Is Florida all about sunshine, orange juice, and lying on the sand? But this Spanish colony, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, has more than 8000 miles of shoreline. Beyond entertainment and recreation, the State’s rich cultural and historical past, including Spanish conquistadors, swashbuckling pirates, and Caribbean influences, has made Florida an exciting place to live beyond entertainment and recreation.
Florida is home to Orlando’s world-famous theme parks at Disney and Universal, a nearly endless number of championship golf courses scattered throughout the State. Retail connoisseurs will find luxury stores and quirky boutiques in abundance and the Everglades National Park, with scores of barrier islands. Here’s you can take a look at the top 10 places to visit in Florida:
1. Panama City Beach
The Resort town in Bay County, Florida, offers 27 miles of white sand beaches on the Emerald Coast. One look at the sugar-white sandy beaches, and you’ll agree with the slogan of Panama City ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches’ how flawless it is. The Beach is a famed destination for residents of the southern United States and tens of thousands of high school and college students on spring break. St. Andrews State Park, Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours, Shell Island, Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Pier Park, and Ripley’s, Believe It or Not, are outdoor adventures that attract families, couples, and spring breakers year after year.
Renowned after the coastal Italian city, Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with houses selling for more than $40 million. The laid-back ambience, quiet luxury and world-class golf courses and championships, and vibrant arts & shopping districts make it an upscale area to live. Along Florida’s gulf coast, the southernmost city has the best beaches where white sand is pretty soft with calm shallow waters and small waves. The Naples Pier is a must for tourists as it is the perfect place for spotting dolphins without getting on a boat. The iconic Smallwood Store Trading Post and Museum of Everglades are registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can also check out the Naples Botanical Garden, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, and Naples Zoo for a lovely vacation in Naples.
3. Sanibel Island
Famous for its barrier islands, Sanibel Island is best known for its high-end resorts and is a sought-after destination among families, couples, and celebrities. Tourists find no lack of things to do, from adventures in the sea to leisurely shopping at Sanibel’s numerous boutiques and galleries. Bowman’s Beach is famed for its beautiful, unusual shells found on its sand beach. Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum has terrific exhibits, including the famous sailor’s valentine and the historic Sanibel Lighthouse. Sanibel Islands and Captiva are best known for their conservation efforts, leading to the establishment of Sanibel Sea School and the Sanibel-Captiva
Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, Fort Lauderdale is the ‘Venice of America’ due to its far-reaching canal system. Fort Lauderdale has an excellent tourist infrastructure with plenty of hotels, marinas, museums, and famous golf courses. Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise-ship ports globally, with mega-ships departing every day for the Caribbean, Mexico, and other places. Las Olas Beach, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Flamingo Gardens, and Museum of Discovery and Science are a few of the prominent beach attractions in Fort Lauderdale.
5. Clearwater Beach
Lying a little far-off from the big city of Tampa, Clearwater Beach makes you feel worlds away from the big-city atmosphere as it sits on a long, thin island. This laid-back area has the most beautiful coastline and other attractions you cannot afford to miss. If you haven’t been paddle boarding, parasailing, or other water sports activities, you should check parks, shopping avenues, historic theatres, and casual beachfront restaurants. The unspoiled natural attractions such as Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park are two of Florida’s most famed state parks.
6.Everglades National Park
Reckoned to be the United States’ best natural treasures, Everglades presents an ultimate combination of ecosystems, including swamps, sub-tropical jungles, saw-grass prairies, and the largest mangrove complex in the Western Hemisphere. The Everglades National Park provides shelter to various birds, fish, animals and reptiles. The park also makes special efforts to save endangered species like the West Indian manatee, the American crocodile, and the Florida panther.
Visitors adore visiting the Shark Valley Visitor Centre, which offers tram tours to spot wildlife such as alligators, turtles, deer, and herons. Many boat tours are organized to the Ten Thousand Islands, an incredible maze of mangrove islands, viewing manatees, dolphins, and pelicans. The airboat tour is an exciting way to experience the Everglades.
7. Tampa Bay Area
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, the Tampa Bay Area includes the Tampa Bay, a large natural harbour and several famed cities such as Tampa and St. Petersburg. Many family-oriented activities like Busch Gardens and a zoo are dedicated to animals from Africa’s Serengeti Plain. The area is also home to quality art museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Salvador Dali Museum, etc.
As for the beachcombing, St. Pete was named the Best Beach in the United States and fifth in the world by Trip Advisors readers in 2012 as it had beaches with white sand and crystal clear water.
Orlando celebrates the spirit of childhood like no other city in the world and has the most number of theme parks anywhere else. Walt Disney World Parks, Universal Orlando Parks, and SeaWorld Parks are among the 12 main theme parks in Orlando and bring nearly 51 million visitors a year to this central Florida city of just 2 million people.
Not just amusement parks, visitors love to visit the Kennedy Space Centre and I-Drive, which feature a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment venues. Tourists love to shop at the Orlando International Premium Outlets, and you can easily take a taxi or LYNX Bus Service to move around the city.
Considered one of the most vibrant cities in the United States, Miami is known for its Latin culture and hot nightlife. Situated in South-Eastern Florida, close to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is also the major port that manages the most significant number of passenger cruise ships. The city’s exclusive art deco architecture along the Ocean Drive and South Beach attracts everyone from relaxed retirees and night owls.
Miami is the melting pot of plenty of ethnic cultures with various attractions and activities. The Biscayne Bay National Park has the most extensive marine life and attracts explorers, adventurers, and tourists. If looking for serene peace, visit Wat Buddharangsi, a Buddhist temple that offers an uncharacteristic respite from the glitz of Miami.
Located to the south of Miami, Florida Keys are a 120-mile long chain of tropical islands connected by a series of bridges. The most spectacular bridge is the Seven Mile bridge in the Lower Keys, used in many Hollywood blockbusters. The islands have five unique destinations: Key West, Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo.
Key West is the southernmost point of the United States and is known for its colourful conch-style homes and coral reefs ripe for snorkelling and scuba diving. For reasonable accommodations, shopping, dining, and nightlife, visitors can look forward to Key Largo, the first key reached on the Overseas Highway. Islamorada Key is famed for being the ‘Sport Fishing Capital of the World”, and Marathon is pretty famous for its tourist amenities and facilities & the Seven-Mile bridge.