17 AMAZING Places To Visit in Florida [December 2019]

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Florida has some of the most captivating and alluring scenery you’ll find in the USA. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most visited states in the country.

Experience the best of all worlds while you’re here with its wide range of distinct locations and incredible activities. You can go from the adrenaline-inducing alligator chasing to enjoying some of the most magical amusement parks in the world!

If you’re not quite sure where to go while you’re in this state, keep calm. Florida has some awesome places waiting to be discovered by you. And we know just where to find them.

Here’s a list of some of our top places to visit in Florida while you’re here.

Staying Safe in Florida

Florida is a relatively safe destination for tourists. However, as with any place in the world, it’s always best to take all the necessary precautions while you’re here.

To avoid any incidents of petty theft always make sure that your valuables are kept in a safe place. If you ever find yourself in a crowded place, never leave your valuables unattended or out of sight.

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your belongings is through travel insurance. We’ve tested all of the best travel insurance providers, and World Nomads is our favorite.

 

#1 – Key West

Certainly one of the most exotic places to see in Florida!

Key West

Key West (Photo credit – visittheusa.com )

  • Highest average temperature in the USA
  • Third largest coral reef in the world

Key West is up there with some of the best vacation spots in Florida. This exotic destination will keep you wanting more with its wide selection of activities, relaxed atmosphere and delicious culinary experiences. It definitely ticks all the boxes when they speak about the unrivaled island retreat.

Best Attractions
  • Smathers Beach is undoubtedly one of Key West’s biggest attractions. And the best part is it’s completely free. This famous beach is lined with a beautiful set of palm trees and has a white sandy coastline to complete its tropical feel.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Key West, Florida

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#2 – Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest

Apalachicola National Forest (Photo credit – pinterestcom )

  • Largest national forest in Florida
  • Gorgeous haven for all nature lovers

The nature lovers will fall in love with the Apalachicola National Forest and all it has to offer. There’s so much to see and do while you’re here. This includes hiking, cycling, riding ATV’s and even canoeing. You can also pack a lovely picnic to enjoy for the duration of your stay.

Best Attractions
  • The Leon Sinks Geological Area is an interesting and unique part of the Apalachicola National Forest. It’s also a great pitstop on your Florida travels. This area has several fascinating sinkholes and swamps that have formed throughout the years.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Apalachicola National Forest, Florida

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#3 – Walt Disney World Resort

Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Florida

Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort (Photo credit – tripadvisor.ca )

  • Large enough to be its own city
  • Dubbed as “one of the happiest places in the world”

You can’t visit the state of Florida and not make your way to the famous Walt Disney World Resort. This resort is definitely one of the top things you need to tick off your bucket-list while you vacation in Florida. Whether you’re traveling by yourself or with your family, this popular theme park caters for all!

Best Attractions
  • Magic Kingdom is the perfect place to reignite the inner child in you while you visit Florida. This is where some of Disney’s most famed characters come to life and welcome you to join a world unlike any other.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Walt Disney World Resort, Florida

#4 – Miami

One of the most amazing places in Florida!

Miami

Miami (Photo credit – billboard.com )

  • Warm and sunny even in winter
  • Cruise ship port is the largest in the world

Miami is one of the most famous places in Florida. Amongst other amazing things, this iconic city is known for its pristine beaches and noteworthy architecture. It’s also been the perfect backdrop for a number of blockbuster movies and the inspiration for many billboard ranking songs.

Best Attractions
  • Ocean Drive is where you’ll find some of Miami’s top landmarks. This famous drive houses the Art Deco Historic District, South Beach, Lummus Park and a range of interesting places to dine. You could easily spend the whole day around this popular area.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Miami, Florida

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# 5 – Tallahassee

Tallahassee

Tallahassee (Photo credit – spatco.com )

  • The capital city of Florida
  • Incredibly rich in history and culture

If you don’t know where to start off your trip while you’re in Florida, how about in its capital city, Tallahassee. This city has an interesting array of things to discover including its hip and happening art culture.

You’ll find this art in numerous museums and on the walls in the form of street art in different parts of the city.

