Florida, the ‘Sunshine State’ is the best state for a road trip. It is a touristy place and is also the place where retirees move to. So this place can’t be anything but expensive. Hotels are many and yes they are ultra-luxury but at the same time, they are expensive too. So road tripping is the best way to see the place which is full of beaches, theme parks, wildlife and a lot of fun, food, and nightlife! Then what are you waiting for? Let’s look at the best Florida Road Trip Destinations.
Florida’s Most Obvious: Beaches…Bays… Sunshine…
We are going to Florida! Ooo, We’re gonna hit the beach! The most indispensable Florida Road Trip Destinations are the beaches, so let’s begin exploration!
If you plan a trip to Florida, you can’t miss going to the beach. 80% of the attractions of the city are its beaches. The white-sand beaches bordering the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the North Atlantic Ocean on the other. Florida is a bay, covered by water on three sides and connected to the landmass on the fourth. So naturally, beaches are the key attractions of the city.
Beaches offer so many activities for families, children, spring-breakers, adventurers, backpackers, or those seeking a relaxing sunny day. There’s something for everyone. At the Panama City Beach, which is spread across for 27 miles, you can go fishing, cruising or kayaking. There are a lot of shopping attractions, such as Pier Park and places for foodies. Water sports such as diving, boating, parasailing, surfing, and scuba diving are available as well. Then there is the Shipwreck Island water park with slides and pools and other fun activities.
Haven’t we all heard the proverb, ‘See Naples then die’, well that is said about the Naples in Italy. But the Naples in Florida is no less. Naples was named so in the memory of the Naples peninsula in Italy. In the 1800s when this area was being developed, sailors were sent to explore, when they came to this bay, they felt as if they had reached paradise. Some say this is even prettier than the bay in Italy. Apart from the beach activities, there are eco-tours, jet ski tours, Kayak renting in the Estuary, Sunset cruises, Gondola rides like in Venice, 10,000 islands and seashell tours and tours of sea creatures!
But the best beach in Florida is the Clearwater beach. Here you’ll find the dolphins! Those lovely and friendly creatures, diving in and out of the water making a rainbow will add brownie points to your trip! Take a Dolphin adventure tour and see for yourself! Or, how about going for a few concerts and Jazzing it all up! From Beethoven to Reggae, Theatre to Open Mic, you find it all happening here, all year long!
And how can you forget Miami beach, with its merging ethnic cultures, never-ending nightlife, upmarket social scene, and tall palm trees everywhere! Apart from that, there are about 800 architecturally preserved buildings. There is golfing, tennis, bike riding and whatnot. The place is full of luxury and attracts millions of tourists all year long. 30 minutes away from Miami Beach is the port city of Fort Lauderdale, known for its canals. These canals are spread across 300 miles and have made this place popular as the “Venice of America”– the main attractions being the romantic gondolas, cruises, and water taxis.
So that’s some of the famous beaches for you but Florida has a lot more than the innumerous beaches, make sure you check all that out!
Florida’s Diversity: Wildlife…Museums…Art…
Apart from the beaches, Florida is also known for its varied wildlife, art centers, museums and so on.
Wildlife is best seen in the huge expanse of the Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the US. The national park houses many of the endangered or vulnerable species of mammals, reptiles, birds, insects & fish. The most popular of all the animals is the American Alligators and is the official state reptile for Florida. The freshwater wetland ecosystem of the Everglades is very suitable for the alligators which can weigh up to 700kgs and measure close to 16 ft. The Everglades have provided a conservation area for this species and therefore have prevented them from being endangered. Here you can also find the close relative of the alligator, the American Crocodile. Birds species that are worth seeing here are the Bald Eagle & Wood Stork. Further, there are Florida Panthers, West Indian Manatee, Bottlenose Dolphins, Tree snails and more!
