The Best Cities to Visit for Your Next Florida Vacation


Florida is a popular destination for travelers from around the world, known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather and vibrant culture. With so many cities to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to go.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best cities to visit in Florida, highlighting their unique attractions, outdoor activities, and cultural offerings.

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation, a romantic getaway, or an adventure-filled trip, Florida has something for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the Sunshine State!

The Best Cities to Visit for Your Next Florida Vacation

  • Miami / Miami Beach
  • Orlando
  • Key West
  • St. Augustine
  • Sanibel Island
  • Sarasota
  • Amelia Island
  • Tampa / St. Petersburg / Clearwater
  • Palm Beach / West Palm Beach
  • Vero Beach
  • Destin
  • Naples

Miami & Miami Beach

Miami and Miami Beach are two of the most popular vacation destinations in Florida, known for their beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions.  

Miami is a bustling city known for its lively nightlife, art deco architecture, and beautiful beaches. Some of the top attractions in Miami include:

  • South Beach: This famous beach is known for its white sand, turquoise water, and colorful art deco architecture.
  • Little Havana: This vibrant neighborhood is known for its Cuban culture, delicious food, and lively atmosphere.
  • Art Deco Historic District: This area is home to over 800 art deco buildings, making it a must-visit destination for architecture enthusiasts.
  • Wynwood Walls: This outdoor museum features colorful street art and murals by world-renowned artists.
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: This beautiful estate features stunning gardens and a historic mansion that dates back to the early 20th century.

Miami Beach is a barrier island located just east of Miami, known for its beautiful beaches, high-end shopping, and luxurious resorts. Some of the top attractions in Miami Beach include:

  • Ocean Drive: This iconic street is lined with art deco buildings, restaurants, and bars, making it a popular destination for nightlife.
  • Lincoln Road Mall: This pedestrian-friendly street is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, making it a great place to stroll and people-watch.
  • South Pointe Park: This beautiful park offers stunning views of the ocean and is a popular spot for picnics, fishing, and watching the sunset.
  • Miami Beach Boardwalk: This scenic boardwalk stretches for miles along the beach, offering beautiful views of the ocean and the city skyline.
  • Art Basel Miami Beach: This annual art fair is one of the largest in the world, featuring works by top contemporary artists from around the globe.

Overall, Miami and Miami Beach offer a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests, making them a great destination for a vacation.

Orlando

Orlando is a popular vacation destination located in central Florida that is known for its world-famous theme parks, beautiful natural attractions and vibrant nightlife. 

The greater Orlando area is home to several world-famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. These parks offer a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages, including roller coasters, water rides, live shows and character meet-and-greets.

Natural Attractions: In addition to its theme parks, Orlando is also home to several beautiful natural attractions, including:

  • Wekiwa Springs State Park: This park features crystal-clear springs, hiking trails, and opportunities for canoeing and kayaking.
  • Lake Eola Park: This park is located in downtown Orlando and features a scenic lake, walking paths, and beautiful gardens.
  • Harry P. Leu Gardens: This botanical garden features over 50 acres of beautiful gardens, including a butterfly garden and a rose garden.
  • Gatorland: This wildlife park features alligators, crocodiles, and other native Florida wildlife, as well as live shows and exhibits.

Nightlife: Orlando offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide range of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Some of the top nightlife destinations in Orlando include:

  • Church Street District: This downtown area is home to several bars and clubs, as well as live music and entertainment.
  • Universal’s CityWalk: This entertainment complex features several bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as a movie theater and mini-golf course.
  • Disney Springs: This outdoor shopping and entertainment complex features several restaurants, bars, and live entertainment.

Overall, Orlando offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Key West

Key West is an island located at the southernmost point of the United States that is known for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning beaches / waters and vibrant nightlife. 

Key West is home to several beautiful beaches, including:

  • Smathers Beach: This beach is the largest in Key West and offers a wide range of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
  • Higgs Beach: This beach is located near several popular attractions, including the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and the White Street Pier.
  • Fort Zachary Taylor Beach: This beach is located within Fort Zachary Taylor State Park and features beautiful views of the ocean and historic fort.

In addition to its beaches, Key West is home to several popular attractions, including:

  • Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: This historic home was once owned by the famous author Ernest Hemingway and is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.
  • Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: This indoor conservatory features hundreds of colorful butterflies, exotic birds, and lush tropical gardens.
  • Mallory Square: This waterfront plaza is a popular destination for watching the sunset and features street performers, food vendors, and live music.

Key West is known for its vibrant nightlife, with a wide range of bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from. Some of the top nightlife destinations in Key West include:

  • Duval Street: This famous street is home to several bars, clubs, and restaurants, as well as live music and entertainment.
  • Sloppy Joe’s Bar: This historic bar was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway and is now a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
  • Sunset Pier: This waterfront bar and restaurant offers stunning views of the sunset and live music every night.

