- Best Destin Beaches
- Top Sandestin Restaurants
- What to Do in Disney When it Rains
- Long Term Rentals in Key Largo
For a general guide to the area and where to book a rental, read on...
Florida Attractions & Rentals Guide
The best Florida vacations are the ones spent in a vacation rental - whether you're visiting Disney World with the kids, or Key Largo with your spouse, we've got the perfect accommodation for you. Before booking your getaway to the Sunshine State, check out the great Florida vacation ideas listed above. For a specific guide to the state, read on.
If you'd rather watch the view than tackle it on your surfboard, Florida Gulf Coast vacation rentals are the way to go. Of course water sports are a main attraction here, but the calm, emerald green waters are certainly a sight for sore, urban eyes, and especially kid-friendly. And they're invitingly warm, too; it's no wonder wintertime is still hopping on the Gulf Coast. Choose from rentals in the Central or Southern part of the Gulf.
Central Gulf Coast
- Clearwater offers up one of the best beaches in the Gulf of Mexico, but it's not just the pristine shores that bring travelers here. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater Jazz Festival, and fun year-round events on Pier 60 are major crowd drawers.
- Indian Rocks Beach, on the other hand, isn't heavy on the attractions side, but that's part of its appeal. Located on a barrier island, it makes for a great ultra-private getaway, and other busier cities are always close by.
- Indian Shores is another quiet Gulf Coast vacation spot, and home to the Seabird Sanctuary.
- Madeira Beach offers up the John's Pass Village and Boardwalk, with great shopping and dining options all in one spot. Fishing is king here!
- St Petersburg offers up some of the warmest and most swim-friendly weather on the Gulf. Pair that with sophisticated attractions like the Salvador Dali Museum, and the Florida Holocaust Museum, as well as natural ones like the Sunken Gardens and Fort de Soto Park, and you've got one of the best Florida vacations on your hands.
South Gulf Coast
- Anna Maria Island is about as laid-back as it gets, and what else would you expect from a barrier? In between beach bumming and spa treatments, check out the Amelia Island Historical Museum.
- Cape Coral is the perfect family vacation spot, as in addition to its gorgeous beaches and opportunities for water sports, it also offers up a nice mix of attractions, from the Sun Splash Family Water Park to the Cape Oaks Golf Course to the Cape Coral Historical Museum.
- Longboat Key is a favorite among luxury seekers; think fancy French meals at the Maison Blanche Restaurant, games of golf right along the Gulf of Mexico at the Islandside Golf Club, and extra-accommodating rentals.
- Sanibel Island is one of the Florida Gulf Coast's most charming destinations - search for seashells alongside other collectors at the Sanibel Stoop, shop on Periwinkle Way, watch the sun set at Bowman's Beach, and take a snapshot in front of the Sanibel Island Lighthouse.
- Sarasota offers up a lot more than Siesta Key beach, like the Sarasota Jungle Gardens and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
- Fort Myers Beach almost feels like an Atlantic Coast destination, as Lover's Key State Park is a magnet for fun-in-the-sun seekers. Go bird watching, parasailing, jet skiing, or bring your pet along for the fun at Dog Beach! Other attractions include the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center.
- Naples is conveniently sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and the Everglades National Park. If its nature and wildlife you're into, check out the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the Naples Botanical Gardens, and the Naples Zoo. For plain old waterfront fun, head to Naples Pier.
- Marco Island, also located by the Everglades National Park , is your intro to Florida's Ten Thousand Islands, and although it's a touristy town, it features some of the Gulf Coast's most unspoiled and beautiful beaches. As far as Florida vacations go, it doesn't get much more peaceful than this.
Located in Northwest Florida, this section of the Sunshine State offers up the beautiful waters of the Gulf Coast, as well as unique Southern culture.
- Cape San Blas is home to the St Joseph Peninsula State Park, one of the best beaches in North America.
- Destin is a dream-come true for beach lovers, golfers, and anglers. Henderson State Beach Park features some of the most scenic and inviting beaches, and there are many spots to fish here - from the Village at Baytowne Wharfe to Destin Harbor. There's even the Destin History & Fishing Museum. Finally, championship courses at the Kelly Plantation Golf Club and Emerald Bay Golf Club provide a fun challenge.
- The Beaches of South Walton are great for travelers who are water and/or golf-focused. The Santa Rosa Beach and Rosemary Beach are some of the top beaches here.
- Pensacola Beach rentals are located near the National Aviation Museum, the Pensacola Lighthouse, the Civil War's Fort Pickens, historic Pensacola Village, and of course plenty of oceanfront fun (visit the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier).
