Big Talbot Island State Park in North Florida

Top 10 Things to Do and Visit in North Florida

Florida, the Sunshine State, packs many touristic attractions and activities. The North is just as beautiful, with many natural wonders and historical sights, as well as smaller crowds. Travel at a slower pace and relax in serenity. Read on to learn about the best things to do and visit in North Florida.

Ghosts in St. Augustine, North Florida

St. Augustine is the nation‘s oldest city, founded in 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain. And it‘s also considered one of the most haunted places in the states. So whether you are a history fan or a fan of the paranormal, you will definitely want to visit it!

For example, there is the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum. It’s famous for great sights from the top of the 219 step climb. And also for reported ghost sightings. In 1873, an unfortunate accident took place: daughters of Hezekiah Pittee, head of construction of the St. Augustine lighthouse, had fun riding construction carts until the cart flew into the water and drowned the girls. Their spirits are said to haunt the place.

Another scarily thrilling place to visit is the Old Jail Museum. Prisoners were held here from 1891 to 1953 in deplorable conditions, there were hangings and more than one unnatural and mysterious death. You could also stay in Casa de Suenos: a bed and breakfast that used to be a funeral home. Whatever tickles your fancy (or paranormal senses).

Castillo de San Marcos

In St. Augustine, we also recommend visiting Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the US, built over 23 years from 1672 to 1695. You can visit soldier rooms, see cannon firing demonstrations and even drink from the Fountain of Youth!

The entrance fee is only $15.00 per adult. It’s open seven  days per week from 9 AM to 5 PM. Just be aware that there is a maximum capacity of visitors so you might have to wait if you go on a popular day. The site is crowded the most during holidays and weekends.

Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, one of the only two high-style movie palaces in North Florida

Jacksonville, the largest Florida city, has much to offer, and theatre is among these things. The Florida Theatre was opened in 1927. It is one of the four remaining high‑style movie palaces in the state and one of the two in North Florida (the other is in Pensacola). Elvis played on this stage, as well as Hozier and Paramore.

You can see ballet and opera performances, music performances, or movies with live music played.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Another great attraction in Jacksonville is the zoo. There are over 2,000 animals in a considerably large area. It is also one of the only seven zoos in the US with an animal wellness team, so the animals are well taken care of. The Gardens are also a great place to take a walk with unique plants and flowers. Learn more at their official website.

Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens

It’s also in Jacksonville! You could spend at least a week here and not get bored. Cummer Museum is the largest fine arts museum in Florida so if you are interested in art, definitely visit it. The gardens are also one of the most interesting in North Florida. Cummer Museum offers a broad range of activities, such as lectures, classes, workshops, camps, concerts, parties, many free events.

Talbot Island State Parks to enjoy untouched nature

If you are in Jacksonville, we also recommend visiting Talbot Island State Parks. First, there is the Little Talbot Island State Park. You will see white beaches and green woodlands, with ferns and moss-covered oaks. You might also be lucky enough to glimpse some wildlife, such as deer, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos, and bobcats.

Later on, there is the Big Talbot Island State Park with the famous Boneyard Beach Trail. On this trail, you can see skeletons of live oaks and cedars and can even climb them. It makes for a great photography session and a retrieve from the city life.

Amelia Island and Fernandina beach

Amelia Island in Northeast Florida, close to Georgia, is somewhat of a hidden gem. It‘s beautiful but very quaint, so it‘s a great place if you want to relax.

Fernandina Beach is the main town on this island. Once, it used to be a haven for smugglers. Now it is a cute and peaceful town. You can find many beaches, a lighthouse, maritime and history museums, parks, shops and everything you might need. Visit Palace Saloon, which is the longest-operating saloon in Florida. Also, consider traveling by Amelia Island Trolley: it is a great way to see all the historical places on the island.

Ginnie Springs for water acitivities

Do you like water and water activities? Then you should definitely visit Ginnie Springs, one of the best springs in Florida!

You will see clear blue waters and lush green nature. The water temperature is 72-degrees all year round, perfect for all water activities. Ginnie Springs even has underwater cave systems to explore. So go swim, dive, tube, snorkel, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and enjoy yourself!

Ginnie Springs is in Northwest Florida, about 2.5 hours from Jacksonville. The pass is $30 a night during the high season. Bring a dry bag to protect all your valuables if you go there!

Swim at Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

In this park, you will find one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the whole world. There is hardly a better place to cool off during hot Florida summers.

It is also very beautiful. Did you know that scenes from Tarzan and Creature of the Black Lagoon were filmed here? Nature fans will love it here. There are great hiking trails, where you might spot such wildlife as manatees, alligators, deer, turtles, and many birds. You can also take glass-bottom boat tours. It is also not far from the ocean: just a 30 minutes drive to sandy beaches at Alligator Point.

National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola

Opposite Jacksonville, there is Pensacola, the westernmost Florida city. One of the main attractions here is the National Naval Aviation Museum. If you like aircraft, the National Naval Aviation Museum is a must to visit. It features 150 restored aircraft and more than 4,000 artifacts, related to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation.

Consider also visiting Fort Pickens. It was one of four Southern forts which the Confederate forces did not occupy during the Civil War. And explore Pensacola, with its Seville quarter, Palafox street, and more!

These are just ten of all the great places to visit in Florida. For example, there is the Devil‘s Millhopper, a 10,000-year-old and 120-foot deep limestone sinkhole. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens have the largest display of bamboos in Florida. You can see live butterflies from all over the world at the Florida Museum of Natural History. And much, much more!

We hope that you found some interesting objects to visit in North Florida. Perhaps you are a boater? Check out the best boating destinations in South Florida!

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