Florida Vacation Guide

Sun, sand, warm weather, and blue water, welcome to Florida. There are hundreds of places in Florida where you can have the perfect vacation. From quiet, secluded beaches or luxury hotels to the worlds biggest theme parks and vibrant night life, Florida has something for everyone.

Florida Vacation Articles



Key Biscayne

Miami Dade County

Miami

Key Biscayne is an island community just south of Miami Beach and East of Miami Florida. Connected by bridges to the mainland, Key Biscayne juts out into Biscayne Bay with Bill Baggs Cape State Park on the tip.

The Island of Key Biscayne is tiny, less than 2 square miles but it includes beaches at Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, a Hotel, marina, golf course, homes and condos.

Key West Holiday Light Contest

Key West

Every December Key West residents light up their homes with awesome Christmas Lights. You can see all the light displays by riding the Conch Train.

Fishing Key West

Key West

With the Atlantic Ocean to the South, the Gulf of Mexico to the North and Straits of Florida to the West, Key West is surround by outstanding fishing grounds.

Key West offers every kind of fishing you can imagine including offshore fishing and flats fishing, and spearfishing. If you are visiting Key West and want to go fishing you have a few options.

Lowry Zoo

Hillsborough County

Tampa

Rated the # 1 Zoo in America by both Parents magazine and Child magazine, Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa offers year round activities for kids, families, and adults. 

With more than 1,500 animals on 56 acres, Lowry Zoo has created natural habitats throughout the park for visitors of all ages to enjoy and get up close to animals from around the world.

The Zoo offers water play areas, rides, and opportunities to feed animals.  The close encounter feedings take place Lorikeet Landing, Bushland Budgies and Stingray Bay.

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

Winter Park

The scenic boat tour in Winter Park Florida is a one hour tour that takes you through the scenic lakes of Winter Park.

The boat tour is narrated by your captain with entertaining (and dry) humor and shows you the huge mansions, cypress trees, oak trees, Rollins College and Kraft Azalea Gardens.

Matheson Hammock

Miami

Matheson Hammock is a park, a beach, a marina with public boat ramps and a great place to go windsurfing that is on Biscayne Bay in Miami. There is also a fine dinning restaurant - the Red Fish Grille - that is open for dinner.

The swim area is a protected enclosed man made lagoon that is a great place for small children to swim.

Daytona Speedway - Daytona Beach

The Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach Florida is home to the Daytona 500, the biggest race in America. The 2.5 mile oval is centered on a 480 acre complex that hosts racing events year round.

Park Ave

Winter Park

Park Avenue in Winter Park is the heart of the city. It’s where the brick streets, shops, restaurants, and Rollins College all surround the large park and train station. 

Travel in any direction from Park Avenue and you will see beautiful lakes lined with homes.

Hemingway House

Key West

Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for 10 years. He spent his time writing, fishing, drinking at Sloppy Joes, and enjoying the island atmosphere of Key West. 

The Hemingway House is the house that Ernest Hemingway lived in and today it is an attraction and museum you can visit in Key West.

Seaworld

Orlando

If you could only visit 2 theme parks in Orlando, Seaworld would have to be on your list.

At Seaworld you can see a 10,000 pound killer whale jump 20 feet of out the water, propel a trainer like a rocket, and use its’ tail to splash the first 15 rows of spectators. And that’s just one show.

World Golf Village

St Augustine

Think of the World Golf Village as the Disney World of Golf, a fantasy land for golf lovers.  In a single day you can sit in members locker room with clubs used by Nicklaus and Palmer, stroll on the famed Old Course at St Andrews, and try your luck at 132 yards over water.

Bay Hill Golf

Orlando

Every March the world best golfers converge on Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The Tournament takes place at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

Doral Golf Course

Miami

Doral Golf Resort is located in Miami, FL and is where The World Golf Championship is played.  Doral Golf Resort has five amazing golf courses that will challenge all levels of golfers as well as the Jim Mclean Golf School.

PGA National Resort and Spa - Palm Beach Gardens

PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens Florida is the home of the Professional Golfers Association (the PGA). It is the center of the universe for Golf and a statement to Florida’s dominance in the world of Golf with more golf courses (over 1,400) than any other state.

