21 Spectacular Florida Vacation Spots For Those Dreaming of The Sunshine State

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Are you looking for advice on the best Florida vacation spots? We are here to help.

From personal experience, down below we share the best places to vacation in Florida in all areas of the Sunshine State including South Florida, Central Florida, and the West and East Coasts.

While you may first think of Disney World and Universal Studios when it comes to Florida destinations, this state offers so much more than just theme parks and amusement parks, making it one of the best states to visit in the United States for a vacation filled with adventure!

From incredible palm beaches to the Art Deco buildings of Miami, to the stunning natural springs where you can even swim with manatees, there is literally something for every type of traveler in Florida.

Best Florida vacation spots
South Beach, Miami

The Best Florida Vacation Spots

Below you will find 21 of the best Florida destinations that we have personally visited and absolutely loved.

We would highly recommend you put these cities, springs, and beaches on your Florida bucket list for your East Coast road trip ideas to the Sunshine State!

1. Miami

It will probably come as no surprise to you that one of the best vacation spots in Florida includes the hip and metropolitan city of Miami.

Miami is a great place to begin your trip to Florida as not only is it a cool city but there’s an abundance of affordable flights to Miami (MIA).

A car parked next to the ocean
Miami road trip

Other affordable flight hubs include Orlando (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

Don’t miss South Beach in Miami Beach. This city beach has the bluest water we have seen in the United States!

You can people-watch for hours in South Beach and never get bored. Some of the most flamboyant people and celebrities in the country frequent the bars and restaurants in and around South Beach.

In addition to the beautiful beaches in Miami, check out the signature white art deco architecture in the streets in and around South Beach.

Love street art? Then head to the Wynwood Walls Art District where you’ll find colorful street art from some of the most talented artists in the world.

If you are wondering where to stay, check out this guide to the hip and quirky hotels in Miami.

people sitting at a table
Little Havana Domino Park

After admiring the street art, we would suggest heading to Little Havana in Miami.

Miami has a large Cuban community and boasts the best Cuban sandwich in the world. We learned that the Cuban sandwich is not actually Cuban but an American adaptation that originated in Miami!

Miami is a cool but notoriously expensive place to travel. If you are going to pay big money to stay in Miami, you are going to want to stay somewhere unique!

For places to stay in Miami, our partner Booking.com has over 1,100 properties to choose from!

2. The Florida Keys

When it comes to South Florida vacation spots, one of our favorite things to do in Florida is to visit the Florida Keys.

Home to an iconic Beach Boys song, the Keys is one of the most picturesque places to vacation in Florida. They are essentially a string of tropical islands that span 120-miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Florida Keys Aerial View.
Florida Keys Aerial View. Image credit: DepositPhotos.com

What we love about all the Florida Keys vacation spots is that there is seriously a tonne of fun activities to enjoy from swimming to snorkeling to feeding giant tarpon

This is one of the Florida destinations suitable to any type of traveler, whether you are looking for a family-friendly vacation in Florida or on a romantic getaway, as we were.

The Florida Keys made our best road trips in the USA and best scenic drives in the USA list.

The best way to explore all the Florida Keys has to offer to is take a road trip from Miami to Key West. The drive is one of the most scenic coastlines drives you can make in the state.

The epic views you will experience as you drive along the iconic Overseas Highway will take your breath away.

Don’t forget your snorkel as the Florida Keys has some of the best underwater marine life in Florida.

For places to stay in the Florida Keys, our partner Booking.com has over 690 properties to choose from!

3. Key Largo

The first town you will reach from Miami is Key Largo, a beautiful, relaxed seaside town with 78 nautical square miles of coral reef.

Most people think of Key West when it comes to a Florida Keys trip but the town of Key Largo is a nice alternative choice for those who want to enjoy more of a relaxing vacation with near isolated beaches.

We were amazed how many awesome things to do there in the area!

