So, where are the best places to stay in Florida? You have many coastlines to choose from in Florida, with the Gulf Coast, Atlantic Ocean, and Florida Straits around you. Located on a peninsula on the southern tip of the Continental United States, Florida has endless white-sand beaches, tropical islands, and national parks. It has that hot holiday getaway atmosphere – enticing for visitors chasing sand, sea, and sun.
Where to Stay in Florida – A Guide to the Best Places
The ‘Sunshine State’ is no stranger to fame. Florida is well known for its theme parks, sandy beaches with palm trees and sea turtles, and it’s even the birthplace of key lime pie.
There are so many choices when choosing where to stay in Florida. This guide will break things down city by city, giving you all the essential information like things to do and hotels to choose from in each place. These are the best places to stay in Florida. Let’s dive in.
If you are in a hurry:
1. Florida Keys: Best for Relaxing
The Florida Keys is one of the best places to stay in Florida if you want to unwind. The keys are full of gorgeous beaches and high-quality accommodation choices and are joined by the scenic 110-mile Overseas Highway. The region has over 800 keys, each with a distinct personality. You’ll have plenty of options to suit your own ideal way of relaxing.
For example, Key West is known for its lively Duval Street. Key West is ideal for those who love unwinding on beaches by day and tiki bars by night (check out our guide on things to do in Key West here). Whereas Key Largo is much quieter than Key West. Key Largo is best for those who want nature trails, dolphin encounters, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
The Florida Keys is where to stay in Florida for diverse relaxation options. Its array of different keys with its own personality has earned it a spot on our guide. However you like to relax, the Florida Keys will have a place for it.
Where to stay in the Florida Keys
You can check out our complete guide on where to stay in the Florida Keys, but these are our favorites.
Luxury: Little Palm Island Resort has a selection of luxe bungalows situated around a heated swimming pool. You can pull up a stool at the traditional beach bar – enjoying views over the ocean or the resort pool. Alternatively, treat yourself to a spa treatment or meal at the on-site restaurant. This secluded luxury resort is ideal for those wanting an ultimate stay in the Florida Keys.
Mid-range: Kimpton Lighthouse Hotel is a stunning boutique hotel. Guests can choose between a range of rooms and suites with tasteful decor. Your stay includes a complimentary continental breakfast and access to a swimming pool, bar, and cafe.
Budget: Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway is a fantastic, budget-friendly three-star hotel situated right on the bay. The property offers a fishing dock, boat rentals, and watersport activities. Guests get access to an outdoor swimming pool and spacious rooms, some of which have kitchens. It is the best spot in the Florida Keys for a cheap holiday by the ocean.
VRBO: Oceanfront Bungalow Haven – This dreamy property opens right onto the ocean. Guests have private use of their own dock, which features a swim ladder for easy access to the sea. You can bring your own boat or use the dock to store a rental boat – it is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the open waters.
Guests also receive access to the facilities of the bungalow’s gated community. There’s a heated swimming pool, kids’ pool, marina, sports courts, playground, and boat ramp. This vacation rental has a real resort atmosphere.
Things to do in Florida Keys
- Spend a day on one of the beautiful white sand beaches
- Take a road trip through the Overseas Highway
- Go Paragliding and feed the Tarpon in Islamorada
- Go scuba diving
- Explore Long Key State Park
- Visit the Southernmost point of the Continental United States
- Read our full guide: Florida Keys attractions from Key Largo to Key west at The Best Florida Keys Road Trip Itinerary
2. Miami – Best for First-time Visitors
Who doesn’t love Miami? Miami is the heart and soul of the Sunshine State. It is known for its picture-perfect beaches, vintage beach chairs, lifeguard towers, endless attractions, and thriving nightlife. It is one of those places where you can find a party wherever you go – a tiki bar, beach club, or hotel bar. Miami is such a classic spot in Florida that it was guaranteed a place on our list.
Miami is where to stay in Florida for first-time visitors. It still has those palm beaches and watersports, but it has a big city personality to match, with lots of urban attractions and things to do as well. First impressions count, and this is where Miami comes into its own.