SKY Asian Fusion

Ocala

The Sky- Asian Fusion Restaurant in Ocala, Fl is a truly unique dining experience that combines unique flavors from all over the world with an Asian Fusion Theme. 

The Sky restaurant is located on the top floor of the Holiday Inn hotel off of Interstate 75 and State Road 200 in Ocala, FL.

Ipanema Brazilian Steakhouse

Ocala

Experience endless amounts of high quality beef, pork, chicken, sausage and more, tableside in a unique dining experience in Ocala, FL.  Just keep your personal card on the green side and the servers called “Guachos” will keep bringing new flavors of meat to try.

Ocala Hotels

Ocala

Ocala has a variety of hotels, motels, and wonderful Bed & Breakfast accommodations that are sure to enhance your visit to the horse capital of Florida. 

Silver Springs

Ocala

People have been attracted to Silver Springs for hundreds of years because of the 99.8 pure artesian spring waters. For over 500 years the areas has been populated first by Indians, then by the Spaniards, and finally by the US.

Today you can see it all on Glass Bottom boat tour.

Wild Waters

Ocala

Want to spend the day cooling off and having fun in the sun! Visit Wild Waters theme park in Ocala, FL.

Wild Waters is located in Silver Springs, FL adjacent to Silver Springs Nature Park.  To get to wild waters from Ocala, just head east on State Road 40 about 10 miles or so. 

Downtown Stuart

Stuart

Downtown Stuart Florida is a mixture of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Located directly on the St Lucie river Downtown Stuart has public docks so you can come by boat.

Crescent Beach

St Augustine

Crescent beach is a beautiful beach in St Augustine with white sand named after its natural shoreline shape of a crescent moon. You can drive your car right onto Crescent Beach.

Alligator Farm

St Augustine

You’ll come face to face with alligators and crocodiles from around the world at the St Augustine Alligator Farm.  Opened in 1893, this historic landmark is one of the oldest zoos in the USA.

Castillo De San Marcos

St Augustine

Castillo De San Marcos is the center of St. Augustine. Built by the Spanish in 1672 to defend the city, the fort has seen hundreds of years of battles between many enemies.

Today it is a National Monument that takes you back to a time of iron cannons, wooden ships and battles between empires.

Horse Back Riding on Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra

If you have dreamed of riding a horse on a beautiful beach then head for Ponte Vedra. Micklers Landing is the main public beach in Ponte Vedra and the place where Sawgrass Stables will take you horseback riding right on the Beach.

TPC Sawgrass

Ponte Vedra

The TPC Sawgrass Stadium Golf Course located in Ponte Vedra Beach is home to the annual Tournament Players Championship held in May. The Stadium course, with its picturesque and challenging #17 Island hole is considered by many to be one of the most challenging and feared Golf Courses in the world.

Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra

Ponte Vedra is known for its beach. The primary beach area is Micklers Landing, which is at the south end of Highway A1A - the intersection of Mickler Road and Highway A1A.

Adventure Landing

Jacksonville

Adventure Landing in Jacksonville is a mini theme park with a water park, game room, go carts and putt putt golf course right off Beach Blvd in Jacksonville.

Key West Hotels and Resorts

Key West

Key West has the biggest selection of hotels, resorts, and unique accommodations in the keys. This quaint and eclectic historic town offers hotels for families, singles, ocean side, bay side, and hotels nestled in the heart of historic downtown within walking distance to shops and restaurants.

Jacksonville Landing

Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Landing is on the banks of the St. Johns River in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. With great views of the city, the river, and many bridges it’s a great place for lunch, dinner, and a night of dancing.

Old Town Trolley Tours

Key West

The Key West Old Town Trolley takes you on a 90 minute tour of historic Key West. On the tour you see 100 points of interest around the historic town of Key West.

Sunset Key

Key West

Stand in Mallory Square in Old Town Key West and look west across the water and you’ll see a beautiful pristine island called Sunset Key. This luxurious island has 27 acres with both private homes and a 37 cottage resort.

