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8 Best Places to visit in South Florida: Beaches, Cities, Parks and more

Beautiful beaches and endless sunshine, world-class shopping, and delicious seafood make South Florida the perfect vacation spot. South Florida is home to some of the most beautiful vacation destinations on the east coast, so it is no surprise that millions of people set out for this slice of heaven every year.
In South Florida, there are so many amazing places to explore, from the late-night party atmosphere of Miami to the more relaxed vibe of the Florida Keys. You won’t see it all in one trip, but you can see a lot in a week or two. We’ve listed the 8 Best Places to visit in South Florida.

1. Miami, Florida

Miami, in addition to being one of the trendiest cities in Florida, is also the cultural and financial center of South Florida. It is also a popular beach destination in the state. If you just relaxed at the beach for days on end, you wouldn’t have time to enjoy all the other cool things to do in Miami.
Miami is perhaps best known for its beaches and water sports, but there is also a wide range of aquatic adventures that visitors can enjoy, including sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. In addition to the urban parks, there are several other urban parks in the city, including Bayfront Park, Museum Park, and Tropical Park. There’s something to do outside all year round when the weather is nice, so you’ll always have a reason to spend time outside.

Do you want to see a cool contrast between the old and the new? Compared to Miami Beach, Miami has a much more subdued and relaxed atmosphere, which stands in stark contrast to Miami’s distinctly contemporary vibe.

There are about 50 different beaches in Miami, and South Beach is one of the top ones, which means that if you’re looking for a cool place to stay in Florida, this is it. Located just across the street from the Art Deco district you will find the ocean-front Ocean Drive area, which is a bustling pedestrian-friendly street lined with restaurants, bars, hotels, and boutiques.

South Beach, Miami, Florida, USA best places in south florida

Other things to do in Miami, one of the best places to visit in Southern Florida

As one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in Florida, Miami is a popular option for couples from all over the world. Below are a few additional attractions that you cannot miss while visiting Miami:

Brickell Neighborhood and Miami Design District are two of the best-known places in Miami for their high-end shopping and posh dining establishments.

There is no doubt that Little Havana and Little Haiti offer a great taste of Miami’s Caribbean influences up close. I would say that Espanola Way has a more European, old world feel.

A great reason to discover the Overtown neighborhood is the rich African-American history and the amazing food which it has to offer.

It was once owned by James Deering, and it is the home of the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a Mediterranean-style estate on Biscayne Bay.
Coconut Grove is known for its historical homes that were built around coral rock, which are one characteristic of this quaint neighborhood. The area is also home to peacocks, street performers, and cozy cafés, where visitors enjoy relaxing and socializing.

Jungle Island, Zoo Miami, and Coral Castle are other cool cultural attractions.

There is also an annual festival called Calle Ocho Music Festival that takes place in Miami. This is one of the largest Latin music festivals in the world.

The city’s fashion scene, sports and entertainment, historic sites, beaches, and visual art centers are all fascinating and worth visiting. In fact, it’s no wonder this city is ranked amongst the best places to visit in South Florida.

Sunset in the Florida keys best places in south florida best places in south florida

2. The Florida Keys

Watersport enthusiasts will also find that the Florida Keys are one of the best vacation spots in South Florida for water sports enthusiasts.
The Florida Keys are made up of 1,700 islands, and offer a relaxing and calming environment, which is ideal for snorkeling and diving. It is impossible to miss the colorful coral reefs surrounding Dry Tortugas National Park! It’s one of the best places to visit in South Florida to enjoy delicious seafood while relaxing by the water and enjoying the sea breeze.

Top destination in the Florida Keys: Key West

As the most popular beach destination in the Florida Keys, Key West is an incredible place to visit. Even though the Keys aren’t particularly known for their beaches, Key West does have a handful of attractive beachfront locations that make it worth a visit.

As the most popular beach destination in the Florida Keys, Key West is an incredible place to visit. Even though the Keys aren’t particularly known for their beaches, Key West does have a handful of attractive beachfront locations that make it worth a visit.

Key West is located at the southernmost point of the continental United States. Due to its location, it has an old world charm, particularly in its architecture. Many authors have made this town their home and embraced its romanticism, such as Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway.
Key West also seamlessly incorporates different cultures. As you can see from the list above, the island has distinct Caribbean influences, particularly in terms of the island’s culinary scene.

Duval Street, just south of the Key West Historic District, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The area is home to vibrant restaurants and bars where you can taste zesty Key Lime Pie and watch the sunset from Mallory Square. The area is filled with boutiques, souvenir shops, and even a few historic buildings. Other popular attractions near the hotel include the Shipwreck Museum, Key West Aquarium, and Dry Tortugas National Park.
As one of the coolest islands in the world, it’s no wonder you want to visit Florida Keys, whether you’re in the mood for culture, luxury, or relaxation!

3. Naples, Florida

Naples is situated on Florida’s Gulf Coast and is another top destination in South Florida. Known for its golf courses and upscale shopping, there are also luxurious resorts and condominiums that line the coastline.
Get some vitamin D at Lowdermilk Park, stroll Naples Pier, or spot wildlife at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. We have so much to see and do here, and most of it can be covered in a couple of days. Listed below are some other notable attractions in and around Naples:

An ideal waterpark for a family day of fun is Sun-N-Fun Lagoon

Among the best craft breweries in Naples is Naples Beach Brewery.

A 160-acre tropical garden, the Naples Botanical Garden offers lush green vegetation that is indigenous to the tropics.

A waterfront village with lots of restaurants and boutiques is Venetian Bay.

