Video games may have a bad rep for being mindless or "nerdy", but if you grew up on classics like Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, or Soul Calibur, you know that these stories have in-depth plots and complex characters. Even old favorites like Super Mario, Sonic, and Spyro are works of art in their own way. If you’re looking for some new, less-pixelated adventures to go on this summer, then check out these cool spots in Florida that will make you feel like you’re in a video game universe!

From natural spaces that evoke all the western feels of Red Dead Redemption, to abandoned wonders that make you feel like you’ve just stepped into Jurassic Park, these Florida locales are amazing to visit even if you aren’t a gamer geek.

And if you’re still replenishing your savings after splurging on that new console, don’t worry, most of these places are super cheap, if not free, to visit.

So put the controller down, go get some fresh air, and bring your player-two pals along when you check out these awesome spots in Florida that feel like a video game.

Tank America

Address: 9150 Ellis Rd., Melbourne, FL 

Why You Need To Go: If jumping in a random car and racing off through the city sounds like a tempting adventure, then you’ll love jumping in a tank, rolling through the mud, and crushing cars at Tank America. It’s probably the closest you’ll ever get to a legal version of Grand Theft Auto. 

Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens

Address: 950 Old Sugar Mill Rd., Port Orange, FL 

Why You Need To Go: There’s only one iconic theme song that springs to mind when you lay eyes on the frozen stone statues of the dinosaurs of DunlawtonJurassic Park. The haunting remains of a 1930s amusement park, the gardens are now free to explore. Let’s hope no one discovers a way to bring these creepers back to life. 

Vault 5421

Address: 5421 International Dr., Orlando, FL 

Why You Need To Go: No, the world has not ended and turned into a Mad Max wasteland, but at this post-apocalyptic bar with Fallout vibes, it sure feels like it! A must-go for gamers, but you’ll have to find it first. Hint: check in the back of the Gods & Monsters comic shop.

Tactical Laser Tag at Tank America

Address: 9150 Ellis Rd., Melbourne, FL 

Why You Need To Go: After you’ve had your fill of tank shenanigans, invoke your inner Call of Duty soldier and challenge your friends to some realistic laser tag.

Cloak and Blaster

Address: 875 Woodbury Rd #108, Orlando, FL 

Why You Need To Go: Final Fantasy nerds will feel right at home at the long fantasy pub-style community tables, and walls decorated with paraphernalia from all your favorite video games and movies. Even better, the top floor is a video game lounge with different consoles. Raise a pint to that!

Suwannee River Bridge – Abandoned Bridge to Nowhere

Address: 3061-3077 93rd Dr. Live Oak, FL along the Suwannee River

Why You Need To Go: Fans of Silent Hill will get immediately creeped out at this hauntingly beautiful graffiti-covered bridge. While you can’t drive across it, brave explorers can park by the road and trek to the bridge on foot.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park

Address: 100 Savannah Blvd., Micanopy FL

Why You Need To Go: Who knew Florida had free-roaming buffalo and horses? You’ll find them and more amazing wildlife at the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. While there are probably a ton of perfect pelts out there, they’re not likely to respawn like they do Red Dead Redemption II, so you should probably leave your hunting equipment back at camp with Dutch and the boys.

Joysticks Arcade Bar and Retro Lounge

Address: 69 East Pine St. FL 2, Orlando, FL 

Why You Need To Go: A bar of floating platforms, a toothy Piranha Plant, and of course, the chance to actually play classic Mario games will make you feel like you’re hanging out with your two favorite Italian brothers at this Orlando gaming pub. How many other video game easter eggs can you spot here?

Happy gaming!

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