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Where To Vacation In Florida

Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Florida Keys Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Sanibel and Captiva are two islands connected to the mainland and Fort Myers by the Sanibel Causeway, making it a great destination when you want to hit the beach as soon as you land. Combined, the islands have 15 miles of beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, and zero traffic lights.

Both islands are best known for the best shelling on the coast. Home to a nature preserve, it is also easy to spot dolphins and manatees, especially when kayaking through the mangroves. See more things to do in Sanibel and Captiva.

Where to stay in Captiva Island: Seven Seas Island Resort

Best Places To Visit In Florida In 2022

From the Disney World theme parks of Central Florida to the underwater paradise in the Florida Keys, there is truly something for everyone in the Sunshine State. Every part of Florida has something unique to offer.

We have explored the state from top to bottom and put together our list of the best places to visit to help you explore all the best spots to go in the Sunshine State from popular Florida destinations to local hidden gems.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!

Luxury Florida Vacation Packages

If youre in the mood to indulge, book a Florida Luxury Vacation Package. Located in the hip Mid Beach area of Miami Beach is Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Add this 4.5-star stay to your Florida vacation package and invigorating spa treatments, nine restaurants and seven bars and lounges will be yours to enjoy. The 5-star Reunion Resort & amp Golf Club in Orlando is also hard to overlook. A rooftop restaurant, three signature golf courses and a five-acre water park are just the start of luxury amenities here. To find your dream pad, you can filter your results for properties with upscale amenities like hot tubs and spas.

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Enjoy The Ringling Museum

If you are looking for one of the cool places to visit in Florida, look no further than the Ringing Brothers Museum Campus. This campus originally started as a collection for John Ringlings personal art but has now developed into so much more.

This is one of the best places to visit in Florida because it is so unique: and it is so close to Sarasota that visiting here makes for one of the best Florida vacations ever! The stunning Renaissance-inspired pink courtyard, bronze statures, and garden area will have you loving this spot. If you plan to visit, dont forget to check out our Tips For Visiting The Ringling Museum!

When inside, art-lovers can gaze at the expansive collection that span across the Roman, Greek, Medieval and Renaissance time periods. But outside visitors can enjoy the flowers and fountains and more. This is truly worth a trip. We promise! And if you are in the area, make sure to check out the other things to do in Sarasota or even look at our article on Hidden Gems that may be near by!

Manatee Springs State Park

Key West, FL

Robert Whitlach / Shutterstock

Manatee Springs is one of the most beautiful places in the state of Florida, located on the northwestern side.

It was named by William Bartram, a naturalist, in the 18th century after something surprisingly morbid for a place so gorgeous after the carcass of a manatee, washed up along the Suwannee River.

Since its slightly sad beginnings, Manatee Springs has become a state park, and it continues to live up to its name in a much more positive way.

The springs stay at an even and warm temperature of 72º F throughout the entire year, so manatees swim up into the park for a spot of good temperature in the winter.

Speckled perch, alligators, and large-mouth bass also come here during the time.

Watching the activities of these animals is fun and thrilling, and if you go kayaking in the park, these animals often swim up to you and ask for pets!

You might even spot baby manatees, as the warm waters make for a great manatee nursery!

Address: 11650 NW 115 St, Chiefland, FL 32626, United States

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Camp Out At Kelly Park/rocks Springs

Florida is full of oasis, thats no surprise, but look no further than Kelly Park, which features the wonderful Rock Springs! The water here is so clear, and the park itself is huge enough to encourage campers to hike and stay on property overnight.

This park has the perfect natural lazy river, and it is shaded and intimate, which makes it stand out amongst typical springs in Florida. This means that this is one of the best places to visit in Florida! We promise you will love the 26,000 gallons that bubble up from underneath the surface while floating down the river!

So whether you want to kayak, relax, camp, float, or even do a picnic here, the options for a day at Kelly Park are outstanding. In fact, this is also a fantastic day trip from Orlando, so if you are in the area, consider adding Kelly Park to your itinerary to visit one of the best places to go in Florida. For more information check out our article that offers Tips for Kelly Park!

Where to Stay: Hyatt Place Lake Mary/Orlando

Visit A Fair In Florida

We know Florida is famous for its beaches and theme parks, but the sunshine lets us Floridans do so much more outside, which includes countless fairs! Just make sure that when you are at some of the best places to visit in Florida that has to deal with fairs that you check dates and when they are open!

There is nothing quite like the excitement of spending a day at one of Floridas many fairs. These are great for families of all ages, couples, or just days with friends. And these fairs are guaranteed to bring something everyone can enjoy!

Prepare for a day filled with great food, exhilarating rides, and the chance to see many types of people and animals. The Florida fairs are bound to impress: fro, the Florida State Fair to the Citrus County Fair, when these come to town you dont want to miss them! And make sure to check out our article on the 15 Best Fairs in Florida!