Best Attractions
  • The Museum of Florida Art is where you’ll learn about the history of this state in one of the most interactive ways. This museum has been beautifully put together with an interesting collection of historical data and artifacts dating back to years gone by.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Tallahassee, Florida

#6 – Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park (Photo credit – edition.cnn.com )

  • One of the best natural wonders in Florida
  • Incredible ecosystem with a range of species

If you’re looking for something unique to do while you’re in Florida, visit the Everglades National Park on an exciting day trip. This awe-inspiring location is one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the world. It also plays a vital role in the conservation of different species.

Best Attractions
  • The airboat tours that run throughout this national park are some of the best ways to explore this natural wonder. Shoot through the wetland waters while learning about the different reptiles and species found in this interesting environment with a lot of history.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Everglades National Park, Florida

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#7 – Panama City

Awesome place to visit in Florida with kids!

Panama City

Panama City (Photo credit – bluegreenvacations.com )

  • Exciting resort city
  • Stunning beaches and coastline

Panama City is a great place to visit with kids because it has a lot of activities that cater to the whole family. Join in on the family fun and create some new memories in this magical place with great weather throughout the year. This city is one of the best places to explore in Florida.

Best Attractions
  • There’s lots to do at Pier Park, one of Panama City’s biggest attractions. Watch as the day goes by while you shop, dine and enjoy some thrilling rides at this park. It caters to all types of travelers in Florida.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Panama City, Florida

#8 – Amelia Island

A must-visit place in Florida on the weekend!

Amelia Island

Amelia Island (Photo credit – resortpass.com )

  • Doesn’t get as overcrowded as the other vacation spots in Florida
  • Several golf courses for enthusiasts

Amelia Island is a wild-card destination in the state of Florida. Although it’s not as popular as its other counterparts, you might just be surprised by what you find when you get here. From beautiful beaches to historical monuments, adventurous activities and interesting culinary experiences, it has everything to offer the avid traveler.

Best Attractions
  • Fort Clinch is one of the biggest attractions on Amelia Island. This fort is also one of the most well-preserved forts in the USA. It now hosts re-enactments of key historical moments. If you’d like to make your way here, try to time your visit with these interesting shows.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Amelia Island, Florida

#9 – St Augustine

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St Augustine (Photo credit – tripsavvy.com )

  • Oldest city in the USA
  • Array of historical monuments and architecture

Make your way to the oldest city in the USA for a different perspective on the state of Florida. Step back in time as you explore this quaint city with an enchanting aura in the air. It’s one of the best places to trace back some of the USA’s early history and inception.

Best Attractions
  • Castillo de San Marcos is one of St Augustine’s biggest landmarks and attractions. This fortress offers self-guided tours packed with a lot of history. From this point, you’ll also get to see some of the most stunning views around.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in St Augustine, Florida

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#10 – Crystal River

Crystal River

Crystal River (Photo credit – dangerous-business..com )

  • Relaxing location that’s great for group visits
  • Filled with incredible natural wonders

Crystal River is one of the best places to unwind if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of some of the major cities in Florida. Although it’s slightly touristy, it still hasn’t lost its very relaxed and quirky feel that you can enjoy outside of the major crowds.

Best Attractions
  • The Three Springs Sisters are an interesting place in Florida. These incredibly clear springs are a great way to spend your day while you’re at Crystal River. You can choose to swim, kayak or interact with a manatee while you’re here.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Crystal River, Florida

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#11 – Tampa

A must-see for foodies!

Tampa

Tampa (Photo credit – matadornetwork.com )

  • Family-friendly destination
  • Located in the middle of the state of Florida

Tampa is known for its delicious culinary experiences as well as its incredible selection of tourist attractions to choose from. With its prime location, Tampa is one of the best places to kick-off your Florida trip. From this city, you can make your way to the other nearby destinations without a hassle.

Best Attractions
  • Ybor City Cuban District is one of Tampa’s most iconic areas to explore while you’re here. It’s also one of the best places to find some of the most delicious Cuban food around. This district is a definite must-visit when you’re in this city.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Tampa, Florida

#12 – Jacksonville

Jacksonville

Jacksonville (Photo credit – milecorp.com )

  • Florida’s largest city
  • Cool places to go in Florida suitable for all age groups

Jacksonville is one of Florida’s largest cities with lots to offer. Make your way here if you want to explore a bit of Florida outside of the beaten path. Learn about the city’s rich history by touring a plantation or practice your strokes with a game of golf. You can also make your way to the nearby resort area of Jacksonville Beach.

