exterior of outlet stores at lake buena vista factory stores in kissimmee orlando area florida open air shopping mall ewith spacious parking and cars parked store front black and white awnings khaki building with a red triangular roof over a yellow facade the remainder of the building is khaki with a flat roof

Florida Sports

Florida is the perfect place for sports enthusiasts. Florida offers opportunities to catch live games from Baseball to Hockey, and various levels including professional, amateur, college and more. Florida is home to many professional teams including three National Football League teams, two National Hockey League teams, two National Basketball Association teams, two National Hockey League teams, two Major League Soccer teams, one National Women’s Soccer League team, two Major League Baseball teams, and is also the host to 15 Major League Baseball teams for Spring Training. You’ll definitely want to catch a game on your Florida vacation.  

If team sports are not your thing, we have Fishing, Golfing, Surfing, Tennis and Racing just to name a few.  A fun thing to do on your Florida Vacation is drive on the sands of Daytona Beach where the Daytona 500 began. Florida is known for its excellent golf facilities both for the individual golf lover and professionally. Florida is even home to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine as a tribute to the sport. With year-round sunshine, Tennis is a popular sport in Florida with the Miami Open and Delray Beach Open hosted in Florida. Florida is also home to the US Tennis Association National Campus in Lake Nona Florida.   

red bridge through bamboo forest

FOOTBALL

Football is the most poplar sport in America and Florida is no different with three National Football League (NFL) teams to cheer on. The NFL season runs September through January. For more information about league schedules, teams, players and game times please visit www.nfl.com.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – The Jacksonville Jaguars compete in the American Football Conference (AFC) South Division. Their mascot is Jaxson de Ville, a yellow Jaguar. The “Jags” play their home games at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers compete in the National Football Conference (NFC) South Division. Their mascot is Captain Fear, a pirate captain. The “Buccs” play their home games at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers won the 2021 Super Bowl Championship.

MIAMI DOLPHINS – The Miami Dolphins compete in the American Football Conference (AFC) East Division. Their mascot is “T.D.” a Dolphin. The Dolphins play at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Miami Dolphins won two Super Bowl Championships in 1972 and 1973.

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

Florida is the proud host of eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Games and the NFL Pro Bowl each year throughout the state. If you’re traveling to Florida over the Christmas and New Years Holidays,  watching a college bowl game is a fun thing to do as the playoffs are played in December and January. For more information on schedules, league standings and bowl games, please visit www.ncaa.com.

HOCKEY

Florida hosts two National Hockey League Teams (NHL). The hockey season runs from October through April. For more information about league schedules, teams, players and game times please visit www.nhl.com.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – The Tampa Bay Lightning compete in the NHL as a member of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. Their mascot is “Thunderbug”, a black and white flying insect.  The Lightning play at the AMALIE Arena in downtown Tampa Bay. The Bolts have won three Stanley Cup Championships in 2004, 2020, and 2021.

Large archway gate with sign leading into Fountain of Youth property

FLORIDA PANTHERS – The Florida Panthers compete in the NHL as a member of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference.  Their mascot is Stanley C. Panther, a brown panther. The Panthers play at the BB&T Center next to Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise Florida (near Miami).

East Coast Hockey League (ECHL):

JACKSONVILLE ICEMEN – The Jacksonville Icemen play at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

ORLANDO SOLAR BEARS – The Orlando Solar Bears play at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

FLORIDA EVERBLADES – The Florida Everblades play at the Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida near Naples.

exterior outdoor photo of dezerland park orlando with a curved red roof and tall windows with a variety of antique historic classic collectable cars parked out front

BASKETBALL

Florida hosts two National Basketball Association (NBA) teams. Basketball season runs from October through April. For more information about league schedules, teams, players and game times please visit www.nba.com.

ORLANDO MAGIC – The Orlando Magic compete in the NBA in the Eastern Conference Southeast Division. Their mascot is Stuff the Magic Dragon, a green and pink dragon. The Magic play at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

MIAMI HEAT – The Miami Heat compete in the NBA in the Eastern Conference Southeast Division. Their mascot is Burnie, a flame or fireball. The Heat play at the FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. The Miami Heat are proud winners of three NBA Championships in 2006, 2021, and 2013.

