10 Best Places in Florida To Visit for a Weekend or Longer

Time Of Info By TOI Staff   February 22, 2024   Update on : February 22, 2024

Best Places in Florida

With about 105.2 million visitors in 2023, Florida continues to beat overall annual visitation records. This is 724,000 more visitors than the first nine months of 2022. When it comes to the best places in Florida to visit, the options are as vast as the state itself

If you’re planning a short trip to the Sunshine State, ensure you stop at the best places. Below are the top 10 destinations that make a weekend or longer stay truly worthwhile.

1. The Palm Beaches

Think of the Palm Beaches as a fast pass to the best parts of Florida. This name encompasses cities of Palm Beach County, including spots such as:

  • West Palm Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • Wellington
  • Delray Beach
  • Jupiter
  • Boca Raton

Palm Beaches offers a mix of luxury, cultural experiences, and coastal charm. This is the epitome of the Sunshine State.

There are a lot of diverse activities you can do in Florida during your visit. If you’re after a classy resort stay, Palm Beach and Boca Raton have you covered. Across the bridge, West Palm Beach offers a big-city feel without the hassles of traffic.

2. Florida Keys

The Florida Keys stretches 113 miles from Key Largo to the southernmost point of the continental United States in funky Key West. For a weekend visit to the Florida Keys, consider the following places:

  • Key Largo
  • Islamorada
  • Marathon
  • Big Pine Key
  • Key West

Pick any Key along the way and you’re guaranteed a tropical getaway. A weekend in the Florida Keys also allows you to enjoy fishing charters and good views. To get the most fun, remember to plan your trip according to the Florida Keys’ calendar of events.

3. Miami and Fort Lauderdale

When it comes to the best places to visit in Florida, no destination packs a punch quite like Miami. From good eats to party venues, Miami is a one-stop shop for a weekend trip.

If you want a vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches, South Beach is the place to camp. Experience Cuban culture with authentic cuisine, music, and art at Little Havana. The Wynwood Walls allows you to explore the colorful street art and galleries.

Fort Lauderdale is another seaside metropolis where you can spend action-packed days and nights. You can connect from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in about an hour using the modern Brightline. This town offers the best of fun in the sun with its beautiful beaches.

4. Naples

Naples is another gem on Florida’s western coast. The area is called the Paradise Coast for a reason. It’s known for beautiful white-sand beaches, golf courses, and high-end restaurants.

As an art lover, you can find a lot to enjoy at Artis – Naples. This is home to the Naples Philharmonic and The Baker Museum. For the best fishing spot fun, visit the Naples Pier.

If retail therapy is on your agenda, head to Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South for the best of luxury. Once you’re done shopping, you can rent a boat for a sunset cruise. To unwind after a long day of activity, check out houses for rent by owner in these top Florida spots.

5. Tampa Bay Area

Tampa and its neighborhoods make up a tri-city haven for weekend fun on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Tampa is home to Busch Gardens. You can visit the place to enjoy roller coasters and exciting experiences.

If you love animals, don’t forget to pop in at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. You can also discover marine life at The Florida Aquarium.

Visit the laid-back Clearwater Beach town to access the best beaches in Florida. Coupled with St. Petersburg, the area is an art and culture mecca of sorts.

6. Orlando and Central Florida

With attractions like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando is a mecca for theme park enthusiasts. The spot also offers outdoor adventures like kayaking at Rainbow Springs State Park. If you want to look into space exploration history, visit the Kennedy Space Center.

7. Crystal River

For a relaxing weekend getaway, visit the slower-paced Crystal River. This is a sleepy, tucked-away destination on Florida’s western coast. Here is what you can do here:

  • Watch live mermaid shows at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
  • Harvest scallops in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Explore the Three Sisters Springs for manatees
  • Visit the Crystal River Archaeological State Park
  • Explore the enchanting springs of Crystal River with paddleboard and kayak tours

A visit to Crystal River guarantees you calm and rejuvenation. While the spot is tucked away, you won’t miss a place to stay. The Plantation on Crystal River is an ideal travel resort that offers waterfront access, a spa, and tours.

8. Fort Myers/Cape Coral

Fort Myers is one of Southwest Florida’s most famed fishing spots. If you love fishing, explore the area to get a good catch. The spot offers a diverse range of species to catch.

Apart from fishing, this place is a haven for outdoor adventure. You can go hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and canoeing. Additionally, you can visit Butterfly Estates to see all butterfly species native to Florida.

If you’re up for a relaxing walk and stunning views, go over to the Sanibel Lighthouse.

9. Amelia Island

Amelia Island is an ideal spot if you prefer a charming seaside destination with no crowds in sight. This allows for optimal fun and relaxation.

For nature lovers, check out Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and Fort Clinch State Park. Once you’re done exploring, head to historic downtown Fernandina Beach on the island. You can shop or chow down at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

10. St. Augustine

As the oldest city in America, St. Augustine is full of history and charm. Explore historic sites like Castillo de San Marcos. You can also enjoy ghost tours through the city’s cobblestone streets.

For tasty treats, sample local cuisine at waterfront restaurants. Don’t forget to browse art galleries along St. George Street.

Weekend Getaway: Find the Best Places in Florida to Visit

For ultimate fun and relaxation, the aforementioned are the best places in Florida to visit. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures or sun relaxation, the Sunshine State has something for everyone.

Pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of Florida firsthand. Visit our website to learn more.


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