From its theme parks to its beaches, there’s something for everyone in Florida, the American state blessed with perhaps the greatest diversity of tourist attractions. With a warm climate year-round, outdoor activities are always popular. Florida offers skydiving, water skiing, ziplining, segway riding, and much more, but you can enjoy these activities, frankly, almost anywhere. Here are five of the more unusual outdoor activities you won’t want to miss while you’re in the Sunshine State.
Watch Some Gator Wrestling
Gator wrestling has a long and colourful history in the state that was once crawling with these ancient reptiles. Watch a professional try out moves such as “The Florida Smile”, “Bulldogging”, or “The Face Off” as they tango with the reptiles. Many different alligator farms offer such shows, but Gatorland will give you the chance to tackle one yourself.
See the World’s Largest Bat House
There are several butterfly centres around Florida, but how about a bat house for a change? The University of Florida Bat House in Gainesville is the largest in the world, housing between 100,000 and 200,000 bats. They reliably emerge from their quarters 20 minutes after dusk every night, flocking out across Lake Alice to eat an astonishing half tonne of insects each night.
Race a Supercar
Daytona Beach is synonymous with racing, and now it’s possible to take a couple trips around the track yourself. Pick your wheels (Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, or Aston Martin, for a start), take some tips from the professional in the passenger seat, buckle up, and put the pedal to the metal!
Fly with a Jet Pack
Skydiving gives the feeling of flying as you fall through the air, but flying around under your own power and direction is far superior. Blast Off Adventures, near Orlando, offers up this taste of the future with their water-propelled jetpacks.
Take Part in a Pirate Raid
The oldest city in America, St. Augustine, puts on two re-enactments of historical pirate raids and a pirate gathering each year: Captain Drake’s of 1586 raid is commemorated in March and Captain Searle’s of 1668 in June, while the official Pirate Gathering takes place in November. There are battles, buccaneer parades, the Thieves Market, and good old-fashioned pirate merrymaking around a bonfire at night. You can volunteer to take part in the re-enactments or just appreciate the show. Either way, it’s sure to shiver ye timbers!
Florida holidays offer you the chance to wrestle a gator and be a pirate on the same day – on how many other holidays can you do that?