10 Best Things to Do in Florida this Weekend

If you are looking for a nice weekend getaway, then Florida would be an excellent option for you to consider. This vast American state has everything to offer for a perfect weekend either on your own or as a group. Beautiful beaches, theme parks, national parks, and upscale cities are some of the thrills of the Sunshine State.

There are different regions of Florida; most notably North Florida and South Florida. Like California, there is a Central Florida (Orlando area) that some would suggest is merely a subset of North Florida. North Florida is the real Florida. There is nothing wrong with South Florida. Miami is a fine place, and there are many great areas to visit and live in South Florida.

If you REALLY want to experience Florida and blow off the theme parks for a day, there are some interesting things that most tourists miss. So here are a few things you will find off the beaten path. Among things to do in Jacksonville, it is home to several popular shopping venues, such as St Johns Town Center.

What's more, you don't have to worry about accommodation for a couple of days while you are here because you can always book a vacation rental. But before we tell you more about this awesome accommodation option, let us first explore Florida with you and the things to do in Florida this weekend. Here are a few amazing weekend getaway options in Florida.

Most people travel to the more famous sites of south Florida, but few know that north Florida is home to some of the states best cities, beaches, historic sites and nature reserves. This part of the state is more authentic and is where the true Florida is at. You can find all the best of what Florida has to offer, and it’s not as touristy as the south of the state.

things to do in Florida

Are you looking for what to do in Florida this weekend? Here are the top things to do:

1. Kennedy Space Center

A bit further South is Kennedy Space Center (AKA Cape Canaveral). A must-see tourist stop, with tours as short or as long as you want.

If you are fascinated by rockets and everything around space exploration, The Kennedy Space Center is your place to go. This educational attraction is very accessible from Orlando and Titusville so accommodation is not a thing to worry about. While visiting here, you will have the chance to interact with rockets from ancient times to the modern ones, historic launch sites, and the deepest histories of your favorite astronauts.

On the North end is Playalinda beach, notable because it is pristine ocean-front with NO development except for a few parking lots.

2. Amelia Island

With a 13-mile long beach, you can bet on having the best weekend getaway experience of your life in this quit, secret island. It is very accessible from Jacksonville airport, has the best restaurants in Florida, and the accommodation options are in plenty. What makes this island unique, however, is that it offers you the chance to understand the history of the Civil War and interact.

Your weekend will not be complete without a visit to the Fort Clinch State Park where you will interact with the wild deer among other friendly animals. Hiking and biking are also very ideal outdoor activities in this part of the country. If you are looking for a family weekend getaway, Amelia Island is a great option because it has many playgrounds for kids as well as volleyball courts and golf courses for you and your partner.

3. Kissimmee

Another option is SeaWorld Orlando, where you will interact with Florida's finest aquatic animals and ride in the Mako, the world's largest and fastest roller coaster.

4. Orlando

Orlando is an excellent location to initiate a trip around FLorida, or the USA, or even the entire North American continent.

Orlando is a place associated with theme parks, Disney resorts, Universal Studios, and sea world. There is much attraction for kids and families. Especially the children on summer holidays love to enjoy their time here. Christmas and New Year Celebrations adds to the large audience. Not only the kids but the elders love to wander in parks, shopping, dining, and other sports activities.

In Winter Park 30 minutes from Orlando there is the Louis Tiffany Museum. Winter Park, an Orlando suburb, is a cool area with a fun and walkable street with great shops and restaurants. Well worth the drive and the downtown afterwards has some wonderful restaurants and stores. The nearby alternative is Universal Studios, which many 20–25yo’s prefer. Orlando has great nightlife.

As a base of operations to see the sights around Florida, it’s a great choice. Tens of thousands of rooms to stay in at all price points.

And its centrally located - a couple hours drive gets you to the Gulf, Coast or the Atlantic coast, and North to some historic attractions. Miami and the Everglades are a little further South, but still within relatively easy reach. There’s plenty to see and do besides the theme parks. Transportation in and out of Orlando is not likely to be shut down for days at a time by snow and ice.

