21 in… Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State

21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

There are hundreds of lists of things to do in the USA, or individual states like Florida, but we’ve come up with one thing in every state plus D.C. in 21 different categories. Truly something for everyone, from historic places to foods you have to try, from the downright quirky to amazing museums, and from weird places to stay to fun things to do. Our primary criteria were we have or want to see them, and they are things you can physically visit or try.

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21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Historic Place: Oldest House in the US – Gonzalez-Alvarez House

Website | Map  14 St Francis St, St. Augustine, Florida 32084

The oldest house in the USA is in St Augustine; the coquina stone house was built soon after 1702. Originally a single storey with just two rooms, it was expanded with a wooden upper floor and porch.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Famous Person: Henry Flagler

Map  Highway 1, Road to Key West, Florida

Henry Flagler was a founder of Standard Oil, a company that slowly gained an almost complete monopoly in the USA and hence made Henry Flagler VERY rich. He used this wealth to connect the Florida keys together by building a railway. Remnants of this incredible line are still visible today as you drive to Key West on the Overseas Highway, and parts of the road are built on the former railway.

Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.


Blue Parrotfish on Molasses Outer Reef, Key Largo
Photo by Matt Kieffer

Natural Wonder: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Website | Map  102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, Florida 33037

Coral Reef State Park is the first undersea park in the USA. Whether you explore it by snorkelling, scuba or in a glass-bottomed boat, you are sure to see some stunning fish and other wildlife as well as the coral reefs themselves.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Food & Drink: Key Lime Pie and Orange Juice

What else could it be but Key Lime Pie – the simple filling consisting of key limes, egg yolk and condensed milk. And you really can’t wash it down with anything other than Florida’s most famous fruit, a chilled glass of orange juice.

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Factory Tour: Al’s Family Farms Citrus

Website Map  2001 N Kings Hwy, Fort Pierce, Florida 34951

See how a family run business grows, harvests and packs delicious citrus fruits for distribution and even taste the freshest orange juice around.

If you have a photo of this that you would be happy for us to use; we would be very grateful and credit the image to you. Please contact us here.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Man Made: Kennedy Space Center

Website | Map  Kennedy Space Center, SR 405, Titusville, Florida 32899

The place where every manned US space flight has launched from and a supremely interesting place to visit. The picture shows Endeavour ready for its final ever launch back in 2011 (I wish they’d orientated the launch pad so you got a better view from the viewing area!), but if you visit Kennedy today you will be able to see Atlantis on display.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Record Breaking: Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Website | Map  465 Wakulla Park Dr, Crawfordville, Florida 32327

Home to the deepest freshwater spring in the world, Wakulla Springs is a beautiful oasis. Explore the park and perhaps meet some if its varied wildlife including manatees, alligators and turtles.


Tampa - Channelside - World's Largest Bowling Pin
Photo by Jared

Quirky Record: World’s Largest Bowling Pin

Website | Map  615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, Florida 33602

The World’s Largest Bowling Pin is over 30 feet (9m) tall and stands outside the entrance to Splitsville bowling lanes. Not sure how big the ball would be to knock that down?

Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.


Activity: Tour a Nuclear Bunker

Website | Map  Peanut Island, Florida

The nuclear bunker on Peanut Island was built for JFK as a last resort in the event of World War III. It was completed just a few months before the Cuban Missile Crisis could have meant it was actually used. You can now tour this bunker on the man-made Peanut Island and see where JFK would have been holed up.

If you have a photo of this that you would be happy for us to use; we would be very grateful and credit the image to you. Please contact us here.


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Photo by Robin Wendell

Atlas Obscura: Weeki Wachee Mermaids

WebsiteMap  6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, Florida 34606

Watch “real” mermaids recreate the Hans Christian Andersen tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ in this daily show. Or watch them do underwater feats like eating and drinking in the ‘Fish Tails’ show.

If you love obscure things, check out the Atlas Obscura book!