SOCCER

Florida hosts two Major League Soccer (MLS) teams and one National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team as well as two United Soccer League (USL) teams. Soccer season runs from February through November. For more information about league schedules, teams, players and game times please visit https://www.mlssoccer.com/.

MLS

ORLANDO CITY SOCCER CLUB – The Orlando City Soccer Club  (OCSC) competes in the Eastern Conference in the MLS. Their mascot is a lion named Kingston. The Orlando City Soccer Club Plays at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

people stand under giant alligator mouth entrance to gatorland orlando the alligator capital of the world in 1949

INTER MIAMI CF – (also known as CLUB INTERNACIONAL DE FÚTBOL) competes in the Eastern Conference in the MLS. Their mascot is a heron bird. The Inter Miami CF Play at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

NWSL

ORLANDO PRIDE – The Orlando Pride competes in the National Women’s Soccer league. The Pride are affiliated with the MLS team Orlando City Soccer Club. Their name is a play-on-words as part of the Orlando City Soccer Club’s family, because a “Pride” is a lion’s family as well as speaks to the pride Orlando residents have for the women’s soccer team.

USL

TAMPA BAY ROWDIES – The Tampa Bay Rowdies compete in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division in the United Soccer League. Their mascots are Pete and Pinnie Pelicans. The Rowdies play at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida.

MIAMI FOOTBALL CLUB – The Miami Football Club competes in the Eastern Confernece Atlantic Division of the United Soccer League. Their mascot is Golazo, a Kingfisher bird. The Miami Football Club plays at the Riccardo Silva Stadium located on Florida International University’s campus in Miami, Florida.

arial view of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse with an American flag in front, surrounded by trees, people walking on brick paved pathway with lights illuminating the lighthouse at dusk with a pink purple and blue sky and big puffy blue colored clouds

BASEBALL

Florida hosts two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams and is host to 15 MLB teams for Spring Training each year. Baseball season runs from April through October.  For more information about league schedules, teams, players and game times please visit www.mlb.com.

TAMPA BAY RAYS – The Tampa Bay Rays compete in the American League East Division of the MLB. Their mascot is Raymond, an imaginary furry blue sea creature known as a “Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus” or a “SeaDog”. The Rays play at the Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

MIAMI MARLINS – The Miami Marlins compete in the National League East division in the MLB. Their mascot is Billy, a marlin fish. The Marlins play at the LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida. The Miami Marlins made history Kim Ng as the first female general manager in the history of professional baseball in 2020.

Spring Training

Florida also hosts Spring Training annually from late February through late March throughout all of Florida. Catching a practice game during the off-season is always a fun way to spend a day with the family in Florida. Commonly known as the “Grapefruit League”, the teams that play in Florida include the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburg Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Washington Nationals.

GOLF

Florida has the most public and private golf courses in America with over 1,300 public and private golf courses. Palm Beach County hosts the most golf courses in any county, while Naples has the most golf courses in Florida and boasts the second-most golf holes per capita in the country. In Florida there are four annual Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour stops. For more information on great golf courses in Florida, please visit our see & do page for some excellent full sized and mini golf courses throughout Florida to enjoy. For more information about the PGA, players, statistics and schedule, please visit www.pgatour.com

A male lion pants while sitting beneath a tree at Lion Country Safari

THE HONDA CLASSIC – The Honda Classic is played in Palm Beach Gardens on the PGA National Champion course.

VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP – The Valspar Championship is played in Palm Harbor on the Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead) course.

ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL – The Arnold Palmer Invitational is played in Orlando, Florida on the Bay Hill Club & Lodge course.

THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP – The Players Championship is played in Ponte Vedra Beach on the TPC Sawgrass course.

historic statues

RACING

Internationally known for the birthplace of NASCAR in Daytona, Florida, Florida is home to many professional and amateur racetracks and hosts annual NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One and drag races. Motorsports can’t miss visiting the Motorsports Hall of Fame America at the Daytona International Speedway. For more information on schedules, statistics, and races, please visit each track’s page for details.

