Florida is one of the most beautiful and most visited among the 50 states of the US. The 27th state to join the Union, Florida is also among the most populous of the southern states. The Sunshine State received over 113 million visitors from the US and abroad in 2016. This warm peninsular state boasts of a coastline of over 1,200 miles long and is known for its glamorous beaches, magnificent cities, spectacular natural parks, and diverse wildlife. The sun and surf, however, are not the only attractions of this wonderful state. Let’s take a look at the top places to visit in Florida –
Orlando – The City Beautiful, Orlando, is one of the largest (and most visited) cities of Florida. It is best known for its theme parks including the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Walt Disney World includes popular tourist attractions such as Epcot and Magic Kingdom while Universal Studios’ Universal Orlando includes the immensely popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Island of Adventure. SeaWorld Orlando and other water parks in the city (along with other attractions such as The Orlando Science Center and Harry P. Leu Gardens welcome numerous visitors throughout the year.
Miami – The glamorous city of Miami is located on the southeastern coast of Florida; the warm weather, dazzling beaches, sports, and culture have turned Miami into a premier tourist destination. Its top attractions include Miami Beach, South Beach, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Bayfront Park, Miami Seaquarium, Jungle Island, Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Children’s Museum, and Dolphin Mall. The Art Deco Historic District is known for its art deco architecture and the Wynwood Art District of Miami is home to numerous art galleries and museums.
Everglades National Park – An hour’s drive from Miami is the Everglades National Park, stretching over 1.5 million acres. It is home to a variety of flora and fauna. The breathtaking beauty and an opportunity to view alligators, manatees, turtles, panthers, and different kinds of birds bring millions to the Everglades each year. The Everglades National Park has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. Visitors particularly enjoy the airboat tours.
Biscayne National Park – Close to Miami is the Biscayne National Park a very popular destination for wildlife watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, and camping. Most of the park is made up of water and a mangrove forest along the shores. The spectacular coral reef here is the Biscayne National Park’s greatest attraction and the Maritime Heritage Trail used by snorkelers and divers allows visitors to view the remains of ancient shipwrecks.
Florida Keys – One of the top destinations for beach sports and activities such as sailing, diving, fishing, surfing, and snorkeling are the islands of the Florida Keys. From Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas, the Florida Keys have much to offer. From leisurely cruises to adventure activities to dolphin watching – the Keys have about everything a tourist can want.
Daytona Beach – Daytona Beach is home to the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts the iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race. Apart from this, the beach itself is a great attraction with numerous music festivals and concerts regularly being held by the boardwalk (on the Daytona Beach Bandshell stages). The Daytona Lagoon water park, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Arcade Museum, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art are some famous museums in Daytona Beach.
Fort Lauderdale – Fort Lauderdale and its wonderful laid-back beach are one of Florida’s popular tourist attractions. This is primarily because of the numerous luxury resorts, golf courses, and entertainment centers that dot the city. The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Museum of Discovery and Science, NSU Art Museum, Plantation Historic Museum, and Antique Car Museum are among the popular museums here. The vast network of canals has earned it the moniker Venice of America. The Strip is a popular promenade lined by cafes, restaurants, and galleries in Fort Lauderdale.
Naples – The city of Naples in southwest Florida is a great attraction. Its white sand beaches and seafront are popular for those who love a laid-back vacation. Naples is also popular with fishing enthusiasts and dolphin watchers. The Naples Zoo, the Botanical Garden, Museum of Art, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, Naples Museum of Military History, and the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida are other popular attractions.
St. Augustine, Wakulla, Panama City Beach, Pensacola, and Sarasota are among the other popular attractions of the warm state of Florida.
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