Florida is a land of a hundred worlds – from magic kingdoms and Latin American-inspired capitals to wild wetlands and mangrove islands to artists’ colonies. Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida, and SeaWorld Orlando bring in millions of tourists to the state each year. Travelers will appreciate culturally diverse and vibrant cities that provide their own unique history, energy, and opportunities for adventure.
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At a staggering 840 square miles, Jacksonville is the most populous city in the state of Florida and the largest by area coverage in the contiguous United States. The city is sprawled along three winding rivers with several sweeping bridges that span their waters. Jacksonville is a city that provides the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation, allowing its residents and visitors to decide just how active they want to be. This city features over 22 miles of pristine beaches, world-class fishing, an extensive park system, historic neighborhoods, delicious craft beer, creative coastal cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife. Travelers looking for an unforgettable trip in a trendy coastal city should look no further than Jacksonville.
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Miami is an internationally recognized city that is located on the southeastern tip of the state of Florida. It’s a city filled with beautiful, art-deco structures, sun-kissed beaches, and award-winning cuisine. With its burgeoning arts scene, endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, and blazing nightlife, residents and visitors are sure to always be having the time of their lives. Miami is a city brimming with fun and exciting attractions, including the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Miami Seaquarium, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Visitors can enjoy memorable adventures that range from manatee searches off of Virginia Key to sunset strolls along stretches of Mid-Beach.
3.Biggest cities in Florida: Tampa
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Tampa is a vibrant city that is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, surrounded by the shimmering waters of Tampa and Hillsborough Bay. Tampa is a city that features over a century of rich Cuban culture, family-friendly attractions, highly-acclaimed museums and art galleries, and world-class cuisine. Tampa has a wide variety of wonderful attractions for visitors to explore, such as the African-themed Busch Gardens adventure park, Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park, Henry B Plant Museum, and Florida Aquarium. The revitalized Riverwalk around the Hillsborough River glitters with scenic green spaces and contemporary architecture. No Tampa trip is complete without a visit to Ybor City – a National Historic Landmark District.
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Orlando is a Central Florida city that is home to over a dozen world-renowned theme parks. Some of those theme parks include SeaWorld Orlando, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, and Discovery Cove. Bay Lake is a smaller city that is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Orlando, containing the Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Magic Kingdom Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beyond theme parks, Orlando offers award-winning gastronomy, world-class accommodations, a vibrant museum and performing arts scene, several fantastic nature preserves and botanical gardens, and lovely tree-lined neighborhoods. Visitors will enjoy premier shopping, countless outdoor adventures, and a thrilling nightlife.
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Long recognized as a retirement capital and spring-break party town, St. Petersburg has begun forging a new identity as a culturally diverse, Central Florida city. St. Petersburg is situated on a peninsula that juts out between the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico; connected to the city of Tampa via several sweeping bridges. Visitors can peruse the city’s revitalized historic district, explore the stunning Dali Museum, and check out the awe-inspiring downtown murals. The city has recently spawned several craft breweries, sophisticated restaurants, artsy galleries, and bountiful farmer’s markets. St. Petersburg has several attractions for visitors enjoy, including Sawgrass Lake Park, the Sunken Gardens, and Museum of Fine Arts.
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Florida’s sixth-largest city, Hialeah is a bustling city that is part of Miami’s metropolitan area, just northeast of downtown Miami. The city features several green and scenic parks for its residents and visitors to enjoy, including Walker Park, Goodlet Park, Timothy H. Artman Park, Carl F. Slade Park, McDonald Park, and Amelia Earhart Park. Hialeah offers quite a few fun and exciting attractions for visitors to explore, such as the Hialeah Park Racing and Casino, the Leah Arts District, Garden of the Arts, Bucky Dent Water Park, and the AmerTec Building. Babalu Kafe is a must visit when in Hialeah, not only does this restaurant serve sensational Cuban food, it also turns into an electric club on the weekends.