Two of the best beaches in the Florida Keys are located in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

This is one place your snorkel will come in handy as Cannon Beach (with real cannons located along the beach) and Far Beach have absolutely perfect conditions for snorkeling.

Key Lago, Florida
The beautiful Key Largo

We did see warning signs at the beaches in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park of alligators but as far as I’m aware no one has ever died there. Generally alligators, unlike the Australian crocodile, are shy and stick to themselves.

For diving enthusiasts who like a little more adventure, there is a possibility to try scuba diving the Spiegel Grove Wreck while in Key Largo, one of the most popular dive sites in the United States.

Don’t miss the best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys at Mrs Mac’s Kitchen. It’s mouthwatering and delicious!

You can always tell a good Key Lime pie by its color, if it is green avoid it. The best Key Lime pies are actually yellow in color.

For places to stay in Key Largo, our partner Booking.com has over 70 properties to choose from!

4. Islamorada

A short drive from Key Largo you will find the small town of Islamorada.

It’s one of the best places to go in Florida if you’re looking for a small fishing town with a great vibe and an abundance of cool things to do.

A man holding a fish in the water
hand feeding giant tarpon in Islamorada

Don’t miss your chance to hand feed giant tarpon at Robbie’s Tarpon in Islamorada, it was honestly one of the highlights of our Florida Keys road trip.

Hot tip: It is more than likely the tarpon will swallow your whole hand while trying to eat the little fish you hang off the edge.

Don’t worry, their “teeth” only have the consistency of sandpaper. Worst case you will only come out with a few grazes by feeding them – totally worth it if you ask me!

If you are traveling with small kids, they might be a little scared to hand feed the giant tarpon at first (the fish literally launch their whole body out of the water) but they will definitely enjoy watching you do it.

Aside from feeding giant tarpon, there are loads of other fun things to do in Islamorada including visiting the beautiful Anne’s Beach and the Florida Keys Brewing Company – one of the most popular drinking spots for couples in the Florida Keys.

For places to stay in Islamorada, our partner Booking.com has lots of properties to choose from!

5. Key West

Key West is one of the most iconic Florida vacation spots.

Despite the mass tourism brought in by cruise ships to the area, it is still a very worthwhile place to vacation in Florida due to the quirky atmosphere, quaint architecture, and abundance of interesting things to do.

Key West, Florida
Key West, Florida

Duval Street is the most iconic and lively street in Key West where you will find interesting restaurants, cafes, and quirky bars with live music.

You can’t visit Key West without going for a walk along Duval Street. The high energy and overall mood were one of our favorite parts of Key West.

The consistently highest rated activity in Key West is, however, not in fact Duval Street but famous writer Ernest Hemingway’s home where he lived from 1931 to 1939.

Interestingly, Hemingway owned a rare form of cat with six toes due to a rare polydactyl gene. The descendants of his cat (all with 6 toes might I add) still live in the house to this day.

Like South Beach in Miami, Key West is a notoriously expensive place to travel. We would suggest breaking up the paid attractions with some of the best free things to do in the Key West area.

marina in key west with boats and buildings
Vacation day in Key west, with a funny ship.

Top tip: For a quieter alternative, consider Cedar Key in Northern Florida on the Gulf Coast and Manasota Key on the South Florida Gulf Coast

For example, don’t miss the free sunset celebration at Mallory Square where you will see some very interesting buskers and street performers as the sun sets over the Southernmost point of Florida.

There is also a great free aquarium in Key West called the Key West Eco Discovery Center which we immensely enjoyed!

Talking about the Southernmost point of Florida, while in Key West, don’t miss your chance to have your picture taken with the Southernmost point of Continental USA sign.

While it’s not the oldest city in Florida, it certainly has a lot of history. For history buffs, you should check out the Key West Shipwreck Museum, the Key West Lighthouse and the West Martello Tower and Key West Garden Club to learn about Florida’s past.

