Florida is a unique location due to its year-round magnificence, rich cultural tapestry, spectacular natural vistas, and superb beachfront resorts. The state boasts a lengthy coastline and is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, making it a beach lover’s paradise. Its attractiveness, however, extends far beyond its lovely beach.
Popular attractions in Florida include busy Miami and family-friendly Orlando with its enthralling amusement parks, as well as hidden gems like historically significant St. Augustine. Large national parks, such as Florida’s Everglades, attract adventurers because they feature a unique environment unlike any other on the planet. The Sunshine State never fails to captivate its visitors.
This list includes both well-known and lesser-known Florida must-see sites. The vastness of Florida provides a diverse topography brimming with excellent experiences distributed around the state. Navigating its breadth may be an adventure in and of itself, requiring plenty of time to explore; a week or two may easily pass without seeing even half of Florida’s top attractions.
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The 26 Best Places to Visit in Florida
Here is a list of the 26 best places to visit in Florida:
- Panama City Beach
- Everglades National Park
- Clearwater Beach
- Fort Lauderdale
- Key West
- Dry Tortugas National Park
- St. Augustine
- West Palm Beach,
- Daytona Beach
- Biscayne National Park
- Henderson Beach State Park
- Anna Maria Island
- Fort Myers
- St George Island State Park
- Cocoa Beach
- Siesta Key
- Sanibel Island
- Key Largo
- Delray Beach
- St. Pete Beach
Miami, located in southeastern Florida, entices travelers with its beautiful beaches, consistently agreeable temperature, excellent seafood dining options, and first-rate shopping choices. The city’s coastal beauty is defined by notable beaches including Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles, and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, which are supplemented with elegant cocktail bars and premium cafes.
Exploring Miami entails visiting its varied neighborhoods: Downtown’s Bayfront Park is alive with activity, while the Brickell district is home to famous cultural institutions such as the Pérez Art Museum and the Frost Museum of Science. Wynwood’s bright outdoor murals by urban painters such as OS Gemeos draw art fans.
Designer boutiques on Lincoln Road and luxury retailers at Bal Harbour Shops alternate with unique homemade products and refreshments at Wynwood Marketplace. Miami Beach, which is connected to the mainland by a bridge, is enticed by immaculate beaches, elegant hotels, and vibrant beachfront bars—a perfect site for people-watching. Coyo Taco’s fresh Mexican food and Versailles Restaurant’s traditional Cuban specialties, notably the wonderful “Vaca Frita” served with rice and plantains, are among the culinary marvels.
Miami Beach excursions include strolling through the pastel-hued Art Deco District and viewing the verdant Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Lummus Park Beach, a huge 74-acre public park, offers breathtaking views of the ocean, while the Miami Beach Boardwalk and North Beach Oceanside Park offer tranquil settings for leisure and entertainment. Jungle Island, a redesigned eco-adventure park, provides encounters with kangaroos and flamingos, adrenaline zip lining, and more for an amazing visit.
Orlando is the ideal Florida vacation getaway for the entire family. This city is home to world-famous theme parks, including Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, each with its unique mix of rides and attractions.
Adrenaline seekers should not miss Universal’s Islands, which boast some of the most thrilling roller coasters in the country. Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort is one of the greatest water parks in Orlando, with over 20 attractions, including the highest body slide in the country.
Families interested in aquatic wonders will appreciate SEA Life Orlando Aquarium, which has Florida’s only 360° ocean tunnel. Meanwhile, Gatorland, which spans 110 acres, is home to the world’s largest collection of exceedingly rare white leucistic alligators.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is a must-see attraction that provides youngsters with an out-of-this-world experience. They may engage with a genuine astronaut, explore NASA’s restricted areas, and view the real Lunar Module 9.
Orlando’s shopping culture caters to consumers of all budgets and inclinations. Explore the Florida Mall, Central Florida’s largest shopping mall with over 250 businesses including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Apple, H&M, and Zara—a retail therapy utopia.