7.Major cities in Florida: Tallahassee
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Primarily known for being the capital city of Florida, Tallahassee is where cultural center meets college town, performing arts meets politics, and nature meets history. Located in the very northern part of the state, travelers will discover it’s a shorter drive to Atlanta, Georgia, than to Miami, Florida. This city features many outlying attractions and interesting museums that appeal to both nature and history buffs. The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Mission San Luis de Apalachee, Cascades Park, Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, and St. Marks Lighthouse, should all be added to the itinerary of anyone wanting a feel for Tallahassee.
8.Port St. Lucie
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Less than an hour’s drive north of Palm Beach, Florida, Port St. Lucie is a thriving urban area that is located in the center of Florida’s Treasure Coast. Visitors will have the chance to partake in everything from hiking through environmental preserves to paddling down gentle rivers to taking in an MLB Spring Training game to riding horses along pristine beaches. The city provides a wide variety of dining and shopping opportunities for visitors to take advantage of. Port St. Lucie is also home to a number of popular area attractions, such as the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, Veterans Park at Rivergate, Oak Hammock Park, and the Treasure Coast Model Railroad Club.
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Located in the southeast part of Florida, just north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a city famous for its culture, arts, events, and most of all, beautiful beaches. The city boasts quite the international yachting scene, a myriad of Venice-like waterways, top-notch restaurants, and a plethora of spiffy new hotels. Visitors can enjoy everything from premier shopping on Las Olas Boulevard to romantic gondola rides through the city’s complex canal system. Fort Lauderdale features several exciting attractions that most visitors will want to see, including Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Historic Stranahan House Museum, Antique Car Museum, and Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
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Cape Coral is an energetic city that is located on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast, about two hours south of Tampa. Cape Coral is an appealing destination with its verdant golf courses, abundant family attractions, and renowned Gulf Coast beaches. With over 400 miles of complex canal systems, waters sports, fishing, and boating are among some of the top recreational activities in the area. There are several magnificent parks and preserves within close range of Cape Coral for visitors to explore, including the Yucca Pens United States Wildlife Management Area, Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve, Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park, and the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve.
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The city of Hollywood is comprised of 27 square miles of coastal landscape along the Atlantic Ocean in southeast Florida, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Hollywood Beach features a unique, oceanfront promenade that stretches a little over two miles in length along the beach, called the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk. The boardwalk offers an idyllic, palm-tree-lined place for walkers, joggers, and cyclists, to enjoy a bit of exercise amid a picturesque background. Hollywood is a city budding with a number of fascinating and beautiful attractions, including Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, the Anne Kolb Nature Center, Hollywood North Beach Park, and the Yellow Green Farmers Market.
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Located in Miami’s metropolitan area, Miramar is a growing city in southeast Florida between Hollywood and Hialeah. Miramar is within close proximity of several nature and wildlife preserves, including the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, Everglades Wildlife Management Area – Water Conservation Area, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Everglades National Park. There are a number of scenic parks within Miramar for visitors to check out, such as the Snake Warrior Natural Area, Miramar Pineland Park, River Run Park, and Miramar Regional Park. Some of the city’s top attractions include the Ansin Sports Complex, Monster Mini Golf, and the Sunset Lakes Community Center.
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Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a city where culture and nature come together in harmony, located in North Central Florida. This energetic college town provides a little change of pace from north Florida’s typical rural scenery. When in downtown, visitors will hear fun and funky music all around, enjoy fair-trade coffee, and find beautiful graffiti murals around every corner. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the convenient access to a number of hiking trails and the Santa Fe River. Gainesville features several interesting attractions for visitors to explore, such as the Butterfly Rainforest, Paynes Prairie, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, and Florida Museum of Natural History.
© Coral Springs, Florida Government
Coral Springs is a charming city that borders the Everglades Wildlife Management Area in southeast Florida, approximately five miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. It’s a short drive from Coral Springs to many other wildlife and nature preserves in the area, including the Everglades National Park, Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, and Big Cypress National Preserve. Visitors will appreciate the city’s close proximity to Hillsboro Beach, where they can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and surfing. Travelers who are visiting Coral Springs for the first time should make sure they check out the Coral Springs Museum of Art, Sawgrass Nature Center, and the picturesque Tall Cypress Natural Area.
