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How to Choose the Right Destination in Florida

Where to find your Sunshine State fix for coastal hot spots, trendy nightlife and family-friendly fun

A long pier juts over the water in Florida

Whether you’re craving pristine beaches, seeking an action-packed weekend, or looking for a kid-friendly getaway, Florida has something for everyone. Here are our favourite destinations to inspire your next trip.

For culture and entertainment: Miami

A classic car and a modern car are parked out front of the Avalon Hotel in Miamia

From May through September, Miami is Florida’s hottest beach destination. Known for its stunning shores, bustling nightlife, flavourful cuisine and art-deco design, Miami is the ultimate spot for those who enjoy the arts, clubbing and coastal reprieves. Wake up to a strong Cuban coffee and end the night with a splashy cocktail in South Beach.

For kids (and kids at heart): Orlando

A child holds hands with a woman dressed as Mary Poppins at Disney World in Orlando

Whether you’re travelling with kids or just a big kid yourself, Orlando is a great base for a fun-filled Floridian getaway. Book a self-catering apartment or stay in a hotel on site as you explore more than a dozen theme parks, among them Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There’s plenty of magic to be found in attractions from rides and live-action shows to exotic animals and real-life versions of animated characters.

For beautiful beaches and great shopping: Sarasota

A sign welcomes visitors to Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota offers the perfect combination of beach-holiday bliss and small-town charm. The city is located near Siesta Key, consistently voted one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches, and is a short drive from St. Armands Circle, an upscale shopping area teeming with boutiques and restaurants. Sign up for an eco-boat tour at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium to learn about marine life and preservation efforts in the region.

For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts: Fort Myers

A starfish rests on the sand

Search for starfish on the ocean floor and stroll the beach for sand dollars in Fort Myers, the ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Head to Manatee Park and try your luck at spotting one of the country’s cutest animals. From there, drive west and spend a day on the islands of Sanibel and Capitiva, where you’ll find another 24 kilometres of unspoiled beaches, 40 kilometres of bike paths and 230 species of birds.

Taking off for Florida?

Here’s how to get cheap internet access when you travel, and the eight things you should do now for the best family trip to Disney World.

Plus, find out how CAA Travel can help you plan your perfect Florida vacation and how CAA Travel Insurance can keep you covered on the beach and beyond.

Headed for a theme park? Get Member-exclusive benefits on tickets with CAA.

Image credits: istock.com/lightkey, istock.com/Meinzahn, istock.com/smckenzie, istock.com/TriggerPhoto, alamy.com/Tammy Camp