While the Sunshine State is rightfully celebrated for its perfect weather and world-famous beaches and theme parks, Florida also has adventures off the beaten path. If your family loves the outdoors, check off some or all of these thrills from your Florida bucket list the next time you visit!

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Explore Fort Jefferson

Seventy miles from Key West in the Gulf of Mexico, beautiful and historic Fort Jefferson is a poem of waving palms, seabirds, and turquoise fish. A visit to this 19th-century relic means a ride on a boat or seaplane and can include everything from overnight camping and snorkeling along the moat wall.

Bike on Daytona Beach

There’s something liberating about cycling on 20 miles of beach with the sounds of surf beside you and seagulls calling from above. Stick near the water line at low tide for the hardest-packed sand and best biking conditions. Stop for photo ops and lunch.

Slurp Soft-Serve Ice Cream With Tupelo Honey in Wewahitchka

Wewahitchka is the Tupelo honey capital of the world. How good is it? The New York Times wrote: “The honey is so soft, light and buttery that the only logical move is to chase it with another spoonful.” A short ride away in Port St. Joe, the Shipwreck Raw Bar serves “Bee Sting Shrimp” dressed with a Tupelo honey-infused sauce. For dessert, Shoobie's has a Wewa Sundae -- vanilla soft-serve topped with chopped roasted peanuts, banana chips and that sweet nectar.

 

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Go Snorkeling In the Keys

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary protects 3,000 square nautical miles of coastal and ocean waters from just south of Miami down to Key West. The Florida Reef, the only living coral reef barrier in the continental United States, is a place of clear-water wonders where colorful marine organisms make their homes.

Take an Airboat Ride In the Everglades

The Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, is seemingly impenetrable—1.5-million acres of wetlands, alligators and Florida panthers. Enter the airboat, the ultimate slip ‘n’ slide, a flat-bottomed boat, armed with an airplane propeller, capable of skimming over water only inches deep.

Visit the Kennedy Space Center for a Launch

For nearly 60 years, Florida has been the world’s launchpad for manned space flight. Mercury. Gemini. Apollo. The space shuttles. At the Kennedy Visitors Center, you can stroll through a garden of rockets or, if your timing is right, watch one rise into the blue.

Go Tubing On Ichetucknee or Rainbow Rivers

Eight clear-as-glass freshwater springs join to feed the Ichetucknee River -- a stream of consciousness six miles long, 20 feet wide, five feet deep and, most important, a constant 72 degrees. The majority of freshwater springs are concentrated in central and north central Florida.

Scoop up Shark's Teeth in Venice

Venice is the shark tooth capital of the world and home to the Sharks’ Tooth Festival each April. Caspersen Beach is a favorite location; if you want a sure place to find sharks' teeth and shells, you can’t do any better. 

 

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Search For Shells in Sanibel and Captiva

Sanibel  and Captiva Islands near Fort Myers are resort destinations in their own right but are best known as the Seashell Capital of the World. Scientists from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum guide regular tours.

Explore the Colonial Quarter and Castillo de San Marcos

The 17th-century Castillo is perhaps the most critical stop when visiting St. Augustine. Nowhere else in Florida can you see, feel and comprehend the critical role played by this little city during the years when West European countries battled each other over the Atlantic Coast in the New World.

Visit Blowing Rocks Preserve

The craggy limestone shore looks like it belongs in Maine or Hawaii. Blowing Rocks gets its name from what the waves and rocks do during rough seas at high tide — water spurts out of holes in the Anastasia limestone, at times rising 50 feet into the air.

Take a Dolphin Cruise on Marco Island

Become a “citizen scientist” and accompany marine researchers aboard the Dolphin Explorer for a three-hour eco-tour. The twice-daily cruises record activities and behaviors of the more than 200-member dolphin population around Marco Island.

Learning to Surf in Cocoa

Cocoa Beach is renowned for its calm, consistent waves. That, combined with the fact the water is shallow enough to simply wade out past the breakers, makes it an ideal place to learn to surf

View Sea Turtle Nesting

More than 100,000 threatened and endangered sea turtles nest on Florida beaches every summer. In fact, nearly 90 percent of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida from March through October of each year. To get the full experience, check out a guided tour of the nesting areas!

Fly a Kite on St. Augustine Beach

Anastasia State Park has four miles of spacious, hard-packed beach, a panoramic runway for kite fliers.

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Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola

Experience hands-on history at the National Naval Aviation Museum located at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Pensacola. See more than 4,000 artifacts and 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation.

I-Drive

I-Drive in Orlando is 11 miles of sensory overload: SeaWorld, the Wheel at ICON Park, and WonderWorks. Disney Springs combines shopping, dining, attractions and live entertainment. Think Kate Spade plus NBA Experience plus Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ plus Cirque du Soleil. Everybody’s happy.