Top 8 Spots to Visit for First time travelers to Florida

Why the Sunshine State?

Florida is known for its tropical climate, beaches, attractions and, well the heat. For most people though, that sounds like a dream come true. I always say that Florida has four seasons, just like most other places, except Florida's four is different than everyone else's.

Florida has: Rainy Season, Love Bug Season, Hurricane Season and Summer!

Ok, that was just a joke but it is kind of true. For most people, when you talk about Florida, you talk about Disney or Miami Nightlife or the Beach, when in actuality, those are some of the best parts, but there are plenty more. Here are the Top 8 Spots to visit in the Sunshine State...

Clematis at Sundown
Clematis at Sundown | Source

8. Clematis St. in West Palm Beach

If you want Nightlife with a little history in it but don't want the size of Miami and South Beach, Clematis is the way to go. Located right off of the inter-coastal of southern Florida, Clematis has an equal amount of clubs as it does amazing restaurants. The atmosphere on the street is chaotic but not as hard hitting as Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Special events are held on the streets including Grease Burger Bar, which has amazing specialty burgers, hosts amazing specials for bar home Florida State Games. The street can be seen fluttered with neon lights that resemble snow falling in the wintertime, but that's about as close as we get to cold weather. Clematis also hosts bar crawls for Halloween and other special events throughout the year.

What is your favorite Nightlife Stop to visit on Clematis St?

  • Pawn Shop
  • Roxy's
  • Respectable Street
  • Off the Hookah
  • O'Shea's
See results without voting
Castillo de San Marcos
Castillo de San Marcos

7. St. Augustine

A different kind of entry from the others on this list. St. Augustine is one of the most historic cities, not only in Florida or the country, but in the whole world. Founded in 1565, it is the most continuously occupied city in the United States. The city is so old that the main road there has been preserved and is now occupied by shops and restaurants, but gives a nice view of how life was like hundreds of years ago. Included in the street are the oldest schoolhouse in America and some of the oldest pubs and buildings. Visit the Fountain of Youth, found by Ponce De Leon and said to have magical powers for the human body. You can actually still drink from the fountain, although it is really gross and I recommend to not do it. With such a vast history I recommend Castillo de San Marcos which is an old fort that defended the city in the early Spanish Empire. The city also hosts the first permanent Ripley's Believe it or Not which is fun for the whole family.

6. Busch Gardens: Tampa

Much like the fact that our number 8 entrant was a milder version of a more intense entry, this one is a more intense version of a more mild entry. Many people flock to Florida to see the Amusement Parks. While Disney and Universal Studios are the most popular attractions, Busch Gardens is the cheaper, more thrilling option. Located in Tampa, Florida, Busch Gardens offers the best of both worlds when it comes to families. Thrilling state of the art roller coasters for teens and adults, and family friendly rides and animal viewing for the younger ones or non-thrill seekers. Hop on Shiekra which drops you straight down at 90 degrees, or head over to the Park's Madagascar show and see all the kid's favorite characters from Dreamwork's Hit Movie!

Launchpad
Launchpad

5. Kennedy Space Center: Port Canaveral

The site of almost all Major Space Shuttle Launches, NASA always delivers a show if you get the opportunity to see one launch. Located in Cape Canaveral, FL, This has been the site for all manned shuttles for the past 50 years. They only launch unmanned shuttles now, and they sell passes to be able to get the best view of a launch. If there is no launch going on then it is still an excellent museum. View the history of the Space Program and get in depth views of old ships as well as a hands on flight experience. If you just want to see a shuttle launch, be sure to workout your visit with a planned launch date. There are plenty of spots to watch the launch for free. They are usually jam-packed but it is well worth the loss of elbow room to see a rocket launch into the depths of space.

View of Islands of Adventure
View of Islands of Adventure

4. Universal Orlando Resort: Orlando

This one literally just keeps getting better. With the recent addition of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Diagon Alley, Transformer's the Ride and More, Universal is a premiere Florida Tourist Destination. If you want to not only experience but be immersed, and a part of the movies, then Universal is your spot! The resort consists Primarily of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, which is now connected thanks to the all new Harry Potter World which just finished being built. It has everything you want, from High Speed Roller Coasters like the Incredible Hulk Coaster to family friendly experiences like Seuss World. The rest of the resort consists of Hotels and clubs and shops located on CityWalk, a premiere destination, that serves as an entryway to the parks. It has a movie theater, many places to eat, clubs and even a mini golf course. This is essentially the adult Disney, but I'll leave it up to you to decide.