3. Panama City Beach
Looking for the greatest beaches on the Gulf Coast of Florida? Panama City Beach is your destination. This hamlet, located on the Florida Panhandle in the state’s northwest, has gorgeous white sand beaches caressed by emerald green waters.
St. Andrews State Park is a feature that invites outdoor enthusiasts to participate in activities like swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Hiking and bird-watching trails, as well as a children’s playground, add to the park’s allure.
Another notable site in Panama City Beach is the Gulf World Marine Park, which is home to hundreds of marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions, and sharks.
Panama City Beach features some of the best fishing in the country for anglers. Several fishing charters are ready to take you into the Gulf of Mexico for an unforgettable angling excursion, where snapper, grouper, and even sharks await your bait.
When you’ve had your fill of beach relaxation, enjoy the abundance of the sea at top seafood restaurants or indulge in delicious Southern-style cuisine at local diners, which guarantees a gourmet experience to complement your coastal excursion.
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4. Everglades National Park
Adventurers visit the Everglades National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with nature’s beauty. This vast sanctuary, which preserves the southern 20% of the Florida Everglades, safeguards tropical wetlands and a remarkable biodiversity unique to this region.
This national park, America’s largest subtropical wilderness, is home to rare and endangered species such as the American crocodile, Florida panther, and West Indian manatee.
One of the best ways to observe this 1.5 million-acre wetland sanctuary is by boat. Navigating through coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes, and pine flatwoods displays a diverse array of Florida wildlife, including alligators, crocodiles, and turtles, as well as several bird species and other intriguing animals.
The park, located at Florida’s southernmost point, is a great day excursion from Orlando, providing a handy but exciting retreat into the heart of nature’s treasures.
5. Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach, located between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, has established a reputation as one of the greatest beaches in the country, with sugar-white sands and calm blue seas ideal for swimming.
The beach itself is a great spot to unwind under the warm sun, amidst a wealth of interesting beach activities ranging from boat trips and parasailing to kayaking and paddle boarding.
While the beach is central to Clearwater’s allure, the town also features a slew of other attractions. Families will love Pier 60, which includes one of the largest beach playgrounds on the Gulf Coast, as well as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is a safe refuge for rescued sea turtles and dolphins.
Couples should take a romantic walk along the Beach Walk Promenade. This lovely path, bordered by lovely palm trees, offers guests stunning views of the pier, setting the backdrop for unforgettable moments with loved ones.
6. Fort Lauderdale
For a romantic getaway in Fort Lauderdale, head to this coastal beauty on Florida’s southern coast. Idyllic beaches and lovely gardens provide the atmosphere for the ideal lovers’ vacation. Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, which stretches 180 acres between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, features natural pathways ideal for jogging and bicycling and promises an intimate connection with nature.
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, a stunning twentieth-century estate with a native barrier island setting, is a must-see for nature enthusiasts. Its hibiscus garden and vibrant tropical plants provide a beautiful atmosphere.
Flamingo Gardens, an Everglades wildlife sanctuary, is home to a diverse range of Florida’s natural fauna and over 3,000 plant species, offering nature lovers a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Conrad Fort Lauderdale, a beachside retreat with magnificent swimming pools and a gorgeous spa offering couples luxury treatments like body wraps, facials, massages, and exfoliation sessions, is one of these attractions.
Naples, on Florida’s southwest coast, provides an intriguing blend of culture, stunning beaches, and superb dining and shopping.
The major draw of the city is its collection of gorgeous beaches—Vanderbilt Beach, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, and Clam Pass Beach Park—where visitors may swim, sunbathe, and stroll along the shoreline.
The 170-acre Naples Botanical Garden is a one-of-a-kind attraction, presenting a diverse array of global flora and offering a calm retreat for nature lovers.
The Naples Museum of Art is a must-see for history and culture buffs, with a stunning collection of modern and ancient art from Europe and Asia.
