If you live in sunny Florida, summer means looking for somewhere to cool off in the heat of the day. If you’re visiting Florida this summer, you’ll quickly find there are lots of incredible things to do and see, but you, too, will be looking for somewhere to keep cool and still have fun! With keeping cool on hot summer days in mind, here are some amazing things to do in Florida this summer.
Hit the Beach!
Now you probably knew this would be the starting point on the list of amazing things to do this summer, because you can’t truly enjoy Florida without experience one or more of its spectacular beaches! From Jacksonville to Pensacola to the Keys, Florida’s beaches are famous. Go shelling along the Gulf, surfing in the Atlantic, snorkeling in the Keys, whatever you choose for your beach activity, there’s always plenty of crisp, blue water available to cool off in as the temperatures rise.
Water, Water, Everywhere
While on the subject of water, another great place to cool off is at one of Florida’s many fun and fabulous water parks. Of course, your mind immediately goes to Orlando with Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Volcano Bay, and Aquatica, and at any of these water parks you’ll find fun and excitement! The truth is great water parks abound in Florida, so if you don’t want to head to Orlando, try these south Florida favorites: Rapids Water Park, Coconut Cove, Splash Adventure, or one of the other fantastic water parks across the state!
Water Adventure with the Animals
One of the greatest water adventures in Florida is swimming with the sea creatures who call the state home. And best of all, you’ll get to learn about them and conservation efforts on their behalf in the process. You can swim with dolphins at several locations around the state, including Discovery Cove in Orlando, Dolphin Swim in Miami, and Florida Keys Dolphin Swim in Islamorada. After enjoying your exciting dolphin encounter, it might be the perfect time to head to Crystal River where you can swim with the manatees, the endangered gentle giants who roam Florida’s estuaries.
Explore Florida’s Caverns and Caves
At Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, you can experience caves, the one adventure you probably never expected to encounter here in the Sunshine State. The Florida caverns are dry caves which feature incredible limestone formations – stalagmites, stalactites, soda straws, draperies, and flowstones. The park offers guided tours which you can enjoy in the cool cavern air. If you want to stay for a while, the park also offers fishing, canoeing, hiking, boating, and camping.
Of course, if you want to get back in the water, you’ll likely enjoy the underwater caves in Williston at the prehistoric Devil’s Den, so named for the steam rising from the cavern’s chimney opening on winter mornings. The Devil’s Den underground spring is inside a dry cave where a number of prehistoric extinct animal fossils have been found. Here you can scuba dive or snorkel in crystal clear water that maintains 72° F temperatures year-round while you explore the ancient rock formations and fossil beds which date to Pleistocene Age, some 33 million years ago.
Because Florida is home to over 160 state parks plus a plethora of wildlife sanctuaries, everywhere you roam in the state, you’ll find unique wildlife and plants to explore. For starters, visit Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, Payne’s Prairie Preserve, Ichetucknee Springs, McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, and the John D. McArthur State Park. But don’t stop there, after all you’ve got more than 160 state parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and more to explore!