12 Best Places To Visit In Florida

Written by Joeri Van Overloop

Florida, located in the Gulf of Mexico is a state full of beauty, and the best way to explore its wonders is by visiting some of its most amazing places. With an expansive coastline, the Sunshine State offers plenty of beach front marvels and cool places that make it one of the top vacation spots in the country. If you're looking to plan your next getaway, look no further than this list of the best places to visit in Florida!

1.Miami

miami in Florida

When it comes to tourist destinations in Florida, there is no shortage of options with so many things to do in Florida. But the city of Miami stands out as an exciting and vibrant destination for travelers looking for a unique experience. With its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and diverse cultural attractions, Miami is one of the best places to visit in the state. From world-class shopping and dining to outdoor adventures, here are some of the best places to visit in Miami.

Start with South Beach - one of Miami's most iconic areas - known for its art deco buildings and stunning beachfront promenade filled with restaurants, bars, shops and galleries. Head over to Ocean Drive for some classic Miami beach fun or stay at one of South Beach's luxurious hotels for a true sun-and-sand experience.

Bayside Marketplace in Miami is a premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Situated overlooking the picturesque Biscayne Bay, this two-level outdoor mall offers an unforgettable experience for visitors to Florida.

It features over 150 stores from some of the world's most popular brands, as well as a wide range of restaurants serving up delicious cuisine from around the globe. With its beautiful waterfront location, lively atmosphere and great selection of shops and eateries, Bayside Marketplace is one of the best places to go in Miami. The mall also plays host to daily live music performances, so there’s always something fun happening around here to enjoy.

Accommodation: Best Hotels In Miami

Best Flights To Florida

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Florida. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Florida.

2.Orlando

lake lucerne in orlando

Are you looking for the perfect vacation spot in Florida? Look no further than Orlando! Located in central Florida and home to the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios, there are more than enough theme parks to keep you busy all day.

 But Orlando is so much more than its thrilling theme parks. From cultural attractions such as the Morse Museum of American Art, to unique experiences like Gatorland, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city with so many things to do and places to see.

To get you started the top places to visit in Orlando of you like theme parks are Walt Disney World Resort’s four different theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

For those seeking a day of educational adventure, the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando is an ideal destination. This world-famous attraction is home to iconic spaceships from a variety of countries, interactive science exhibits and breathtaking views.

At the space exploration center, guests can explore the history of space travel, view live shows and even go behind-the-scenes for exclusive tours. The Kennedy Space Center also features demonstrations on aerospace engineering and astronaut training as well as special events throughout the year such as Astronaut Encounters and Astronaut Hall of Fame dinners.

3.Tampa

tampa bay in florida

Tampa is one of the most popular places in Florida. With its unique combination of beautiful beaches and bustling city life, Tampa offers things to do for everyone. For a classic Florida experience, take a trip to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

This expansive African-themed park has thrilling roller coasters, interactive zoo exhibits, and plenty of live shows for all ages. If you’re looking for something more laid back, check out The Florida Aquarium which houses over 20 thousand aquatic animals from around the world including sharks, rays and sea turtles.

Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park is located just minutes away from downtown Tampa, it’s a great place for families and groups of friends to explore. The zoo offers interactive exhibits, such as Wild Wonderland, where guests can observe different kinds of wildlife, along with educational experiences that teach about conservation efforts. Plus, their spacious grounds make it easy to relax while still having access to fun activities like animal shows or feeding sessions.

Sparkman Wharf, located on the waterfront, is filled with restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues, it’s the perfect spot to soak up some sun while enjoying views of the Hillsborough River. Sparkman Wharf also features a large outdoor green space that is ideal for picnicking or lounging in the grass while taking in live music performances.

This lively waterfront provides an array of experiences for everyone. Whether you’re looking to dine at the best restaurants, or take a cruise along the river or bask in stunning views from nearby.

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4.Fort Lauderdale

fort lauderdale in southern florida

With seven miles of beachfront and a year-round average temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful city located in the eastern part of Florida. Whether you're looking for beaches, culture, history or shopping, this city has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to visit in Florida if you're in Fort Lauderdale:

First off, the Florida beaches! There’s nothing better than spending a day at a beach in sunny Florida - they’re some of the most picturesque locations around. Head down to Hollywood Beach Boardwalk to view stunning ocean views, or for an even more laidback experience, try out Fort Lauderdale Beach Park where you can relax on the white sand and take advantage of amenities such as picnic tables and outdoor showers.

Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, located on 35 acres of lush, tropical land, is a historic estate that offers visitors a stunning glimpse into the past. Owned by Hugh Taylor Birch and his wife Helen before being donated to the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation in 1993, Bonnet House features an early 20th century house filled with furniture and artwork from all over the world.

The grounds also boast a native plant garden, a butterfly garden, lagoon boardwalk and nature trails which make it perfect for outdoor exploration. It’s also home to fascinating programs such as guided tours or lectures that bring history alive through stories like those of local Seminole Indians. Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a unique place to spend some time surrounded by beauty, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is worth a visit.

5.Naples, Florida

naples in florida

Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an exciting city adventure, Naples is one of the best places to see and is the perfect Florida destination with so many places to explore. First up is the Naples Pier, a popular hangout spot in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. Here visitors can take part in fishing or simply marvel at breathtaking views while enjoying a picnic lunch.

Nature-lovers will appreciate Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary which offers unique wildlife spotting opportunities including alligators and birds like wood storks and bald eagles. For those seeking some culture, The Baker Museum offers art exhibitions from renowned local and international artists plus educational programs and lectures throughout the year.

If you're looking for beautiful, lush foliage and one of the best destinations to explore the natural beauty of Florida, then the Naples Botanical Garden is the place for you. With 170 acres of stunning landscapes and lakes, this botanical garden offers visitors a chance to get lost in nature, as well as to learn about tropical plants from around the world.

The botanical garden features over 1000+ different species of flora that are spread out across 9 distinct gardens. Some of these include the Sylvester Palm Collection, where more than 30 varieties of palms can be found; an Asian Garden with rare bamboos and gingers; and even an interactive Children’s Garden packed with fun activities for kids.

There are also special events held throughout the year such as cooking lessons, bird watching classes and art classes which make this destination especially enjoyable for all ages.

The von Liebig Art Center has been providing cultural enrichment for over 30 years, featuring a wide variety of both regional and international artworks. It also features a number of educational programs and interactive events that help bring visitors closer to the local artistic community. Individuals can attend lectures by visiting artists, participate in hands-on workshops with professional instructors, or take classes that are designed specifically for children.

Best Flights To Florida

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Florida. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Florida.

6.Sarasota

the Ringling mansion in Sarasota

Sarasota, on Florida's Gulf Coast, is the best vacation destination for anyone looking to explore the Sunshine State. From spectacular beaches and lush parks to world-class attractions and restaurants, this vibrant city has something for everyone. One of the best activities here is to take a stroll on Lido Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Not only will you be able to enjoy amazing views of the crystal blue ocean waters, but also take part in fun activities like fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding.

After basking in some Florida sunshine on the sandy shores of Lido Beach head over to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens where you can admire colorful blooms as well as find interesting wildlife amongst its banyan trees. Botanical highlights include some of the world's most spectacular displays of orchids and bromeliads. Other noteworthy specimens include, bamboo, ferns, cycads, and magnificent old banyan trees that are almost 100 years old.

Resting on the banks of the Manatee River, Manatee Village Historical Park offers visitors a unique learning experience about life in early Florida. With artifacts from Manatee County's first settlers, this park takes visitors back in time to see what pioneer Florida was like.

The grounds of Manatee Village Historical Park feature a variety of original buildings that have been restored and furnished with period pieces that date back to the 1800s.

The 12-acre park also has an interpretive center filled with interactive exhibits designed to teach visitors about what life was like for the first settlers who lived here during the 19th century. Visitors can explore a replica pioneer homestead and schoolhouse, as well as take a self-guided tour along walking trails surrounded by natural beauty.

7.Saint Petersburg

saint petersburg in florida

Saint Petersburg, located on the Pinellas Peninsula on the central Gulf Coast of Florida, between Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay has something to offer everyone. From the beautiful beaches, unique attractions and endless outdoor activities, Saint Petersburg is a city that's made for all kinds of travelers. Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or an action-packed Florida vacation, this sunny city has something for everyone.

