Whether it is for summer break or if you simply want to soak up the sun, Florida is the best place to be. Because of its spectacular beaches, and raucous nightlife, it is known as ‘The Sunshine State’.
Every year, millions of people visit Florida to explore the culture, natural beauty and history of the beautiful state. Located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, there are tons of sights to explore and activities for everyone to enjoy fully in Florida.
With this list of the best places to visit in Florida, life will be easier for you to navigate and plan your trip in Florida.
Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, Clearwater is a popular destination for its spectacular 3-mile-long beaches, warm weather and narrow reef. It is one of the best destinations for family trips. You and your family can explore the fancy hotels, bars, restaurants, and resorts.
There are a ton of things to try out. For children, the first stop is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to take a tour of the SeaWorld. Couples can try the bars and exotic restaurants. The entire family can visit Bright House Field, where baseball players come and practice.
You might even get to catch some exciting baseball matches. In the daytime, you can take a stroll along the shady boardwalk along the trails of Moccasin Lake Nature Park.
2. Daytona Beach
Traveling 51 miles from Orlando, there is Daytona Beach along the Atlantic coast. Want to know what this area is most popular for? Because of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race that is held at the Daytona International Speedway.
People across the area come and enjoy watching the speed racing. Besides the car races and sandy beaches, you can also visit the Daytona Lagoon water park for a breathtaking aqua fun time.
There are waterslides, go-karts and even laser tags present for non-stop playtime. If you want to watch dolphins, don’t forget to visit the Sunglow Fishing Pier and even enjoy a relaxing fishing experience as well
3. Delray Beach
Florida is a coastal state, and one of the small coastal cities which is popular for its lovely beaches and lively community, is none other than Delray Beach. It is the heaven for art lovers. This eclectic downtown area is filled with lively art.
There are amazing art galleries and public art found in the Pineapple Grove Arts District. For the impressive collection of contemporary artworks, visit the Cornell Art Museum, which was founded in 1913.
This small city is also home to a 1925 established Creative Arts School and the Fieldhouse. The festive atmosphere, along with the year – round art exploration opportunity, this place will refresh the art lover inside you.
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The westernmost city of the Florida panhandle, Pensacola is an old coastal city. This ancient city has charming features that attract visitors, especially photographers. It is one of the remotest areas, so one can enjoy the quiet and safe atmosphere of the city.
You can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee in the small cafés across the area. Pensacola also has a historic charm as one of the oldest European settlements in the US.
The Historic Pensacola Village is restored to this day, so visitors can explore the 19th century architecture. For more historical exploration, you can visit the National Naval Aviation Museum.
5. Fort Lauderdale
When you visit Florida, one simply cannot get enough of the exotic beaches. Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to see more the picturesque beauty of coastal areas. It is located 28 miles north of Miami.
The long strip along the ocean is the best place to have a long tour. There are impressive boutiques, fancy restaurants and luxury hotels at the side of the strip. The visitors cannot run out of exploration tours. You can start with the oldest structure standing to this day, 1901 Stranahan House.
For enjoying a dip, you can visit the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park for a swim. To find out about the local artists and the history of the city, visit the NSU Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale.
Besides the extensive campus of the University of Florida, is Gainesville, a lovely college town. Only a 90-minute drive from Orlando, this city is the largest one in north central Florida. The luscious forests and rural lands surround the city. The students keep the city lively. You can take walks and simply enjoy the ambience of this lovely city.
On the southern edge of the city, you will find the Paynes Prairie Wilderness, a 21000 acre extensive natural area. Starting from hiking to wildlife exploration, this city gives the visitors an unforgettable time to relax.
This traditional city’s one of the main attractions is the Ichetucknee Springs State Park. You can sit beside the spring fed river of the park and enjoy a spiritual journey amid the calming nature.
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7. Key West
Key West is a part of the Florida Keys coral archipelago. This inhabited island is lively and filled with charming sights. To enjoy a mix of developed areas along with natural beauty, you have to pay a visit to this area. This westernmost island is closer to Cuba and the community living is lively and colorful.
Duval street is decorated with impressive restaurants, fancy bars and fashionable shops. One of the highlights of the city is that it was home to the world – famous writer, Hemingway.
You can visit his residential house and museum. Additionally, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservancy is a must-go destination as it has a huge variety of colorful butterflies flying from flower to flower.
8. Florida Keys
Situated 120 miles from the southern tip of Florida, is a tropical island, Florida Keys. It is a string of tropical islands situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It starts 15 miles from Miami to the Dry Tortugas National Park.
This coral archipelago is one of the most popular sites for visitors to explore multiple natural lands within the same area. The inhibited key, situated near the Dry Tortugas National Park, is called Key Weird, which is also a famous tourist destination.
You can boat and fish in any of the Keys. Other activities to enjoy are snorkeling, kayaking and diving. For a relaxing time, remember to sit in any one of the rustic beach bars and enjoy refreshing drinks.
