Florida destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Florida, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Florida and tips about visiting them
Top Florida destinations
- Beaches of course. There are so many, there are whole websites dedicated to them. You can't go wrong with any Florida beach.
- Disney World (FL) - 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
- Universal Orlando (FL) - Amusement park with many of the fastest roller coasters and movie themed rides.
- SeaWorld - SeaWorld Orlando, 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, FL 32821. SeaWorld is home to both aquariums, sea shows and some of the tallest, fastest roller coasters in Orlando, including three that consistently rank on the Top 10 lists of coaster enthusiasts: our newest hypercoaster, Mako®. The floorless favorite, Kraken®. And the face-down flying coaster in a class all its own, Manta® – one of the top ranked roller coasters in Orlando.
- Key West - Famous as a home of Ernest Hemingway, free range chickens, Key Lime pies, a massive number of bars, and Jimmy Buffet songs, the self-proclaimed "Conch Shell Republic" s Florida's southernmost point, about 90 miles north of Cuba. You can get their by puddle jumping airplane from Miami, cruise-ships or from the mainland via the Overseas Highway. It has beautiful coral reefs for diving and snorkeling but few beaches.
- Miami -Drawing a multi-cultural mix including Cubans, Central and South Americans, Miami has a Hispanic flavor with nightlife in South Beach, the Art Deco district,, Cuban restaurants in Little Havana. Many family-owned shops in Coconut Grove. The city has beaches, deep-sea fishing, golf and tennis; .pro sports with major league football, basketball, hockey and baseball.
- Cape Canaveral -The Kennedy Space Center, north of the Cape Canaveral, has a NASA shuttle launch simulation and astronaut memorabilia. You can visit the Air Force Space and Missile Museum, the Manatee Sanctuary Park with a waterfront boardwalk and more. .
- See the wildlife
Swim with the manatees (November to March)
Swim with dolphins
- Everglades National Park:, Miami, Naples, and Homestead, FL. Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther. An international treasure as well - a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected area under the Cartagena Treaty.
- St. Augustine, FL - on the northeast coast of Florida, at over 450 years old, is the oldest city in the U.S., with Spanish colonial architecture, including the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th-century Spanish stone fortress. It also has Atlantic Ocean beaches and a protected wildlife sanctuary.
- John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art - A 66-acre museum complex from one of the 4 brothers who founded the Ringling Brothers Circus - in Sarasota, Florida, featuring the State Art Museum of Florida, Circus Museum, Ca’ d’Zan mansion, and Bayfront Gardens.
National parks and monuments in Florida
- Big Cypress National Preserve:,
The freshwaters of the Big Cypress Swamp, essential to the health of the neighboring Everglades, support the rich marine estuaries along Florida's southwest coast. Conserving over 729,000 acres of this vast swamp, Big Cypress National Preserve contains a mixture of tropical and temperate plant communities that are home to diverse wildlife, including the Endangered Florida panther.
- Biscayne National Park:,
Miami, Key Biscayne and Homestead, FL.
Within sight of Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Evidence of 10,000 years of human history is here too; from prehistoric tribes to shipwrecks, and pineapple farmers to presidents. For many, the park is a boating, fishing, and diving destination, while others enjoy a warm breeze and peaceful scenery.
- Canaveral NationalSeashore,
Titusville and New Smyrna Beach, FL.
This pristine barrier island composed of dune, hammock and lagoon habitats provides protection from storms, preserves ancient Timucua Native American mounds, and is sanctuary for thousands of species of plants and animals that call Canaveral National Seashore home. Reflect on a pristine undeveloped shoreline, explore a historic site, or experience the rumble of a rocket soaring into space.
- Castillo de San Marcos National Monument,
St. Augustine, FL.
Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States and interprets more than 450 years of cultural intersections.
- De Soto National Memorial:,
In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto’s army of soldiers, hired mercenaries, craftsmen, and clergy made landfall in Tampa Bay. They were met with fierce resistance of indigenous people protecting their homelands. De Soto’s quest for glory and gold would be a four year, four thousand mile odyssey of intrigue, warfare, disease, and discovery that would form the history of the United States.
- Dry Tortugas National Park:,
Key West, FL.
Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. This 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequents the area.
- Fort Caroline National Memorial:,
the Timucuan Preserve; Jacksonville, FL.
At the settlement of la Caroline, French settlers struggled for survival in a new world. Many sought religious freedom in a new land, while others were soldiers or tradesmen starting a new life. The climactic battles fought here between the French and Spanish marked the first time that European nations fought for control of lands in what is now the United States. It would not be the last time.
- Fort Matanzas National Monument,
St. Augustine, FL.
Fort Matanzas National Monument preserves the fortified coquina watchtower, completed in 1742, which defended the southern approach to the Spanish military settlement of St. Augustine. It also protects approximately 300 acres of Florida coastal environment containing dunes, marsh, maritime forest, and associated flora and fauna, including threatened and endangered species.
- Gulf Islands National Seashore,
Gulf Breeze, Florida and Ocean Springs, Mississippi , FL,MS.
Millions of visitors are drawn to the Gulf of Mexico for Gulf Islands National Seashore's emerald coast waters, magnificent white beaches, fertile marshes and historical landscapes. Come explore with us today!
- ECOLOGICAL and HISTORIC PRESERVE,
Visit one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. Discover 6,000 years of human history and experience the beauty of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks. The Timucuan Preserve includes Fort Caroline and Kingsley Plantation.
Florida State parks and historic sites
- Florida has 175 state parks - find them all on the Florida State Parks interactive map here.
Florida Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
The north and central parts of Florida are humid and subtropical. Most of South Florida has a hot, humid tropical climate. The rainy season is from May through October, when air mass thundershowers that build in the heat of the day drop heavy but brief summer rainfall. The Tampa area is the lightning strike capital of the US and most of central Florida experiences afternoon thundershowers in summer afternoons. Don't ask about the giant cockroaches that are called Palmetto bugs. They're huge and they can leap and fly. Eeew. Keep your tent zipped up.
Florida Camping tips
Camping and cabin reservations can be made using one of the following methods:
book a cabin or campsite at one of our Florida State Parks. Just visit the new Florida State
Parks Campground Reservations site or
call toll free at 1-800-326-3521 or TDD 888-433-0287 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time. You can buy day passes there, too.
• Online - Reserve Florida State Parks.
• Call center - 800-326-3521 or TDD 888-433-0287 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
• At a park - Visitors can contact the park directly to make reservations for primitive sites, primitive group camps and developed group camps.
Most state parks are open 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year. Visitors may make campsite or cabin reservations before 1 p.m. on the same day until 11 months in advance.
Cabin reservations may be made from one day up to 11 months in advance of your arrival date.
Reservations can be made beyond 11 months only when the reservation period starts within the 11-month period and ends outside that period. The result is reservations could extend 11 months and 14 days in the future.