The Dali Museum is a must-see if you're visiting St. Petersburg. This museum houses over 2,000 pieces of art from Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali as well as other renowned artists like Miró. The museum also features interactive exhibits and educational programs which make learning about art fun and engaging!

Another great attraction in St. Petersburg is the Museum of Fine Arts. This museum has a variety of exhibits on display and houses over 18,000 pieces of art. It's a great place to visit if you're looking for something educational to do with your kids or want to learn more about the history of art.

Fort De Soto Park in St. Petersburg, is located on the southernmost tip of Pinellas County, this 1,136-acre park offers stunning views of both Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The park is named for the fort located on the southern end of Mullet Key, built in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

The park features five interconnected islands filled with white sand beaches, mangrove swamps, freshwater lagoons filled with wildlife, and a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. One look at Fort De Soto Park and it’s easy to see why this place has been ranked as one of America’s top beach parks to visit in Florida by TripAdvisor and Dr. Beach.

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8.Key West

key west in the florida keys

If you’re looking for a unique and vibrant destination in the state of Florida, Key West is the place to go. Located at the southern tip of Florida, Key West offers a mix of history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. From fun activities like snorkeling and exploring the mangrove forests to simply taking in the stunning sunsets over crystal-clear waters, there’s something for everyone when it comes to visiting Key West.

Whether you choose to explore its incredible architecture or take part in some of its many festivals and events, there's no shortage of things to do on this small but lively island. As one of the oldest cities in Southern Florida with its colorful past, quaint cobblestone streets lined with cafes and galleries are just some of what makes Key West so special.

The Hemingway Museum in Key West is one of the best things to visit during your trip to Florida. Located in the heart of Old Town, the museum celebrates the life and works of Ernest Hemingway while also recognizing his influence on modern literature. Guests can explore the home where he wrote some of his most famous works such as The Old Man and the Sea, For Whom The Bell Tolls, and A Farewell To Arms.

 The museum itself houses a wealth of artifacts from Hemingway's time living in Key West including photos, furniture, books, personal items, and original manuscripts. There are also interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn more about his work and life throughout history.

At the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory you will get a chance to observe hundreds of butterflies from around the world but you’ll also be able to learn more about the importance of conservation. The conservatory is home to many species of endangered butterflies that are native to South Florida and beyond. Guests can walk through the beautiful gardens and take photos with some of these stunning creatures.

The knowledgeable staff will share interesting facts about each butterfly species, including their habitats and migration patterns. You can even take part in interactive exhibits such as choosing a caterpillar to watch its transformation into a butterfly.

9.Saint Augustine

saint augustine in florida

If you’re looking for places to visit in Florida, then Saint Augustine is certainly a great option. This city in northern Florida has a rich history and features some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. Situated on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, travelers can explore miles of the best beaches in Florida, and take part in various water activities such as fishing, kayaking and sailing.

There are plenty of historical attractions to be found too; including Castillo de San Marcos National Monument – an old Spanish fort – sitting on Matanzas Bay in downtown St. Augustine, as well as St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum which offers stunning views and was built in 1871-1874 to replace the original wooden watchtower.

Culture lovers won’t be disappointed either with numerous art galleries, museums and restaurants dotted around town showcasing local talent and cuisine.

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park offers guests an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the state’s most iconic animals - alligators. This zoological park is home to more than 2,000 crocodilians from over twenty species, including alligators, caimans, crocodiles, and even rare albino specimens.

 One can also explore exhibits like the Alligator Lagoon or watch a live gator wrestling show for a truly unforgettable experience. The park also features educational opportunities such as guided tours and interactive presentations about its resident wildlife species.

The Lightner Museum is a National Historic Landmark that offers an incredible look at the city’s past. Originally built as a luxury hotel by millionaire businessman Henry Flagler, it now houses an impressive collection of fine and decorative arts from the 19th century that highlight America’s Gilded Age.

The collections are quirky, and they include Tiffany glass, fine furniture, and porcelains, but they additionally consist of shrunken heads, mechanical musical instruments, a mummy, cigar labels, and other curiosities such as human hair art.

Best Flights To Florida

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Florida. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Florida.

