Most tourists visit Florida for Orlando’s world-renowned theme parks or Miami’s beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. While Disney World and Miami Beach are well-worth visiting, the US state also has many more spots of natural beauty, exciting cities, and historical landmarks to offer.
There’s no denying that Orlando’s theme parks are some of the best in the world. Stay in areas like Kissimmee or International Drive to be within a stone’s throw of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Be sure to thoroughly research your trip before you go, pre-book fast passes, and reserve your dining spots to avoid disappointment.
|Orlando’s theme parks are some of the best in the world.
Brevard County’s Kennedy Space Center makes for a great day trip from Orlando if you’re looking to learn more about space exploration. Alternatively, visit Daytona Beach for an adrenaline rush at the NASCAR SpeedPark and classic family fun along the boardwalk, with a Ferris wheel and arcade games.
|Visit Daytona Beach for an adrenaline rush!|
Best-known for its wild nightlife scene, Miami’s bars and clubs don’t disappoint! Visit South Beach (the most popular section of Miami Beach) for a range of bars and clubs.
|South Beach is the most popular section of Miami Beach.
Alternatively, head to Little Havana for a constant stream of live Latin music, or Little Haiti for a mix of striking street art and buzzing bars.
You’ll find equally excellent nightlife by heading further north. Orlando’s downtown and city center, for example, offer great venues, particularly around the Thornton Park area. Meanwhile, Panama City Beach really comes alive after dark, with venues blasting everything from country music to EDM.
|Panama City Beach really comes alive after dark.|
If nightclubs aren’t for you, stroll around Miami’s Art Deco District to enjoy one of the world’s largest concentrations of 1930s architecture. You’ll find over 800 buildings, including renowned hotels and restaurants in areas like Lenox Court and 23rd Street.
|Take a walk to explore Miami's Art Deco District.
Head further South for more iconic landmarks, such as the Southernmost Point of the United States in Key West. Marked by a striped buoy, this significant site makes for a popular photo spot.
If you’re sticking to the North, be sure to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Exhibits change all the time, so try to research before you go to find out what’s on. While in Jacksonville, stop by the Kingsley Plantation. You can visit the main home, slave quarters, barn, and more in this former cotton, citrus, corn, and sugar plantation.
Florida is known for its large alligator population; in fact, over one million gators live in the state, and South Florida is one of the few places in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side by side. There are plenty of gorgeous parks around Florida where you can spot these creatures.
|South Florida is one of the few places in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side by side.
The Everglades, for example, offer the chance to get up close and personal to alligators from a high-speed airboat. Tallahassee’s Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is also home to a large number of gators, who relax in and around the crystal-clear fresh water. While in Tallahassee, you should also check out St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where you could spot 300 bird species, over 50 different mammals, 40 amphibians, and 65 kinds of reptile!
Brevard County’s Cocoa Beach is one of the best surfing destinations in the USA. Take to the waves yourself, or simply admire the surfers’ skills from the popular sandy stretch. Afterwards, visit the nearby Cocoa Village for independent stores, art galleries, and restaurants.
Watersports enthusiasts should also check out Pinellas County’s Pass-A-Grille-Beach, while beach bums should head to Clearwater Beach, where you can catch a warm breeze straight off the Gulf of Mexico.
|Clearwater Beach is great for beach lovers.
Further north, be sure to check out the beaches in Jacksonville. Amelia Island, for example, is home to plenty of popular beaches, where you can simply relax or take a horseback ride along the sand. Atlantic Beach, meanwhile, has lots of vacation rentals, relaxed restaurants and nearby golf courses.
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We moved to Miami ;) we love it