Strip of South Beach
Strip of South Beach

3. Miami and South Beach

The World Famous Miami! A hot spot for party and drinking culture and beautiful people. This is an adult's paradise. Many of the hotels on South Beach are not as expensive as you would think, and you can usually get a room right on the beach for $100 or less depending on the time of year. In my opinion, the hotels are not that expensive because everything else..well..is! At most places, especially the bigger clubs, I wouldn't expect to pay anything less than 12 dollars just for a beer. But if you have the money, Miami definitely packs a punch. You can usually find a world famous DJ playing at one of the clubs any weekend. Clubs like Mansion, LIV Miami or Story are some of the biggest around. If you have the opportunity to just see these places, it's well worth it to pay for entry and one drink and dance the night away. If the club scene is not your thing, Miami has some killer beaches and water excursions you can take part in. That combined with the beautiful people, food and cuban coffee and you got yourself the perfect ingredients for an awesome adventure.

2. Walt Disney World Resort

Opening October 7th, 1971, Disney World near Orlando, FL is the most visited tourist attraction in the world, according to Forbes. If a purely man made place were to deserve the top spot in this Hub it would undoubtedly be Walt Disney World. Consisting of four parks including: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) and of course Disney's Magic Kingdom, this is truly the king of tourism in Florida. When you first drive through the entry gates to Disney, you know you are in a special place. Every little detail makes you believe you have stepped out of real life and into a fantasy. You walk into the Mcdonald's there and the plastic ware has Disney's logo and character on it. You feel like you have stepped into a place that has a lot of history to it when you first step into the Magic Kingdom. Getting a taste of what the Imagineers thought the future would be like in TomorrowLand to re-living your favorite movies and stories aboard splash mountain and the likes of Peter Pan and Snow White. The resort expands into the various hotels and lodges, all located within a monorail ride of the parks. Also make the trip to Downtown Disney and experience Cirque du Soleil or catch the newest Disney Movie. Something to do for the whole family, Disney is truly a magical place with a touch of history and the ability to bring the youth right out of even the most tense person.

Aerial View of Key West
Aerial View of Key West

1. The Florida Keys

Ahhh, Our last spot and by far the most relaxing! The Florida Keys is one of the most surreal places in Florida. First take the 100 mile bridge to the most southern tip you can get to and then finally when you have arrived, witness the pure magic that is Key West. Get a hotel or just fall asleep on the beach. (When you wake up you're going to go right back anyway. Some of th white sand beaches in the keys is my favorite part. You can walk on sand and not burn your feet to sun-like temperatures? Count me in! Also don't forget to make your stop at Duval St. to do a pub crawl. It's where the premiere bars and clubs are in the Keys and it's a blast! If you don't want to party it up. Grab a snorkel and go look at all the amazing sights underwater that the Keys has to offer. Not much more to say other than relax and take in all the sights while drifting away into your own world.

show route and directions
A markerClematis Street -
Clematis Street, Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, FL 33401, USA
[get directions]

B markerBusch Gardens -
Busch Gardens Tampa, 10165 North Malcolm McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
[get directions]

C markerKennedy Space Center -
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899, USA
[get directions]

D markerUniversal Orlando -
Universal Orlando Resort, 6000 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
[get directions]

E markerSt. Augustine -
St. Augustine, FL, USA
[get directions]

F markerSouth Beach and Miami -
Miami, FL, USA
[get directions]

G markerWalt Disney World Resort: Lake Buena Vista -
Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
[get directions]

H markerFlorida Keys -
Florida Keys
[get directions]

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6 comments

m abdullah javed profile image

m abdullah javed 23 months ago

Thanks for sharing very informative and inspiring hub atlasue. Wish I could visit those exotic locations.


AtlasSue profile image

AtlasSue 23 months ago Author

You are always welcome in Sunny Florida!


shiba 23 months ago

worst article ever


AtlasSue profile image

AtlasSue 23 months ago Author

Well, thanks for the feedback!


Scott 23 months ago

Awesome Hub! I love Florida!


AtlasSue profile image

AtlasSue 23 months ago Author

Thanks Scott! We loving hearing feedback and we Love Florida too! It is home!

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