10.Everglades

the everglades

The Everglades, located in the southern side of Florida, is a one-of-a-kind destination that will bring the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. With its vast wetlands, winding rivers and diverse wildlife, the Everglades offer visitors an array of activities for all nature lovers. From fishing to airboat rides to swamp walks.

Make sure to take a tour with an experienced guide at Shark Valley Observation Tower for unparalleled views of the park’s landscapes or explore the area on foot by going on an eco-tour with local guides who can provide information about the plants and animals you’ll encounter along your journey.

Farther west is Big Cypress National Preserve which offers miles of hiking trails with opportunities to spot alligators and other creatures along your trek. Looking for something more adventurous? Take an air boat tour through the swamp for a close encounter with wild gators. Or try your hand at canoeing or kayaking through the scenic waterways of the Everglades National Park.

One of the prettiest places to visit in the Everglades is the Flamingo Visitor Center. Home to over 350 species of birds, including various kinds of herons, egrets, ibis, and woodpeckers, guests can also explore miles of trails with boardwalks built through mangrove forests and saw grass prairies that are home to alligators, turtles, bobcats and many other native animals.

11.West Palm Beach

west palm beach in the US

As one of the best places in Florida to visit, West Palm Beach, located in Palm Beach County in South Florida is no stranger to beautiful sights. Its warm climate and pristine beaches make it the perfect destination for a memorable vacation.

Start with experiencing the beauty of nature at John D MacArthur State Park, boasting a wide variety of wildlife, stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway and plenty of activities such as kayaking and fishing. Discover history at Henry Flagler Museum featuring artifacts from Flagler’s former estate or explore exotic animals at Lion Country Safari.

Enjoy an afternoon on Clematis Street where you can find shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. Stroll through bustling CityPlace with its upscale shopping options or take a sightseeing cruise along Clear Lake.

Panther Ridge Conservation Center just outside West Palm Beach, is well worth a visit for anyone interested in animal conservation and Florida panther National wildlife. Located on 68 acres of land, the center focuses on providing refuge for exotic cats such as tigers, lions and leopards. The non-profit organization was founded by Judy Berens who opened it to offer a safe haven to abused, neglected or abandoned big cats.

Guests at Panther Ridge have the opportunity to witness these beautiful animals from a safe distance while also getting an insight into their natural habitat and behavior. The knowledgeable staff members are always willing to provide visitors with educational information about the species they’re viewing. Plus, all proceeds from visitor fees go towards helping maintain the care of the animals living there.

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12.Panama Beach

panama beach storefront

Panama City Beach, is a Florida city to visit at any time of year during your vacation to Florida. Start your day off by exploring St. Andrews State Park, where you can take in views of the bay from the sandy white shores of Grand Lagoon.

You can hop on a kayak and enjoy the wildlife in the area or simply relax under an umbrella as you soak up some sun. Next head over to Shell Island for a day of swimming, snorkeling and shelling - it's the perfect spot for families wanting to explore all that Panama Beach has to offer.

Gulf World Marine Park offers something for everyone. From swimming with dolphins or stingrays to watching sea lion shows and exploring an interactive museum, Gulf World Marine Park gives visitors the opportunity to learn about marine life while having fun at the same time.

The park is home to more than 50 species of animals including sharks, penguins and otters as well as loggerhead turtles, manatees and other aquatic life. Visitors can have up-close encounters with these creatures through a variety of activities such as feedings, educational programs and even touch tanks where they can get a closer look at ocean life.

Panama City Beach Conservation Park, with just under 3,000 acres of uplands and wetlands, located in the northwest corner of Florida, is an ideal destination for those who want to experience nature at its finest.

This park offers miles of untouched beaches where visitors can take part in various activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, and hiking. The park also holds a wide variety of wildlife including alligators and sea turtles that can be seen while exploring the conservation area.

The natural beauty of Panama City Beach Conservation Park is something that must be seen to be believed. The crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches provide the perfect backdrop for vacationers looking to relax or explore on their own terms.

For a unique view of the park’s flora and fauna, day trippers can take part in guided tours led by experienced tour guides who will give guest an insight into what makes this area special.

Best Flights To Florida

Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Florida. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Florida.

FAQ

Q: What is the prettiest place in Florida?

