No matter your age or interests, spending time in Florida is something that really needs to be on your bucket list.

We spent a month road tripping all around Southern Florida and loved how different each city is, and how there’s a place for everyone to call home for a few days or long term.  Here are the best places and cities to visit in Florida and all the things to do, see, and eat!

You can either rent a car and stay at the hotels we recommended or get yourself an RV rental and take a tour of all the cities below.

 

SANIBEL

The quiet charm of Sanibel is hard to find anywhere else – the quaint streets, the muted pastels, the culinary scene that surprises and delights are all part of what makes Sanibel a must visit.

While Sanibel does have great beaches, we recommend going there for when you need days to relax, eat great food, and spend time with family and friends. It’s quieter than the rest of the cities on our list, but that’s exactly what we loved about it.

 

WHERE TO STAY:

We can’t recommend staying at beachfront charming inn enough! You’ll love the comfy feeling and being steps away from the water.

 

THINGS TO DO IN SANIBEL

  • Shelling: Yes, this is a thing, and yes, you need to do it!
  • Eat all the things: We have a hard time describing how much we were impressed by the food here. From charming diners to high-end restaurants – every stop on our food tour impressed us.
  • Go for a walk: The J.N “DING” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to connect with nature and get out and stretch your legs. We took our bikes for a ride through the park and got a great workout in too.
  • Catch that sunset: There’s no better way to end the day than watch the sunset. There’s a reason it’s a planned activity on most itineraries. We recommended grabbing a drink (or two) with your camera in hand and head over to the beach to watch the magic happen.
ALSO READ:
Fort Myers and Sanibel Island: Travel Guide

 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME THERE:

We highly recommend either renting a house or staying at one of the many cozy inns spread out over the island.

 

THINGS TO NOTE:

You’ll need a car, lots of bug spray, and stretchy waistbands on your pants as the food is ridiculously good.

 

All the things to do in Fort Myers and Sanibel Island

FORT MYERS

If you’re looking for an upbeat city on the west coast to spend time in, then Fort Myers is your jam. Decidedly more vibrant in terms of the selection of activities and nightlife, Fort Myers is the go-to city to balance the quietness and still have places to hang out in after 10 PM.

There’s a welcoming feeling in Fort Mayers that we hadn’t felt anywhere else – from the kind store owners who offer to let you park on their lot so you can run to catch the sunset, to the beach full of people welcoming you into their party.

 

ALSO READ:
Fort Myers and Sanibel Island: Travel Guide

 

WHERE TO STAY IN FORT MYERS

There are tons of Airbnbs, hotels and local inns all over Fort Myers. Picking a place really depends on what kind of experience you want to have there.

We’re hotel folk, so we recommend staying at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. Who doesn’t love a pink hotel?

You can get the best rates here.

 

THINGS TO DO IN FORT MYERS

  • Park views:  Keroshan State Park has everything from kayaking, camping and some really neat history (and hiking trails if you’re into outdoor adventures).
  • Chase sunsets: Fort Myers beach has some of the most stunning sunsets around, make sure to add this to your list of things to do.
  • Beach life: You can’t come to a beach town and not go to the beach – the beautiful white sand beaches of Fort Myers are calling your name! Also, wear sunscreen.
  • Enjoy the nightlife: The nightlife in Fort Myers is certainly a lively one, and one that deserves to be explored and where you’ll find wine bistros, pubs, and clubs. Remember to bring your dancing shoes.

 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME THERE:

We highly recommend either renting a house or staying closer to the beach so you can get the most out of your time in FT!

 

THINGS TO NOTE:

While a car is not really necessary, it does make getting around much easier. Also, bring bug spray.

 

One of the best places to visit in Florida- Islamorada

ISLAMORADA

There’s more to this key than meets the eye. While it can be neglected on the way to Key West, it so deserves a few days of your time.

Islamorada is a genuine delight – from the people on the Key to the fantastic water views, delicious seafood, and a somewhat vibrant nightlife, it surprised us and we’ve already planned on coming back to spend a few more days there.

