Visiting Florida? Looking for the best part of Florida for your vacation?
While the 27th state is known for Disney World, orange juice, manatees, and alligators, there is a lot more to discover.
Ringed by the Atlantic ocean on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the west, Florida has miles of empty, beautiful white sandy beaches and some of the best horse farms in the United States.
Here are some of the top getaways with kids, families, couples, nature lovers, and solo travelers exploring sunny Florida. There are vacation ideas for everyone in all of these destinations; from Florida’s best beaches, amusement parks, and fishing.
The best cities to visit in Florida:
1. Naples, Florida
For some travelers, the best winter beach vacations are in Florida. One of the most beloved destinations on the Gulf Coast is Naples. Here you will find a variety of relaxing activities for couples and families. Beaches can be empty in places, Naples delivers plenty of pools, hot tubs, golf courses, and activities to make up for it. The Everglades are also nearby for adventurous travelers that want to discover local Florida wildlife.
The Paradise Coast is aptly named; it has amazing views and lots of sunshine all year! In addition to great places to eat and shop, there are plenty of places to get outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous weather. This list of parks in Naples, Fl includes some of the best. Make sure you incorporate a few of these local gems into your plans on your next family vacation to Naples!
1. Golisano Children’s Museum
2. Naples Zoo
3. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
4. Naples Botanical Gardens
5. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida
6. Collier County Museum
7. Naples Pier and Naples Municipal Beach
Destin is a city in northwest Florida, in the area known as the Panhandle. It’s known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and many golf courses, as well as the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Nature trails pass through the dunes of Henderson Beach State Park in the south, where the coastline is dotted with pine and oak trees sheltering wildlife.
Tucked into north-central Florida in a region known as “horse country,” Ocala offers visitors winding community pathways lined with oak trees and dangling trellises of Spanish moss, and the opportunity to explore miles of untainted nature. If the prospect of canoeing down a crystal clear stream amid the largest sand pine forest in the world sounds appealing, Ocala and surrounding Marion County are more than worth your time. Ocala and the region’s freshwater streams, rolling hills and clean air remain unspoiled and have been used for Hollywood movies.
4. Florida Keys
Key West is part of the Florida Keys archipelago. It’s also Florida’s southernmost point, lying roughly 90 miles north of Cuba. Famed for its pastel-hued, conch-style houses, it’s a cruise-ship stop also accessible from the mainland via the Overseas Highway. Famous residents who have called Key West home include Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Kelly McGillis, Jimmy Buffet, David Allen Coe, Calvin Klein, Shel Silverstein, and Judy Blume.
Searching for a beautiful place to go in Florida? The Florida Keys is where you should go. Lots of gorgeous beaches, water sports, and great food are just the beginning. There are plenty of restaurants and places to stay, so take a look and see what the Keys have to offer.
1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo)
2. Theater Of The Sea (Islamorada)
3. Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters (Marathon)
4. Dolphin Research Center (Grassy Key)
5. Founders Park (Islamorada)
6. Key West Shipwreck Museum (Key West)
7. Conch Train Tour (Key West)
5. Melbourne, Florida
Melbourne is a Florida city southeast of Orlando. The Eau Gallie Arts District, on the Indian River Lagoon, is known for its galleries and Foosaner Art Museum. Period buildings include the Rossetter House Museum & Gardens, restored to its 1908 appearance. Across the lagoon, Howard E. Futch Memorial Park at Paradise Beach faces the Atlantic Ocean.
6. Marco Island
People come to Marco Island for total relaxation or endless adventure. They come for world-class shopping and fine dining made even finer by the brilliant orange backdrop of the setting sun. Marco Island is the largest of Florida’s ten thousand islands, and it’s filled with ten thousand activities. Take a parasailing cruise and float high above the ocean. Charter a fishing boat. Wade through warm tide pools searching for shells. If total relaxation is more your style, lay back on beaches of sugar-white sand and do nothing but listen to breaking waves backed by a chorus of seagulls.
7. St. Augustine
St. Augustine is a city on the northeast coast of Florida. It lays claim to being the oldest city in the U.S. and is known for its Spanish colonial architecture as well as Atlantic Ocean beaches like sandy St. Augustine Beach and tranquil Crescent Beach. Anastasia State Park is a protected wildlife sanctuary. The Castillo de San Marcos is a 17th-century Spanish stone fortress with views of the St. Augustine Inlet.
St. Augustine is the spot of the famed and legendary Fountain of Youth. Founded back in 1565, St. Augustine is the perfect spot for those who love history. Visit the fort and some beautiful beaches for a very memorable vacation.
1. St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
2. St. Augustine Lighthouse
3. Alligator Farm
4. Fiesta Falls Miniature Golf
5. Potters Wax Museum
6. Ripley’s Believe It or Not
7. Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
8. Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach dazzles with impeccable beaches and inviting waters. Caladesi Island, off the north end of the beach, was recognized as the nation’s best by Dr. Beach (2008). Besides the beaches, there is Clearwater Beach’s inviting, small-town atmosphere. At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, you will find Winter the Dolphin, star of the movie Dolphin Tale.