Mel Fisher Museum

Key West

Today is the Day - that was the mantra of Mel Fisher who discovered the Spanish Galleon Atocha loaded with treasure just 30 miles from Key West. Today you can see and touch the treasure first hand at the Mel Fisher Museum in Key West.

Mallory Square

Key West

At the very tip of Key West, where the road ends is Mallory Square where locals and visitors gather for a nightly sunset celebration. At Mallory Square you will see fantastic sunsets, street performers, local artists, and many surprises.

Local Color Boutique

Key West

One of my favorite clothing and jewelry boutiques in Key West is Local Color.  Their unique jewelry lines reflect the Keys with natural stones, sea glass, gemstones from the Caribbean, and beautiful shells. 

They also have linen and soft cotton clothing in casual and more formal styles.

Cruise Ship Excursions to Key West

Key West

Key West is a major cruise ship destination. As you step off the boat into the Historic Key West Port you are right in the middle of museums, great restaurants and bars and attractions like the Key West Aquarium and the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum.

Key West Aquarium

Key West

See barracuda, tarpon, snapper, grouper and other Florida Keys native fish at the Key West Aquarium. There are indoor tanks with tropical fish and outdoor pens with sharks, turtles, and other large fish.

Dry Tortugas

Key West

Seventy miles off of Key West the Dry Tortugas is the site of Fort Jefferson built with 16 million bricks in the 1840’s and surrounded by breathtaking coral reefs just off the beach.

You can get to the Dry Tortugas on a 2 hour cruise aboard the Yankee Freedoom II.

Snorkeling Key West

Key West

Crystal clear water and coral reefs teeming with life are just a few miles off the shores of Key West. See parrotfish, tangs, bright coral, and a loggerhead turtle in just 10 feet of water.

With 80 feet or more of visibility and coral reef as far as the eye can snorkeling is a must during any visit to Key West.

Marathon Hotels

Marathon

A key decision when visiting anywhere in the Florida Keys is where to stay. Marathon hotels are mostly in the form of rental homes, condos, and smaller hotels.  Large luxury hotels are scarce in Marathon and in the rest of the Florida Keys with the exception of Key West.

Sombrero Beach

Marathon

Sombrero Beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean in the city of Marathon in the Florida Keys. The beach is great for picnics because it has plenty of shade, pavilions, barbecue pits, playground, showers, restrooms, and free parking.

Curry Hammock State Park

Marathon

Curry Hammock State Park is located on Grassy Key (the middle keys) about 1 mile north of the City of Marathon.  It’s a great state park for camping, swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking and has a white sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

Devils Millhopper State Park

Gainesville

Devils Millhopper State Park is truly one of the most unique attractions to visit while in Gainesville, FL.  The sinkhole is over 120 feet deep and has an extensive bridge and step system that allows the visitor to truly experience what it is like to be in a rainforest. 

The Bat House

Gainesville

Visit the Bat House at dusk on the campus of the University of Florida and you can see upwards of 100,000 bats exit the bat house in a beautiful steady stream resembling a flying rainbow.

Founders Park

Islamorada

A huge public park in the center of Islamorada, Founders Park has a marina, boat ramps, beach, baseball fields, olympic pool, and a skate park. On the Bayside in Islamorada Founders Park is famous for sunsets and even has a dog park.

Dolphin Research Center - Grassy Key

Monroe County

The Dolphin Research Center is a a non-profit education facility based in the Florida Keys.  If you want to get close to a dolphin, swim with a dolphin, or just pet a dolphin the Dolphin Research Center is the place.

Cheeca Lodge and Spa

Islamorada

A beautiful resort nestled along the Atlantic Ocean on Islamorada, Cheeca Lodge is a private gated resort in the Florida Keys with all the water sports, golf, tennis, biking, and relaxation you’ll need.

Bud and Mary’s Marina

Islamorada

Islamorada in the Upper Florida Keys has one of the largest fleet of fishing guides in the world catering to its nickname The Sportsfishing Capital of the World.”  Bud n’ Mary’s Fishing Marina has more than 40 fishing guides using its marina for back country and offshore fishing located on Islamorada.

