As far as places to go on vacation in the continental United States, there’s really no equal to Florida. In fact, in the minds of many Americans, the term ‘vacation’ is practically synonymous with going to Florida.
Needless to say, that means that the state has become quite adept at catering to the crowds that flock there each and every year. More to the point, it means that many places (even some of the cool ones) have become dreaded tourists traps.
Now, we’re not saying there’s anything necessarily wrong with some of the tourist traps we’re listing below. In fact, some of them might be eminently worth you time if they appeal to your sensibilities. However, there’s something to be said for knowing how to zig when everyone else is zagging.
That’s why in addition to the 10 Florida tourist traps that we list below, we’re also providing 10 alternatives. In total, this list really gives you the opportunity to get the most of your Florida vacation (or even vacations).
So, if you want to know what’s hot and what’s not in the great state of Florida, peep our list below. You might learn a thing or two!
1. Seaworld’s Discovery Cove
Swimming with dolphins for 30 minutes is definitely a cool experience, but it’s also one that costs hundreds of dollars.
2. INSTEAD: Crystal River
Instead, you can pay a visit to Crystal River where you can pay a fraction of the price to swim with manatees.
3. Versailles in Miami
The conventional wisdom is that when you want Cuban food in Miami, then you go to Versailles.
4. INSTEAD: Palacio de los Jugos
Versaille is good, but this place (with multiple locations) is better in our estimation and also doesn’t attract the enormous crowds.
5. South Beach
Unless you’re in the mood for a non-stop beach party with large crowds, South Beach is to be skipped.
6. INSTEAD: Miami Beach
Instead, most people will find that it’s much easier to get the view and the relaxing environment you want at Miami Beach.
7. Orange Picking
Once you’ve picked the oranges in Florida once, you’ve pretty much got the gist of it…
8. INSTEAD: Strawberry Picking
That’s why it’s always cool to visit Florida during the month of February, when you an yours can go strawberry picking!
9. Alligator Farms
Throughout Florida you’ll find alligator farms that are looking to ensnare unsuspecting tourists.
10. INSTEAD: The Everglades
Why get sucked in? If you want to see alligators – and many other wild animals – just take a tour of the Everglades!
11. Mallory Beach Sunsets
It’s one of the most popular places to watch the sunset in Florida… Which makes it hard to watch the sunset!
12. INSTEAD: West Coast Beach Sunset
For an unobstructed and uncrowded view, you can check out pretty much any Florida beach along the state’s west coast.
13. Blizzard Beach
If you’re already doing Disney anyway and you need to cool off, then sure. Otherwise…
14. INSTEAD: Florida Cold Springs
There are cold springs throughout Florida with lazy rivers to float down on a hot day… And you don’t need to pay hundreds for the privilege.
15. Sanibel Seashells
One of the old familiar Florida-vacation pastimes is heading to Sanibel in order to collect seashells.
16. INSTEAD: Shark Teeth Venice Beach
But, you know what’s way cooler than that? Heading over to Venice Beach in order to collect shark teeth.
17. Miami Clubbing
The Miami club scene is hot, hot, hot! Which means you’ve got crowds and surly bouncers to contend with.
18. INSTEAD: Wynwood
If you want to experience the Miami nightlife without all the drawbacks of places like LIV, then check Wynwood.
19. Daytona 500
I’ve you’ve always dreamed of attending, then check it out. Otherwise, we’ve got a way more fun thing to check out…
20. INSTEAD: Grand Prix
The Gran Prix, which sees race cars gunning through the streets and along the shore of St. Pete is just so cool!