Fifth Avenue South rounds off the Naples experience by enticing visitors on a delightful shopping trip. The gorgeous avenue is home to shops, art galleries, and luxury eating places, making it an ideal destination for leisurely browsing and fine dining.
8. Key West
Key West, in the Florida Keys archipelago, is a tropical paradise with spectacular beaches, tropical gardens, and fascinating national parks, all surrounded by warm, sunny weather all year.
This vibrant destination has something for everyone, from breathtaking sunset excursions to dolphin viewing and snorkeling in North America’s only live coral barrier reef.
History buffs will like the city’s historical landmarks, which include Ernest Hemingway’s former home and the famous Key West Lighthouse, which gives breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Families visiting Key West may visit the Key West Aquarium, which is home to a variety of marine life, as well as the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, which is home to a variety of stunning butterflies, exotic birds, lush greenery, and quiet waterfalls.
9. Dry Tortugas National Park
The Dry Tortugas National Park is a sight to see. This spectacular hidden island, located around 70 miles west of Key West and only accessible by boat or seaplane, offers 100 square miles of azure waters, lovely coral reefs, and lush gardens.
Snorkeling (you’ll get to see the Florida Keys reef system, the world’s third largest), swimming, and sunbathing on sugar white sand beaches are all enjoyable activities in Dry Tortugas National Park.
The park is well-known for its abundant wildlife, but it also has unusual species seen nowhere else in the continental United States, making it a perfect place for birding.
The showpiece of Dry Tortugas is the colossal Fort Jefferson, an unfinished coastal fortress composed of more than 16 million bricks. While inspecting this century-old structure, you will get the opportunity to delve deeply into the history of the Civil War era.
10. St. Augustine
Saint Augustine is a coastal gem that mixes history with gorgeous beaches. It is the country’s oldest continuously occupied European village, dating back to 1565. The city contains historic churches and Spanish colonial architecture.
Exploring the city uncovers treasures such as the centuries-old stone fortification Castillo de San Marcos and the Spanish Mission-style Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.
Strolling down St. George Street in the Historic District is an immersive experience, with its cafés, restaurants, and must-see attractions.
This historic coastal village serves as a gateway to attractive natural places such as Anastasia State Park. It encompasses 1,600 acres and has pristine beaches, tidal marshes, hammocks, and ancient dunes, inviting visitors to enjoy the region’s tremendous natural beauty.
11. West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach, located on South Florida’s Atlantic Ocean shore, entices visitors with its year-round beautiful weather and plethora of activities. With 1.6 miles of beautiful beaches, barrier island dunes, hammocks, and a historic limestone rock reef ecology, Macarthur Beach State Park is a nature lover’s heaven.
Antique Row Art & Design is a must-see for shoppers since it features over 40 antique boutiques selling a range of historic treasures.
The city boasts a thriving cultural scene, with several art galleries and museums. Families may enjoy the Palm Beach Zoo, which contains many endangered animals, as well as the Cox Scientific Center & Aquarium, which features a large aquarium, mini-golf, and an educational scientific trail for all ages.
12. Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach, on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, features 23 miles of dazzling beachfront that provides fun and excitement for visitors of all ages. This lively city is especially tempting to water sports lovers interested in activities like surfing, kayaking, and parasailing.
The lovely coastline of Daytona Beach is also a popular spot for sunbathing and walking.
This seaside city also offers several family-friendly activities. The iconic Daytona Beach Boardwalk, a scenic site with two arcades, snack stores, and even rides (only in the summer), as well as spectacular water activities at Daytona Lagoon Premier Waterpark, are also available.
Daytona International Speedway, where you may drive a NASCAR racing vehicle, is another must-see in Daytona, especially if you’re seeking a thrill!
13. Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park, located in southern Florida, has over 170,000 acres of diverse marine and coastal habitats, including mangrove forests, coral reefs, and seagrass beds.
Snorkeling or scuba diving in the crystal-clear oceans is a favorite sport here, with views of colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins. There are several watercraft and kayaking options for exploring the park’s islands and waterways.
