Other than beaches, when tourists think of Florida, theme parks are usually the first thing that comes to mind. Disney World reigns supreme as the Sunshine State’s top attraction, drawing about 25 million visitors each year. But Florida has plenty of one-of-a-kind, world-class attractions for vacationers who prefer a more low-key destination. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or an “out of this world” experience, look no further than these unique Florida attractions.
Pirate and Treasure Museum (St. Augustine)
The Nation’s Oldest City has been plundered twice by cutlass-swinging buccaneers (in 1586 and 1668), and the museum pays tribute to that legacy. Over 800 artifacts are displayed in the museum: flintlock pistols, cutlasses and swords, cannonballs, telescopes, pearls, jewels, gold doubloons. The museum has one of only two surviving skull and crossbones flags, and the world’s only verified pirate treasure chest.
Orlando Countryside Hot Air Balloon Ride (Orlando)
Think Disney World is magical from the ground? Just imagine the view from above. On a Countryside Orlando hot air balloon ride, you will be able to see the sunrise above Disney’s parks, take in a bird’s eye view of the city, and enjoy a champagne toast upon landing. This is the perfect attraction if you’re looking for a new perspective on the Sunshine State.
Astronaut Training Experience (Cape Canaveral)
Ever wonder if you could boldly go where only a few have boldly gone before? Then don’t miss the Astronaut Training Experience at the Kennedy Space Center. It's a truly unique experience that will give you a sense of what it takes to be a real astronaut. The half-day program was developed by veteran astronauts and includes an interview with a real life astronaut, simulated space exercises, and access to unique gravity training equipment. After the training experience, spend the rest of the day touring the world-class NASA space museum.
The National Aviation Museum (Pensacola)
Pensacola is home to the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum. Get an up close and personal view of over 150 aircrafts from all eras of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. After your tour, take part in a flight simulator or catch a practice run by the world famous Blue Angels.
Butterfly World (Tradewinds Park)
If your goal is to relax, head to a place where it’s almost impossible to get stressed: Butterfly World, the first and largest butterfly park in the world. The park contains over 20,000 butterflies and over 150 species. Take a stroll through the one of the gardens or aviaries, or stop by the world’s top butterfly research center. It’s a great place for family trip or a private time of reflection.
Florida Marlin Fishing (Key West)
If you’re looking for the ultimate hands-on adventure, marlin fishing offers the thrill you’re craving. Many anglers consider marlin fishing to be the pinnacle of offshore sport fishing. Key West has always been known as a marlin hotspot and beautiful destination for a boating trip, no matter your goal.
If you’re on a quest to explore an off-the-beaten path Florida adventure, consider one of the attractions above.