10 Top Tourist Attractions in Florida

10 Top Tourist Attractions in Florida

Category : Americas , USA

Known as “The Sunshine State”, Florida is heavily focused on the tourist trade. The beaches are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Florida, along with some of the world’s best known theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. However some of the state’s best secrets are in secluded locations away from tourist areas and well worth seeing. Regardless of preference Florida has something to offer for any kind of traveler.

10. Amelia Island

Amelia Island


Amelia Island is one of the southernmost of the Sea Islands, a chain of barrier islands that stretches from South Carolina to Florida. Amelia Island is home to Fernandina Beach, a charming shrimping village with 50 blocks of historic buildings, delightful eateries, and unique B&Bs and six golf courses.

9. Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos


Located in the city of St. Augustine, The Castillo de San Marcos site is the oldest masonry fort in the United States. Given the fine state of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument it’s difficult to believe that the fortress was built in the late 1600s. Its longevity is due to its design: a diamond-shaped rampart at each corner maximized firepower, and 14 feet thick walls reduced its vulnerability to attack. St Augustine itself is a small jewel of a city known as the oldest European settlement in the United States, full of romantic ambiance and old world charm.

8. Universal Orlando Resort 

Universal Orlando Resort


Universal Orlando Resort is the top ranked challenger to Disney, as the largest of the Universal Studios Theme Parks. The resort consists of two theme parks: The original Universal Studios Florida and the second theme park, Islands of Adventure. Other attractions include a nightclub and restaurant complex, CityWalk, and three resort hotels.

7. Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale Beach


Located on the Atlantic coast, Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America” due to its expansive and intricate canal system. The city is most famous for its beaches and boats. Once a major spring break destination it is now a stylish and sophisticated city. Central along the beach strip is Fort Lauderdale Beach, with its crisp, new, wavy-walked promenade separating the beach from the low-rise lodgings, restaurants, and beach shops.

6. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center


Kennedy Space Center has been the launch site for every US human space flight since 1968 and currently operates as a launch site for unmanned rockets. It is also one of Florida’s tourist attractions and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers museums, movies, a rocket garden and bus tours of important shuttle preparation and launch facilities. Before a rocket launch, the Visitor Complex also sells “launch passes” but keep in mind that for safety reasons, the closest approach available is at least 4 miles away, and often much further.

5. Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World


Walt Disney World, located in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando, is the flagship of Disney’s worldwide theme park empire and the most popular tourist attraction in Florida. It is also by far, the world’s largest and most-visited theme park resort. The centerpieces of Walt Disney World are the four theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some visitors describe it as a place of fun, magic and fantasy while others complain of crowds, artifice, and unrelenting tackiness.

4. Key West 

Key West


Key West is known as the southernmost city in the continental United States and is located closer to Havana than to Miami. For many years, Key West was the largest town in Florida, and it grew prosperous from the valuables of shipwrecks. Improved navigation led to fewer shipwrecks, and Key West went into a decline in the late 19th century. Although Key West today has been heavily restored and revitalized for the one million tourists that visit the island each year, the town has retained some of its sense of individualism and isolation, somewhat detached from the rest of Florida. Tourist attractions on Key West include Ernest Hemingway’s former home, the Southernmost Point, the lighthouse and several drinking establishments.

3. Everglades



To the uninitiated, the Everglades might appear as a big swamp but it is actually a vast, shallow, slow moving river of grass that extends from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. During the dry season it dries up except for the deeper places. It is an incredibly unique ecosystem, a subtropical wilderness that supports creatures such as alligators, bottlenose dolphins, manatees and bald eagles. And amid the mangroves, cypress, hardwood hammocks and miles of grass, there are endless opportunities in the everglades for hiking, bicycling, canoing, kayaking, boating, camping and fishing.

2. South Beach

South Beach


Before Miami Vice, South Beach was a place where crime kept residents indoors at night and hotels stood mostly vacant. In the late 1980s helped by the TV show’s popularity a renaissance began in South Beach, with an influx of fashion industry professionals moving into the area. Today South Beach is the most popular and richest area of Miami Beach and one of the top tourist attractions in Florida. The area is known for its hip clubs and wild nightlife as well as its famous art deco design.

1. Overseas Highway 

#1 of Tourist Attractions In Florida


The Overseas Highway, also known as U.S. Highway 1, connects the Florida Keys with the mainland. It stretches 127.5 miles (205.2 km) into the Gulf of Mexico, from Key Largo, Islamadora, Marathon, Lower Keys and finally to Key West, the most distant and most famous island. Much of the highway uses a route that was originally a railroad, originally built by the Overseas Railroad that was finished in 1912, but was pretty much destroyed by a major hurricane in 1935. The present highway opened in 1938, with one bridge that is almost seven miles long. The Seven Mile Bridge has been featured in films such as True Lies, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Mission Impossible III.

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10 Best Islands in Florida

Category : Americas , Miami

Florida is one of the America’s top travel destinations. Home to incredible beaches, enormous amusement parks and several exciting cities, it is easy to see the appeal of the Sunshine State. While big cities like Orlando and Miami are top travel spots, you’ll miss out if you don’t also explore some of the best islands in Florida. From coastal isles that are off the beaten track to bustling destinations closer to Cuba than Miami, these are some of the top islands worth visiting while in Florida. Surprisingly, all are accessible via one or more bridges, an unusual but fantastic advantage for those coming by car.

10. Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne


Off the coast of Miami, and just south of Miami Beach, is the barrier island known as Key Biscayne. Although it is close to the hustle and bustle of Miami, it is primarily a quiet residential area. Key Biscayne is a fantastic place to get active and enjoy the warmth of Southern Florida. Enjoy the three-mile stretch of white sand at Crandon Park, or make your way to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Recreation Area for kayaking and a tour of the local lighthouse. There are also miles of paved pathways to enjoy activities like jogging, cycling and rollerblading with views of the water.

9. Gasparilla Island

Gasparilla Island

Gasparilla Island is a small barrier island on Florida’s western coast. Although close to cities like Port Charlotte and Cape Coral, Gasparilla Island boasts a far more relaxed atmosphere. Named for a Spanish pirate that once lived on the island, Gasparilla is one of the few places where you can still experience old Florida. On Boca Grande Beach, take a morning stroll and dip your toes into the cool ocean water. The very southern tip of the island is home to the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, which was first lit in 1890. If you’re interested in birdwatching, then a ride along the Boca Grande Bike Trail will definitely be memorable.

8. Siesta Key

Siesta Key


Just off the coast of Sarasota is Siesta Key, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Much of Siesta Key is white sand beach, and its 8-mile long public beach is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Many people who come to Siesta Key come specifically for the beach, and there is no better way to spend the day than soaking up the sun and going for a dip in the ocean. Up and down Ocean Boulevard, you can dine at independent eateries, grab drinks at local bars or just shop for souvenirs.

7. Key Largo

Key Largo


As you head south of Miami and begin exploring the Florida Keys, one of the first you’ll see is Key Largo. As the first major stop in the Florida Keys, many visitors bypass Key Largo on their way further south. However, Key Largo is also worth a longer stop. If you’re into scuba diving, in particular, then Key Largo is absolutely somewhere you’ll want to spend some time. Head to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for scuba diving and snorkeling, or join a guided tour to head further off the coast.

6. Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

South of Tampa and St. Petersburg is another barrier island in Florida, known as Anna Maria Island. Once again, the big draw to Anna Maria is access to the beautiful beaches. Bradenton Beach and Coquina Beach are two top picks for anyone eager to do some swimming or just build castles in the sand. Anna Maria Island has also tried to preserve much of its history and architecture and provides an “Old Florida” feel. A visit to the Anna Maria Island Historical Society can be a great way to learn about the Timucuan Indians that inhabited the area as well as the subsequent Spanish settlers.

5. Marco Island

Marco Island


If you take a bridge leading off of mainland Florida from Naples, you’ll get to Marco Island. Located just on the edge of the Everglades, Marco Island is a popular spot for boat tours in Southwest Florida. It is also an urban island, and high-rises along the coast provide visitors and residents alike with spectacular ocean views. The island is a common destination for deep-sea fishing charters, romantic sailing cruises and dolphin-spotting expeditions. Of course, Marco Island also boasts some wonderful beaches. South Marco Beach is known for its spectacular sunsets, and Tigertail Beach is known for its shells. At Tigertail Beach, always look down, because the beach is littered with extraordinary shells you’ll want to add to your collection.


4. Islamorada



Roughly one third of the way between Miami and Key West is Islamorada, a city that is technically located on several different islands: Tea Table Key, Plantation Key and both Lower and Upper Matecumbe Keys. Islamorada is sometimes called the Sport Fishing Capital of the World, and it attracts a number of serious anglers as well as amateur fishing enthusiasts. If you would rather admire the fish than catch them, Bahia Honda State Park is a popular spot for snorkeling that is located right off the Overseas Highway. Nearby, at Theater of the Sea, you can swim with dolphins and even sea lions.

3. Sanibel Island 

Sanibel Island

On the western coast of Florida, in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is Sanibel Island. The entire barrier island is a top vacation spot, and it is known as a quieter, family-friendly destination for travelers. The beaches on Sanibel Island are stunning, but don’t expect pristine, fine white sand. Instead, the beaches are made up of sand dollars and shells, meaning that there is always something spectacular to admire right at your feet. When you’re not collecting shells on Sanibel Island, you might take a tour of the island’s historic lighthouse, or you could do some birdwatching at the world-famous J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

2. Amelia Island

Amelia Island

In the northeastern part of the Sunshine State is Amelia Island, a barrier island in the Sea Islands Chain. Once again, this is an island in Florida known for its spectacular beaches. It is also a fantastic recreation destination that boasts activities ranging from golf to boating. If you also want some historic background for your trip, be sure to check out Fort Clinch. The original fort still stands overlooking the beach, and the adjacent museum is excellent. Best of all, there are several miles of hiking paths surrounding the fort.

1. Key West

#1 of Best Islands In Florida


Arguably the most famous island in all of Florida is Key West. The southernmost part of the state, Key West is a world-famous destination that boasts year-round warm weather as well as unforgettable nightlife. Whether it is January or July, you can expect Key West to be in full swing. If you’re a history buff, be sure to check out Ernest Hemingway’s house, or take a tour of the incredible Harry S. Truman Little White House, where the president liked to do business during the winter months. At sunset, head to Mallory Square for lots of live performances and a great view. Then, make your way to Duval Street for excellent seafood and countless bars open until the early hours of morning.

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