The Sunshine State is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. Each year, millions of tourists flock to Florida, seeking the best in entertainment and beachfront escapism. Plenty of cities are worth a visit, but you can only pick a few for a trip, so here are four Florida cities to add to your bucket list.
Orlando is the unofficial theme park capital of the world. According to the Themed Entertainment Association, six of the 10 most-trafficked theme parks in the world are in Orlando. By visiting the city, you’ll become one of the 70 million people who enter an Orlando theme park each year.
Why do so many people visit these parks? At Universal Studios Resort, you can live out every Muggle’s wish fulfillment by entering the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can see the latest in technological innovation at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Alternately, you can do what everybody else does and ride Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom over and over again. Either way, Disney World is the perfect family destination and be sure to highlight it on your bucket list.
Vacationers who love thriving nightlife must head to Miami at some point. This tourist mecca is also the second-most populous city in the Southeast. With so many people around, you’ll always find something going on in Miami.
What are the best tourist activities? Football fans can attend a Miami Dolphins NFL game or a Miami Hurricanes college game. Basketball fans can visit the stadium where the King, LeBron James, once held court. Heat games aren’t the same now but seeing an NBA game is always fun. You can always do the obvious thing and spend most of your time at Miami Beach, the most exotic and expensive system of beaches in the south.
Would you prefer a quieter destination, one that doesn’t price-gouge tourists? Blow off Miami and head to Sanibel Island instead. This barrier island is a sleepy town with fewer than 7,000 tourists. The resort prices match the slower pace of the city. You can book an amazing Sanibel Island Hotel on Hotel Planner for $150 a night. The cost at Miami is at least twice that.
Sanibel Island has a remarkable number of tourist activities for such a small region. You can shop at the farmers market, tour the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, or play 18 holes at Sanibel Island Golf Club. You’ll also discover plenty of aquatic activities at the various island beaches.
Are you a history buff? You’ll never find a more engaging place to visit than St. Augustine. This city’s roots trace back to 1565, when Spanish conquistadors discovered the Florida coast and immediately founded the first known European settlement in the United States that’s still inhabited today. A trip through downtown St. Augustine is an exploration of more than 450 years of culture. Plus, it’s also an oceanfront community with fewer than 14,000 residents. You’ll feel like you have the run of the place during a visit here.
Florida has so many wonderful tourist destinations that it’s difficult to pick the best ones. Still, these four locations have the perfect combination of activities and scenery to create an unforgettable vacation and should be on your bucket list.