22 Exciting Ideas for Florida Adventure Travel in 2024

Adventure travel is on the rise and seems to be at the top of the list for many travelers around the world.

Outdoor recreation has seen an enormous increase in the last couple of years and it’s only the beginning.

While for some this might be their first time exploring the outdoors, for others like us, it’s a time to continue exploring what we love the most.

florida outdoor travel

Why is Florida an Adventurer’s Paradise?

Dubbed as an adventurer’s paradise, many places in Florida boast unparalleled natural beauty.

With its picturesque beaches, crystal clear spring waters, and magnificent Gulf Coast sunsets, the Sunshine State is known for capturing the hearts of nature lovers.

The diverse ecosystems such as the famous Everglades and mangroves, provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and indulge in exciting activities.

Whether it’s kayaking or scuba diving in the Florida Keys, swimming in the springs, or experiencing “the real Florida“, adventure awaits all over the state!

Where to Go for Adventure Travel in Florida in 2024

Regardless of your experience adventuring into the great outdoors or with adventure travel, this list with some pretty cool things to do will give you a good start to go out and explore nature.

1. Snorkel at an Underground Spring Cave – adventure travel must!

Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring is one of those places that you’ll keep falling in love with. This is adventure travel at its finest and it’s become one of Florida’s most popular outdoor destinations!

No swimming–only snorkeling and diving are allowed inside the cave. Just watch your step when going down to the cave.

adventure travel snorkeling in underwater cave
Snorkeling in Devil’s Den

2. Climb Florida’s Tallest Lighthouse

At 175 feet tall, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is Florida’s tallest lighthouse.

It’s beautiful all around! You can climb the lighthouse’s 203 steps to the top for an amazing view of Florida’s east coast.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & Museum has an entrance fee of $6.95 per adult.

climbing Florida's tallest lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

3. Go on an Airboat Ride in the Everglades

Airboat rides in Florida are very, very popular and it’s one of the things that you should do at least once.

Furthermore, if you decide to go on an airboat ride in the Everglades, you’re in for an exciting Florida outdoor adventure!

There are many different options for airboat rides, and most of them have a 30-minute ride option.

airboat rides on the everglades adventure travel
Airboat Rides in Wild Florida Gator Park

4. Take a Cave Tour at Florida Caverns State Park – an adventure for the whole family!

Florida’s only dry caves are located in Florida Caverns State Park in the northern city of Marianna.

These caverns are one of a kind in Florida and if you’re coming from the Orlando area, the experience is very much worth the ride!

👉 Travel Tip: While you’re in the area, check out this beautiful cottage in Tallahassee for a unique fairytale experience!

Going inside the Florida Caverns is both surreal and incredible. The tour takes you through the 10 cave rooms and it’s a great adventure travel idea for the whole family.

adventure travel on florida caverns tour
Florida Caverns State Park

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adventure travel ideas in florida

5. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot air balloons are magical! And believe me when I say this because here in Florida, we seem to know quite a lot about magical things. (wink, wink)

A hot air balloon ride in Orlando is a great outdoor adventure to enjoy with your significant other, friends, or family.

Places like Tampa, Jacksonville, and St Augustine, offer the experience of hot air balloon rides in Florida.

hot air balloon rides in central florida
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Florida

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6. Solo Hike on one of Florida’s Beautiful Trails – great solo adventure travel idea!

As an avid hiker, hiking is one of my favorite things to do outdoors. Nature trails through forests, mangroves, and wetlands, provide ample opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy the great outdoors.

Believe it or not, Florida has some pretty cool places for solo hikes that allow you to enjoy the natural beauty that the Sunshine State has to offer.

Whether you’re in search of easy trails or more challenging hikes, Florida has options for all skill levels.

For instance, in Central Florida, Wekiva Springs has some of the best and most amazing trails for solo hiking.

woman solo hiking on wekiva springs trails
Solo Hiking in Central Florida

7. Spend a Weekend in a Florida Beach Town – great for a getaway!

Florida beaches are known worldwide for their incredible shades of blue, and white sand and beautiful seashells.