Nearby you’ll find the iconic Mile Marker to commemorate your Keys’ trip. If you have time, you could even get a water taxi over to Dry Tortugas National Park for some relaxation.

For places to stay in Key West, our partner Booking.com has over 350 properties to choose from!

6. Everglades National Park

Put this on your list of best places to visit in Florida for wildlife. If you want the chance to see an alligator in its natural habitat, this is your chance.

The Everglades is a very large national park that covers 1.5 million acres over the southern point of Florida.

A large percentage of the Everglades is covered by swampland and water so one of the best ways to see the national park is by doing an Airboat tour.

If you are traveling the Everglades with children, make a stop at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. The kids will love all the exhibits at the center where they can learn more about the Everglades eco-system. There are even interactive exhibits at the center which are pretty cool.

For hiking the Everglades, the two best short walks to take are definitely the Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trail.

If you opt-out of taking an airboat tour, the Anhinga Trail is your best chance to see alligators in the wild in the Everglades with many lounging in and along the banks of the trail, sunning themselves.

Everglades National Park, places to visit in Florida
Everglades National Park, Florida

During the springtime, you may be able to spot baby gators on the lily pads along the trail which is a pretty cute sight.

There is not a whole lot of wildlife on the Gumbo Limbo Trail but it is a fantastic reprieve during the hot midday sun which is particularly potent in the Everglades.

Bring sun protection as most of the trails are exposed and in full sunlight!

The final ‘must-do’ spot in the Everglades is the Shark Valley Trail, a 15-mile trail that can be accessed on foot, by bike or on a tram tour.

As the trail is long and ends with a worthwhile viewing platform it is best to tram or bike this trail.

For places to stay in Everglades National Park, our partner Booking.com has over 130 properties to choose from!

7. Sarasota

Looking for the best beach vacation spots in Florida? Welcome to the home of the #1 Beach in the USA, Siesta Beach.

Siesta Beach’s are picturesque powdery quartz-crystal, white sand beaches and other cool attractions in the area gives Sarasota bragging rights as one of the top vacation spots in Florida.

If you would like to get a cute and colorful Instagram-worthy photo, Siesta Beach is the perfect place to go as adorable, colorful lifeguard stands are placed every few hundred meters along the beach.

Sarasota Beach, Florida best beach in the USA

If you find yourself on Siesta Beach one hour before sunset on a Sunday you may also get the chance to see the Community Drum Circle chant to another dimension. Sarasota is a very spiritual place. If you see the drum circle chant you will know what I mean!

Other great beaches to check out in the Sarasota area include Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach, South Lido Key Beach, and Lido Key Beach.

Aside from the great Florida beaches here, the Ringling Museum of Art is absolutely an unmissable thing to do in Sarasota if you love beautiful gardens, art, and buildings. The museum even has free entry on a Monday!

Sarasota was once a circus city and the Ringling Museum of Art was the opulent home of John Ringling, the circus owner.

The famous unconditional surrender statue can also be found in Sarasota. If you are on a romantic getaway in Sarasota, it is the ideal place to get a romantic photograph taken emulating the victoriously returned sailor kissing a nurse at the end of WWII.

For places to stay in Sarasota, our partner Booking.com has over 330 properties to choose from!

8. Marco Island

Looking for a hidden gem in Florida waiting to be discovered? Then Marco Island is one of the best places in Florida to visit for you!

Located on Florida’s Paradise Coast, this new travel destination is one of the best places to vacation in Florida as it really has something for everyone!

Marco Island, Florida
White sandy beaches of Florida

Forming part of the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island has a very chilled ‘island-life’ vibe, stunning sunsets, boutique shopping, and a unique opportunity to find some of the most beautiful shells in the US.

The activity of shelling is a popular hobby and even a sport for many of the local Marco Island residents who take immense pride in their shell findings, even submitting some of the best shells in the area to competitions and exhibits across the country!

These alien-like buildings, partially destroyed by hurricanes, are now all that is left of a former mansion constructed by a retired oil producer.

