When most people think of the Sunshine State, they think of hot weather, Disneyland, and alligators. While all those things are absolutely true, there’s much more to Florida to see.
One of the most visited states in the US, there’s plenty of reasons why you should head to Florida for your next vacation. That’s why we’ve put together 11 unmissable places to visit in Florida.
We’ll start with the obvious — Orlando.
Orlando is the most popular place to visit in Florida, and with good reason. It’s got more theme parks than anywhere else in the world.
Most famous is Walt Disney World Resort, which is home to four different theme parks and several water parks. There’s also Universal Studios, home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Marvel’s Islands of Adventure. There are also animal-themed attractions like SeaWorld and Gatorland.
For thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, there’s no destination better.
For grown-ups looking for something a little more varied with a wild nightlife scene, Miami is one of the best places to visit in Florida.
Renowned for its Latin culture, you’ll enjoy all the benefits that culture brings, like incredible food, great hospitality, and music, to name only a few.
There are a huge array of beaches to pick from, each with their own vibe. So whether you’re after party-central or family-friendly, Miami can cater to you.
9. Tampa Bay
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor with a few bustling cities in it, such as St. Petersburg and Tampa.
A great choice for sports fans, Tampa benefits from a lively wrestling scene and being home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, for adrenaline junkies and animal lovers, the popular Busch Gardens theme park is home to some of the most extreme rides in Florida.
St. Pete beach is located within Tampa Bay. It was voted the best beach in the United States by TripAdvisor readers thanks to its clear waters and beautiful white sands.
8. Fort Myers
Also known as the River District, downtown Fort Myers is a bustling destination for those who want lots of things to do in Florida. With great restaurants, shopping and sightseeing to pick from, you’d be hard-pressed to be bored here.
For families, there’s also the popular IMAG History and Science Center. There are so many great exhibits here, like wildlife interactions and virtual reality experiences.
Meanwhile, baseball fans will want to head here to watch the Red Sox spring training games in the Spring.
7. St. Augustine
It was sometimes referred to as the oldest city in America as it was one of the first territories claimed in 1565. As such, you’ll find plenty of history and stunning architecture in this city.
The Colonial Quarter, in particular, is a stunning living museum packed full of Spanish architecture. You’ll also find live music performances almost every evening in an ambient park background.
Nautical lovers will enjoy the various historic ships like the Galeón and the accompanying exhibits of the Maritime Museum.
Located on Florida’s largest natural harbor, Pensacola is on the Western edge of the panhandle. Packed full of British, French, and Spanish history, spanning over 400 years, history lovers will rejoice at this destination.
Despite its location, Pensacola has less of a resort feel and more of a homey deep-south feel. There’s a slower pace, incredible southern comfort food, and some aptly named “sugar-white” sand beaches on offer.
You’ll also find plenty of cultural things to do here. There’s the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum as well as Fort Pickens.
5. Mount Dora
Only a stone’s throw away from adrenaline-packed Orlando, Mount Dora couldn’t be further from it in appearance. It’s all Old Florida vibes here.
Think dusty antique stores, independent cafes, and quirky B&Bs surrounded by clapboard homes. It’s very cozy and great for exploring on foot.
If you want to explore outside the town, Mount Dora is only an hour from Ocala National Forest. Here you can dive into beautiful natural swimming holes like Juniper Springs and Silver Glen Springs.
One of America’s natural wonders, the Everglades is a unique ecosystem that is unmissable for nature lovers. You’ll find everything from swamps to jungles, as well as the largest mangrove complex on this side of the world.
There’s so much wildlife to see here as many endangered species call the Everglades their home, including the American crocodile and Florida panther. Most famously, you’ll find the mesmerizing West Indian Manatee.
Also known as sea cows, these gentle giants are curious and friendly with visitors. You can even swim with them!
3. Sanibel Island
You’ll find Sanibel Island tucked away in the Gulf of Mexico, near Fort Myers.
On offer here is a blissful quiet and stunning natural beauty. Around half the island is taken up with wildlife refugees. It’s an incredible place to go beachcombing.
The locals will tell you the island was once home to pirates. As such, you’ll even find sea cruises here in a replica pirate ship/.
Rustic and authentic, Apalachicola offers vintage Old Florida at its best. A stunning little fishing town, you’ll find incredible seafood dining experiences and unmatched Southern hospitality.
Sea lovers should head here for unique fishing experiences like Oyster fishing.
1. Florida Keys
Technically, the Florida Keys isn’t one place. It refers to a 120-mile chain of tropical islands around the base of the Florida peninsula.
There are so many stunning Islands to visit within the Florida Keys. Most of the islands are connected to the mainland by the Overseas Highway, making for an incredible road trip. Alternatively, you can opt for a bird’s eye view of the keys with a helicopter tour from https://www.ultimate-helitours.com/.
More Places to Visit in Florida
As you can see, there is no shortage of incredible places to visit in Florida. Whatever your interests or ideal vacation, Florida can supply it.
You can find lots more Florida travel advice and tips on our blog.