manatee Conservation Efforts

 Manatee Conservation Efforts
Manatee Conservation Efforts

While swimming with manatees is a thrilling and unforgettable experience, it’s also an opportunity to learn about the important conservation efforts in place to protect these gentle creatures and their natural habitat. Crystal River, being the Manatee Capital of the World, offers educational experiences that shed light on manatee conservation.

Guided tours in Crystal River often include informative commentary on the history, ecology, and current conservation initiatives related to manatees. These tours provide opportunities to learn about the manatees’ natural habitat, migration patterns, feeding habits, and the challenges they face due to factors such as water pollution and habitat loss.

Guides can share the ongoing research and monitoring projects that are helping scientists better understand the behavior and needs of manatees. As you observe manatees in their natural habitat, you can gain a deep appreciation for the importance of these majestic creatures and the need to protect their fragile ecosystem.

Educational experiences can also extend beyond the guided tours, with visits to educational centers or visitor centers in the area. These places often offer exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs that provide a comprehensive understanding of the conservation efforts in place and the role individuals can play in protecting manatees and their environment.

By learning about manatee conservation, you become an advocate for their protection, helping to spread awareness and support ongoing efforts. It’s an opportunity to make a positive impact and preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of Florida’s waterways for future generations.

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19. Kayak in the Crystal Clear Waters of Rock Springs

 Crystal Clear Waters of Rock Springs
Crystal Clear Waters of Rock Springs

Rock Springs, located in central Florida, offers a tranquil oasis with crystal-clear waters that are perfect for kayaking adventures. Grab a paddle and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of this natural wonder as you glide along the water.

Known for its emerald-colored water, Rock Springs is a stunning location for kayaking enthusiasts. The spring-fed river provides a gentle current, allowing you to effortlessly navigate the waterways and take in the beauty of the natural surroundings. As you paddle, you can marvel at the lush vegetation, towering cypress trees, and the occasional wildlife that you may spot along the banks of the river.

The clarity of the water allows you to observe the diverse marine life that calls Rock Springs home. Look down into the water, and you may spot schools of fish, turtles, or even the occasional manatee or alligator, depending on the time of year. The peacefulness of the river gives you the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, the calm and clear waters of Rock Springs make it an ideal location for all skill levels. You can explore the river at your own pace, stopping along the way to take in the views or simply bask in the tranquility of the surroundings. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to reconnect with nature and find peace on the water.

20. Wildlife Spotting Opportunities

Wildlife Spotting Opportunities
Wildlife Spotting Opportunities

Central Florida is home to a wealth of unique wildlife, making it an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. From the Everglades to the numerous state parks and conservation areas, there are plenty of opportunities to spot a variety of species in their natural habitat.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of central Florida’s wildlife is by embarking on guided wildlife tours or adventure excursions. These tours often take you deep into the natural habitats of the area, allowing you to witness animals in their natural environment.

Central Florida’s natural landscapes provide habitat for a wide range of species, including alligators, manatees, birds, deer, and even the elusive Florida panther. With the guidance of experienced naturalists or tour guides, you can venture into the heart of these habitats, increasing the chances of encountering wildlife and capturing incredible sightings.

Whether you’re exploring the marshes of the Everglades, the crystal clear springs of central Florida, or the dense forests of the state parks, keep your eyes peeled for any movement or signs of life. Binoculars, cameras, and field guides can enhance your wildlife spotting experience, allowing you to study and document the animals you encounter.

Take the time to appreciate the natural beauty and the interconnectedness of the ecosystem, realizing the importance of preserving these habitats and the wildlife that rely on them. By participating in wildlife spotting activities, you contribute to conservation efforts, raising awareness of the need to protect and maintain these natural treasures for future generations to enjoy.

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21. Attend a Candlelight Concert in Florida

Attend a Candlelight Concert in Florida
Attend a Candlelight Concert in Florida

When looking for an evening of enchantment, attending a candlelight concert in Florida is the perfect choice. These special events offer the opportunity to experience live music in a unique and intimate setting, creating a magical atmosphere that transports you to a world of beauty and artistry.

Candlelight concerts are often held in beautiful venues such as historic churches, botanical gardens, or even outdoor amphitheaters, creating a backdrop of natural beauty or architectural grandeur. As the soft glow of the candles illuminates the space, guests can enjoy the mesmerizing performances of talented musicians, enveloped in the warmth and intimacy of the surroundings.

