The Sunshine State is one of the most famous destinations in the United States for good reason. Visitors come from all over the world for the theme parks, the beautiful beaches, the history, and natural attractions.
There is something here for everyone, and on this page, I’ve collected the best information about Florida attractions and where to go in Florida, whether you’re traveling alone or with kids.
Where to Go in Florida
Florida is more than just Disney®, though Orlando’s theme parks are a big draw.
If you’re coming to Florida to visit Disney World®, SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens®, or Universal Studios® Orlando, then make Central Florida your home base. Some of the best roller coasters in the world are in Central Florida at those parks. Don’t forget about LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. It has a 150-acre theme park, as well as a water park, a botanical garden, and lakefront bungalows.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in relaxation or you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of a few celebrities, plan your visit around destinations in South Florida, like Miami and the Florida Keys. Then there are the sights of Northeast Florida, like St. Augustine and Amelia Island, and the pristine white sand beaches of the Panhandle.
One experience that you should consider adding to your Florida itinerary is swimming with manatees. Crystal River is the only place where swimming with manatees is permitted and the health of the animals is monitored. The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge was created for the protection of the endangered Florida Manatee, and visitors can don wetsuits and share the water with these slow, gentle creatures.
Florida Travel Tips
As you plan your Florida itinerary and decide where to go in Florida, it’s helpful to know the following:
The state’s climate is subtropical and that means Florida’s rainy season is long. If you’re visiting any time from May through October, you can expect some rain to fall during your trip. In the summer, you may experience a brief thunderstorm nearly every day.
Summers in Florida are hot, and every Florida travel guide will recommend taking precautions to avoid sunburn and heatstroke. On the other hand, winters can be somewhat chilly, so don’t expect to do a lot of beach swimming in February. Bring a sweatshirt and long pants.
There’s a lot of wildlife in the state, and not all of it is friendly. It’s not unusual for inland bodies of water to be home to gators and pythons, so make sure that lakes, ponds, and springs are safe for swimming before you dive in.
Go off the beaten path on the Gulf Coast. We’ve enjoyed spending time in Gulf County in Florida’s panhandle. If you want to plan a Florida vacation where outdoor adventures are the highlight of the trip, check out this destination. It has one of the richest ecosystems in the state, and you can see it all from a bike, a boat, on foot, or underwater.
If you’re visiting Florida specifically to go to Disney, look into staying on site. Booking a hotel far from the parks may seem like the best choice if you’re traveling on a budget, but that may change when you factor in the cost of gas and parking (not to mention the stress of driving).
If you’ll be at the parks for the majority of your trip, a Disney Resort may be the better choice. Our favorite is Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.
It is possible to buy discount Walt Disney World tickets, but there are a lot of scammers out there. Make sure that you’re buying tickets for all Florida attractions from authorized ticket sellers, and never buy a partially used ticket or try to rent a pass.
You’ll find some of the freshest seafood and the most delicious tropical fruit in Florida, and I recommend eating plenty of both. There’s also a lot of great Cuban and Caribbean food, as well as dishes influenced by Spanish and African cuisine. Try the boiled peanuts and eat plenty of key lime pie, too, because it’s better here.
Finally, don’t assume that a Florida vacation has to be expensive. My guides showcasing Florida attractions were written to not only help you decide where to go in Florida, but also help you save money along the way.
You’ll find plenty of information about how to get discounted theme park tickets and things to do in my Florida travel guides. You can also search for luxury hotels in Florida so you can get VIP treatment for less.