17 Best Places to Visit in Florida (+ Unique Vacation Spots) (2024)

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Are you traveling to the sunshine state soon and looking for some of the best places to visit in Florida? We’ve got you covered! In this article we will look at some of the most wonderful places to go in Florida.

From beaches to springs to charming towns and everything else in between, we promise we are going to list the best destinations in Florida. Of course, we will mention a few of the top Florida tourist attractions, but as a whole, sit back and plan your vacation and trust us when say that you won’t be disappointed.

So sit back, begin planning, and then pack your suitcase and sunscreen! Sunshine state here you come to see the best places to visit in Florida!

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Visit Crab Island

Florida is famous for many things, and unsurprisingly, beaches are one of them! Crab Island is famous for its Crystal clear waters. Tourists love to come here to live that island life!

This is probably one of the most infamous attractions in Destin, Florida. It is a popular summer destination that has been featured in many magazines with lots of travel publications. This makes it one of the best vacation spots in Florida, which is why we added it to this list of best places to visit in Florida!

This island was once a manmade island, but due to erosion, the island is now an underwater sandbar. Due to its shallow nature, even at high tide the water is only four feet deep! Many boats anchor here and many tourists love to relax in the blue-green water while resting safely on the enormous sandbar. For more information, check out our article that features Tips for Visiting Crab Island.

Where to Stay: Hyatt Place Sandestin at Grand Blvd

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Take a Dip in Ginnie Springs

Ginnie Springs is the epitome of Florida beauty that features some of the prettiest water in the state, but that doesn’t mean you can sleep on the other springs in Florida! Check out our Best Springs in Florida article for more suggestions on Florida vacation spots.

We want to focus on Ginnie Springs though! This privately-owned spring is connected to the Santa Fe River. The water temperature stays at a constant 72F all year round, and when swimming, you can also rent a tube, paddleboard, or kayak!

And if you don’t want to just swim, you can also dive or even camp! Just be warned: admission prices and crowds can change hour to hour or day to day because this spring is one of the top Florida tourist attractions. But this doesn’t mean we don’t want it on our list of best places to visit in Florida, because it truly is the best! For more information and to feel prepared to visit one of the best destinations in Florida, check our Tips for Ginnie Springs too!

Where to Stay: Grady House Bed and Breakfast

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Listen to the Singing Tower at the Bok Tower Gardens

If you are a fan of hidden gems, make sure to add the Bok Tower Gardens to your best places to visit in Florida itinerary! These gardens are located in Central Florida and is contemplative garden and bird sanctuary.

Its famous Singing Tower sits next to the reflection pool, and the grounds itself stretch over 150 acres. You can expect to see a lot of wildlife here, which is why this is one of the cool places to visit in Florida.

These gardens have seen over 23 million visitors since 1929. It is one of the top best Florida destinations as people love to the opportunities at these grounds that offer artistic, personal, and spiritual enrichment. It is one of the best places to visit in Florida because it has something for all ages with educational aspects, events, and more. And if you are near by the Bok Gardens, check out our article on the best things to do in Central Florida!

Where to Stay: Lake Roy Beach Inn- Winter Haven

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Swing by the Vizcaya Museum

There are plenty of places to visit in Miami, but we want to make sure to add the Vizcaya Museum to your list of best places to visit in Florida because we promise it is well worth the visit! It is one of the cool places to visit in Florida!

This villa and estate was previously owned by James Deering, but today, it is a gorgeous attraction and one of the prettiest museums around. From its Mediterranean-style architecture to the 32-decorated rooms and ten acres of gardens, you can spend hours upon hours here!

The gardens are reminiscent from 17th and 18th century Italy and France, and the first floor of the museum offers insight to reception rooms, the music room, the dining room, and the layered collection of artifacts that are housed here. This truly is one of the coolest places to visit in Miami, and if you are looking for more suggestions, check out our article that goes through 20 Fun Things to do in Miami. Some of these are some of the best places to visit in Florida for couples!

Where to Stay: Aloft Miami Brickell

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Go to Beer Can Island

Also known as Greer Island, Beer Can Island is a secluded beach getaway you don’t want to miss! It is one of the best places to visit in Florida for couples, and families! But there is something important to note: this island is a beautiful but fragile ecosystem so make sure to not litter and be respectful!

This Island is located in the northern section of Longboat Key. It is one of the most perfect Florida tourist attractions because this island is the perfect places to relax, take epic photos, have a picnic, enjoy the sunset and more!

Do note, however, you cannot camp or have fires here! And make sure to be careful of bugs: the mangroves and standing water can cause some bugs to be around, especially during dusk, but that does not take away from the shallow sandbar, trees that support hammocks, and more! This is one of the best places to visit in Florida hands down, and if you need more help getting here, check our our Tips for Visiting Beer Can Island!

Where to Stay: Orient Expressed

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Camp Out at Kelly Park/Rocks Springs

Florida is full of oasis’, that’s 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

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Spend time in Historic Saint Augustine

Of course we want you to visit one of the nation’s oldest cities: that is why we are adding Saint Augustine to the best places to visit in Florida itinerary! This city is famous for its beaches, museums, parks, and even ghost tours!

