4-Day Florida Explorer: Local Secrets, Sightseeing & Nightlife for Friends

Florida

4 days

Singer Island beach at Palm Beach
Sunrise on the Smathers beach in Key West
View of Sarasota
Tampa skyline
Sunset on a tropical beach

About Florida

Experience the magic of Florida, a paradise of sun-kissed beaches, vibrant cities, and world-class attractions. Start your journey in Miami, renowned for its Art Deco architecture, Latin-inspired cuisine, and lively nightlife. Venture into the Everglades National Park, a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Don't miss Orlando, home to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, offering endless fun for families. Explore the historic city of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S. Head to the Florida Keys for a tropical escape, perfect for snorkeling, fishing, and boating. Whether you're seeking thrilling adventures, cultural experiences, or serene relaxation, Florida offers a diverse range of experiences to cater to every traveler's taste.

4-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral. Explore the history of space exploration, see the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and even meet an astronaut.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at Jetty Park, where you can watch the cruise ships go by.

Afternoon

Head to Cocoa Beach for an afternoon of sun and surf. Don't forget to visit the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop.

Dinner

Have dinner at a seafood restaurant on the Cocoa Beach Pier, where you can enjoy fresh catch of the day.

Evening

End your day with a moonlit walk on the beach or a nightcap at a beachfront bar.

Morning

Start your day in Orlando with a visit to the world-famous Walt Disney World Resort. Explore the Magic Kingdom and meet your favorite Disney characters.

Lunch

Have lunch at one of the themed restaurants in Disney Springs.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring Epcot, where you can travel around the world in a day.

Dinner

Dine at a restaurant in Disney's BoardWalk area, where you can enjoy a variety of cuisines.

Evening

End your day with a spectacular fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom.

Morning

Start your day in Miami with a visit to the vibrant neighborhood of Little Havana. Explore Calle Ocho and Domino Park.

Lunch

Enjoy a Cuban sandwich for lunch at a local eatery in Little Havana.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Art Deco Historic District in Miami Beach. Don't miss the iconic Ocean Drive.

Dinner

Have dinner at a trendy restaurant in the Wynwood Walls area, known for its vibrant street art.

Evening

End your day with a night out in Miami's famous South Beach, known for its lively nightlife.

Morning

Start your day in Key West with a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.

Lunch

Enjoy a seafood lunch at a local restaurant on Duval Street.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Then, visit the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.

Dinner

Have dinner at a waterfront restaurant with views of the sunset.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to Mallory Square for the famous Sunset Celebration, featuring street performers and local artisans.

Attractions in Itinerary (20)

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

1
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight. Offers tours, exhibits, and even the chance to meet an astronaut.

Attractions
Museums
Tours
Jetty Park

2
Jetty Park

Jetty Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, camping, and beach lounging, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Parks
Beaches
Cocoa Beach

3
Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is known for its beautiful beaches, excellent surfing conditions, and laid-back atmosphere, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

Beaches
Ron Jon Surf Shop

4
Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ron Jon Surf Shop is a landmark in Cocoa Beach, offering a wide range of beach and surf-related products, from clothing and accessories to surfboards and beach gear.

Shopping
Cocoa Beach Pier

5
Cocoa Beach Pier

Cocoa Beach Pier is a popular spot for dining, fishing, and enjoying stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Attractions
Beaches
Food and Drink
Walt Disney World Resort

6
Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is a world-renowned entertainment complex offering four theme parks, two water parks, and a variety of dining and shopping options.

Attractions
Entertainment
Tours
Disney Springs

7
Disney Springs

An outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Shopping
Food and Drink
Entertainment
Epcot

8
Epcot

Epcot is a theme park at Walt Disney World Resort that celebrates human achievement and international culture, offering a variety of attractions and entertainment options.

Attractions
Entertainment
Tours
Disney's BoardWalk

9
Disney's BoardWalk

Disney's BoardWalk is a quarter-mile promenade of dining, shops, and nightlife inspired by the charm and elegance of a 1940s Atlantic coastal village.