Best Attractions
  • The Friendship Fountain makes for a lovely pitstop when you’re in Jacksonville. You can enjoy boat rides and a water and light show while you’re at this landmark. It’s also one of the best places to take pictures for keepsakes.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Jacksonville, Florida

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#13 – Universal Orlando Resort

An awesome place to visit in Florida for half a day!

Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort (Photo credit – dangerous-business.com )

  • Fun day trip
  • Largest Universal Studios theme park

The Universal Orlando Resort is one of the coolest places to visit in Florida. Make all your dreams come true in this set-like amusement park with an incredible range of thrilling rides to enjoy. This resort has everything to offer. All you need to do is to show up and explore!

Best Attractions
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the top interactive features in this park. This unique installation will make you feel like you’ve just walked onto a Harry Potter movie set. It has a selection of exciting rides, food hotspots and of course a well-thought-out background that sets the mood.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Universal Orlando Resort, Florida

#14 – Gainesville

A nice quiet place to see in Florida

Gainesville

Gainesville (Photo credit – thevacationtimes.com )

  • Great outdoor spaces to enjoy
  • Laid-back feel

Make your way to Gainesville for a different perspective of Florida. This destination has a very laid-back eclectic feel that you can take advantage of if you feel like relaxing. It’s known for its broad range of outdoor things to do. However, it also has an interesting nightlife amongst other things to enjoy.

Best Attractions
  • Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a great place to make a pitstop while you’re in the area of Gainesville. This state park has a sinkhole where a number of interesting archaeological remains were found. It’s one of our favorite cool places to visit in Florida.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Gainesville, Florida

#15 – Ocala

Ocala

Ocala (Photo credit – aol.com )

  • Known for its horses
  • Fantastic small town feel

If you’re looking for a nice place in Florida with a close-knit feel, Ocala might be just the place for you. Take some time out to be one with nature on some of the walking trails or go cave exploring instead. Ocala has an interesting range of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Best Attractions
  • Silver Springs is one of the best places to visit when you’re in Ocala. There’s even a glass boat tour that you can enjoy with beautiful views of the water from all angles. You may even spot some birds or fish along the way.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Ocala, Florida

#16 – Pensacola

A perfect place to visit in Florida if you are on a budget!

Pensacola

Pensacola (Photo credit – motionptg.com )

  • Lively city with a number of historical landmarks
  • Beautiful beaches and clear water

The stunning city of Pensacola is an amazing place to visit if you’re trying to get away from the most popular beaches in Florida. It’s one of the best places to consider making a pit stop at if you’re traveling through Florida. Besides taking it easy at the beach, you can go on to enjoy other equally exciting activities like going out in the nighttime and .

Best Attractions
  • Perdido Key State Park is one of the most interesting stops if you’d like to spend a day out in the waters. While you’re here, make sure to pack a lovely picnic to indulge in while you watch the waves hit the shore.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Pensacola, Florida

#17 – Orlando

Orlando

Orlando (Photo credit – milecorp.com )

  • Known for its amusement parks
  • One of the biggest tourist attractions in Florida

Although Orlando is known for its amusement parks, there’s so much more to do outside of that. The shopping scene is also something to behold with an exciting range of shopping options to choose from.

If shopping isn’t your type of thing, check out the different outdoor activities on offer. Orlando is one of the best vacation cities in Florida.

Best Attractions
  • Orlando Farmers Market is a weekly fixture in this spectacular city. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or delicious treats, this market has it all in store for you. Take your time and browse through the numerous stalls and find your picks.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Orlando, Florida

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Visit in Florida

Florida is one of the most visited states in the USA with good reason. It has some of the best things you can do and explore in the world.

Whether you’re traveling with your family or by yourself, you’ll have so much to do while you’re here. Enjoy the splendor and wonder at some of its smaller quaint cities then go on to enjoy the vibrant lights in its metropolises.

Being dubbed the “sunshine state” is no easy feat, but this state definitely lives up to the name and reputation!

If you ever find yourself in the USA, do yourself a favor and go to Florida to explore its many treasures.

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.