This is why you can never go wrong spending a weekend in one of Florida’s beach towns.

For starters, the Florida Keys, St. Lucie, and Sanibel Island can make your trip an even more memorable one.

fort pierce beach adventure travel
Summer weekends in Fort Pierce

8. Visit One of the Largest Living Oak Trees in the South

The Fairchild Oak Tree is the main attraction in Bulow Creek State Park, it’s over 400 years old and it is majestic!

Its beauty is everlasting and you are going to want to stay here for a while because it’s peaceful and serene.

Feeling adventurous? Bring your hiking shoes and hike along the 6.8-mile Bulow Woods Trail, which leads to Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park.

Fairchild oak tree in Ormond beach adventure travel
The majestic Fairchild Oak Tree
Florida summer bucket list

9. Go Tubing in Kelly Park/Rock Springs

Kelly Park/Rock Springs in Apopka is one of the best springs for tubing in Central Florida. Although you cannot rent the tubes inside the park, you can do so before entering the park.

Before heading straight to the park’s entrance, you’ll see Tube King right at the corner, where you will rent your tubes for just $7 each.

tubing at kelly park rock springs

10. Swim in One of Florida’s Natural Springs

The crystal-clear water of Florida Springs is simply breathtaking.

There are a great number of springs in Florida where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Some of the best springs for swimming in Central Florida are Wekiva Springs, Alexander Springs, and Blue Springs.

adventure travel in rainbow springs state park
Rainbow River’s crystal blue water

11. Go Cave Exploring in Florida

Caves in Florida? Oh, yes! There are a variety of caves you can explore in Florida if you are well prepared.

Tucked inside the Withlacoochee State Forest, there are over 37 caves that have been discovered. Many of these are closed to the public, but others aren’t.

Follow these safety measures and tips for cave exploring.

adventure travel cave exploring in florida
Exploring Dames Cave

12. Go Camping at the ‘Red Light District‘ and Watch the Milky Way – adventure travel must!

Did you know that Florida has its very own International Dark Sky designated park?

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is Florida’s first dark sky park and it’s an absolute nature sanctuary.

To see the Milky Way, camp at the ‘Red Light District‘. No artificial lighting is permitted, only red light.

adventure travel camping in the astronomy pads in Kissimmee prairie preserve state park
Astronomy pads camping area, aka ‘Red Light District

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13. Hike the Historic Catwalk on The Cypress Swamp

This narrow and single-railed walkway was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1930s.

The catwalk, located in Highlands Hammock State Park, takes you through a swamp surrounded by beautiful cypress trees.

This is real Florida!

hiking the catwalk in highlands hammock state park
Cypress Swamp Catwalk in Highlands Hammock State Park
viakix hiking sandals

More Florida Adventure Travel Ideas

14. Visit a Green Sulfur Spring

This lush green-colored spring produces almost a million gallons of water daily and although no swimming is allowed in Green Springs, is a beautiful outdoor place to explore.

Green Springs is one of Central Florida’s hidden gems with rainforest vibes and easy hiking trails.

Plan your visit on a clear and sunny day to view the spring at its brightest.

green springs adventure travel in florida
The green-colored water of Green Springs

15. Check Out Florida’s Waterfalls

Waterfalls? Heck, yes! You won’t find Florida’s largest waterfall here, but these are a one-of-a-kind view surrounded by lots of nature and paved trails. If you look up, you might see some of the park’s most beloved residents: owls!

You can check out these waterfalls in Florida during your visit to Rainbow Springs State Park where you can also spend the day swimming or kayaking in the crystal-clear spring.

Additionally, there are some hiking trails in the park for hiking enthusiasts.

waterfalls in florida
Waterfalls in Rainbow Springs State Park

16. Experience Manatee Viewing in one of Florida’s Springs

Manatees are my favorite aquatic animals, which is why anything related to these cute sea cows will always make my list.

In Florida, we’re very fortunate to have a large population of manatees who call this state their home.