Hiking trails provide stunning views of the park’s unique ecosystem, and the Dante Fascell Visitor Center provides informative displays and talks on the park’s history and ecology.
Stiltsville, a collection of historic homes placed on stilts in Biscayne Bay, is a popular sight inside the park and serves as a unique reminder of Miami’s history.
14. Henderson Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park is a hidden gem on Florida’s Emerald Coast that is well worth a visit. With over 6,000 feet of sugar-white sand beaches and crystal-clear oceans, the park is a veritable nirvana and the ideal backdrop for a relaxing day in the sun.
The park’s various attractions, notably its magnificent coastal dune lakes, make it a must-see vacation. These amazing bodies of water are home to a diverse range of creatures and are great for kayaking, fishing, and swimming.
Nature trails wind through the park’s dunes and coastal forests, where visitors may see turtles, deer, and a variety of bird species. There are also lovely picnic areas suitable for a seaside lunch or dinner.
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15. Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria, a barrier island in Manatee County, Florida, is noted for its clean beaches, clear waters, and peaceful atmosphere—a great escape from city life.
The major draw of the island is its beautiful beaches, which include the secluded Bean Point Beach, which is famed for its beautiful sunsets, and Holmes Beach, which is popular for swimming and sunbathing.
Aside from its beaches, Anna Maria has a laid-back environment, local art galleries, and a range of shops. Restaurants range from inexpensive seafood restaurants to high-end businesses. Visitors may explore the island at their own pace by renting bikes or golf carts.
Both sunset sails and dolphin-watching tours are one-of-a-kind Anna Maria Island experiences. These cruises provide breathtaking views of the coastline as well as intimate encounters with dolphins in their natural habitat.
16. Fort Myers
Fort Myers, located on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida, provides a unique combination of culture, nature, and coastal beauty. It’s ideal for individuals who want to experience both city life and beach charm. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates, which were originally the homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, are a feature, offering visitors to tour historic mansions and gardens as well as learn about these legendary visionaries.
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, a massive 3,500-acre wetland area filled with different fauna such as alligators, turtles, and other bird species, is ideal for nature aficionados. The downtown River District features a dynamic mix of shops, restaurants, and art galleries located among active streets.
The adjacent Fort Myers Beach provides gorgeous white beaches and blue Gulf seas, ideal for a peaceful day in the sun, while the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center holds concerts. Seafood lovers will delight in the city’s wealth of restaurants serving everything from traditional fish and chips to tasty fresh shrimp and crab meals.
17. St. George Island State Park
St. George Island State Park is located on St. George Island, a barrier island with some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. With miles of sugar-white sand and crystal-clear water, the park is ideal for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the most popular activities in St. George Island State Park is exploring the neighboring stunning beaches. Visitors may swim, sunbathe, beachcomb, fish, and go bird watching. Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular in the region, with rental options nearby.
For those who prefer to stay on land, St George Island State Park has hiking and biking trails that wind through the park’s untouched environment. Along the trip, you may expect to encounter a variety of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, and other birds.
18. Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach, noted for its gorgeous, huge golden-sand beach, is a captivating resort an hour’s drive from Orlando that attracts sun-soaked holidaymakers.
Cocoa, dubbed the “quintessential beach town,” boasts a welcoming ambiance and a range of family-friendly attractions. The historic Cocoa Beach Pier offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops.
Families may eat at scenic outdoor restaurants and visit the Cocoa Beach Skate Park, which caters to skateboarders and BMX riders.
Cocoa Beach, a popular surfing destination known for its moderate waves and shallow oceans, is home to the world’s largest Ron Jon Surf Shop and the Florida Surf Museum, which explores the unique history and culture of East Coast surfing.
19. Siesta Key
Siesta Key is a lovely barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico. Because of its crystal-clear blue oceans, fluffy white sand beaches, and laid-back feel, the island is a must-see for anybody searching for a luxurious tropical escape.
