Florida makes us think of sunshine, beaches, oranges, and alligators. But, when searching for the next perfect vacation get-away, Florida has so much more to offer.
Boasting over 8,000 miles of sparkling blue shorelines and sandy outdoor adventures, the Sunshine State is undoubtedly a beautiful and diverse vacation destination with offerings for all kinds of travelers.
Take a trip to Disney World for an enchanting family adventure, or go deep-sea diving with your older crew for an unforgettable experience. Florida has one-of-a-kind attractions for all parties and interests.
15 Best Places to Visit in Florida in 2023
But with so many fantastic cities to choose from in Florida, it can be a daunting task to narrow your search down. We adore the Sunshine State, and have hand-picked the 15 best places to visit in Florida.
Centrally located and dotted with breathtaking lakes and white sandy shores, Orlando is set in the northeast area of Tampa, Florida.
Orlando offers many cultural and historical sites, beaches and watersports, and attractions and theme parks to help make your vacation to Florida memorable. Known as the Florida city that offers the most attractions, Orlanda promises excitement and adventure on every visit to its sunny city.
Orlando’s city charm also offers plenty of variety for all ages to enjoy from golfing, shopping, and dining to taking in the cultural architectural landscape of the vibrant downtown city core. So, why not make Orlando your next choice?
2. Lake Wales
Tucked along the shorelines of central Florida, Lake Wales is situated east of Tampa, Florida, and steadily becoming a much-loved spot for vacationers looking for a more relaxed visit away from the hustle and bustle of some of the busier Florida cities.
While in Lake Wales, enjoy boat tours and fishing day trips, cruises, sandy beaches and water activities, wildlife, and delicious food and drink locations. A must-see attraction of Lake Wales is the Bok Tower Gardens conservation area, where you can tour the historic mansion of El Retiro at Pinewood.
Relax, unwind and leisurely soak up all that Lake Wales offers on your next vacation to one of the most relaxing places in Florida. Believe us, you won’t want to miss it!
Nested in the County of Palm Beach along the Loxahatchee River, known by locals as the Turtle River, Loxahatchee is a peaceful rural community set west of Palm Beach.
Loxahatchee offers tourist attractions including nature and wildlife sightseeing tours, fishing, historical walking tours, restaurants and dining, and Guided River Tours along the Loxahatchee River.
Looking for a taste of what a Safari would be like, but not willing to venture into Africa? Another popular tourist attraction in the Loxahatchee area of Florida is the Lion Country Safari.
This unique drive-through safari has seven habitats, where you can observe the natural environment of iconic animals such as zebras, rhinos, and giraffes. It also features rides and water attractions for added fun.
Set twenty-five miles from the Atlantic coast, Williamsburg can be found in central Florida around a fifteen-minute drive from Orlando, Florida.
Williamsburg is a subdivision of Orlando that offers more affordable hotels and accommodations compared to staying right in Orlando. Williamsburg also offers more peace and relaxation while staying a short way off the beaten path of the city of Orlando.
Other attractions in Williamsburg include Jamestown Beach, where you can enjoy fishing and outdoor water sports, dining, and outlet shopping therapy at the Williamsburg premium outlet stores.
Williamsburg is a favorite Florida destination for many vacationers who are searching for one of the best places to visit in Florida and want to avoid the hustle and bustle of big city life.
5. St. Petersburg
Snuggled along the Pinellas peninsula shoreline, St. Petersburg has plenty to offer vacationers in the Florida area from the sound of the ocean waves lapping up the shores to several popular attractions.
Enjoy a pleasing mixture of stunning tropical views, diverse culture, exquisite dining and shopping spots, and outdoor water adventures along some of the most attractive beaches in Florida.
Other attractions include kayaking, the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, and the St. Petersburg Jungle Prada Site History Tour.
St. Petersburg, known as the “sunshine city” is one of the best places to relax and soak up the sun on your next Florida vacation. So why not check it out on your next visit to the Sunshine State?
6. Daytona Beach
Woven amongst a tapestry of rich culture and vibrant heritage, Daytona Beach borders northern Florida on the Atlantic coast and is a favorite among sunseekers and spring breakers.
Daytona Beach is home to many popular tourist attractions to enjoy, including museums, art galleries, sandy beaches, watersports, dining, and outlet shopping centers.
Another popular attraction in Daytona is the Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory Tour, which offers free self-guided walking tours anytime during business hours and a free taste sample of your choice of chocolate.
And, a trip to Daytona would not be complete without checking out the Daytona International Speedway, where you can take in thrill rides, fishing, family camping, and watch a Daytona 500 car race. Daytona Beach is the perfect getaway for your next trip to Florida.
Read Next: Is Daytona Beach Safe to Visit?
A charming, artsy city tucked along the west coast of Florida, Sarasota offers breathtaking views of the sandy shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico. Besides its breathtaking views, Sarasota has much more to offer.
Tourists love Sarasota for sunsets on the beach, outdoor recreational activities, historical art centers, music festivals, and craft shows. Sarasota attracts art collectors and enthusiasts to the area.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is worth a visit on your next visit to the scenic waterfront city of Sarasota. Other attractions to check out in Sarasota include the Mennonite and Amish enclaves, golf courses, the picturesque Lido Beach, and the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Come to Sarasota on your next vacation to Florida for endless ocean views, sunshine and culture. Known as one of the prettiest places in Florida, you won’t be disappointed.
8. Palm Beach
Located along the barrier island, Palm Beach is nestled among the southern boundaries of Florida and offers panoramic shorelines of sandy white beaches and breathtaking sunsets.
