Peninsular Florida is the southeastern most U.S. state. Bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Straits of Florida and to the north by Alabama and Georgia, Florida is the 3rd most populous and the 8th most densely populated of the United States. Nicknamed as the “Sunshine State,” Florida is heavily focused on the tourist trade. Well it should be, because there are many interesting and beautiful places to visit in Florida. For starters, it has hundreds of miles of beaches. Known for its Latin flavor and influential arts scene, Miami is one of the top tourist attractions in Florida. One of the most popular things to do in Florida is enjoying the vibrant nightlife in upscale South Beach. Then there is Orlando. It is one of the world-renowned tourist attractions in Florida.
Orlando is the place to make all of your vacation dreams come true. One of the best and the most exciting things to do in Florida is visiting all the famous theme parks in Orlando. The top tourist attractions in Orlando Florida include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral.
10 Best Places to Visit in Florida:
Apart from these, there are many beautiful places to visit in Florida. Some of them are in secluded locations well away from tourist areas, but they are among the best places to visit in Florida and well worth seeing. Florida has something to offer for any kind of traveler regardless of preference.
10. Amelia Island
Set in the Sea Island chain, Amelia Island is a gem and one of the most relaxing places to visit in Florida. If you’re looking for a tranquil getaway, one of the best things to do in Florida is to visit the Amelia Island. Most tourists visit Amelia Island to enjoy beautiful beaches, oceanfront accommodations (from golf resorts to beach cottages and condo rentals), and to see the downtown Fernandina historic district. Amelia Island is home to Fernandina Beach with about 13 miles of shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean. There are also city and county beach parks as well as two Florida State Parks. The Amelia Island was controlled by France, Spain and England, thus it is a very good place for historic exploration too.
All of those things make Amelia Island one of the most desired places to visit in Florida. Tourist can enjoy Golden-hued sands and guided horseback rides along the shore. Lucky visitors may even get a glimpse of the endangered right whale as well as of dolphin and osprey. Amelia is a great place to ride bikes and many island residents and visitors spend leisure time biking along miles of sidewalks as well as biking trails (including the new 6.2 miles Amelia Island Trail on the south end of the island). Visitors can also take a horse drawn carriage ride and hear about historic points of interest.
Also visit the Amelia Island Museum of History and the Amelia Island lighthouse, both of which are located in Fernandina Beach. There is a charming shrimping village with 50 blocks of historic buildings. From parasailing to deep sea fishing and scuba diving, there is much to explore on water as on land. Tourist can also go kayaking and boating tours around the Amelia Island. Amelia Island consistently ranks among its “Top 10 U.S. Islands” and it is one of the top tourist attractions in Florida.
Also Read: Top 10 best Islands Cities to visit
9. Castillo de San Marcos
One of the best places to visit in Florida is the Castillo de San Marcos. It is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located in the city of St. Augustine, the Castillo de San Marcos is a large Spanish stone fortress built between 1672 and 1695 by to protect and defend Spain’s claims in the New World. The structure was used for various reasons afterwards including holding Indian prisoners during the Seminole Wars and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The fort was constructed of coquina stone, a limestone consisting almost entirely of Shelly fossils that were shipped in from Anastasia Island.
Now, the Castillo de San Marcos is one of the top tourist attractions in Florida. Many thousands of people come each year to view the imposing fortress and to learn about the fascinating years that it served the city. A tour of the bastion allows visitors to see the walls that withstood many battles of colonial warfare and to witness the ways in which it protected the city. Besides, there’s plenty to explore at the Castillo, from the numerous rooms that once housed soldiers and prisoners, to the large interior courtyard and gun deck which offers a great view of the city.
There are daily programs that are arranged regularly. Visitors even get to see cannon firings and weaponry demonstrations on weekends. One of the most exciting things to do in Florida is to visit the fort and watch the weapon display. You will surely miss a lot of excitement if you don’t visit the Castillo de San Marcos one of the most famous places to visit in Florida.