Overall, Key West offers a unique and laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches and a wide range of attractions and activities, making it a great destination for a vacation.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a charming historic town located in northeastern Florida, known for its beautiful architecture, historic attractions and amazing museums.

The area is home to several popular attractions including:

  • Castillo de San Marcos National Monument: This historic fort was built in the 17th century and is now a popular tourist destination, offering guided tours and stunning views of the city.
  • St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum: This lighthouse is over 140 years old and features exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and the maritime history of St. Augustine.
  • Flagler College: This historic college is located in a former luxury hotel built by Henry Flagler in the late 19th century, and features stunning architecture and beautiful gardens.
  • St. George Street: This pedestrian-friendly street is lined with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings, making it a great place to stroll and explore.

St. Augustine is also home to several beautiful beaches including:

  • St. Augustine Beach: This beach is located just a few miles from the historic district and features white sand, clear water, and a fishing pier.
  • Anastasia State Park: This park features four miles of beautiful beach, as well as hiking trails, a saltwater lagoon, and opportunities for fishing and kayaking.
  • Vilano Beach: This beach is located just north of St. Augustine and features white sand, clear water, and a fishing pier.

St. Augustine offers a lively nightlife scene, with several bars, clubs and restaurants to choose from. Some of the top nightlife destinations in St. Augustine include:

  • The Ice Plant Bar: This bar is located in a historic ice plant and features craft cocktails and a speakeasy-style atmosphere.
  • St. Augustine Distillery: This distillery offers tours and tastings of its handcrafted spirits, as well as a bar and restaurant.
  • Prohibition Kitchen: This restaurant and bar features live music and a menu of Southern comfort food and craft cocktails.

Overall St. Augustine offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty and modern attractions, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a beautiful island located in northeastern Florida, known for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and outdoor activities.

The area is home to several beautiful beaches, including:

  • Main Beach Park: This beach is located in the heart of Amelia Island and features white sand, clear water, and a playground for children.
  • Amelia Island State Park: This park features over 200 acres of undeveloped beach, as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
  • Peters Point Beachfront Park: This beach is located on the south end of Amelia Island and features white sand, clear water, and a fishing pier.

In addition to its beaches, Amelia Island is home to several popular attractions, including:

  • Fort Clinch State Park: This historic fort was built in the mid-19th century and is now a popular tourist destination, offering guided tours and reenactments.
  • Amelia Island Museum of History: This museum features exhibits on the history of Amelia Island, including its Native American history, Spanish colonial period, and Civil War era.
  • Fernandina Beach Historic District: This historic district is home to several beautiful buildings and homes dating back to the 19th century, as well as shops, restaurants, and galleries.

Amelia Island offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including:

  • Golf: Amelia Island is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and the Golf Club of Amelia Island.
  • Fishing: Amelia Island offers excellent opportunities for fishing, including deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and fly fishing.
  • Kayaking: Amelia Island is surrounded by beautiful waterways, making it a great destination for kayaking and canoeing.

Overall, Amelia Island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historic charm and outdoor activities, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Tampa / St. Petersburg / Clearwater

The Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, also known as the Tampa Bay area, is a popular vacation destination located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

The area is home to several beautiful beaches including:

  • Clearwater Beach: This beach is known for its white sand, clear water, and lively atmosphere, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops nearby.
  • St. Pete Beach: This beach is known for its soft sand, calm water, and stunning sunsets, with several restaurants and bars located nearby.
  • Honeymoon Island State Park: This park features four miles of beautiful beach, as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.

In addition to its beaches, the Tampa Bay area is home to several popular attractions, including:

  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: This theme park features roller coasters, water rides, and live shows, as well as a zoo with over 12,000 animals.
  • The Salvador Dali Museum: This museum features the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s work outside of Europe, including paintings, sculptures, and prints.
  • The Florida Aquarium: This aquarium features over 20,000 aquatic animals, including sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles, as well as interactive exhibits and touch tanks.

The Tampa Bay area offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including:

  • Fishing: The area is known for its excellent fishing, with opportunities for deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and fly fishing.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: The area’s calm waterways are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding, with several rental companies located throughout the area.
  • Golf: The area is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Innisbrook Resort and the TPC Tampa Bay.

Overall, the Tampa Bay area offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Palm Beach / West Palm Beach

Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are two beautiful cities located on the east coast of Florida that are known for their elegant architecture, beautiful beaches, and luxurious resorts. 

The Palm Beach area is home to several beautiful beaches including:

  • Palm Beach Municipal Beach: This beach is located in the heart of Palm Beach and features white sand, clear water, and a fishing pier.
  • Lake Worth Beach: This beach is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach and features white sand, clear water, and a pier for fishing and sightseeing.
  • Peanut Island: This island is located just offshore from West Palm Beach and features beautiful beaches, as well as opportunities for snorkeling and camping.

