Choosing your Florida Vacation destination When planning a beach vacation in Florida you need to choose between the "Gulf Coast" or the "East Coast"

Choosing your Florida vacation destination

Once you determine what you want to do, read through the different sections of this website and determine the area you would like to visit. Some of the more popular destinations are shown below.

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When taking a beach vacation you must choose which coast you want to see. There are two main choices, The Gulf of Mexico or the “Gulf Coast” as it’s referred to locally, or the Atlantic Ocean, generally called the “East Coast” of Florida.

The Gulf of Mexico – “Gulf Coast


You can’t beat the sugar-white sand on the Gulf Coast of Florida anywhere from Pensacola to Naples you will usually be able to find a gorgeous white-sand beach.

The water of the Gulf of Mexico can range anywhere from ’emerald green’ to ‘seaweed brown’, depending on the current and tidal conditions. And the surf varies from flat calm to large choppy swells. The water clarity and surf conditions vary from day to day at any given location and are almost impossible to predict in advance.

Popular destinations on the Gulf Coast of Florida

Fort Myers

Fort Myers, on the west coast, has miles of beaches, Thomas Edison’s and Henry Ford’s homes, and nearby Fort Myers Beach.  For Red Sox or Twins fans, this is the place to catch a spring training game.

Islands of Sanibel and Captiva

If you are interested in visiting Sanibel and Captiva you should check out our Sanibel and Captiva blog that gives some good ideas about the area. This is a perfect place for spending time outdoors, sunning on a beach, exploring wildlife preserves, playing golf, fishing, or gathering shells.


The Atlantic Coast – “East Coast

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On the East Coast of Florida, from around Jacksonville all the way to Key West, you’ll find more of a dull-brown sand composed of ground up seashells, and the Atlantic Ocean is a deep blue.

On average, the surf is higher on the East Coast, but again this is impossible to predict for your vacation.

Popular destinations on the east coast of Florida


The Orlando, Kissimmee, and Lake Buena Vista are located is in central Florida. There are theme parks abound here, making it a great center for family vacations. The major theme parks Disney World, Sea World, Wet N’ Wild and Universal Studios, to name a few, all within driving distance of each other.

Fort Lauderdale

No longer the college students spring break mecca, Fort Lauderdale is now an east-coast pleasure port, with upscale shopping, multimillion-dollar mansions, yacht owners, and major cruise lines. Visitors come to Fort Lauderdale for its broad, beautiful beaches and near perfect weather. The city is also America’s top gay vacation spot.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, on Florida’s east coast, was once a spring-break party town, but has returned to its racing roots and focuses on race cars, motorcycles, and just about anything with speed, even go-karts. The biggest and most popular events are the Daytona 500 stock-car race in February, Bike Week in March, and the Fall Cycle Scene in October. But it’s not just racing, there are plenty of parties, beautiful beaches, and the Ladies Professional Golf Association/LPGA International golf courses.