Best Places in Florida to Visit – Top Tourist Destinations


Florida boasts an array of top tourist destinations from sunny beaches to world-famous theme parks. Explore the best places in Florida to visit and craft unforgettable memories.

best places in florida to visit

Florida is known as the Sunshine State and is a top travel destination. It brings in millions of people every year. The state is famous for its iconic landmarks, beautiful beaches, and amazing nature.

There’s something for everyone in Florida. You can explore lively cities or relax in small coastal towns. Florida vacation spots are great for travelers at any stage of life.

If you love theme parks, culture, or the beach, Florida has you covered. Its top attractions are unforgettable. They include sites with gentle palm trees and welcoming vibes.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida boasts an array of top tourist destinations catering to diverse interests.
  • From world-renowned theme parks to vibrant cities brimming with cultural attractions, Florida offers something for everyone.
  • With year-round sunshine, miles of coastline, and a multitude of palm trees, Florida is a premier vacation destination.
  • Iconic landmarks, pristine beaches, and captivating natural wonders make Florida a tourist hotspot.
  • Explore Florida’s highlights and create unforgettable memories in the Sunshine State.

Dry Tortugas National Park – Remote Gulf of Mexico Islands

Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote paradise in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s situated 70 miles west of Key West. This park covers 100 square miles, with most of it being water. It provides amazing experiences above and below the water.

Premier Snorkeling and Wildlife Viewing

The park hosts almost 300 bird species and five sea turtle types. In the past four years, over 2,300 green and loggerhead turtles’ marks have been found. Dry Tortugas is within the third-largest reef in the world, letting snorkelers see around 30 coral species and many marine animals.

Historic Fort Jefferson

Located on Garden Key, the historic fort jefferson is a must-see. It’s an 1800’s fortress with a unique shape and a 155 feet lighthouse. This key also has the park’s office, visitor center, and camping grounds.

Accessible Only by Boat or Seaplane

Reaching Dry Tortugas needs a two-hour ferry trip or a seaplane flight. Its remote nature makes it one of the least-visited U.S. national parks. The Yankee Freedom ferry takes people there and back, offering refreshments, snorkel gear, and a unique experience. It costs $200 per adult, $145 per child, and infants go free.

Park Information Details
Total Area 100 square miles
Location 70 miles west of Key West
Islands Garden, Loggerhead, Bush, Long, East, Hospital, and Middle Keys
Accessibility Ferry or private seaplane
Ferry Capacity 175 passengers
Peak Season January through March

Dry Tortugas is perfect for those who enjoy snorkeling, watching wildlife, or history. It’s a unique destination that’s great for adventure lovers and those who appreciate nature.

The Palm Beaches – Diverse Activities and Luxury Resorts

The Palm Beaches are full of sun and fun in Palm Beach County. They offer a mix of things to do and fancy luxury resorts. Whether you’re shopping on Worth Avenue or surfing, there’s something exciting for everyone here.

Shopping, Surfing, and Cultural Attractions

Explore the Palm Beaches’ cultural attractions, like the famous polo matches. You can even have brunch with your pets. For those who love the outdoors, there’s kayaking at MacArthur Beach State Park or a trip to Peanut Island by boat.

Ritzy Accommodations in Palm Beach and Boca Raton

The Palm Beaches have some luxurious resorts like the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. It’s top-rated by Forbes. Nearby, the Boca Raton Resort offers five amazing hotels. The Four Seasons works with a Michelin-starred chef for fine dining.

The White Elephant Resort is a top pick in Florida, and PGA National Resort has great golf. It hosts a big PGA Tour every year.

Vibrant West Palm Beach Downtown

West Palm Beach downtown is lively too. They have a free trolley and the Grandview Public Market. Plus, there are rooftop bars with amazing views. Don’t miss food spots like Polpo Palm Beach or Avocado Cantina.

Resort Notable Highlights
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa Forbes Five-Star ratings for both resort and spa
The Boca Raton Resort Five distinct hotels including Yacht Club, Tower, Bungalows, Cloister and Beach Club
PGA National Resort Six golf courses, including The Champion course hosting the PGA National Tour annually
White Elephant Resort Rated #1 Resort in Florida by Travel & Leisure for 2022

The Palm Beaches are perfect for those looking for a luxurious vacation, outdoor fun, or rich culture. They are a great place for relaxation, enjoyment, and making lasting memories.

