Florida consistently ranks among the top honeymoon destinations not only in the U.S., but worldwide. Florida’s accessibility makes it ideal for Americans and the numerous and beautiful beaches draw visitors from all over. Gathered here are ten of the most interesting, unique, and pleasant places to visit in Florida that are ideal for making honeymooning that much sweeter. (And please, because they are too numerous to mention, just know that every location has at least a few fabulous golf courses.)
Honeymoon Island State Park
With such a fitting name, how can you resist visiting this island state park on your honeymoon? The island’s name was changed in the late 30′s when it was commercialized and marketed to honeymooners. The island no longer has it’s honeymoon bungalows, but there are swimming, fishing, and snorkeling spots along the island, as well as great places for picnicking.
Yes, Disney is on this list as well, but Orlando has so much more to offer than just the Magic Kingdom. For one, there’s Universal Studios which, regardless of your age, is just downright cool. There are seemingly endless shows and activities to see and do at the park, which is a fun way to reconnect with your inner child and to show your spouse how young at heart you are.
Of course, you’ll want more than E.T. adventures and Diagon Alley from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter on your honeymoon, so for an outdoors activity, take a boat tour along the Florida Everglades (yes, they reach up to Orlando).
Orland is also ideally located just an hour or so from many beaches where you can surf, swim, and relax with your loved one. You can have the best of both worlds and enjoy city life, yet still have a day or two to live the beach life.
Drive down Highway 1 to the Florida Keys where on over-water bridges you’ll pass through the small islands. There are many hotels on the islands offering luxury bungalows and resorts with full room service. Many of the hotels offer honeymoon specials that include extras, such as a bottle of wine delivered to your room nightly, that enhance and perfect the honeymoon experience. The islands are small, but their collected resorts, hotels, and restaurants ensure your honeymoon will be relaxing and luxurious.
Yes, Duck Key is a part of the Florida Keys (see above), but it’s a small island with a big personality. The island has less than 1,000 inhabitants, which gives it a homey feel. One of the most popular activities on Duck Key is Dolphin Connection, where you can swim with dolphins, which might be one of the best things to ever do on this fair Earth. Dive Duck Key is also hailed as one of the best dive shops and spots in all of the Florida Keys. If none of that gets your goose, Duck Key is just flat out gorgeous. You can stay at Hawks Cay Resort, which despite the size of the island, is one of the largest resorts in the Florida Keys. Hawks Cay Resort offers every modern luxury with the added bonus of location.
Slip down to the Everglades National Park which, since 1947, has preserved frail and rare ecosystems exclusive to these Florida wetlands. With over 1 million acres, the park is the third largest in the lower 48, so there’s no end to activities and things to see there. You and your honey can take a guided tour by boat or by tram, or explore on your own on foot or by bike. If you’re the outdoors type, there’s canoeing and kayaking available, and if you’re just there for the scenery, you can relax on a guided tour (you won’t even have to do much walking if you don’t want to). The Everglades are truly an amazing part of the Florida landscape and one that can’t be missed.
You can have it all in Miami: beach, fashion, and nightlife. For those who want to get away to a lively city, yet still have the comforts and options of the rest of Florida, Miami will suit you well. Miami is famous for its nightlife, but also for its museums. The Miami Art Museum is especially well-known for its local art exhibits as well as its collection of classic and modern art.
Miami’s neighborhoods make it one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. Little Havana, or La Pequeña Habana, is a well-known Cuban neighborhood. Little Havana is also known as the cultural and social hub of Miami. Be sure to check out Calle Ocho and Walkway of the Starts while you’re there.
Take the Key West Express to Key Biscayne, another unique village in Miami, located on a small island just east of the city itself. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park is one of two award-winning beaches in Key Biscayne. Bill Baggs has, in addition to sand and clear sea, restaurants and nature trails (complete with bike rental). Take advantage of the island setting while still being technically in a city and steal away from a day or two to Key Biscayne.
Coral Gables, another neighborhood, is a step back in time. Built during the roaring 20′s when there was a land boom in Florida, Coral Gables is famous for its old-time aristocratic feel. The area is very pedestrian friendly and was designed to be very walkable. Even in light of expansion, getting around without a car isn’t a problem. There’s a free trolley system to take you to your favorite museum, shop, or to the famous Venetian Pool. There are also many amazing tropical and botanical gardens.
The New York Times recently named Miami as one of the “41 Places to Go in 2011,” in part because of the new performing arts center, which will provide many outdoor concerts in addition to housing the New World Symphony. The article also mentions the Art Basel festival, a contemporary exhibition coined “the Olympics of the art world,” and Design District, both making Miami more of a must-see city.
St. Augustine is Florida’s oldest community and also one of the most romantic. Stay in one of the historic inns, for there are many, most of which offer honeymoon specials. Take a moonlight horse-drawn carriage tour for two to enhance the romance (and simultaneously learn about the historical richness of the area). You can also go on a ghost tour through the town to promote you and your lover huddling together (as if you need a reason). You can even take a food tour through St. Augustine sampling the many unique, local savory treats. St. Augustine is home to Florida’s first lighthouse in addition to the Castillo of San Marcos (pictured above). There are many historical places to visit in the town proper, which is largely accessible by walking, and, yes, there’s a beach nearby to again have the best of both worlds.
Naples, Florida is well-known for its numerous wildlife parks, but it’s also quite popular for destination weddings and honeymoons.Naples has been voted the best beach in the U.S. and has beach parks along its ten miles of gulf coast. Staying in a resort on such a pristine beach is a sure way to make any honeymoon ideal.
The peninsular city of St. Petersburg, Florida has many attractions aside from its top-ranked beaches, such as Fort Desoto. There are many museums in St. Pete, but one that might catch your attention is the Salvador Dalí Museum, which houses the largest Dalí exhibit outside of Europe. Talk a walk through the many neighborhoods, which offer great local treats and unique culture. The Baywalk is great for nightlife, as well as shopping and dining. When you make it to the beach, there are many diving, fishing, and swimming spots. Best of all, during certain months, there is a volunteer organization that hosts pelican feeding. In short, there’s a ton of fun activities awaiting you in sunny St. Pete.
There’s no shortage of activity in Florida. In nearly every city, you can have it all with fabulous beaches and lively city life. In the Keys and resorts, you can escape the everyday-ness of life and enjoy the intimacy of your time celebrating your new marriage. Regardless of where you go, Florida has what you’re looking for for your ideal honeymoon experience.