Florida Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Florida
Though it’s maybe most famous for Disney World and oranges, Florida has a lot more to offer than what you expect. With a booming arts scene, great beaches, hip cities and sunshine all year round, Florida has a bit of something for everyone. Start here with my basic Florida travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Florida travel blogs.
When to Visit
Florida, with its subtropical climate, is a year round destination, but probably the best time to visit is March to May when the sun is out consistently and the temperatures are not already too high. If you come in the summer months, it will be hotter and there’s more chance of wet weather (and potential hurricanes & tropic storms), but prices are likely to be a little lower, as this is a less popular time to visit.
The Florida Keys, and Key West in particular, are the southernmost spot in the continental USA, and therefore a great destination year-round thanks to its subtropical climate.
Look out for special events and festivals, such as the iconic Art Basel in Miami each December. Spring Break, in March, is oftentimes a busy season for most Florida cities and destinations (especially along the beaches), so unless you want to experience young generation Z kids and college students in drunk groups, it may be a good idea to avoid travel during that season.
Top Museums in Florida
Bass Museum of Art – This art museum puts on exhibitions from working and established contemporary artists from all over the globe and has an impressive permanent collection of classic art from as far back as the 7th century from Europe, the Americas and Asia.
World Erotic Art Museum – This fun museum also in Miami gives a fascinating look at erotic art from around the world including sculptures, drawings, paintings, and photographs.
Salvador Dalí Museum – The second largest collection of the Catalan artists’ work (outside of Figueres, his birthplace) is in St. Petersburg, Florida. As well as some of Dalí’s most iconic works, there are occasional visiting exhibitions from other greats like Warhol, Escher or Picasso.
Hemingway Home in Key West – One of the top attractions and things to do in Key West, Ernest Hemingway lived in this large house (with an even larger garden) for at least 10 years. It’s where he wrote many of his works, and the grounds are equally inspiring (even when crowded with tourists). Famous for his pet cats that still roam free, you can join a guided tour of the home and museum to learn more about the prolific writer’s life in Key West.
Florida Tours & Itineraries
With such varied cities and natural landscapes, Florida is a great place to consider taking a tour which will get you out into different parts of the state or cities you might otherwise overlook.
Typical Florida road trip itineraries run up and down the coast. But the most picturesque may be a road trip through the Florida Keys—a stretch of tropical islands off the southern tip of Florida, with gay-friendly Key West at the very end.
Looking for a tour through Florida? Try these options:
LGBT – Gay Florida Travel Guide
Overall, Florida may be on of the more conservative states in the US, but there are several big cities with lots of gay life, especially the largest city (and my favorite): Miami. Here are some of the other best gay cities in Florida.
Key West – One of America’s most LGBTQ-friendly cities, Key West has a long history as a gay hotspot. Thanks to a number of famous gay events, like Key West in June and Fantasy Fest in October, Key West has attracted gay travelers for decades. Check out the Key West page for more LGBTQ events and recommended things to do.
Orlando – Aside from the theme parks (which are super gay, no matter what day of the year it is!), Orlando has a lot in the way of LGBT life with gay-friendly hotels, bars, clubs, parties and several different LGBTQ events taking place throughout the year.
St Petersburg – “The sunniest place to be gay” is the fun tagline for this city on Florida’s Gulf Coast. With several intimate gay bars, and plenty of gay-friendly mixed places, it’s a fun place for a night out, and in the day, there are plenty of opportunities to meet cute guys on the gorgeous beaches.
Miami – Miami, and its northern neighbor of Fort Lauderdale, is probably Florida’s most famous gay hotspot. Miami has some of the best food, events, parties, and gay beaches in Florida, and with its growing art scene (in Wynwood), it’s also attracting a slew of millennial and young travelers. Besides the many gay bars and clubs in Miami Beach, there are even explicitly gay hotels such as The Gaythering.
More gay travel resources here.
Florida Hotel Deals
Florida has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. Summer months are the busiest in the Sunshine State and I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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