It’s not easy to come up with a list of the best places to visit in Florida because there are just too many. Of course, it’s not a bad problem if you have a month to travel. But if you don’t have that much time, we are here to help you.
Florida was named after the Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon, who discovered its Atlantic coast in the 16th century. He called it La Florida and claimed the state for Spain. The Spanish colonized the state until the 19th century, when it passed into the hands of the United States. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit in Florida so you can plan your trip and make the most of it.
Some attractions and destinations may be affected by COVID 19. Please check with each location for closures and restrictions, but Florida is open with restaurants, museums and theme parks are open. As the United States rapidly vaccinates everyone, things will constantly change in Florida. Check Visit Florida for guidance.
Best places to visit in Florida
A visit to Tampa Bay will give you the opportunity to get the best of Florida all in one region. Tampa Bay has theme parks (especially Busch Gardens), beaches on the Gulf Coast and even houses the Salvador Dali Museum.
One of the most beloved parts of the Tampa Bay area is St. Petersburg, which is located on the Gulf of Mexico. It is known as the city of sunshine, as it consistently breaks records for the number of consecutive days of sunshine it records each year. Visitors love St. Petersberg for its water sports, as well as golf, fishing and Tampa’s magnificent coastline.
If you’re not towing the kids, Miami is one of the best places to visit in Florida. It is known for its vibrant nightlife that can make you dance till dawn. The food culture is also revered for the best restaurants in Florida that are packed every night. In particular, you’ll want to try the Latin American fusion scene, which will blow your gastronomic mind.
One of the favorite destinations in Miami is Little Havana. The neighborhood was formed in the 1950s and still has a bit of that retro feel. Here you’ll get all kinds of authentic Cuban food, fun and flavor. If you’re looking for something quieter, head to the laid-back Coconut Grove neighborhood, where you can enjoy a coffee in a small Parisian-style cafe and then take a stroll through Barnacle Historic State Park.
If you love pastel Instagram filters, this place should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Florida. The whole area has a relaxed morning glow tone that lasts all day. Key West us is one of the Florida Keys and some would say it’s the best Key in Florida.
Key West is not only the southernmost key in the Florida Keys, it’s also the southernmost in the entire U.S. Here you’ll find all kinds of trendy bars and restaurants mixed among historic sites and surrounded by sandy beaches. Duval Street stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, and that’s not the only thing that’s cool about it. It’s where visitors to Key West go when they want to bar hop, as it’s home to more than 40 bars. There are plenty of things to do in Florida, and Key West is home to some of the best and most bustling. Check out all the things to do in Key West and Key Islamorada.
Orlando is much more than Walt Disney World, but it’s probably what it’s best known for to non-locals. In addition to visiting the world’s most famous theme park, you can also visit Universal Studios and do some shopping. Orlando is also famous for having some great golf courses, which makes the city a great mix for families who want to visit the theme park and have fun with other adults as well.
If you want to feel like you’re in Venice, Italy, without having to cross the ocean to get there, try Fort Lauderdale. The city is known for its canal system where you can take lovely boat rides at any time of the day. Fort Lauderdale has 300 miles of canals and you can choose how you want to explore them. You can choose from romantic gondola rides on the canal or hire a water taxi to take you from place to place. Of course, if you want to enjoy the entire canal system without getting in the way, you can stroll along the canals and have a romantic picnic nearby.
If you like history, you’ll definitely want to visit St. Augustine. It is the oldest European settlement in America and has things in the city that pay homage to that. This means you can experience the windy roads and cobblestone streets of Europe without having to leave the United States.
In fact, the Castillo de San Marcos is one of the best places to visit in Florida if you’re a history buff. It is an ancient fort that the Spanish built to protect Florida. The Castillo de San Marcos is also a fantastic example of historic construction techniques that you don’t see anymore. Once you’ve had your fill of history, you can soak up the sun and waves at the local beach.
There are plenty of interesting man-made places in Florida, but don’t forget about all the places that Mother Nature has created. Florida has some of the most beautiful national parks in the country. If it’s experiences you’re looking for, a visit to Florida isn’t complete without a trip to Everglades National Park, which is also a World Heritage Site. Everglades National Park is an international biosphere reserve and is home to several endangered species, such as the Florida panther. Everglades National Park also offers seaplane tours, so you can see all kinds of sights as you cruise through the water. The park also has hiking trails, 4×4 tours and extreme sports, among many other things to do.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Totugas is one of the best places to visit in Florida to get off the beaten path. Located 113 km from Key West, it is one of the most remote national parks in the United States. Used as a fort to defend against the Spanish during the Spanish-American War, Dry Tortugas was in operation between 1845 and 1876. Today the remains of the fort still stand and there are beautiful beaches with camping opportunities.
Other favorite parks to visit in Florida are Henderson Beach State Park, Biscayne National Park, and Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve.
Amusement parks to visit.
Let’s move on now to the man-made parks. If you like high speeds and thrills, then you will want to visit all the theme parks that Florida has to offer. And don’t assume that these amusement parks are just for kids, as they have rides like roller coasters and attractions that will make even the bravest of your loved ones gasp for breath.