ALSO READ:
Islamorada Travel Guide: A Weekend Getaway

 

WHERE TO STAY IN ISLAMORADA

We’ve stayed in our share of inns, but Casa Morada stole our hearts from the moment we checked in.

You can find the best rates here.

 

THINGS TO DO IN ISLAMORADA

  • Florida Keys Brewery: Run by a husband and wife team, the Florida Keys Brewery not only has a great outdoor vibe but also boasts an incredible selection on tap too! We fell in love with the sour beers on the menu, but they have options for everyone!
  • Robbie’s Marina: A great place to pick up some local art and grab a bite to eat by the water. We recommend the tacos. Always get the tacos.
  • Dolphin Research Centre: While not everyone is on board with animals in captivity, watching the sea life at the Dolphin Research Centre was a treat. Not only are they open to the public, but they are one of the leaders in dolphin research in the country.
  • Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery: If you’re into kitsch, then this is the place for you. This funky, rustic spot right off the main road is the best place for local sculptures, paintings, pottery & gifts. You can’t miss it- there’s a giant lobster outside.
ALSO READ:
Islamorada Travel Guide: A Weekend Getaway

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME THERE:

We highly recommend staying at an inn if you can. It’s also helpful to note that while Islamorada is a great beach town and has a fun daytime vibe, the nightlife activities are a bit lacking.

 

THINGS TO NOTE:

While a car is not really necessary, it does make getting around that much easier. Bring bug spray.

 

Top things to do in Fort Lauderdale including going to the beach

FORT LAUDERDALE

Fort Lauderdale is the place that you go to when you don’t want to be in the middle of the Miami craziness. Known as the Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale has everything you need for a very cultural stay.

ALSO READ:
Fort Lauderdale: A Weekend Guide

WHERE TO STAY IN FORT LAUDERDALE

Finding a great place to stay in Fort Lauderdale really depends on what your needs are and what activities you want to take part in. If being close to the beach is your jam, then we recommend staying at the Plunge Beach Hotel.

You can find the best rates here.

 

THINGS TO DO IN FORT LAUDERDALE

  • Take a Water Taxi: Just like in Venice, grabbing a water taxi to do a little house hunting is a great way to explore the canals. Most water taxis have stands that allow you to catch one, and they are a great way to explore the bars and restaurants that line the canals.
  • Shop till you drop at Las Olas Boulevard: A great place to pick up that great designer item on our list.
  • Enjoy the nightlife: Being this close to Miami means that the nightlife scene blends over easily. The pub and club scene here is worth checking out!
  • Hit the Beach: If you’re a beach lover like us, then you’ll be happy to know that Fort Lauderdale has some of the best beaches in Florida.
  • Showtime: Fort Lauderdale knows its way around the arts. If you love opera or theatre, dress up and go see a show!
  • Museums: Not everyone thinks of hitting up museums when they are in a beach town, but not checking out the great options in Fort Lauderdale is a mistake. Exploring the museums is a great way to learn about the environmental efforts and the history of this part of Florida.
ALSO READ:
Fort Lauderdale: A Weekend Guide

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME THERE:

We highly recommend either staying close to the beach and having a rental car to make getting around easier. We also recommend taking day trips to Miami or Hollywood if you have time!

 

THINGS TO NOTE:

Bring bug spray and a few going out outfits.

 

Things to do in Boca Raton- one of the best cities to visit in Florida

BOCA RATON

There’s something extremely homey about Boca Raton, it makes you feel like you’ve been coming here for decades. If water activities are something that you’re into, then you’re going to never want to leave.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN BOCA RATON:

We loved our stay at the Waterstone Resort and Marina. They have the best views, great food, tons of water activities, and a great pool to lounge by.

Get the best rates here. 

 

THINGS TO DO IN BOCA RATON

  • Mizner Park: We fell in love with the design and all the shops in Mizner Park. In fact, one of our favorite local boutiques is located right in this mall.
  • Watersports: If watersports are your jam, then you’ve picked the right place – you can enjoy everything from jet skiing, to stand up paddle boarding to kayaking and everything in between in. Bring a bathing suit and sunscreen and you’re all set!
  • Pool time: There’s nothing like a little pool time, and Boca Raton provides the perfect place to do that.

