It’s hardly a struggle to see why Florida is a hit with holidaymakers. Even hearing the state mentioned in passing could immediately bring to your mind imagery of beautiful beaches, exciting theme parks and a vibrant nightlife. However, where would you stay on a Florida getaway?
This question should be no afterthought; after all, as The Telegraph points out, Florida exceeds a combined England and Wales in size. Furthermore, different parts of Florida can noticeably vary in their offerings (Miami, Jacksonville, or Fort Lauderdale anyone?!). So, if it’s a villa you want to book, what location should you choose for it?
It’s an obvious choice of accommodation spot in Florida, but we reckon that it would be remiss of us not to highlight it. The city attracts most of the over 90 million people who annually visit Florida. Certainly, if you are eager to sample theme parks, you probably couldn’t choose a better place for your villa – not just in Florida, but also the wider world. Read our full list of the Best Things to do in Orlando for adults here.
STAY IN ORLANDO FOR: Walt Disney World (+ find out the Best Disney Snacks to eat while you’re there!); Universal Studios, Kennedy Space Center, Gatorland, The Blue Man Group
RELATED: Did you know I used to live at Walt Disney World?! Read about how I didn’t quit my job to travel here.
Given its name, you shouldn’t be particularly surprised that there are many nearby places where you can enjoy getting wet. Those include 16 coastal communities cited by The Independent; look for the secluded Caladesi Island and, if you are visiting from Scotland, a taste of home at Dunedin.
Before heading off to those communities, however, it’d be worth stopping by Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where you can see the cute – and well-known – dolphin resident Winter.
STAY IN CLEARWATER FOR: Beach days, Fishing, Boat Tours, Dolphin Spotting
– The Ultimate Florida Bucket List: 20+ Incredible Things to do in Florida
– Best Things to do in Orlando for Adults (That Aren’t Theme Parks) + Orlando Travel Tips
– The Best Road Trips in Florida to see more of the Sunshine State
– Incredible Day Trips from Orlando Florida
As a city, Clearwater is twinned with the nearby St Petersburg – which, in its own right, is worthy of visiting and staying in. It’s especially worth checking out for the Salvador Dalí Museum – or “The Dalí”, as it is better known. Aptly, it’s in a very unconventional-looking building that we can’t help thinking would have made the Spanish surrealist artist himself proud.
STAY IN ST PETERSBURG FOR: Salvador Dali Museum, Sunken Gardens, Museum of Fine Arts, Egmont Key State Park and National Wildlife Refuge
This major city had its genesis during the Seminole wars of the nineteenth century. Thankfully, though, the scene is much less volatile in Florida these days – and, rather than a mere frontier fort as it was in its early years, Tampa is now a cosmopolitan and vibrant community.
The city’s particularly exciting attractions include Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens theme park and Florida Aquarium, while history buffs should be content with the old quarter known as Ybor City.
STAY IN TAMPA FOR: Busch Gardens, Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo, Museum of Science and Industry (and if you plan on doing all these things, the Tampa Pass would save you money!)
This is the name given to a coast that lines Naples and Marco Island and can be found if you drive south along Highway 75. The coast has a chilled-out atmosphere which can largely be attributed to the area’s popularity with honeymooners during the summer and retirees in winter.
Beaches are, of course, abundant on this coast – but you also shouldn’t overlook the various restaurants, spas and retail opportunities. Paradise Coast is a great place to warm up, too, as it has an average temperature of 29°C and, annually, 360 days of sunshine.
STAY AT PARADISE COAST FOR: The Beaches, The Everglades, Corkscrew Swap Society, Naples Botanical Garden
Deciding where to select for your accommodation location can be tricky – particularly if you will have an entire family in tow and, as a result, people whose interests significantly vary. While those may include kids who don’t want to miss out on the theme parks, you and the other adults might instead favour somewhere to enjoy peace and quiet rather than bustling crowds.
Fortunately, you can enjoy the best of both worlds if you stay at Kissimmee. It’s practically right next to Walt Disney World, but remains extraordinary in itself, as the Daily Mail reports. That news outlet’s article can give you just an idea of the variety to be enjoyed on Florida villa holidays that have roots in the Kissimmee area.
STAY IN KISSIMMEE FOR: Walt Disney World; Universal Studios, Golf, Lego Land, Kennedy Space Center, Gatorland, Old Town, The Blue Man Group
That’s a wrap folks, I hope you enjoyed our guide to the best Florida neighborhoods for your next vacation.
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