Every year, millions of people flock to Florida to enjoy the state’s gorgeous coastline, warm weather, Disney World, and miles of white sand beaches.
However, the Sunshine State is also a state with a lot of history, and there is no shortage of famous landmarks.
We’ve compiled this list of some of the most famous landmarks in Florida, and we feature everything from museums to resorts. Let’s dive in and explore some of Florida’s best landmarks.
Famous Landmarks in Florida
1. Everglades National Park
The Everglades National Park is one of two parks that borders Miami, Florida. You can visit the Everglades by traveling about an hour from Miami’s downtown.
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With over 1.5 million acres, Everglades National Park is one of the largest wetlands preserves in the U.S. The Everglades National Park is run by the National Park Service, and you can take in pine Flatwoods, coastal mangroves, and sawgrass marshes.
Besides being an American treasure, the Everglades National Park is also recognized as an International Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance. Moreover, the area is protected by the Cartagena Treaty.
When you visit the Everglades, you can witness hundreds of animal species, including leatherback turtles, Florida panthers, the endangered West Indian Manatee, and over 70 types of fish. If you’re a bird-watching enthusiast, you can enjoy viewing more than 360 bird species.
2. Castillo de San Marcos National
Built in 1695, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument was constructed in St. Augustine by the Spanish. The purpose of the structure was to defend the Atlantic trade route and Florida.
The fort, which is the oldest stone fort in the U.S., was decommissioned at a military fort in 1933. Now, the fort serves as a repository of more than 450 years of Florida history.
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When you tour the Catillo de San Marcos National Monument, you can enjoy seeing the gun deck, the rooms in the fort, and breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and the ocean. Every day, cannons are fired.
While touring the fort, be sure to take in a guided tour or weaponry talk so you can learn more about the history of this historic monument.
3. Walt Disney World Resort
If you and the family need a bread from visiting historic landmarks, very few Florida places offer more fun and memories than Disney World.
Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort barely needs an introduction. A visit to this amazing resort is on the bucket list of most children in the U.S., and many children around the world.
Dubbed “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disney World offers plenty of fun for people of all ages, not just children. You can find accommodations in Disney-themed hotels or stay elsewhere in the area.
Don’t miss a meet-up with Mickey Mouse or a visit to Cinderella’s beautiful castle. Best of all, you don’t have to leave the park to eat.
4. The Hemingway Home and Museum
Ernest Hemingway was one of the greatest American authors to ever live, and you can tour the home he enjoyed in Key West, Florida. Hemingway lived in the home in the 1930s. These days, the home is a Hemingway museum that covers the author’s career and life.
For much of his life, Hemingway lived in Key West, Florida in this house. Approximately 70% of Hemingway’s writing was done in this little home.
If you love cats, here is a fun fact. The wild cats that live near the home are supposedly direct descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s beloved cat, Snow White. The reason it’s believed that these feral cats are descended from Hemingway’s cat is that they are Polydactyl cats (cats with six toes).
5. Dry Tortugas National Park
While you’re visiting Key West and touring Ernest Hemingway’s home, take the time to travel 70 miles west of the area to a remote island that is the home of Dry Tortugas National Park. The park is located on 100 square miles and is comprised of seven small islands and open water.
The National Park Service says that Dry Tortugas National park is one of the most difficult national parks to get to.
To get to the park, you can take either a seaplane or a boat. When visiting the island, be sure to tour the majestic Fort Jefferson. You can also enjoy the white sand beaches and gorgeous blue water. In this area, you can view plenty of sealife and magnificent coral reefs.
What is the best way to explore Dry Tortugas National Park? By swimming. You’ll be in good company because huge sea turtles that give the park its name will be right there with you.
6. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, is famous for being the hub of space explorations, and the facility also has a visitor’s museum. At one time, this space center was called NASA Launch Operations, and the facility has been in existence since 1968.
The Apollo and Space Shuttle programs were born here, and their rockets were launched from Cape Canaveral. With 700 different buildings, the visitor’s center is just a small part of this huge complex.
At the visitor’s center, you can view several different exhibitions that explore the history of space travel and NASA. One of the most fun activities at the Kennedy Space Center is eating astronaut food at the on-site cafe.
7. Bok Tower Gardens
If you enjoy beautiful architecture and scenic landscapes, don’t miss a visit to Bok Tower Gardens when you’re in Florida. As one of Florida’s most famous landmarks since 1929, there is a lot of gorgeous nature to see in these gardens.
Bok Tower Gardens are located on about 250 acres, and the gardens were designed by the founder, Edward W. Bok, along with Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., as a gift to the American people. As you walk along tree-lined pathways, you can enjoy the gorgeous floral displays, countless tropical trees and plants, and see about 126 wild bird species.
While at Bok Tower Gardens, be sure to check out the Singing Tower that’s 205 feet tall and has bells. While there, you can also tour the Pinewood Estate Mansion and time travel to see what life was like in the area in the 1930s.
8. Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Standing at a majestic 175 feet tall, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse has 203 steps. This is Florida’s tallest lighthouse, and it’s located only 10 miles south of Daytona Beach, Florida, so it’s easy for most travelers to access.
The lighthouse is located between Cape Canaveral Light and St. Augustine Light, and since 1998, it has been a National Historic Landmark. There are only 10 other lighthouses in the U.S. that have earned this important designation.
When visiting the lighthouse, sign up for a self-guided tour to get the most out of your trip there. You can see the lighthouse, and also tour the lighthouse keeper’s dwellings. The museum is open seven days a week, so whatever day you want to visit, you can take the self-guided tour.
Best of all, this is a lighthouse you can climb.
9. The Dalí (Salvador Dalí Museum)
Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, the Salvador Dalí Museum is dedicated to the work of the famous Spanish surrealist artist. Dalí is renowned for his precise draftmanship, technical skill, and the bizarre and striking images found in his work.
Reports say that the museum cost more than $30 million to construct, and it features a museum structure that was inspired by surrealism. One of the most impressive features of the museum is the huge skylight and glass entryway that’s made of glass that’s 105 inches thick.
The collection at the museum includes more than 100 drawings and watercolors, 96 oil paintings, and 1,300 photographs, graphics, and sculptures, along with an extensive archival library and objets d’art.
This museum has more masterpieces than any Dalí museum, and it has large paintings such as The Discovery of America by Christopher Coumbus. Other famous artworks at the museum include The Ecumenical Council, The Disinteration of the Persistence of Memory, and the Halucinogenic Toreador.
In addition to the beautiful museum, you can also attend workshops, performances, lectures, events, and even food and drink parties at the museum. Every week, poets perform, and you can enjoy activities such as coffee with a curator.
10. Overseas Highway
When you’re traveling to the Florida Keys and Key West, you’ll get there by traveling the Overseas Highway.
The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands that are located off of Florida’s southern tip.
For 113 miles, the Overseas Highway tracks along U.S. Route 1 all the way down to Key West.
While traveling the highway, feel free to stop off along the way for swimming, dining, snorkeling, boating, and some of the best fishing in the world.