When you think of Florida, there definitely are a few sunny images that come to mind. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire United States, so it’s no wonder so many people have ideas of what Florida is like. If you’re picturing palm trees, theme parks, and seemingly endless beaches, you’re certainly on the right track, but there’s so much more to explore.

adoronidak chairs at isla bella resort marathon key florida

Florida is a popular tourist destination because of how versatile it is. There’s something for everyone to enjoy no matter what their interests are, as long as you know where to look and as long as you venture outside of the usual tourist spots. This year alone, some of us at Pure Wander have wandered down to the beautiful islands of the Florida Keys, hung out on the unreal white beaches of Sarasota, and even rode the new Brightline train from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. It’s super tough to pick three spots we love best, but here’s the final list!

Orlando

As Orlando is at the heart of the tourism industry in Florida, it’s a must-see city for first time visitors. It’s world famous for the theme parks located in and around the city, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens — but you don’t have to stop there. Because of the constant influx of international tourists, Orlando has become a hub for other recreational activities like championship golf courses, massive shopping centers, museums and science centers, chic spas and trendy restaurants.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Orlando Florida sun flare

As for your accommodation, Orlando villa holidays are the perfect way to pamper yourself after a long day of exploring and adventuring. Treat yourself to a luxurious villa so you can rest comfortably and recharge, ready for a whole new day of more.

Key West

Key West sits at the southernmost tip of the United States. It’s only 90 miles away from Cuba, which explains its distinct island vibe despite being located on an archipelago. The island of Key West is a historical city, most famous for its cultural mix that draws influence from the Caribbean. If you’re looking for a relaxed beach town, Key West is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan centres like Miami and Orlando.

striped southernmost point buoy in key west florida

Walk along Duval Street and browse the boutique shops, restaurants, and historic homes. Or, visit some of the city’s best attractions like the Key West Aquarium, Dry Tortugas National Park, or the shipwreck museum.

There’s no shortage of hotels in Key West, so whether you’re looking for something more budget-friendly or want to splurge on a luxurious hotel or resort, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.

Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is a popular holiday spot for celebrities, families, and couples looking for a luxurious romantic getaway, since the island is most known for its high-end resorts. Located off the west coast of Florida, you can get to Sanibel by causeway that is connected to Fort Myers. Once on the island, there is definitely an abundance of amenities and activities to enjoy.

rainbow umbrellas sanibel island

Nature lovers will be thrilled to know that Sanibel is very dedicated to conservation. Numerous resorts will offer their own programs to let tourists know more about the ecosystems and wildlife found in the area. There are also plenty of adventures to embark on, like scuba diving or snorkeling, to get you closer to nature. Especially in the mangroves, you can see long-necked egrets, manatees, and even the occasional dolphin. For others less interested in the nature aspect of the island, there’s excellent opportunities for shopping, dining, and many galleries to wander through.

Runner Ups in Florida

Here’s a new more of our favorite narratives from all over Florida.

What’s your favorite Florida destination? Do you like the east coast or gulf coast of Florida best? Do you like to go in the summer or winter?

Pure Wander Contributor

Author Pure Wander Contributor

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