Visitors of Palm Beach can enjoy a tour of the Norton Museum Sculpture Garden, take a ride at SoulCycle at the Royal Poinciana Plaza, take in some fine dining and shops, and soak up the sunshine along the sandy beaches with plenty of outdoor water activities including airboat rides along West Palm Beach.
Another popular tourist attraction in Palm Beach is the Zoo and Conservation Area, where visitors can admire tropical animals and birds in their natural habitat. Palm Beach is another popular choice for those seeking beautiful views and a relaxing experience.
Read Next: Why Palm Beach Is So Safe to Visit
9. Key West
Famous for its inviting white sandy beaches, Key West is set at the southernmost point of the picturesque Florida Keys. This subtropical paradise is the perfect destination for adventure-seekers.
Enjoy snorkeling, fishing, deep-sea adventures, local art galleries, shops, and museums. Or simply relax on the beach and listen to the waves lapping up the sunshine.
Other attractions in Key West include taking a walk along the historic Duval Street, a visit to Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, and the Key West Nature and Butterfly Conservatory.
Key West is rich in culture and boasts plenty of diversity and natural beauty. Known as the “the Conch Republic,” Key West offers something for everyone visiting the picturesque Florida island retreat.
So, mark Key West on your calendar for your next Florida vacation destination. You’ll be glad you took the chance to see one of the most gorgeous beaches in Florida.
Known for luxurious beaches, sandy white shorelines, and panoramic views, Destin can be found bordering the Gulf of Mexico in the northwest part of Florida and has much to offer vacationers.
Destin boasts the gorgeous Destin Harbor Boardwalk that’s perfect for snapping sunset photos and moonlit strolls along the beach, several lush golf courses, Big Kahuna’s Water Park, and many water sports, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing off chartered boats along the coast.
Other attractions in Destin include the Crab and Island Sandbar Adventure, Dolphin Watching Tours, and the Harbor Lights Cruise through Destin Harbor.
Known as “the world’s luckiest fishing village,” Destin has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in Florida’s Panhandle for its scenic views and outdoor tropical adventures. A favorite destination for many tourists, Destin offers something for everyone in the family.
11. Fort Lauderdale
Boasting more gorgeous ocean views, aqua shorelines, and boating canals, Fort Lauderdale is set in the southeastern part of Florida surrounded by palm trees and tropical and white sandy beaches.
Fort Lauderdale attracts many tourists with its beaches, upscale dining, nightclubs, shops, and luxury beachfront resorts. The perfect recipe for a luxury stay!
Other popular attractions to visit in Fort Lauderdale include the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park featuring scenic trails and a breathtaking lagoon, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame featuring swimming pools and museums.
Commonly acknowledged as a favorite to visit in Florida, Fort Lauderdale will not disappoint.
12. Cocoa Beach
Located an hour east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach offers endless possibilities for a leisure-filled vacation filled with sun, relaxation, and endless shorelines of white sandy beaches.
Known as the “quintessential beach town,” Cocoa Beach offers many attractions. Just a taste of these include a trip to take a look at iconic rockets and artifacts at the Kennedy Space Center, the Florida Surf Museum, or visit the local shops and restaurants located on the Cocoa Pier.
Or, go golfing, see museums and historical sightseeing, or go surfing, swimming, or sunbathing in the sunshine on the white sandy shores of Cocoa Beach.
Another attraction exclusive to Cocoa Beach is the Maritime Forest located at Lori Wilson Park, where you can gaze at the natural birdlife in the area. Cocoa Beach is one of the most affordable vacation destinations in Florida, offering the best of fun in the tropical sun on a budget.
With plenty of sunshine and turquoise beaches along the gulf coast of Mexico, Clearwater is set on the white sandy shores near Tampa Bay, Florida.
Clearwater offers luxury hotels, fine dining and restaurants, plenty of beaches, and outdoor activities including beach volleyball, deep-sea diving, snorkeling, fishing, the affiliate of the pro baseball team, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Other Clearwater adventures include a dolphin encounter cruise. Take a scenic cruise along the Gulf of Mexico to see dolphins swimming amongst the magnificent ocean waves, right up close!
If you’ve ever wanted to truly experience the beauty of these intelligent creatures, you can’t miss this. Clearwater is rated as one of the most beautiful cities in Florida, to boot.
Read Next: The Best Time to Go to Clearwater
Located in the most western part of Florida, Pensacola is known as “the city of five flags,” and offers historical beauty to its visitors in the area. Tourists can take a guided walking tour through the city to see cultural and historical sites.
Pensacola also offers plenty of other popular visitor attractions, including one-of-a-kind art galleries, delicious dining and restaurants, shopping venues, and the aqua, sand-filled shores of Pensacola beaches.
Other attractions to see include the Blue Angels Naval Aerobatic Team and the National Naval Aviation Museum. A definite must-see attraction for anyone interested in airplanes and aviation. Pensacola is one of the most popular places to visit among many vacationers.
15. Florida Keys
Located south of Miami Beach, the Florida Keys can be found off Florida’s most southern coast forming a group of coral islands along the picturesque gulf of Mexico.
These islands make up the Florida Keys, offering many attractions for visitors to Florida of every age. Most popular Florida Island Keys include Key West, Key Largo, Islamorada, and several others along the way.
Choose from several attractions in the Keys, including beach excursions, snorkeling, fishing, deep-sea diving, visit the infamous Florida Keys Shipwreck, local galleries, shops, restaurants, and museums. The Florida Keys have something for everyone to enjoy while soaking up the sunshine.
So, What Is the Best Place to Visit in Florida?
Whether you are looking for natural wonders of the world, famous attractions, diversity and culture, iconic tourist attractions, or magnificent sandy white beaches and plenty of sunshine, Florida has something for everyone. So make Florida your next vacation destination and enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer!