Top Tourist Attractions in Florida

Top Tourist Attractions in Florida
Florida's top tourist attractions usually involve a talking mouse or simulated adventure. These places are fine for the normal tourist, but for the outdoors enthusiast, these places are tedious and tiring. Throughout the state, Florida offers a world of unspoiled natural attractions and tropical paradises where visitors can find serenity camping in a swamp, peace paddling down a river and tranquility laying on the beach.

Everglades National Park

Covering over close to 1.5 million acres, Everglades National Park is one of the largest National Parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One million people visit the park every year to try to catch a glimpse of the endangered Florida panther and the American crocodile. For bird watchers, the park is home to 350 species of birds and is the breeding grounds for many tropical species. Hiking trails vary in difficulty, ranging from man-made boardwalks to watery backcountry canoe and kayak trails where visitors can experience the park in its most natural form. Camping is allowed at the park's two formal drive-up campgrounds and at the 47 primitive backcountry sites (permit required).
Everglades National Park
40001 State Road 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
(305) 242-7700

Key West

Consisting of around 1,700 islands of varying sizes, the Florida Keys is a tropical Caribbean paradise and entirely a part of the state of Florida, beginning approximately 15 miles south of Miami and ending 150 miles southwest on the island of Key West, the most popular of the Keys. Getting to Key West is an experience on its own: the 127 miles Overseas Highway takes visitors from island to island on a series of bridges, driving for long expanses over the ocean with nothing but water on either side of the road. Once in Key West, visitors can sit on the beach, swim in the ocean, surf, windsurf, snorkel and SCUBA dive, and go deep sea fishing. Dry Tortugas National Park is 70 miles off the coast of Key West and can only be reached by boat and seaplane. The park is home to wildlife and unspoiled coral reefs. In Key West, visitors can arrange to participate in organized tours of the park.
Dry Tortugas National Park
P.O. Box 6208
Key West, FL 33041
(305) 242-7700

Ocala National Forest

Situated between Gainesville and Orlando, the Ocala National Forest is home to over 600 lakes, including the western shore of Lake George, and many rivers and creeks. The forest offers many miles of hiking and unpaved mountain-biking trails. Visitors can enjoy canoeing and kayaking through unspoiled stretches of natural waterways. Ocala has four natural freshwater springs where visitors can swim, snorkel and SCUBA dive. Camping is allowed all year-round in a developed or primitive campground. Visitors can also rent cabins. Fishing is allowed.
Ocala National Forest
325 John Knox Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(904) 942-9300

Article Written By Patrick M. Lind

Patrick M. Lind has been freelance writing since 2007 and has worked as an editor and journalist for He received a Master of Arts in history from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East.

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