The Best Places To Visit In Florida
Florida is almost like a whole other country. Part of the U.S. South but not. Known for both its very old and very young populations. Home to St. Augustine, settled in 1565 by the Spanish, and NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida is a state of contradictions and extremes. That might be one of the reasons it is such a popular vacation destination; there's literally something for everyone. With all of the wild and wonderful places to visit in Florida, narrowing it down can be difficult. If you're trying to decide the best places to visit in Florida, read on.
- Walt Disney World Resort
No list of Florida vacation destinations would be complete without mentioning Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This juggernaut of the amusement park industry is a complex of four theme parks, two water parks, 27 hotels, golf courses, camping and shopping center. It covers 39 square miles and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. A Disney Resort vacation is a stop that is magic for the whole family. Staying on property means you don't need a vehicle; all the parks are connected with the Disney Monorail system. Park hopper tickets allow your family to move between the different parks for up to 10 days, with add-ons for the water parks and other local experiences like an NBA game. The longer you stay, the better the value each pass is, but no matter how long you stay you should definitely look for Disney World tickets discount options.
- The Florida Keys
If you're looking for a more adult-centric vacation consider heading down to the Florida Keys. Each key, a small, flat coral island, has its own personality. Key West is known for its quirky personality. Visit the Key West cemetery to see a tribute to the U.S.S. Maine and epitaphs such as "I'm just resting my eyes" and "I told you I was sick."
Key Largo, made famous by Bogart and Bacall in the film of the same name, is also home to the world's largest artificial reef. Divers flock to the clear waters and amazing sea life at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Other keys include Marathon and Islamorada. Check out Hemingway Days in celebration of the famous author. Visit President Harry Truman's Little White House. Sit on the beach with a drink listening to the tunes of famous resident Jimmy Buffet. No matter which key you choose, sit on the edge of the United States and watch each breathtaking sunset.
Just down the western coast from Tampa, Sarasota is the number one recommendation of many travel guides when considering the state. Smaller than some of the big name draws like Miami and Orlando, Sarasota has made its name as the arts capital of the state. Check out The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, The Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera and Sarasota Art Museum. If the outdoors is more your scene, there's the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, or just step out your door and visit Myakka River State Park. This park is the largest state park in Florida, encompassing 58 square miles, two lakes, a river, wetlands and prairies. The state offers airboat roads so you can get closer to the alligators, armadillos and spoonbills.
- Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island takes care of the biggest issue you may experience vacationing in Florida: crowding. With so many beautiful destinations, scads of people are arriving for relaxation every day. Sanibel Island is further off the beaten path, a crescent of land off the coast of Fort Myers, connected via a causeway. When you visit Sanibel you're really getting away from it all. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and it's terrific shelling beaches, Sanibel isn't about flash the way Miami is. When you come to Sanibel you are coming to relax, without a schedule, without wanting to go anywhere else, just to hang on the beach, swim in the surf and pick up a few shells. It's the perfect spot for couples looking for a romantic getaway.
- The Everglades
Finally, possibly only slightly less well-known than Disney World is the Florida Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the country. If you want to see a unique natural environment, the Everglades is for you. Covering 1.5 million acres, this preserved wilderness is the third largest in the U.S. It is still home to panthers, manatees and the ubiquitous alligator. These wetlands are desperately needed to preserve the many species that call it home. For the past 20 years the park has been undergoing restoration, bringing back habitat. Remember that this is a watery environment. To really get a feel for it, see it by boat. It's also hot in Florida, so a trip in winter is a good idea.
Whether you're a family, a single adult, looking for organized fun or a downtime on the beach, Florida has something you'll love. There are just so many spots to visit, and Key West boat rentals are the perfect way to get to these amazing spots and attractions easily!