 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME THERE:

There are two types of experiences to have here- one is the type where you check into a resort and not leave for a few days, and the other is the one where you explore Boca Raton and the surrounding areas in the evening – we recommend the second option.

 

THINGS TO NOTE:

Rent a car.

 

Things to do in Delray beach- one of the best cities to visit in Florida

DELRAY

Delray has the most decidedly west coast vibe of all the cities on our list. There’s a laid-back energy here that’s hard to describe, but one that needs to be experienced.

 

THINGS TO DO IN DELRAY

  • Shopping: The main strip is full of cute boutique shops, and art galleries – a great way to find something that speaks to you.
  • Fine dining: The fine dining game in Delray is surprisingly great. Catering to the luxury taste of their residents and visitors, you’ll find some of the best restaurants right in the core of town.
  • Nightlife: You can’t walk more than 100 yards without running into a great pub.
  • Sunsets: Coupled with pastel lifeguard stations, the sunset vibes in Delray are a photographer’s dream.
  • Beach life: You can’t find a better beach than the one in Delray. Bring a book and spend the day soaking in the rays.

 

The Downtown hollywood mural project is one of the top things to do in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas.

HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA

Hollywood is the true undiscovered gem of the list and a short distance away from Fort Lauderdale. Think of Hollywood as the cool quiet cousin of Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and one that deserves to be known better. The influx of rental property options means that the chances for interesting experiences have increased dramatically.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN HOLLYWOOD:

Most people use Hollywood as their hub for trips to Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The beautiful homes listed on Airbnb make that so much easier to explore the nearby cities without having to deal with big city hotel prices.

 

THINGS TO DO IN HOLLYWOOD

Downtown Mural Project: You’ll find amazing murals created by some fantastic local and internationally renowned artists. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream!

Hollywood Beach Broadwalk: The perfect place to take a walk, ride a bike, or grab a drink and people watch.

 

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY THERE:

We recommend spending a full day in the city to not feel rushed, although those looking at AirBnB options for Miami might see properties in Hollywood up on the list as well.

 

Things to do in Palm Beach- one of the best cities to visit in Florida

PALM BEACH

Oh, Palm Beach! What can we say about Palm Beach that can be better described with a Lily Pulitzer dress? Palm Beach is THE place to go if you love pastels, fashion, great food, and a certain luxury lifestyle.

 

ALSO READ:
Palm Beach Travel Guide: A Complete Island Guide

WHERE TO STAY IN PALM BEACH:

You’d be hard pressed to find a more iconic hotel than The Colony. Showcasing the perfect combination of pastel pinks on the outside and green palm leaves on the inside, The Colony is everything Palm Beach and more.

Get the latest rates here.

 

THINGS TO DO IN PALM BEACH:

  • Flagler Museum: You don’t even have to be a history lover to appreciate the impact that Henry Flagler has had on the state of Florida. Pop into the museum to get a bit more insight. It’s worth every second!
  • Worth Avenue: Palm Beach’s answer to Rodeo Drive. The avenue is lined with designer boutiques including Lily Pulitzer and Tiffany’s.
  • Sunset Cruise: A great way to capture the city skyline and all the pretty homes along the water.
  • Breakers: While it is a private member’s club, that doesn’t mean that you can’t pop in for a drink and look around. Grab a drink at HMF and see how the 1% spend their time.

 

Things to do, see and eat in Miami for a weekend- one of the best cities to visit in Florida

MIAMI

What can we say about Miami that hasn’t been said before? A perfect blend of cultures and languages, Miami has a vibe that can’t be replicated.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN MIAMI:

Honestly, where you stay in Miami really depends on what you want to do and who you are traveling with. We’ve done everything from hotels on the strip to Airbnb stays in quiet neighborhoods and have had a great experience regardless.

If you’re looking for a great location, and beautiful decor then we can’t say enough about Faena Hotel Miami Beach.

