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15 Travel Tips for Florida (By a Local)

For over a decade I have called the Sunshine State home. During that time, I’ve garnered tips for Florida that will prove beneficial whether you’re relocating to the state or simply planning to vacation. In this quick article, I’ll give you the best travel tips for Florida. 

The state is diverse. It’s not all theme parks, beaches, and gators. The first Florida tip you should know is that from town to town and region to region things vary in more ways than one – you’ll want to plan accordingly based on where you’ll be visiting.

15 Travel Trips For Florida

Let’s explore the top tips for Florida that I’ve gained as a resident of the state. Each one might prove beneficial and make your visit or relocation more pleasant.

1. Visit During the Off-Season

A beautiful buildings, city lights and a river.

In 2026, 137.6 million people visited Florida, most of which will have been during the peak period (mid-December through to mid-April).

The most affordable time to visit is during the off-peak seasons, and who doesn’t want to save money? In the spring and summer, theme parks, beaches, and other locations are packed with tourists; meaning the cost of things is substantially jacked up. 

If this is your first time in Florida, visiting in October or February will give you the best chance of avoiding the crowds. You’ll find cheaper prices too.

2. Explore the State Parks

Everglades National Park, lake view, and pelican in bird sanctuary.

Florida is home to a mammoth 137 state parks. One of my biggest tips for your Florida vacation is to break out of the cycle of only going to theme parks and beaches, and instead, head to a state park.

Florida boasts numerous beautiful options to choose from such as Wekiwa Springs, Hillsborough River, and Little Manatee River State Park. Take time to explore the natural wonders, hiking trails, and wildlife in parks like the Everglades or the Florida Caverns State Park.

3. Pack Sun Protection

Bottle of Sunscreen Cream, Hat, Sunglasses, and Seashell on Pink Background.

There’s a reason why they call it the “Sunshine State”.

Florida is sunny almost year-round. Avoid uncomfortable burns from exposure and be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense sun, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors.

SEE ALSO: Best Time to Visit Florida (Weather and Costs)

4. Try the Local Cuisine

Cubanito. Traditional Cuban Sandwich with Ham, Pork, and Cheese.

Florida is known for its seafood. Don’t miss out on trying dishes like Key Lime Pie, Cuban sandwiches, and fresh grouper. Part of the fun of visiting the state is to try different foods. Check out this best restaurants in Orlando blog, or take a look at the many great dining choices in Tampa, here.

5. Experience the Theme Parks Wisely

Illuminated swing chain carousel in amusement park at night.

One of my biggest tips for Disney Florida is to book tickets in advance to save time and money. You’ll also want to arrive early to make the most of your day. This tip goes for ALL theme parks – not just Disney.

You don’t want to spend your time waiting in line; booking online will allow you to avoid frustrating waiting times, meaning more time for family fun.

6. Always Be Prepared for Rain

Traveler in heavy rain portable rain poncho.

Florida experiences sudden rain showers, especially in the summer. Carry a lightweight, portable rain poncho and keep your belongings in waterproof bags. Dressing to peel is your best bet when packing your wardrobe.

7. Stay Hydrated

Woman taking a break to drink from a water bottle while hiking.

The Florida weather can be hot and humid. Carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, especially if you’re spending time outdoors, or are traveling with young children.

8. Visit the Natural Springs

Kayaking the Ichetucknee River, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Florida.

Florida is home to stunning natural springs such as Ichetucknee Springs and Wakulla Springs. These natural wonders offer opportunities for swimming, kayaking, and wildlife watching. They’re an outdoor enthusiasts’ haven and offer one of the best free things to do in Florida.

SEE ALSO: 15 Best FREE Things To Do in Jacksonville (By a City Local)

9. Respect the States’ Wildlife

America alligator at Homosassa Spring, Florida. Gulf Coast states.

Florida is rich in wildlife, including alligators and manatees. In fact, Florida is one of the only places where crocodiles and alligators can be found living in harmony – fun fact! Admire them from a safe distance and never feed wild animals.

Remember, things to avoid in Florida often include the area’s natural habitats which can be dangerous.

10. Visit the Keys

Pink and White Coral reefs with blue small fish swimming around.

