Best Florida Places
This gorgeous barrier island off the coast of Sarasota is a popular holiday destination for those looking for peace and quiet. Spend your vacation relaxing on Siesta Beach, which is frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and enjoy pristine white sands and many family-friendly activities such as beach volleyball, a playground, and hiking trails. Alternatively, travel to Turtle Beach for some shelling and kayaking. Listen to live music in Siesta Key Village in the evening before retiring to one of the island's luxury hotels and resorts.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park, located about 70 miles off the coast of Key West, is well-known for its excellent snorkelling and animal viewing opportunities. This secluded seven-island park in the Gulf of Mexico is a popular Florida day trip destination for nature lovers, home to about 300 species of birds, five varieties of sea turtles, and approximately 30 species of coral. In addition, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the 19th-century coastal fortress Fort Jefferson, located on Garden Key. Remember that Dry Tortugas National Park may only be reached by boat or seaplane, with a $15 entrance fee.
Islamorada comprises six islands in the Florida Keys: Plantation Key, Windley Key, Indian Key, Lignumvitae Key, and Upper and Lower Matecumbe Keys. Because of its location between Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this laid-back coastal community is a well-known sport fishing destination, attracting species such as sailfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, tuna, and tarpon. If you need to cast a queue, visit the History of Diving Museum or shop in Rain Barrel Village.
St. Augustine is a must-see for history enthusiasts. This hamlet in northern Florida, founded by Spaniards in 1565, is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States, earning it the Ancient City nickname. The beachfront structures and monuments of St. Augustine, from the pedestrian-friendly St. George Street to the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, serve as a live history lesson. When it's time to unwind after seeing the sites, head to Anastasia State Park, which has pristine beaches and dunes.
Clearwater Beach's stunning white sand, crystal clear water, and small-town atmosphere make it a great place for a Gulf Coast family vacation. Spend the day taking a Segway or helicopter tour of the city, or visit Caladesi Island State Park (only accessible by boat) for its undisturbed natural splendour. Make time to see one of the area's most popular attractions, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where the dolphins who inspired the "Dolphin Tale" films were rehabilitated. Later, visit Pier 60 to watch the sunset, buy locally created crafts, and enjoy diverse street entertainment.
Orlando is a year-round tourist destination due to world-famous attractions such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida. Still, there are many attractions and activities outside of the theme parks. Visitors can shop at outlet malls, play golf at one of the area's many courses, and get up close and personal with dolphins and stingrays at Discovery Cove. Those without children can explore downtown Orlando's revitalised nightlife and restaurant sectors.
Naples, a beautiful and lovely city, is about luxury and pleasure. This paradise on Florida's Paradise Coast is famous for its sugar-white sand beaches and world-class golf courses. There are numerous high-end boutiques and gourmet eateries, particularly along Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. Flora and fauna enthusiasts can also visit the Naples Zoo, Naples Botanical Garden, and Clam Pass Park, all nature-focused attractions. Art lovers should attend The Baker Museum or one of the city's many art galleries.
Visit this island in the Florida Keys to unwind at a beachside resort and see the continental United States' southernmost point. Key West is famous for its free-spirited residents, colourful conch-stle residences, and coral reefs, perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. Between boat excursions and margaritas, bibliophiles will appreciate visiting the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where they can learn more about the famed author and meet descendants of his six-toed cat, Snow White. Alternatively, visit Duval Street, Key West's main drag, for its cafes, shopping, and nightlife.
Marco Island, the largest of Southwest Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, is a sanctuary for water sports like boating, fishing, and kayaking. It's bright skies and white sand beaches entice visitors to relax, swim and look for seashells. Those who wish to get away from the beach can visit the Marco Island Historical Museum to learn about the island's ties to the ancient Calusa Native Americans, or they can search for manatees, sea turtles, and other wild species in the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Key Largo, known as the Dive Capital of the World, is home to the only live coral reef in the continental United States, the country's first undersea park (John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park), and the world's only underwater hotel accessible only by scuba diving. Other water activities on the Florida Keys' largest island include snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, and glass-bottom boating. When you're ready to trade your sea legs for solid land, stop by one of Key Largo's laid-back eateries for a bite and a rum runner cocktail.