A: If I had to pick, I would say that the Florida Keys takes the crown as the most picturesque destination. Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, this string of tropical islands boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters, breathtaking sunsets, and a laid-back island atmosphere that is hard to beat.

One of the highlights of the Florida Keys is Key West, which offers a charming blend of historic architecture and vibrant culture. The pastel-colored houses lining iconic streets like Duval Street create a visually stunning backdrop for exploring local shops and enjoying delicious seafood at waterfront restaurants. Visitors can also admire Key West's natural beauty by visiting nearby beaches such as Smathers Beach or taking a sunset cruise along the coast while witnessing dolphins playfully swimming alongside boats.

Another enchanting spot in Florida worth mentioning is Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast. This lesser-known gem provides visitors with pristine white sandy beaches that stretch for miles along calm turquoise waters. The island's laid-back atmosphere and lack of high-rise buildings give it an authentic old Florida charm that feels like stepping back in time. Whether you're strolling along Coquina Beach or watching pelicans dive into the water at Bean Point Park, Anna Maria Island showcases unspoiled beauty that rivals any other location in Florida.

Q: What is best time to go to Florida?

A: For those looking for warm weather and a beach getaway, the peak season from December to April is ideal. During these months, temperatures range from 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C), making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Additionally, this period marks Florida's dry season, so rain is less likely compared to other times of the year.

If you prefer a quieter experience or have budget constraints, consider visiting Florida during its shoulder seasons – May through June or September through November. The weather remains pleasant during these months, with temperatures ranging from 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C). Rainfall may occur more frequently than in peak season but is usually brief and localized.

Q: How many days do you need to spend in Florida?

A: If you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation, spending a week or more in Florida might be ideal. On the other hand, if you're interested in exploring Florida's diverse attractions and cities beyond its beaches, a shorter stay may suffice.

Major cities like Miami and Orlando offer world-class shopping opportunities, vibrant nightlife scenes, and cultural experiences that can be enjoyed within just a few days. With iconic theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort located in close proximity to each other in Orlando, families with children will likely want to allocate at least two or three days for these popular attractions alone.

Q: What part of Florida has the best attractions?

A: For those seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Central Florida is home to some of the most thrilling theme parks in the world. The Walt Disney World Resort alone offers four major theme parks, two water parks, and countless entertainment options. Universal Orlando Resort also provides an immersive experience with its Wizarding World of Harry Potter and thrilling rides like The Incredible Hulk Coaster.

On the other hand, if you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere with beautiful beaches and natural wonders, South Florida is your best bet. Miami's vibrant culture and nightlife attract visitors from all over the world who want to enjoy stunning beaches during the day and indulge in exciting dining experiences at night.

Q: Is Florida an expensive vacation?

A: Florida can be an expensive vacation destination. Popular tourist areas like Miami and Orlando have a wide range of hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals, but they often come with hefty price tags. During peak seasons or special events like spring break or major holidays, prices tend to skyrocket even further. Similarly, dining out at restaurants in these areas can also be costly due to their popularity among tourists.

Another factor that adds to the expense is transportation. Florida is a large state with numerous attractions scattered throughout its different regions. Renting a car may be necessary to explore all the different places you want to visit. However, car rental fees can quickly add up, especially if you plan on renting for an extended period or opt for luxury vehicles.

Q: What are the best vacation spots in Florida for families?

A: One of the best vacation spots in Florida for families is Orlando. Home to world-renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando offers endless entertainment options that cater to both children and adults. Families can immerse themselves in magical experiences at Disney's Magic Kingdom or explore the thrilling rides at Universal Studios. Additionally, there are numerous water parks, museums, and interactive exhibits that provide fun learning opportunities for kids of all ages.

Another fantastic family-friendly vacation spot in Florida is Clearwater Beach. Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Clearwater boasts pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters that are ideal for swimming and building sandcastles. Families can enjoy various water activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, or even taking a dolphin-watching cruise. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is also a must-visit attraction where visitors can get up close with dolphins and other marine animals while learning about conservation efforts.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA

Book Your Hotel In Florida

You can book your hotel in Florida with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Florida

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Florida. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Florida?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Florida here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Florida?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Florida, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Florida.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Florida without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Florida:

Be sure to visit our Florida Travel Guide for even more planning tips.

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