St. Augustine – America’s Oldest City

St. Augustine was founded in September 1565. It’s the oldest city in America. It’s known for its historical charm and Spanish colonial architecture. This Northeast Florida gem lets you step back in time. You can dive into a cultural tapestry woven over centuries.

Historic Sites and Spanish Colonial Architecture

In St. Augustine’s historic district, you’ll find landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcos. It’s a 17th-century fortress on over 20 acres. The oldest city in America boasts Ponce de Leon’s “Fountain of Youth” too. It’s a 15-acre park that’s privately owned. Tourists love it. Be sure to visit Fort Matanzas and the Lightner Museum. Don’t miss seeing Flagler College and the Old City Gate. They show the lasting impact of Spanish colonial architecture.

Ghostly Tours and Nights of Lights Festival

The city is also famous for its cobblestone alleys and ghost tours st augustine. These offer a peek into St. Augustine’s eerie past. Every year, the Nights of Lights festival takes place. Millions of lights deck out the historic district. It turns the city into a magical place that draws visitors from everywhere.

Charming Inns and Culinary Delights

St. Augustine is lined with cozy inns. The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens and St. Francis Inn are standouts. They offer a warm welcome for travelers. The city’s food scene is also worth exploring. You’ll find places like Michael’s Tasting Room and The Floridian. They serve dishes that represent the local flavors.

Attraction Description
Castillo de San Marcos A massive 17th-century fortress occupying over 20 acres in the downtown corridor.
Fort Matanzas Built at the Matanzas inlet to protect St. Augustine, measuring 50 feet on each side with a 30-foot tower.
Lightner Museum Constructed in 1888 and formerly served as the Alcazar Hotel, showcasing St. Augustine’s rich history.
Nights of Lights Festival An annual event where millions of lights illuminate the historic district, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere.

The Florida Keys – Tropical Island Paradise

The Florida Keys are a 113-mile stretch from Key Largo to Key West. It’s a florida keys vacation paradise right in the U.S. and doesn’t need a passport. You’ll find 1700 keys, each offering a distinct experience. The Keys suit both those looking for an all-inclusive florida keys trip and those wanting to unwind.

Key Largo’s All-Inclusive Resorts and Fresh Seafood

The Upper Keys, like Key Largo and Islamorada, are close to south Florida. They’re great for snorkeling and scuba diving. Key Largo is famous for diving and has many dive shops.

After diving, relax at adult-only key largo resorts such as Bungalows Key Largo and Playa Largo. Then, enjoy the fresh florida keys seafood at places like The Fish House, known for local fish.

sunset at key west

Key West’s Sunset Celebrations and Laid-Back Vibe

Key West stands out with its laid-back feel. It’s a must to see the key west sunset celebrations at Mallory Square. There, you’ll find street performers and music creating a lively atmosphere.

Don’t miss the quirky spots like Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum. You’ll see six-toed cats there. Find your spot to relax among the bars, restaurants, and shops of Duval Street.

Season Temperature Range Description
Winter Rarely below 55°F High season with peak crowds and prices
Spring Upper 70s to low 60s Decrease in crowds, pleasant temperatures
Summer Hot temperatures, frequent rainfall Reduced crowds and hotel prices
Fall Hurricane season (June-November) Peak hurricane risk in August and September

The Florida Keys have a lot to offer, including a tropical florida vacation. You can find both luxury and peace here. Each key is full of nature, diverse activities, and a charming island lifestyle.

Orlando – Theme Park Capital of the World

Orlando is known as the theme park capital of the world. It has many popular attractions that bring in millions every year. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort are some of the top spots. They offer unforgettable fun and exciting adventures for visitors.

Walt Disney World and Universal Studios

At the center of Orlando’s theme park scene is Walt Disney World Resort. This massive area has four theme parks, each with its own magic. You can visit Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park for a wide range of adventures.

Universal Orlando Resort is also a must-visit place. It lets you enter worlds from famous stories like Harry Potter. You can see these worlds in Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure.