When it comes to Florida, the city that comes to mind first is Miami. It is a major city and seaport in America. Miami is a city full of colorful and unique neighborhoods. The pastel – hued art architecture of the Art Deco district and the Latin energy of Little Havana makes the visitors enjoy a new taste of culture and uniqueness.
Besides the fancy hotels and stunning beaches, you can visit Coral Gables to explore the history of this beautiful city. If you want to go on a shopping spree, visit the Coconut Grove for a unique shopping experience. Miami is also well known for its marine life, so explore as much as you want!
10. Panama City Beach
Stretching in northwestern Florida along the Gulf of Mexico is Panama City Beach. This coastal town is well known for its lively beaches and rich nightlife. During the spring break, this town is buzzing with thousands of students who come to release all stress and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
If you want your children to explore the rich marine life, take them on a tour of Gulf World Marine Park. They can swim with dolphins for an unforgettable experience. To see the undisturbed dunes, take a hike or walk through Camp Helen State Park at the Phillips Inlet.
11. Fort Myers
Built on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers was a fort to protect the settlers from the Seminole Indians. Presently, Fort Myers has been transformed into a modern commercial center. Every year, hundreds of tourists visit the lovely beaches of the area for a getaway. You will not run out of activities to enjoy in this little area.
Starting from exciting activities like kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, swimming to relaxing on the sands under the sun, you can make a wish list of multiple activities. For children’s fun time, you can take them and visit the Lakes Regional Park and enjoy a variety of attractions including riding a miniature train.
12. Everglades National Park
When you visit Florida, you have to visit the largest subtropical wild area in America known as Everglades National Park. Located on the southern tip of Florida, this park spreads across 1.5-million-acre wetlands. It consists of pine flatwoods, sawgrass marshes and coastal mangroves. the area is home to a diverse range of animals.
Many rare and endangered species are also protected in this park, including the Florida panther, American crocodile, and the manatee.
One of the most popular activities among tourists is tram riding through the incredible Shark Valley. If you observe closely, you might catch sight of an alligator lurking in the waters along with gorgeous deer nearby.
13. Siesta Key
Siesta Key is a 9-mile-long barrier island off the coast of Sarasota. This tiny island has one of the most stunning beaches in America. Miles and miles of white sand and a breathtaking view of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico makes it the perfect place to take long strolls and feel a sense of calmness washing over you.
The beach is also perfect for enjoying different activities, including, playing volleyball, making sand castles and jogging with your pet dog. If you are looking for a bit of privacy to enjoy the tranquility of the sea, you can go to Turtle Beach by walking a little more.
14. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park is the biggest marine park in the US with an extensive area of 172,000-acre. It is 95% underwater. This outstanding park consists of 4 unique ecosystems: Biscayne Bay, the Mangroves, coral reef and the Florida Keys.
You will enter a new aquatic world once you visit this park. It is the best place for snorkeling, kayaking, diving, birdwatching and more exciting activities. The underwater Maritime Heritage Trail is a unique dive site where many shipwrecks are found.
The vast area of the park is the prime feature itself as you won’t run out of grounds to explore. It is best to join the guided tours to fully enjoy the exploration experience and catch up doing several activities.
15. St. George Island
St George Island is a 28-mile-long, unspoiled inhabited island. This island is one of the last remaining unspoiled islands of Florida, so you can imagine the untouched natural beauty of it. Situated in Florida’s Gulf Coast, the island has miles of remote and uncrowded beaches.
The tranquility of the island is seen from the crystal clear waters and shiny sands. You can spot unique wildlife amid the wild marshes of the island. For those who wish to have an isolated experience, they can go fishing, canoeing and bird watching in this spectacular area.
If you manage to get enough of a peaceful time, remember to visit the 1852 Cape Saint George Lighthouse, which is a very old lighthouse with breathtaking views.
Jacksonville is the largest city in the US in terms of area and is Florida’s most populated city. Jacksonville is well-known for its lively downtown areas that offer vibrant amenities.
Moreover, Jacksonville’s sandy beaches are some of Florida’s best party places. The population of this huge city is over 1.5 million and the average price of a home is $303,000.
17. Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay, renowned for its stunning beaches and its proximity to Disney World, is truly one of the best places to live in Florida. Additionally, Tampa has an African-themed amusement park.
Moreover, Tampa is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Florida. Tampa is also the perfect place to live for sports fanatics as it is home to numerous professional sports teams, including the 2021 Super Bowl Champions, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
18. Port St. Lucie
Situated on the Atlantic Coast, Port St. Lucie is an awe-inspiring coastal city that offers its residents many perks. Firstly, this city between two of Florida’s biggest metro areas, Orlando and Miami.
Additionally, Port St. Lucie is one of the best golfing cities in Florida, hosting the PGA Golf Club. This city has a population of just under 500,000 and the median price of its homes is around $233,000.
With the best cities and landmarks in Florida, this state has everything that you would want on your dream holiday trip. So whether to help you to make a reservation or make your bucket list for the trip, this list of the best places to visit in Florida is here to make your trip planning easier.