A travel guide to the many attractions and cities of Florida.
For starters, Florida is located in the extreme southeast of the continental United States. It boasts a fairly hot, humid climate year round, so dress accordingly. The best mode of transportation in Florida is by car, although many cities like Orland, Miami Tampa and Jacksonville hold major international airports, not to mention cruises based primarily out of Miami.
Culturally, Florida is unique in that even though it is located in the Deep South of the United States geographically, many of its residents are transplants from other places, especially retirees from the Midwest and Northeast. According to acewriters data, southern culture is most evident in the Florida Panhandle and North Florida. English is the dominant language in Florida, although Spanish is common as well due to the state’s large Latino and Caribbean population. Lastly, Florida varies from cheap to expensive depending on where you plan on visiting, so be sure to do some research beforehand.
The Florida Panhandle is home to many excellent beaches and resort towns.
The city of Destin is world famous for its white sand beaches and emerald green water, while Pensacola is renowned for its excellent beaches as well. Panama City is also home to many top notch beaches and a lively beach culture.
Tallahassee, the state capital, plays host to a number of cultural and historical attractions including the Old State Capital Museum, the Tallahassee Automobile Museum and the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science.
Other great destinations worth a visit are Apalachicola National Forest, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida Caverns State Park and Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
North Florida combines excellent weather with historic attractions.
St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the United States. It is home to the famed St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Fort Matanzas National Monument, Fort Mose Historic State Park, the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum and many charming and historic neighborhoods to visit.
The region’s largest city, Jacksonville, is home to many sites of interest such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens, Jacksonville Landing, the Fort Caroline National Memorial and the scenic Riverwalk.
Other places worth a visit in North Florida are the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, Ravine Gardens State Park and Amelia Island.
Central Florida is the epicenter of tourism in the state of Florida, boasting many amusement parks and other attractions.
Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista just outside Orlando is a place that needs no introduction. The massive theme park is home to countless rides and themed areas such as the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Blizzard Beach.
Orlando itself is home to world class theme parks such as Universal Studios, where guests can “ride the movies” and Seaworld, home to a huge collection of animals and sea life.
Cape Canaveral is home to the Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and the nearby Canaveral National Seashore.
Daytona Beach is home to the celebrated Daytona International Speedway, a must see for car racing fans.
The Tampa Bay area plays host to the excellent beaches of Clearwater and the excellent seaside views and beaches of St. Petersburg. Tampa itself is home to the many shops and clubs of Ybor City, the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Lowry Park Zoo and not to mention the Busch Gardens Tampa theme park with its many rides, attractions, shops, shows and zoo.
Central Florida is also home to many great beaches and nature preserves like the Ocala National Forest. Other must see attractions include Cypress Gardens and Gatorland.
South Florida contains beautiful beaches, the Everglades, the Florida Keys and world class cities like Miami.
Miami is the cruise capital of the world and known for its excellent beaches, warm climate, diverse and Caribbean culture and sites of interest like Little Havana, the Frost Art Museum, the Lowe Art Museum, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Zoo Miami and the Florida Seaquarium.
The Everglades are a unique wildlife area protected by Everglades National Park, the third largest national park in the United States. The Everglades contain many nature walks, airboat rides, and opportunities for fishing and boating.
The Florida Keys are an island chain off the south coast of Florida. They are renowned for their stunning beaches, tropical weather, unique culture and lively towns like Key West.
South Florida is also home to many other top destinations and attractions such as Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park and the gorgeous beaches, shops and restaurants of cities like Sarasota, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Palm Beach and Naples.
Florida one of the top tourist draws of the United States, and for good reason. Whether you visit the world renowned theme parks of Orlando, the beaches of the Florida Panhandle, or experience the lively Caribbean culture of Miami, the aptly named Sunshine State has a little something for everyone!