Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is a world of magnificent beaches, spectacular fishing, great diving, and diverse wildlife both above and below water. The cities range from huge, modern Miami to quaint, colorful Key West, and endless fun for the kids of all ages at Orlando’s Walt Disney World. Florida’s parks are spectacular, from the world-significant Everglades to the underwater paradise of the Biscayne National Park, Florida. Be sure to call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
Located on Tampa Bay on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa is a modern business hub with an interesting history and diverse cultural offerings. Visit the quirky Henry B. Plant Museum built in 1891 as a luxury hotel. Take the kids to the African-themed Busch Gardens, with many thrill rides and wild animals. Stroll through the historic Ybor City neighbourhood built in the early 20th century by cigar-factory workers from Cuba. It is also a great place to get a meal in one of many small restaurants. Paddle a kayak or canoe through the lush, wild Little Manatee River or learn more about the city’s history at the interactive Tampa Bay History Center, located on Tampa’s lively downtown Riverwalk. If you need a place to Stay in Tampa, House133 Vacation Rentals offer the best vacation rental packages.
Located between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, northwest of St. Petersburg, Clearwater is a famous family holiday destination known for its 3-mile-long spectacular beach, wonderful weather, and long, narrow barrier reef. The beach is lined with fancy hotels, resorts, bars, and restaurants. Take the kids to see the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where injured dolphins and sea turtles are brought to recover and get rehabilitated. Check the game at the Bright House Field, where the Phillies baseball team comes for spring training. Stroll down Pier 60 to see the sunset and the street artists entertaining the crowds. Enjoy the shady boardwalk trails through Moccasin Lake Nature Park, or take a tour of the bay to see the playful dolphins in their own environment.
#3 Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach is located about 51 miles from Orlando on the Atlantic coast. It is world renowned for the Daytona 500 NASCAR race held at the Daytona International Speedway. Even Daytona’s beautiful sandy beach allows driving. However, there is more to Daytona than just the races: There are also popular summer concerts at the Daytona Beach Bandshell stages. Near the beach is the Daytona Lagoon water park, with waterslides, go-karts, and laser tag. Visit the Sunglow Fishing Pier to see dolphins or try your hand at fishing, see the tranquil Basilica of Saint Paul, or take the kids to the fascinating Museum of Arts and Sciences .
Destin is a city in northwest Florida on the Florida Panhandle, on a peninsula that separates the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay. Destin is famous for its beautiful beaches with powder-fine white sand, a number of great golf courses, and excellent fishing. Get the feel of the city by strolling along the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Visit Henderson Beach State Park to see the giant dunes and to enjoy a hike along the coast surrounded by oak and pine trees. Kids will love the variety of slides, pools, and waterfalls in the huge Big Kahuna’s water park. Visit the Destin History & Fishing Museum to learn about the importance of fishing for Destin. Don’t miss the Fort Walton Mound archaeological site, built by the Pensacola tribe in 850 A.D.
#5 Florida Keys
Stretching almost 120 miles from the southern tip of Florida between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean is a string of tropical islands called the Florida Keys. This coral archipelago starts about 15 miles from Miami and ends in Dry Tortugas National Park, which is uninhabited. The last inhabited key is Key West, a famous tourist destination that is called Key Weird by the locals, with its popular bars and shops on Duval Street and daily Sunset Celebration on Mallory Square. Anywhere on the Keys you can charter a boat and go fishing, snorkeling or diving, rent a kayak and explore the mysterious mangroves, sample unique local cuisine, stroll along quaint, colorful streets, and sit in one of many rustic beach bars to soak up the spirit of the Keys.
#6 Fort Lauderdale
Located 28 miles north of Miami on the southeastern coast of Florida, Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist destination famous for its beaches and picturesque boating canals. The best place to start your exploration is at the Strip, a long, wide promenade that runs along the ocean and is lined with posh outdoor restaurants, lively bars, fancy boutiques, and luxury hotels. Visit 1901 Stranahan House, the oldest structure in Fort Lauderdale still standing. Check out the International Swimming Hall of Fame, take a hike or a boat ride through Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, and visit the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale to see what the local artists are doing.
Located in southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, Naples is a popular tourist destination for people who are attracted by its fantastic white sandy beaches. They stretch on both sides of the popular city icon, the 1888 Naples Pier, a lively spot for fishing or watching passing dolphins. When you get tired of lying on the beach, take the kids to the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, located on small islands in the artificial lake. It is fun watching the animals from a boat. To see a really beautiful beach, visit the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area located on a barrier island. Enjoy a walk through the Historic District and visit historic Palm Cottage, managed by the Naples Historical Society, to learn about the Old Naples. Catch a performance of the Naples Philharmonic and see diverse art at the Baker Museum at the Artis—Naples center for the arts.
Orlando is a city in central Florida, a giant playground for kids big and small, known as the World Theme Park Capital with over a dozen theme parks. There is Walt Disney World, featuring the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, Universal Orlando with Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and others. If you want to see a different side to Orlando, hop on a boat and visit the vast Everglades or see Kennedy Space Center. Orlando has a number of great museums, such as Ripley’s Believe or Not, and the Orlando Science Center.
#9 Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is a lively coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico in northwestern Florida. Its fantastic beaches and rich nightlife make it a popular destination for thousands of students during the spring break. Younger kids prefer Gulf World Marine Park, where they can swim with dolphins, or Shipwreck Island Waterpark with its pools and waterslides. Take a hike through Camp Helen State Park to see large undisturbed dunes at the Phillips Inlet, stroll around Lake Powell, and swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Take a boat tour to see the dolphins or throw a line off Russell-Fields Pier.
#10 St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is located on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, a large modern city called Sunshine City because of its permanently pleasant weather. The city’s beautiful beaches attract millions of tourists. Besides fine sands, the city also has some excellent golf courses and fishing charters. Among many excellent museums, the Dali Museum is an absolute must-see, as is the Museum of Fine Arts and the Chihuly Collection, with some of the most beautiful glasswork in the world. Try to catch a concert of the Florida Orchestra at the Mahaffey Theater, and enjoy a stroll through the huge Locale Market for some of the freshest and most delicious regional artisanal foods.