Everybody knows about the giant Central Florida theme parks, but there are also many neat places to visit that are just as much fun and a whole lot cheaper.  This page tells you about 50 of them that we like.  

Babock Ranch Eco ToursBabock Ranch Eco Tours

Our favorite Florida tourist attractions include small amusement parks, zoos, museums, state parks and oddities. We threw in Walt Disney World because it's too big to ignore.  We hope you find something here you will enjoy.


  • Babcock Ranch Eco Tours,
    8000 State Road 31, Punta Gorda, Florida 33982. Tel:800-500-5583.
    The tours take place on a 92,000 acre working ranch where you will see not only wildlife but typical cattle ranching operations.

  • Beaches.
    Florida has some of the best in the world. Here is a listing of some of them including Florida's only legal clothing optional beach.  You need to know where it is in case you want to avoid it.

  • Big Cypress Loop Road & Lucky's Place,
    Lucky Cole is a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of beautiful nude women in natural settings.  Halfway between Naples and Miami on Tamiami Trail (US-41). They are closed to the public during photo shoots. Tel: 239-695-2550.

  • Bok Tower Gardens,
    1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, Florida 33853. Tel:863-676-1408. The tower and gardens are a historic setting on one of the highest hills in Florida.  Enjoy daily carillon concerts.

  • Brevard Zoo,
    8225 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, Florida 32940. Tel:321-254-3002. This popular zoo was built entirely by volunteers and has award winning interactive exhibits, many designed to please children.

  • Cable Junction Zipline Adventures,
    8010 Timber Trail, Sanderson, FL 32807. Tel:904-275-4546. This attraction is west of Jacksonville and has a 2500 foot long course where you can soar through the treetops at up to 40 mph.

  • Cassadaga-Mediums and Healers,
    1325 Stevens St., Cassadaga, FL 32706. Tel: 386-228-3171. This small village was established in 1895 by a spiritualist organization and is home to many mediums, psychics, and healers.
  • Coral Castle,
    28655 South Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL33033. Tel:305-248-6345. A lovesick immigrant from Lithuania spent most of his life building this monument to the sweetheart who jilted him at the altar.

  • Crystal River Swim With Manatees,
    Crystal River, Florida.  There are many businesses in this town that will show you the hundreds of manatees that gather here and even let you get in the water and swim with the gentle creatures.

  • Dali Museum,
    1000 Third Street So., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Tel: 727-823-3767. This museum displays the work of only one artist, Salvador Dali.  It is home to an amazing collection of traditional and modern art.

  • Dinosaur World,
    5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, FL 33565. Tel: 813-717-9865. The entire family will love wandering around this place that features replicas of more than 150 dinosaurs.  It's fun and educational.

  • Edison and Ford Winter Estates,
  • 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33901. Tel:239-334-7419. The great inventor and auto tycoon had winter homes side by side on the Caloosahatchee River.  You can visit these amazing places.

  • Florida Aquarium,
    701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602. Tel: 813-273-4000.  It is ranked in the top 10 U.S. aquariums by TripAdvisor.  It focuses on teaching visitors about the ecosystems of Florida and the world.

  • Florida Day Trips by Theme
    Some people like to focus on one theme like museums, art, theater, history, architecture, etc.  This web page has 250 attractions involving 20 different themes such as outdoor adventures, Florida history, arboretums, gardens, historic buildings, and more.
Florida Citrus Tower
  • Florida Citrus Tower,
    141 North Highway US-27, Clermont, FL 34711. Tel: 352-394-4061. Built in 1956 during the glory days of citrus, this tall observation tower takes you up in an elevator where you can see the view.

  • Florida Festivals 
    There are numerous Florida events that take place on an annual schedule. In addition to Florida's many art and music festivals, there are great boating and sporting events, and fun festivals that don't quite fit into any neat category.

