TOP 5 Areas Where to Stay in Florida + HOTEL GUIDE

Deciding which city to visit in a state as beautiful as Florida can be so hard!

But don’t worry too much because I’ve just made a list of the best cities where to stay in Florida, America’s Sunshine State!  

I categorized them by interest, so you know which one to pick depending on your preference! Miami is by far one of the top cities in Florida, but in case you’re road tripping through the state or looking for something different, you’ll also find all the information you need on the Florida Keys, Orlando, Naples, and Tampa as well!

I have carefully selected the hotels in each city and all of them have great reviews, and some are even close to the beach. All you have to do is choose one and book it in advance. These cities are big but trust me, they’re packed with tourists!

NOTE: We also have a dedicated post about each of the places mentioned here plus many more incredible places in Florida. Click here to check out all our posts on the sunny state of Florida!

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

If you are in a hurry

Eager to book right now? Then check out this list with the best hotels in Florida, all located in Miami:  

luxury hotel

Mandarin Oriental

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

Modern Apartment

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

The Guild Downtown

Best value for money

budget hotel

Habitación Céntrica

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here’s a map of all the areas to stay in Florida that I will be talking about in this post:

1. Miami – where to stay in Florida for the first time

Bienvenido a Miami! (*Will Smith’s song starts playing in my head)

This iconic city in South Florida doesn’t need a big introduction! Just picture those incredible beaches, top-notch hotels, fantastic nightlife, and the holiday atmosphere you can feel 24/7!

Miami caters to all types of tourists! Maybe not so much with families, but don’t worry, there are other incredible places in Florida like Orlando and Key West that I will talk about later in sections #2 and #3

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or maybe you want to enjoy a laid-back holiday, there’s no end to the things to do in Miami!

First stop?

Obviously, the beach! South Beach (Miami Beach) is legendary, and its golden sands and incredible hotels bring tourists (including celebrities) from all around the world.

You might want to skip the beach for a day though and visit the downtown area in Miami. The skyscrapers sure are a pleasant sight for sore eyes! It’s needless to say that booking your hotels in advance is mandatory. Tourists from all corners of the world come here, and the best ones sell out in a second!

Here are the top hotels in Maimi for each budget, but if these are sold out for your dates, check our our post entirely dedicated to Miami!

Luxury hotel

Rooms with ceiling-to-floor windows? Yes!
This luxurious hotel has a luxurious spa, rooms with a balcony, and a restaurant! After a long day at spent in Miami Beach, relax in the hot tub! Plus the accommodation is located just 5 miles (9 km) away from Miami International Airport.

Other accommodation options in Miami

Mid-Range

This downtown hotel has rooms that offer city views, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant on-site

Budget

Enjoy your stay in Miami in this affordable hotel that provides bicycle rental and access to a garden  

Airbnb

Close to many downtown attractions this apartment has ceiling-to-floor windows and a swimming pool

Things to do in Miami

  • Chill all day on Miami Beach
  • Visit the Freedom Tower in the downtown area
  • Shop until you drop in the boutique shops of South Beach
  • Explore the Art Deco Historic District
  • Take a short trip to Fort Lauderdale
  • Go for a swim in the historic Venetian Pool
  • Do some people watching in Ocean Drive
  • Have a drink at 1 Beach Club

2. Florida Keys – the best place to stay for relaxation

Still not sure which Florida town to pick for your holiday?

If you’re looking just to relax, I think you’ll love the Florida Keys!

This tropical destination features white-sandy beaches, palm trees, and tons of places where you can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere! For those of you who might not know, the Florida Keys is an archipelago made up of many different keys or islands (that’s why we wrote an entire post on it).

Located in the southern tip of Florida, 90 miles (120 km) away from Cuba, this place has borrowed the Caribbean vibe and some great restaurants!  With more than 800 islands, the archipelago sure offers things to do and see for all types of tourists.