Even a hurricane rarely causes more than a few hours’ delay. No matter where you are heading, at least you can start out on a sunny day. If you are looking for a relaxing day and don't mind putting a little effort down, take a visit to the West Orange Trail and cycle your way through historic downtown Winter Garden Florida.

You can rent a bike from West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades at the Killarney Trailhead and ride a short distance east towards the canopy of old Florida oaks that make up the town of Oakland. Once you have enjoyed that, continue to meander your way down into Winter Garden where you will cycle through the middle of town.

Appleton Museum, is not the largest but very worthwhile for one to two hours of very interesting art. It has a nice selection of European Japanese Chinese and American Artist. Afterwards there was some great barbecue restaurants the same street and nearby. If you like landscape, Ocala also has the Shalom Park.

If you go just further north 1/2 hour you will find the butterfly museum in Gainesville as well as the larger Gainesville Art Museum which of course has wonderful art and six more interesting landscape areas outside of its walls. These are all worthwhile trips and above itself besides the amusement parks you find in Orlando and are much more adult orientated.

Also in Bushnell there is the Florida teaching Zoo where you can get an individual docent can take you around to each exhibit and talked about each animal. It's extremely worthwhile.

There were several other interesting zoos in the area one of which has giraffes as well as the zip line where you can travel on the trees. Central Florida is much more than Walt Disney and Legoland but if you are truly adventurous and don't want to get to the beach, right past the airport on 528 is a water park where you can learn to boogie board and water ski.

5. Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a fun retail district (also the Disney boardwalk). There are various types of hotels and rent places for tourists in this area. If you want to discover the most spectacular Florida springs, pack and visit the following places.

Perhaps this isn’t the Great Barrier Reef, but Devil's Eye certainly is an interesting little hole to dive in. Nestled within town, Florida has a place for young, old and the furry friends who can just go for a scuba adventure in their back yard! A great place to practice for the young ones before they get their license. Although small, there is history to be found here.

Devil's Den Spring looks like something out of a Hollywood movie. It's one of the most popular in the state for diving and snorkeling. Located 30 minutes from Gainesville, not only is it a natural wonder, it is also a historic wonder.

Many fossils found inside the cave (where the spring is) are on display at the University of Florida Museum of Natural History. This marvel of crystal clear water is up to 55 feet deep and the water temperature is quite cool, usually 72 degrees. You can rent a cabin, camp or locate your RV park.

The coolest natural feature of inland Florida is the springs, which are often overlooked. Places like Weeki Wachee, Ichetucknee, and Wakulla, to name a few. There are many. This is where clear freshwater comes out of the ground, sometimes forming a continuous river of clear cool water. Each spring is different and unique for which activities are appropriate, but many of these places are a kayaker’s paradise.

Also located in northern Florida, Ginnie Springs offers the best of the Santa Fe River in High Springs, about 30 minutes northeast of Gainesville, a private park that promises fun for the whole family. You can swim in any of its seven crystalline water springs, do scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, camping, organize a picnic and even play volleyball.

For the youngest of the home there is a recreation area and for those who are looking for a professional PADI diving certification, the park offers training.

Rainbow Springs State Park is the fourth largest spring in Florida, located in Dunnellon, less than two hours north of Tampa. It is the perfect park for camping or a picnic. Of course, its biggest attraction is the crystal clear water, where you can swim and snorkel. However other activities have restrictions or have specific areas where you can perform them like tubing (inflatables).

In Central Florida you will find Wekiwa Springs State Park in Seminole County, half an hour from Orlando, in the city of Apopka. Located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River, this park is extremely popular for the 13 miles of trails for walking, biking and even horseback riding. For water lovers, you can cool off in its springs, go canoeing, kayaking or snorkeling.

There you can swim in the springs or bask in the Florida sun while the young 'uns splash, swim and search for the pre-historic shark's teeth that are pushed up from the springs. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and travel up the Wekiva River enjoying the natural state of the springs.

