Explore the Sunshine State: Best Places To Visit In Florida

Author: Nidhi Sood on May 02,2023
Long Bridge at Florida Key

Are you dreaming of a sunny getaway filled with adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty? Look no further than Florida! This vibrant state offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you're seeking world-famous beaches, thrilling theme parks, or historic landmarks, Florida has something to offer.


In this article, we'll highlight some of the best places to visit in Florida, from iconic cities to hidden gems. Discover the charms of Miami and Orlando, bask in the natural beauty of the Florida Keys and the Everglades, and explore the historic streets of St. Augustine. So, without further ado, let's dive in!


Best Places To Visit In Florida



Aerial view of South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida


Miami is a city that truly has something for everyone. It boasts a rich cultural scene with a blend of Latin, Caribbean, and American influences, making it a unique and exciting place to visit. The city's tropical climate and beautiful beaches make it a popular destination for those seeking sun, sand, and sea. Additionally, Miami is home to a thriving art and music scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and performance venues showcasing the best of contemporary and classic works. The city is also known for its delicious cuisine, with a wide range of international and local flavors to choose from.

Top Things To Do In Miami


  • Visit South Beach: This iconic neighborhood in Miami Beach is known for its Art Deco architecture, white sand beaches, and lively atmosphere.
  • Explore Little Havana: This historic Cuban neighborhood is home to delicious food, vibrant music, and colorful street art.
  • Visit the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: This stunning estate features beautiful gardens, sculptures, and an impressive collection of European art and antiques.
  • Go on a food tour: Miami is known for its diverse and delicious cuisine, so why not take a guided food tour to sample some of the city's best dishes?
  • Check out the Wynwood Walls: This outdoor museum features colorful murals and street art from some of the world's top artists.
  • Visit the Miami Seaquarium: This marine park features a variety of sea creatures, including dolphins, sea lions, and manatees.
  • Take a boat tour of Biscayne Bay: Enjoy stunning views of the Miami skyline and see some of the city's most impressive waterfront homes on a boat tour of Biscayne Bay.
  • Go shopping: Miami is home to some of the best shopping in the world, with options ranging from luxury boutiques to outlet malls.
  • Visit the Frost Science Museum: This state-of-the-art museum features interactive exhibits on science and technology, as well as an aquarium and planetarium.
  • Enjoy the nightlife: Miami is known for its lively nightlife, with plenty of bars, clubs, and lounges to choose from.



Crocodile in the Everglades National Park,  South Florida


The Everglades in South Florida is one of the most remarkable natural wonders in the United States. It is a vast wilderness consisting of swamps, sub-tropical jungles, saw-grass prairies, and the largest mangrove complex in the Western Hemisphere. The combination of these ecosystems makes the Everglades a unique destination that attracts visitors from around the world.


Much of the Everglades is protected within the Everglades National Park, which is home to a wide variety of birds, fish, animals, and reptiles. Endangered species like the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile, and the Florida panther call the Everglades their home. The park is also an important habitat for numerous species of wading birds, such as the white ibis, herons, and egrets, making it an ideal location for birdwatching.


Top Things To Do In Everglades


  • Airboat Tours: One of the most popular ways to experience the Everglades is by taking an airboat tour. Visitors can glide over the sawgrass prairies, explore the mangrove swamps, and see some of the wildlife that inhabits the park.
  • Hiking: The Everglades has several hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the park on foot. Trails vary in length and difficulty, and some offer great opportunities for wildlife viewing.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking: Paddling through the mangrove tunnels and waterways is an excellent way to explore the Everglades. Visitors can bring their own canoes or kayaks or rent them from local outfitters.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The Everglades is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including alligators, panthers, snakes, and hundreds of bird species. Visitors can spot wildlife from hiking trails, and observation decks, or enjoy camping to experience the parks natural beauty and wildlife.

St. Augustine


city hall and Alcazar Courtyard in St. Augustine, Florida


St. Augustine is a charming coastal city located in northeastern Florida, just south of Jacksonville. Established in 1565, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the United States. With its rich history, quaint architecture, and stunning beaches, St. Augustine is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience a unique side of Florida. St. Augustine is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. Visitors can relax on the soft sand of St. Augustine Beach, go for a swim in the clear waters of Vilano Beach, or take a romantic sunset walk on the shores of Crescent Beach.


