Florida has always been a popular destination for snowbirds and those seeking to escape the cold winter months. It's not hard to understand why: their beautiful beaches, tropical weather, extensive leisurely activities, and unique cities offer an eclectic mix of relaxing fun!
While some travelers head to Florida to check out their world-famous theme parks, others may visit the eastern American state to admire the sandy beaches and soak in the tropical sun. No matter what the reasons are, Florida is the perfect destination to escape the chilly winters.
Check out these Floridian cities perfect for travelers seeking a tropical beach destination, away from the chilly winter weather!
Being home to over 12 theme parks (especially Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando), Orlando is truly a magical place to visit! This Floridian city is used by tourists, which means many of their tourist and business hubs are safe and clean, providing accommodations for any traveler's budget.
Orlando is more than just its theme parks; this city is also home to many museums, including the Menello Museum of American Art and the Orlando Fire Museum. Visitors should also check out some of the city's trendiest restaurants, including ICEBAR, which features a "below freezing" bar room (and a bar carved from ice)!
For pleasant weather and quieter crowds, tourists should visit Orlando from March to May. Otherwise, the city (especially its theme parks) can get pretty packed during December and in the summer months.
In Southern Florida, besides Tampa, lies the Gulf City of Sarasota. This city is famous for the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Visitors can also check out other local museums, including the Bishop Museum of Science & Nature and the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
Besides museum hopping, tourists can also visit the Sarasota Jungle Gardens and enjoy a leisurely stroll across 10-acres of lush tropical land. Ca' d'Zan (which once belonged to the Ringling family) is also popular amongst tourists, which is a spacious Mediterranean-style spacious home.
Visitors can check out the world-famous Siesta Key Beach, which features 8 miles of shops, restaurants, and resorts. Otherwise, Sarasota's coast features 6 islands, each with a unique personality. For a more adrenaline-filled adventure, tourists can spot some gators at the Oscar Sherer State Park!
Passionate about shopping? Visitors who love to shop until they drop should book their next trip to Naples! This southwestern Florida city is home to some of the state's most high-end shopping centers, usually at Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South. After an exhausting day of shopping, visitors can also indulge in any of Naple's restaurants, known for their sophistication and elegance.
Otherwise, travelers who love being surrounded by the majesty of nature will also enjoy Naples. Wander at the Naples Botanical Garden, or wet your toes at the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park. Lucky visitors may even spot some dolphins along Naple's coast!
5 Cape Coral
Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, this Southwestern Florida city is known for its network of waterways, which is 640 km (or 400 miles) long! Known for its luxurious properties, Cape Coral is also ideal for family-friendly vacations or romantic honeymooners.
For a beach outing, visitors can enjoy the sands of Sanibel Island or Fort Myers Beach, which is only 15 miles away from Cape Coral. To spot some local wildlife, check out the manatees at the Sirenia Vista Park or fish at the Lakes Park. You can even enjoy a peaceful day of kayaking on the wetlands at Cape Coral's Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve! Families looking to beat the heat can also check out the city's 14-acre Sunsplash Water Park.
For some luxury in a private tropical oasis, visit Useppa Island, a 100-acre island known for its elegant resorts. Honeymooners can enjoy a romantic stay in any one of the island's inns, cottages, or rental homes!
4 St. Petersburg
Situated between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, St. Peterburg is Flordia's sunniest city! Snowbirds seeking a family-friendly beach destination should check out this Floridian city, known for its award-winning beaches and beautiful weather all year round. Adventurous travelers should head to St. Petersburg's downtown area to get some culture; St. Pete's is known for the Salvador Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection on Central Avenue. To enjoy a gorgeous day at the beach, head to the well-renowned Fort De Soto Park!
3 Port Charlotte
Don't expect a bustling city life in Port Charlotte; Being only 90 minutes away from St. Petersburg, this city is perfect for a quaint weekend getaway. Halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Port Charlotte offers a peaceful beach destination for visitors. Visit Tippecanoe Environmental Park for beautiful hiking trails and for spotting local wildlife. For a beautiful day at the beach, head to Port Charlotte Beach Park or pay a visit to Punta Gorda and Englewood Beach to enjoy the white sand beaches and activities like fishing and boating.
Arcadia may not be as large as Miami or Orlando, but it's still a Florida jewel. Ever heard of a Florida Cowboy? Arcadia is one of the few towns left in Florida to meet them (they're known as Florida Crackers, named after the sound of their cracking whips)!
This town is perfect for adventurous travelers seeking a nice camping spot or a place to enjoy quality canoeing, fishing, and gator watching. Enjoy a leisurely hike along The Peace River or at Morgan Park. Travelers heading to Arcadia during January can catch the DeSota County Fair to enjoy the Ferris wheel or enjoy some comforting fair favorites like corn dogs and cotton candy!
This busy (and most populous) Floridian city is not without its charm! Jacksonville is known as the "River City by the Sea" and is situated along the St. John's River.
Despite its bustling city, Jacksonville offers a mix of luxury and affordability, studded with ritzy contemporary art museums and home to a handful of quiet beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Jacksonville is an ideal mix of sunshine, city views, and nature excursions fit for any traveler and their budget!