Florida is one of the greatest travel destinations in the United States and the entire world. It is a perfect combination of sun, ocean, entertainment, leisure and so much more! There is so much to do and see in Florida that it is difficult to pick the Top 10 travel destinations, but the following list should provide any traveler heading to Florida a great way to plan a perfect vacation.
10. Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park offers visitors a chance to explore and experience one of the most amazing ecosystems in the entire world. Visitors can walk, hike, canoe, airboat or travel on a tram to take a one-of-a-kind expedition into this remarkable National Park. Wildlife including the famous Florida alligators in addition to crocodiles, falcons, turtles and even large cats like panthers can be seen throughout the area. There are almost 1.5 million acres in the Everglades and it is a memorable destination. Recommended airport: Miami International Airport – Miami, Florida (MIA)
9. Cape Canaveral
Home of the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral truly is one of Florida’s destination gems. Visitors can experience true “out of this world” history as they stand among actual space rockets, touch moon rocks, experience the international space station and much more. There are still plenty of live launches from the Space Center and watching one is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will never be forgotten. After visiting Kennedy Space Center, visitors to Cape Canaveral can explore the Canaveral National Seashore where there is over 24 miles of undeveloped beach. Recommended airport: Orlando International Airport – Orlando, Florida (MCO)
8. Sanibel Island
Known as one of the greatest sea shell collecting destinations in the entire world, Sanibel Island provides a great way to experience the leisurely way of life that only Florida can offer. Located close to Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is a great destination for families and couples to enjoy soaking up the sun and playing in the ocean. There are many shops and restaurants on the Island in addition to great entertainment. Visitors should check out the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary in addition to the Point Ybel Lighthouse. Recommended airport: Southwest Florida International Airport – Fort Myers, Florida (RSW)
7. St. Augustine
Florida’s “Ancient City” is a great way to experience some of Florida’s amazing history that not many visitors think about exploring. Famous explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed the area for Spain in 1513 during his storied search for the Fountain of Youth. There are wonderful parks to visit in the area along with fantastic architecture. Although the area has no gigantic theme park, there is still plenty to keep the entire family busy in St. Augustine. Recommended airport: Jacksonville International Airport – Jacksonville, Florida (JAX)
6. Universal Studios, Orlando
What many believe to be Florida’s top action and adventure television and movie themed Theme Park, Universal Studios offers an incredible experience for kids and adults. Actually consisting of two separate theme parks (Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure), Universal Studios has some of the most intense thrill rides in the country along with remarkable areas where visitors can immerse themselves in different worlds. The highlights current include Transformers 3D, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A new Harry Potter area is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2014. Recommended airport: Orlando International Airport – Orlando, Florida (MCO)
5. Ft. Lauderdale
Known as the Yachting Capital of the World, Ft. Lauderdale is home to over 50,000 private yachts that are kept in its canals and docks. This destination for boaters and boat enthusiast is also home to the International Boat Show which is the largest boat show in the world. There is plenty to do for those that aren’t too impressed with luxury yachts including visiting some of Florida’s best beaches (over 30 different beaches) and an amazing arts and entertainment district. Recommended airport: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport – Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL)
From National Geographic to Southern Living, the Emerald Coast has been year after year recognized as a top Florida vacation destination. The Emerald Coast mainly is composed of Destin, Okaloosa Island and Ft. Walton Beach and is characterized by clear green water and soft white sand beaches. This stretch of beach makes up some the the best beach real estate in all of Florida, perfect for your morning run or afternoon volleyball session. Destin is also known as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” so be sure to test your luck and schedule a fishing adventure, either off the side of a pier or in the deep sea. Lastly, Destin is home to some of the best shopping and dining along the Gulf Coast and there’s very few things beat a cold one at sunset with waves breaking in the background. Recommended airport: Northwest Florida Regional Airport – Valparaiso, FL (VPS)
3. Key West and The Florida Keys
Found at the southernmost part of the state, Key West and the Florida Keys is actually the southernmost part of the continental United States. The area offers great opportunities to explore land and sea and it also contains rich history. Ernest Hemingway once had a residence in Key West as did many other well known celebrities. Visitors can find plenty of deep sea fishing and snorkeling in the ocean in addition to the reefs that surround the area. Don’t miss the opportunity to try authentic Key Lime Pie! Recommended airport: Miami International Airport – Miami, FL (MIA)
2. South Beach in Miami
One of the most well known beaches in the entire world, South Beach’s reputation is something that should be experienced in person. The beach area offers a pristine chance to take in the warm ocean waters and manicured sand but the fun doesn’t stop there. The South Beach nightlife offers some of the hippest clubs and many remain open until dawn. The area offers shopping and culture that can only be found in South Beach which is why so many famous people and celebrities make it a “must do” destination. Recommended airport: Miami International Airport – Miami, FL (MIA)
1. Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando
A trip to Florida wouldn’t be complete without visiting the grand theme park where magic truly happens. The Walt Disney World Resort sees over 47 million visitors each year which puts it at the top of this list of Florida destinations. There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World and the magic is not only for children. Featuring rides, entertainment, food, character interaction, live shows and much more, Walt Disney World is something that every fan should do at least once in their lifetime. The trip to Walt Disney World can become expensive and ample times should be planned to explore everything but the time and money spent will be small in comparison to the memories. Recommended airport: Orlando International Airport – Orlando, Florida (MCO)
Each of the destinations listed above have several different types of Military Discounts for members of the Military including their family. Even high prices theme parks like Universal Studios and Walt Disney World happily salute the Military with impressive discounts and special discounts.
Florida is an amazing state that offers so much to see and do that it’s difficult to even try to choose ten top destinations. The Sunshine State is a great place for families, couples and individuals to find an escape from everyday life and experience a once-in-a-lifetime vacation!
By Military Travel Exchange