15 Reasons Why You Should Visit Florida

Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island at west coast of Florida.
Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island at west coast of Florida. | © Tasfoto / Alamy Stock Photo
Karina Castrillo

The Sunshine State offers incredible weather year-round. With blue skies, beautiful beaches, delicious seafood and plenty of day trip adventures, Florida is a perpetual vacation. Here are a few reasons to visit the sunny state now (or anytime really).

1. St. Augustine

Park

Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine Florida
© Jon McLean / Alamy Stock Photo
Claiming to be the oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine is known for its Spanish-style architecture, quaint cafés, and even its ghost stories. The 17th-century Spanish stone fortress known as the Castillo de San Marcos is a must-see, as is the infamous spring water at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. (No, a sip of it won’t make you immortal).

2. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Sports Center

Launch Pad 39A at NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA March 22, 2011
© Archive Image / Alamy Stock Photo
Cape Canaveral is home to America’s first space station! The Kennedy Space Center launched operations for Apollo, Sky Lab and other space shuttle programs since its opening in the ’60s. The station still launches rockets, and facilities are open for tours.

Theme parks

One of the top U.S. destinations, Orlando is famous for its theme parks. Universal Orlando Resort™ comprises the Islands of Adventures and Universal Studios, where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter takes you through the Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley. SeaWorld has some of the most unique experiences for animal lovers, such as watching waddling penguins, exploring a dolphin nursery and a glass tunnel in a shark aquarium. Less we forget, Disney World! Who wouldn’t want to live in the happiest place on earth?

Toon Lagoon places. Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios Orlando.

Nightclubs

Much like the heat of this tropical state, parties here never stop. Miami Beach is known for its dazzling nightclubs such as LIV, Clubspace, Story, and E11EVEN, which runs 24/7 and is complete with sexy strippers—the party goes on while most are having breakfast. Long after the theme parks close, the nightlife in Orlando is pulsating with dance clubs, high-end bars and lounges in Disney’s Pleasure Island, Universal Studios CityWalk and Downtown Orlando’s Orange Avenue.

Bars and restaurants glow in the evening light on Ocean Drive in Miami, Florida.

Wildlife

The Florida peninsula is rich with wildlife. The sawgrass marshes and mangrove forests of the Everglades National Park are home to 350 bird species, 27 different kinds of snakes, fresh and saltwater fish, the bottlenose dolphin, alligators, crocodiles and the Florida panther. Bird-watching is possible in over 500 locations all over the state, and tens of millions of monarch butterflies fill the Florida sky all along their migration route from Canada to Mexico. Visitors can easily spot manatees, the gentle sea cows native to Florida, in shallow slow-moving waters (such as your neighborhood canal); they migrate each winter in large numbers where they join at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge.

Alligator in the Everglades National Park

3. Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg

Museum, Building

The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg houses one of the largest collections of the famous surrealist painter’s work. The selection of 96 oil paintings, drawings, fine prints, and objects boasts a stunning look into Dalí’s avant-garde style.

Beaches

The beaches—all along the peninsula are miles of soft white sand and teal blue warm waters that promise a relaxing retreat, complete with a dreamy Florida sunset. Daytona Beach is a hotbed for spring breakers, while Fort Myers Beach along the west coast promises a calmer, tranquil spot for vacationing. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are known for fishing and spotting dolphins, while Naples along the Gulf of Mexico boasts extravagant golf courses and ritzy restaurants to satisfy the palate.

Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

Gambling

Las Vegas may hold a full-house hand when it comes to gambling, but you can still get lucky at one of these major casinos. The Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in the outskirts of Miami offers a 32-table room for high-stakes poker, and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood has a lavish grand room for poker and 2,000 slot machines. The hotel’s interior is a rock fan’s sanctuary as rock-and-roll memorabilia cover the walls, including guitars signed by Elvis Presley and Metallica plus a display of costumes from Madonna to Beyoncé. The locale also boasts a bustling nightlife with plenty of entertainment, including karaoke bars and a plethora of restaurants.

Miccosukee Resort Hotel and Casino, Florida.

4. Hemingway House in Key West

Museum

Ernest Hemingway house in Key West, Florida.
© Richard Wainscoat / Alamy Stock Photo
Key West is home to one of America’s most beloved writers. The famed Ernest Hemingway and his wife Pauline settled in this two-story Spanish colonial house from 1931–1939. The charming home has since become a museum, which gives guests a look into the late author’s life and a tour of his possessions, including his writing desk and typewriter, mounted trophies from his gaming adventures, and lavish green gardens, complete with his infamously expensive pool. The grounds are also home to about 40–50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats.

5. Native American Reservations

Camping

Ah Tah Thi Ki Museum, Florida.
© A R/Flickr
Native American Reservations Deep in the Everglades, through the marshes and sawgrass prairies, the Seminole Tribe of Florida at Big Cypress Reservation offers an educational tour about the tribe’s indigenous culture. Discover 30,000 artifacts at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, and stroll along the boardwalk into the tribe’s village where Seminoles practice bead work and basket-weaving techniques. The reservation has a campground for RVs, tent sites, and cabins to stay in and get acquainted with the Native Americans’ way of life.

6. Scuba diving

Park

Christ of the Abyss statue in Key Largo, Florida.
© Eric Douglas / Alamy Stock Photo
How many places can you go scuba diving and meet with Jesus? (Well, two if you count Italy.) Deep into the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, a 4,000-pound sculpture of Jesus Christ of the Abyss lies submerged at sea, and scuba divers can swim around it while catching glimpses of the beautiful coral reef!John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL, USA

7. Stone crabs

Restaurant, American

Jumbo stone crabs at Joes Stone Crab.
© Adam Goldberg/Flickr
The legendary Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant has been serving delicious stone crabs fished from the Gulf Coast since 1921. Boiled and then served cold, claws come in four sizes—medium, large, jumbo and colossal! Pick up claws by the pincher end and peel away the broken shell to expose the savory lump of meat. Crabs are actually not killed in the process, limbs are cut off, and then the live animals are thrown back into the ocean where they will (hopefully) grow their claws back.

8. Cigar City

Historical Landmark

Ybor City in Tampa Florida
© dmac / Alamy Stock Photo
Tampa crafts some of the best cigars in the world. Dubbed the “Cigar City,” Tampa got its nickname after the famous Cuban cigar manufacturer Vicente Martinez Ybor moved to Tampa and built the largest factory of cigars. The neighborhood of Ybor City is named after him and is now a historic landmark.

Shopping

Indulging in a little shopping spree never hurt anybody. Shopping malls in Florida are made for tourists and locals alike with stores for every budget. Luxury boutiques at Bal Harbour Shops carry big brand names such as Cartier and Chanel, and outlet malls are nearly in every major Florida city, including Orlando, Miramar, and Sunrise, where Sawgrass Mills is a popular destination.

Miami Bal Harbour Shopping Mall, Florida.

Crazy Florida news

Should boredom ever kick in, just browse through the local news. All sorts of bizarre incidents happen in Florida, such as the cannibal attack of 2012 (a man gnawed at a man’s facial flesh before being shot); the woman twerking on a moving vehicle riding on the highway; and most recently, a man drank five gallons of vodka and lived to tell the tale. Florida is full of wild and unpredictable daily events, making it a truly entertaining place.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

close-ad
Edit article