Whether you’re a classical music lover, a jazz aficionado, or a fan of contemporary sounds, there are candlelight concerts available to suit all tastes. From solo performances to chamber ensembles, these concerts showcase the incredible talents of musicians, providing an evening of unforgettable music that lingers in your heart long after the final notes have been played.

22. Classical Music Venues

 Classical Music Venues
Classical Music Venues

Florida’s classical music scene thrives with esteemed venues like the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Renowned orchestras such as the Miami Symphony Orchestra and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra frequently grace the stage, offering captivating performances.

Throughout the year, Florida hosts prestigious classical music festivals including the Sarasota Music Festival and the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, drawing music enthusiasts from all over the globe.

Moreover, the state’s universities feature acclaimed music programs, showcasing public recitals and concerts that contribute to the vibrant classical music culture. Attending a classical music performance in Florida presents a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich tapestry of cultural artistry that the Sunshine State has to offer.

23. Jazz and Blues Options

 Jazz and Blues Options
Jazz and Blues Options

Explore live music venues across Florida, immersing the whole family in the vibrant jazz and blues scene. From outdoor festivals to intimate clubs, the Sunshine State offers a wide variety of performances, making it a perfect place for music enthusiasts. Experience the electric atmosphere of iconic jazz and blues hotspots, adding a unique cultural dimension to your trip. Whether you’re a history buff or a music lover, Florida’s jazz and blues options provide a great choice for the best ways to enjoy the state beyond Walt Disney World.

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24. Visit the Vibrant Mead Botanical Garden

 the Vibrant Mead Botanical Garden
the Vibrant Mead Botanical Garden

Escape to the 48-acre Mead Botanical Garden, a natural haven in Winter Park, Florida. Encounter diverse ecosystems, including serene wetlands, flourishing gardens, and lush forests. Stroll along scenic walking trails and unwind at charming picnic spots nestled throughout the garden. Marvel at the array of wildlife, from graceful butterflies and melodious birds to fascinating reptiles. Don’t miss the captivating seasonal events, featuring vibrant plant sales and captivating art exhibitions, adding a touch of enchantment to your visit.

25. Explore the Butterfly Garden

 the Butterfly Garden
the Butterfly Garden

Learn about space exploration at the Kennedy Space Center, then take an airboat ride to see alligators in their natural habitat. Observe manatees and marine life at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, and explore Florida’s history at the St. Augustine Historic District. For a scenic adventure, take a hot air balloon ride or go on a sunset sail or dolphin-watching excursion. These activities offer a perfect way to experience Florida beyond the Walt Disney World and create lasting memories with the whole family.

26. Participate in Guided Tours

 Guided Tours
Guided Tours

Embark on a swamp adventure to witness alligators and diverse wildlife. Explore a manatee sanctuary for an up-close encounter with these gentle giants. Unearth Florida’s haunted history by joining a ghost tour. Navigate through the waterways on a kayaking or canoeing tour. Delve into Florida’s rich agriculture with a visit to a working farm. Immerse yourself in the charm of historic neighborhoods or towns through a walking or biking tour.

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27. Snap a Selfie at Madame Tussauds Orlando

Madame Tussauds Orlando
Madame Tussauds Orlando

Step into the world of Madame Tussauds Orlando and capture memories with lifelike celebrity wax figures. Afterward, visit the Kennedy Space Center to delve into space exploration or explore the Everglades National Park for alligator sightings.

Relax on Miami or Clearwater beaches, take an exhilarating airboat ride through Florida swamps, and soar over Orlando in a hot air balloon. For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg is a must. Madame Tussauds Orlando offers a delightful experience for the whole family, making it a perfect addition to your list of things to do in Florida other than Disney.

28. Meet Your Favorite Celebrities

Meet Your Favorite Celebrities
Meet Your Favorite Celebrities

Embark on a journey to the Kennedy Space Center, delve into the history of NASA, and immerse yourself in the wonders of space exploration. Traverse the Everglades National Park to encounter extraordinary wildlife, including alligators and manatees. Venture to the Florida Keys to bask in the beauty of pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Visit St. Petersburg’s Salvador Dali Museum to marvel at the extensive collection of Dali’s work outside Europe. Explore the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, where the renowned author lived and wrote. Glide through central Florida’s swamps and marshes on an exhilarating airboat ride.