The beach is, of course, one of Siesta Key’s most popular attractions. Siesta Beach is consistently rated as one of the best beaches in the United States, thanks to its smooth, cool sand and clear, shallow waves, which are excellent for swimming, sunbathing, and a variety of aquatic sports.
Visitors may also visit the stores and restaurants in Siesta Village, where they can sample fresh seafood and other local delights.
Siesta Key offers a range of outdoor activities for people seeking adventure, including kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and sailing.
On the island, there are also various environmental preserves and parks, such as Turtle Beach Park and Siesta Key Beach Park, where visitors may explore the island’s distinct ecosystems and see local wildlife.
20. Sanibel Island
Sanibel is a well-protected Gulf Coast barrier island. This bizarre resort is one of West Florida’s biggest islands and offers 15 miles of sun-kissed beachfront beaches.
Visitors to Sanibel Island may visit wildlife reserves such as Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which is filled with hiking trails that provide insight into the local environment, as well as infinite miles of stunning beaches.
The Sanibel Moorings Botanical Gardens, which span 6 acres and have orchids, hibiscus, palm and citrus trees, bamboo, and native Florida flora, are well worth a visit.
Don’t miss the Sanibel Causeway Bridge, a 3-mile journey along the west shore. This stunning causeway connects the Florida mainland to Sanibel Island, soaring 70 feet over the lovely San Carlos Bay and affording stunning views of the blue waters. It’s well worth it!
21. Key Largo
Key Largo is the first and northernmost of the Florida Keys, and it is a beautiful island with beautiful beaches and tropical hardwoods. It also has two state parks, a national park, and a portion of a national marine sanctuary, making it a popular destination for nature lovers.
Explore the 70-nautical square mile John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is home to beautiful coral reefs. Dive, snorkel, glass-bottom boat, and kayak trips are offered to explore the park.
Visit the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, home to 84 protected plant and animal species, or embark on a dolphin-watching tour to see these magnificent creatures swimming in their natural environment.
Stop into Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen in between adventures for some fresh seafood and a slice of Key Lime Pie, a Florida Keys classic!
22. Delray Beach
Delray Beach is a lovely coastal village that combines art, culture, and natural beauty. The city is famous for its two miles of spectacular coastline, which is strewn with beautiful beaches, including Delray Municipal Beach, which has been voted one of the best in Florida. The beautiful oceans and fine white sand make it ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.
In addition to the ocean, Delray Ocean has a vibrant cultural scene. Visitors may explore the city’s art galleries and studios or see a show at the historic Crest Theatre. For history buffs, the Spady Cultural Background Museum gives insight into the city’s rich African-American background.
Foodies will fall in love with Delray Beach, which has a vast range of dining alternatives. Atlantic Avenue in the city includes a mix of casual and upscale restaurants serving anything from fresh seafood to international cuisine.
Delray Beach will not disappoint you if you’re looking for a great night out. The city boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues to choose from.
23. St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach, in Pinellas County, Florida, is a delightful coastal village that entices visitors with its magnificent blue waters, sandy beaches, and a year-round comfortable climate.
The main beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and other watersports because to its fine sand and moderate surf. Exploring the boardwalk, taking boat tours, and fishing are all popular activities. The neighboring Corey Avenue district is home to one-of-a-kind businesses and eateries that cater to a wide range of tastes.
For art lovers, the Salvador Dali Museum in nearby St. Petersburg, which displays a huge collection of Dali’s works, including paintings and sculptures, is a must-see.
Fort De Soto Park, which boasts kilometers of picturesque beaches, biking trails, fishing piers, and a historic fort, is another destination. Other activities include kayaking through quiet mangrove tunnels at Weedon Island Preserve, viewing the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center, and playing golf at surrounding courses.
Jacksonville is only 30 minutes south of the Georgia state border, but it has the feel of a true Florida metropolis. While the city center is a commercial and business powerhouse, the myriad of entertaining things to do in the surrounding region make Jacksonville one of the best places to visit in Florida.