In addition to its beaches, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are home to several popular attractions including:

  • The Breakers: This historic hotel is a Palm Beach landmark, featuring stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and a private beach.
  • Norton Museum of Art: This museum features a wide range of art from around the world, including contemporary art, photography, and sculpture.
  • Flagler Museum: This historic mansion was once the home of Henry Flagler, a prominent businessman and developer in the early 20th century, and now serves as a museum dedicated to his life and work.

Palm Beach and West Palm Beach offer a wide range of outdoor activities including:

  • Golf: The area is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course and the PGA National Resort & Spa.
  • Fishing: The area offers excellent opportunities for deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and fly fishing, with several charter companies located throughout the area.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: The area’s calm waterways are perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding, with several rental companies located throughout the area.

Overall, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach offer a unique blend of natural beauty, historic charm, and luxury, making them a great destination for a vacation.

Vero Beach

Vero Beach is a small coastal city located on Florida’s east coast, known for its pristine beaches, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions.

The area is home to several beautiful beaches, including:

  • South Beach Park: This beach is located in the heart of Vero Beach and features white sand, clear water, and a playground for children.
  • Golden Sands Beach Park: This beach is located just south of Vero Beach and features white sand, clear water, and a fishing pier.
  • Round Island Beach Park: This beach is located just south of Vero Beach and features beautiful views of the Indian River Lagoon, as well as opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.

In addition to its beaches, Vero Beach is home to several popular attractions including:

  • McKee Botanical Garden: This botanical garden features over 18 acres of lush gardens, as well as a historic Spanish-style mansion and several water features.
  • Vero Beach Museum of Art: This museum features a wide range of art from around the world, including contemporary art, photography, and sculpture.
  • Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge: This wildlife refuge is located just north of Vero Beach and features beautiful views of the Indian River Lagoon, as well as opportunities for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.

Vero Beach offers a wide range of outdoor activities including:

  • Golf: The area is home to several world-class golf courses.
  • Fishing: The area offers excellent opportunities for deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and fly fishing, with several charter companies located throughout the area.
  • Kayaking and Paddle boarding: The area’s calm waterways are perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding, with several rental companies located throughout the area.

Overall, Vero Beach offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Destin

Destin is a beach town located on the Emerald Coast of Florida, known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and family-friendly atmosphere. 

This area is home to several beautiful beaches including:

  • Henderson Beach State Park: This park features over 6,000 feet of beautiful beach, as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
  • Crystal Sands Beach: This beach is known for its white sand and clear water, and is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
  • Miramar Beach: This beach is known for its calm water and beautiful sunsets, and is a popular destination for families with children.

In addition to its beaches, Destin is home to several popular attractions including:

  • Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park: This water park features water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools, as well as mini golf and go-karts.
  • Destin Harbor Boardwalk: This boardwalk is home to several restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as opportunities for fishing and boating.
  • Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: This marine park features dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as exhibits on marine life and conservation.

Destin offers a wide range of outdoor activities including:

  • Fishing: The area is known for its excellent fishing, with opportunities for deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and fly fishing.
  • Golf: The area is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Kelly Plantation Golf Club and the Regatta Bay Golf and Country Club.
  • Water Sports: Destin is a popular destination for water sports, including parasailing, jet skiing, and paddle boarding.

Overall, Destin offers a unique blend of natural beauty, family-friendly attractions, and outdoor activities, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Naples

Naples is located on the southwest coast of Florida that is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury shopping, and fine dining.

Naples is home to several beautiful beaches including:

  • Vanderbilt Beach: This beach is known for its white sand, clear water, and stunning sunsets, with several restaurants and bars located nearby.
  • Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park: This park features over a mile of beautiful beach, as well as hiking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing.
  • Clam Pass Beach Park: This beach is located just south of Naples and features white sand, clear water, and a boardwalk through a mangrove forest.

In addition to its beaches, Naples is home to several popular attractions including:

  • Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens: This zoo features a wide range of animals from around the world, as well as botanical gardens and a wildlife rehabilitation center.
  • Naples Pier: This pier is a Naples landmark, offering beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico and opportunities for fishing and sightseeing.
  • The Baker Museum: This museum features a wide range of art from around the world, including contemporary art, photography, and sculpture.

Naples offers a wide range of outdoor activities including:

  • Golf: The area is home to several world-class golf courses, including the Tiburón Golf Club and the Naples Grande Golf Club.
  • Fishing: The area offers excellent opportunities for deep-sea fishing, inshore fishing, and fly fishing, with several charter companies located throughout the area.
  • Kayaking and Paddle boarding: The area’s calm waterways are perfect for kayaking and paddle boarding, with several rental companies located throughout the area.

Overall, Naples offers a unique blend of natural beauty, luxury and outdoor activities, making it a great destination for a vacation.

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1998 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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