With 42 national sites on the National Park Service’s list, Florida has a rich heritage and geographical importance worth exploring.
This Sunshine State has so many historical sites to discover that you could devote your whole life there yet barely scratch the surface of what the state has to offer history buffs.
To help you out, I have created a cheat sheet to find out some of the most famous landmarks in Florida in advance.
1. Kennedy Space Center
You may obtain a sense of how it feels to be an astronaut by visiting the Kennedy Space Center, a truly unique encounter. You’ll be immersed in US space history in Canaveral National Seashore for a whole day, situated on the Atlantic Coast and only a few miles from the dusty shores.
The only option to explore further than the Visitor Complex without spending an additional trip is to take the Kennedy Space Center 90-minute bus ride.
Tours that include a stop to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Mercury, Cosmic Quest, and Astronaut Training Witness (ATX) let visitors experience a few of the excellent training that goes into launching an astronaut into Mars.
2. Southernmost Point of the Continental US
The Southernmost Point in the United States is marked with a stove-like structure at Key West, a major and famous landmark in Florida. It’s the reason why Key West is so popular. Although it is painted to seem like a buoy, this monument is simply a very big section of a concrete storm drain.
The monument is surrounded by several additional “Southernmost” locations, including a hotel, an apartment, an eatery, and more. If you’re in Key West for the tour, don’t forget to go swimming or stay at the luxurious Hotel Perry once you’re there.
3. Wynwood Walls
Inspired by a decaying industrial area in Miami, the Wynwood Walls was developed in 2009 and had since totally brightened the neighborhood. If you’ve ever been to Miami, you know it’s a great place to shoot a movie set there.
The Wynwood Walls are open to the public. They include a changing exhibit of street artists and their work and some very cool stores and cultural centers. It’s no longer possible to go around without stumbling into a beautiful piece of art or a trendy bar or eatery.
In contrast to the political artwork seen in Medelln or Buenos Aires, this is a lighthearted piece of art that is humorous and slightly sarcastic.
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4. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
The oldest concrete structure in the continental United States is the Castillo de San Marcos, one of the most famous landmarks in Florida.
It was proclaimed the capital of British East Florida when the British took control of Florida in 1763. The stronghold’s core was finished in 1695. It was called Fort St. Mark till 1783 when Florida was surrendered to Spain and restored its proper name.
Symbolically, the Castillo de San Marcos represents the clash between cultures that resulted in the United States’ foundation. For 251 years, the Army held the fort until it was designated a National Monument in 1924. After that, the 20.48-acre property was up to the National Park Service of the United States.
As a reflection of the hardships endured in the past, these masterpieces serve as a remembrance of the history of the United States.
5. Mallory Square
With its eateries, street entertainers, and monthly Sunset Festival, Mallory Square is the ideal gathering area where the excitement begins.
This historic oceanfront venue brings together the best of Key West in one convenient location. Key West’s accessible sculpture park, which gives homage to prominent citizens, attracts tourists throughout the day.
Mallory Square is a never-ending hub of activity. You can come for a few hours, but I’m sure you will not leave without spending the night.
6. The Dalí
The selection of the Dali Theatre-Museum enables tourists to explore the creative path of Salvador Dali (1904-1989) via a diverse range of artworks on display. Since its opening in 1974, the Dal Theatre-Museum in Figueres has been Salvador Dali’s last big achievement.
The creator conceptualized and developed everything in the museum to provide guests with a genuine experience and attract them into his unusual and compelling art world. Visitors may follow a path through the rooms to learn about his early creative activities, surrealism, nuclear mythology, and his love of scientific knowledge.
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7. The Hemingway Home and Museum
Ernest Hemingway, the most renowned literary inhabitant of Key West, spent over 12 years inside this Spanish-colonial Hemingway Home and Museum. He wrote many of his most well-known masterpieces. His second wife, Pauline, requested that they build Key West’s first indoor pool, installed at her insistence after her death.
The interpreters will tell you several intriguing anecdotes during the house and grounds tour. Snow White’s progeny, six-toed cats, will be all over the place, so be prepared to see a lot of them in this famous landmark in Florida.
8. Everglades National Park
One of North America’s largest temperate natural areas, the Everglades National Park has 1.5 million acres of conserved marshland.