Where to stay in Miami
Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club – This luxury hotel is set in Surfside, just north of central Miami. The Four Seasons Hotel chain needs little introduction, and this property does not let it down. Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club has three outdoor swimming pools, three restaurants, a spa, and beachfront access. For even more luxury, some rooms have private balconies, and some even have a private hot tub.
Mid-range: Sole Miami is a chic mid-range property with rooms and suites offering bay or ocean views. It is a classy, high-quality base for a stay in Miami. And, when they aren’t exploring Miami, guests of Sole Miami can enjoy a private beach, fitness center, Italian restaurant, and an on-site spa.
Budget: Viajero Hostels Miami is a beautiful, budget-friendly stay on Miami Beach. You are seconds away from the beach and have a bright, cheery range of dorms and private rooms. And, just in case you don’t want to walk to the beach, you have multiple outdoor swimming pools to choose between at Viajero Hostels Miami for a dip and a bar to socialize with new friends.
VRBO: Luxury Condo with Bay Views – This condo is a wonderful Miami base. With one bedroom and one bathroom, it is ideal for couples or solo travelers wanting the luxury of their own space. Its winning feature is its balcony – which overlooks Miami below with river and bay views. Guests also receive access to the apartment’s facilities. These include a gym and spa with a wet and dry sauna.
Things to do in Miami
- Visit South Beach and Miami Beach – Bathe under the Florida sun, admiring the classic lifeguard tower as you people watch along these famous Miami Beaches.
- Take a day trip to the Everglades National Park – see crocodiles and alligators as you take a jetboat through this incredible National park
- Visit the many art galleries and boutique shops in South Beach
- Read our full guide to Miami at 30 Fun Things to do in Miami, Florida
3. Orlando: Best for Families
Orlando is the perfect fun getaway in central Florida. The city has theme parks galore and a fast-paced excitement that is perfect for keeping you entertained. You could visit parks like Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Orlando, and you can check out our complete guide on things to do or our top three below. Orlando is a Florida destination where you’ll be busy from sunrise to sunset.
Orlando is fun for everyone, but it is especially where to stay in Florida for a family holiday. The theme parks are fantastic for entertaining kids, and Orlando’s fun nature has earned it a top spot in our guide.
Where to stay in Orlando
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes – The Ritz-Carlton Orlando is a fantastic luxury hotel. The hotel has a staggering eleven restaurants on-site, three outdoor swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, and a full-service spa. The Ritz-Carlton is set on 500 acres of private property – perfect for getting that secluded experience even in a big city.
Budget: Wyndham Garden Orlando Airport – An ‘informal’, budget-friendly property, Wyndham Garden offers excellent facilities. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, fitness room, restaurant, business center, and bar. Wyndham Garden Orlando Airport is a super practical and low-cost option, with optional extra services like an airport shuttle and breakfast.
Mid-range: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando – DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando is an excellent mid-range option. This property is located right by Universal Studios theme park and is a great place to enjoy park rides. It has plenty of facilities, including a pool and on-site restaurants.
VRBO: Surburban Oasis Suite – Out of all our vacation rentals, this property offers the most ‘leafy, suburban’ experience. The suite is extremely reasonably priced and includes access to a covered pool and spa. It is ideal for those who don’t necessarily require a full kitchen but just want the basics like a microwave and refrigerator.
It is a great place for peace and quiet after a day of theme parks and non-stop excitement.
Things to do in Orlando
4. Naples: Best for Golf Courses
Naples is a wealthy city on the Gulf Coast of Florida with beautiful beaches and golf courses. It is considered one of the top US golf destinations and popular among golf enthusiasts. You can hit high-end shopping centers, play a round or two, or relax on the beach for a day. Naples is a luxurious and sophisticated place to visit in Florida.
Primarily, Naples is where to stay in Florida for golf courses galore. The city has over ninety courses, so you’ll have plenty of choices. Even non-golfers can enjoy the abundant protected green space. And, if you get bored of golfing, you can head down the coast to Marco Island Historical Museum.
Where to stay in Naples
Budget: Collins Hotel Naples – Naples isn’t known for budget-friendly accommodation, so Collins Hotel Naples is the cheapest stay. The three-star property has a complimentary breakfast, which saves you money on eating out. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and complimentary wifi.
