Top 11 best cities in Florida to vacation or live

If you planning to move to Florida, or visit Florida soon, you might be looking for a list of the best cities in Florida.


There are many things that come to mind when Florida is mentioned. From the Disney parks to amazing golden beaches, Florida is absolutely full of amazing cities and things to do. If you’re looking for a list of best cities in Florida, then this is the list for you!

With endless beaches, leisure activities and retail boutiques, it’s no wonder that Florida is one of the USA’s most visited states. 

However, you may be wondering what the best cities in Florida are. Whether you’re looking to plan a trip that doesn’t allow for every inch to be visited or you simply want to whittle down your options, simply read ahead for an in-depth view on the best cities in Florida!

the best cities in florida

St Augustine

First on my list of the best cities in Florida, it’s St Augustine! With amazing colonial architecture and lovely streets, St Augustine is one of the best cities in Florida for those that appreciate architectural beauty and culture. As the oldest European settlement in the US, this city exudes charm.

The Colonial Quarter is an amazing museum of history that introduces visitors to what life was like in the city from the 1500s through the 1700s. Home to several of Florida’s historic attractions (such as the Castillo de San Marcos and the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum), it’s no surprise that St Augustine is deemed one of the best cities in Florida for those looking for a taste of history. 

the best cities in Florida

West Palm Beach

Located on Lake Worth, West Palm Beach is packed with museums, fine dining spots and miles of sandy beaches. Appealing to both tourists and locals, West Palm Beach is one of the best cities in Florida for people looking to escape the pressures of modern life. If the beach doesn’t quite float your boat, never fear, for there’s still a bunch of stuff to do here. It’s no wonder this is regarded as one of the best cities in Florida.

The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium is extremely popular amongst families for its endless exhibits and underwater creatures. If you’re a fan of the majestic sea cow, you can also catch them at the Manatee Lagoon up-close and at no cost! 

list of the best cities in Florida

Tampa

An urban paradise that’s popular with everyone from students to retirees, Tampa is one of the best cities in Florida on account of its bustling nightlife and excellent cultural attractions. Though it’s lauded for its night scene, Tampa is also an amazing city to visit for families. A great choice for the best cities in Florida!

Animal lovers can visit the Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park or the Tampa Aquarium to sneak a peek at some manatees. Tourists can also visit Big Cat Rescue to bask in the majesty of Florida’s big cats. Families that are travelling with little ones might want to visit the Glazer Children’s Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry. With endless cultural attractions and things to do, Tampa is a must-visit for those heading to the Sunshine State. 

top best cities in Florida

St Petersburg

Next on my list of the best cities in Florida, it’s St Petersburg. Located close to Tampa is St. Petersburg, which tends to be popular amongst travellers looking for beaches and a temperate climate. With a beautiful pier, dockside shops and endless restaurants, St Petersburg is one of the best cities in Florida for a relaxed vacation.

If you fancy a trip to the beach, one of the best ones in the area is Indian Rocks Beach which tends to be frequented by Americans far and wide. One of the most popular things to do in St. Petersburg is taking boat tours around the area. With dolphin-spotting and eco-tours widely available, it’s no surprise that St. Petersburg is extremely popular!


Key West

Next on my list of the best cities in Florida, it’s Key West. With something for everyone, it’s no surprise that Key West is deemed one of the best cities in Florida. From party spots to amazing museums, this area is truly diverse. One of the most celebrated parts of Key West must be the beautiful Old Town. With amazing 19th-century architecture, it deserves a place on your itinerary. Some of the finest attractions here are Ernest Hemingway’s Home, the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, and the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.

With Key West home to a myriad of cultural offerings, you certainly won’t find yourself bored here. Seen as a place in Florida that everyone should visit at least once, it certainly deserves a place on our list of the best cities in Florida. 

best cities in Florida

Miami

One of Florida’s most famous cities, Miami is home to amazing beaches and a cracking social scene. An extremely lively and bustling area in Florida, it’s the perfect place for any tourist. Home to a vibrant arts scene and numerous museums, Miami is no stranger to culture. It’s no wonder this is one of the best cities in Florida.

