Last Updated June 24, 2020 6/24/2020

10 Best Things to Do in Florida This Summer

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With endless beach day weather, Florida is the perfect place for sun-seeking vacationers and nature enthusiasts. There is no shortage of places to have fun in the sun, as summers in the Sunshine State are all about outdoor adventures, from lounging on white sand beaches to exploring our natural springs. Yes, everyone knows Florida is home to a long list of world-class theme parks, but with the soaring temperatures and crowds of tourists, there are more appealing things to do on a hot summer day. Read on to discover some of the best things to do in Florida this summer.

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Cool Off at Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park, Orange Park

Cool Off at Blue Spring State Park

What Is It: Covering more than 2,600 acres, Blue Spring State Park is the largest spring on the St. John’s River.

Why Do It: Here you’ll find 72-degree temperatures that are ideal for summer activities. A quarter-mile of perfection, swim in its pale blue waters as your surrounded by the lush, forested banks.

Good To Know: With more than 700 natural freshwater springs in Florida, more than anywhere on earth, nature enthusiasts are spoiled for choice with places to go kayaking, paddling, and kayaking in crystal clear waters.

Explore the Subtropical Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens

Explore the Subtropical Bok Tower Gardens

What Is It: Set amongst the rolling hills of citrus trees in Lake Wales, this 250-acre National Historic Landmark boasts an ever-changing palette of over 150 varieties of camellias, azaleas, orchids, irises and other blooming displays of color.

Why Do It: Florida’s combination of sunshine and rainfall means it is home to a variety of stunning landscapes, including a variety of lush, subtropical gardens scattered around the state, but one of the most stunning is Bok Tower Gardens.

Good To Know: Bok Tower is famous for its 205-foot singing bell tower and majestic 60-bell carillon.

Swim in the country's largest public freshwater pool
The Venetian Pool

Swim in the country's largest public freshwater pool

What Is It: One of Florida’s most unique spots to take a dip, the Venetian Pool in Coral Gables is America’s largest freshwater swimming pool.

Why Do It: An excellent place to cool off, this tropical oasis also features waterfalls and cave-like grottos, where both kids and kids at heart can delight in its splendor.

Good To Know:  The only pool listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it holds over 820,000 gallons of crystal clear freshwater that is pumped in from artesian wells daily.

Collect unique sea shells on Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island

Collect unique sea shells on Sanibel Island

What Is It: If you’re looking for a unique souvenir or just like easy-going beach vibes, head to Sanibel Island for a day of enjoying some of Florida’s favorite natural attraction.

Why Do It: Known as the “Shelling Capital of the World,” people travel here to scour the beaches for coquinas, conch shells, tulip shells and sand dollar shells that have washed up ashore every morning.

Good To Know: A fun activity even for the littlest beachgoer, the island’s small-town vibes is a perfect escape from the big city life.

Float on a tube down the Ichetucknee River
Ichetucknee Springs State Park

Float on a tube down the Ichetucknee River

What Is It: Water loving families will delight in the abundance of outdoor activities at Ichetucknee Springs State Park in Fort White.

Why Do It: Spend your day swimming in the crystal clear waters or floating leisurely on a tube along the six miles of Ichetucknee River. You’ll be rewarded with shade from the lush live oak trees and cypress trees.

Good To Know: You’ll see rock formations, wetland plants and spot plenty of wildlife at the head spring, from white-tailed deer to great blue herons.

Go on a snorkeling adventure at Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

Go on a snorkeling adventure at Dry Tortugas National Park

What Is It: Head just 70 miles west of Key West and you’ll find Dry Tortugas National Park, one of the state’s most alluring snorkeling spots.

Why Do It: Visit for the shallow and calm waters, perfect for a day of exploring underwater marine life.

Good To Know: Lying on a carpet of white sand, you’ll find a vibrant array of tropical fish and living coral. An activity that both beginners and novice swimmers can enjoy, you only need a mask and fins to have an adventure of a lifetime.

Hang ten on a wave at Sebastian Inlet
Sebastian Inlet

Hang ten on a wave at Sebastian Inlet

What Is It: Considered a South Florida surfing icon, head out to Sebastian Inlet for East Coast surfing at its finest.

Why Do It: A great outdoor activity to beat the heat, this coastline offers plenty of opportunities to try your hand at surfing.

Good To Know:  Consistent swells and less intimidating waves provide the perfect combination for surf enthusiasts of all ages.

Indulge in a summertime treat at Jaxson's
Jaxson's Ice Cream, Dania Beach

Indulge in a summertime treat at Jaxson's

What Is It: When you need a break from the outdoors, head inside for a sweet treat at the old-fashioned Jaxson’s Ice Cream parlor in Dania Beach.

Why Do It: With 1950’s style decor and 45 unique flavors, here all your childhood dreams can come true with their huge portions of ice cream.

Good To Know: Serving handmade scoops of ice cream daily for over 58 years, they are known for their sharing menu, where you can order a Monster Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae, Super Jumbo Banana Split, or a colossal Kitchen Sink filled to the brim with sugary toppings.

Enjoy the thrills at Rapids Water Park
Water Slide

Enjoy the thrills at Rapids Water Park

What Is It: Home to more water parks than anywhere else in the United States, Florida’s outdoor water parks offer refuge from the sunshine and a fun day out for the entire family. While there are bigger water parks available throughout the state, head to Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach to avoid the Disney-sized crowds.

Why Do It:  You’ll find 35 thrilling slides to get your heart-pumping, catering to kids of all ages.

Good To Know: Big Thunder is the park’s signature attraction, where you can have the feeling of weightlessness as you soar 20 miles per hour through a 45-degree tunnel in complete darkness.

Explore Florida's "Emerald Coast"
Destin, Florida

Explore Florida's "Emerald Coast"

What Is It: Stretching over 100 miles through five counties, beachside cities like Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Okaloosa Island lure travelers in with their sugar-white beaches and emerald green waters.

Why Do It: If you want to get away from the summertime tourists crowds, head to Florida’s “Emerald Coast.”

Good To Know: Consistently referred to as one of Florida’s best-kept secrets, the Emerald Coast is the place to indulge in water sports, go on a dolphin cruise and dine in local seafood restaurants.

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