- Jimbo's (Miami): Located at the end of Virginia Key, in Key Biscayne, on the lagoon where they shot Flipper, Jimbo's has become the quintessential, albeit hard-to-find, South Florida watering hole, snack bar, and hangout for an assortment of colorful characters, from shrimpers and yachters to politicos. Dollar beers and excellent smoked fish are sold from a cooler, vacant shacks serve as backdrops for films, and visitors are able to test their skills in a game of boccie ball.
- El Palacio de los Jugos: This Miami institution's Little Havana outpost of fresh-squeezed juices and traditional Cuban fare offers a surrealistic, manic, old-world approach to fast food.
- People-Watching on South Beach and Worth Avenue (Miami and Palm Beach): As cliché as the notion of people-watching may seem, it's never the same old scenario on Miami's neon-hued Riviera, where equally colorful locals and luminaries proudly prance as if every day were the Easter parade. In Palm Beach, titled nobility, bejeweled socialites, and an assortment of upper-crust folks put on the Ritz along the city's version of Rodeo Drive.
- Alabama Jack's (Key Largo): En route to the Keys, veer off onto Card Sound Road, once the only way to get down there, and follow the Harley-Davidsons to Alabama Jack's. A waterfront biker bar, restaurant, and live-music joint on two barges, on Sundays Alabama Jack's is the place to be for country line dancers, many in full Hee Haw regalia; lazy folks whiling away the day over beer, conch fritters, and the best Key lime and peanut butter pie ever; and good ol', interesting folks passin' through.
- Swimming with the Dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center (Marathon): Of the four such centers in the continental United States, the Dolphin Research Center is the most impressive. With advance reservations, you can splash around with dolphins in their natural lagoon homes. It's an amazing experience.
- Underwater Stay at Jules' Undersea Lodge (Key Largo): We give this a vote as one of Florida's most romantic retreats, but this underwater hotel is also, hands down, the most unusual. Where else can you have a pizza delivered via scuba diver?
- Fantasy Fest (Key West): Mardi Gras takes a Floridian vacation as the streets of Key West are overtaken by wildly costumed revelers who have no shame and no parental guidance. This weeklong, hedonistic, X-rated Halloween party is not for children 17 and under.
- Columbus Day Regatta (Biscayne Bay): This unique observation of Columbus Day revolves around a so-called regatta in Biscayne Bay but always ends with participants stripping down to their bare, ahem, necessities and partying at the sandbar in the middle of the bay. There is a boat race at some point of the day, but most people are too preoccupied to notice.
- Swimming with the Manatees (Crystal River, north of Clearwater): Some 360 manatees spend the winter in the Crystal River, and you can swim, snorkel, or scuba with them in the natural springs of Kings Bay, about 7 miles north of Homosassa Springs. It's not uncommon to be surrounded in the 72°F (22°C) water by 30 to 40 "sea cows" that nudge and caress you as you swim with them.
- Wrangling an Alligator (Orlando): Play trainer for a day and meet some of the toothy stars up-close and real personal at Gatorland. You might even get to be part of the show, so hop on and hold on tight. Trainers will snap a photo before the gators snap back!
- See Who's on the Other Side in Cassadaga (near Daytona): Billing itself as the Psychic Capital of the World, this 115-year old spiritualist camp composed of psychic mediums, healers, and metaphysical mavens is as off-beat as it comes.
- Learning to Surf the Big Curls at Ron Jon Surf School (Cocoa Beach): Even if you don't know how to hang ten, this school will get you riding the waves with the best of them. It provides equipment and lessons for all skill levels -- beginner to pro -- at the best surf beaches in Florida.
- Channel Your Inner Picasso at Ruskin Place Artist Colony (Seaside): Ruskin Place houses an eclectic collection of galleries that are among the most original in the state despite its location in what some find to be (albeit erroneously), a most Stepford-esque community.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.