The Sunshine State is a popular vacation spot in the US. Its natural beauty, oozing with culture, and a variety of things to do, make it a great place to explore. From the crystal-clear waters off the coast of Clearwater to the exotic wildlife of The Everglades, Florida paves a path for unique experiences.
Since there’s a treasure trove of activities and sights to experience, we have compiled a list of tips to make your first Florida visit unforgettable.
Keep your bags packed. You’d want to board a flight as soon as we’re done.
The Best Time to Visit Florida:
Florida has a humid subtropical climate. It means that the summer months are hot and humid, while the winter months are mild and dry. To enjoy a pleasant climate, plan your trip between October and June. The humidity and heat won’t hit you like an avalanche, and the prices are relatively lower.
If you want to live the best cultural experiences Florida offers, go in the springtime. It is when many of the annual festivals and events take place. The Strawberry Festival in Plant City is epic. There is lots of strawberry cheesecake to stuff your faces with. Florida’s Fizziest Festival,
the Sebring Soda Festival is also not to be missed.
There’s a lot of research to do, bud!
Stay in Lavish Resorts:
To make it a five-star experience, stay in one of the luxurious sun-kissed waterpark resorts. The silky linen, infinity pool, and plush bathrobes can make or break your vacation. You can dive into the pools, experience a thrilling water slide, and enjoy delicious meals in your resort. And if your heart is set on being closer to theme parks, there are some resorts right in the vicinity of Kissimmee and Orlando. You’ll save lots of money on transportation.
Before you plan your stay, opt for the all-inclusive packages. These often come with free meals and entertainment. You must also check internet reviews to ensure they meet your standards.
Explore Nature and Wildlife:
The Everglades is an absolute must-see when you visit Florida. It is home to many endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna. You can take an airboat tour, get close to alligators, and explore the third-largest National Park in the US. If you’re lucky, you may also spot some manatees or dolphins. Apart from the Everglades, there are many national parks and reserves in Florida waiting to be explored.
The Dry Tortugas National Park is also another gem for nature lovers. Home to over 300 species of fish and birds, it’s a perfect spot for a day trip from Key West.
Splash into the Sea:
Florida’s coastline is lined with sugar-white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. The most famous beach is Clearwater Beach, which boasts an array of activities and attractions. From sunbathing to parasailing, there’s something for every taster.
If you’re up for something more adventurous, try the Florida Keys. Travel the Overseas Highway and visit Key West or Big Pine Key to experience the laidback lifestyle of Florida. Paddle in crystal-clear waters, kayak around coral islands and watch dolphins play as you go along.
You can also take a ferry to nearby Caladesi Island, explore the blue holes of Ichetucknee Springs, or take a boat ride to the Marquesas Keys for some great snorkeling.
Keep your sunscreen and brimmed hats handy!
Eat All the Things:
One word – DIVINE!
The seafood in Florida is unique and mouth-watering. You will never go hungry with dishes like stone crab, grouper sandwiches, shrimp scampi, and lobster tails.
Indulge in all the local dishes to make the most of your first Florida visit. Visit a seafood market in St. Augustine and try some conch fritters. Sip on a glass of sweet tea in Pensacola, or savor the delectable Key lime pie in the Keys.
Some of the can’t-miss breakfast spots in Florida include IHOP, Pinky’s in Tampa, and Mr. B’s Barbeque with a Kick. You can pick up local ingredients at the farmers’ markets in Sarasota and Tampa if you want to make something yourself.
Visit Unconventional Destinations:
Do you want to do that everyone else doesn’t? Try visiting some of the offbeat destinations in Florida. Do something out-of-the-box and explore the roadside attractions like the Butterfly World and an alligator farm in South Florida.
Head to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the US, and explore its cobbled streets and historical sites. Visit the Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in Tampa, or go camping and hiking in the Ocala National Forest.
If you’re looking for something a bit more out of the ordinary, explore some of the underground caverns in Marianna or take a dig at a fossil site in Venice. Crazy, right?
Florida with Kids:
Traveling with little explorers? Florida will make them squeal with joy!
Let them discover the wonders of marine life at Sea World and Busch Gardens, or take a stroll through the Animal Kingdom at Disney World. Give them a taste of real adventure with the waterparks at Disney and Universal Studios, or let them explore traditional Florida with a visit to the Spanish-style Castillo de San Marcos.
If your kids are into science and technology, let them explore the Kennedy Space Center or the Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida. They can get hands-on experience in robotics, engineering, and astronomy here.
And for the muggles, a visit to the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios will bring out the magic in them!
Pro Tip: Always book in advance.
Don’t Try and Do Everything:
How many days are you giving yourself in Florida?
It’s essential to plan your trip and prioritize some of the places. Don’t try and do everything. You won’t be able to experience all Florida offers in just a few days.
The best way is to list the places you want to visit and ensure you have enough time to explore each of them. We have named a few above, but there are a lot more.
And don’t forget to relax and enjoy the warm weather, the ocean breeze, an occasional beer, and a game of golf.
If you ever feel you’re getting tight on the budget, there are many free things to do in Florida. You can go beach hopping, hiking, bird watching, and fishing without spending a dime.
So, don’t miss out!
Ready to plan your perfect holiday? Book flights, hotels, and rent-a-cars within your budget, and enjoy the fantastic things Florida offers. From exploring its natural beauty to tasting all kinds of cuisines, it will be an unforgettable experience! So, pick up your already-packed bags, and get ready to fly!
Hope this blog post has helped you plan your first visit to Florida. Have fun, stay safe, and make unforgettable memories!