Places to Visit in Florida is one of the most popular states in the US, and for many reasons – it offers a huge variety of attractions and things to do.
It attracts all sorts of travelers, from families to single groups to couples.
You may spend a lot of money in Florida, especially if you stay in one of the hotels at the resort, but another alternative is to check out the nearby villas you can rent, they’re perfect for families and groups as you can all live together in one house and in the end it turns out much cheaper than renting 3 rooms in a hotel.
And while in Miami, if you want to be close to where the action is the best villas are located located by South Beach, but there is much more to Mimi than white, soft sand and awesome nightlife.
5 great places to visit in Florida for every type of traveler.
Walt Disney World
There is probably no place in Florida that is better known than Walt Disney World in Orlando. Spreading across 20 000 acres of land it’s one of the largest Disney Theme Parks in the world.
Walt Disney World includes 4 different theme parks and 2 water parks, together they have a total of 132 different attractions!
Understandably you will need more than one day to explore the whole park, but if you only have one day make sure you check out these rides.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours, and Space Mountain.
There’s a lot to do in Orlando in addition to Disney, so be sure to plan for several days.
Key West is another very popular place to escape to, it has a great mixture of urban atmosphere and seaside charm.
Here are a few popular things to do in Key West:
Visit any of the beautiful beaches (Smathers Beach is a good one.)
Go deep sea fishing with friends or family
Go snorkeling and scuba diving
Swim with dolphins
Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Explore the Old Town
Aside from these daytime attractions, the fun doesn’t end when the sun sets.
Key West’s nightlife is buzzing.
The best place to be is on Duval Street and Mallory Square where they have a nightly sunset celebration for two hours before sunset to celebrate the end of each day.
Miami is the one of the largest party cities in the country.
It has an abundance of legendary nightclubs and other attractions to offer.
The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world and popular places for evening concerts and festivals.
Check out the museums, stroll around the Art Deco buildings on South Beach, visit the unique Little Havana neighborhood or go shopping in the Design District.
This place is as known for its beautiful beaches as it is for its beautiful people, and they all love to shake what they’ve got in the clubs.
Day and night you will hear the beats pumping loud out of the speakers, and bikini parties are more of the norm than something unusual.
People here are dead-serious about partying, and not only do they see it as their human-right but as their duty to party for days.
The Everglades are often overlooked as a destination for vacationers, simply because many people view it as nothing but a swamp.
However, the Everglades is a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site full of flora, fauna and outdoor adventures.
You can bike, canoe, kayak, explore the park on foot or take a boat tour.
This area provides many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and understand the area of the Everglades better – just beware of the crocodiles!
This island is a small shrimping community, but a great place to visit if you are a history buff as are many historic buildings on the island.
The beautiful coastline and beaches are also some of the few locations on the east coast that offers horseback riding on the beach and riding tours along the shoreline.
But one of the most memorable parts of this island is the peaceful atmosphere and stunning views from this island.
If you’re looking for a place to just relax, Amelia Island is it.
Which is your favorite place in Florida?
The Biggest Music Festivals in Florida
Music festivals are the ideal opportunity to see all your favorite acts in one place.
Buy a ticket to a festival, and you don’t just get to see one artist, you get to see performances from a line-up of musicians and enjoy a few days of camping, partying, fresh air, beer, sunshine and world-class music.
When planning your round the world trip, it can be a great idea to organize your itinerary so you can attend important festivals in the place you are visiting.
Spring is the perfect time to plan your Florida vacation so it coincides with some of the biggest music festivals in the state’s calendar.
Take some friends, wave your hands in the air, and enjoy music from your favorite artists in the warm Florida sunshine.
Winter Music Conference
The Winter Music Conference in Miami is one of the most publicized music events in the world.
Over 100,000 people descend on Miami every year to see their favorite DJs and party to electronic music.
The conference is visited by Dance music fans and music industry professionals including members of the press, DJs, music producers, record label reps, agents and events promoters.
Held over five days across venues in Miami and Miami Beach, the Winter Music Conference turns the city into one big nightclub and is the number one place to be in the US.
Florida Music Festival and Conference, Orlando
The FMF takes place in Downtown Orlando during Spring and has been hosted by aXis Magazine and Promotions since 2002.
The conference attracts over thousands of people people and is attended by music industry professionals, including agents, producers and record label execs, and this events is a great festival for attendees who have an interest in business side of the music industry.
Attendees can watch music from emerging talent and unsigned bands, listen to keynote speeches and register for industry networking parties.
The Florida Music Festival attracted 25,000 music-lovers and featured performances from 175 unsigned artists.
Tampa Bay Blues Fest
Tampa Bay Blues Fest has been held every year since 1995 in St.Petersburg, Florida.
Thousands of Blues music fans flock to the lush, tropical grounds of Vinoy Park to watch world-renowned artists perform American Blues music on the waterfront.