As a result, the Everglades National Park World Heritage Site also comprises the most extensive mangrove forest in the Western Hemisphere, the largest uninterrupted remnant of sawgrass grassland, and the most significant nesting place for waterbirds in North America. Manatees, crocodiles, and panthers are endangered animals that call this area paradise.
Paddling and kayaking, catching fish guides, shooting tours, and more are all available!
9. Daytona International Speedway
At Daytona International Speedway, there’s something for everyone, regardless of age! If you want to get your heart beating, you don’t have to wait for Speedweeks.
There is no need to be a racing enthusiast enthralled by a Racing Track Tour. Visiting the huge multi-sports center is an utter shock every time. The racetrack is a blast for kids of all ages!
It stimulates their creativity and provides them with many activities to engage in.
10. Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
This Italian-inspired mansion of James Deering, an agricultural businessman, is now a collection with 34 ornately designed rooms full of historical art and artifacts. The landscaped gardens and wood canopy on the stunning Biscayne Bay are reason enough to come here by themselves.
11. St Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum has maritime items, a sailboat construction display, and a 165-foot-tall lighthouse. Two hundred nineteen steps to the lighthouse were built between 1871 and 1874 in St. Augustine. It is the oldest surviving brick tower in the United States.
You can view the St. Augustine lighthouse from its highest point by visiting the lighthouse and marine museum. The Salt Run lagoon and the city of St. Augustine may be seen from the top of the mountain. However, the lighthouse’s climb may be too challenging for people in decent physical condition.
12. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
The Ponce Inlet Light Station and Museum, built-in 1887 and is now a National Historic Landmark, is one of the country’s remaining fully functional big light posts. The Atlantic Ocean, inlet, and interior waterways may all be seen from the tower’s top. The lighthouse is still operational as a privately navigational aid.
To learn more about history, Fresnel lenses, and airplane-friendly lighthouse designs, guests may walk up into the tower and look around the original keepers’ quarters, which are now home to a museum dedicated to the lighthouse and its protectors.
13. Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Towers near Lake Wales, Florida, is one of the most famous landmarks in Florida, with a stunning 250-acre landscape and bird sanctuary.
The Singing Tower, which stands 205 feet tall and contains some of the finest carillon bells in the entire globe, is another highlight of this National Historic Landmark. It’s widely regarded as one of Florida’s most stunning gardens.
14. Fort Pickens
The Fort Pickens part of Gulf Islands National Seashore has one of the most important historical sites in the Florida Panhandle: the eponymous stronghold, completed in 1834 and saw extensive combat during the American Civil War.
Aside from a well-preserved fort and several ancient cannons, the region is notable for its lighting Discovery Center, campgrounds, and beachfront and fishing options.
15. Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
Established in 1565, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the oldest church in the United States. It was renovated in the early 18th century. The Renaissance bell tower, a replica of the Vatican’s Pauline Chapel, and Victorian tinted windows make this monument worth visiting if you are a fan of history.
The great cathedral walls are covered with stunning paintings depicting episodes from the past of the Catholic Church as a symbol of the wealth of the New World.
16. Fort Myers
Built on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers was a fort to protect the settlers from the Seminole Indians. Presently, Fort Myers has been transformed into a modern commercial center. Every year, hundreds of tourists visit the lovely beaches of the area for a getaway. You will not run out of activities to enjoy in this little area.
17. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is the biggest marine park in the US with an extensive area of 172,000-acre. It is 95% underwater. This outstanding park consists of 4 unique ecosystems: Biscayne Bay, the Mangroves, coral reef and the Florida Keys.
You will enter a new aquatic world once you visit this park. It is the best place for snorkeling, kayaking, diving, birdwatching and more exciting activities. The underwater Maritime Heritage Trail is a unique dive site where many shipwrecks are found.
18. Florida Keys
Situated 120 miles from the southern tip of Florida, is a tropical island, Florida Keys. It is a string of tropical islands situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It starts 15 miles from Miami to the Dry Tortugas National Park.
Is it possible to explore all of these famous Florida sites in only one trip? If you’re determined, you could be able to visit them all, as well as discover other fun things to do in Florida!