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23 Famous & Historical Landmarks in Florida

The following destinations and landmarks in Florida are worth adding to your itinerary!

The Sunshine State is more than beautiful beaches, theme parks, and key lime pie. Its famous landmarks and national parks offer excellent sites and picturesque adventures to experience!

From historic Forts to turtle islands, check out the many interesting landmarks that make Florida unique and interesting.

23 of the Most Popular Destinations & Landmarks in Florida

The following Florida landmarks are tourist attractions that are popular for good reason. They offer visitors gorgeous locations that are ripe for exploring and cool locations that history buffs will love to learn about!

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is a wetlands preserve that encompasses more than 1.5-million acres that were established in 1947. Run by the National Park Service, it consists of sawgrass marshes, coastal mangroves, and pine Flatwoods.

The park isn't just a national treasure, but an international one as well. It is also recognized as a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.

While visiting the park you can see hundreds of species of animal, possibly even an endangered West Indian manatee, leatherback turtle, or Florida panther. There are also more than 360 species of bird, including wood storks and egrets. It's truly a bird-watching paradise.

Castillo de San Marcos

This popular tourist attraction offers more than 450 years of history for visitors to enjoy. It is the oldest fort in the United States.

The fort was built by the Spanish in an effort to defend Florida's trade routes across the Atlantic Ocean.

You can view the fort's rooms, gun deck with 360-degree vistas of the ocean and city, and enjoy daily cannon firings. You can also take in a weaponry talk or guided tour to learn more about its historical importance.

St. Augustine

23 Famous & Historical Landmarks in Florida 2
Fort Matanzas

Did you know that Florida is also home to America's oldest city? Visit St. Augustine, which was founded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain in the year 1565.

Learn the history, visit Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas, Fort Mose Historic State Park, and Lightner Museum. Then take in Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, Ponce de Leon's “Fountain of Youth,” and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse.

You can also see the Old City Gate, and then pop over to nearby St.George Street. Then come back to take in a ghost tour.

There are many different things to enjoy that every member of your party will love.

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Overseas Highway

landmarks in florida
The Overseas Highway

The state of Florida is home to the southernmost point in the United States: Key West. That is one island that is part of the string of tropical islands off the southern tip of the Sunshine State.

The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile stretch carrying U.S. Route 1 through the Florida Keys to Key West. This highway is a classic American drive that is worthy of your bucket list.

All of the Keys islands are well-known for their incredible fishing, boating snorkeling, and scuba diving. There are SO MANY great things to do along the highway that we outlined the best for you in our Florida Keys RV Adventure Guide.

Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens landmarks in florida
Bok Tower Gardens

The historical site Bok Tower Gardens has been open since 1929. Designer Frederick Olmstead Jr. designed the tower along with founder Edward W. Bok.

It features a singing tower with bells that play and a beautiful botanical garden. The gardens were a gift to the American people, so founder Bok wanted to ensure their beauty.

When visiting, you can view many different tropical plants and trees. You can also take in over 126 species of bird!

Key West Lighthouse

Located in Key West, this historic lighthouse was erected in 1948. It is unique because it was opened with a female keeper, which was very unheard of during this time period.

Key West Lighthouse was manned until the year 1969. Due to technological advances, the coastguard no longer needed a person on the property.

Visit the lighthouse to learn more about the people that lived and operated the structure. You can also climb the 88 steps to the top to take in incredible views of the bay.

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Dry Tortugas National Park

About 70 miles west of Key West is the remote island featuring Dry Tortugas National Park. The park encompasses 100-square miles, and is mostly made of open water and seven small islands.

You can access the park via boat or seaplane.

While there, visit the magnificent Fort Jefferson, as well as the sandy beaches and blue water hosting magnificent coral reefs and sealife. There are also gorgeous blue waters to view, and many species of birds to see.

The best way to explore the park is by swimming. That also means you can view the magnificent sea turtles that the apr is named for!

More Landmarks in Florida

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

An image in the Kennedy Space Center, one of the 10 best museums in the United States.
Kennedy Space Center. Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

Talk about one of Florida's coolest historic landmarks: the center of space exploration! The Kennedy Space Center, once called NASA Launch Operations, opened in 1968.

The Center was home to the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs that launched their rockets from Cape Canaveral.

Kennedy Space Center has more than 700 different buildings, including the visitor complex. There, you can view a variety of exhibitions on space and the history of the NASA program and space travel. There is also a cafe that serves astronaut food to those curious enough to try it!

I wrote an entire article on how Kennedy Space Center is a Must-See Destination.

Walt Disney World Resort

If you want to break away from natural landmarks and take in a little family fun, consider visiting the magical Walt Disney World Resort. See the Cinderella castle and have a meet-up with Mickey mouse while at the magic kingdom. The park also has exciting rides and fun restaurants to enjoy!

Maybe you saw our post – You are never too old for Disney World

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

The Ernest Hemingway Home is one of the many perfect historical places that history buffs will love to check out! It was once home to famed American novelist, Ernest Hemingway, in the 1930s. The home is located on the island of Key West.

Cat lovers will also enjoy the cat sightings around this interesting historic house museum! It is rumored that wild cats are direct descendants of Hemingway's cat!

More Landmarks in Florida that Might Interest You

Florida is home to even more amazing places. The following is a list of other cool places you might like to visit:

  • Universal Studios
  • Seven Mile Bridge
  • African Queen Canal Cruise
  • Fort Myers Beach
  • Vizcaya Museum
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Canaveral National Seashore
  • Fort George Island
  • Art Deco Historic District
  • Biscayne Bay
  • Kingsley Plantation
  • Daytona Beach
  • Amelia Island

Related Articles

If you liked reading about landmarks in Florida, you'll enjoy the following articles, too:

Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!

23 Famous & Historical Landmarks in Florida 3

We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.

Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter. 

That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys. 

Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.

Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content! 

FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers

What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?

The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.

Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?

While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.

Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?

One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities. 
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.

Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?

Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or  Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.

But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?

Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-01-23

Mike Wendland is an Emmy award-winning journalist, traveler, and producer of RV Podcast, the RV Lifestyle travel blog, and the RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube. Mike, traveling with his wife Jennifer and their Norwegian Elkhound, Bo, has vast experience and a great passion for exploring North America, previously working as a long-time NBC-TV News Channel Technology Correspondent and now sharing his love for the RV lifestyle with millions. Mike is not only an adept RV life enthusiast but also a skillful storyteller, bringing to his channels stories from the road that perfectly capture the magic and hardships of this lifestyle.

2 Responses to “23 Famous & Historical Landmarks in Florida”

January 20, 2023at11:41 am, Quandlie DIngle said:

Its pretty good but it has alot of ads


January 23, 2022at8:32 am, Dan McWhertor said:

While you are in Florida, you might want to check out Solomon’s Castle. It’s about 1:30 away from the Fairgrounds in Tampa. Good seeing you at the RV Superhow.
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