- Panama City Beach is probably the most happening Panhandle destination. Although college kids crowd the beaches in Spring Break, the rest of the year is great for a family visit. Enjoy attractions like the Panama City Beach Winery, Wonderworks, Shipwreck Island, and more!
For Florida vacations that are decidedly more action-packed than the Gulf Coast, head to the Atlantic Coast. Here the waters are rougher, and so a lot more inviting to surfers, water skiers, and the like. As well, you've got everything from glamorous nightclubs to fun family attractions to choose from! Visit the North, Central, or South.
Central Atlantic Coast
- Cape Canaveral is home to the Kennedy Space Center, the Manatee Sanctuary Park, and Funntasia Fantasy Park, making for a vacation the kiddos will remember forever.
- Cocoa Beach enjoys easy access to Florida destinations with lots of attractions, but is great if you want to get away from it all, too.
- Daytona Beach is packed with things to do on and off the water, with special appeal for teens and NASCAR fans. Some highlights include the Richard Petty Driving Experience, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500, Congo River Adventure Golf, and the Marine Science Center.
- New Smyrna Beach provides a nice escape from crowded Florida attractions, with an emphasis on beachside leisure (check out Apollo Beach).
- Palm Coast is one of the more unique beach towns on the Atlantic Coast. Along with its renowned golf courses, like the Ocean Hammock Golf Club and the Palm Coast Resort Golf Club, Palm Coast also features the Let's Play Indoor Playground and the Florida Agricultural Museum.
South Atlantic Coast
- Miami is one of those must-see destinations. Enjoy the beaches by day, and the nightlife and bars of South Beach by night. There's a lot of sun and culture to soak up here! Some highlights include the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, the Miami Zoo, Gator Park, the Art Deco District, and Little Havana.
- Palm Beach is full of things to see and do besides the Atlantic Ocean, especially if you've got some money to spare - like the Flagler Museum, the super luxurious Mar-A-Logo spa from Donald Trump, and Worth Avenue, a shopping mecca. Don't miss out on the nightlife, like the Leopard Lounge. featuring hot dance clubs
- Fort Lauderdale is certainly one of Florida's biggest draws, with an alluring beachfront, shops and restaurants on Las Olas Boulevard, the beautiful Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, and loads of water sport rentals.
North Atlantic Coast
- Amelia Island is a gentle, family-friendly destination, with cool natural attractions like Fort Clinch State Park, the Kelly Seahorse Ranch (offering horseback rides), as well as some great golf courses at the Amelia Island Plantation and more.
- St Augustine Beach is your typical sleepy beach town, so if your game is golf (the St Augustine Beach Shores Golf Club is one of many options) and your style is laid-back, this is a great choice for Florida vacations.
Central Florida Keys
- Marathon gives you a chance to catch a glimpse of sea turtles at the Turtle Hospital and Seven Mile Bridge, or great game fish - from tarpon to sailfish.
- Key Colony Beach is a popular spot for divers, featuring the Deep Blue Dive Center and the Sombrero Reef. In between trips to the beach, check out the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center.
Lower Florida Keys
- Key West gives travelers the opportunity to kick it up a notch even as the sun sets, with loads of exciting nightlife options. Top attractions include the Key West Aquarium, the Key West Shipwreck Museum, and the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum.
- Cudjoe Key is great if all you plan to do is lay around the beach or play on the water. It's still close to other Lower Keys attractions, and even Miami, though, for those days when you want to vary your itinerary.
Upper Florida Keys
- Key Largo is the ultimate diving destination of the Keys, featuring the Sea Dwellers Diver Center and the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, as well as lots of chances to meet marine life, like at Dolphin Cove.
- Islamorada attracts a mix of scuba divers, anglers, and average beach goers. If you've got little ones, make sure to stop by the Theater of the Sea on Islamorada and the quiet Annie's Beach. Scuba lovers should check out the History of Diving Museum, while those interested in fishing will enjoy Sea Horse Private Charters and the Bud n' Mary's Sportfishing Marina.
Disney and Orlando Area
Maybe you want to stay right by the Disney World theme parks, or right by Universal Studios. Whatever the case, by booking a Disney or Orlando area rental, you'll never be too far from family fun. If you'd like to enjoy the attractions outside this specific area, which include everything from Kissimmee's Old Town to Lake Davenport, book a rental in cities like Kissimmee, Davenport, or Clermont. Otherwise, stay close to it all with an Orlando rental.
The Villages, and More
Besides Disney, Central Florida offers up many quiet lake towns. Vacation rentals at the Villages are especially popular.
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