9 Most Popular Florida Cities You Should Visit

Sunny skies, sandy beaches, surrounded by water, intertwined with culture, and engulfed with unlimited forms of entertainment, it is clear why the US State of Florida makes such a popular vacation spot. This particular list focuses on some of the great cities throughout the Sunshine State. Pack your bathing suit, a funky get-up for the evening, and maybe a good pair of shoes for all the sightseeing, and you will be all set to visit these key destinations. 

Orlando

A beautiful view of the skyline of Orlando, Florida
A beautiful view of the skyline of Orlando, Florida. 

Orlando is a pretty happening place, particularly when it comes to family fun. For starters, there are four well-known theme parks in town to get everyone excited, including the SeaWorld Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort. These sites provide endless attractions during the day, and the Walt Disney World Resort and the Universal Orlando Resort open their doors to more adult-oriented entertainment at night. Speaking of nightlife, there is an endless array of live music, jumping nightclubs, stand-up comedy, and seasonal events, including the spectacular Electric Daisy Carnival. 

Key West

Aerial view of Key West, Florida
Aerial view of Key West, Florida. 

At the bottom of Highway US 1 is America's Southernmost city. Key West has an enticing location, far off the coast of mainland Florida and well on its way to Cuba. This tropical island paradise is surrounded by water and good times. The deep blue sea welcomes visitors to swim with dolphins, rent a boat or paddle a kayak, dive, and snorkel as you please, visit Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas National Park, and if you prefer to stay dry, simply kick back on the beaches, relax by the pool, or post-up on the colorful and inviting Duval Street. 

Miami/Miami Beach

South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida
South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida. 

Welcome to Miami. This vibrant city is not only one of the more sought-out vacation destinations in Florida or the United States but also in the world. People come from all over to soak up the sun on nearby Miami Beach. The stretch known as South Beach is particularly appealing, even more so when the sun sets and the nightlife begins. Little Havana is another significant draw. This energetic neighborhood gives visitors a chance to absorb some of the Cuban cultures that are so embedded in the city of Miami and much of the surrounding state. Miami is also the place to be when it comes to watching captivating professional sports, as well as rolling up your sleeves and playing some golf, tennis, getting out on the water, going for a boardwalk jog, or pretty much anything else you could fancy. 

Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida, downtown skyline in the afternoon over St. Johns River
Jacksonville, Florida, downtown skyline in the afternoon over St. Johns River. 

Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida, and in terms of area, it is the largest city in the contiguous United States. This juggernaut place prides itself on family fun and relaxation. It is clear why, given that Jacksonville has 22-miles of beaches, a full spectrum of outdoor recreation, an intriguing artistic and historical backbone, and a booming social scene. It is also no mystery how Jacksonville landed on the slogan, "It's Easier Here." So if you like easy, you are headed to the right place. And you will be in good company. 

Daytona Beach

Aerial view of Daytona Beach, Florida
Aerial view of Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Beaches and NASCAR are the big draws at Daytona Beach. In terms of the former, there are 23-miles of screensaver-worthy white-sandy stretches. As for the latter, there are 400 or 500 miles (Coke Zero Sugar 400 and DAYTONA 500) of roaring madness, as well as many other races to satisfy one's need for speed. If one wants to dig deeper into the history of auto racing in Daytona, be sure to pop by the various landmarks and museums dedicated solely to the high-octane machines and races that have impacted this city since 1929. 

St. Augustine

Aerial view of the downtown skyline of St. Augustine, Florida
Aerial view of the downtown skyline of St. Augustine, Florida. 

St. Augustine, or the "Ancient City," is the oldest continuously-inhabited European city in the United States (founded by the Spaniards in 1565). There are abundant historical sites to explore while also enjoying the typical Floridian temperatures and waterfront setting. The old town's cobblestone streets are just the beginning of the antiquities amblings. One must also add the Flagler College, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, and Aviles Street (the oldest street in the oldest city) to the exploratory itinerary. One should also take the time to appreciate the antique houses and range of other museums (from art history to medieval torture) that pepper the former port town. 

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, Florida skyline over Barrier Island.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida skyline over Barrier Island.

Fort Lauderdale packs in the beaches, nightlife/entertainment, and events that draw the younger crowds. But at the same time, the jazz clubs, plentiful museums, and gondola rides down the seemingly endless canals provide the extra charm and romance for the adults. Plus, everyone can enjoy a good old-fashioned shopping spree from time to time. A water-taxi arrival to the Galleria mall or some bargain hunting at Sawgrass Mills, the world's largest outlet mall, will likely satisfy those cravings. 

St. Petersburg

Skyline of St. Petersburg, Florida
Skyline of St. Petersburg, Florida. 

St. Petersburg has the Guinness World Record for most consecutive sunny days. It is therefore understandable that anyone seeking pleasant weather would head here. Upon arrival, Saint Petersburg will reveal plenty of additional perks. Strolling St. Pete Pier is a great way to appreciate the sunny skies, azure waters of Tampa Bay, and the congruous verdant parks of downtown that line the 26-acre stretch. The city offers several opportunities for activities, dining, shopping, and entertainment. Afterward, head over to Sunken Gardens to gaze amongst over 50,000 tropical plants, floral arrangements, waterfalls, and flamingos. Eventually, you will want to give that sunburn a break, which can be done in style by touring the renowned Salvador Dalí Museum. 

Naples

Naples, Florida, downtown skyline at dusk.
Naples, Florida, downtown skyline at dusk. 

If you have been saving up for a luxurious vacation, then Naples will be the spot for you. The world-class resorts, fine dining, boutique shopping, various art galleries, and pristine golf courses abound for those who want the high-class Floridian experience. For those on a budget or anyone just wanting to relax, the beaches and parks in Naples are on the tranquil end of the spectrum, rather than the often rambunctious ones found elsewhere throughout the state. 

If you are currently in the North, riding out the last cool and capricious days of Spring, and need a fun trip to take you through to summer, then look no further than Florida. Head south and do not stop until you reach one of these hot, sunny, and entertaining cities. 

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