This city has been voted one of the most romantic cities in Florida, meaning it is one of the best places to visit in Florida for couples, but it is also a fantastic spring break destination. But no matter who you are traveling with or when you are traveling, you must stop here!

So whether you decide to visit all of the wineries around the city, take a trolley tour, or get spooked by staying at a haunted hotel, we promise this city will not disappoint you. Take your time exploring here, and check out our article of the 14 Best Things to do In Saint Augustine— you don’t want to miss anything!

Where to Stay: The Flagler Inn

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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 Ringling’s 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, don’t 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!

Where to Stay: Kompose Boutique Hotel Sarasota

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Take in the Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas are a group of islands located in the Gulf of Mexico, home to a national park that covers 100 square miles on these seven small islands. It is truly tropical paradise, which is why we are mentioning it as one of the best places to visit in Florida!

The waters surrounding these islands house the tales of pirates and hidden treasures– which may be true. In 1985 over $450 million was found salvaged from this area in the form of silver and gold.

But better yet, the remoteness of this park keeps it intimate. The lack of crowds really allows you to visit the only tropical reef in the US. This is home to the third-largest tropical reef in the world, so why would you want to miss this? It is one of the best Florida destinations. And for more intro check out our articles on the Dry Tortugas or the Islands of Florida!

Where to Stay: Courtney’s Place Historic Cottage & Inns

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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 (Miami, Naples, Orlando, etc.), there are options for you! You won’t 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

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Explore Stilt Houses in Naples or Macro Island

The Cape Romano Dome House is an abandoned house consisting of six dome-shaped modules on stilts. It is one of the most unique sites in Florida, so of course we are adding it to our best places to visit in Florida list.

These dome homes are located about 300 feet offshore from Cape Romano Island, just south of Marco Island. Once a home to a millionaire seeking the serene beach life, these domes now provide shelter for birds and aquatic life off the Gulf.

Years of erosion have slowly engulfed this structure and submerged portions of it. The remaining domes are now part of a wildlife preserve and are now only accessible by boat. It is a hidden gem, and super unique! So make sure to see how this home has been full reclaimed by the sea. It truly is one of the best places to visit in Florida, and when you’re done, check out other things to do in Marco Island!

Where to Stay: The Boathouse

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Spend Some Time in Key West

Pretty much all of us have heard of the infamous Key West! So why wouldn’t we add it to our list of best places to visit in Florida? There are so many unique and exciting things to do in Key West.

This area is known for its nightlight, entertainment and relaxing islands vibes. But don’t be fooled! Key West is also home to a lot of history and other adventures.

So whether you take a historic tour, eat your way down main streets, or even live life more one edge and rent out a boat or go diving, there is something for everyone here! This may be one of those best Florida vacations that may last with you for a lifetime! For suggestions on what to do, look at our 16 Fun Things to do in Key West. And if you’re driving into the area, look at some stop suggestions we have as you drive from Miami to Key West!

Where to Stay: Harborside Motel and Marina

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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. Don’t 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

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Explore Orlando

Although many people just think of Disney when they think of Orlando, there is so much more than Disney and Universal and theme parks here in this city! Orlando is one of the best places to visit in Florida because it appeals to all ages and offers so much because it is such a popular tourist attraction and one of the most famous Florida Destinations!

People also tend to assume that Orlando has to be expensive, which isn’t true! For some help, check out our article on 15 Free Things to do in Orlando or some of the Best Hikes in Orlando you don’t want to miss.

Whether you decide to go to a nearby beach in Orlando, go outdoor shopping to get some great deals, or just visit some of the touristy spots during the evening, you won’t be disappointed or bored. There are so many things to do in this magical city that don’t even have to do with Disney Magic! So give it a chance!

Where to Stay: Buena vista Suites

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Visit a Fair in Florida!

We know Florida is famous for its beaches and theme parks, but the sunshine lets us Floridan’s 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 Florida’s 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 don’t want to miss them! And make sure to check out our article on the 15 Best Fairs in Florida!

Where to Stay: Hyatt Place Downtown Tampa

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Stroll Down Tampa Riverwalk

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 won’t 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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Stop by Safety Harbor

We adore cute, small towns, so of course we had to add one of the favorites to our best places to visit in Florida! On the west shore of Tampa, you’ll fin d a community in Pinellas County tucked away.

Less than 5,000 people live here in Safety Harbor and the town is only five square miles. The downtown stretch of Main Street is lined with trees, family restaurants, and local shops. It is a small town feel for sure, but this town also has a Resort and Spa!

Safety Harbor is truly a fantastic small gem in Florida, and therefore, is one of the best places to visit in Florida! Take a stroll down the town, eat in a family restaurant and support local for a few hours. Make sure to also visit Whimzeyland! And if small towns are your thing, check out our list of 21 Small Towns you can visit in Florida!

Where to Stay: Safety Harbor Resort and Spa

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And there you have it, 17 of the best places to visit in Florida! So whether you decide go a traditional route and visit the beaches or Orlando, or if you want to change it up and experience small towns and unique experiences, you won’t be disappointed. There is much to do in Florida! Pack your bags, safe travels, and have fun on your trip to the sunshine state!

17 Best Places to Visit in Florida (+ Unique Vacation Spots) (2024)

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