Traveling solo can be an empowering adventure that delivers a life-changing experience of self-discovery. It’s hard to beat the Sunshine State when it comes to destinations that are almost purpose-built to accommodate the journey of the solo traveler. Florida’s picturesque coastlines, pristine beaches, vibrant cities, and diverse landscapes are waiting for you to explore.
One of the best things about traveling alone is that you can create and change your itinerary at your discretion. Savor local cuisine, explore national parks, or simply lie on a beach soaking in the sun. It’s virtually impossible to create a list of places to visit that fully captures what Florida has to offer.
The following are, however, destinations that should be at the top of your Florida solo travel bucket list.
1. Florida Keys
The Florida Keys is the ideal location if you are looking to immerse yourself in outdoor activities or just do nothing at all. The southernmost point of the United States is a perfect blend of idyllic landscapes and breathtaking beaches. Find a nice place on the beach and dig into your favorite book as the endless turquoise waters form an otherworldly backdrop.
If you have been bitten by the adventure bug, there are a plethora of diving, snorkeling and fishing excursions to choose from. Sample Key West’s famous key lime pie, head out to Dry Tortugas National Park or drive to Big Pine Key, Islamorada or Key Largo if you are in pursuit of serenity.
Orlando is a balanced mix of calming silence and vibrant energy. If you are a solo traveler who loves to interact with locals and make new friends, there are plenty of opportunities for socializing in Orlando. If you want quiet solitude away from the chaos of everyday living, Orlando has it too.
From museums to theme parks, visitors to Orlando are spoiled for choice on how they’d want to spend their time. Find a quiet expanse of sand on the coast or head out to one of the nearby natural springs for a calm day surrounded by nature. Energize your evening by exploring the numerous events, bars, and restaurants that cater to a variety of preferences and tastes.
Gainesville is rightfully considered a college town thanks to hosting one of the state’s best-known institutions i.e., the University of Florida. Nevertheless, with numerous things to do in Gainesville, including diverse cultural activities, outdoor venues, upscale museums, top-notch trails, and sumptuous food scene, the town offers a lot more than accommodation and facilities for college students.
Navigate the more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails where you can spot alligators, wild horses, bison, and birds. Paddleboard or canoe the scenic rivers or take a plunge into the crystal clear springs. Grab a meal downtown at any of the superb farm-to-fork restaurants. Wind up your evenings with a drink from the local breweries or catching some theater.
This is an exciting beach destination that, fortunately for the solo traveler, don’t attract as many crowds as beaches in South Florida. Pensacola sits at the center of the state’s Gulf Coast. It’s a historic city juxtaposed against the emerald-green waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Most visitors to Pensacola are looking for a laid-back ambiance while enjoying the sugar-white beach sands.
Go fishing, swimming, visit Fort Pickens, or explore the National Naval Aviation Museum. Pensacola is home to the Gulf Island National Seashore which can be a launching pad for a day trip to the rest of the Panhandle’s attractive destinations such as Navarre Beach and Perdido Key.
If digging your toes into the sand on a captivating beach is your idea of a perfect solo trip, then Clearwater is the place to go. The recipient of numerous awards, the beach, surrounding landscape and excellent sunset views are complemented by the numerous oceanfront hotels that are just a couple of steps from the sea.
In the evening, head out to Sunset Pier 60 to see musicians and street performers in their element. And if you want to have an adventure in the water, you can choose from scuba diving, jet-skiing, deep-sea fishing and more.
The Sunshine State is a place that captures the imagination, so these destinations are just a glimpse of what Florida has to offer if you are traveling alone.
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