Top 5 Florida Attractions To Consider On Your Next Visit

florida attractions

Florida draws visitors looking to experience its many attractions. Miami stands out with Latin-American cultural influences and an active arts scene, drawing many to visit this southeastern state.

History enthusiasts should pay a visit to Castillo de San Marcos, one of the oldest masonry forts in America, while nature enthusiasts should explore Amelia Island or Rookery Bay beaches for breathtaking nature views.

1. Universal Studios Orlando

Universal Studios Florida is one of the United States’s best-known theme parks and is an essential component of Universal Orlando Resort. Designed to allow visitors to experience their favorite movies and TV shows ‘on-the-set,” this park includes fully dressed backlot locations for ‘on-the-set’ experiences at various filming sites; Hogsmeade offers fun Harry PotterTM-themed spots like Hogwarts Castle and Forbidden Forest for unforgettable scenes! And a great place for luxury hotels in Florida.

Other rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida include E.T. Adventure, which allows riders to act on Elliott’s behalf by calling home on his behalf – one of two rides inspired by Steven Spielberg’s film. TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D offers an engaging ride focusing on Autobots and Decepticons from an immersive storyline.

Each year, Universal Studios Florida holds several major events that attract large crowds. One such event is Halloween Horror Nights – originally hosted at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure before moving exclusively to Universal Studios Florida since 2001 – wherein the park transforms into an interactive haunted house attraction for this popular Halloween celebration.

Park events also include seasonal celebrations like Mardi Gras, which takes place annually in spring. At this event, the park transforms into New Orleans for 14 concerts featuring top music acts as well as an elaborate nightly parade that throws millions of beads at spectators.

There are also plenty of character meet-and-greets, featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and characters from DreamWorks franchises like Shrek, Madagascar, Trolls and more. There is also a wide array of themed bars and restaurants as well as whimsically themed hotels like Hard Rock Hotel. Additionally, visitors can experience all that Universal Orlando has to offer by purchasing a VIP pass that provides priority access to most popular rides and attractions.

2. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill

De Leon Springs State Park is home to this pancake institution, established in 1961 and run by family-owned-and-operated since that time. Every table offers an individual griddle in the middle of its dining area that allows customers to cook their own pancakes. A host welcomes guests with a southern charm while wait staff bustle about with large pitchers of pancake mix, griddle tools, and platters full of toppings and sides for guests to use during breakfast service. At the restaurant, all-you-can-eat pancakes can be found both with wheat and regular flour options as well as add-in options such as blueberries, banana slices, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Also available for breakfast are eggs, bacon and french toast as well as lunch items such as sandwiches and salads.

Sugar Mill was constructed in the 1830s to use millions of gallons of water from Spring’s spring for crushing sugar cane. This plantation featured prominently during Florida history’s Seminole War, Civil War, steamboat and railroad travel as a spring was pushed as “Fountain of Youth”, eventually building 14 room hotel next to it. Roadside attractions featured alligator pens, jungle cruises, Oriental Gardens with an underwater observatory and Sunshine Sally who would water ski.

Today, visitors visit the Old Spanish Sugar Mill to eat pancakes and admire a beautiful view of Ponce de Leon Springs. Additionally, Ponce de Leon Park boasts plenty of attractions and activities like swimming, boating and kayak rentals; picnicking under towering oak trees is another favorite pastime; strolling through its trails reveals historical details as well as local plants and animals that thrive here.

3. Columbia Restaurant

Columbia County offers many exquisite dining experiences for every palate imaginable, featuring fresh local ingredients to craft delicious cuisine and drink options from craft beers and vintage wines, which will have your tastebuds dancing.

Columbia Restaurant in Tampa is an iconic landmark that was founded by Casimiro Hernandez Sr in 1905 and remains Florida’s oldest and world’s largest Spanish restaurant today. Boasting multiple dining rooms decorated in different regions of Spain inspired by Casimiro Hernandez Jr’s own son in 1935 (Don Quixote Room); later expanded with patio seating area which mimics courtyard areas from Andalucia Spain.

The patio features a mosaic tile fountain, marble floors, and palm trees – an idyllic spot for enjoying meals when the temperature heats up outside. There’s also a stage with Latin music performances and flamenco dancers performing live flamenco dance shows; all run by third and fourth generation caretakers from our family business.

This restaurant’s menu boasts an assortment of dishes ranging from seafood gumbo to bronzed pork and jambalaya. Furthermore, they feature a full bar as well as curbside takeout.

4. Seaside Shops

Seaside is known for its beautiful coastline with emerald waters, breathtaking architecture, and shopping that surpasses tourist t-shirts. Unique boutiques and galleries can be found throughout this New Urbanist town; here you’ll find books, apparel and accessories in addition to home decor, beauty & wellness products, fine art and jewelry – it truly offers something for everyone!

Shamouses Rocks offers an assortment of rocks, fossils and gem stones perfect for adding memories to your collection or taking home as mementos of nature. SunRose Gallery showcases mosaic art, paintings, glassware and artwork from local artists while Tea Artist specializes in freshly made to order bubble tea and milk tea with special blends of ingredients that offer something different!

C&R Mercantile provides visitors with an impressive selection of apparel, shoes and accessories ranging from shoes to apparel for both adults and children – perfect for beach or mountain excursions alike! They stock women’s, men’s and children’s apparel as well as accessories and shoes.

La Vie Est Belle offers Tahitian and freshwater pearls in various hues for purchase, rare coins, and accessories that add flair to any ensemble. Additionally, those seeking fun activities for kids will adore La Vie Est Belle’s toy shop which creates custom gifts and activities with creative flair – perfect!

If you’re a fan of The Truman Show, make time during your stay in Seaside to visit some of its movie locations. Every white picket fence in this charming town is different; plus there are lots of things you can do like exploring sand paths that lead directly to homes and watching spectacular sunsets on the beach!

5. Gator Park

Gator Park is an essential stop for anyone visiting Florida to view its most celebrated wildlife: wild alligators. Offering both group swamp tours and private airboat excursions into the Everglades where these reptiles thrive, as well as encounters and shows about these ancient predators, guests will witness Florida’s alligators up close!

Are you up for an adventure? Join a tour that allows you to assist a trained alligator handler in feeding young adult alligators! You will be astounded at their speed and power, giving you an unforgettable experience that cannot be found elsewhere at other gator parks.

Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center

Established in 2011, this animal park originally started out as an alligator attraction but has since broadened its focus. Now caring for orphaned native wildlife that cannot return to the wild, Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center offers visitors of all ages an educational experience about Florida wildlife while teaching how to keep it safe. It makes an excellent family outing.

GatorWorld Parks of Florida in Palmdale offers visitors an experience they won’t soon forget – holding alligators safely or enjoying time at its petting zoo, petting baby gators or visiting its drive-thru safari to view exotic animals such as zebras, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison and mouflon sheep; plus feeding giraffes from an elevated platform at their Giraffe Encounter platform – something no other alligator park anywhere can do. This unique alligator park experience won’t disappoint.