Kennedy Space Center and Winter Park

Orlando has more to offer than just theme parks. You can visit the Kennedy Space Center and learn about space travel. Or, experience the calm and beauty of Winter Park, a lovely town with beautiful streets and sunsets by the lake.

Outdoor Adventures near Orlando

If you love the outdoors, Orlando is perfect for you. You can explore places like the Blue Grotto for diving or see the Rainbow River at Rainbow Springs State Park. Wekiwa Springs State Park is also great for enjoying nature, being one of Florida’s oldest parks.

Theme Park Highlights
Walt Disney World
  • Magic Kingdom Park
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Universal Orlando Resort
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Universal Islands of Adventure
  • Volcano Bay Water Park
SeaWorld Orlando
  • Main Theme Park
  • Aquatica Orlando Water Park
  • Discovery Cove
  • Infinity Falls
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
  • LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park
  • Peppa Pig Theme Park

Crystal River – Manatees and Mermaids

Crystal River sits on the west coast of Florida and is perfect for anyone who loves nature. It’s a unique mix of meeting wildlife and seeing beautiful underwater scenes. This makes it a top place to visit.

Clear Kayak Tours of Natural Springs

Exploring Crystal River in a clear kayak is magical. With tours by Get Up and Go Kayaking, you can see the Florida manatees. They gather in the springs like Hunter Springs and Three Sisters Springs. These tours give you a special chance to watch the manatees up close in their own space.

crystal river florida manatees

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Don’t miss Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Crystal River. It’s famous for its live mermaid shows. The park’s underwater theater is so cool. You can watch mermaids swimming and performing under water. It’s an unforgettable part of Crystal River’s beauty.

In Crystal River, there’s more than mermaids to see. Nature fans and adventurous types will love it. You can take manatee tours, explore the area’s nature, or just relax in this quiet spot on the Gulf.

Miami – Art Deco District and Vibrant Neighborhoods

Miami is bustling with energy and charm, drawing people in with its unique mix of neighborhoods. At the core of it all is the art deco district miami. It’s a place where the architecture is like a time machine to the 1920s and 30s. You can wander past buildings in pastel colors with fancy designs. These sights are so special they’re on the National Register of Historic Places.

Start your journey at the Art Deco Welcome Center on Ocean Drive. This is where you pick up a map for a self-guided tour. The tour shows you places like the Colony Hotel and Carlyle on Ocean Drive. Then, there’s Collins Avenue where you’ll find the Delano and Raleigh hotels. Here, you can see the true beauty of the Art Deco era. Espanola Way adds a taste of Mediterranean Revival. And, Washington Avenue mixes old with new. You’ll see original Art Deco and modern styles, including the Wolfsonian-FIU museum.

There’s more to Miami than the art deco district miami. Wynwood Walls is a cutting-edge area full of street art. This open-air gallery is alive with vibrant murals and graffiti. In Miami Beach, the fun never ends. There are beautiful beaches lined with amazing seafood spots. Plus, a nightlife that keeps the city awake till dawn.

Fort Lauderdale’s Waterways and Las Olas Boulevard

Fort Lauderdale is not far, with its stunning waterways and las olas boulevard. This area is perfect for a scenic meal, shopping, and enjoying culture. Las Olas Boulevard is especially charming. It’s a tree-lined street with shops and places to eat outside. It’s a lively spot by the water.

Looking for culture or a sunny beach? Miami and its nearby cities have it all. From the beautiful art deco district miami to the cool street art, there’s a lot to see. You can also enjoy the relaxing vibe of Fort Lauderdale. This area is full of experiences you won’t forget.

Tampa Bay Area – Gulf Coast Getaway

The Tampa Bay area is a top Gulf Coast destination in Florida. It includes Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. A mix of relaxing beaches, thrilling adventures, and culture is on offer.

Clearwater Beach and Busch Gardens

Clearwater Beach ranks high for its soft sands and sun. Every year, the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival features amazing sculptures from sand. Meanwhile, Busch Gardens Tampa is perfect for those who love excitement. The Cheetah Hunt roller coaster gets your heart racing at 60 mph.