In addition to its historical and natural attractions, St. Augustine offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages, including shopping, dining, and nightlife. The city's quaint downtown area is filled with unique boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries, while its vibrant food scene offers everything from fresh seafood to upscale dining experiences.


Top Things To Do In St. Augustine


  • Explore the Old City: The city is full of historical landmarks such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine and the Colonial Quarter.
  • Take a romantic stroll: Take a stroll through the Lightner Museum and admire its collection of art and artifacts. 
  • Shop till your drop: Browse the unique boutiques and antique shops in downtown St. Augustine.
  • Take a ghost tour of the city: Visit the haunted landmarks and learn about its spooky history.

Florida Keys


Road and ocean to Key West. Florida Keys


The Florida Keys are a chain of islands located off the southern coast of Florida, stretching approximately 120 miles from Key Largo to Key West. The islands are known for their stunning turquoise waters, abundant marine life, and relaxed island lifestyle.


The Florida Keys is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities such as snorkeling, fishing, boating, and kayaking. The islands are also known for their unique cuisine, including fresh seafood and key lime pie.


Top Things to Do in the Florida Keys


  • Have a water adventure: Snorkel or dive at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
  • Explore: Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West
  • Go on a cruise: Take a sunset cruise and enjoy live music in Key West
  • Learn: Visit the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon and check out the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
  • Enjoy the views: Visit the Seven Mile Bridge and enjoy the stunning ocean views
  • Have a musical evening: Attend a live music performance at the Green Parrot Bar in Key West.

Sanibel Island


Aerial view of Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park,,Sanibel Island, Florida


Sanibel Island is a small barrier island off the southwest coast of Florida. The island is famous for its beautiful shell-filled beaches and laid-back atmosphere, making it a popular destination for families and couples. The island is also home to several wildlife refuges, where visitors can observe native birds and animals in their natural habitat.


The island offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, kayaking, and cycling. Visitors can also stroll through the island's quaint downtown area, where they can browse art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. The island is particularly well-known for its fresh seafood, with many restaurants offering locally-caught fish and shellfish.


Top things to do on Sanibel Island


  • Experience wildlife: Visit the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where visitors can see a variety of birds, reptiles, and other wildlife.
  • Enjoy the walk: Take a walk along the island's beautiful shell-filled beaches, such as Bowman's Beach or Lighthouse Beach.
  • Rent a bike:  explore the island's many bike paths, which wind through natural areas and residential neighborhoods on a bike.
  • Visit the museums: Visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, which features exhibits of shells and mollusks from around the world.
  • Explore historical structure: The island's historic lighthouse, which dates back to the 1880s and offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Enjoy watersports: Go kayaking or paddleboarding in the island's calm waters, which are perfect for beginners.
  • Enjoy a picnic:  Have a barbecue at one of the island's many public parks, such as Bowman's Beach Park or Tarpon Bay Beach.

Fort Lauderdale


Fort Lauderdale Beach. Florida


Fort Lauderdale is a coastal city in Florida that is known for its beautiful beaches, waterways, and canals. It is a popular destination for tourists from around the world, who come to enjoy its warm weather and vibrant nightlife. Fort Lauderdale is also home to many cultural attractions and events, including the Museum of Discovery and Science, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.


Top Things To Do In Fort Lauderdale


  • View the city canals: Take a water taxi tour of the city's canals and waterways
  • Check out historical places: Explore the historic district of Las Olas Boulevard, which is home to many shops, restaurants, and galleries
  • Sit with nature: Visit the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and a freshwater lagoon
  • Go fishing: Go on a deep sea fishing excursion and try to catch some of the region's many fish species
  • Explore: Visit the Stranahan House Museum, which is the oldest surviving structure in Fort Lauderdale and has been preserved as a historic site.

Clearwater Beach


White sand and turquoise water in Clearwater. Florida


Clearwater Beach is a popular tourist destination located in Pinellas County, Florida. Known for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear water, Clearwater Beach is a perfect spot for a relaxing vacation. The beach is also home to a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions.


In addition to soaking up the sun and enjoying the beach, visitors to Clearwater Beach can also take part in a number of activities such as parasailing, fishing, and dolphin watching. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is also a popular attraction where visitors can see and interact with rescued marine animals.