I recommend visiting the fashionable (and I use that phrase gently) Five Points neighborhood. You’ll like perusing antique stores, trying new dishes at gastropubs, and drinking local beers at bars.
To go to other attractions, use the St. Johns River Taxi. Boats are my preferred means of transportation since they reduce the need to drive and allow spectacular views of the surrounding area.
For families, the Jacksonville beaches are roughly a 30-minute drive away. Children will like the Jacksonville Zoo as well. Don’t miss their incredible tiger habitat, where you can get up close and personal with the magnificent animals.
Tampa Bay is Florida’s hottest culinary and drinking destination. Cigar City and Coppertail breweries are great spots to cool down on a hot day while sipping on some new brews. If you don’t like beer, go to Cigar City Cider & Mead in historic Ybor City.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, one of Florida’s best theme parks, is also nearby. This is a theme park and a fantastic zoo that you should not miss if you visit Florida.
The Buccaneers and Lightning, two current NFL and NHL championship teams, are both based in Tampa Bay. Sports enthusiasts can discover events and games to attend all year.
Sarasota, nestled on the Gulf, offers a unique blend of beach town tranquility and city vitality. The city’s walkable core business district is teeming with new restaurants and specialized coffee shops.
The Ringling, an art and circus museum complex, is a must-see in Sarasota. For a small fee, visitors may tour the Venetian mansion, which was formerly the winter residence of a circus entrepreneur.
The barrier islands of Lido Key, Siesta Key, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island, which dot the Gulf coast near Sarasota, are popular tourist attractions. Many visitors flock to Siesta Key for the huge beaches and Siesta Key Village, a charming strip with cafés, shops, and bars.
As opposed to the more popular Siesta Key, Lido Beach has a more relaxing ambiance. Its laid-back environment makes it a popular choice for people searching for a less crowded beach vacation in Florida.
Florida’s Sunshine State stretches like a vast canvas with over 8,000 miles of tempting beaches, each stretch promising a unique experience. However, the traveler’s conundrum lies within this wealth of diverse destinations: how can one choose the appropriate hideaway for their next excursion amid the countless options?
Florida’s allure extends far beyond the iconic Disney World theme parks in the heart of Central Florida or the mystical underwater habitat found inside the gorgeous Florida Keys. It’s a tapestry weaved with a variety of enticing strands, with each corner calling out its unique charm and treasures waiting to be uncovered.
After visiting the length and breadth of Florida, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide—a list of the greatest spots to visit. This collection is more than just a catalog; it’s a road guide through the tapestry of Florida’s riches. Whether you like the well-trodden paths of big Florida attractions or the whispering secrets of small hideaways, this list provides a repository of the best places and a wealth of thrilling activities just waiting to be found.
What are the best places to visit in Florida?
Miami Beach, Orlando, and St. Augustine are all excellent destinations to visit in Florida for a variety of reasons and attractions. The Florida Keys (Key Largo, Islamorada, and Key West) and Rainbow River are two additional wonderful off-the-beaten-path Florida getaways.
What is the best place to vacation in Florida?
Some of the greatest spots to visit in Florida are St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Amelia Island. There are plenty more excellent holiday spots.
What part of Florida is the most beautiful?
The Paradise, the Florida Keys, a chain of tropical islands located between the glistening seas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, are often recognized as one of Florida’s most attractive destinations.
Is Hawaii or Florida better for a vacation?
It all depends on your search criteria. If you want to visit well-known amusement parks and tourist sites, Florida is a wonderful alternative. Hawaii is the place to go if you want a more personal and nature-based experience.
What is the most visited place in Florida?
Walt Disney World in Orlando is the most visited attraction in the state of Florida.
Is Florida’s Key West worth visiting?
Key West is well-known for its stunning beaches flanked by palm trees, lush tropical gardens, historical buildings, and spectacular national parks.