Explore Florida: Discover the Sunshine State
Great weather, white sand beaches,exciting cities and beautiful nature—you'll find all this and more in sunny Florida.
If you can't decide between a beach vacation, city trip, or an adventurous excursion, Florida is the place for you! In addition to major cities such as Miami, the life of the party, and family-friendly Orlando, you'll also find dreamy beaches with a laid-back Caribbean vibe. And if you're tired of relaxing on the beach, cruise with the crocodiles through the Everglades or get your adrenaline fix at one of the many theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Florida. Find out everything you need to know about a Florida vacation here.
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The Greatest Attractions - what to do in Florida
Miami, the undisputed Floridian metropolisWhere is the best place to start exploring Miami? Perhaps the beach? Because South Beach on Ocean Drive is world-famous and the set of many films and TV series. In addition to tourists and locals there are plenty of celebrities, models, and famous athletes. Absolute must-sees are the District Art Deco (one of Florida's most popular postcard motifs) and South Pointe Park on the southern tip of Miami Beach, which overlooks South Beach. Other highlights are Little Havana, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the Bayside Marketplace and, for shopping and dining, the Lincoln Road Mall. You should also walk through Wynwood and Midtown Miami, the cultural heart of Miami, where you will find not only outstanding art but also really hip parties and events.
The Everglades National Park in FloridaIn the south of Florida, you will find the famous Everglades, part of which is protected as the Everglades National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a "grass river", where the river at first glance is not recognizable, even though it is up to 60 km wide in some places! This is because it is often only a few inches deep and at points almost the entire surface is covered in grass. The Everglades are especially famous for their breathtaking wildlife—you will find the only wild flamingos in the U.S. and many other bird species. There are also raccoons, snakes, spiders, puma's black bears, turtles and manatees. The biggest highlight of the Everglades is probably all the alligators and crocodiles, which you can view up close during an airboat tour. This experience is particularly special because the Everglades is the only region in the world inhabited by alligators and crocodiles.
The Florida Keys and Key WestThe Florida Keys are a long archipelago in the very south of the Sunshine State. It's the perfect place to relax on the beach and enjoy the beautiful sea and weather! If that's not exciting enough for you, we recommend exploring the Florida Keys underwater. The Keys are home to the only living coral barrier reef in the U.S. and the third largest barrier reef in the world! You should also visit the Dry Tortugas National Park. But you can also experience a lot on land—for example, by visiting Key West, where about a third of the Keys population lives. Key West is famous for its nightlife and you will have access to many cool restaurants, bars, and clubs. Keep your eyes peeled—on a clear day you can make out Cuba on the horizon!
Orlando, Florida's theme park paradiseIn Orlando, most vacationers will head directly to the amusement parks...and for good reason! Hardly any other city in the world has such a large number of theme parks: from Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom to SeaWorld and Discovery Cove (where you can swim with dolphins) to Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando, and Universal Studios Florida. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Blizzard Beach are just some of the top attractions for Disney fans. A vacation here is fun guaranteed!
Fort Lauderdale, the canal cityFort Lauderdale, in southeast Florida, is best known for its fabulous beaches and boat canals. In addition to excursions to the beach and boat and canoe trips you should also visit the many museums and the huge flea market. But even at night Fort Lauderdale has a lot to offer. The city delights with its extensive nightlife and the world's largest 14-screen drive-in cinema.
The 7 best best beach camping spots in Florida
What could be better than waking up and already being right on the beach? These Florida campsites let you set up your tent for the absolute best in budget beachside accommodation. Be sure to make your reservations well in advance, especially during peak season, because these spots fill up fast. Find the perfect beach for your next camping trip from our list below:
Sebastian Inlet State Park
Surfs up in Sebastian Inlet State Park, where wave-seekers head in droves to ride the swells from dawn to sunset. You don’t have to hang ten to enjoy this spotless beach, though. Stake out your space near the water, a brief walk from the campsite, to watch the experts ride the waves or stroll down to the jetty and try your hand at casting a line alongside seasoned fisherman. If you’re looking for a bit of exercise in the sea air, book a canoe or kayak for an invigorating day out that will leave you pleasantly sleepy for your night under the stars.
