Everyone dreams of visiting and exploring the “Sunshine State”. With a seemingly endless shoreline and vibrant nightlife, Florida is truly the prime vacation destination for suns-seekers, party animals and beach bums. Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Florida offers a world of spectacular beaches, diverse wildlife and flourishing reefs. Home to some of the world’s finest theme parks, you’ll also find tons of exciting, family-friendly places to visit in Florida. From lush parks to the mind-blowing Universal Studios, there’s something special for everyone in the country’s most south-eastern state.
Planning to visit the Sunny State, but got no clue on where to go in Florida? Need some helpful Florida travel tips? Well, you’re in a treat! We’ve listed the top destinations in Florida to help you craft the ultimate travel itinerary for your vacation!
Very few places on earth are as vibrant and colorful as Miami. From the famed South Beach to Ocean Drive’s art deco architecture, Miami teems with life and energy, making it one of the can’t-miss places to visit in Florida. Nicknamed as “America’s Riviera”, Miami Beach is the place wherein a mixture of travelers, residents and cultures mingle harmoniously. Plus, the city is home to some of the finest and most titillating restaurants in Florida.
And, guess what? The city is surprisingly one of the most family-friendly vacation destinations in Florida, USA. When the sun is shining brightly, the city is a fun and exciting family-friendly Florida vacation. And, come nightfall, it magically turns into a lively, trendy and chic metropolis.
Book and save up to 70% today
Enjoy a heavy dose of Vitamin Sea mixed with a hint of Southern culture in Pensacola, Florida! Sitting on the Florida Panhandle, the town is just a few hours away from New Orleans and Alabama. That means the hospitality and friendliness of the Deep South can be experienced in Pensacola. But, it also has gleaming emerald waters and powdery white sands, creating a fine combination that gives you the best of both worlds.
3. Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale has earned quite a few nicknames, over the years. For one, it’s called as the “Venice of America”, thanks to its vast canal system. And, since it is home to around 50,000 private yachts, it’s fondly labeled as the “world’s yachting capital” as well. No matter what you call it, there’s no denying that Fort Lauderdale is one of the must-see places to visit in Florida, especially for boaters. For over 50 years, it has been a host to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, which is arguably the world’s largest boat event.
But, you don’t have to be a boat connoisseur to enjoy a memorable Florida vacation in Fort Lauderdale. In March, tons of spring breakers flock to this city for some hedonistic fun. And, with 23 miles of beaches, it’s also a haven for beach bums. For underwater adventurers, you can spend some time exploring its underwater treasures and 75 artificial reefs.
4. Amelia Island
Amelia Island is a southern moss-draped fantasy. Known as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Florida, Amelia offers a host of wondrous experiences for travelers. Here, you get to explore delightful eateries, extraordinary B&Bs and an impressive shrimping village with more than 45 blocks of historic buildings. And, did we mention that it is home to the lovely Fernandina Beach? On top of it all, it has swanky resorts, a remarkable Civil War era fort and miles of beautiful shoreline.
5. Key West
Yearning for a relaxing break in any of the sandy beaches and places to visit in Florida? Famed for its eccentric and free-spirited residents and warm beaches, this Florida vacation destination offers an unexpected yet relaxed seaside getaway. Like the area’s residents, you can live in the moment here, and go wherever your free spirit takes you. To make things even better, there are beautiful coral reefs that are ripe for scuba diving and snorkeling in Key West. Besides margaritas and tours, bibliophiles will also have a blast, checking out the displays at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Traveling with the kids, and searching for family-friendly places to visit in Florida, United States? Sure, it’s the thrill rides and charming characters of Disney that draw families and travelers to Orlando, Florida every year. But, there are endless activities and attractions in Orlando outside its exciting theme parks. Here, you can fill your vacation days shopping at outlet malls, meaning it’s one of the best places to visit in Florida for shopaholics.