Held in spring, the Tampa Bay Blues Fest is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the Florida sunshine and warm weather, whilst listening to some of the world’s greatest Blues musicians.
Snack on tasty food from stalls selling Cuban cuisine, seafood and local BBQ.
Wanee Music Festival, Live Oak
Wanee Music Festival takes place in the town of Live Oak in north Florida.
The festival has been running since 2005 and is held in the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, with the Allman Brothers Band leading the line-up every year.
Thousands of people camp out for the three day rock music festival, which features a stellar line-up of bands and musicians, including Robert Plant and Sharon Jones.
Springing the Blues Fest, Jacksonville
Florida’s largest and oldest free outdoor Blues festival is held on Jacksonville Beach in Florida on the first weekend of April every year.
The three-day music event features well-known blues artists who perform in a spectacular oceanfront setting.
Springing the Blues was listed by Downbeat Magazine as one of the top 50 music festivals in the world.
The festival also has displays and activities geared toward families.
While in Florida, try to see a side that most travelers will miss if they depend on the entertainment of a resort.
Venture out and get to know the real Florida, through music.
While the usual tourist attractions are fun, you can really get an experience with the local culture through more exploration.
Siesta Key Sarasota With its Eight Miles of Glorious Sand America’s Top Vacation Destinations
Idyllic Siesta Key Sarasota, Florida is one of America’s top vacation destinations.
It’s popular for a number of reasons.
Among them is one of the top-rated public beaches in the country, Siesta Key.
With its eight miles of glorious sand along the Gulf of Mexico, it includes three beaches: Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach and Crescent Beach.
You can also read about our Going Green Vacation Siesta Key and Venice Florida
The sand on Siesta Key Sarasota is renowned the world over.
Being 99% pure quartz crystal, it is fine, soft and cool to the touch.
It is easy to run, bike, and walk on as well as make sand castles and creations of your dreams.
The water is warm and the waves are inviting.
Whether you want to exercise, play, swim or relax, you can do it all on this glorious beach.
We wanted to capitalize on our children’s summer break between sports and camps, and booked the trip for five nights.
A different type of vacation for us
Usually when we go on vacation, we are gone from morning until late in the afternoon or evening.
We typically drive from place to place, sightseeing all day.
This vacation was different in that all we were planning on doing was going to different beaches.
We were able to come and go as we pleased.
Because we expected to have several hours of downtime a day in our hotel — in order to get out of the sun — we wanted more space than a typical hotel room afforded.
It was also important for us to find a nice place to stay right on the beach.
We didn’t want to have to cross busy streets, carrying towels, sand toys and snacks.
We also didn’t want to have to drive and deal with finding a parking spot in the public lots and then still have to make a trek to the actual beach.
Also, we wanted a full kitchen so that we could eat whenever we wanted, without the hassle of getting ready and having to drive somewhere.
We found a perfect spot Siesta Key Villa
We made a great choice when we choose a villa at Casa Blanca – Villa C14.
Unique and inviting, it is just steps away from the gorgeous white sand at Crescent Beach.
The perfect home away from home, this standalone structure at 6154 Midnight Pass Road in Siesta Key Sarasota, Florida is just what we needed to enjoy a relaxing vacation. (Contact Teri Evans, owner of Villa C14 at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 262-385-2359.)
Villa C14 had everything we wanted for a memorable stay.
Colorfully decorated with an amazing beach theme throughout the entire space, the villa comfortably accommodates five adults.
With a sizable living room, fun dining area, large kitchen, two bedrooms and two baths, it was the perfect place.
In one bedroom, there is a twin over a queen-sized bunk bed.
The second bedroom boasts an eye-catching collection of some of the ocean’s largest shells.
There are ample closets and drawer space in each room.
We only had to bring our beach towels; everything thing else was there.
Eating in our villa
What a relief to not have to go out to eat for every meal!
Not only did we have the convenience, especially after hours at the beach, but we were able to eat much healthier and much more affordably.
Everything about this fully-stocked kitchen was inviting: from the adorable gecko tiles on the walls to the modern range with flat cook-top.
There was a good-sized refrigerator and freezer and a small dishwasher.
They had everything in stock we needed, including pots/pans, toaster, plates, and more.
We didn’t do laundry but across from the clubhouse were several coin-operated washers and dryers.
With no shared walls or roads to cross, this accommodation offered us the privacy, peace, and quiet we were hoping for.
We enjoyed the clubhouse playing billiards, ping pong and swimming in the clean, heated pool. It was the perfect place to relax.
Being right on the beach, we were able to go to the beach the very first day we arrived, even after getting the rental car, buying groceries and checking in.
That was so nice for all of us, especially after a long day of traveling.
We love Crescent Beach! Siesta Key Sarasota
As beautiful and welcoming as the villa is, the private beach at Crescent Beach on Siesta Key Sarasota is the main attraction.
It’s one of America’s very best, and it’s literally about 150 steps from the doorway of this conveniently located villa.
The beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the white sand on the shore are picture perfect.
While there were lots of small shells, it was easy to walk on the cool sand.
When we went in early June, it was fairly empty.
In between the rain, we were at Crescent Beach for hours, enjoying the sand and majestic ocean.
We enjoyed making sand castles and playing in the waves in the warm water.
We saw a lot of walkers and runners as well as some people relaxing and reading in lounge chairs.
The chairs were free to use for Casa Blanca patrons and were plentiful that time of year.
We were close enough to return to our villa for snacks and meals without having to tote everything to the beach.
It was also nice when someone in our family wanted to go back for a break from the sun.
Crescent Beach is also located just a short drive to town which was convenient for restaurants, ice cream, and souvenir shopping.
We spent most of our time at Crescent Beach and enjoyed the convenient location to also check out Venice Beach and Casperson Beach to look for shark teeth.
Mini-tip: If you have boys who wear swimsuit trunks, cut out the netting and buy some generic petroleum jelly in advance.
The sand gets caught in their netting and the elastic around their waist and chaffs them.
It even happened to me in my shorts swimsuit bottom.
Hopefully it won’t happen if you cut out the netting but if it still does, it is worth to have some Vaseline to heal it for a few hours before they go out again.
That salt water stings!
Day trip from Siesta Key
There are so many unique areas to visit in Florida.
Anna Maria Island is about 27 miles away from Siesta Key. In just about an hour, you can enjoy all this glorious island has to offer.
Anna Maria Island in Florida
We all have our own favorite places where we can return to over and over, our own paradise where we can leave all our worries behind and just take the days as they come.
For many, that place is Anna Maria Island.
My favorite aspect of Anna Maria Island is the atmosphere, one that locals constantly refer to as the “Old Florida” feeling.
But what exactly is “Old Florida”?
The Old Florida Feel
Think of a Florida from several decades ago, free of today’s luxury cars speeding along the condo-lined strip in Palm Beach.
Picture a time long gone by, before the swank of Miami and South Beach, when Florida was known for small, local attractions, miles of canals, brightly painted beach cottages, and a slower pace of life.
The “Old Florida” feel is a combination of Hemingway days and Meet the Fockers.
It’s an atmosphere of tropical fun, with palm trees and wooden piers, and a population completely without pretense.
A Different Beach Every Day
Each beach on the island is a little different, and it’s worth visiting all of them.
To the North of the island, Anna Maria Beach in city of Anna Maria is my preferred place for quiet days on all but deserted sands.
I find it to be one of the best locations for taking in the island’s sublime sunsets.
Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach is where I head for surfing, while I visit Manatee Beach (in the town of Holmes Beach) when I want to socialize a little more.
But there’s more on these beaches besides sandcastle-building and sunbathing.
Throughout the summer, Manatee Beach is the prime spot for organized sea turtle hatching tours.
And Anna Maria Beach is wonderful for shell hunting and beach combing.
Kite surfing, paddle boarding and snorkeling are also popular things to do on the beaches, but be careful as there are strong tidal currents in some places.
Seven mile reefs typically have the best clarity.
Did Someone Say Horse Surfing?
Bradenton Beach is likely the only place on the planet that offers an exciting new venture: horse surfing.
Tour groups ride horses along Anna Maria Island’s beaches, and then into the ocean.
There’s nothing quite like swimming with a horse in the sea, or standing on its back as it trots, neck-deep, through the waves.
On days where I’m feeling slightly less ambitious in the beach tourism department, simply sitting by the shore and looking out at the water is an ecotourism adventure all its own.
It’s not uncommon to see manatees and dolphins swimming right along the coast.
Festivals and events on Anna Maria Island
There are festivals and events throughout the year on the island, from art, music, food, and excellent wine themes.
I’m generally fond of the Friday Night Art Walks at Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, where resident artists open their galleries to visitors.
Other Bradenton favorites include Reels at Rossi Park (a year-round outdoor movies in the park event) on the third Friday of every month, and Music on Main, a free music festival on the first Friday of every month.
Some highlights are the famous Pirate Parades in July along the whole length of the island, the Art Festival in Anna Maria, and the Taste of Manatee food festival in Bradenton in November.
Events like these are precisely why Anna Maria Island is so enticing to tourists.
There’s always something fun to do in this little piece of paradise.
The laid-back attitude of the locals, the “Old Florida” charm, the beautiful beaches, and the endless events and festivals keep tourists entertained . . . and keep them coming back.
So difficult to leave Siesta Key Sarasota
It is always so nice to go on a vacation and actually feel relaxed and like you “got away” from the usual hurried pace of life.
Many people think of Disney World when they think of Florida, but this was much more relaxing.
We have been on many vacations and came back more exhausted than when we left.
It was truly wonderful to enjoy nature, to slow down, and to enjoy a lot of family time hanging out at the beaches and relaxing in our villa.
We cannot wait to return to glorious Siesta Key again soon.