If you don’t believe in the effects of climate change, these dome houses might just change your mind as they are said to be sinking as a result climate change and rising water levels.

Hot tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to see the sinking Cape Romano Dome Houses while in Marco Island.

Other fun things to do in Marco Island for the whole family include:

For places to stay in Marco Island, our partner Booking.com has over 490 properties to choose from!

9. Orlando and Surrounding Areas

I’m sure the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Orlando is theme parks!

It’s true, Orlando has some world-class theme parks making it one of the best family vacation spots in Florida.

Diagon Alley, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Orlando
Universal Studios – Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There are Walt Disney World and Universal Studios which are pretty much unmissable if you have kids or you are a big Harry Potter or Disney fan.

Aside from theme parks, there are plenty more fabulous things to do in Orlando within a short 30-minute drive to get back to nature on your theme park-free days.

Here are some posts about Universal Studios with kids if you are thinking to visit one of Florida’s best theme parks:

Kelly Park tubing fun in Florida
Kelly Park

Two of our favorite outdoor areas and springs near Orlando are Kelly Park and Blue Springs State Park.

Make sure you bring a tube with you as both of these recreational areas offer the ability to go tubing in some of Florida’s most beautiful springs.

You might also like to bring a snorkel with you as we overheard some children making some very interesting finds including shark teeth underwater at Kelly Park!

In winter, tubing finishes at Blue Springs State Park as Florida’s manatees migrate back to the warmth of the spring for winter. Instead of tubing, you can kayak to get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the sea (outside of the manatee-protected area).

If you love the great outdoors both Kelly Park and Blue Springs State Park are fabulous places to camp in Florida.

For places to stay in Orlando, our partner Booking.com has over 2,200 properties to choose from!

10. Fort Myers

Fort Myers is one of the best Florida vacation spots for those who love adventure!

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve was by far our favorite activity in Fort Myers. We were completely blown away by how beautiful the trails in the preserve were.

The 3,500 acre nature trails at Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve are one of the best places to get up close and personal with nature as the boardwalk trails pass through tropical forest, wetlands, and a butterfly garden.

Along the trails, you have the chance to see native birds, alligators, and sea turtles.

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, Fort Myers
Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

If you are visiting Fort Myers in winter, we would highly recommend visiting Manatee Park to receive a unique opportunity to view manatees warming themselves by the warm water created by the power plant.

Don’t bother visiting the park if you make a Fort Myers trip in summer because even as late as October we did not see a single manatee swimming in the waters of Manatee Park.

If you are an international visitor to Florida, it is always fun to see an American sports game in action. In Fort Myers, take the opportunity to see an action-filled game of baseball at Hammond Stadium.

For places to stay in Fort Myers, our partner Booking.com has over 130 properties to choose from!

11. Sanibel Island

Off the coast of Fort Myers, you will find one of the best vacation spots in Florida for couples – Sanibel Island.

This island is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Florida for not only stunning beaches but also lush tropical rain forests and sunsets to die for.

The deserted, picturesque beaches on Sanibel including Blind Pass Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and Bowman’s Beach are the perfect place for a romantic holiday in the Sunshine State.

Sanibel Island - best vacation for couples in Florida
Couples love Sanibel Island

One of the most relaxing activities on Sanibel Island is to head to Gulfside City Park Beach with a beach chair and cooler to watch the incredible kite surfers dominate the waves.

Gulfside has the perfect conditions for kite-surfing and watching the pros tackle the waves certainly makes for an entertaining afternoon.

Sanibel Island rivals its neighbor Marco Island for the best shelling beaches in Florida. If you enjoy finding beautiful shells, you will be very satisfied on Sanibel Island.

Before you leave Sanibel, check out The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum which exhibits some of the most beautiful shells found on the island.

Be sure to also make a stop at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge while on Sanibel Island.