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Most Visited: Walt Disney World Resort

Website | Map  Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida 32830

The most visited theme park in the world, Walt Disney World Resort or “The Magic Kingdom” is renowned for its parades, rides and entertainment. The famous castle is inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Germany.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

State/National Park: Everglades National Park

Website | Map  Everglades, Florida

An air boat ride through the Everglades is quite the experience, especially when you are surrounded by alligators! Perhaps your boat ride will, like ours did, pull up right alongside one so close we could have reached out and stroked it!


Fantasy Fest 15
Photo by Cayobo

Event: Fantasy Fest

Website | Map  1111 12th St #211, Key West, Florida 33040

For several decades Fantasy Fest has encouraged people to come to Key West in the slower off-season between summer and when the “snowbirds” arrive for winter. The event lasts for more than a week and involves parades and dressing up and basically having fun.


Jules Undersea Lodge - Bedroom
Photo reproduced with kind permission of Malima Wolf

Different Place to Stay: Jules Undersea Lodge

Website | Map  51 Shoreland Dr, Key Largo, Florida 33037

The world’s only underwater hotel – imagine waking up and there could be anything aquatic peering in through the window!

Hotels.com Destination Inspiration: Not sure where to go? You've come to the right place!


Seminole Gulf dinner train at yard in 2004
Photo reproduced with kind permission of Tom Pavluvcik, original photo by Stan Jackowski

Different Place to Eat: Murder Mystery Dinner Train

Website | Map  2805 Colonial Blvd, Fort Myers, Florida 33966

A five course dinner on a beautifully appointed train passing rolling scenery, that should be enough right? But no, here you get to solve a “murder” at the same time!

Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Have Some Fun: Daytona International Speedway

Website | Map  1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114

The iconic banked oval where the Daytona 500 takes place is a cathedral to speed. For the true adrenaline junky, you can even go for a ride in a NASCAR or maybe drive one yourself?!


IMG_0255
Photo by Jonathan Molina

Film Location: Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Website | Map  4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida 33140

The Fontainebleau Hilton, Miami Beach is where Goldfinger famously cheats at cards with James Bond in the movie of the same name and where Jill Masterton is murdered by Oddjob.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Fun Fact

Website | Map  Fort Lauderdale, Florida

With 300 miles of intra-coastal waterways, Fort Lauderdale has more canals than the most famous watery city in the world, Venice. Perhaps if you have to get up as early as I did to catch the coach, you might also see a beautiful sunrise?



21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Something Different: Swim with Manatees

WebsiteMap  10460 W New York St, Homosassa, Florida 34448

Manatees are known as sea cows, but in fact are closer relations to elephants. Whatever the lineage, you can swim with these gentle creatures for the experience of a lifetime.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Museum: Coral Castle

Website | Map  28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, Florida 33033

The only coral castle in the world is not made of coral and is not a castle! But don’t let that put you off exploring this unique place. 1,000 tons of limestone quarried and sculpted to make beautiful gardens and buildings. Latvian Edward Leedskalnin who was just 5 feet (1.5m) tall built the castle as a labour of love over three decades.


21 in Florida: A Bucket List for the Sunshine State || www.onetripatatime.com

Scenic Drive: Road to Key West

Map

Key West might be the destination, but don’t rush down the Overseas Highway. Remnants of the original railway, Seven Mile Bridge, the many keys en route and endless ocean views make this a beautiful drive.

Don’t miss Big Pine Key for its unique flora and pine forests.


Want to see what we found in the rest of the USA? Click here to find out.

We’d love to hear what you think. What did we miss? What do you think we should have chosen instead?

If we love your idea, we might just swap it into the list, if we like it, maybe will give it an honourable mention; either way we’ll be sure to give you credit, AND add it to our list of things to see and do when we are in the area.

Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission but this does not affect the price to you. Please read our full disclosure policy here. Thank you for your support of One Trip at a Time!

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