Key West is probably the most popular island! Why? Well, Key West has so many historical attractions, restaurants that serve delicious food, and a great vibe!

But if you’re looking for a family-friendly destination in the Florida Keys, you should head to Marathon Island, which offers national parks and great beaches.

Or if you love adventure, then definitely look for hotels in Key Largo. That’s where you can try tons of water sports like jet-skiing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.

Luxury hotel

Can you feel that ocean breeze?
This resort in Marathon Island looks amazing. I honestly don’t think there is a better hotel in the area! Spend your days on the sun terrace that overlooks the ocean, admiring the beautiful sunsets! The accommodation offers a private beach area, a spa, and family rooms.

Other accommodation options in the Florida Keys

Mid-Range

This Key West resort has an outdoor pool and it offers bike rentals plus activities like snorkeling and windsurfing

Budget

Chill on the beach chairs at this holiday park in Key Largo that has family rooms, BBQ facilities, and a garden

Airbnb

I love the design of this apartment in Key Largo where guests have access to a shared pool

Things to do in the Florida Keys

  • Go on a kayak tour in  Everglades National Park
  • Catch a scenic sunset in Mallory Square in Key West
  • Explore the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
  • Go bar hopping on lively Duval Street in Key West
  • Join a dolphin watching tour in the Florida Keys
  • Have a drink at Tiki Bar in Key Largo
  • Chill on Smathers Beach in Key West
  • Join a private fishing charter tour 

3. Orlando – where to stay in Florida for families

Planning the PERFECT family vacation?

Hop on board because I’m about to embark on a short trip around Orlando, in central Florida! Famous for its theme parks and known as the world’s Disney capital, this city is the ultimate family destination.

Universal Studios and Walt Disney World are two of Orlando’s most important theme parks (where the kids will probably want to be 24/7). But don’t worry, parents, there is something for you too!

All the neighborhoods in this city offer a wide range of activities. Southwest Orlando and Celebration areas are perfect if you want to be super close to the theme parks. But they may be the most crowded as well. If you still want to relax during this holiday in Orlando, then maybe choose a hotel in Thornton Park, a residential neighborhood that’s more tranquil than the rest.

Luxury hotel

Book a room at this resort, and you will receive free ride access to skip the lines at the most popular attractions in Universal Studios! Can you top that?
Sure you can! Just look how fantastic the rooms are! When you’re not in the theme park, you can chill by the pool.

Other accommodation options in Orlando

Mid-Range

Enjoy a swim in the pool at this hotel that has family rooms, a fitness center, and an outdoor dining area

Budget

When you’re not out and about, you can sunbathe and swim in the pool of this hotel that has family rooms

Airbnb

Equipped with all the facilities you need, this apartment has a private balcony, free wifi, and a tv

Things to do in Orlando

4. Naples – where to stay in Florida for the beaches

Today, we’re not talking about Italy’s Naples. We’re going to explore virtually (for now) this city in Florida that’s definitely one of my favorites! And I’m sure you’ll love it too!

I’m a sucker for picturesque places, the kind of spots that you recognize from postcards and travel agencies’ websites. Naples is precisely that! Known for its (many) sugary beaches, the laid-back atmosphere, and world-class golf courses, this city in Florida is excellent for people who love to be on the beach all day, every day!

I can’t say that I’m that kind of person. Still, once in a while, I get this urge to go somewhere where I can chill on the beautiful beaches without a care in the world! And Naples looks like the perfect place for that (as does Fort Myers, which also has many nature reserves)

The city’s name is not random. The beaches helped Naples gain its name, as most of them resemble the ones in Naples, Italy! And I agree, they sure share the same kind of vibe, and I can’t wait for you to discover it as well!

Naples is not the only Italian-inspired city. Fort Lauderdale, located not too far from West Palm Beach, is also known as “the Venice of America.” You should head for a trip there as well and shop all day long on Las Olas Boulevard!