Mid-range: Park Shore Resort – Park Shore Resort is a fabulous mid-range property consisting of one and two-bedroom condos. Guests can enjoy a self-catered, homely experience, plus have access to a swimming pool and tropical gardens. The resort is ideal for those wanting more independence.
Luxury: The Escalante – The Escalante is a luxury hotel straight from the Mediterranean. It is a real luxurious retreat with a heated outdoor pool, spa, tropical garden, and jacuzzi. You can even request golf cart service when you head out to your course of choice.
VRBO: Fifth Avenue Condo – This condo has one of the best locations in Naples. You are situated right on the iconic Fifth Avenue with doorstep access to some of the best shops and restaurants. And beach lovers can rejoice; you are just minutes away from the beach – a dolphin spotting hot spot.
Things to do in Naples
- 1. Visit the museums
- 2. Take a trip to Sanibel Island – Sanibel Island was devastated after Hurricane Irma but the causeway will be reopening to the public in January 2023. While it will take years to recover, it’s opening means that people will be able to support local businesses. Staying overnight will still be awhile, but day trips will be welcomed.
- 3. Shop on Fifth Avenue South or Third Street South
5. Tampa: Best for Culture
Tampa is a real cultural hub on the Gulf Coast. A massive business center, Tampa is where networking and diverse cultural influences reign supreme. You’ll find foods from all over the globe and distinct neighborhoods like Ybor City, which was formed by Spanish and Cuban cigar factory workers. And, when you fancy a beach break, take a day trip to Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, or Lido Beach. Tampa’s action-packed, colorful character is what earned it its place on our list.
Tampa is where to stay in Florida for culture. Whether you want food, museums, or just a multicultural atmosphere, Tampa is ready to tick the box.
Where to stay in Tampa
Budget: Gram’s Place Bed and Hostel – Gram’s Place Bed and Hostel is a boho-style accommodation with reasonable rates and dorms or private rooms. The hostel is decorated with music memorabilia and has unique features like waterfalls and tropical walkways. For a quirky, budget-friendly base in Tampa, look no further.
Mid-range: Sleep Inn and Suites Tampa South – Sleep Inn and Suites Tampa South is a fantastic, modern two-star property priced ideally for mid-range budget levels. The inn features an outdoor pool and gym and offers a complimentary breakfast each morning. Simple and straightforward but also comfortable and well-located, Sleep Inn and Suites is a fantastic accommodation choice.
Luxury: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay – Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is heavenly. The hotel has a nature reserve with private nature trails, two swimming pools, and an Italian restaurant. Hyatt has the luxury appeal – with 35 acres of private waterfront grounds to enjoy.
VRBO: Downtown Apartment with Hillsborough River Views – This apartment is a beautiful riverside property. The property has a large bedroom, living area, and kitchen, plus a huge private balcony with fairy lights overlooking Hillsborough River. Don’t look any further if you want a peaceful place to stay in Downtown Tampa.
Things to do in Tampa
- 1. Visit the Tampa Museum of Art
- 2. Busch Gardens Theme Park
- 3. Spend time in Ybor City
6. Panama City: Best for Watersports
Panama City is located in northern Florida, on the Florida panhandle. It is best known for its world-class coastline and, with it, incredible watersports. Panama City is best for people who choose a paddleboard over a beach bar and is excellent for enjoying watersports all year round. It is akin to an ocean playground – whether you like kiteboarding, paddleboarding, sailing, snorkeling, or surfing. And one of the best places to visit in Panama City is obviously the beach.
Panama City is where to stay in Florida for water sports enthusiasts. If you love active things to do and ocean-related activities, Panama City won’t disappoint. And when it comes to marine animal encounters, avoid places like Gulf World Marine Park and focus on encountering animals ethically in the ocean – where they belong.
Where to stay in Panama City
Budget: Sleep Inn & Suites – Sleep Inn & Suites is a comfortable, smart-looking two-star hotel and a great budget-friendly option with impressively reasonable prices and equally impressive reviews. Guests receive a complimentary breakfast, access to an outdoor pool, and wifi.