8. Universal Orlando Resort
The Universal Orlando Resort is one of the best places to visit in Florida. It is the top ranked challenger to Disney as the biggest of the Universal Studios Theme Parks. It is also one of the main tourist attractions in Orlando Florida. The resort consists of two theme parks. One of them is the original Universal Studios Florida. The Islands of Adventure is the second theme park. There are many other attractions including a nightclub and restaurant complex, City Walk, and three resort hotels.
This is one of the best places to visit in Florida with your family. Enjoy an ocean of fun and recreational opportunities for the whole family. You can play a game of ping pong or enjoy a game of beach volleyball. You can even enjoy an authentic luau or make arrangements to play a nearby round of golf. There are many things to do in Florida Universal Orlando Resort and every one of them is fun. Nobody puts you in the picture like Universal Studios. You become the star here in an amazing array of rides, shows and attractions, putting you right in your favorite scenes from your favorite movies and TV shows.
You can experience all the nail-biting exhilaration, all the pulse-quickening thrills, all the side-splitting comedy of the greatest movies and TV shows ever created with you right in the middle of the action. You can journey through cavernous passageways that lead deep underground as you ascend aboard “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts”. You can zigzag and hurtle your way through Krustyland on the wild and riotous “The Simpsons Ride”. On “Revenge of the Mummy”, you will fall into darkness.
Through the miracle of Ogre Vision, you can see, feel and hear the action on “Shrek 4-D”. On the interactive ride “MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack”, you can save the galaxy from evil aliens by fighting against them. And ride on the “Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit”, the world’s most technologically advanced roller coaster where you pick the music. There are many more things to do in Florida Universal Orlando Resort. No wonder, it is one of the top tourist attractions in Orlando Florida and one of the best places to visit in Florida.
7. Fort Lauderdale
There are numerous tourist attractions in Florida. So there are many places to visit in Florida and also unlimited things to do in Florida. Among the many places to visit in Florida, Fort Lauderdale is one of a kind. It is located on the Atlantic coast. Due to its extensive and elaborate canal system, Fort Lauderdale is also known as the “Venice of America”. Fort Lauderdale is famous for its beaches, boats, culture, arts and events. This famous city was once a major spring break destination, but now, it is a stylish and classy city.
Fort Lauderdale Beach is central along the beach strip with its crisp, new, wavy-walked public walk separating the beach from the low-rise lodgings, restaurants, and beach shops. And don’t forget to stroll or jog along the palm tree-fringed, brick-lined beachfront promenade. You can find everything from world-class spas to water sports, relaxed shopping to graceful museums in Fort Lauderdale Beach. It is an outdoor devotee’s playground for the young and the young at heart.
Except maybe to dine and shop along Las Olas Boulevard, few visitors venture far inland. Most spend the bulk of their time on the coast. After all, it’s hard to compete with gorgeous beaches, a structure of Venice-like waterways, an intercontinental yachting view, new hotels and first-class restaurants. Fort Lauderdale is one of the best places to visit in Florida without a doubt.
6. Kennedy Space Center
You will never be short of things to do in Florida. After all, there are many beautiful and dramatic places to visit in Florida. Kennedy Space Center is one of them. The space center is located on the east coast of central Florida about a 45 minute drive from Orlando. The Kennedy Space Center is one of the top tourist attractions in Orlando Florida and is a nice break from the Orlando theme parks. Since 1968, the Kennedy Space Center has been the launch site for every US human space flight. It operates as a launch site for unmanned rockets now.
The list of things to do in Florida may start with a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It is also one of the main tourist attractions in Florida and offers museums, a rocket garden, movies and bus tours of important shuttle preparation and launch facilities. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the only place in the world where you can walk under the largest rocket ever flown and touch an actual moon rock.