The refuge offers some of the best bird watching in Florida and draws tourists from all over America to see the abundance of bird life in their natural habitat including American bald eagles, spoon-billed roseate, and heron.

You are also likely to catch a glimpse of a Florida gator while in the park.

For places to stay in Sanibel Island, our partner Booking.com has over 480 properties to choose from!

12. Bonita Springs

Looking for undiscovered destinations in Florida?

The small beach-side town of Bonita Springs is often overlooked as a place to vacation in Florida.

It is, however, one of the best places in Florida for those who love relaxed beach towns with a whole lot of charm!

Bonita Springs - unknown destination in florida

The town has a very long history which can be traced back to Native Indians who lived in the area as long as 8,000 years ago.

Due to the abundance of fun things to do in the area, it quickly became one of our favorite places to visit in Florida!

One of our favorite activities was to hunt for gopher turtles at Cullum’s Bonita Trail. Seeing multiple gopher turtles and rabbits freely running around the lush tropical trails was definitely one of our Florida highlights.

While in Bonita Springs don’t miss catching a stunning orange-red sunset at one of the incredible beaches along the coast.

The most popular place to watch the sunset is Bonita Beach Park but be forewarned the parking lot is packed and it is difficult to secure a park.

Our insider tip is to head to the lesser-known Little Hickory Beach Park where there’s plenty of parking and you get the same spectacular sunset!

For places to stay in Bonita Springs, our partner Booking.com has over 140 properties to choose from!

13. Naples

Driving into Naples, Florida made me question whether I’d taken a wrong turn and somehow ended up across the country in Beverley Hills.

Deciding which Beverley Hills meets Hamptons’ style mansion to move into in Naples should be an activity in its own right – the houses are just that pretty.

Naples, Florida vacation

Aside from the houses, people choose to vacation in Naples Florida for its incredible white sandy beaches, shopping, and dining opportunities.

If you want to go fishing in Florida, this pier is one of the very few areas which does not require a license.

Just off Naples Beach on 12th avenue are some cool hipster bars and restaurants to enjoy after a dip at the beach.

Despite Naples Beach being the most popular beach in the Naples area, our favorite beach was actually Lowdermilk Beach Park as we were lucky enough to see dolphins swimming very close to the shore at the beach.

The dolphins weren’t shy either and interacted with a local fisherman who was out about waist-deep fishing!

Don’t miss the gorgeous Naples Beach and Naples Municipal Beach Pier where you can watch fisherman haul in some seriously impressive catches.

Being located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Bonita Springs, you can also catch an incredible orange-red sunset in Naples.

Other fun activities to do in Naples Florida include:

  • Naples Botanical Garden
  • Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park
  • Vanderbilt Beach
  • and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

For places to stay in Naples, our partner Booking.com has over 420 properties to choose from!

14. Ocala National Forest

We never grow tired of visiting Ocala. This National Forest in Florida is a nature lover’s paradise.

Florida is home to over 700 natural springs and some of the most beautiful are located within the Ocala National Forest.

Two of the best springs in the National Forest include Juniper Springs and Alexander Springs.

If you only have time to visit one of the two, we would recommend Juniper Springs which offers a great balance between swimming, nature trails, and beauty.

Ocala National Forest - family vacation Florida

There is a nature trail at Juniper Springs that leads to a picturesque bridge with some of the most beautiful crystal-clear water we have ever seen!

Interestingly, Juniper Springs is one of the oldest recreation areas in Florida established by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

We loved seeing the old mill and waterwheel which was used to generate electricity for the campsite when the park first opened.

If you are up for a bit more adventure, you might like to try the kayak run at Juniper Springs.

If you are traveling with kids, the kayak run is probably not a good activity as it’s an advanced run with gators that lurk in the water. Kayakers have been known to capsize due to the narrow overgrown trail and small rapids!

For places to stay in Ocala National Forest, check options on our partner Booking.com!

