Unique Things to Do in Florida | 4 Hidden Gems of the South

Estimated read time 6 min read


Image by Denys Kostyuchenko on Unsplash

Sparkling stretches of sand, aquamarine waters, and an endless supply of summer activities — the Sunshine State provides a perfect beach vacation like no other. 

Known for its famous beaches and the magical universe of Disney World, Florida can be easily identified by its key attractions. But, much like the off-the-beaten-path activities of NYC, what lies underneath the tapestry of well-known landmarks is a wonderful world filled with things unique to Florida.

There are an abundance of unusual and quirky experiences in Florida to discover withinin its various areas. Whether you’re a native Floridian or staying a few nights at an otherworldly underwater hotel, this state will have you mystified by its activity-filled treasures. 

Unsure where the unusual things to do in Florida reside? We’ll take you on a journey through the top things to do in this state for individuals looking for something a little different.

Unusual & Adventurous Things to do in Florida

From dude ranches in Texas to carriage tours in New Orleans, North America is overflowing with diverse spaces to get lost in. Florida is no exception with its swampy marshes, coastal coves, and bustling cities. 

Whether you’re after a heart-jumping activity or prefer a relaxing endeavor, this state has all kinds of adventures to ensure you experience the type of vacation you’re after. Take a look at the top unique places to visit in Florida to ensure a fun-filled vacation you will never forget.

See the Spooky Spectacle of the Driftwood Boneyard Beach

Image by Big Talbot Island State Park on Facebook

Situated in the cultural haven of Jacksonville, this sandy attraction within Big Talbot Island State Park is certainly not your average beach trip. Bespeckled with bleached giants of fallen oak trees, this graveyard of nature is a sight like no other.

You’ll be able to walk along with a space devoid of the imprint of human interference, which is the perfect seaside escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. From nature photographers to avid beach hikers, this tree skeleton scattered scape has something for everyone. 

This unique beach is also the perfect backdrop for an offbeat family photo op of your trip to Florida.

Note: Unfortunately, this beach does not allow swimming. So, no need to pack your swimming trunks for this one.

Take a Trip to Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge

Image by U.S. Department of the Interior on Facebook

Hidden within the depths of the charming town of Crystal River, a Florida manatee refuge is a sanctuary that protects these vulnerable gentle sea giants. Constructed in 1982, this spring-filled environment boasts spectacular natural sights and various nearby islands.

One of the top activities in this aquatic space is swimming with manatees, which offers an up-close and personal encounter with these slow-moving beauties. When the winter months come creeping in, the manatees appear by the hundreds in the warm, blue waters of the Kings Bay springs.

The best time to visit this wildlife refuge is from November to March when the manatee migration season begins. Make your way to the Three Sisters Springs boardwalk to obtain a panoramic view of these cute floating creatures.

Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, some attractions in the vicinity will be closed. Be sure to check out the updates on various parts of the wildlife refuge on their website before your visit to avoid any disappointment.

Explore Coral Castle

Image by Coral Castle on Facebook

If you’re looking for unique things to do in South Florida, this space will rock your world (wink, wink). A strange structure with a colorful backstory, Coral Castle Museum is a wacky site that will be sure to intrigue and delight its visitors.

Located in the Miami-Dade County in South Florida, one man constructed this eccentric attraction out of oolite limestone, also known as coral rocks. 

Around 1923 up to 1951, Edward Leedskalnin carved this magnificent creation using massive amounts of coral rocks. The result is a sensational stone sculpture garden of intricately crafted rock creations. From rocking rock chairs to crescent moon formations, you’ll have a blast exploring the endless odd nooks and crannies of this place.

The drive behind this spectacular space was theorized to be the result of a jilted lover, as Edward’s fiance called off the wedding a day before the event. To this day, his method of labor is still under a cloak of mystery.

On the first Saturday of each month, Coral Castle hosts a Psychic Saturday event to connect with the spectral side. This unusual adventure in Florida features palm readings and fortune telling, so be sure to discover what the universe has in store for you at this whimsical affair. 

Take the Plunge at Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring

Image by Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring on Facebook

Located near the city of Williston, this unusual aquatic journey is a must for adrenaline junkies and is one of the coolest things in Florida. This cave-like structure is essentially a body of underground water exposed by an open surface called a karst window. 

These springs are naturally kept at the toasty temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year and have been privately owned since 1993. Today, this historic spring operates as a scuba diving training center.

Snorkeling excursions are also offered for visitors to try and catch a glimpse of the prehistoric fossil beds in all of their glory.

Note: Unfortunately, this activity is not an experience that all ages can enjoy. Children under six are not allowed in the waters of the Devil’s Den. 

Final Thoughts on Unique and Fun Adventures in Florida

Image by Richard Sagredo on Unsplash

The most famous attractions and landmarks are the obvious choices while visiting Florida, but sometimes the truly memorable experiences are the out-of-the-ordinary ones.

Exploring the footnotes within Florida travel books is the perfect way to experience a quintessential Sunshine State trip with a twist. 

Whether you’re traveling solo or embarking on a road trip with your family clan, these exciting Florida experiences will have you missing this state before you leave. Don’t forget your sunscreen, carefully packed luggage, and a sense of adventure — this beachy region is waiting to be enjoyed to the fullest!

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