Orlando, a city in central Florida, is home to more than a dozen theme parks. Chief among its claims to fame is Walt Disney World, comprised of parks like the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as well as water parks. Another major destination, Universal Orlando, offers Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter straddling both.
There is no way that we can have a list of the best vacation spots without mentioning Orlando. Along with the various parks of Walt Disney World, there is also Universal Studios and a lot of night clubs, escape rooms, festivals and fun things to do for people of all ages.
1. Soak up the Sun at One of Florida’s Beaches
2. Visit International Drive
3. Cool Down at an Orlando Water Park
4. Take a Dip in one of Florida’s Springs
5. Sit in the Splash Zone at SeaWorld
6. Check Out Universal Studios Orlando
7. Throw in Some Magic at Walt Disney World
Miami is an international city at Florida’s southeastern tip. Its Cuban influence is reflected in the cafes and cigar shops that line Calle Ocho in Little Havana. On barrier islands across the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay is Miami Beach, home to South Beach. This glamorous neighborhood is famed for its colorful art deco buildings, white sand, surfside hotels and trendsetting nightclubs.
Miami is colorful and lively and it’s unable to be captured using words and photos. You have to go and experience it for yourself. There’s so much to see and do here and you’re going to find something for everyone here.
1. Miami Children’s Museum
2. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
3. Zoological Wildlife Foundation
4. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
5. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
6. Safari Edventure
7. Jungle Island
For those who love NASCAR, there is no better place to visit in Florida than Daytona. But it’s not all about racing either. It also offers gorgeous beaches, a lot of great options for fishing and some of the best shopping in Florida. If you love museums, it’s also a great place to go.
1. Take In The Beauty Of The Beach
2. Check Out The Many Different Waterside Playgrounds
3. Explore The Marine Science Center
4. Climb The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
5. Stroll Along The Riverfront Shops
6. Play At The Ocean Walk Shoppes
7. Walk Along The Boardwalk
These are five spots that you want to consider when you are planning a Florida vacation. You’ll find a lot of great things to do and hidden treasures. All in all you’ll have a vacation that you will always remember.
Florida Travel Tips
Ready to visit Florida? Whether its winter break or summer vacation the sunshine state has a lot of amazing things to do and many of them are free.
Before buying airline tickets to Florida decide what part of the state you want to explore: There’s so much to do in Florida, it’s hard to know where to begin. Below we discuss peak season and offseason.
Sure, you could opt for a cruise or ski trip in the mountains-but why spend a lot of money on a touristy hotspot when you can come to Florida for a weekend getaway?
Book a Florida trip to the gulf side to see Clearwater Beach, Naples, and Sanibel Island – year-round destination spots with resorts, condos, golf courses and enough sand and sun to keep anyone happy.
Pick a Place that Speaks to You
Love the water? Spend your weekend basking on the beach, kayaking down a river, or watching the sunset into the Gulf of Mexico. Maybe you enjoy a round of golf or excited by exploring the great outdoors. The ideal Florida getaway does not always mean an amusement park but following your interests will let you enjoy yourself wherever you are.
Consider Renting a Vacation Home
It has all the comforts of home but provides the excitement of something new. Plus, if you’re looking for some of the cheapest vacation ideas, this one is for you. Renting a house for a weekend getaway gives you plenty of freedom—cook, watch movies, take naps on the couch, play board games…the possibilities are endless. Most rentals are available on a nightly basis and come fully stocked with kitchen equipment, bedding, towels, and more—it’s all up to the individual owners, so make sure you check what’s included before booking.
Extend Your Weekend
Three-day weekends are a great time to plan a getaway, but you don’t have to wait for one to have fun. If you’re able, take off early on Friday so you can enjoy your weekend adventure with your friend or partner to the fullest. Also, you might be able to find cheaper flights and accommodations if you leave and depart during the week.
Getting a Cheap Flight
Looking for cheap flights to Florida from your destination? Flights to Florida are easy to find, and savvy travelers will find cheap flights to Florida during the off-season (usually the summer months).
October through April is the peak tourist season for flights to southern Florida. Orlando’s theme parks are busy year-round, with the highest peaks coinciding with school vacations, including spring and summer breaks. Summer is the busy season in northern Florida. Florida remains a popular destination for spring-break vacations, and those weeks are busy as are long holiday weekends.
Winter is the off-season in northern Florida. If you don’t mind the hot and humid weather, cheap flights to Florida’s southern region are easily found in the summer.
Planning a trip to Florida with your family?
After seeing Florida’s alligators, return to the beauty and comfort of a home from Naples Florida Vacation Homes. We have a wide selection of homes located all over the Naples area. Whether you’re hoping to squeeze in a few rounds of golf during your visit or you’d like to relax by a private pool, you’ll find the perfect home to fit your needs.
Check out our rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.