  • Florida Heritage Sites.
    These are 1,300 historic and culturally significant sites scattered all over the state. There is something for everyone on this list at Florida Backroads

  • Florida Museum of Natural History,
    University of Florida Cultural Plaza, SW 34th Street and Hull Road, PO Box 112710, Gainesville, FL 32611. Tel:352-846-2000.  This free museum has one of the largest collections of natural history items in the U.S.  Kids love the 14 foot tall mammoth skeleton.
  • Fort Gates Ferry,
    229 Fort Gates Ferry Rd, Crescent City, FL 32112. Tel:386-467-2411.  Cars, motorcycles, or bikes can take this small ferry across the St. Johns River from the Ocala National Forest or a fish camp.

  • Fruit And Spice Park,
    24801 SW 187 Ave, Homestead, FL 33031. Tel: 305-247-5727. A county park devoted to fruits and spices. Things grow in this part of Florida that won't grow elsewhere in Florida or the United States.

  • Gatorland,
    14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837. 1-800-393-5297.  One of Florida's oldest attractions, it still entertains with thousands of alligators and a thrilling canopy ride.

  • Ginnie Springs Outdoors,
    7300 N.E. Ginnie Springs Road, High Springs, FL 32643. Tel:386-454-7188.  This is a great place to camp or just chill out in the cool spring waters swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking.
Hemingway Home, Key West
  • Hemingway Home,
    907 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040. Tel: 305-294-1136.  The great author lived here from 1931 to 1940.  It has many of his furnishings and the first in ground swimming pool in Key West.

  • Jacksonville Zoo,
    370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL 32218. Tel: 904-757-4463.  This historic zoo is organized around several major exhibits.  You will see dozens of exotic birds, crocodiles, antelopes, cheetahs, zebras, elephants, lions, monkeys, and you can feed a sting ray.

  • Jungle Island,
    1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, Florida 33132. Tel:305-400-7000. This historic attraction is home to 2,000 varieties of tropical plants and 1,100 tropical birds that are allowed to fly free.

  • Jungle Queen Riverboat,
    801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316. Tel:954-462-5596. You can enjoy day tours of the Fort Lauderdale waterways and also go on dinner cruises past the homes of the rich and famous.

  • Key West Aquarium,
    1 Whitehead Street (Mallory Square), Key West, Florida 33040. Tel: 305-296-2051. This historic museum is a place where you can get up close and personal with animals such as horseshoe crabs and Florida lobster.  You will enjoy a 90 minute guided tour.
  • Leu Gardens,
    1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803. Tel: 407-246-2620. The former estate of an Orlando businessman, this 50 acre botanical garden is divided into more than a dozen specialty gardens.

  • Lighthouses,
    Florida has many that can be visited by car.  You can climb to the top of some of them, and many also have museums featuring the history and artifacts of their area.

  • Lion Country Safari,
  • 2003 Lion Country Safari Road, Loxahatchee, FL 33470. Tel: 561-793-1084.  You will love driving through this large attraction in your car while the animals roam free.  You will see more than 1,000 exotic animals in something close to their natural habitat.

  • Marineland Florida,
    9600 Oceanshore Blvd., St. Augustine, Florida 32080. Tel:904-471-1111.  Here you can swim with the dolphins.  It is a dolphin research center that was once Florida's most popular tourist attraction.

  • Miami Marine Stadium,
    Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, Miami, Florida.  You can drive up to this place but not go in.  It's a historic graffiti covered stadium that used to feature many events and boat races before it finally bit the dust.  It may be preserved, but see it while you can.
Mill Creek Retirement Home for Horses
  • Mill Creek Farm Retirement Home For Horses,
    20307 NW County Road 235-A, Alachua, Florida 32616. Tel: 386-462-1001.  Old horses wear out just like people.  These horses used to pull carriages, support police forces, and just work.  Here they can spend their senior years on a nice rolling horse farm.

  • Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens,
    4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, Florida 33446. Tel: 561-495-0233.  Japanese farmers established a colony in this area years ago.  The museum celebrates their culture, has beautiful landscaped grounds, and a collection of bonsai trees.

  • Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens,
    1590 Goodlette Frank Rd, Naples, FL 34102. Tel: 239-262-5409.  One of the oldest zoos in Southwest Florida, it is divided into habitat areas where you can see animals in natural conditions.