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Situated about 12 miles east of Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres is a diverse community with approximately 80,000 residents in southwest Florida. The community boasts 16 lakes that are well-stocked with fish and over 175 miles of beautiful canals, providing an idyllic destination for both the beginner and experienced fishing enthusiasts. For a little change of pace, visitors can head to the nearby Gulf of Mexico for some saltwater fishing; they’ll find plenty of trout, snook, snapper, redfish, mackerel, and grouper there. Lehigh Acres also features four, top-notch championship golf courses, several community parks, walking and cycling paths, and community tennis courts. Travelers looking for a laid-back and affordable vacation destination should check out Lehigh Acres.
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Clearwater is a vibrant city positioned between the blue waters of Old Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico north of St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s known for its sandy Gulf Coast beaches and sunny weather. Clearwater Beach is located on a barrier island just off of the main land; this 3-mile stretch of beautiful, white sand beach is lined with several highly-acclaimed restaurants and hotels. There are a number of fun and exciting attractions in the area for visitors to enjoy, including the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Moccasin Lake Nature Park, Jolley Trolley, and Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise.
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Brandon is a growing community in Hillsborough County, situated just a few miles east of Tampa, Florida. Brandon features several scenic community parks for its residents and visitors to enjoy, including Lakewood Park, All Person’s Rotary Park, and Paul Sanders Park. Visitors will have the chance to squeeze in some shopping at Westfield Brandon Mall, grab a tasty pint of craft beer at Bootleggers Brewing Company, or enjoy a sensational meal at Jesse’s Steak and Seafood. With Tampa just a short distance away, visitors will have convenient access to even more attractions, such as Eureka Springs Park, Tampa Bay History Center, and Glazer Children’s Museum.
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Palm Bay is a colorful city situated along Florida’s eastern coast, nearly halfway between Daytona Beach and Port St. Lucie. Palm Bay offers plenty for visitors to see and do, including the Brevard Zoo, Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Ais Lookout Point Lagoon House, and Margaret Hames Nature Center. There are 21 unique and beautiful parks located in the city of Palm Bay, where visitors and residents can enjoy quiet picnics or enjoy recreational activities. Many of the parks are equipped with soccer, softball, and baseball fields, as well as tennis courts. Not far from Palm Bay, visitors can explore the Brevard Community College Planetarium & Observatory and Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex.
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Situated just north of Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach is a coastal city located in southeast Florida. The city is known for its offshore coral reef, beautiful marinas, and pristine, white sand beaches. Diving enthusiast will definitely want to add this city to their list of travel destinations, as it features numerous underwater shipwrecks of its coast, plus several other popular dive sites. Travelers visiting for the first time should take a stroll down the Pompano Municipal Pier and take in the breathtaking Atlantic Ocean views, laze the day away at Pompano Beach, and do some shopping at the Festival Marketplace.
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20.West Palm Beach
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Located in southeast Florida, West Palm Beach is a wonderfully vibrant city that is situated between Boynton Beach and Jupiter. With Lake Okeechobee about 20 miles to the northwest and the Atlantic Ocean just steps away, locals and visitors have a plethora of exciting water activities available to them. They can enjoy everything from boating to surfing to paddle boarding to scuba diving, and much, much more. West Palm Beach is home to a number of popular attractions, including McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Grassy Waters Nature Preserve, and Manatee Lagoon. Visitors can also discover trending restaurants in Northwood Village, Antique Row, and The Waterfront.
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Located approximately 35 miles east of Tampa, Lakeland is a blossoming city in Central Florida that is known for its early-1900s architecture and antique shops. The city is home to a large collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, the MLB’s Detroit Tigers Spring Training facilities, Circle B Bar Reserve, and Safari Wilderness. Lakeland offers a variety of fun things to do, such as shopping at the boutiques in the Dixieland Historic District, catching a movie at Polk Theatre, or exploring the vibrant Lakeside Village. Lakeland features several beautiful parks for its residents and visitors to enjoy, including the Hollis Garden, Common Ground Park, and Munn Park.