Disney World is probably the most well-known of Florida’s theme parks, but don’t stop there, Universal Orlando Resort has the Island of Adventure, which contains the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can also visit Busch Gardens, Epcot Center, Universal Studios, Legoland and others.
Beaches to visit
Florida beaches are some of the best places to visit in Florida. There are sandy beaches all over the state and each beach has its own ambiance. You can visit South Beach in Miami to see and be seen or head to West Palm Beach to go on a waterslide at one of their water parks. There are also many other beaches, such as Miami Beach, St. Pete Beach west of St. Petersburg, and Lido Beach in Sarasota.
Other must-see beaches include Palm Beach, Panama City Beach, Delray Beach, and Clearwater Beach, just to name a few. Panama Beach is known for its good fishing as well as excellent diving. St. Pete Beach is famous for its amazing water sports. Water sports include wakeboarding, parasailing and a whole lot more.
Whether you want to take a walk on the beach or just lay on the beach, you have a wide selection of places in Florida that are beach-friendly with plenty of things to do when you’re done laying on the beach.
Daytona Beach is one of our favorite places to visit in Florida. In fact, Daytona was the first trip Dave and I took together when we met. We hopped in Dave’s Ford Topaz and took a trip down south for spring break. We’ve been back many times since – how could we not love it? With 23 miles of white sand, great hotels, and so many things to do. (coming soon) Daytona Beach is a vacationer’s stop.
Amelia Island is one of the best destinations in all of Florida if you like quaint and pretty. It receives more visitors than all the other barrier islands and has won the hearts of the jet set, as evidenced by the plethora of high-end hotels and golf clubs that dot this luxurious Atlantic Ocean island.
If you’re looking for a fun day trip, you should visit Sanibel Island. Almost the entire island is covered by wildlife refuges, giving you the opportunity to get up close to all kinds of creatures, such as alligators. Sanibel Island also has some beautiful beaches when the wildlife is over.
Caladesi Island State Park
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, Caladesi Island State Park is one of the cleanest and most pristine places in Florida. It can only be reached by boat, and once there, the only options for staying are cabins or boat camping. Found by the Spanish in the 17th century, this island in the Gulf of Mexico still retains an ancient magic that has not been marred by the hands of time.
This island is steeped in history, yet most people know it for its amazing Worth Avenue shopping, high-end restaurants and mile-long resorts. You can enjoy the new and the old at the same time, which makes visiting this part of Florida even more fun. You can visit the Boca Raton Historical Society’s Train Museum, the Inlet Lighthouse and Henry Flagler’s former residence, which is now a museum. After all that history, enjoy the foodie paradise.
This museum is a tourist destination for lovers of The Greatest Show on Earth. John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers Circus fame, was one of Florida’s most famous residents. In addition to his opulent mansion, Ringling owned many properties in Florida. And in the 1920s he built the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida. The museum houses Ringling’s private collection, as well as an entire section dedicated to preserving the history of the circus. The museum is one of the best places in Florida to visit as a family, as it has something for everyone to learn and enjoy.
Whether you want to relax with a beach and shopping vacation or stay active by fishing, golfing, or taking in the state’s wildlife, you’ll find it all in Florida. The state has a distinct vibe that you can’t quite put your finger on, but makes you want to stay longer and come back for more. Tell us your favorite places in Florida
If you’ve ever dreamed of being an astronaut, a visit to Cape Canaveral is a must. For most of us, it’s as close as we’re ever going to get to launching ourselves into space. And most people who visit have something different in the air. Visitors can tour the Kennedy Space Center, where they have a chance to meet an astronaut. They also have the chance to see a full-scale model of the Atlantis spacecraft, visit the rocket garden and immerse themselves in a 4D space experience at the Imax cinema. This is one of the best places to visit, not only in Florida, but in the entire United States, for space enthusiasts.
The answer to this question is quite subjective, however, one of the prettiest places in all of Florida has to be St. Augustine. The reason is that when you visit the city, you feel like you have stepped back to a pristine and beautiful time with cobblestone streets and old architecture.
There are so many things to do in Florida and Orlando is a great place to do them. The reason is that Walt Disney World has something for everyone and outside of the theme park, you have amazing golf courses, fantastic restaurants and beautiful beaches. If it’s your first trip to Florida and you’re going with a group, this is the place you want to start because you’ll find something to do for everyone.
If you want to enjoy the “fun in the sun” experience without paying Miami Beach prices, we recommend visiting Panama City Beach or Clearwater Beach. There are also a number of inexpensive activities there, such as biking and fishing. Plus, since they’re known for their affordability, you’ll find that you can get all kinds of tasty cuisine at a fraction of the cost you’d expect to pay in the Florida Keys or Miami. In fact, Clearwater Beach is known for Pier 60, one of the most unique places in the world. You can walk along this pier for 60 feet all the way out into the Gulf of Mexico. The views are beautiful and it’s free.
Fort Myers is a great place to take a getaway this weekend. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. However, that’s not all, it’s steeped in history. Two of the world’s most famous inventors have their own museums here. You can visit the Thomas Edison Museum and the Henry Ford Museum in one place. Fort Myers is also known for its excellent fishing and shopping, which could make for a great couple’s trip.
And these are the best places to visit in Florida. This destination has great potential with so many amusement parks, state parks, beaches and cities, there is something for everyone.
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