A place seen by many as the ultimate laid back paradise, America’s Sunshine State is home to sprawling stretches of fine white powder beaches, dense areas of mangroves, wild wetlands, bohemian enclaves, party cities seemingly made for spring break, wild surf beaches, a truly beautiful string of tropical islands and some of the most spectacular sunsets on the planet.
It’s a very hard place to choose but we’ve managed to narrow down 15 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Florida, USA…
1. St Augustine – said to be the oldest city in the U.S known for its striking Spanish colonial architecture
Renowned as the oldest city in the USA, St. Augustine was founded by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, a Spaniard in 1565. No matter where you go, you’ll find American history in every corner of this pretty historic city.
With the narrow cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, the monuments will take you back in time.
While history buffs can explore Ximenez-Fatio House Museum, Fort Castillo de San Marcos and the Fountain of Youth, art enthusiasts will love the Lightner Museum and St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. With a ray of year-round sunshine and a key view of the Atlantic Ocean, this charming city makes it worth a visit when visiting Florida.
2. South Beach, Miami Beach – Florida’s most beautiful places, sun-kissed beaches and endless glamour
Home to world-famous beaches and sunny Florida, Miami Beach is often confused with its neighboring Miami city. South Beach is the most charismatic beach you’ll come across in Florida and is a truly stunning place to visit in the sunshine state. This Architectural District is more than just a wide stretch of golden sand.
Along the scenic Ocean Drive, you’ll find beautifully restored buildings from the early 1930s. Today many of the plush hotels and restaurants form a part of the Art Deco Historic District and reflect the city’s vibrant history.
Check in one of the many cool Miami hotels you can stay in, lounge on the beach or have a fun-filled night, Miami Beach is an idyllic visit to Florida’s beautiful sandy beach.
3. Everglades – America’s largest subtropical ecosystem and one of the best places to vacation in Florida
A natural region with tropical wetlands, Everglades spans across two million acres in central and south Florida. The entire area is a shallow river that flows from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay.
Often called the “river of grass”, the Everglades National Park features diverse habitats including cypress swamps, wet prairies, and mangroves besides being home to extraordinary wildlife.
The wetland provides the best spot for bird-watching, camping, hiking, angling, kayaking, and much more for outdoor enthusiasts.
4. Crystal River – a coastal city fed by natural springs which is home to gentle manatees
Located in Citrus County, the Crystal River is Florida’s soul with warm gulf water, spring-fed river and majestic lakes. With turquoise waters and secret coves, it’s easily one of the few places where you can swim with the manatees or the gentle giants.
Swim along with these playful and friendly manatees for an incredible experience.
One of the most famous places where the manatees gather in the Three Sisters Springs. The Boardwalks at the Three Sisters Springs Wildlife Refuge offers great views of the labyrinth of crystal-clear water and the marine mammals. End your day with a beachy sunset on Fort Island Gulf Beach.
5. Amelia Island – an enchanting coastal escape and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Florida
Named after Princess Amelia of the United Kingdom, Amelia Island lies in Nassau county of Florida. An island full of pristine beaches and historic sites, this captivating seaport village was once a ground for pirates.
Along the island lies the hidden gem of Florida’s coast, Fernandina Beach. Downtown Fernandina Beach offers a unique shopping experience with excellent restaurants.
The quaint charm and clear waters let you embrace the wonders of nature. Besides, Amelia Island is the only place in America that flows eight different flags.
6. Sanibel Island – the stunning island to explore in Florida which is home to hidden beaches and rare shells
The city of Sanibel lies on Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida. This barrier island is connected to Fort Myers by a causeway. Best-known for its lavish resorts, antique boutiques, and galleries, Sanibel offers the best shelling in the world.
It’s easy to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and a variety of bird species along the pristine beaches of Sanibel.
On the northern front of the island is the treasured wildlife conservation, the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. With pastel sunsets, a historic lighthouse and fine accommodations, this secluded place draws you closer to nature.
7. Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin – is one of the most beautiful places in Florida with a tranquil scenic state park perfect to visit in Florida perfect for swimming and kayaking
A paradise in Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Caladesi’s white-sand shores is rated one of the best beaches to visit in the country. The Caladesi Island State Park is accessible by ferry which departs from neighboring Honeymoon Island.
This tranquil island with pristine shorelines offers you the much-needed space to relax. Beach lovers can enjoy swimming, and sunbathing while nature seekers can hike through the island’s interior or paddle along the mangroves and bay.
8. Fort Lauderdale Beach – a dreamy family resort destination and a fantastic place to visit in Florida
For those who love sun, sand, and surf, Fort Lauderdale is full of assortments of things. Located 25 miles north of Miami, this resort city with beautiful canals and waterways will take you back to Venice.
With a year-round balmy temperature and long shorelines, Fort Lauderdale is a sophisticated urban destination and one of the best places to visit in Florida.
