This past fall, one of my many travels included visiting Florida for the first time! I was very excited to have the opportunity to explore the sunshine state. I haven’t spent a ton of time in areas that are more tropical, so I was VERY excited about seeing so many palm trees! I spent a couple days in the Orlando area before travelling down the east coast, spending the majority of my time in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami. As I will be heading back to Florida again in a few weeks to visit the Miami area, I thought now was the perfect time to share my recap from the fall! Read on for more about my amazing time enjoying the tropical vibes of Florida.
Central Florida: Orlando
As soon as I landed in Orlando, I remember thinking immediately how tropical it was and how much it felt like I was truly on vacation. It felt like everyone there was on vacation, and selfishly, I wanted to be too! Suddenly, I remembered that Orlando has Walt Disney World, Harry Potter, Universal Studios, and more – the perfect family vacation destination. It was no wonder I was seeing so many excited families at the airport. Once I finally managed to leave the airport, I was hit with that heat immediately. I couldn’t wait to get to my hotel and jump in the pool – which was exactly what I did! 😀 It was so refreshing and fun. I had a wonderful time relaxing before beginning my work the next day.
The couple of days I stayed in Orlando were primarily spent exploring Ocoee, Winter Garden, Montverde, Windermere, and Winter Park. I didn’t spend much time in downtown Orlando, and primarily was exploring the suburbs. They were all so gorgeous. It was so cool for me to see palm trees everywhere I went! It was hot, the food was good, and the schools were gorgeous. I did have a moment where I started to freak out about alligators, but it was all good – I did not see any gators on my trip!
East Coast: West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale
Before I knew it, it was time to head south towards Boca Raton. It was a long drive, and I stopped very briefly along the way in West Palm Beach. I was only there for a short time but it felt very boujie and filled with resort vibes. Onwards I went to Boca Raton, which had a similar vibe. I was very lucky to stay at multiple hotels with pools and palm trees! Taking in these sites truly made me feel like the luckiest person. It was similar where I stayed near Ft. Lauderdale as well – pools and palm trees abound. I did a lot of exploring in the nearby suburbs in both of these areas, visiting various schools, reveling in the sites of trees and the feel of the hot breeze.
South-East Florida: Miami
Further south I trekked to Miami. I was very excited to be in Miami and have the wonderful opportunity to actually stay on the beach! Miami itself is massive, and driving was a bit of a nightmare because there was sooo much traffic. Once I got to Miami Beach, however, it was all worth it. I got to see the sunrise and the sunset right on the ocean, which was incredible. It had been so long since I’d actually been near the ocean, and even longer since I’d gone swimming in it!
After my last day of visits, I had time to go swimming in the ocean, which was truly amazing. The water was warm, refreshing, and it was so fun to be walking on the shore in the sand, with the waves crashing at your feet. An incredible moment for sure! Staying on Miami Beach was definitely the highlight of my time in Florida. I wish I had more time to enjoy the sun and the beach, but unfortunately, I had to make the journey back to Toronto. With that said, it was the perfect way to end my fall adventures travelling around the US! Experiences like this make me feel truly grateful for what I have the pleasure of doing for work.
If you’re heading to Florida, I would encourage you to pick one area of the state, as they are quite spread apart. Central Florida near Orlando is definitely more of a family-friendly destination, as they have many of the theme parks there. The south-east coast near Miami has more beaches and is a bit more boujie, with some areas of Miami being known for partying. I didn’t have the chance to visit the west coast due to the impacts of the hurricane in the fall, nor did I have the opportunity to visit more of north Florida. Each area of the state offers something different, so it depends what you’re looking for! Regardless of where you go, you’ll still have the chance to enjoy the tropical vibes of Florida. Here’s a quick cheat-sheet for you:
- If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination: Orlando
- If you want to party with some girlfriends: Miami
- If you’re searching for a resort vibe: Boca Raton or West Palm Beach
Personally, I really enjoyed the beaches, and would head back to Miami in a heartbeat. It definitely got me very excited for my trip to Mexico, and I am really looking forward to heading back to Florida this spring! One more note is to be extra careful on the roads. I saw many car accidents while I was there and heard of some other folks who got into accidents as well. It seems to be quite common in Florida, so make sure you are driving safely and keeping your eyes on the road. Wherever you choose to visit, I hope you enjoy the tropical vibes of Florida as much as I did! I can’t wait to go back and have the chance to soak up more of that sunshine 🙂