Between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, it’s beach season year round in the state of Florida. Relax by the pool, sun yourself on the yacht or take a shopping spree in the many open-air plazas. For fun with the family, Florida is also home to a number of exciting theme parks. These are our picks of things to do in some of Florida’s top cities.
When it comes to high-end shopping, Naples is the place to be. Waterside Shops houses top luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Max Mara as well as department stores Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Relax with a spa treatment after visiting the stores on Fifth Avenue South, shop small boutiques along the water at the Village Shops on Venetian Bay or stop by Marissa Collections at Third Street South.
After some retail therapy, take in the natural beauty of Naples with a visit to the Naples Botanical Garden to see what’s in bloom. Walk the historic Naples Pier for views of the open ocean, then take your pick of Vanderbilt, Clam Pass or Lowdermilk Park beach among other local favorites for toes in the sand. Many boat tours, such as Naples Water Tours, are offered with the chance of seeing dolphins and wildlife up close in this Florida destination. A visit to nearby Marco Island is also worth the trip for golfers and fishermen.
For museums, Palm Cottage is the oldest house in Naples and offers public tours. Exhibits at The Baker Museum will be enjoyed by art lovers, while the The Revs Institute will delight the car enthusiast.
Family-friendly Orlando is famous for its incredible theme parks. Walt Disney World is inarguably the most recognizable, comprising four separate parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom) as well as two water parks (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach). Attractions range from magical kiddie rides to adult thrillers like the Tower of Terror. Enjoy live stage shows of favorites like Beauty and the Beast, dine at one of the many in-park restaurants and stay until the evening to watch a breathtaking fireworks show over the park.
The literary-minded have flocked to Universal Studios Florida in recent years to pay a visit to its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a tribute to the beloved book series. Experience all the charm of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and shop for your wizarding wardrobe. Universal Studios brings an array of classic movies to life through rides, such as Despicable Me, E.T. and The Mummy. The full Universal Studios comprises Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay parks.
Rides and attractions with a marine theme can be found at SeaWorld Orlando where visitors can take an underwater tour of shark tunnels or watch sea lions play during a trainer show.
Beach by day and club by night is the typical Miami itinerary. Sailing, diving, fishing and water sports are just part of the fun in this vibrant city. Expansive Miami Beach Central is ideal for sun soaked walks and relaxing afternoons under an umbrella, often referred to as the quieter sister to South Beach. White sand Sunny Isles beach is also a favorite for its clear water that welcomes snorkelers.
Luxury shopping is at its best in Bal Harbour Shops which feature high-end brands such as Chanel, Bulgari, Chopard and Graff. The trendy Design District also offers a variety of stores as well as stunning art galleries and design showrooms.
For more things to do in Florida, check our our Guide to Palm Beach.