29. Interactive Exhibits

Interactive Exhibits
Interactive Exhibits

Explore mind-bending interactive exhibits at science museums and cultural institutions in Florida. Museums like the Orlando Science Center and the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale offer hands-on learning experiences for all ages, covering topics from space exploration to marine life.

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides an immersive journey through space exploration, including interactive exhibits, tours, and opportunities to meet astronauts. In Miami, the Museum of Illusions offers captivating exhibits that challenge perception and ignite creativity, while art institutions like the Salvador Dali Museum and the Norton Museum of Art feature interactive displays, adding an element of fun to learning.

30. Explore the SEA LIFE Aquarium

 The SEA LIFE Aquarium
The SEA LIFE Aquarium

Explore the SEA LIFE Aquarium for an immersive experience with marine life, perfect for the whole family. After visiting the Everglades National Park to see Florida’s diverse wildlife and taking a hike in the Ocala National Forest for scenic views, the aquarium offers a different kind of adventure.

While in Florida, also visit the Kennedy Space Center for a unique and educational experience, sunbathe on the beautiful beaches of Miami or Clearwater, and take a thrilling airboat ride through the swamps of the Everglades. Don’t miss a stroll through the historic town of St. Augustine.

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31. Discover Marine Life

 Marine Life
Marine Life

Visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to witness Winter and Hope, renowned dolphins, along with diverse marine animals. Explore the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for vibrant coral reefs and marine life through snorkeling or scuba diving.

At the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, marvel at sharks, stingrays, and other aquatic creatures. Opt for a dolphin-watching tour in Sarasota Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. Delight in marine animal shows and exhibits at the Miami Seaquarium. Lastly, embark on a manatee-watching tour in Crystal River to complete your marine adventure.

32. Participate in Interactive Displays

Participate in Interactive Displays
Participate in Interactive Displays

Explore interactive displays at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for a hands-on experience. Immerse yourself in the art installations at the Dali Museum and discover the Publix Aprons Cooking School for a culinary adventure. Engage with interactive exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry and learn about marine life at the Florida Aquarium. Don’t miss live theater performances and workshops at the Orlando Repertory Theatre for a truly interactive cultural experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some unique outdoor activities to do in Florida?

Explore the Everglades National Park on a thrilling airboat tour, glide through Florida’s picturesque waterways while kayaking or canoeing, soar above Orlando or Tampa Bay in a hot air balloon ride, and embark on a dolphin-watching tour or swim with playful manatees.

Are there any hidden gem beaches or parks worth visiting in Florida?

Yes, there are several hidden gem beaches and parks in Florida that are worth visiting. Some lesser-known beaches include Caladesi Island State Park, Pass-A-Grille Beach, and Anastasia State Park. For unique nature experiences, check out Rainbow Springs State Park and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Plan to uncover the best-hidden gems for your Florida vacation.

What are some must-see cultural attractions in Florida?

Discover Florida’s vibrant cultural attractions. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg or the extensive European art collection at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. Experience the stunning Italian Renaissance architecture at Miami’s Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, or delve into the life of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway at the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.

What are some of the best food and drink destinations in Florida outside of Disney?

Experience the vibrant food and drink scene in Florida outside of Disney. Indulge in the iconic Cubano sandwich in Miami, savor fresh seafood like conch fritters and key lime pie in Key West, explore Tampa Bay’s craft beer breweries, and enjoy delicious oysters at Apalachicola’s Indian Pass Raw Bar.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Florida offers a wide range of exciting activities and attractions beyond the famous Disney parks. From exploring the Astronaut Hall of Fame and visiting the Rocket Garden to relaxing on the beautiful beaches and diving into art at the Orlando Museum, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

For those seeking adventure, airboat tours in the Everglades and swimming with manatees at Crystal River are must-try experiences. And if you’re a fan of music and culture, attending a candlelight concert or exploring the vibrant Mead Botanical Garden will surely delight you. With so many hidden gems and unique destinations, Florida has much more to offer than meets the eye. So plan your trip and discover the best of Florida beyond Disney!

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