For those are who are traveling with their kids, you may drop by Discovery Cove or Gatorland to see and pet a bunch of friendly animals. Young travelers may also explore the revitalized restaurants and nightlife scenes in Orlando downtown area.
7. Saint Augustine
Fond of history? Why not include Saint Augustine to your bucket list of places to visit in Florida? Founded in 1565 by the Spanish conquistadors, this beautiful town is the country’s oldest unceasingly European settlement. From its Romanesque Revival-style architecture to narrow cobblestone streets, the town’s buildings and monuments act as an open-air museum to its beguiling history. And, with so much history in Saint Augustine, it’s no wonder it is known for paranormal events. If you’re a ghost hunter or paranormal expert, this town should be on your list of places to visit in Florida.
8. Apalachicola National Forest
Looking for outdoorsy places to visit in Florida? Longing for nature escapes and scenic Florida vacations? Then, make sure to include Apalachicola National Forest to your list of places to visit in Florida! Apalachicola National Forest – the state’s largest national forest – occupies about 900 square miles of the Panhandle, from the Apalachicola River to Tallahassee’s west. Bike and hike this otherworldly forest of karst terrain, sinks, swamps, dunes and cypress hammocks.
9. Everglades National Park
A visit to the verdant Everglades National Park is an adventurer’s dream. And, it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Florida. A mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, the Everglades offers a world of adventures, including camping, bird-watching expeditions, tram and airboat tours, canoes, and hiking trails.
Of course, it’s, hands down, one of the top places to visit in Florida, United States for wildlife enthusiasts. As matter of fact, its ecosystem is a major attraction in Florida since there’s nothing quite like it in the world. Falcons, crocodiles, turtles, alligators and even panthers can be spotted in Everglades National Park.
10. Saint Petersburg
No list of the best places to visit in Florida is complete without the inclusion of Saint Petersburg. As the record holder of the most days with consecutive sunshine, Saint Petersburg beckons all kinds of travelers. With its fine 7-mile stretch of waterfront parks, outdoor lovers will surely the awesome Saint Pete Beach. Not into beaches? Head to the downtown area, and experience a number of fun diversions, like the Sunken Gardens as well as a museum dedicated specifically to Salvador Dali’s fascinating works.
Still can’t get enough of the beaches and sandy places to visit in Florida, United States? Beach bums will certainly get their fix in Jacksonville, Florida. After all, it is home to a trio of fabulous main beach areas. As an added bonus, the city makes a great base for exploring communities nearby, such as Point Vedra Beach and Amelia Island. When visiting Jacksonville, though, make it a point to check out its downtown cultural attractions, like the Riverside Arts Market as well as Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.
Billed aptly as the world’s luckiest fishing village, Destin has turned into one of the most popular places to visit in Florida Panhandle. Founded around the 1850s, this lovely town was once a sleepy fishing village, until a bridge amazingly connected the peninsula to mainland Florida. With a population of less than 15,000 residents, the town has retained a friendly intimate ambiance, in spite of its tourism boom. Every summer, Southern and Midwestern families head to the beaches in Destin for its trademark white bright shores, made beautifully up of Appalachian quartz.
And, this extraordinary sand, with the sun’s reflection, gives its waters a gorgeous emerald tint. Furthermore, there are plenty of fun things to do in Destin, such as deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling and golfing.
Tampa is a modern hub that has something for everyone. The way I see it, Tampa is one of those places to visit in Florida with a variety of activities and attractions. Into history and culture? Pay a visit to the eccentric Henry B. Plant Museum, which was built as a luxury hotel in 1891. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll through the lovely and historic Ybor City neighborhood built by cigar-factory workers in the early 20th century. Additionally, it’s a nice place to enjoy a tasty meal in one of its numerous restaurants.
Traveling with the kids? Take the whole family to Busch Gardens – an African-themed attraction with a heap of wild animals and thrill rides. You may also canoe or kayak through the wild and lush Manatee River. And for those who want to dive deep into the city’s history, drop by at Tampa Bay History Center.