Attractions
Food and Drink
Entertainment
Little Havana

10
Little Havana

A vibrant Cuban neighborhood featuring Latin American art galleries and busy restaurants. Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare running through the district and home to Cuban restaurants, popular ventanitas and the Walkway of the Stars.

Neighborhoods
Cultural Experiences
Food and Drink
Calle Ocho

11
Calle Ocho

Calle Ocho is the heart of Miami's Little Havana, offering a vibrant mix of Cuban culture, food, music, and art.

Cultural Experiences
Food and Drink
Entertainment
Domino Park

12
Domino Park

Domino Park is a popular gathering spot in Miami's Little Havana, where locals come to play dominoes and engage in lively conversation.

Parks
Cultural Experiences
Art Deco Historic District

13
Art Deco Historic District

Iconic neighborhood known for its distinctive Deco architecture.

Landmarks
Architecture
Cultural Experiences

14
Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive is a famous street in Miami's South Beach, known for its vibrant nightlife, iconic Art Deco architecture, and beachfront dining.

Attractions
Food and Drink
Entertainment
Wynwood Walls

15
Wynwood Walls

An outdoor museum showcasing large-scale works by some of the world’s best-known street artists.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Artifacts

16
South Beach

Known for its beaches and the Art Deco Historic District. South Beach is also famed for its nightlife, with numerous clubs and bars.

Beaches
Food and Drink
Entertainment
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

17
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

The former home of famous writer Ernest Hemingway, now a museum showcasing his life and work.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

18
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

A butterfly park home to more than 50 different species of butterfly, tropical birds, and other fauna.

Attractions
Parks
Gardens
Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.

19
Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.

The Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. is a popular tourist spot in Key West, marked by a colorful buoy.

Landmarks
Mallory Square

20
Mallory Square

Mallory Square is a popular spot in Key West, known for its lively atmosphere, nightly sunset celebrations, and variety of shops and restaurants.

Attractions
Food and Drink
Entertainment

Local Food and Drinks (11)

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

A classic Florida dessert made from the juice of Key limes, condensed milk, and egg yolks, all baked together in a graham cracker crust. Key limes are native to the Florida Keys, hence the name.

Stone Crab

Stone Crab

A popular seafood dish in Florida, particularly in the Keys and Miami. The crabs are harvested for their claws, which are filled with sweet, tender meat.

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

A staple in Florida, particularly in Tampa and Miami, which have large Cuban populations. The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread.

Gator Bites

Gator Bites

A unique Florida dish made from alligator meat, which is often compared to chicken but with a slightly gamier flavor. The meat is typically breaded and fried.

Conch Fritters

Conch Fritters

A popular dish in the Florida Keys, made from the meat of conch, a type of sea snail. The meat is mixed with peppers, onions, and a batter, then deep-fried.

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

A classic Southern dish that's popular in Northern Florida. It consists of shrimp served with a sauce of bacon, garlic, and green onions, over creamy grits.

Mahi-Mahi

Mahi-Mahi

A fish species common in the warm waters off Florida's coast. It's often grilled, blackened, or made into fish tacos.

Florida Spiny Lobster

Florida Spiny Lobster

Unlike its Maine counterpart, the Florida spiny lobster doesn't have claws. The tail meat is sweet and tender, and it's often grilled or boiled.

Key West Pink Shrimp

Key West Pink Shrimp

These shrimp are known for their sweet, tender meat and are a staple in many Florida seafood dishes.

Florida Orange Juice

Florida Orange Juice

Florida is known for its high-quality oranges, which are used to make fresh, sweet, and tangy orange juice.