15. Crystal River

Crystal River deserves its place in the list as one of the top Florida vacation spots as it is the only place in Florida where you have the opportunity to swim with Florida’s manatees year-round.

Crystal River is located on Kings Bay in western Florida and is fueled by some of Florida’s most picturesque springs including the lovely Three Sisters Springs.

There are about 3,000 – 5,000 manatees living in Florida with an estimated 1,000 of the population living in Crystal River alone, making it one of the best places to spot a manatee in Florida.

Crystal River - fantastic family vacation spot in Florida

Top tip: Manage your expectations depending on the time of year you visit.

In the winter months, you will be able to swim with a large population of manatees while in the summer months you will probably only swim with one or two.

No matter the season, it is rare that you will find no manatees in Crystal River.

During the summer, a large percentage of the population leave Florida and migrate north throughout the many waterways in the United States. They return in winter to warm their bodies in Crystal River, fed by the warm waters of the springs which remain at a constant 72°F.

We loved that swimming with manatees is done in a sustainable and ethical way in their natural habitat.

You are prohibited by Florida laws to harass the manatees in any way and you are required to stay at a safe distance while snorkeling with the gentle giants.

For places to stay in Crystal River, check out options on our partner Booking.com!

16. Ginnie Springs

Fancy floating down a lazy picturesque river with a cocktail or beer in hand?

Then Ginnie Springs is one of the best Florida vacation spots and one of the best things to do in North Florida!

Ginnie Springs a must see in Florida
Ginnie Springs

As Ginnie Springs is one of the few springs in Florida that is privately owned, it is one of, if not the only, spring in Florida where you can consume alcoholic beverages.

Located in northern Florida above Ocala National Forest on the Santa Fe River, it is one of Florida’s prettiest natural springs.

Despite the name, Ginnie Springs is not just one lone spring but is made up of several springs including Devil’s Eye, Devil’s Ear, and Devil Spring.

There is an abundance of activities available including tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding making the springs a top vacation spot in Florida for couples and families alike.

Ginnie Springs is also home to one of the longest tube runs you can complete in Florida (1 hour from start to finish).

Bring your own tube – the bigger the better – as you float from one spring to another in the Santa Fe River.

It is totally acceptable to bring the biggest tube you can find. We saw a 10-man tube with a cooler in the middle floating along the river while we were there!

For places to stay in Ginnie Springs, check out options via our partner Booking.com!

17. Daytona Beach

We haven’t visited Daytona Beach since before Hurricane Irma hit in 2017 but it remains firmly placed in our mind as one of the best places to visit in Florida.

Daytona Beach was put on the map by the Daytona International Speedway, a world famous racetrack in Daytona.

Sadly, Hurricane Irma destroyed a lot of Daytona Beach and for many years we would not recommend a visit due to the devastation caused by the hurricane.

Luckily, the community of Daytona has now managed to rebuild Daytona Beach back to its former glory making it once again one of the best places in Florida to visit.

One of the things that really stood out to us in Daytona was the ability to drive cars on the beach due to Daytona’s unique hard-packed beach sand. 

For places to stay in Daytona Beach, our partner Booking.com has over 300 properties to choose from!

Daytona Beach places to visit in Florida
Daytona Beach

Other than cruising the beach, watching the sunset and enjoying a cocktail from the Daytona beach pier became somewhat of a daily ritual for us.

If you are open-minded and looking for something very unique to do in Daytona, we would recommend visiting Daytona’s drive-in church, open to tourists, atheists, and people of all religions.

The service is played over your car radio and you beep when you hear “Amen”. Afterward, they invite you to enjoy free Krispy Kreme donuts inside.

We went just to check it out as we were totally intrigued by the new concept! We had never heard of a drive in church before!

Daytona is part of Florida’s Space Coast.

If you are a big nerd at heart, visiting the Kennedy Space Center, just a one-hour drive from Daytona Beach, is a must-do on your Florida vacation. It was quite possibly Mike’s favorite activity in Florida!

