From beaches, golfing, shopping to old-fashioned exploring, one of the best things about living in Florida is that there’s always something to do and somewhere new to explore. There are things to do in Florida with kids and there are things to do in Florida for adults. Royal Shell has been in Florida for decades and we know the Sunshine State like the backs of our hands. Here are our favorite must-do things in Florida. If you see something that’s not on our list, but you think it should be, let us know. We’d love to hear from you!
From state parks, championship golf courses, boating, white sand beaches, sunsets that look like they’re from a painting, to fresh seafood and historical places, Southwest Florida has it all. Here are our 10 must-do things in Florida. Whether you live here full-time or part-time, you’ll have plenty of time to indulge in these Southwest Florida novelties. There are things to do in Naples, things to do in Fort Myers and everywhere in-between. And if theme parks aren’t your thing, here are some things to do in Florida that aren’t Disney.
10 Things You Must Do in Florida :
1- Captiva Island Beaches
2- Everglades National Park
3- Everglades Wonder Gardens
4- Fishing and Boating on the Gulf of Mexico
5- Mound House
6- Naples Botanical Garden
7- Shelling on Sanibel Island
8- Southwest Florida Military Museum
9- Spring Training in Fort Myers
10- Try Some Florida Seafood
Captiva Island Beaches
Beaches on Captiva Island include Captiva Beach and Turner Beach at Blind Pass. There is just something special about them. The water is brighter, the sand is softer and many say the sunsets are more vibrant. If you want a true island feel, you want to visit these Captiva beaches. Keep in mind that taking live shells and mollusks off of the beach is prohibited. Discover the magic of Captiva Island and get on Island Time. Every day will feel like a vacation. If you ask yourself, ‘What is the most beautiful place in Florida?’ This is definitely one of them, without a doubt.
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is about an hour drive from Naples, but it’s worth the trip! The park is the second-largest national park in the country. It’s only smaller than Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This must-do thing in Florida spans 1.5 million acres, so you’ll never get bored exploring it. You can get to the northern section of the park via Everglades City, which is about 30 minutes from Naples. When you visit Everglades National Park, you’ll walk through marl prairies, pinelands, freshwater sloughs, tropical hammocks, mangroves, cypress, estuarine, coastal lowlands and marine ecosystems. There are all sorts of things to discover here, from alligators, prehistoric-looking trees to majestic birds.
Everglades Wonder Gardens
This is one of the oldest and most beloved attractions in Bonita Springs and Southwest Florida. Open seven days a week, when you visit the Everglades Wonder Gardens, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time to Old Florida. It’s been open since 1936, so it’s seen a lot of history. There’s also a museum to explore. You never know what you’ll discover. There are some interesting artifacts collected by Bill and Lester Piper, who founded the Everglades Wonder Gardens. The 3.5-acre botanical jungle is full of beautiful, almost alien-like native trees. There are plants and specimens from across the globe. You can also feed the flamingos and say hi to the rescued birds and reptiles that’ve made the gardens their forever home. It’s a fun thing to do that people of all ages will appreciate.
Fishing and Boating on the Gulf of Mexico
If there are two things that Florida is known for its fishing and boating. This is especially true if you live in Southwest Florida along the Gulf coast, which is a boater’s paradise. On any nice fishing day, and especially on the weekends, you’ll see fishermen line the Naples Pier. Lovers Key State Park, just off Fort Myers Beach, covers 712 acres and three islands. It’s also great for fishing from the shore. Those are just two examples. There’s plenty more where that came from. In Southwest Florida, it’s not uncommon to go out on your boat and end the day cruising up to a delicious restaurant on the water. Many places will even cook your fresh catch, too. It doesn’t matter where in Southwest Florida you buy a home. There are restaurants like this up and down the coast. Many of our Royal Shell homes for sale have a dock, boat lift and access to the Gulf of Mexico. If you have any specific questions about boating communities in Southwest Florida, we are happy to help answer them!