While you can see these amazing creatures in many springs throughout the state, Blue Springs State Park is my personal favorite for manatee viewing, especially during manatee season.

manatees swimming in the crystal clear water of blue springs state park
Manatee viewing in Blue Springs State Park

👉 Things to Know: Manatees are a protected species and it is illegal to harass, feed, or molest them. Learn more about the Florida manatees and find out how you can help save the manatees in Florida.

17. Walk Through a Swaying Suspension Bridge in the Woods

Many people don’t know that Florida has a few beautiful swaying suspension bridges to explore.

One of my personal favorites is this one in O’Leno State Park, but you will also find other suspension bridges in Hillsborough River State Park and Ravine Gardens State Park.

swaying suspension bridges in florida
Swaying suspension bridge in O’Leno State Park

18. Go on a Glass-bottom Boat Tour

The glass-bottom boat tour in Silver Springs is one of the most iconic outdoor attractions in Florida and it’s been around for over 100 years.

Located in Silver Springs State Park, this is a great activity if you’re looking for different ways to explore the outdoors.

Silver Springs is also the only place in Florida where you will see the core population of wild monkeys (rhesus macaque).

Alternatively, you can also do a 3-hour boat tour that includes snorkeling and swimming with manatees.

glass boat tours adventure travel
Glass Boat Tours in Silver Springs State Park

19. Explore an Abandoned Dinosaur Amusement Park

If you love adventuring around abandoned historic places, then this should be one of your next stops.

Right within the beautiful garden and trees of Dunlawton Sugar Mill Garden, you will find what’s left of Bongoland–an abandoned dinosaur amusement park from the 1950s.

It’s an eerie but cool experience to see the cement dinosaurs and old park signs that once used to attract many visitors.

stegosaurus in bongoland florida adventure travel
Abandoned Dinosaur Park in Florida

20. Explore an Old Fort on Amelia Island

Here in Florida, many cool forts like Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas are great places to visit with the family.

To add to these, I recommend adding Fort Clinch in Amelia Island to your list of historic forts to explore. I consider this to be one of the prettiest forts in the state and it’s worth the trip!

It’s a big fort with access to the beach, which makes this one of the best outdoor places for a full day of fun and adventure.

fort clinch tunnels in Amelia island
Exploring Fort Clinch on Amelia Island

21. Go Kayaking in the Springs

Did you know that there are over 700 springs in the state of Florida? Florida has the most amount of freshwater springs in the world and most of these springs welcome visitors year-round.

Kayaking in the springs is very popular in Florida and along with paddleboarding, is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of these one-of-a-kind natural wonders.

adventure travel kayaking in wekiva springs
Kayaking on Weeki Wachee Springs

22. Swim with Manatees

There is only one place in the U.S. where it is legally allowed to swim with manatees and that is Crystal River.

swim with manatees in crystal river

In colder months, many manatees gather in this area, especially around Three Sister Springs, in search of warmer waters.

Booking a tour to swim with manatees is an incredible experience that you will love from beginning to end!

What is your favorite thing to do on an adventure trip? Let me know in the comments!

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21 adventure travel ideas
Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is an avid adventurer with 15+ years of hiking experience and outdoor travel. As a PADI-certified scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Mallorca, Spain.

36 thoughts on “22 Exciting Ideas for Florida Adventure Travel in 2024”

  1. Hey, Yanitza! I’ll be staying in Florida with my relatives for two months. It’s my first time to visit the state so I have no idea what to do and where to go. I’ll definitely explore the springs in the area. Do you recommend a specific day trip itinerary? Thanks for sharing this! It’s very informative.

    • Hi Dakota! That’s awesome! I’m so happy that you will get a chance to enjoy the Sunshine State! So, up until mid-March, we have manatee season. So if you’re here around that time, you can visit some springs and enjoy manatee viewing! You can even swim with manatees in Crystal River Springs! Kayaking is a must, as well as snorkeling in Devil’s Den! It’s one heck of an experience. A good day trip itinerary would be to check out the waterfalls at Rainbow Springs State Park, kayak along the Rainbow River, visit the Petting Zoo in Ocala, and finish your day by taking a stroll and dining at the Historic Downtown Ocala district. I hope you find other adventures here in my blog that you can add to your bucket list while you’re here! Have lots of fun!

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