Luxury hotel

Class, style, and elegance!
This resort has everything you need for a relaxing stay in Naples! Chill in the heated outdoor pool, or get a book and head to the garden for a short reading session!

Other accommodation options in Naples

Mid-Range

Enjoy your stay in Naples at this hotel that has a swimming pool, a spa, and a fitness center

Budget

A chic and affordable hotel that offers excellent views, spacious rooms, and a restaurant  

Airbnb

This place is perfect for 2 travelers and it’s equipped with air-conditioning and free wifi

Things to do in Naples

  • Catch a sunset near the iconic Naples Pier
  • Spend a fun day on Naples Beach on the Gulf Coast
  • Visit the Conservancy of Southwest Florida
  • Swim and sunbathe on Lowdermilk Beach
  • Play golf at Stonebridge Country Club

5. Tampa – the best place to stay in Florida for culture

Located only a 2-hour drive away from Orlando, this city in Florida is an excellent destination for history buffs, beach lovers, and families as well!

The scenery is stunning and there are plenty of museums to explore, but it’s not just that. One of the most famous areas in Tampa is Ybor City, a National Historic Landmark that used to be the Cigar Capital of the World. Now, everyone comes here to party and have a good time. But there are also many art galleries here, which you should check out!

Downtown Tampa is where all the leading boutique shops and restaurants are. It’s just a stone’s throw away from Ybor City, so you might want to pop here for a few hours as well.

Although many people associate Florida’s theme parks with Orlando, you’ll be surprised to learn that the tallest and fastest coasters in the Southeast are located in Bush Gardens Theme Park, here in Tampa!

Luxury hotel

I love the modern and chic design of this luxury hotel in Tampa. The rooms are super spacious and are equipped with a flat-screen tv. Enjoy a quick swim in the pool before heading out to explore around!

Other accommodation options in Tampa

Mid-Range

Enjoy a drink by the firepit at this pet-friendly hotel that has an outdoor pool and offers a free airport shuttle

Budget

Feel at home in this cozy house that has family rooms, a pool, and a terrace where you can chill

Airbnb

How cute is this place? It offers beach access, a garden view, a kitchen, and a hot tub

Things to do in Tampa

🌆 Top city:Miami
🏨 Best hotel:Mandarin Oriental
🌊 Best city for watersports:Key Largo
📅 When to travel to Florida: Spring or Fall
👪 Best city for families: Orlando
🎢 Top theme park: Walt Disney World
💰 Cost of traveling:Medium

Frequently asked questions about hotels in Florida

🏖️ What is the most beautiful place to stay in Florida?

I think Miami is one of the most beautiful places to stay in Florida. The beaches are stunning and the hotels, like Mandarin Oriental, are pretty awesome as well.

🌅 Where should I stay in Florida for vacation?

It depends on the type of vacation. Miami and Naples are great for beaches but if you’re planning a family trip then you might want to consider Florida Keys, Orlando or Tampa

🤩 Where is the nicest place in Florida to vacation?

I think Naples is one of the nicest places to stay in Florida for a chill holiday. The beaches are so pretty but I wouldn’t say no to a trip in the Florida Keys, it’s just as stunning! 

🌆 Which are the best hotels in Florida?

Some of the top hotels to stay in Florida are the Mandarin Oriental in Miami and Isla Bella Beach Resort in Florida Keys. 

Conclusion

I don’t know about you but I’m craving some beach time right now! I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in Florida, America’s Sunshine State!

There are so many amazing hotels in this post and to help you make the best decision I’ll give you my top 2 favorite ones, both located in Miami:

I highly recommend booking these hotels in advance. Tourists from all around the world come to visit these cities, and the vacation rentals sell out super fast!

Whichever city you choose for your trip, I’m sure it will offer you an unforgettable experience! So have fun snorkeling in Key West or chilling on the beach in Naples and remember, you check out all our posts on Florida here.

If you have any questions about Florida or other suggestions for our readers, leave me a comment below and I’ll answer it ASAP!

Safe travels,

Victoria

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