A popular shopping street stretching from downtown Naples to the beach, 5th Avenue South.

Naples, Florida, USA town skyline and city plaza best places in south florida
There is also the Smallwood Store near Naples, which has been converted into a museum, from which you can learn about how fur trading used to be conducted.

There is also the Museum of the Everglades. Located just east of Naples, the museum tells the story of 2,000 years of the city’s history, as well as the history of the Calusa Indian tribe.

State Park Fakahatchee Strand: An excellent hidden gem vacation destination in Florida. A collection of ghost orchids and many other rare and endangered plants and animals can be found here.
Known for its endless white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, Naples is a popular tourist destination in the Southern United States.

Sunset in the Florida keys best places in south florida best places in south florida

4. Sanibel Island is among the best places to visit in South Florida

When it comes to discovering the natural beauty of South Florida, Sanibel Island offers an ideal opportunity. An island with a tropical vibe and breathtaking scenery, Sanibel is one of the most beautiful destinations, not only in Florida but throughout the country as well.
A variety of marine life can be observed on the island, and it is particularly famous for its seashell species. The area is home to many bird species such as egrets, herons, bald eagles of American origin, and, of course, you will find alligators as everywhere else in Florida.

Visit Captiva Island, hike around J.N. Wilderness Refuge, and swim at Bowman’s Beach. Your stay will be a cherished memory.
Its relaxed and laid-back atmosphere sets Sanibel Island apart from the numerous beaches in Florida. Without the hustle and bustle of chain stores and traffic lights, visitors can escape into this dreamlike tropical paradise and forget all of life’s concerns.

5. Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota is another marvelous city on Florida’s southwestern coast that deserves a spot on your bucket list. Beaches, notable architecture, and culturally significant sites can be found in this city.
Sarasota is known for its vibrant arts scene, which is one of the major attractions. Numerous performing arts and visual arts centers are located throughout the city, in addition to many theatres. An annual film festival devoted to both local and international cinema is held in the city. The Sarasota Chalk Festival, which attracts art enthusiasts from across the country, is another large-scale art event that is hosted by the city. The following are other places to visit in Sarasota that are worth a visit.

In addition, visitors can observe an array of exquisite art and architecture at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, a 66-acre property in the heart of downtown.

This is a 15-acre garden which features rare animal and plant species, making it a fun activity for children and adults alike.

Sarasota, Florida, USA best places in south florida
One of the top beaches in the United States is Siesta Key Beach.

A Florida state park of 37,000 acres, Myakka River State Park is one of the largest in the state.

The city of Sarasota offers a unique blend of nature and culture that makes it one of the best tourist attractions in the state.

Group of friends on sailing boat on water

6. Stuart, Florida

Would you like to discover one of South Florida’s best kept secrets? Consider making a trip to Stuart, FL a priority on your bucket list.

Stuart is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” and with all the fishing charters and sailing activities on offer, it is easy to understand why. As well as water activities, the city also offers scuba diving, snorkeling, and more.
As well as sailing and other aquatic activities, there are also a number of other things to see and do in this area. Stuart’s historic downtown is a great place for a stroll where you can eat, shop, and listen to live music. Check out the Stuart Heritage Museum and Road to Victory Military Museum if you wish to learn more about Stuart’s history.

For outdoor adventures in Southern Florida with a few museums and art galleries, Stuart has what you need.

7. Everglades National Park is a top place to visit in South Florida

If we were to discuss the best places to visit in South Florida, we would not be able to omit Everglades National Park.
Everglades National Park is one of only a few national parks on the East Coast. The park consists of a 1.5 million acre wetlands preserve with a wide range of flora and fauna. While navigating this park’s mangroves and marshes, you may encounter alligators, crocodiles, leatherback turtles, Florida panthers, and even a Florida panther. In the Everglades, alligators and crocodiles coexist for the first time on earth.

It is advisable to combine your trip to the Everglades with a visit to Miami. Despite being only an hour away, it feels like an entirely different world. Natural wonders abound!

Boardwalk in Everglades
Sunset on Fort Myers Beach Florida

8. Fort Myers, Florida

To round out this list of the best places to visit in South Florida, Fort Myers Beach and Fort Myers are both great vacation destinations.
Fort Myers has a wide range of activities to offer, whether it’s shopping, visiting historical sites, or enjoying mouthwatering cuisine at local restaurants. Visitors to Fort Myers can expect to find the following major attractions:

A science and aquarium museum with interactive exhibits about dinosaurs, Calusa Indians, weather/climate, and wildlife, to name just a few.

Henry Ford and Thomas Edison Winter Estates: These estates include an exhibition on the lives of both men, as well as a 21-acre botanical garden.

A state park with 712 acres of tidal lagoons, barrier islands, and canals is Lovers Key State Park. Undoubtedly, this is a place where you will want to dip your toes in the water!

There is a beautiful beach near Fort Myers with a long boardwalk, Bonita Beach. Despite the name, it is definitely a beautiful spot to check out… very beautiful!

A popular place to see manatees up close and go kayaking is Lee County Manatee Park.

Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach offer a unique combination of charm, sun-soaked beaches, and historical sites that make them a great destination for a fun-filled vacation. This is one of the best places to visit in South Florida for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.

Other top Places to visit in South Florida

It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of South Florida’s must-see places. There are many other places in Florida that you should explore. You won’t run out of beautiful beaches and endless outdoor activities (and sunshine!) throughout South Florida, whether it’s Hollywood, West Palm Beach, or even Fort Lauderdale, the “Venice of America.”. The possibilities are endless.


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