Top 10 Weekend Getaways in Florida

Florida, the Sunshine State, is a paradise filled with diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and a plethora of activities for all types of travelers. Whether you’re a beach lover, a nature enthusiast, or a city explorer, there’s a weekend getaway waiting for you in Florida. Here are our top 10 suggestions:

Check out these Tourist Accessories to prepare for your trip.

1. Miami

Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culture, Miami offers something for everyone.

Key Places to Visit:

  • South Beach: Famous for its Art Deco architecture, trendy nightlife, and beautiful coastline.
  • Little Havana: A vibrant neighborhood offering a taste of Cuba in Florida with its authentic food, music, and culture.
  • Wynwood Walls: An open-air street art installation showcasing large-scale works by some of the best-known international street artists.
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens: A Renaissance-style villa with extensive gardens right in the heart of Miami.

Google Maps Location: 

2. Key West

Key West, the southernmost point in the U.S., is famous for its crystal-clear waters, historic sites, and laid-back atmosphere.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: The former residence of the famous writer, now a museum and home to many six-toed cats.
  • Southernmost Point: The iconic buoy marking the southernmost point of the continental USA.
  • Mallory Square: Famous for its sunset celebrations filled with performers and vendors.
  • Duval Street: Key West’s main tourist strip with numerous bars, shops, and restaurants.

Google Maps Location: 

3. Orlando

Orlando, home to more than a dozen theme parks, is the perfect destination for families.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Walt Disney World: Encompassing theme parks like the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and water parks.
  • Universal Orlando Resort: Home to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • SeaWorld Orlando: A marine zoological park offering shows, thrill rides, and animal exhibits.
  • Orlando Science Center: A family-friendly, hands-on learning experience.

Google Maps Location: 

4. St. Augustine

St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Atlantic Ocean beaches.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Castillo de San Marcos: The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.
  • St. George Street: A picturesque pedestrian-only street lined with restaurants, shops, and historic sites.
  • Lightner Museum: An antique collection housed in an 1887 hotel.
  • St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum: Offers a great view of the area from the top.

5. The Everglades

The Everglades National Park, a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve, is a unique destination offering a close-up view of Florida’s diverse wildlife.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Shark Valley: Offers tram tours to observe wildlife, including alligators and various bird species.
  • Anhinga Trail: A short trail providing close views of the wildlife especially alligators and wading birds.
  • Flamingo Visitor Center: Offers canoeing, boating, and fishing opportunities.
  • Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center: A great place to start your visit with exhibits, films, and informational brochures.

6. Naples

Naples is a stylish city known for its sophisticated dining, world-class culture, and high-end shopping.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Naples Pier: A popular spot for fishing and dolphin watching.
  • Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens: A nationally accredited zoo with a historic tropical garden.
    Fifth Avenue South: The city’s main shopping district, full of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
  • Naples Botanical Garden: A 170-acre, world-class garden paradise featuring plants from around the world.

7. Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is a serene destination known for its shell-laden beaches and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Key Places to Visit:

  • J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge: A 6,400-acre refuge famous for its migratory bird population.
  • Sanibel Lighthouse: An iconic 19th-century lighthouse with picturesque surroundings.
  • The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum: The only museum in the U.S. solely devoted to shells.
  • Sanibel Island Farmer’s Market: A weekly market offering local produce, baked goods, and seafood.

8. Sarasota

Sarasota is a city south of Tampa known for its vibrant arts community, excellent restaurants, and beautiful beaches.

Key Places to Visit:

  • The Ringling: A state art museum of Florida, offering 21 galleries of European paintings as well as Asian, American, and contemporary art.
  • Siesta Key Beach: Renowned for its white sand, it’s a perfect place for sunbathing, walking, or playing volleyball.
  • Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium: A marine rescue, research facility, and aquarium offering up-close experiences with local marine life.
  • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: A lush, urban oasis featuring diverse flora, special exhibits, and a children’s rainforest garden.

9. Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, known for its beaches and boating canals, is one of Florida’s most vibrant and dynamic cities.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Las Olas Boulevard: Known as Fort Lauderdale’s “style mile,” lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants.
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach: A beautiful beach offering a range of activities from boating to wind surfing.
  • Bonnet House Museum & Gardens: A historic home filled with art and surrounded by beautiful gardens.
  • Stranahan House Museum: The oldest surviving structure in Broward County, offering a glimpse into Florida’s history.

10. Destin

Destin, located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, is known for its white beaches and emerald green waters.

Key Places to Visit:

  • Destin Harbor Boardwalk: A hub for activities, including fishing, shopping, eating, and much more.
  • Henderson Beach State Park: A stunning white beach and natural habitat for many species.
  • Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park: Offers educational, interactive experiences with marine life.
  • The Track – Destin: A family fun recreation center with go-karts, mini golf, and bumper cars.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, an adventure-packed getaway, or a cultural exploration, these top 10 weekend getaways in Florida offer all this and much more!