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Add These Places to Your South Florida Bucket List

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Miles of white-sand beaches, mind-blowing museums, breathtaking botanical gardens, and countless attractions at every corner—isn’t Southern Florida a total dream come true? US travelers and foreigners alike find themselves in awe, whether it’s their first or 10th visit to the area.

From swimming with dolphins and exploring underwater destinations to satisfying their curiosity at interesting museums, South Florida provides a treasure trove of activities. And while you might be keeping yourself busy with EGT slots, you might be missing out on awesome things to do in these places. 

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Do you consider yourself a nature lover? Then Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park should be one of the first places to visit. Named after the editor of The Miami News, this slice of paradise houses one of the best beaches in the country. Visitors go to Bill Baggs Beach to splash around, sunbathe, and enjoy boating on the ocean. But if you prefer visiting historic sites, you’ll be happy to know that one of the oldest lighthouses in the region is also located in the state park. Built in 1825, the Cape Florida Light is where locals and tourists observe the majestic views of the Atlantic and beyond. 

Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

Wish to go to a museum, planetarium, and park without visiting different places? Head over to Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium to experience it all in one spot. Spanning 105 acres in Fort Myers, this exciting attraction offers a variety of fascinating activities and displays for visitors. Here, you can learn about the natural history of Southern Florida among other things. Visitors may interact with the center’s resident animals such as skunks and raccoons, and check out the Butterfly and Audubon Aviaries, where they’ll see hawks, owls, and eagles. What’s more, you can also discover native Florida species at the nature center and explore the onsite nature trails to see them in the wild. 

Naples Botanical Garden

Naples Botanical Garden strives to provide and preserve tropical vegetation for locals and tourists to learn about. Covering 170 acres of well-farmed land, the botanical garden features more than a thousand different plant kinds. The gardens are divided into seven parts, each representing a different environment. Moreover, the attraction is wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly. But, if you’re visiting, make sure to have a bottle of water with you at all times as the sun could prove to be quite scorching. 

IMAG History and Science Center 

IMAG History and Science Center is a must-visit, especially when you’re traveling with children. Here, your kids can learn about the wonders of marine life and the magic behind science is perhaps the most unique way possible. Located in Fort Myers, visitors get to view more than 60 hands-on and interactive exhibits. Make your way to the Animal Lab to see alligators, ball pythons, Mexican axolotls, and prairie dogs. Then, check out the Touch Tank to experience life underwater and even interact with stingrays. If you can, organize your visit during educational events at the center so that your children may meet and learn about animals, as well as exercise their creative and engineering talents.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Visitors of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates will get to view museums and gardens on the premises of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s neighboring historical residences. You may explore each of these legendary inventors’ residences, walk around 20 acres of botanical gardens, as well as explore the Estates Museum to learn about two of America’s most significant figures. With engaging and interactive galleries, exhibits, and displays, visitors will come to know about their lives, innovations, and inspirations. The area also houses the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory and the beautiful botanic gardens, both of which impacted Edison’s research.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

While the vistas of the shimmering blue water and swaying palm trees are lovely, the main lure of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is under the ocean’s surface. Pennekamp Park’s boundaries extend three miles into the Atlantic Ocean, where visitors may catch a glimpse into reefs rich with fish and other animals from the luxury of a dry boat on a glass-bottom boat trip. The park also provides kayaking, scuba diving, canoeing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Visitors may take total advantage of the park’s beaches, picnic sites, and well-paved trails. 

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