Florida offers a variety of pluses when it comes to tourist attractions. With beautiful beaches, amusement parks, national parks, and other unique landmarks, Florida is one of the most visited states in the USA.
For many, it is Orlando’s world-famous theme parks at Disney World and Universal, while Waterbugs and sun-worshippers may think of hundreds of beaches to choose from, and retail connoisseurs will find luxury stores and quirky boutiques in abundance in each city.
No matter what you’re looking for, Florida has it all. Here are ten of our favorite places to visit in Florida! Start planning your perfect Florida vacation today, share your ideas, and save this post for even more inspiration.
Miami and South Beach
Take a number of diverse cultures, add a strong dose of the arts and a splash of ocean water, and you have Miami. Looking at the fantastic art museums and the blossoming gastronomical scene, you might find it hard to believe that just a century ago, this colorful Floridian city was covered in swampland. Today, with South Beach before you and the Everglades behind you, you can walk through the bustling streets past historical homes with Spanish words and Caribbean music floating into your ears.
South Beach is the most exciting of Miami’s beaches, known for its Art Deco District and ultra-trendy pedestrian mall that stretches out parallel to the beach, full of water-facing outdoor restaurants, entertainment, and plenty of things to do. It’s also a popular honeymoon destination in Florida.
Check out our picks for The Best Places to Stay in Miami.
This beach is one of Florida’s oldest beaches and it has a long history as a tourist destination. It is also home to some of Florida’s most popular attractions like Daytona International Speedway and Ocean Walk Shoppes. This 23-mile-long stretch of the white sandy beach allows vehicle driving during daylight hours and offers nearly every water sport imaginable as well as a lively boardwalk.
Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or a loved one or going solo, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Daytona Beach. No matter where you stay in Daytona Beach, you’re always within minutes of countless adventures.
Fort Myers Beach
Located on Estero Island, it is the closest – and most popular – beach spot to downtown Fort Myers, though it is roughly 20-mile drive south. Still, travelers who head to the shoreline can expect wide swaths of clean, white sand as fine as powdered sugar, which is well worth the journey.
Fort Myers Beach is an excellent spot for swimming and sunbathing, as well as water sports like kayaking and parasailing. Rental shops for water sports equipment are positioned along the beachfront, and travelers can also reserve equipment ahead of time online through a company like Holiday Water Sports.
Adjacent to the beach and pier, you’ll find Times Square, a shopping and dining hot spot where you can grab a drink or enjoy live music.
Clearwater Beach is one of the most popular destinations for visitors and locals alike. It is a great place to spend a relaxing day on the beach, playing volleyball and sunbathing. Compared to other Florida Gulf Coast beach towns, Clearwater is a bit more upscale and expensive, but you get your money’s worth. Wide, groomed beaches, spectacular sunsets, and a centralized location for all that’s going on in Tampa Bay make Clearwater an inviting destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Beautiful white sand and clear, shallow water make this beach an ideal playground for families. The water is always warm and there’s usually a nice breeze so you don’t get too hot. There are plenty of places to eat, drink, and have fun.
The best time to visit Clearwater Beach is between October and December. During these autumn months, you’ll find low humidity, fewer tourists, and many holiday events to experience.
Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited and largest recreational resort in the world, containing four theme parks, two water parks, twenty-three themed hotels, and numerous shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreation venues.
You can visit the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot to see your favorite Disney characters and enjoy rides like Splash Mountain or Tower of Terror. Hollywood Studios is perfect for thrill-seekers with its many coasters. Epcot is widely considered to be the most adult theme park of the four at the Walt Disney World Resort, and with good reason. Not only are there attractions here that appeal to adults, but the entire World Showcase is full of things for adults to see, taste, and do.
Universal Orlando Resort Florida
Universal Orlando Resort Florida is a theme park resort in Orlando. It is owned and operated by NBCUniversal.
In addition to three incredible theme parks, including a water theme park, Universal Orlando Resort offers entertainment, shopping, and dining at Universal CityWalk, as well as onsite accommodations for every style and budget. It’s the only place in Orlando where you can soar over Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing through city streets with Spider-Man, and conquer the mighty Krakatau volcano — among other unforgettable adventures. Experience it for yourself during your next trip to Orlando!
Located at the epicenter of Universal Orlando Resort’s theme parks, Universal CityWalk presents an unbeatable combination of dining, nightlife, entertainment, and shopping. Whether you want to dance and sing till the wee hours of the night, chow down on a fusion of burgers and sushi, or play a round of movie-themed mini-golf, this is the place to be.
SeaWorld Orlando, Florida
SeaWorld is an excellent Orlando theme park and one of the few places in the country to see penguins, otters, dolphins, and many more amazing sea creatures up close! This place is perfect for families but is also great for solo travelers. SeaWorld is an amazing place to have fun and explore new things – don’t wait for an event or festival to come along to visit this fun place!
Between the heart-stopping rides and riveting shows and animal exhibits, you can easily spend a full day at SeaWorld Orlando. If you want to visit Aquatica Water Park you should plan to spend at least one-and-a-half to two days.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is an African-themed amusement park with a focus on animal encounters. They have one of the largest roller coasters in the United States.
As one of the largest zoos in North America, Busch Gardens Tampa provides an unforgettable experience for the entire family. The park is home to 12,000 animals representing more than 250 species. From alligators and elephants to hippos and hyenas, there is a huge variety of animals to see—and get close to. In fact, Busch Gardens brings guests face-to-face (literally) with more exotic and endangered species than any attraction outside of Africa.
Fly above the trees on a zipline and try your strength in a tug of war with a Bengal tiger in Jungala. The park’s large collection of roller coasters makes it Florida’s top spot for thrill rides.
Everglades National Park
Located at the southernmost tip of the Florida mainland, just before the Florida Keys, Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Since the park covers such a large area of south Florida, planning is a must.
Park’s acres are a mix of various ecosystems, from calm waterways to mangrove forests. In these complex systems, you’ll find a wide range of native water and land animals, including alligators basking right off the Anhinga Trail, herons and egrets feasting in the marshes, and slow-moving manatees cruising the bay.
Discovering the Everglades by bike gives you the chance to pause for wildlife whenever you choose. If you don’t plan to bring a bike, it’s easy to rent one at the visitors center.
Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach is often mentioned among the best places in Florida to vacation. It’s blessed with a beautiful beach and warm weather around the year. As a bonus, the area is also home to several other gems, including the nearby Sanibel Island, which adds another dimension to the beach getaway.
Fort Myers Beach is on the shores of Estero island, separated from the mainland by a narrow inland waterway and connected by bridges. The expansive beach is known for being an ideal place to see dolphins playing in the water and is full of top-notch resorts that are popular with families, couples, and celebrities.
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