Top Things to Do in Clearwater Beach


  • Relax on the Beach: Clearwater Beach is known for its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect place to soak up the sun.
  • Explore Caladesi Island State Park: Only accessible by ferry or private boat, Caladesi Island State Park is a pristine barrier island with hiking trails, beach access, and abundant wildlife.
  • Visit Pier 60: This popular pier offers fishing, shopping, and nightly sunset celebrations with street performers and vendors.
  • Take a Sunset Cruise: Enjoy breathtaking views of the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico on a relaxing sunset cruise.
  • Enjoy Watersports: Clearwater Beach offers a variety of watersports, including parasailing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, and more.
  • Visit the Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Home to Winter the Dolphin, star of the movie "Dolphin Tale," This aquarium is a must-see for animal lovers.



town skyline on the water, Naples, Florida


Naples is a beautiful coastal city located in southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. Known for its stunning white sand beaches and luxurious amenities, Naples is a popular destination for those looking to relax and indulge in the finer things in life. The city is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries and museums showcasing local and international talent.


Top Things To Do In Naples


  • Visit Naples Pier: This historic pier offers a scenic view of the Gulf of Mexico and is a popular spot for fishing and sunset watching.
  • Explore Naples Botanical Garden: With a variety of themed gardens and exhibits, the Naples Botanical Garden is a must-visit for nature lovers.
  • Take a boat tour of the Ten Thousand Islands: The unique ecosystem of the Ten Thousand Islands can be explored through a boat tour, offering the opportunity to spot dolphins, manatees, and various bird species.
  • Visit the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens: Home to over 70 species of animals, including zebras, giraffes, and monkeys, the Naples Zoo is a great place to visit with the whole family.



Ripsaw Falls ride at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida


Orlando is a city located in central Florida that is famous for its theme parks, entertainment options, and shopping. It is one of the most visited cities in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. The most famous attraction in Orlando is Walt Disney World, which consists of four theme parks, two water parks, and numerous hotels and resorts. Other popular theme parks in Orlando include Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Legoland.


Aside from theme parks, Orlando has many other attractions to offer visitors. The city is home to numerous shopping centers and outlet malls, as well as restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the nearby nature reserves and parks, or go boating on one of the area's many lakes and rivers.


Top Things to Do in Orlando


  • Experience the magic of Disney: Visit Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, or Legoland. 
  • Explore: Visit the  International Drive, a popular tourist district with shopping, dining, and entertainment options
  • Take a hot air balloon ride: Enjoy the city views from a birds eye view with a hot air balloon ride. 
  • Learn: Visit the Kennedy Space Center, located about an hour's drive east of Orlando, and visit the Orlando Science Center, which features interactive exhibits and a planetarium.
  • Go on a nature walk or bike ride in one of the nearby parks: such as Wekiwa Springs State Park or Lake Eola Park
  • Attend live performances:  Visit the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, a state-of-the-art venue for concerts, musicals, and plays
  • Enjoy water sports: such as jet skiing or parasailing, on one of the area's lakes or beaches.


Florida truly has it all when it comes to vacation destinations. From the bustling cities of Miami and Orlando to the tranquil beaches of the Gulf Coast and the Florida Keys, there is no shortage of incredible sights to see and experiences to be had. Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, or thrill-seeker, Florida has something for everyone.


We hope this article has inspired you to plan your next trip to Florida and explore all that this amazing state has to offer. Remember to pack your sunscreen, take plenty of photos, and make memories that will last a lifetime! If you're looking for more travel inspiration and tips on planning your Florida itinerary, be sure to check out Leisure. Our team of expert travel advisors is dedicated to helping you discover the best destinations and experiences around the world. Visit our website today to start planning your next adventure and make your travel dreams a reality.



What is the best time to visit Florida?

The best time to visit Florida is from March to May or September to November when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.


What are the most popular beaches in Florida?

Some of the most popular beaches in Florida include South Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Siesta Key.


What are the best theme parks in Florida?

Some of the best theme parks in Florida include Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and Busch Gardens.


What is the oldest city in Florida?

St. Augustine is the oldest city in Florida.


What is the primary launch center for human spaceflight in the United States?

The Kennedy Space Center is the primary launch center for human spaceflight in the United States.


What is the most visited place in Florida?

The most visited place in Florida is Walt Disney World Resort.


What place in Florida has the most activities?

Orlando, Florida is known for having the most activities due to its many theme parks and attractions.


Is Key West, Florida worth visiting?

Key West is definitely worth visiting for its unique culture, beautiful beaches, and laid-back atmosphere.

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