When you think of things to do in Florida, you might imagine relaxing on the beach, riding a roller coaster, or watching dolphins.
Although these are worthy pursuits, other, more unusual activities exist. Here are four of them.
1: Bet on racing crabs at 'Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island.
In this legendary ‘Tween Waters Inn tradition, the speediest crustacean wins the bet. You can enjoy the hilarious, one-of-a-kind Captiva Crab Races at the Crow’s Nest, Monday and Thursday evenings from October through August. Family races are at 6 p.m. and adult races are at 9 p.m.
2: Go on a camel safari
At Giraffe Ranch in Dade City, you can learn about exotic animals from the comfort of a 4-wheel drive vehicle or via camel-backed safari. And that’s just the tip of the sandbar. You can feed a giraffe, and interact with ostriches, lemurs and monkeys. You can also enjoy many of these experiences, including a camel-back safari, in Lakeland at the Safari Wilderness Ranch.
3: Sit on a real live alligator
At Gatorland in Orlando– also known as 'The Alligator Capital of the World' –sitting atop a live, big-toothed alligator is only one of many ways to relax. You enjoy jaw-dropping shows, a water-play area, a breeding marsh abundant in birds as well as gators, and peaceful, fascinating nature walks through the swamp.
4: Go hang gliding
I know, there are no mountains. Nevertheless, you can get airborne in the Sunshine State. If you want to see what all the excitement is about for yourself, you can try tandem hang gliding at Quest Air Hang Gliding in Groveland (west of Orlando), as well as The Florida Ridge, between Clewiston and LaBelle, and Wallaby Ranch in Davenport. This picture is of is me (a tandem instructor) taking a young girl for a flight.
Photos by Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA