Nobody can deny that Florida is a place of beauty and enchantment. Its squeaky-clean waters, pure white sands, shining shells, and calm atmosphere make for a great vacation destination. Every single city within the boundaries of Florida preserves something captivating from its past. However, each of them has unique architecture.
With its zoos, parks, aquariums, museums, science centers, and malls, the state draws millions of tourists every year. It is also home to countless events ranging from festivals to races. No need to mention the huge theme parks that it owns.
Grab your coffee and discover the 12 best places to visit in Florida through our list.
Miami, a city noted for its 120-meter tall skyscrapers, is situated in southeastern Florida. Thanks to its trendy shops, elegant restaurants, sun-kissed beaches, and countless outdoor activities, the metropolis ranks among the best holiday destinations all over the map. Believe it or not, over 15 million tourists have a holiday in Miami each year.
South Beach, also known as SoBe, charms every man jack with its turquoise waters and golden sands. On the other hand, Lincoln Road boasts everything from galleries and stylish boutiques to delicious eateries and beautiful cafes. Other enchantments of the city include Bayside Marketplace and Brickell City Center, which is actually a financial district.
Multiple events take place in Miami annually, with Miami Fashion Week and the Winter Music Festival prominently. In addition, numerous interesting museums such as Frost Museum of Science and Miami Children’s Museum can be seen here. With so many captivating buildings and festivals abound, Miami is a must for everyone.
The city of Orlando lies in Central Florida, at the heart of the Orlando Metropolitan area, which has more than 2 million inhabitants. Well-known for Walt Disney World and SeaWorld, the town also features water parks such as Discovery Cove, Volcano Bay, and, last but not least, Typhoon Lagoon.
Visited by over 70 million people annually, this metropolitan area is the best tourist destination in the whole of the United States. Some visitors of Orlando prefer to spend their entire holiday exploring the enormous theme parks, whereas others spend time playing golf in Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Watching sharks in Sealife Aquarium is another activity that keeps tourists entertained.
Furthermore, Orlando is home to several shopping malls, with the largest being the Florida Mall that consists of more than 250 stores. Take into account that there are various day trips from this beautiful town. Located an hour’s drive away from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is particularly worth a visit.
The City of Key West comprises several islands, including the Island of Key West, which covers an area of 11 square kilometers. The fact that this picture-postcard town was once inhabited by Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway makes it extremely appealing to both tourists and locals.
Go and see the shipwreck museum, which reveals a lot about the region’s history, and Key West Aquarium, which features jellyfish, sea turtles, sharks, and other fish species while you are here. Other destinations that are not to be missed in Key West are Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West Library, and charming beaches.
While the Key West Historic District has attractive accommodation options, including bungalows and luxurious mansions, Duval Street is the proud owner of multiple clothing shops, stylish eateries as well as gift shops. In other words, Key West makes sure that you have a holiday of a lifetime.
Situated on the Gulf Coast, Naples charms everyone with its stunning white sands and pristine clean waters. Just imagine the view that the large windows of beachfront houses give. Besides its sparkling beaches, the town contains many other points of interest, including Naples Depot Museum, Naples Zoo, and Naples Botanical Garden.
Built in 1895, the Historic Palm Cottage appears to be the oldest dwelling in Naples. Another enchantment of the town is Golisano Children’s Museum, which was opened in 2002. The Baker Museum, exhibiting many works of art of American modernism, catches the attention of every visitor of this peaceful city, as does the Coastland Center, thanks to its countless stores that sell fashionable clothes.
The 5th Avenue South and Naples’ Third St. South are dotted with the grooviest restaurants, fashionable stores, and art galleries. Undoubtedly, the most popular place in the town is Naples Pier, where one is able to catch a sight of dolphins while enjoying their meal. Other animal species, including the Florida panther, Everglades mink, and fox squirrel, can be seen in Fakahatchee Strand State Park.
With approximately 400 000 inhabitants, the city of Tampa lies on Tampa Bay, where thunderstorms are common, especially in the summer. However, there are countless buildings to visit on a gloomy day, including the Museum of Science Industry and the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater.
And when the weather clears up, you can either take a walk along the Tampa Riverwalk or wander through the downtown area that features Florida Aquarium and several posh hotels. Additionally, there are theaters, many museums, and nightlife districts at the center of the city.
Glazer Children’s Museum is the minors’ favorite spot due to the fact that it managed to develop multiple ways to have fun while learning. What is more, the younger ones get a bang out of feeding the giraffes, which are the tallest animals in the Tampa Zoo. Big Cat Rescue, home to lions, jaguars, tigers, et cetera, is also a go-to for lovers of animals.
Situated on the Pinellas peninsula, St. Petersburg is the second-largest town in Pinellas country (the largest one is Clearwater). It has about 300 000 inhabitants and many nicknames such as “One of the Best Street Art Cities in the World.” This laid-back town is ideal for you, supposing you are looking for peace and tranquility.
The main highlights of the city include charming beaches, a number of museums, and theatres. In case you are restricted by time, visit the Museum of Fine Arts while your child is having fun in Great Explorations Museum. And then lounge on one of the multiple beaches, decorated with palms, together.
St. Petersburg Pier is a must-see spot, as is Caladesi Island State Park, which features a beach, walking trails, a marina, and more. Art lovers particularly should go and see the Morean Arts Center’s countless collections. And every visitor of St. Pete had better take a boat trip before going back home to get the best out of their vacation.
Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach
The fact that the winter estates of eminent founders like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are situated in Fort Myers makes the town extremely captivating to travelers. However, this is not the only reason why Fort Myers is a popular tourist destination. The most visited places in the city include the Southwest Florida Museum of History and Murphy-Burroughs House.
Families generally prefer to spend time in Imaginarium Science Center, where one can come into physical contact with aquatic animals and explore a Living Lab. Notwithstanding, shopping maniacs would rather hang out at the Edison Mall. Other seductions include Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, a Historic Downtown, plus the City of Palms Park.
Fort Myers Beach lies along the Estero Island’s shores abounds in fashionable resorts, with Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina being the most popular. It is very likely that you see dolphins jumping when you look from a window of a beachfront resort like the mentioned one. Do not be surprised if you encounter a public figure during your stay as they frequently relax here.
With its 7,702 inhabitants, Sanibel lies in Southwest Florida, within the territory of Lee Country. This attractive for tourists barrier island is popular for full of shells beaches. If you are lucky, you can even find a Junonia along the shores. Otherwise, go to the bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum to see this rare shell.
Animal sanctuaries and organizations such as the Sanibel Sea School and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation cover over half of the island. The largest sanctuary in Sanibel is the J.N. ” Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where tourists can kayak, take a walk, or ride a bicycle.
Wildlife in the area includes manatee, dolphins, sea turtles, bobcats, and a variety of bird species. The region is also noted for its luxurious resorts which are appropriate both for couples and solo travelers. Wit h so many places to explore and activities to do, there is not a dull moment on Sanibel Island.
Discovered in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, St. Augustine is regarded as the oldest town in the United States. Walking down the city’s streets, embellished with Spanish colonial houses, will make you feel happy and positive about life. You will fall in love with the architecture of the historic churches that St. Augustine possesses, especially the exterior of Memorial Presbyterian Church will pleasantly surprise you.
Other highlights include Anastasia State Park, St. Augustine Amphitheatre, and St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum. Moreover, St. Augustine is the proud owner of the most important historical monuments within Florida, like the Castillo de San Marcos and the Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
Go to the Colonial Quarter to see how exactly St. Augustine looked like from the 1500s to the 1700s. Eating delicious historic meals in the old houses that stand here will make you feel like you have traveled in time. There are not only beautiful century-old buildings but also a boat that looks as if constructed in the 16th century.
Although low buildings dominate in Pensacola, there are several high-rise ones, with the tallest being Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel. With a population of about 53 000, the city is among the grandest metropolises in the Gulf Coast area. Nicknamed “Western Gate to the Sunshine State,” Pensacola is the financial center of the western Panhandle.
Due to the town’s hot summers and pristine clean waters, families usually come here to spend their summer vacations. However, many visitors come merely to have a look at the architecture of Pensacola, which features Spanish, British, and French-style buildings.
The city has several parks like Big Lagoon State Park and Perdido Key State Park; and many museums, with U.S. Naval Aviation Museum famous. Furthermore, it hosts numerous festivals and concerts annually. If you happen to be in Pensacola in November, do not miss the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, which takes place in Seville Square.
West Palm Beach
Located close to Palm Beach, the city of West Palm Beach abounds in museums and stylish eateries. As it is obvious from its name, the town’s main features are its sun-drenched beaches, which are popular with families and couples alike.
West Palm Beach is also well-known for its shopping districts that are full of trendy clothing shops. About 300 000 people attend the annually held festivals here. One of the reasons why so many people visit the town is that artists such as Snoop Dog, Celia Cruz, James Brown have taken part in the events, organized here.
Additionally, there are zoological gardens, which give tourists the golden opportunity to observe koalas and other types of animals in their natural habitat. Lion Country Safari is a go-to for animal lovers, as is theSouth Florida Science Center and Aquarium.
Organized in November, Daytona 500 Nascar Race contributed a lot to the popularity of the city of Daytona. Beaches in the town are also points of interest that boast fine dining eateries, amusement rides, and fun-filled outdoor activities.
Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum is an essential historic attraction, as is the Stetson mansion. The most prominent landmark within Daytona is the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, which is the most far-reaching lighthouse in the whole of Florida.