You can even meet a veteran NASA astronaut and enjoy the International Space Station. You can also see the Space Shuttle Atlantis on up close here. The Kennedy Space Center is really one of the most wondrous and dramatic places to visit in Florida.
5. Walt Disney World
No one will deny the fact that Walt Disney World is one of the most exciting and beautiful places to visit in Florida. It should be on everybody’s list of things to do in Florida. Your trip to Florida will not be complete without a taste of Walt Disney World. The Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited entertainment complex in the world. Located in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando, it is the flagship of Disney’s worldwide theme park empire and the most popular tourist attraction in Orlando Florida. The property covers 47 square miles featuring four theme parks, 24 unique themed resorts, two water parks, a sports complex, nearly 300 restaurants and the Downtown Disney shopping area. There are so many things to see and do here that it is almost impossible to enjoy them all.
There can be no doubt about the Walt Disney World being one of the best places to visit in Florida. The centerpieces of Walt Disney World are the four theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are so many things to do and so many things to see here. The Three Mountains in Magic Kingdom named Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain are must-sees for adventure seekers. The view of Cinderella Castle is spectacular from the top of the Splash Mountain at night. And there are fireworks that will knock your socks off! You can go to the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom. It’s a real feel Africa here.
It is said that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney Hollywood Studios is the best ride. And you can go Soarin’ in Epcot. It feels like you are on a hang glider “soarin’” over California. There are many more things to do in Walt Disney World. After all it is one of the most famous places to visit in Florida. It is a place of fun, fantasy and magic; but it is always crowded and becoming more expansive every day.
Also Read: Top 10 most favorite places to travel alone
4. Key West
Key West is one of the most unique places to visit in Florida. Located closer to Cuba than to Miami, Key West is the southernmost city in the continental United States. One of the best things to do in Florida is to visit Key West, the subtropical paradise of Florida. Key West is a unique convergence of climate, natural beauty, architecture, history, cultural diversity and unabashed romantic appeal. It is famous for its live-and-let-live attitude. The scenic beauty and the guest loving citizens were welcoming tourist for over 2 centuries. From the famous, including Ernest Hemingway, John J Audubon, and Tennessee Williams, to infamous, individuals have come here to fish, write, carouse, and revitalize since its earliest days.
Key West is one of the top tourist attractions in Florida because it offers so many things to the visitors. If you have never been here before, you are in for a real treat. Start your tour in the center of town at the Key West City Cemetery. You will be able to have a glimpse of Key West’s past and its remarkable sense of humor as exhibited by gravestones that read, “I told you I was sick,” and “At least I know where he’s sleeping tonight.” You can also see the palm-lined streets with gingerbread mansions and tin-roofed conch houses, which were home to Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Bishop, Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost and Jimmy Buffett, a few of the famous people who drew solace in this beautiful island.
You can also visit the museum and watch the centuries-old treasure of Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha. There are also art galleries, tour, theater and many more. Or you can simply relax on the beach and enjoy the panorama of Key West. And on the water, you can watch dolphin or go kayaking the back country. You can also go diving and snorkeling at Ft. Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas. You can even rent a boat from Key West Marina to explore on your own. No matter how you look at it, Key West is indeed one of the best places to visit in Florida.
The Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands is the most rare and beautiful places to visit in Florida. Located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, the Everglades are a natural region of tropical wetlands. The Everglades might appear as a big swamp to the inexperienced. It is actually an immense, shallow and slow moving river of grass that extends from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. Except for the deeper places it dries up during the dry season. It is an amazingly unique ecosystem and one of the top tourist attractions in Florida. This subtropical wilderness supports creatures such as alligators, manatees, bottle nose dolphins and bald eagles.
As one of the best places to visit in Florida, Everglades has many adventures to offer. You can take a short walk on the Anhinga Trail to spot abundant wildlife like turtles, herons and alligators. You can get a bird’s eye view of the glades from atop Shark Valley’s 65-foot observation tower. One of the best things to do in Florida is to glide over Florida Bay by tour boat or kayak for a chance to glimpse a crocodile, dolphin or manatee.