  • National Naval Aviation Museum,
    1750 Radford Blvd., Suite C, Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL 32508. Tel:850-452-3604.  Pensacola is the birthplace of naval aviation, and this museum has a superb large collection of navy aircraft and memorabilia.

  • Orange County Regional History Center.
    65 East Central Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32801. Tel: 407-836-8500.  This museum celebrates Central Florida history all the way from the first Native Americans to today's giant theme parks.

  • Orlando Significant Tree Tour.  
    Various city parks each feature ancient giant trees.  It is a self guided tour and our website provides you with a map. 

  • Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
    4931 S. Peninsula Dr., Ponce Inlet, FL 32127, Tel: 386-761-1821. The lighthouse is on an inlet south of Daytona Beach.  You can climb to the top and see a fantastic view of the ocean and beaches.

Princess Place PreservePrincess Place Preserve
  • Princess Place Preserve,
    2500 Princess Place Rd., Palm Coast, Florida 32137.  This was the hunting lodge of a rich northerner.  He died and his widow married a Russian prince.  This became their winter home and you can tour it.

  • Robert Is Here,
    19200 SW 344th St., Homestead, FL 33034. Tel: 305-246-1592.  One of the largest produce stands in Florida, it features an amazing selection of tropical fruits grown in South Florida.

  • Sea Turtles on Florida Beaches,
    Nesting season is from May to October and the turtles nest on beaches in every region of the state.  This article tells you where you can go to see them.

  • Solomon's Castle, 
    4533 Solomon Rd., Ona, FL 33865. Tel: 863-494-6077.  The late Howard Solomon was an artist who created art out of junk, including the castle-like museum.  You will be amazed at his creations.

  • Spook Hill,
  • 5th St, Lake Wales, FL 33853.  This old attraction has been around for years.  You park your car, put it in neutral, and watch it apparently coast uphill.

  • St. Augustine Alligator Farm,
    999 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine, FL 32080.  Tel: 904-824-3337.  The oldest in Florida, and it features a huge selection of animals including gators and Maximo, the 14 foot long crocodile.

  • Theatre Of The Sea,
    Mile Marker 84.5, Islamorada, Florida. Tel: 305-664-2431.  An old attraction where you can swim with dolphins and watch sharks, turtles, and other species swimming around in front of you.
Ancient Spanish Monastery
  • The Ancient Spanish Monastery
    16711 W. Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach, FL 33160. Tel: 305-945-1461. This is the oldest building in Florida.  Built in Spain in 1141, it was taken apart, and put back together in 1954. 

  • The Dolphin Connection,
    Hawk's Cay Resort,61 Hawk's Cay Boulevard, Duck Key, FL 33050. Tel: 1-888-814-9154.  This is one of the most popular places in the Florida Keys to learn about dolphins and swim with them.

  • Walt Disney World Florida,
    Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830. Tel: 407-939-5277. We cannot ignore the largest theme park in the world.  People come here from all over the world;  affordability is a matter of opinion.

  • Warm Mineral Springs,
  • 12200 San Servando Ave, North Port, FL 34287. Tel: 941-426-1692. People come from all over the world to soak in the warm waters of this spring that supposedly has many healing minerals.

  • Webster Flea Markets,
    516 NW Third Street, Webster, Florida 33596.  Tel: 352-793-9877. One of the largest flea markets in the world, this one if only open on Mondays.  Thousands of vendors and anything you can think of.

  • Weeki Wachee Springs,
    6131 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, FL 34646. Tel:352-592-5656.  An old attraction that features underwater mermaid shows and is now a state park with a water park attraction.
  • Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour,
    312 East Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789. Tel: 407-644-4056. Several lakes in Winter Park are connected by scenic canals.  The pontoon boat guides know their stuff and show you a lot of historical places and natural things on your one hour cruise.
  • The following admission fees for the Florida tourist attractions featured on Florida Backroads Travel are updated annually.  They are provided to help you plan your Florida family vacation.

    Some attractions have other ticket combinations available for special events and groups. You should call the attraction for current information.


Florida Tourist Attractions Weeki Wachee SpringsMermaids at Weeki Wachee Sprngs, Florida


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