Amelia Island, located roughly 30 miles northeast of Jacksonville, is a popular holiday destination due to its historical charm and 13 miles of uncrowded beaches. Walk around Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, where pirates once roamed, and the current shrimping industry was created. Go horseback riding by the water or play a game of golf on one of the island's highly renowned courses for some exciting yet relaxing sports.
Thousands of summer visitors make this place on Florida's Emerald Coast their home away from home. Destin's distinct, postcard-worthy white sands of Appalachian quartz and its pure, vivid blue-green water set it apart from other Florida beaches. With its 30-foot white dunes, Henderson Beach State Park is also a must-see. And Destin's small-town charm, manicured golf courses, excellent fishing, and shop- and restaurant-lined boardwalk continue to draw visitors year after year.
Everglades National Park
Florida is almost as well-known for its alligators as its beaches and amusement parks, and Everglades National Park is one of the greatest sites to see them. As the country's largest subtropical wilderness, the park is the only place where alligators and crocodiles cohabit. It is also home to endangered species such as manatees and panthers. The Everglades National Park has various paths and guided tours to help visitors navigate its 1.5 million acres. Visit between November and April (the park's dry season) for cooler temperatures, fewer mosquitos, and a better chance of seeing wildlife.
Few places can compete with the vivid, colourful Miami Beach. This Miami branch attracts everyone from peaceful retirees to night owls, thanks to its one-of-a-kind art deco architecture along Ocean Drive and the scantily dressed beachgoers on South Beach. But bring your credit card because those fashionable dance clubs and sleek, trendy eateries aren't cheap. Consider purchasing a Go Miami card before your vacation to gain discounted entrance to several of the area's museums and tours.
Like its sunny neighbour, St. Petersburg, Tampa draws visitors with its mild weather and outdoor activities. However, being Florida's third largest city, Tampa provides more action. Visitors can take a stroll or ride their bikes along the vibrant Tampa Riverwalk to see public art and brilliant light shows, or they can visit one of the area's museums, such as the Tampa Bay History Centre. Those with children can also visit the Glazer Children's Museum or The Florida Aquarium (with a stop at Sparkman Wharf for lunch) or tyre them out at the Busch Gardens theme park.
St. Petersburg, which holds the Guinness World Record for the most continuous days of sunshine, appeals to all types of visitors. St. Pete Beach and the 7 miles of beachfront parks will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. Downtown St. Petersburg has lots to offer away from the beach, including a museum dedicated to Salvador Dal's works and the Sunken Gardens, the city's oldest living museum. Every summer, the city also holds one of the largest Pride festivities in the United States and is home to a sizable LGBTQ community.
This Gulf Coast haven is ideal for nature enthusiasts. You may get sun at neighbouring Lido Beach or appreciate the butterflies at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Then, at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, you may learn about marine life and see manatees, sharks, sea turtles, and otters. Please visit The Ringling Museum, which honours former Sarasota residents John and Mable Ringling (of circus fame) with art exhibits, a circus museum, and tours of their opulent estate, Ca' d'Zan.
Cocoa Beach has something for everyone, from space aficionados to sunbathers and surfers. The neighbouring Kennedy Space Centre provides a close-up view of NASA's shuttles and launch pads. Visitors will discover one of the best areas in Florida to surf in the northern portion of Cocoa Beach, as well as the flagship Ron Jon Surf Shop, the largest surf shop in the world, which also contains the Florida Surf Museum. Visitors can also take bioluminescent kayaking excursions of the area's waterways or play beach volleyball near the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier.
Fort Walton Beach
Visit this little coastal town on Florida's Panhandle for family-friendly beaches, stunning golf courses, museums, and other attractions. Vacationers who want to do nothing can visit Okaloosa Island or John Beasley Park, which has brilliant white sand ideal for reclining. If you prefer a more active break, join a deep-sea fishing charter or try watersports like waterskiing and parasailing. Later, visit the Indian Temple Mound Museum to see the exhibits.
St. George Island
This unspoilt barrier island, located off the coast of Apalachicola on the Gulf of Mexico, attracts travellers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. The crowds of high-rise hotels that soar above other popular beach resorts will not impede your view here. Furthermore, you will be treated to relaxed watersports such as kayaking and snorkelling, breathtaking views from the Cape St. George Light, and pristine beaches like those at Dr Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park.