The city’s wide boardwalks, gondola rides, and culture make it for a perfect family trip. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard to exploring the historic Stranahan House with furnished antiques, this lively city offers a dreamy Florida vacation.
9. Biscayne Bay – the largest estuary on the coast of southeast Florida and a stunning place to explore
A bright bay with the sight of Downtown Miami yet far detached, Biscayne Bay is located on the Atlantic coast of South Florida. Call it Chequescha, Tequesta, or Biscayne, this lagoon provides respite from the buzzing city.
The Biscayne National Park protects the shoreline mangrove swamps, emerald islands, coral reefs, and much more. Boat, snorkel, camp or watch the wildlife, nothing beats the mesmerizing sunsets over the bay.
Full of fun-filled activities, this premier travel destination is a Florida must-visit while you explore South Florida.
10. Clearwater – Florida’s stunning gem on the Gulf Coast known for its sunny weather and gulf coast beaches
Miles of sugar-white sand, tranquil breezes, and crystal clear water, Clearwater is quintessential America’s most beautiful beach destination. Pack your swimsuit, sunglasses, and flip-flops, a trip to Clearwater’s Beach is all about fun and sun.
Moreover, enjoy the friendly waterfront activities, gorge on the fresh seafood, or head to great beach bars, Clearwater’s full of events year-round. Explore the sunsets at Pier 60, a nightly festival with live music, food, and street performers.
11. Florida Keys Scenic Highway – an epic road trip with unparalleled ocean views
An unforgettable journey of 110 miles and 43 keys, the Florida Keys Scenic Highway starts from Florida to Key West. The Keys are the archipelago of islands.
Driving down this All-American Road with miles of ocean vistas, spectacular sunrises, sparkling water on each side and breezy palm trees is an experience worth your time.
Arguably one of the best scenic drives in the world, Florida Keys is where the Atlantic Ocean & Gulf of Mexico meet. Besides marveling at natural beauty, the Keys have a wonderful blend of unique cultures, music, art and cuisines.
12. Key West – a U.S. island city which is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Florida
Easly one of the most stunning spots to explore in Florida, this is the state’s most southernmost paradise. The Key West is a unique confluence of history, climate, natural beauty and diversity. Located 90 miles north of Cuba, the Key West is a perfect end to the scenic Florida Keys road trip.
This laid-back and quaint city has been home to well-known authors.
The pastel-hued and conch-style houses inspired by the Cuban and Bahamian Heritage will transport you back in time. A stroll to Duval Street with unique boutiques, souvenir shops and restaurants, there’s always a lively vibe in this epicenter of Key West.
13. Boneyard Beach, Big Talbot Island – a unique sea islands beach filled with surreally beautiful driftwood
A mile-long stretch along the Big Talbot Island State Park, south of Amelia Island is a beach with bleached skeletons of oak & cedar trees or the “driftwood”.
A short hike with an unspoiled trail beneath a canopy of beautiful trees will land you to the panoramic view of the beach.
Often called ‘photographers paradise’, visitors climb you the skeletal arms of the trees and witness the glorious beauty of the beach. Drifted with the wind and waves, with every tide you’ll find a new picture.
14. Dry Tortugas National Park – a gorgeous place to explore in Florida which is home to great beauty, history and peacefulness
Located 70 miles off Key West, the Dry Tortugas National Park comprises of seven small islands. Coined by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in 1513, this island is full of sea turtles.
The heart of the Park is the historic Fort Jefferson.
Built by the US Government in the 1800s, was once a prison during the Civil War. Camp under the stars with a warm tropical breeze or snorkel in the clear, shallow waters it is an experience of a lifetime. A true beauty spot in Florida!
15. Vero Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida
Along Florida’s Atlantic Coast is the elegant beach city, Vero Beach. Known for its tranquil beaches, historic downtown, and small-town ambiance, Vero Beach is a paradise for golf and water sports.
No wonder it is ranked as one of the best beach destinations in the country. Surrounded by the blue-green waters and Indian River Lagoon, Vero Beach also offers Oceanside’s historic downtown with exotic cuisines.
The quaint charm of this beautiful city will make you come back to visit over and over!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our selection of the best places to visit in Florida, USA.
We also have posts on…
- The most beautiful places to visit in California
- The most beautiful places to visit in Arizona
- The most beautiful places to visit in Oregon
- The most beautiful places to visit in Louisiana
- Places to visit in Georgia
- Boutique hotels in Miami
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Michael Cowley – writer and photographer
Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always had an affinity for adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued seeking out new places and cultures. In his spare time he explores everywhere from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, trying all kinds of street food, playing carrom with random strangers, and fine wine – he knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Goa, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations. Find Michael on Instagram or Twitter.
Hotel Reviewing Experience –Asked by many tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Discover Greece, Barcelo Hotels, and Rickshaw Travel. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos. Also mentioned as a top UK travel journalist.