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Fort Myers And Sanibel Island

Golden hour on Floridas West coast

| The Beaches of Fort Myers | Browse Fort Myers Hotels on Booking

The white sand beaches of Southwest Florida are the ideal Florida destination for families seeking a Gulf Coast getaway. Fort Myers Beach is a small epicenter of tiki bars, tourist shops, and seafood shacks. Across the Sanibel Causeway is Sanibel Island a storied stretch of natural Florida located on the bluest water in the state.

The region is also a great access point to Everglades National Park, the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, or Rookery Bay.

Explore all of South Florida: Fort Myers and Sanibel Island included, explore all the things to do in South Florida!

For Any Vacation Type In Florida:

St. Petersburg, Florida Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Family fun activities such as fishing make the Legacy Vacation Club Lake Buena Vista a unique resort. It has kitchenettes, separate living areas, dining rooms, and whirlpool tubs. It’s 23 minute drive via FL-528 E from Orlando International Airport.

Elegant rooms fitted with Bose music equipment are part of the appeal of the Sheraton PGA Vacation Resort. You can play golf on the resort’s well-maintained, world-class courses. Palm-Beach International Airport is a 40 minute drive away via I-95 S.

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Spend Some Time In Pensacola Florida

Pensacola is one of the oldest European Settlements in the United States and is one of those places to see in Florida because of all it has to offer! This wonderful city is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, historical monuments, state parks and more.

There are so many fun things to do in this city, which is why we added it to the best places to visit in Florida: from the Naval Aviation Museum to Perdido Key State Park, there is always something for everyone here!

So whether you are on a couples getaway or a family vacation, or just here for a few hours or maybe even a weekend, there are so many things you can explore. Dont miss the famous beach, and maybe even consider a day cruise if you have the time. Either way, check our our 14 Fun Things to do In Pensacola for some suggestions when stopping by one of the best places to visit in Florida!

Where to Stay: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pensacola Beach

John And Mable Ringling Museum Of Art

Mia2you / Shutterstock

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has a rather fun history and a tale that is more than worth it to explore.

John Ringling, a circus magnate, and entrepreneur, and his wife Mabel spent much of their fortune on this huge mansion that housed their art collection.

The Venetian-styled building in Sarasota is nothing short of beautiful and its contents were left to Florida when they passed away.

For a long time, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art was sorely neglected.

At long last, though, the Florida State University received the rights to manage the museum by the state in the year 2000.

They raised funds to put in a Visitors Center and turn the estate into a lavish museum that focused not just on the art collection of the Ringlings, but also on artifacts pertaining to the life and times of the circus tycoon.

They also added a lovely rose garden to the grounds.

The art collection showcased here is rather eclectic, as it was the Ringlings own personal collection.

From Cypriot works to Old Masters, they are all displayed in this wonderfully restored structure.

At the circus museum, you can view a bit of an oxymoron the planets largest circus miniature!

Address: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243, United States

Before you venture out, heres what to do in Sarasota for a memorable vacation!

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Sanibel Island A Natural Wonderland

Laidback Sanibel Island is a natural paradise. This Gulf of Mexico barrier island is easily reached from Fort Myers via a short causeway. Despite its proximity to the mainland, towering palm trees are tallest things youll see on Florida family vacations here.

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The delicate ecosystems of the 6,000-acre J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge include pristine wetlands and mangrove forests, with hundreds of exotic species of migratory birds flying overhead. You may explore by car, though walking or biking the flat terrain presents a keen vantage point for wildlife spotting.

Shell collecting is a popular pastime. Sanibels wide assortment of shells is courtesy of its east-west orientation, allowing hundreds of mollusks and bivalves to wash ashore from the Caribbean, peppering local beaches with bursts of color.

Floridians And Those Who Visit Enjoy A Few Common Luxuries: No Matter Which Florida City Or Region You’re In You’re Always Within A Few Hours From The Ocean The Winters Are Generally Warm And Fresh And Locally Caught Seafood And Homegrown Citrus Is Plentiful

10 Reasons to Visit Amelia Island, Florida

But that doesn’t mean all Florida cities are alike. Each has its own unique history, identity and story to tell, whether it’s a large urban metropolis or a small community built around its strawberry crops or cattle ranches.

Whether you’re looking for big-city excitement and entertainment or small-town quiet and curiosities, the best places to visit in Florida are the ones tailored to your taste.

While Jacksonville is the most populated city in the Sunshine State, tourists often overlook its strengths as a vacation spot next to theme park-heavy Orlando or the beach-blessed coastal cities. But Jacksonville’s parks, museums and historic sites are marvelously laid our and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is an amazing attraction for visitors young and old.

There’s also Tampa, enjoying a revitalized downtown that includes some of the city’s best restaurants, urban parks, bars and a Riverwalk that attracts joggers, bikers and couples out on a stroll. Fort Lauderdale is one of the best places to visit in Florida for those wanting a winning combination of beaches, shopping and dining.

