10 Best Places in Florida

Published: October 23, 2014

 

Ah, good ole Florida! The destination for vacations, or even retirement. I have lived in Florida for over 30 years and have discovered so many wonderful spots to visit in this huge state. To find the top 10 I have to say is a bit tough, but from my own personal experiences I will choose the greatest ones in my opinion. 

 

It isn't called the Sunshine State for nothing! We practically have summer year round! Temperatures sometimes fall down to the 60's during winter months, or even so much as the 40's when a cold front from up north decides to swing by. However, the cold temperatures do not last long.

 

Our state is known for beautiful sunsets. Nearly every night you will see our beautiful sky's light up with pink, purple, and different shades of blue as the sun goes to bed. Even our thunderstorms are something that has to be witnessed, call it a bucket list item. We are the lightning capital of the world over in Tallahassee. Luckily the storms that we do get leave as quickly as they came, not leaving a whole day to be wasted. 

 

Below is my top 10 favorites in no specific order.

  1. Homasassa Springs Wildlife State Park

     

    Located in Homasassa, Florida this park has so much to offer, and so many breathtaking sites that you will always want to go back. In case you did not know, Florida is home to some amazing natural springs. This one is just breathtaking with the clear water, and colors of blue and green shinning from the bottom floor. 

     

    My favorite part of this park is the underwater observatory, in which you actually get to go into a building underwater and view all the local fish in our waters swimming right by you. In the same area, they have manatee shows to educate others about these wonderful creates. 

     

     

  2. Venice Beach

     

    Located in the City of Venice, Florida is Venice Beach. An absolutely beautiful beach like no other. The sand is white and soft, while the water is clear and comfortable. I have to say this is one of my hide away places that I try to visit as much as possible.

     

    Venice Beach is known for sharks teeth. Yes, you read that right. Sure our state has sharks on every inch of every beach, bur for some reason their teeth love Venice. On any given day you can grab some sand off the beach right as the tide rolls away and find a tooth. 

     

    I know plenty of off shore divers that go to Venice two or three times a month to find and collect Megalodon teeth! Yes, you read that right as well.

  3. Universal Studios Florida

     

    Located in Orlando, Florida. Universal Studios is a once in a lifetime visit. If you are moving to, or visiting Florida this needs to be on your list of things to do. Please plan for two days at this awesome wonder to make sure you get everything done at the park. 

     

    From interactive rides, to roller coasters, to shows this place never sleeps and keeps you on your toes. This park is primarily built for thrill seekers and movie lovers. Lets not forget about the food either. So many restaurants to choose from. 

     

    Day or night Universal Studios is a must see!

  4. Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs

     

    Located in Spring Hill, Florida. Oh my my, where do I start? These are actually two separate parks resting side by side. You have Buccaneer Bay and Weeki Wachee Springs. When you pay for admission you actually get to go through both parks.

     

    Did someone say mermaid show? Yes, I did. That's right, twice a day Weeki Wachee has mermaid shows under water for everyone to see! You go below ground level to watch a splendid tale!

     

    The best part about this place is having access to both areas. I would suggest going through Weeki Wachee first! You can take a river boat ride through the springs spotting manatees on your ride, and also walk through the park and view all the wildlife.

     

    Afterwards, you move right over to Buccaneer Bay where you can rest your feet in the natural spring. They have large slides, a beach area, and even a small kiddie area for your little ones. This place is sure to amaze and make everyone happy!

  5. Walt Disney World

     

    Located in Orlando, Florida. Besides visiting Universal Studios while in Florida, Walt Disney World is a magical kingdom to see. Who doesn't want to meet Mickey Mouse, Goofy, or your favorite childhood character. 

     

    This park is huge!! There are so many rides for all ages. You can have a private party with one of your favorite princesses in the castle. The park is open year round. The best option for this trip would be a two day stay close to the park, or to arrange a room that is connected with the park. You will be able to take a ride directly from your hotel to the park. 

     

    During the day there is a wonderful parade of all your favorite Disney characters, then at night a beautiful fireworks show

  6. Adventure Island Florida

     

    Located in Tampa, Florida. If you are looking for a fun day in the sun with tons of water around you, this is the place to go. The park is perfect for the young and old. 

     

    There are literally too many slides to count in this water park. Let alone a kiddie area, and a wading pool. My personal favorite, besides all the wild, heart racing slides, would be the lazy river. Oh yeah, grab a tube and just float around.

     

  7. Key West

     

    Key West Florida is just paradise on Earth. There really is no other way to explain it. If you are a beach lover, this will be one of the most beautiful beaches that you have ever been to in your life. Let alone the rich history of the area. 

     

    Parties all day and night to join. Key West is meant for relaxation and serenity. If the beautiful waters don't relax you, then the friendly people of Key West will, along with the relaxing music being played by locals. 

     

    Intend to stay at least a week to completely unwind from the hustle and bustle of life!

     

     

  8. Port Boca Grande (Gasparilla Island)

    Gasparilla Island is a piece of beauty seeming to be cut off from the world. When you drive over the bridge to enter the area, you feel as if you have left everything behind. Stress literally seems to melt away.

     

    If you love beaches and lighthouses, this is for you. I love visiting beautiful places that are filled with history. Makes the trip very enjoyable and memorable. 

     

    The lighthouse located on the tip of Port Boca Grande (Gasparilla Island) is dated back to 1890. The lighthouse has been restored, it was almost lost to sea when tides came dangerously high on the beach. 

     

    After viewing the lighthouse you can take a stroll on the beautiful beach. Its water is so crystal clear it is almost shocking. On one visit I was able to see a hammerhead shark swim along the shore line.

     

  9. Daytona Beach

     

    I would consider Daytona Beach another form of Disney Land, except for beaches. It is a playground to put it best. Miles of shore line to walk, ride a bike, rent 4-wheels, or even drive your car on!!

     

    There are miles of hotels to choose from, either right on the shore or across the street. The boardwalk turns into a party land at night. Tons of vendors, clubs, and shows going on. The city glows at night. However, the beach itself is purely awesome! Out of all my years in Florida, Daytona has the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. 

     

    While you are in Daytona, don't forget about the Daytona Speedway! It is one thing to watch NASCAR on TV, but a totally different adventure when you are feet away from cars going about 120 mph.

  10. Fort De Soto Park

     

    Located in St. Petersburg Florida. This is not just a beach, no, this is a historic site, a paradise, and campers dream come true. If you love history, you will enjoy the day walking around and viewing numerous cannons. The beaches are beautiful, and in some area of Fort De Soto you are able to camp right by the water. You can either visit for the day, or camp all weekend.  A must see!

I hope you have enjoyed my list of 10 Best Places in Florida. Some listed many people already know about, for those who don't live here, hopefully I have provided you with some new places to visit if you decide to travel to our wonderful state. Or if you are a resident of Florida, maybe I have opened your eyes to some new places.