If you have the chance, visit the Florida Keys. Enjoy the scenic drive along the Overseas Highway, explore coral reefs, and indulge in fresh seafood. It’s a paradise for those who love exploring beneath the waves.

11. Stay at Unique Accommodations

A summer scene on the beach with cottages in a line.

Consider staying in beachfront cottages, treehouse resorts, or boutique hotels to enhance your Florida experience.

12. Learn About Space

Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center

Visit the Kennedy Space Center on the Space Coast to learn about NASA’s space missions. Make sure you check out their website, as you can even witness rocket launches if you time your visit right.

13. Attend Local Festivals

Outdoor music festival or concert: microphone with defocused audience

Florida hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from art and music to food and culture. Check local event calendars to add some unique experiences to your itinerary.

14. Respect the Environment

People Cleaning the Trash in Shoreline

Florida’s natural beauty is its biggest asset. Dispose of your trash responsibly, recycle, and participate in beach clean-up programs to help preserve the environment for future generations.

15. Explore More

Historic building built in 1887 in downtown St. Augustine, Florida.

While Florida is famous for its beaches, make time to explore other attractions like museums, art galleries, and historic sites to experience the state’s diverse culture.

FAQs: Tips for Florida

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about visiting Florida:

What is the best way to travel to Florida?

The best way to travel to Florida depends on your starting location, budget, and personal preferences. There are several ways to travel to Florida:
By Air: Flying is often the quickest and most convenient way to travel to Florida, especially if you’re traveling a long distance. Florida has several major airports, including Miami International Airport (MIA), Orlando International Airport (MCO), and Tampa International Airport (TPA).
By Car: If you’re traveling from nearby states or within Florida, driving can be a convenient option. Florida has well-maintained highways, and a road trip allows you to explore various destinations within the state.
By Train: Amtrak offers train services to Florida, with routes like the Silver Meteor and Silver Star connecting major cities like Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.
By Bus: Greyhound and other bus companies operate services to various cities in Florida. While it’s usually a more economical option, bus travel is likely to take longer than flying or driving.
By Cruise: If you’re traveling from a nearby cruise port, taking a cruise to Florida can be a unique and enjoyable experience. Florida has major cruise ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral.
By RV: If you enjoy a more adventurous travel experience, consider renting or traveling in an RV. Florida has numerous RV parks and campgrounds, allowing you to explore the state at your own pace.
Consider factors such as travel time, budget, convenience, and the overall experience you want to have when choosing the best way to travel to Florida.

What is so special about Florida?

It’s a diverse state with beaches, tourist hotspots filled with theme parks, small towns, thriving cities, and natural tropical beauty.

Is it worth going to Florida for a week?

Yes, you can easily enjoy a theme park, a day at the beach, and more during a week in Florida.

How much money should I bring to Florida?

The amount of money you should bring to Florida depends on your planned activities, travel style, and budget.

What is the best time to go to Florida?

The best time to visit Florida depends on your preferences and what you want to do during your trip. 

Florida experiences a tropical climate. The peak tourist season is during the winter (December to February) when the weather is mild and comfortable, especially in central and southern Florida. If you prefer warm weather without intense humidity, winter is an ideal time to visit.

Florida’s hurricane season runs from June to November. While hurricanes aren’t guaranteed during this time, it’s essential to be aware of the weather forecasts and consider travel insurance if you plan to visit during these months.

Florida hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival in the fall and the Daytona 500 in February. Check the event calendar to align your visit with festivals or events you’d like to experience.

The best time to visit Florida depends on your preferences for weather, crowds, and activities. Consider these factors and plan your trip accordingly to make the most of your visit.

In Closing

Yes, planning a trip to Florida can be an exciting adventure, but being well-prepared is key to making the most of your experience. By understanding the things to know before going to Florida, staying updated on Florida travel restrictions, and learning how to avoid crowds, you can blend in seamlessly with the locals and enjoy the state’s diverse attractions.

My most essential tips for visiting Florida: pack light, embrace the local culture, stay hydrated in the warm climate, and explore both the popular tourist spots and hidden gems. With these insights, your Florida journey is bound to be filled with unforgettable moments and cherished memories.

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