Drive time: 2 hours from Orlando, 2 hours 30 minutes from Fort Lauderdale, 3 hours from Tampa, 3 hours from Miami, 3 hours 15 minutes from Jacksonville
St. George Island State Park
Head south from Apalachicola National Forest, famed for its water-dwelling cypress trees, and you’ll find yourself at St. George Island State Park. The surrounding pine trees make campsites feel intimate and cozy, and the water (and miles of soft, sandy beach) is only a 10-15 minute walk away, giving you the best of forest and beach camping. This is the perfect beach spot to catch your dinner—the waters are teeming with fish year-round. Late summer is a particularly good time to visit, as a large variety of species come out to feed this time of year. If fishing isn’t your thing, not to fret. One of the best things to do here is simply sit back and relax—the park is renowned for its spectacular sunsets and clear night skies.
Drive time: 2 hours from Tallahassee, 4 hours from Gainesville, 4 hours 15 minutes from Jacksonville, 5 hours 30 minutes from Orlando, 5 hours 30 minutes from Tampa
Bahia Honda State Park
If you’re looking for the best in beachside relaxation in the Florida Keys, look no further. Once relatively unknown, this tiny island was brought to life by Henry Flagler’s railroad to Key West. With its clear, shimmering waters, bleached white sand, and gently swaying palms, this state park has the kind of idyllic real estate usually gobbled up by resorts. But fear not, this area has been carefully preserved for campers to pitch their tents under skies heavy with stars. Bring along your own snorkeling gear to explore close to the shoreline, or hop on a boat tour to experience further-flung reefs.
Drive time: 2 hours 45 minutes from Miami, 3 hours 15 minutes from Fort Lauderdale
Big Lagoon State Park
Right near the border with Alabama, nestled on the most westerly portion of the Florida Panhandle, lies Perdido Key and Big Lagoon State Park. Both areas are great for outdoor explorers, but Big Lagoon State Park is the ideal stop for an overnight trip. Thanks to the protected status of the area, wildlife abounds, and bird-watchers can easily spend a day with binoculars in hand, combing the sky for warblers. If you’re feeling more adventurous, hop on a sea kayak and set off on a section of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, which starts here and loops all the way around the Florida coastline to the border with Georgia in the east.
Drive time: 1 hour 15 minutes from Mobile, AL, 3 hours from Mongomery, AL, 3 hours 30 minutes from Tallahassee, 5 hours 30 minutes from Jacksonville
Cayo Costa Island State Park
This pristine island draws visitors from across Florida to its 9 miles of strollable coastline. Far from the overdeveloped shores of Fort Lauderdale, the beaches on this little island seem relatively untouched by tourist crowds, perhaps because the only way to reach it is by boat. The warm waters off the Southwestern Floridian coast are perfect for underwater exploration—be sure to pack a pair of goggles or a snorkel. Ferries can be booked from Punta Gorda or Bokeelia, but you must make your campsite reservation first.
Drive time to Punta Gorda: 1 hour 30 minutes from Tampa, 2 hours 30 minutes from Orlando, 2 hours 30 minutes from Fort Lauderdale, 2 hours 45 minutes from Miami, 4 hours 30 minutes from Jacksonville
Long Key State Park
Leisurely swims await at yet another Keys gem. Long Key State Park is known for its placid waters—perfect for wading with little ones—as well as its excellent fishing conditions. Spend your days kayaking on the lake or scouting for coastal creatures along the Golden Orb Nature Trail, and your evenings sitting around a campfire with the moonlit Florida Keys waters as your view.
Drive time: 2 hours from Miami, 2 hours 30 minutes from Fort Lauderdale, 5 hours 15 minutes from Orlando
Grayton Beach State Park
If you’re looking for a little slice of everything—clear, tranquil waves, cycling trails, sandy-pathed forests—you’ll find it here. Grayton Beach State Park has risen in popularity over the years and Grayton Beach is now one of the most renowned beaches in the country, so it’s no surprise that its campgrounds are highly sought after. After spending the day wandering the trails and collecting shells on the seashore, head back to your private campsite to catch one of the greatest sunsets Florida has to offer.
Drive time: 2 hours 15 minutes from Tallahassee, 2 hours 30 minutes from Mobile, AL, 4 hours 30 minutes from Gainesville, 4 hours 30 minutes from Jacksonville