This is a must-do thing in Florida. It’s important to learn about your area’s history so you can appreciate where you live. Mound house is on Fort Myers Beach. The restored house museum sits on top of an ancient Calusa Indian shell mound. You read that right! There are artifacts and cultural programs for everyone to enjoy. And if you’re a history buff, this is perfect for you. There are guided tours, kayak eco-tours and beach walks. It’s something visitors of all ages can enjoy.
Naples Botanical Garden
The Naples Botanical Garden is one of Naples’ best-kept secrets. It’s a magical place full of nine different gardens and The Preserve. You could spend the whole day here and still want to go back for more. The garden hosts a variety of events throughout the year, too. Around the holidays, there’s Night Lights, the only time the garden is open at night. Everything is lit up and it looks like you’ve been dropped into a fantasy world. There have also been events with giant LEGOs and life-sized origami sculptures. The garden features classes for kids and adults. It’s a fun place to learn about nature and explore. You won’t regret visiting this Naples gem!
Shelling on Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island has some of the best shelling in Southwest Florida and it’s one of the most unique things to do in Florida. People come from all over to collect shells from this barrier island. Its beaches are sheltered by an expansive underwater shelf that collects shells from different currents, giving Sanibel its popular seashell variety. This is one of the most popular must-do things in Florida. Can you really come to an island and not go shelling? Keep in mind that you can’t take any live shells or mollusks away from the beach. This includes sand dollars, starfish, conchs and more.
Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library
The museum in Cape Coral is a must-do thing in Florida, especially if you’re in Southwest Florida. It has a comprehensive collection of military history, information on veteran services and it’s a general hub for veterans of all ages. Many of the museum’s items have been donated, which adds another layer to its interesting story. There are displays from the Revolutionary War through the Afghanistan conflict.
Spring Training in Fort Myers
The Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox have Spring Training stadiums in Fort Myers and if you’re asking yourself what is there to do in Florida besides theme parks, this might be for you. If you’re a baseball fan, and especially a fan of either of these teams, Southwest Florida is the perfect place to purchase your next forever home. If you’re up for a drive, the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins train at Jupiter’s Roger Dean Stadium. The Baltimore Orioles spring train in Sarasota, the Philadelphia Phillies have a Spring Training stadium in Clearwater, and the New York Yankees train in Tampa.
Try Some Florida Food
If there’s another thing Florida is known for it’s certain types of food. Are you asking yourself what should I eat in Florida? Try some fresh-squeezed Florida orange juice, key lime pie and mouthwatering seafood. The Sunshine State, and especially Southwest Florida, is known for things like fresh fish, blue crabs and stone crabs. There is even a Stone Crab Festival in Naples! It’s normally served with a tangy mustard sauce and it is the perfect addition to a warm, summer day. Try some conch fritters, too. Conch is also good in ceviche. One of the best things about Florida is its seafood. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try some gator bites in Everglades City on your way to Everglades National Park. Also, do yourself a favor and try a Publix sub. Trust us, it’s a thing.
Royal Shell Can Help You Find the Perfect Florida Home
It’s easy to have fun with these top 10 must-do things in Florida, and the entire family can take part, so no one is left out. That’s one of the things that make the Sunshine State so great. There is always something to do in Southwest Florida, whether you’re young, old or anywhere in-between. If you want even more suggestions on things you must do in Florida, any of our real estate agents can give you a list of attractions and destinations to check out.
Are You Thinking About Purchasing an Investment Property?
Since there are so many things to do in Southwest Florida, it also makes it an ideal vacation destination. If you’ve been considering purchasing a new home as an extra source of income, we can help. Royal Shell is also a rental management company and we have homes throughout Southwest Florida in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and on Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
What are the advantages of Royal Shell managing your rental home? We will market your home and you won’t have to pay any marketing fees; guests can book a property online 24/7; we have been growing each year and our owners have been with us for years, too; Royal Shell has a large repeat customer base; we have nine offices throughout Lee and Collier Counties; we’ll keep track of renters and payments; make sure your home is up to our cleanliness standards, and address any maintenance issues that arise while a guest is staying in your rental. All you need to do is sit back and relax!