St. Petersburg’s Arts Scene and Dalí Museum

Known as the Sunshine City, St. Petersburg shines in arts. The Dalí Museum is a main highlight, showcasing Salvador Dalí’s works. Its unique design and mind-bending exhibits draw in art lovers.

In the Tampa area, food and drink are also top-notch. The Columbia Restaurant, located in Tampa, is both historic and huge, serving 1,700 people. It’s the oldest and largest Spanish restaurant in Florida.

City Highlights Distance from Tampa
Clearwater Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival 25 miles
Tampa Busch Gardens, Columbia Restaurant, Florida Aquarium
St. Petersburg Dalí Museum, Arts Scene 24 miles
Sarasota Beach Town, Proximity to Tampa 60 miles

The Tampa Bay area is a great mix of beautiful beaches, thrilling parks, and rich culture. It’s a perfect Gulf Coast vacation spot in Florida.

Florida Panhandle – Coastal Charm

The Florida Panhandle stretches along the Gulf Coast. It is well-known for its beautiful white-sand beaches. Also, for the state parks it offers and its charming towns. Capital city Tallahassee is a big part of it. It welcomes many visitors because of its allure and natural wonders.

Pensacola, Panama City Beach, and Destin

The Panhandle hosts some favorite coastal spots. Pensacola, Panama City Beach, and Destin are among them. Pensacola is less crowded and close to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It also houses the beautiful Fort Pickens area. Then, there’s Panama City Beach, famous as the “Spring Break Capital.” It’s loved by both spring breakers and those seeking the sun. Destin shines with its emerald waters and soft sand. It’s perfect for swimming, relaxing, and various water sports.

White-Sand Beaches and State Parks

This region is home to more than just its famous beaches. Coastal cities and communities line its shores. You can visit places like Miramar Beach, Navarre, Mexico Beach, and Seaside. They invite you to enjoy their long stretches of sand and clear blue waters. Fish, watch birds, or collect shells. State parks like St. George Island and Grayton Beach are great for nature lovers. They offer a quiet escape amidst beautiful landscapes.


What are the top attractions in Dry Tortugas National Park?

Dry Tortugas National Park is known for great snorkeling. It’s home to diverse wildlife, like birds and sea turtles. Also, there’s an old fortress called Fort Jefferson.

What are some of the highlights of the Palm Beaches region?

The Palm Beaches are great for various activities. You can go shopping, surfing, or diving. There are cultural events too, like polo matches and dog-friendly brunches. Relax in luxury at resorts like The Breakers or The Boca Raton.

Don’t miss the lively downtown West Palm Beach.

What makes St. Augustine a unique destination?

St. Augustine is the USA’s oldest city. It has the Fountain of Youth and a historic fort. The city’s old streets, ghost tours, and an amazing light festival make it special. Enjoy staying at cozy inns and tasting local foods.

What are some highlights of the Florida Keys?

The Florida Keys offer unique experiences. Key Largo has upscale resorts and seafood. Key West is famous for its easygoing vibe and sunsets. Visit Hemingway’s house to see his six-toed cats.

What makes Orlando a top destination?

Orlando is a top spot for theme parks. It has Walt Disney World and more. But there’s more than just parks. You can visit the Kennedy Space Center or explore Winter Park. Diving and floating in Rainbow River are also fun.

What unique experiences can visitors have in Crystal River?

Crystal River is unique for its clear kayaking. You can see manatees up close. Also, visit beautiful springs like Hunter Springs.

Don’t miss Weeki Wachee Springs for mermaid shows in an underwater theater.

What are the highlights of Miami and Fort Lauderdale?

In Miami, the Art Deco District and Wynwood Walls are must-sees. Fort Lauderdale is known for its waterways and Las Olas Boulevard. This place is great for food, shopping, and culture.

What makes the Tampa Bay Area a well-rounded destination?

The Tampa Bay Area is perfect for a Gulf Coast vacation. Clearwater Beach is amazing. There’s also Busch Gardens and the Dalí Museum. The food and drink scene is great here, too.

What draws visitors to the Florida Panhandle?

The Florida Panhandle is popular for its beaches and clear Gulf waters. Cities like Pensacola and Destin are charming. You can also explore beautiful state parks here.

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