Mid-range: Seychelles Beach Resort by Vacasa – Seychelles Beach Resort by Vacasa is a great mid-range choice in Panama City. It offers a range of vacation condos for a self-catered experience. Each condo has a balcony and kitchen, and guests can access two swimming pools.
Luxury: Grand Panama Beach Resort by Emerald View Resorts – Grand Panama Beach Resort by Emerald View Resorts is one of the most luxurious accommodation options in Panama City. The property offers high-quality, modern condos with balconies and ocean views. Guests have a tiki bar and a large swimming pool to enjoy.
VRBO: Beachfront Condo with Gulf Views – This gorgeous condo is where to stay in Panama City for Gulf views. You can admire the views from your private balcony or hop in the elevator to the beach. Guests receive access to three communal swimming pools and a gym. Parking can also be arranged if necessary.
Things to do in Panama City
- 1. Enjoy watersports on Panama City Beach
- 2. Visit Shipwreck Island Waterpark
- 3. Explore St. Andrews State Park
7. Fort Lauderdale: Best Small City Atmosphere
Fort Lauderdale has a slightly less touristy, quieter appeal than Orlando and Miami. Think of it as a smaller alternative. The city is most famous for its canal gondola rides and is nicknamed ‘Venice of America’. Fort Lauderdale is also packed with cultural attractions and recreational activities like shopping and nightlife. A solid all-rounder, its collection of good qualities earned it a place on our list.
Fort Lauderdale is where to stay in Florida for the best small-city atmosphere. It might not be the ‘smallest city’ officially. Still, it offers a great alternative to some major cities like Miami.
Where to stay in Fort Lauderdale
Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel And Residences Fort Lauderdale is a brilliant five-star hotel right on the coastline. The beachfront property has a spa, two swimming pools, and an on-site restaurant. Four Seasons is a fabulous place to stay in Fort Lauderdale, with dramatic ocean views and glamorous decor.
Mid-range: Snooze Hotel is a cheerful mid-range base in Fort Lauderdale. Its winning feature is its rooftop terrace, which offers stunning views of the city and ocean. Guests can choose from a range of rooms, some of which have kitchens.
Budget: Ocean Beach Club is reasonably priced and located right on the coastline. And, with a heated outdoor pool and comfortable rooms, what more could you want? This property is the best in Fort Lauderdale if a low price is essential.
VRBO: Corner Unit with Ocean Views is one of this guide’s most scenic vacation rentals. It is situated right on the beachfront, overlooking the ocean. You can admire the sea from your comfortable, modern sitting room or private balcony. The single bedroom also features two king-sized beds – perfect for a small group of friends.
Things to do in Fort Lauderdale
- 1. Shop on Las Olas Boulevard
- 2. Take a gondola ride on the canals
- 3. Visit the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
8. West Palm Beach: Best for a Beach Town Vibe
West Palm Beach is one of the most town-like coastal cities in Florida. It has a laidback atmosphere and plenty of waterfront parks and beach access where you can reconnect with nature. It is a beautiful, clean place to stay in Florida. It has plenty of cultural attractions, including a performing arts center.
West Palm Beach is where to stay in Florida for a beach town atmosphere. Cool, calm, collected, and fun-loving.
Where to stay in West Palm Beach
Budget: Economy Inn West Palm Beach – Economy Inn West Palm Beach is a straightforward accommodation option – minimal price and minimal fuss. The one-star property is ideal for those wanting budget accommodation, and each room features a mini fridge and microwave – perfect for saving on eating out.
Mid-range: Sabel House Bed and Breakfast – This historical 1936-built property is a fantastic mid-range property in West Palm Beach. Sabel House Bed and Breakfast has vintage decor and refined rooms. It even serves afternoon tea for the ultimate vintage experience.
Luxury: The Breakers Palm Beach – Prepare to be amazed by this luxury resort. The Breakers Palm Beach is designed in Italian-renaissance style, with private beach access, two golf courses, four swimming pools, and nine different on-site restaurants. The property has a real wow factor.