Mojito

Mojito

A popular cocktail in Florida, particularly in Miami, due to its Cuban influence. It's made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Florida is typically during the spring months, from March to May. During this time, the weather is warm but not too hot, making it perfect for beach activities and exploring outdoor attractions. Additionally, this period avoids the peak tourist season, offering a more relaxed experience with fewer crowds. However, if you're interested in visiting theme parks like Disney World, the winter months of January and February can be a good choice due to lower crowd levels.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 15

Mon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 19

Mon

Presidents' Day

May 27

Mon

Memorial Day

June 19

Wed

Juneteenth

July 4

Thu

Independence Day

September 2

Mon

Labor Day

October 14

Mon

Columbus Day

November 11

Mon

Veterans Day

November 28

Thu

Thanksgiving Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is one of the most popular ways to get around Florida. It offers the flexibility to travel at your own pace and visit off-the-beaten-path destinations. Most major car rental companies have offices at airports and city centers.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Florida's major cities and tourist areas. They offer a convenient and often cost-effective way to get around, especially for short trips or when public transportation is not available.

Many of Florida's cities have public transportation systems, including buses, trams, and trolleys. For example, Miami has the Metrorail and Metromover, while Orlando has the LYNX bus system and SunRail commuter train.

Many Florida cities are bike-friendly and offer bike rental services. This is a great way to explore local neighborhoods, parks, and beaches. Some cities even have bike-sharing programs.

In coastal areas and islands, ferries can be a practical and scenic way to get around. For example, the Key West Express ferry connects Fort Myers and Marco Island with Key West.

In cities like Fort Lauderdale and Miami, water taxis are a unique and enjoyable way to travel. They offer services along the cities' waterways, providing access to many attractions and points of interest.

In Orlando, the Walt Disney World Resort operates a monorail system that connects the theme parks and resorts. It's a convenient and fun way to get around the resort.

Many hotels, resorts, and attractions in Florida offer shuttle services for their guests. These can be a convenient way to travel, especially to and from airports or theme parks.

Florida's cities are often pedestrian-friendly, especially in tourist areas. Walking can be a pleasant way to explore, especially in areas like Miami's South Beach, St. Augustine's historic district, or the Disney Springs shopping area in Orlando.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone911

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Florida as a first time visitor

1

Florida is known for its hot and humid weather, especially in the summer months (June - August). Temperatures can reach up to 90°F (32°C), so pack light, breathable clothing.

2

Hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1st to November 30th. It's important to check weather forecasts regularly and be prepared for possible disruptions to your travel plans.

3

Florida is a large state with diverse regions. The northern part of the state can be quite different from the southern part in terms of climate, culture, and attractions.

4

Florida is known for its wildlife. This includes alligators, which can be found in many bodies of water. Always observe warning signs and never feed or approach these animals.

5

Florida has a sales tax rate of 6%, but it can be higher in some counties due to local surtaxes. This will be added to most of your purchases.

6

Florida's sun can be intense. Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

7

Florida is a popular destination for spring break (mid-March to mid-April). During this time, some areas can be crowded and prices may be higher.

8

Florida has a diverse food scene, with influences from Cuban, Caribbean, Southern US, and seafood cuisines. Try local specialties like key lime pie, conch fritters, and Cuban sandwiches.

9

Florida is a peninsula, so you're never more than 60 miles (97 kilometers) from the ocean. However, rip currents can be dangerous, so always swim in designated areas and heed lifeguard warnings.

10

Florida law requires seat belts to be worn by all drivers and passengers in a vehicle. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are at least 5 years old.

11

Tipping is customary in Florida. For good service in restaurants, a tip of 15-20% is standard. It's also customary to tip taxi drivers, hotel staff, and tour guides.

12

Florida has a large Spanish-speaking population, particularly in the Miami area. While English is widely spoken, knowing some basic Spanish phrases can be helpful.

13

Florida is home to many species of mosquitoes, especially in the summer. Bring insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.

14

Florida's drinking age is 21. It's illegal to consume alcohol if you're under this age, and it's also illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under 21.

15

Florida has strict laws against drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%, but penalties can be severe even for lower levels.

16

Public transportation in Florida can be limited, especially outside of major cities. Renting a car can be a convenient way to get around.

17

Florida has a high rate of lightning strikes, especially in the summer. If you hear thunder, seek shelter indoors immediately.

18

Florida has a variety of accommodations to suit different budgets, from luxury resorts to budget motels. It's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

19

Florida's time zone is Eastern Standard Time (EST). It observes daylight saving time, so clocks are set forward one hour from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.