Islamorada Fishing

Islamorada

Florida is famous for amazing for fishing and Islamorada has as some of the best fishing in Florida. In Islamorada you can fish Offshore in the Atlantic Ocean or inshore in the back country of the Florida Bay and the Everglades National Park.

Long Key State Park

Monroe County

Long Key State Park is a true Florida environment. The natural and unspoiled landscape is a perfect place to see mangrove trees flourish and many species of birds including egrets, woodpeckers, and the white crowned pigeon. And the campground on the Atlantic Ocean is a unique camping experience.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo

On Key Largo in the Florida Keys at Mile Marker 102.5, you’ll find the award winning John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.  Home to the only living coral reef in the United States, the reef begins in Miami and stretches 221 miles down the Keys to the Dry Tortugas near Key West.

It is the third largest living coral reef in the world.  You can enjoy year round swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving at the John Pennekamp state park.

Indian River Lagoon Treasure Coast

Fort Pierce

Florida has great natural scenery and the Indian River Lagoon is a perfect example. There are two Indian Lagoon scenic highways our focus is on Indian River Drive (highway 707) - an official Florida Scenic Highway that runs from Jensen Beach in the south along the Indian River Lagoon into downtown Fort Pierce in the north.

Camping in the Florida Keys

Monroe County

The Florida Keys is one of the rare places where you can camp right on the beach. From tents and cabins with AC to RV sites there is a place for you to enjoy camping in the Florida Keys.

Smathers Beach

Key West

Key West is all about water.  On any given day, you’ll see locals and visitors boating, parasailing, kayaking, fishing, sun bathing, exercising along the shoreline, or just walking barefoot along the beaches in Key West. And Smathers Beach is a local favorite.

Clearwater Beach, Clearwater

White sandy beaches with beautiful water makes Clearwater Beach a local favorite. Located on the west coast of Florida, the beach is gorgeous with a deep shelf which lets you wade into the shallow clear Gulf of Mexico water quite a while before the drop off to deeper water.

Blue Heaven

Key West

Blue Heaven is a restaurant in Key West that exudes the true personality of the Conch Republic. Situated in 100 year old wooden house painted baby blue, Blue Heaven serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an entertaining and very casual environment.

Caps on the Water

St Augustine

Caps on the Water in St Augustine is a great waterfront restaurant that gives you a true Florida experience. Sit on the water, eat, and enjoy the scenery of the Intercoastal and the ocean breeze from the Atlantic.

Miami Seaquarium

Miami

Visit the Miami Seaquarium for a rare chance to swim with dolphins and learn all about one of the most friendly and intelligent marine mammals. The Miami Seaquarium has been in Miami since 1955.

PGA Village

Port St. Lucie

The PGA Village Golf Club is the first public golf facility owned and operated by the PGA. There are three (3) 18 hole golf courses and the first PGA learning Center.

Port St Lucie Vacation

Port St. Lucie

Port St Lucie is a great place for a vacation with excellent beaches, golf courses, and plenty of boating. Most of the Hotels are either on the beach or on a golf course.

Disney World

Orlando

Disney World in Orlando is one of the top vacation destinations in the world and no one knows how to create a theme park better than Disney.  If you have never been to Disney you can easily spend a week especially with all the other attractions in central Florida such as Sea World, Universal Studios, and Islands of Adventure.

Lake Okeechobee

Take a look at any map of Florida and you will see the enormous 451,000 acre (731 square mile) Lake Okeechobee in southern part of the state. Lake Okeechobee is a recreation area with boating, fishing, and camping and it is also part of the complex water management system for southern Florida.

Blowing Rocks Beach, Jupiter

Blowing Rocks is a unique beach because during high tide waves shoot up through holes in the limestone shoreline. Located on Jupiter Island, blowing rocks is a preserve.

Sailfishing in Florida

The sailfish is one of the most prized game fish and Florida is famous for great sailfish fishing. Sailfish are incredibly fast and beautiful. They have been clocked at speeds over 65 mph, which makes them one of the fastest fish.

Top spots in Florida for Sailfishing include Stuart Florida (the sailfish capitol of the world) and Islamorada in the Keys.