Some prefer more off-the-beaten-path towns such as Dunedinwith its tiny but charming downtown and nearby parks, the historic St. Augustine filled with old stone fortresses and museums or quaint Mount Dora and its fun shops and restaurants.

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Vizcaya Museum And Gardens

travelview / Shutterstock

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens were once the estate of the famous socialite and industrial executive James Deering who was also a conservationist.

Originally, it covered 180 acres of land and was designed to conserve native forest and mangrove swamps.

Situated on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, its a great spot for sightseeing and relaxation and is one of the Florida attractions that is sure to satisfy nature-lovers.

The main building was constructed between the years 1914 and 1916 and was used by Deering as a winter home upon completion.

Meanwhile, the rest of the home continued being built for seven more years until Deering passed away at sea.

His nieces then inherited the property, and they both decided to sell off parts of the estate in order to pay for the maintenance required on the rest of it.

Twenty years later, Miamis Mercy Hospital and the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Augustine had a lot of the land donated to them.

Then, fifty acres surrounding the main building were purchased by the Miami-Dade County and restoration efforts led to the estate becoming a National Historic Landmark.

Now, its a mix of fun and picturesque with Italian Renaissance gardens, native woodland, and historic outbuildings that all make a tourist location and a host for ceremonies.

Address: 3251 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33129, United States

For Luxury Vacations In Florida:

If you prefer a luxury hotel, then the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort might be just what you’re looking for. It offers private cabanas, a full-service spa, and a fitness center, as well as a high-end restaurant, an oceanside bar and grill, and a wine cellar. It’s just 32 minutes via I-95 S from Miami International Airport.

The 1 Hotel South Beach has spacious suites and you can order room service from an elegant restaurant run by Tom Colicchio, which has terrace seating. The hotel boasts a gym, a spa, a fitness center, and 2 bars. The hotel is 20 minutes via FL-112 W from Miami Airport.

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Where Do You Think Are The Best Places To Visit In Florida

Of course, this list of top Florida cities for vacation is just the start to all of the best places to go in Florida.

You can also visit under-the-radar Melbourne, bustling Jacksonville and romantic Amelia Island, picture-perfect Clearwater, and one of many cities to watch baseball spring training.

With so many fantastic destinations for you to explore, the real question is: which Florida city should you visit first?

Enjoy!

Stroll Down Tampa Riverwalk

Sarasota Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

If you are in the Tampa Bay area, you are already at one of the best places to visit in Florida! But very specifically, we want to mention the Tampa Riverwalk. This beautiful 2.6 mile pedestrian walkway starts downtown near Channelside and goes up to the Waterworks Park in Tampa Heights.

Along the way you will find public art, history, parks, hotels, and more attractions. When this Riverwalk was completed, the designer wanted the walkway to highlight this beautiful destination and that is what it does!

A series of busts and statues line the walkway as well. So even if you want to take a free stroll down this walkway or if you decide to stop and visit a museum off the cusp, or return to the Straz Center for a theatre show or even eat some yummy food, you wont be disappointed. And if you are in the Tampa area, do make sure to peak at our article on 17 Fun Things to do in Tampa!

Where to Stay: Hotel Haya

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Book An Airboat Tour In The Everglades

The Everglades is a 1.5 million acre wetland that is located in southern Florida. It is too unique to not mention in the best places to visit in Florida! This swamp is comprised of mangroves, sawgrass marshes, and is home to many animals like birds and gators.

People love to take an airboat tour of the Everglades as a way to get a great view of areas that are typically inaccessible. There are so many options when it comes to this: you can book a private tour, a small group tour, a moonlight tour and more.

But no matter what you decide to do, or where you are coming from , there are options for you! You wont want to miss this. The Everglades are truly one of the best places to visit in Florida, and an airboat tour to explore them is a once in a life time opportunity. Looking for help deciding what tour to take? Check out our 11 Best Everglades Airboat Tours too!

Where to Stay: Everglades Adventures Hotel Suites by Ivey House

Key West The Florida Keys

The southernmost point in Key West

| The Florida Keys | Browse Key West Hotels on Booking

If you have to limit your trip to one destination in the Florida Keys, pick Key West. The southernmost point, Duval Street, Hemingways House, sunset cruises, Smathers Beach, and Fort Zachary Taylor are just a few of the many attractions in the small Pirate town. Delectable fish shacks, Caribbean-style cuisine, and lively bars are spread throughout the island, and make Key West one of those places to go in Florida that is worthy of your bucket list.

Drive the Overseas Highway: Forget all the island Florida vacation spots along the way, the scenic drive alone is worth the trip to the Florida Keys. The best way to see and do it all is by renting your own car. Discover Cars compares prices to find you the cheapest car rental available.

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