You will never forget the sight of the sun setting over Flamingo. You can explore the pinelands by bike. On Nine-Mile Pond, you can paddle amongst the mangroves. You can even see the historic Nike Hercules missile base. By camping along the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway, you can find seclusion on your own on a week-long canoe trip. And amid the mangroves, hardwood hammocks, cypress and miles of grass, there are infinite opportunities in the Everglades for hiking, canoeing, bicycling, boating, kayaking, camping and fishing.
Also Read: Top 10 largest wetlands in the world
2. South Beach
Among the many places to visit in Florida, the Miami’s South Beach is the hottest with beautiful weather, spectacular scenery and gorgeous people. South Beach is the most popular and richest area of Miami Beach and one of the top tourist attractions in Florida. South Beach is more of an experience than just a place to be in. You have to visit it to understand it. So keep it in your list of things to do in Florida. The incarnation of excess, South Beach is an international playground presenting non-stop nightlife, unique architecture, sandy shores and a bounty of eye candy. Enjoy the beach or the historic Art Deco architecture or the fine Oceanside dining – or all of it in a single day. And you can go to the Haulover Park for fishing, golf, tennis and bicycle rides.
One of the best places to go in Florida, South Beach occupies one of the best, highly preferred, beach front locations on Earth between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. Visitors enjoy the incredible Ocean Drive Atlantic coastline of several public access beaches. South Beach draws celebrities, models and beautiful people from around the world. There are people of many nationality gathered here.
So it is infused with Art from around the world and cultural events native to the area and from around the globe. The colorful lifeguard huts are also very famous. South Beach has lots to offer in the way of water sports-boating, yachting, sailing, swimming, fishing, surfing, Snorkeling, SCUBA, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kite surfing boating, SUP, Jet Ski’s and many more. It truly is one of the best places to visit in Florida.
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1. Overseas Highway
There are many gorgeous and dramatic places to visit in Florida. But nothing will prepare you for the greatest wonder of the modern time, the Overseas Highway. The Overseas Highway is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in America and one of the top tourist attractions in Florida. This famous highway is also known as U.S. Highway 1. It is the “magic carpet” through which travelers from Florida’s mainland can cross myriad coral and limestone islets in the course of that special world of the Florida Keys. From Key Largo, Islamadora, Marathon, Lower Keys and finally to Key West, the Overseas Highway stretches 127.5 miles (205.2 km) into the Gulf of Mexico.
Much of the highway uses a route that was initially a railroad formerly built by the Overseas Railroad that was finished in 1912. In 1935, that railroad was pretty much destroyed by a major hurricane. In 1938, the present highway opened with one bridge that is almost seven miles long. The Seven Mile Bridge has been featured in films such as True Lies, Mission Impossible III, I Am Number Four, 2 Fast 2 Furious and James Bond movie License to Kill.
One of the most popular things to do in Florida is to drive through the scenic Overseas Highway. You will be able to see seascapes as colorful as any artist’s palette, colors of sparkling sea from turquoise to blue to deep green. And there are the landscapes of rustling pine, silver buttonwood, swaying palms and water-rooted mangrove, all vying for life under a horizon-to-horizon blue sky dotted with fleecy white clouds.
There are many more. After all, the Overseas Highway is one of the best places to visit in Florida. You can see great white herons, ospreys, roseate spoonbills. And wheeling gulls and swooping pelicans and cormorants bobbing like corks to feed on fish at the water’s edge. Take your time for the dramatic sunsets. The sun, as it plummets into the blue sea, it sends glowing pink, orange and purple-blue fingers across the evening sky. Even the sunrises are amazing, as the ever-growing glow spreads beams of shimmering light over the sea. The Overseas Highway is without a doubt, among the best places to visit in Florida.