Speaking of family-friendly places to visit in Florida, you might want to take a close look at Clearwater. With its wonderful weather and 3-mile-long beach, it’s truly a spectacular Florida vacation destination for those who need to escape their bustling daily grind. Even better, it boasts a narrow and long barrier reef as well as a gorgeous beach lined with fancy restaurants, bars, resort and hotels.
As with most family-friendly places to visit in Florida, there are dozens of fun things to do in Clearwater. Here, you can take your little ones to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium wherein injured sea turtles and dolphins are rehabilitated. Moreover, you may check the baseball games at the Bright House Field.
And, if that’s enough for you, make your way to Pier 60 and gaze in amazement at its beautiful sunset.
15. Sanibel Island
Quaint and low-key – these are the words that usually come into mind when people see this photogenic Gulf Coast island paradise. Offering a casual and soothing beach backdrop, the island makes a terrific option for families on the lookout for great places to visit in Florida. Besides its serene and wide beaches, the island also has affordable vacation rentals and an array of seashells. When you or your kids get tired of the beach, you may go to the JN Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see some birds like ospreys and herons.
Are you a bona fide nature lover itching to see the parks and tranquil places to visit in Florida? You really should spend your vacation in Sarasota! Here, you’ll spend your vacation days admiring Marie Selby’s butterflies, taking in the sunny atmosphere at Lido Key Beach and exploring Myakka River State Park. And, by the way, did you know that Myakka is one of the largest and oldest state parks in Florida? Not to mention, Sarasota is home to a bunch of other cool museums and attractions. Trust me, you won’t regret putting it on your bucket list of places to visit in Florida, USA.
17. Daytona Beach
There’s more to Daytona Beach than its world renowned annual races. For summer visitors, there are super cool concerts held at the Daytona Beach Bandshell, showcasing incredible music acts. Those traveling with the family may hit the Daytona Lagoon water park, and experience a mishmash of activities, such as laser tag, go-karts and waterslides.
Likewise, you may do a little fishing or spot dolphins at Sunglow Fishing Pier and visit the marvelous Museum of Arts and Sciences. You may, then, cap off your trip, with a visit to the Basilica of Saint Paul. Whether you’re traveling alone or with a group, Daytona Beach should be on your checklist of places to visit in Florida, USA.
18. Panama City Beach
Craving for a wild, crazy and epic spring break escapade? With its pulsing nightlife and fantastic beaches, Panama City Beach has become the go-to spot for young spring break travelers. But, make no mistake about it – Panama City Beach isn’t just a spring breaker’s playground. As you dig deeper into the city, you’ll find a child-friendly city with a plethora of amazing attractions, such as Gulf World Marine Park, Shipwreck Island Waterpark and Camp Helen State Park.
Pumped up to see these incredible places to visit in Florida, US? Experience these vacation destinations in Florida without spending a fortune with Trekeffect. When you book with Trekeffect, you’ll definitely get the best bargained deals for hotels in Florida. And, you’ll also be helping countless of children across the world since we donate 10 percent of our profits to UNICEF!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks
Book your accommodations
Let's face it. Expedia, hotels.com (and all the other hotel booking engines) typically earn huge margins off of you. You might think you're getting a deal, but you're not getting a deal. Want the best deal when you book your hotels? Of course you do! With Trekeffect you can get FREE access to discounted hotel prices and save a bunch of money.
How does it work? Simple... 1. Sign up for Trekeffect [FREE]2. Click the hotels tab in the navigation3. Search for the city you are visiting4. Book a hotel and save a ton of money
Shop for Travel Essentials
Book your flight
Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world. They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.
Don't forget travel insurance
Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)
Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!
Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported.
Share Your Travel Experiences With Us
We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the article? What did you find most interesting and do you have any of your own experiences you can you share with us to make this article even better? Let us know in the comments!