Daytona International Speedway – Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, the Daytona International Speedway is home to major races Rolex 24 DAYTONA, NASCAR Daytona 500, and the Coke Zero Sugar 400.  For more information please visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Homestead-Miami Speedway – The Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of the biggest motor racing track in Florida with several different configurations for NASCAR, IndyCar and WeatherTech Sportscar Series. Major races held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway include the Dixie Vodka 400, Contender Boats 250 and the Baptist Health 200. They also host legal drag racing on select nights for visitors. For more information, please visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Sebring Raceway – The Sebring Raceway is known for being the oldest operating road course in North America. It is home to the famous Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in late March or early April as a competition in the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). For more information, please visit www.sebringraceway.com.

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg – The Firestone GrandPrix of St. Petersburg, hosted in the spring is part of the IndyCar Series. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg incorporates streets of downtown St. Petersburg and provides a week long festival-like atmosphere. For more information, please visit www.gpstpete.com.

Gainesville Raceway (Gainesville)  – The Gainesville Raceway is known for hosting the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Gatornationals drag race. Visitors to the Gainesville Raceway allows any licensed driver to race their own car, truck, or bike on the quarter-mile track on select nights. For more information, please visit www.gainesvilleraceway.com

New Smyrna Speedway – The New Smyrna Speedway hosts nine nights of intense stock car racing during the Daytona International Speedway / NASCAR speed weeks and hosts the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series hosting weekly NASCAR grass roots racing from March through mid-November. For more information, please visit www.newsmyrnaspeedway.org.

Five Flags Speedway – The Five Flags Speedway is located in Pensacola and is home to the Snowball Derby in December. Opening in 1953, it is one of the longest running racetrack for late-model stock car racing. For more information, please visit www.5flagsspeedway.com.

With over 1,350 miles of coastal shoreline, over 30,000 lakes covering 3 million acres of land (about half the area of Massachusetts), and over 12,000 miles of rivers and freshwater springs, you are never far from a body of water, making Florida the best place for water adventures.

The Atlantic Ocean is home to some of the best surfing and Florida is home to two USA Surfing competitions.  Florida is known for having the only live barrier coral reef in North America, making Florida the USA’s top place for diving, snorkeling, and underwater exploration.

Of course, all that water means some of the best fishing in the USA – sport fishing for not just fish but for all kinds of marine animals. Some of the most fun things to do in Florida include taking a charter to experience scalloping, lobstering or shrimping. 

sunset photo of a man and a child at sunrise or sunset fishing on a beach in florida with a beautiful pink and orange sky

FISHING

Unique sea creatures you can catch include lobster, scallops, crabs, oysters, shrimp, and clams. Popular fish you can catch in Florida are Bass, Sailfish, Snook, Red Drum, Grouper, Snapper, Spotted Sea Trout, Shark, Triggerfish, Red Porgy, Tile Fish, Amberjack, Barracuda, Hogfish, Bluefish, Flounder, Bonefish, Pompano, Sheepshead, Weakfish, Snook, Tarpon, Drum, Mullet, Lion Fish and even Sharks. When fishing in Florida, a license is required and there are many regulations on the size, whether you can keep them or even bring them out of the water so make sure to follow the FWC laws closely. 

DIVING

Scuba Diving is popular in Florida in not only the ocean but also the many springs and lakes. Florida has many natural and intentionally sunk shipwrecks throughout Florida including 12 ships sunk off the Florida Panhandle, and many other artificial reefs off Florida’s shores. Free dive or scuba into caverns, sinkholes, and caves in the natural springs. See the Famous Christ of the Abyss statue in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the Florida Keys.

Water Sports

For those looking for action on the water, jet skiing, wake boarding, parasailing and water skiing are popular on the many bodies of water in Florida. Nature lovers and water-sports enthusiasts alike will love swimming, kayaking, canoeing, boating, stand-up paddle boarding, and inner-tube floating down the many clear springs that flow throughout Florida. In many of the springs you can see through the crystal-clear water the fish, manatees, turtles, alligators and other wildlife that call the springs their home. Many of these activities are free or cheap when traveling to Florida. 

With so many things to do year round, consider adding a sporting event to your Florida Vacation. It’s always fun to cheer on your home team, college, or favorite team as they play against Florida’s Team.  Or get out in nature, relax, and experience the best nature and eco-tours in the country. Whether you are looking to get your heart racing or to relax and experience nature, Florida is the place for any sports lover. 

 

For more information about other awesome things to do in Florida, check our SEE AND DO page!

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