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Named after the Everglades Plantation Company, the city of Plantation, Florida, is located just west of Fort Lauderdale. What the city lacks in a large number of attractions, it makes up for with an extensive park system and plethora of opportunity for outdoor recreation. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the two championship golf courses located in Plantation; the Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club, and the Jacaranda Golf Club. The city also features a couple of fascinating museums; the Plantation Historical Museum and Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts. Visitors will enjoy short drives to popular, nearby attractions, including the Everglades National Park, Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, and Big Cypress National Preserve.
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Boca Raton is a beautiful, coastal city located in southeast Florida, between the cities of Delray Beach and Pompano Beach. The city is known for its pristine beaches, gorgeous parks, and championship golf courses. Visitors will enjoy wondrous art museums, fine hotels, and jazz clubs; concerts at Mizner Park, and countless family-owned boutiques. There are several outdoor recreational activities available for visitors to partake in, including surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, boating, fishing, golfing, and more. Some of the city’s top attractions include Sugar Sand Park, The Wick Theatre & Costume Museum, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Spanish River Park, and Red Reef Park.
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Daytona Beach is a popular destination city on Florida’s Atlantic coast, about 55 miles northeast of downtown Orlando. The city is home to the Daytona International Speedway, which is the proud host of the iconic Daytona 500 NASCAR race every year in February. Near the boardwalk’s arcade games and rides, the Daytona Beach Bandshell puts on free summer concerts for locals and visitors to enjoy. For fun with the whole family, visitors should head to Daytona Lagoon Water Park, where they’ll find lots of waterslides, laser tag, and go-karts. Visitors will have the chance to explore many more attractions, including the Richard Petty Driving Experience, Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Statue, and Museum of Arts and Sciences.
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A hidden gem in Palm Beach County, Florida, Delray Beach is a small waterfront city that is located along the state’s Atlantic coast. The city’s Grove Arts District is brimming with impressive galleries and public art. The Japanese Gardens and Morikami Museum offer calligraphy workshops, serene outdoor spaces, and tea ceremonies. This destination city features everything from sports to culture to shopping to arts to a vibrant nightlife. The white sand beaches and turquoise waters provide a real sense of paradise. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing at the beach, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, boating, and fishing. The Atlantic Dunes Park, Putt’n Around, and Gulfstream Park, are all attractions worth checking out.
25 of the Largest Cities in Florida
- Jacksonville, Photo: Courtesy of Jim Cox - Fotolia.com
- Miami, Photo: Courtesy of Roman Stetsyk - Fotolia.com
- Biggest cities in Florida: Tampa, Photo: Courtesy of THINK b - Fotolia.com
- Orlando, Photo: Courtesy of Tono Balaguer - Fotolia.com
- St. Petersburg, Photo: Courtesy of Michael O'Leary - Fotolia.com
- Hialeah, Photo: City of Hialeah - Municipal Government
- Major cities in Florida: Tallahassee, Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Boswell - Fotolia.com
- Port St. Lucie, Photo: Courtesy of Felix Mizioznikov - Fotolia.com
- Fort Lauderdale, Photo: Courtesy of dbvirago - Fotolia.com
- Cape Coral, Photo: Courtesy of murmakova - Fotolia.com
- Hollywood, Photo: Courtesy of icholakov - Fotolia.com
- Miramar, Photo: Courtesy of Fotolia.com
- Gainesville, Photo: Courtesy of jccain - Fotolia.com
- Coral Springs, Photo: Coral Springs, Florida Government
- Lehigh Acres, Photo: Courtesy of Iakov Kalinin - Fotolia.com
- Clearwater, Photo: Courtesy of Scott - Fotolia.com
- Brandon, Photo: Brandon Tourism
- Palm Bay, Photo: Courtesy of Thomas Barrat - Fotolia.com
- Pompano Beach, Photo: Courtesy of philipus - Fotolia.com
- West Palm Beach, Photo: Courtesy of kariochi - Fotolia.com
- Lakeland, Photo: Courtesy of Robert Hainer - Fotolia.com
- Plantation, Photo: City of Plantation Florida
- Boca Raton, Photo: Courtesy of ddmitr - Fotolia.com
- Daytona Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Tom Hirtreiter - Fotolia.com
- Delray Beach, Photo: Courtesy of ThierryDehove - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of SeanPavonePhoto - Fotolia.com