18. Jacksonville

So we’ve given you a lot of choices for Florida vacation spots on the beach but if it’s a city break you’re after, then you can’t go wrong with Jacksonville. It’s one of our top places to visit in Florida to escape the crowds.

This sprawling metropolis may be a city, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

buildings at sunset with water fountains in front of them

Jacksonville is known as the city of parks, probably because the city has 400 city parks including the largest urban park in the country, which is bigger than Manhatten!

Inside the city, you’ll find lots of galleries and museums, such as the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens which displays some lovely pieces of modern art.

You can also find lovely nature spots outside the city such as Fort Clinch State Park, which has great hiking and camping facilities, and the Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park which is great for surfing.

For places to stay in Jacksonville, our partner Booking.com has over 2,400 properties to choose from!

19. Panama City Beach

Located on the Florida panhandle, in the Northwest of the state, is the underrated city of Panama City Beach.

Known for its gorgeous white-sand Panama City Beach, which stretches for miles on the Gulf of Mexico.

Panama City Beach

The city is home to the protected nature preserve, St. Andrews State Park, which is great for hiking and fishing. Conservation Park is also a lovely wooded area that’s great for hiking.

The vibrant Pier Park is the place to be. It’s a great space to hang out and do some shopping.

You’ll also find lots of top-quality restaurants and live events happening here.

For places to stay in Panama City Beach, our partner Booking.com has over 2,400 properties to choose from!

20. Tampa Bay Area

Another great city to explore in Florida is Tampa. It’s most well known for its stunning Gulf Coast beaches, top-of-the-league professional sports teams, and year-round hot weather.

You’ll also find some theme parks here such as Busch Gardens, but Tampa has so much more to offer.

For foodies, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to heaven. Much of the cuisine is inspired by its Spanish colonial routes, and you’ll have more than enough options for seafood dishes to try here.

If you’re not interested in visiting one of the many theme parks, then the American Victory Ship & Museum is a fascinating place! You get to explore a retired military warship, which saw battles in World War II and the Vietnam war.

Top tip! You can save money on multiple attractions by getting the Tampa Bay City Pass, which gets you up to 50% off top attractions in the city.

jetty at sunset in clearwater beach
Clearwater Bay Sunset

A great day trip from Tampa is to Clearwater Bay, another popular beach town in the Tampa Bay Area.

It’s known for some stunning beaches such as Clearwater Beach, and the iconic Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is dedicated to caring for sick marine animals.

For places to stay in Tampa, our partner Booking.com has over 450 properties to choose from!

21. Fort Lauderdale

If you’re looking for a unique Florida vacation spot, consider Fort Lauderdale. Just a thirty-minute drive from West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America, since its historic riverwalk neighborhood is flanked by canals and historic buildings.

You can even take gondola rides here, it’s that much like Venice!

Fort Lauderdale Florida

The iconic Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale is where it’s happening. This is the best place to be for shopping, dining, and entertainment. You’ll also find art galleries and plenty of boutique stores and antique shops here.

As well as being a quirky and unique place, Fort Lauderdale also has gorgeous beaches that suit any type of traveler.

Dania Beach is a great low-key beach to cast a line and do some fishing off the pier, whereas Las Olas Beach is more lively and lined with high-end hotels and beach bars.

Fort Lauderdale Beach is a great all-round beach, it’s not too busy and is connected to some great shops and restaurants. You can also take part in watersports here.

For places to stay in Fort Lauderdale, our partner Booking.com has over 520 properties to choose from!

More Florida Travel Tips

Final Word on Florida Vacation Spots

So there you have it, those are the top Florida vacation spots! Whether you’re traveling as a family like us or if you’re with a group of mates, there’s something for every type of traveler in Florida.

We hope this post provided you with some ideas for Florida vacation destinations and who knows, maybe you’ve got ideas for more than one trip!

What Florida vacation spots would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

florida vacation pin image

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