We might be in the thick of winter now, but summer is right around the corner. Soon enough, we’ll trade our freezing temps and shorter days for sunny skies and hours spent by the beach.
As you plan your vacations for 2024, is the Sunshine State at the top of your list? If not, it should be! With family-friendly beaches, fine dining, and a ton of cultural activities to enjoy, there’s truly something for everyone.
Ready to escape reality for a little while? Today, we’re sharing the best places to vacation in Florida and what to do once you arrive!
Located right off the coast of beautiful Sarasota, Siesta Key is a barrier island that offers the ultimate Florida vacation. If relaxation is what you’re after, you can spend all day enjoying picturesque Siesta Beach, with its stark white sands and world-class views.
When you’re ready to stretch your legs a little, there’s always a game of beach volleyball going, as well as nearby playgrounds for the little ones and hiking trails for the whole family.
If you’re up for a little more adventure, Siesta Key Village is home to incredible eateries, vibrant nightlife, and live music that will set the tone for the rest of your trip!
If you’re eyeing beach trips so you can do nothing but chill, you must check out Islamorada. This location combines six islands throughout the Florida Keys, including:
- Windley Key
- Plantation Key
- Lignumvitae Key
- Indian Key
- Upper Matecumbe Key
- Lower Matecumbe Key
These aren’t the most bustling cities in Florida, but they are chocked full of slow-paced enjoyment. Stroll around peaceful parks, or don your diving gear to check out the stunning coral reefs. For a little retail therapy, be sure to walk around the local art galleries and pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home!
No list of places to vacation in Florida would be complete without mentioning one of the most beloved theme parks in the world: Disney World!
Located in Orlando, this iconic spot appeals to kids of all ages, and it’s only gotten more magical with time. Whether you’re eating with the characters, enjoying a thrilling ride, or simply walking around the grounds, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.
To fully enjoy everything Disney has to offer, we recommend working with a travel agent as you plan your trip. Agents will have insider knowledge of how the park operates and can help you with everything from dinner plans to hotel reservations.
The best part? Most travel agency Disney services are free to use, so you can plan the trip of a lifetime at no additional cost!
Dry Tortugas National Park
Planning to spend some time in Key West? If so, make sure to add a stop at Dry Tortugas National Park!
Located about 70 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, this unique park is the very best spot to experience diverse Florida wildlife! While it spans seven different islands and offers plenty of snorkeling opportunities, there’s lots to do inside and outside the water.
In addition to about 30 coral species, you’ll also find about 300 different species of birds at the park, along with five spectacular varieties of sea turtles. Once you’ve checked out everything, you can also enjoy a taste of historical Florida by touring Fort Jefferson, the 19th-century U.S. military structure that still remains on site.
One thing to keep in mind as you make your plans: Dry Tortugas National Park is only accessible via seaplane or boat, and there’s a small $15 admission fee. You can book a charter over for the perfect day trip!
While you can get a taste of state history at Fort Jefferson, true history buffs will want to stop in St. Augustine before leaving the Florida shores.
Founded way back in 1565, this northern city is recognized as the country’s oldest continuously inhabited European settlement. That’s why they call it the Ancient City!
Plan to spend a full day exploring the grounds, ducking in and out of the different buildings, ruins, and monuments as you follow a self-guided walking tour. Some of the must-see stops in St. Augustine include:
- St. George Street
- Colonial Quarter
- Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
- St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
- Lightner Museum
- St. Augustine Beach
Once you’ve finished exploring for the day, head over to nearby Anastasia State Park. Here, you’ll find clean beaches and towering sand dunes, making it the perfect spot to catch the sunset. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine for the ultimate romantic nightcap.
Looking for an adult-friendly vacation destination that exudes luxury and opulence? If so, add Naples, FL to your list!
While the beaches are pristine, it’s the premium golf courses that attract most people to this city. Even if teeing off isn’t your idea of a good time, you can always enjoy the high-end retail shops, art galleries, and fine restaurants around town.
These hotspots are found all over Naples, but many are clustered around Third Street South and Fifth Avenue South. Plan to spend a few hours at an outdoor cafe, people-watching with a latte in hand.
Once you’ve spent your vacation cash, you can still indulge your senses by enjoying local nature spots. The Naples Zoo is here, along with the Clam Pass Park and Naples Botanical Garden.
These Are the Best Places to Vacation in Florida
As you dream of brighter and warmer days, it’s never too early to start planning your next getaway!
While international destinations may pique your interest, you don’t have to travel all the way around the world to enjoy tropical views, first-rate nightlife, and stunning wildlife encounters.
When you know the best places to vacation in Florida, you can start planning your dream trip as soon as possible. These are only a few of our top recommendations, so be sure to explore all this state has to offer!
Looking for more ideas and inspiration to help you sightsee in style? Check out the other guides in our Travel section!
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