13 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.

Florida’s oldest cities, such as Saint Augustine and Pensacola, are in North Florida. The state capital, Tallahassee, was established because it happened to be a midpoint between the Jacksonville/Saint Augustine area, and the Pensacola area. Among things to do in Jacksonville, it is home to several popular shopping venues, such as St Johns Town Center. St Augustine, and the Jacksonville landing, are other great spots for shopping, dining, nightlife, live music and other special events around the St Johns River.

In North Florida, one can enjoy raw oysters on a soda cracker with cocktail sauce, okra and black-eyed peas, pecan pie, and collard greens.

One can drive for many miles along canopy roads with Spanish moss falling off of oak trees onto your windshield.

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 five amazing weekend getaway options in Florida.

things to do in Florida

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

1. Clearwater


Three miles of nothing but white sands and blue waters of the ocean may sound like an exaggeration. But it is not. This beach which is situated at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico will sweep you off your feet with its splendid, bare-knuckle awesomeness. The beach along the stunning Gulf Coast in Florida is endowed with restaurants which offer meals for all budgets and from all cultures.

Seafood and wild meat are also in plenty here, giving you a diverse menu that you will not find anywhere else. Do you want to eat in the sand? Why not? Restaurants at the Clearwater Beach understand that you need to get loose on weekends so they serve you wherever you wish. Curio and souvenir shops are open at all times so you can sample and buy whatever you need to take back home.

2. Fort Myers Beach


It is a weekend and the last thing you need is the noise and pace of the city. That is why Fort Myers Beach is among the best weekend getaways in the United States. It is a small, tranquil, and everything here moves at your pace. While here, you can choose to swim or just watch the dolphins. The water is mostly warm and ideal for swimming at any time of the year.

3. 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.

4. Walt Disney World Resort


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.

5. 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.

6. Sanibel Island


Last but not least, Sanibel and Captiva Islands: the home to the best nature trails in Florida and America as a whole. Its coastline stretches up to 15 miles and is hook-shaped which allows it to collect lots of pristine sand dollars and conch shells. If collecting shells is your thing, then you will drown in the endless fun that this island offers you.

The restaurants here serve the best pies, seafood, and cocktails in Florida. Swimming, on the other hand, is every visitor’s favorite outdoor activity here, both in the ocean and in the countless swimming pools on the island. If your time allows, you can choose to hike or bike in J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

7. Fort Lauderdale


Fort Lauderdale is the coastal city, known for its fine beaches, art, culture and nightlife. Take a ride in a gondola on the canals of the Venice of Florida, sliding past the luxurious house, mariner, yachts and sailboats. Bath and shopping there indefinitely. Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach got tired of being the world capitals of the hangover.

There are young people wanting to party, who has now moved to Panama City Beach and South Padre Island.

8. Orlando


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.

Winter Park, an Orlando suburb, is a cool area with a fun and walkable street with great shops and restaurants. 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.

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).

At Weeki Wachee you will not only find spectacular springs, you can also enjoy Buccaneer Bay, the only fresh water park in the state. Located in the city of the same name, one hour north of Tampa, this park is the favorite destination of many families for its mermaid show at Mermaid Theater.

You can also do kayaking, snorkeling, boat tours, picnics and even enjoy from a white sand beach. For wildlife lovers, there are shows with birds and domesticated reptiles.

In Central Florida you will find Wekiwa Springs State Park, 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.

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

9. Everglades National Park


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.

10. Art Deco Historic District


Hopefully, we didn’t mislead you in the beginning. This beautiful and exotic location is not only suitable for shopping and parties. It also has an amazing art scene. There is a big variety of art related places that you can enjoy. One of them being Adrienne Arsht Center, where you can experience all different kinds of performing arts. Therefore, if you are a fan, don’t waste time and buy an online ticket as soon as you can.

Miami is a hotspot of Southern Florida. It is more than a great beaching destination. Wonderful beaches extend all over Florida, but Miami offers such an atmosphere which can be seen anywhere in the state. The Cuban vibe in the Little Havana and the Art Deco District in the beach of Miami reminds people of the 1930s era. In the evening, the place fills with an endless parade of sports cars. Summers are just perfect for beaching scenes.

When you drive into Hialeah, you'll come across very old bodegas (small food markets) that give off a nostalgic 50’s vibe. One thing that stands out are the window-stops that you'll find at a lot of Cuban restaurants. Don't forget to order yourself a shot of Cuban coffee, you'll be charged and ready to go for the rest of the day. Best damn coffee you’ll ever have!

You’ll come across a lot of the elderly gentleman still reading newspapers like the good ole’ days, some just standing in front of the bodega’s reading away, others at any given restaurant. You'll come across signs that are in Spanish, including billboards. In Hialeah, you don’t only still get the Ice Cream trucks, you get food trucks that play ice cream man music down the street, others yelling promotional speeches through a giant megaphone.

The old AmerTec building was a major icon in Hialeah. It stood out like a sore thumb. It was built in 1967 and was demolished in 2017. It was popular because it was the most unique design in all of Hialeah, but it was also a warehouse and many other things over time. Nobody ever knew what this building was about because it was constantly being sold and bought by someone over and over, till it’s demise.

Small shops and hardware stores are common to have advertising signs to a very exaggerated point of no return. At Lorenzo Hardware, you’ll see posts on the outside windows from boats, to missing dogs, selling dogs, cars, house, guns, botanica supplies, flowers, manicure, childcare, gallinas and there eggs, santero services, escorts, clothes, jewelry, tamales, purses, shoes, wives, wine, etc. Hate to admit it, but this is beyond tacky.

You have to realize, Hialeah is just old. Very old. You’ll still find record stores. Ricky’s Records being one of them. (Still open, keeping the old records alive).

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Tampa


Already experienced east coast of Florida? Travel time to the western part - Tampa. If theme parks are your thing, you’re better off going to Florida. Here you should visit Busch Gardens, a zoo and amusement park with rides, 200 species of animals and shows. Busch Gardens in Florida is one of the best theme parks anywhere ever. St. Petersburg's white beach is a must.

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

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