In rolls the summer, and with it comes that spirit of adventure. Many of us probably have a Pinterest Board plastered with travel destinations abroad and dream vacations, many of which are in foreign countries like zen Japan, rich and historic Spain, or even the shimmering coasts of The Carribean Isles.
A ticket overseas doesn't come cheap - a flight to Madrid, Spain is anywhere between $1500-$1800 round trip right now, and that's before you even factor in the cost of lodging, food, and transportation to truly experience the country.
If you can't cash in for a trip overseas quite yet but need to satisfy your wanderlust, this list was made for you. We're here to help you travel far without ever leaving the Sunshine State with this list of 8 places in Florida that will make you feel as though you've gone to another country.
Morikami Gardens - Japan
Price: $15/adult, $13/senior, and $9 for children or free if younger than 6. Adult group pricing available at $13 per person - all admission prices include tax.
Address: 4000 Morikami Park Road Delray Beach, Fl 33446
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; closed Mondays and major holidays.
Why you need to go: A gorgeous and zen place that will whisk you away to Japan without ever leaving Florida. You can wander the gardens and admire the lush landscape or learn more about Japanese History at the museum - even the vending machines show the price in Yen.
St. Augustine - Spain
Price: Will vary on what all you decide to do and visit; Wandering around and enjoying the sights and architecture of the city FREE. The Lightner Museum is $15 and a popular place to see grand Spanish architecture.
Address: St. Augustine, Florida
Why you need to go: A stunning place to admire the historic and old world Spanish inspired architecture. Wander the city to see it everywhere - a plus, there's so much to do here. Check out the historic St. George Street for gourmet bites and coffee at adorable huts, insane milkshakes at The Sweet Spot, and shopping various shops on a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. You can even check out the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in the Oldest City in the U.S.
Kings Landing - The Amazonian Rainforest
Price: If you have your own kayak, canoe, or boat the launch fee is $10 to enjoy the river all day; if you want to rent a kayak it's $40 for a single person kayak all day or $50 for a 2 person kayak until 5pm.
Address: 5722 Baptist Camp Rd, Apopka, FL 32712
Hours: 8am-5pm, 7 days a week
Why you need to go: A stunning 8.5-mile river run that leads to a sulfur spring; as you wind down the river bends you'll feel like you were transported into the Amazonian Jungle on a safari paddle tour right here in Florida.
Sanibel Island - Carribean
Price: Visit many amazing beaches across the 15-mile island for free or a couple of bucks (It's $5 to park at Bowman's Beach), or you can cash in for an all-out beachfront resort stay that will run anywhere between $200-$300/night for an island retreat.
Address: Enter Sanibel Island, FL into your GPS if you want to explore more than 1 beach across the entire island. If you're looking for a beach recommendation, Bowman's Beach is one of the most highly acclaimed on the Island - located at 1700 Bowmans Beach Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957.
Hours: Will vary depending on which beach you decide to go to - we recommend checking the posted times for the beach you decide to visit. Bowman's Beach is open until 7am-7pm.
Why you need to go: Stunning spans of sugary white sandy beaches and turquoise waves along Florida's Southwestern Coast; the views rival those of the Carribean - a true island escape in the Sunshine State. You can also visit museums and a lighthouse if you're looking to do something indoors during your visit.
Bowman's Beach website
The Venetian Pool - Venice, Italy
Price: $13 admission if you're not a local, or a mere $5.50 if you are.
Address: 2701 de Soto Boulevard, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11am-6:30pmSaturday and Sunday, 10am-4:30pmThe Spring-Summer season runs from May 27th - August 18th, 2019.
Why you need to go: Swim in the U.S's largest natural freshwater swimming pool and take in all the magical vibes of Venice. This perfect pool will keep you cool this summer having recently opened their summer swimming season. Swim into the tunnel beneath the waterfall and gaze out at what feels like a little Venice or hang out deckside and admire the architecture up close and the waterfalls from afar.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - London
Price: $169/adult for a park hopper ticket at the door - they offer TONS of package deals on their website, always take a peek!
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
Hours: 8am-12am, 7 days a week.
Why you need to go: A magical world that will feel like you've stepped foot into the books or the movies; The architecture and setting gives off little London vibes with tons of shops to explore - try a butterbeer or get your own wand. They recently opened their Hagrid Motor Bike Ride too!
Devil's Millhopper Sinkhole - South American Jungle
Price: $4 per vehicle that seats up to 8 people; Pedestrians or bicyclists get in even cheaper for a mere $2.
Address: 4732 Millhopper Rd. Gainesville FL 32653
Hours: 9am-5pm Wednesday through Sunday, the park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Why you need to go: An adventure down into a sinkhole that feels like a miniature south american jungle or rainforest. The trees cast a canopy over the sinkhole that allows for a variety of plant life to thrive for the lushest nature views; they even have mini waterfalls down in the Devil's Millhopper!
*Bonus, the forest walking trails above the sinkhole give a completely different vibe, like visiting 2 different places at a single destination.
Epperson Crystal Lagoons - Maldives
Address: 31885 Overpass Rd, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm and Saturday-Sunday 9 am-8 pm
Why you need to go: A man-made 7.5-acre oasis that feels like the real deal. Crystal clear waters and light sands with a resort style feel that will transport you to a little slice of the Maldives right here in Florida. They have inflatable obstacle courses and other fun activities for you to do on the water too. It's also eco-friendly, using 50x less water than a traditional pool and 100x fewer chemicals.
No matter where you decide to visit, each place offers it's own unique and stunning experience interacting with nature! We hope to help add to your state exploration bucket list; may the summer Florida road trips with friends never end.
If you need more adventure inspiration check out these 8 fun day trips near Orlando, 8 unique indoor spots in Orlando to get you through these hot and rainy days, or if you're on a budget, these 8 free things to do near Orlando.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit a potentially hazardous location, you check for the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.