Written by Bram Reusen. This was previously posted here.
You might be dreaming about warmer places in this most wintry of seasons. I know I am! So if you’re fantasizing about lazing on a soft beach, enjoying some hot sun rays, and exploring a new region, you might want to consider going to Florida on your next trip. Florida is the quintessential beach destination in the United States. This peninsular state is literally lined with beautiful sandy beaches and characterized by year-round great weather.
There are several potentially amazing places in Florida to visit; because of the state’s long and narrow shape, surrounded by water on three sides, you’ll never be far from the ocean. Take a look at the following great cities in Florida to visit.
Situated on the northeast coast of the state, Panama City is home to no fewer than 27 miles of perfect beaches. Its location on the Gulf Coast offers visitors the opportunity to go fishing, swimming, boating and other water sports. Additionally, its nearby amusement parks and stunning sandy beaches make it a favorite destination for families. Moreover, the many Panama City hotels and motels cater to each and every budget!
Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida, population-wise. But that’s not what makes it a great city to visit. Gorgeous beaches, a vibrant downtown, and the fact that it’s the home base of one of America’s most popular sports teams attracts so many tourists to Jacksonville. Set on the banks of the St. John’s River and home to a magnificent harbor, this is a great vacation destination. There are many excellent hotels in Jacksonville, perfect places to use as a base.
Although Gainesville may not be located on the coast, it does make for a nice place to stay. The main attraction is the great outdoors, while Florida’s world-class beaches are only a short drive away. Gainesville is home to beautiful nature parks, wonderful hiking trails, rivers on which you can canoe and kayak, and a couple of state parks. Outdoor activities include everything from hiking and cycling to bird-watching, fishing, and even snorkeling. After a day outdoors, freshen up in your Gainesville hotel before heading out again to explore the downtown and its nightlife.
Pensacola Beach is ideally located on the northern Gulf Coast, separated from the Gulf of Mexico by Santa Rosa Island. That narrow island protects the beaches and shallow waters, making it a truly superb destination for a beach vacation. In addition to the fantastic Historic Pensacola Village museum complex—Pensacola Beach was one of North America’s very first European settlements—the beaches in and around the city are among Florida’s greatest. As is the case in most coastal cities in Florida, there are countless hotels in Pensacola Beach as well.
A popular destination among fishing enthusiasts, sunbathers, and shopaholics alike, Fort Myers is blessed with superb weather, amazing beaches, and a bustling downtown; of course, there’s also a wide selection of hotels in Fort Myers to choose from. In addition to many great restaurants and bars, and family-oriented attractions, make sure to visit the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.
Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Hipmunk.