Get the latest rates here

 

THINGS TO DO IN MIAMI:

  • Beaches: Miami’s beaches are world-renowned. We highly recommend having a beach day on your list.
  • Sunsets: There’s nothing more romantic than watching the sunset and Miami has some of the best.
  • Eat all the Cuban food: Enough said.
  • Nightlife: The nightlife in Miami is a completely different experience – there are lounges, pubs, clubs, bistros and everything in between.
  • Shopping: You can’t come to Miami and not go shopping.

Things to do in Naples- one of the best cities to visit in Florida

NAPLES

There’s a certain elegance about Naples that is quietly infused everywhere – from the brightly-colored (yet expertly maintained homes) to country clubs and fancy cars in the driveways. Naples is a way of life rather than a tourist destination – and a day in the city will make that abundantly clear.

ALSO READ:
Naples, Florida Weekend Travel Guide

WHERE TO STAY IN NAPLES:

We loved everything about Naples Grande Beach Resort- a quiet escape from activity-filled days. The villas are secluded and you feel like you’re on your own private oasis.

Get the best rates here

 

THINGS TO DO IN NAPLES:

  • Sunset at Naples Pier: You can’t come to Naples and not check out the sunset at the pier. It’s an activity that draws in the young and old.
  • Tin City: A funky, hip part of town filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. Tin City is exactly as the name says- a hub of brightly-painted metal buildings.
  • 5th Avenue: Looking for your dream home? Well, start here. The quiet street is filled with homes that belong on everyone’s Pinterest boards!

The best sunset in Key West- top cities to visit in Florida

KEY WEST

There’s something to be said about a place that embraces kitsch in a way that just brings out joy. We absolutely had a blast in Key West and have already planned to head back soon.

 

ALSO READ:
Key West Travel Guide: A Girlfriends Getaway

WHERE TO STAY IN KEY WEST

There’s no easy answer to this question. If you’re looking for something walkable to Dorval street after a night of fun, then rent something on Key West.

However, if you’re looking for something that’s close but has a resort style feeling, then we really recommend Oceans Edge Key West Resort Hotel & Marina – the perfect escape and still a short drive away from all the fun!

Get the best rates here.

 

THINGS TO DO IN KEY WEST

  • Sunset cruise: Catch a ride on one of the many sunset cruises and spend an hour or two watching the sun go down.
  • Hemmingway’s House: Love cats and literature? Add this stop to your list.
  • Dinner on Sunset Key: The perfect romantic treat away from the business of Key West.
  • Watching the sunset at the square: You know sunsets are a big deal when people get together in the square to watch it.
  • Spending the night on Duval Street: We can’t even begin to describe how much fun taking a night stroll on Dorval can be. Wear comfy shoes.
  • See the city from above: One of the best ways to get a true sense of Key West is by taking a helicopter tour.

 

ALSO READ:
Key West Travel Guide: A Girlfriends Getaway

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY THERE:

We recommend heading there for a weekend at least – the nightlife alone is worth it, but the energy is slightly different during the week.

 

THINGS YOU’LL NEED

Comfortable shoes, and bug spray, and love for all things kitsch and fun! A car can be handy if you’re planning on staying on a different key, but honestly, stay in the area and either cab or walk home. You’re going to thank us later.

 

 

And there you have it – the best cities that you need to visit in Florida. We’re confident you’ll find something that you’ll love on this list.

 

 

Traveling to Florida soon and figuring out your itinerary? Whatever you do, make sure you don't miss out on these incredible destinations in Florida!Traveling to Florida soon and figuring out your itinerary? Whatever you do, make sure you don't miss out on these incredible destinations in Florida!
Visiting Florida soon? Here are 11 can't miss destinations in South Florida that you'll love! Our Florida guide includes our favorite things to do in each city and where to stay! #Florida #Visit FloridaVisiting Florida soon? Here are 11 can't miss destinations in South Florida that you'll love! Our Florida guide includes our favorite things to do in each city and where to stay! #Florida #Visit Florida
11 destinations in south Florida that you can't miss, including ideas on things to do in each city and where to stay! #Florida #Sanibel #SoFlo11 destinations in south Florida that you can't miss, including ideas on things to do in each city and where to stay! #Florida #Sanibel #SoFlo

 

 

Looking to plan a vacation in Florida? Here the best places to visit in Florida and all the things to do, see, and eat!
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