20

Florida has strict laws protecting its natural environment. Always follow guidelines for interacting with wildlife, disposing of trash, and respecting protected areas.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear (4 pairs)

  • Socks (4 pairs)

  • T-shirts (4)

  • Shorts (2 pairs)

  • Jeans/Pants (1 pair)

  • Swimsuit

  • Pajamas

  • Lightweight jacket

  • Walking shoes

  • Flip flops

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Floss

  • Deodorant

  • Razor

  • Shaving cream

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Lip balm

  • Makeup (if applicable)

  • Contact lenses and solution (if applicable)

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport/ID

  • Flight tickets

  • Hotel booking confirmation

  • Rental car confirmation (if applicable)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Credit cards

  • Cash

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera (if applicable)

  • Charger for camera (if applicable)

  • Power bank

  • Travel adapter (if applicable)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Books or e-reader for the flight

  • Travel pillow for the flight

  • Snacks for the flight

  • Water bottle

  • Beach towel

  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Umbrella

  • First aid kit

  • Prescription medications (if applicable)

  • Travel guidebook

Weather Conditions

Florida, known as the Sunshine State, offers warm weather throughout the year, but it's important to note that the climate can vary significantly depending on when and where you visit. In general, Florida experiences a tropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures typically range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 32 degrees Celsius), while winter temperatures can range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 24 degrees Celsius). However, Florida is also known for its sudden rain showers, especially during the summer months. These showers are usually brief but intense, so it's always a good idea to carry an umbrella or raincoat. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with peak activity in August and September. If you're planning a trip during this time, it's essential to stay updated on the weather forecast and have a contingency plan in case of severe weather. Despite the heat and humidity, summer is a popular time for tourists, especially families, due to school vacations. If you're visiting during this time, be sure to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun with hats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. Winter, on the other hand, is an ideal time to visit for those who prefer milder temperatures. This is also the dry season, so you'll experience less rainfall. However, it's also the peak season for tourists, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. No matter when you visit, it's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Florida's weather can be unpredictable, so it's best to be prepared for a variety of conditions.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

24° / 10°

January is the coldest month in Florida, but it's still relatively warm compared to many other places. It's a great time to visit if you want to avoid the heat and humidity.

February

25° / 11°

February is a bit warmer than January, but still quite pleasant. It's a good time to visit for outdoor activities without the extreme heat.

March

27° / 13°

March sees a slight increase in temperature, making it a great time to hit the beach. The weather is warm but not too hot.

April

30° / 16°

April is when the temperature starts to rise, but it's still not as hot as the summer months. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy warmer weather.

May

33° / 20°

May is the start of the hot season in Florida, with temperatures often reaching into the 30s. It's a great time to visit if you love the heat and want to spend time at the beach.

June

35° / 23°

June is one of the hottest months in Florida, with high humidity levels. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy tropical weather, but be prepared for afternoon thunderstorms.

July

36° / 24°

July is the peak of summer in Florida, with high temperatures and humidity. It's a great time to visit for beach activities, but be aware of the potential for hurricanes.

August

36° / 24°

August is similar to July, with high temperatures and humidity. It's a good time to visit if you love the heat, but keep in mind that it's hurricane season.

September

35° / 23°

September is still quite hot, but the temperatures start to drop slightly. It's a good time to visit if you want to enjoy the beach without the extreme heat of the summer months.

October

32° / 19°

October sees a significant drop in temperature, making it a great time to visit if you prefer milder weather. The humidity also decreases, making outdoor activities more comfortable.

November

28° / 15°

November is a pleasant month in Florida, with mild temperatures and low humidity. It's a great time to visit for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

December

25° / 11°

December is one of the cooler months in Florida, but it's still quite warm compared to many other places. It's a good time to visit if you want to escape the winter chill.

Did you know?

Did you know that Florida is the only state that has two rivers both with the same name? There's a Withlacoochee in north central Florida (Madison County) and a Withlacoochee in central Florida. They have nothing in common except the name.

1 of 10

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Atlanta Botanical Garden

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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New Orleans

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