Apart from the Fauna, the National park has attractive flora too. It has marshes, pinelands, swamps and mangroves too. These are attractive to hikers and outdoor lovers. There is a Shark valley where at a height of 65ft there is an observation tower to view the national park from the bird’s eye view and grasp all its beauty at once. Then there is a Wilderness Waterway, a 100-mile boat trail. The visitors can even go diving and see the corals at the coral necklace, the world’s third-largest.
Another destination for wildlife is the Sanibel Islands. Here there are several different nature parks, one being the J.N. Ding Darling wildlife refuge. Apart from many other species found in the Everglades, there are 245 different varieties of birds here. American White Pelican, Pink Flamingos, and Migratory birds are in abundance. Sanibel is also known for its Museums. The Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum is one of its kind, a fully devoted museum to seashells. As the legends have it, Sanibel became a haven for pirates in the 1800s and buried their stolen treasures. Sanibel has varied attractions for history buffs and mystery enthusiasts.
Florida’s Theme Parks: Diagon Alley…Springfield…Pandora
Orlando, known as the Theme park city, attracts 51 million tourists annually from all over the world. Whether it is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or Homer Simpson and Family from The Simpsons, they all come alive here. Marvel heroes, Dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, are all available to strike you with awe at the Universal Island of Adventure. For a slightly younger age group, Universal Studios is a must go to see Spongebob and the Minions. The SeaWorld Orlando is the best amusement and water park for roller coasters and aquatic rides.
Then comes the land of Disney at the Disney’s magic kingdom, where you can go to the other planet of Pandora as in the movie Avatar or go to meet Uncle Scrooge and the other loveable characters. Legoland is another attraction here. Don’t just think this is a place for kids. The entire family can have the time of their lives here. This is where fantasy comes alive.
Florida Road Trip Destinations along the Florida Keys Including the Famous Key West…
From Key Largo to Key West it is all worth it! Heard of the Key Lime Pie? Well, this is where it comes from! The Florida Keys is spread over an archipelago of six islands stretching over 120 miles, connected by 42 bridges including one known as the ‘Seven Mile Bridge’ for obvious reasons. It is one of the most beautiful road trip routes along these bridges. So starting from here, there are several must-see Florida road trip destinations.
At the Key Largo, you can go for the under-sea adventure. You can dive 40 feet into the sea and experience how to feed the amazing variety of fish there. This is the best way to experience the marine life of Florida. You may even go for Lobstering here, where you fish lobsters by diving deep down into the sea.
Turtle nesting can be witnessed at Florida Keys beaches at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge studies the Turtle nesting. Sea turtles walk up to the coasts, dig egg chambers in the sand, and lay their eggs there. When the eggs hatch, the young one’s head back to the sea.
Shopping, ice cream, food, and chill is what you do at the Islamorada, another one of the Florida Keys. It is a must-stop place while road tripping across the Florida Keys. Watching the sunset at the Big Pine Key is breathtaking.
Moving to Key West, one of the most fun things to do here is wreck-diving, wherein the divers go till the shipwreck buried in the depths of the sea. Here, you can even witness 55 varieties of corals and nearly 500 species of fish. Apart from this, the nightlife here is always hustling and bustling.
Key West has a lot of tourist destinations such as Ernest Hemingway’s House, The Little White House, and the Tennessee Williams House. A lot of films and TV commercial shooting goes around at the Florida Keys, including the Arnold Schwarzenegger film ‘True Lies’, 2 ‘Fast 2 Furious’ and the Netflix series, ‘Bloodline’
So if you have visited the Florida Keys, you have experienced miniature Florida. But for a long and soulful experience, take a longer trip around Florida and see how refreshing it is. Beaches, theme parks, alligators and much more are waiting for you! Florida is a road-tripper’s dream and the experience can be full of excitement, fun, food, and frolic. Whether you are young, old, a toddler, or a teenager, Florida has something for you. The Sunshine State, The Alligator State, The Peninsula State all beckon you, Come to Florida! Book your vacation rental now at rentaltrader.com.
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