VRBO: Tropical Cottage near the Beach – This cottage is a homely and boutique place to stay in West Palm Beach. The property features a pool, garden, spa, and a single master bedroom with one bathroom, perfect for a romantic couple’s getaway. Quaint and comfortable, it is also ideally located on Antique Row – a historical neighborhood in West Palm Beach.
Things to do in West Palm Beach
- 1. Relax on Palm Beach
- 2. Spend a day at the Norton Museum of Art
- 3. Walk through Grassy Waters Preserve
9. Jacksonville: Best on a Budget
Jacksonville is located in north Florida, right near the Georgia border. The city is a brilliant all-rounder and has lower prices than some more touristy cities like Miami. Jacksonville is a great spot to stay in Florida if you want more bang for your buck. Plus, it has a fantastic location on the Atlantic Ocean coastline – perfect for beaches and watersports.
Jacksonville is where to stay in Florida for good value for money. If you are on a budget, it is one of the best places to stay in Florida.
Where to stay in Jacksonville
Budget: Sonesta Simply Suites Jacksonville – Sonesta Simply Suites Jacksonville is an ‘unfussy’ accommodation choice just outside of central Jacksonville. The property boasts a gym, free parking, and spacious rooms – ideal for quality on a budget.
Mid-range: Marriot Jacksonville Downtown – Marriot Jacksonville Downtownis a wonderful mid-range option. The rooftop swimming pool is the property’s best feature, but it also has a fitness room, bar, and bistro. It is ideal for visitors who love beautiful beaches but prefer a trendy, upmarket downtown base – surrounded by art galleries rather than seagulls.
Luxury: Ponte Vedra Inn & Club – Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a high-caliber five-star resort. The resort features a spa, four swimming pools, a golf course, and tennis courts. The expanse of private land is a perfect base for a real sense of seclusion and luxury.
VRBO: Historical Jacksonville Home – This house is one of the most spacious vacation rentals in this guide. The property sleeps up to six guests across three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It has a glamorous, upmarket appeal and is ideal for groups looking for a luxurious VRBO base in Jacksonville.
Things to do in Jacksonville
- 1. Visit Kingsley Plantation
- 2. Spend a morning at Shipwreck Island Waterpark
- 3. Visit the historic downtown Fernandina Beach
Now that we’ve covered where to stay in Florida let’s look at some essential FAQs. It pays to be prepared.
What is the best month to go to Florida in?
The best month to visit Florida is March or April. Visiting Florida during summer is not only during the rainy season but also runs the risk of hurricanes. By visiting in spring, you still have warm temperatures (often hitting 80 Fahrenheit), and you’ll have drier weather and fewer risks of hurricanes.
What is the most beautiful place to stay in Florida?
The Florida Keys win this title. Florida is so beautiful that it is a tough question. Still, the Florida Key’s beaches and wildlife earn it that top spot as the most beautiful place to stay.
What are the best hotels in Florida?
The best hotels in Florida are Four Seasons Miami, Orlando Ritz Carlton, and Four Seasons Hotel And Residences Fort Lauderdale. Florida has many fantastic hotels, though; you can narrow it down by choosing your ideal budget level and region. Subject to
What are the best places to stay in Florida for beaches?
The best places to stay in Florida for beaches are the Florida Keys, Miami, and West Palm Beach. The Florida Keys have remote white sand beaches that stay relatively empty – especially out of peak season. Miami’s beaches are full of life and city energy, while West Palm Beach has a much quieter beach town vibe. Read more: 23 Best Beaches in Florida for Fun in the Sun
What are the best places to stay in Florida for a family?
Orlando and West Palm Beach are the best places to stay in Florida for a family. Orlando is full of theme parks, while West Palm Beach has a laidback, family-friendly atmosphere.
Feeling inspired about your upcoming trip? Whether you choose Key West, a classic getaway to Miami Beach, or a holiday full of theme parks in Orlando, you’ll have a fantastic time. Florida has an infectious personality. You’ll feel right at home amongst the palm trees, sandy beaches, golf courses, and theme parks.
For more inspiration, you can read our guides on the best places to visit in Florida, the best beaches in Florida, and, if you are a race car fan, things to do in Daytona Beach. We hope you have an exciting stay in the Sunshine State.
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