Viewed by many as Florida’s ‘hippest’ city, this area is a true metropolis that’s home to some of the best nightlife in the word. Should you wish to have a more laid-back vacation, then head to Miami Beach. In contrast to South Beach’s pedestrian malls and entertainment district, Miami beach lets you chillax as you see fit. 

If you’re looking for the area’s historic attractions, head to Miami’s Flagler Street. However, if you’re looking for the high-end stores and upmarket eateries, then the Design District is the place to be. With cuisine and shopping that hail from around the globe, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this wonderful city that’s also one of the best cities in Florida.

what are the best cities in Florida

Naples

Known by some as Paradise Coast, this romantic spot in southwest Florida is home to over 90 golf courses and boasts some of the most stunning beaches around. So of course it had to make my list of the best cities in Florida.

With a laid-back vibe and million-dollar homes that are around every corner, this city is a fantastic place to visit for a taste of the lush life. With boutique shopping galore, this is also one of the best cities in Florida to shop-til-you-drop.

the best cities in Florida to live

Sarasota

Sarasota is a city south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and it’s simply beautiful, so a top pick for the best cities in Florida. Sarasota is a beautiful city, known for it’s idillic beaches and peaceful suburban feel. You’ll find a ton of wonderful things to do here – but I have to admit, one of the main pulls is the beach life – because the beaches are so utterly stunning in Sarasota, plus there are so many things to do in Sarasota too!

If you’re visiting Sarasota for a vacation, you’ll have your pick of beautiful boutique hotels, big beach hotels, and even family camping grounds and outdoor resorts.

the best cities in Florida for vacation

Dunedin

Dunedin is a city on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and it’s the perfect Floridian city for those who love the quiet life. It’s definitely one of the best cities in Florida! Why does this place make my list of the best cities in Florida? It’s packed full of stunning beaches, pine forests, and outdoor laid back lifestyle.

Dunedin is home to Honeymoon Island, which is actually on an island off the coast, and it’s linked to the mainland by the famous Dunedin Causeway. You’ll get amazing views of the St. Joseph Sound as you drive across, and it’s simply breathtaking. Definitely worth a visit, and certainly one of Florida’s best cities to live or vacation.

the best cities in Florida to visit

Destin

A small city with a population of only 12,000 (which is small compared to a lot of the other cities on this list). Destin is a gorgeous city, small in size but big in it’s appeal! You’ll find so many amazing beaches here, and for the golf fans, you’ll find plenty of golf courses too.

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is a highlight that you’ll want to visit, as is the Henderson Beach State Park (and the many trails you can do there). Destin is a city for people who love a quiet, laid back life. If you’re planning to vacation in Destin, then I recommend heading there in April or May when the temperature is gorgeous, but the humidity is mild. This is definitely one of the best cities in Florida!

the best city in Florida

Orlando

Finally, we can’t discuss the best cities in Florida without mentioning the tourist capital of the state. Home to the best theme parks in the world, Orlando is a characterful city that’s absolutely bursting with amazing things to do. Bring out the child in you with an amazing visit to Walt Disney World or Universal, where kids and adults alike are sure to have an amazing time. With endless rides, shows and merchandise, you’re sure to have a trip to remember. 

However, Orlando isn’t all about the theme parks. With charming boutiques and amazing restaurants littered all over Orlando, it’s an amazing place to visit even if you’re not interested in visiting Walt Disney World. As a mere example, Lake Eola is a beautiful place to relax and watch the world go by, and its surrounding neighbourhoods are equally picturesque. 

Though Orlando is certainly best known for its theme parks, don’t let that be the only thing on your itinerary!

the best cities in Florida USA

I hope that this guide to the best cities in Florida has been helpful!

With stunning sunshine and amazing things to do across the state, it’s no surprise that it remains one of the top tourist destinations in the US. So, what are you waiting for? Get planning!

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