If tubing is your thing, not too far up the road from Wekiwa Springs State Park is Kelly Park on Rock Springs. On your way up Kelly Park Road you will want to stop at one of the vendors and pick up tubes for the whole family. Then you can enjoy the 72 degree water as you tube casually down the springs. There is no kayaking or canoeing within the confines of Kelly Park.

But if you travel just a little up the road from Kelly Park you will come across King's Landing where you can. Just a word of warning at both springs. Be aware of bugs and sunburn. Bring bug repellent and sun screen.

Interesting Reads: Things to Know About Disney's Animal Kingdom

6. Everglades National Park

But now it’s time to head due West, through the Florida Everglades. Be sure to stop at some Alligator farms/zoos and get an airboat ride. There are many - all fun. Absolutely no visit to Florida is complete without visiting the Everglades. It is the perfect way to connect with nature. If you want to visit this place, check our the things to do in Everglades National Park. This park is best known for being home to many endangered species. Also, you would be entering the home of the well-known American crocodile.

You must be warned that this natural wonder is very large. Therefore, don't treat this visit like going to any other park. This park has three different entrances that are not connected. Make sure to plan your visit ahead. There are many cool things to see, so don't wait and start planning which parts of the park would you like to see.

A full day trip from Miami to Everglades Park provides a wonderful experience. The visitors can see a huge number of alligators, turtles, and birds in the wetland areas. The Everglades national park located at the southern tip of the Florida peninsula has been said to be like a river of grass that slides imperceptibly from inland to the sea.

The park currently has an area of 6,110 square kilometres, and only represents 20% of the original extent of the wetland.

The national park is spread across Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties in the same state and is surrounded, to the east, by the agricultural and urban areas of Miami, Homestead and Florida City. To the south are the Strait and the Florida Keys. To the west the Gulf of Mexico and to the north the Big Cypress National Reserve. In the southwest corner of the park is Ingraham Lake, the southernmost in the United States.

7. Miami Seaquarium

When being so close to the ocean, it is only natural that you want to connect to the water and the creatures that live in it. Surely, you might not want to come across these creatures in the open waters, but you can do it in the Miami Seaquarium. This is a great place to visit, especially if you decide to visit Sunny Isles Beach with your entire family.

This aquarium gives you much more than regular aquariums where you can only look at the different residents of the ocean through a thick glass. It gives you options such as swimming with dolphins, water slides, learning about rescued sea life, etc. It really is a unique experience.

8. Walt Disney World Resort

This amazing amusement park just had to top the list. If you won't mind a little crowding and noise, you will definitely fall in love with the theme parks in Orlando. You can opt to take your family to Disney World, from where you all can have fun in Universal Studios and Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Epcot is a Theme Park in Walt Disney World Resort that offers a musical journey through the cosmos.

By far the most popular place in the United States, Disney World attracts millions of visitors on an annual basis, most of whom are foreign visitors. The highlights of this place include the Magic Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Disney Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom Park, and Blizzard Beach.

There is too much to see here and lots of fun activities to partake. And oh! The dining and shopping experiences in Disney World are simply out of this world. If you'd like affordable accommodation for you and your family, you can get a vacation rental for security and exceptional comfort.

9. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens

If you want to see what dream homes used to look like, visit Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. This place is a perfect combination of European and American styles wrapped up in one architectural wonder. It is a beautiful villa, located in the heart of Miami. With an impressive art collection and European styled landscape, it is easy to see why people are so drawn to this art site.

Thus, it is truly a hidden gem that you need to see when vacationing in Sunny Isles Beach.

You don't have to overstretch your budget while enjoying your weekend in Florida. You can always book a vacation rental which includes a nice and fully-furnished house, a spacious kitchen for your indoor meals, and some even come with swimming pools. With your accommodation sorted, there can never be any limit to your best ever weekend getaway tour in Florida.
Kalyan Panja