Overrated Travel Destinations in Florida and Some Classy Alternatives

The Sunshine State is home to many travel destinations. It’s no secret. Tourists flock both inland and along the coast all year round in Florida. While it’s hard to go wrong on vacation in the state, there are certainly some travel destinations that are overrated to say the least.

Below are the over-hyped Florida travel destinations and an interesting alternative for each one. While everyone has different preferences when it comes to travel, these ideas should help shape your itinerary into the trip you’re dreaming of.

Vero Beach instead of South Beach

Vero Beach, Florida

Arguably the most popular destination in Florida, South Beach immediately takes the cake for the most overrated travel hotspot in the state. The reason is simple: the glitz and glamour leads to an overwhelming experience. Many people that aren’t familiar with the area tend to think that South Beach is immediately adjacent to attractions like Little Havana and the Everglades. While they are both just a few miles away, the everglades being a bit further, practical options of travel to them are limited and often expensive. It’s a time crunch to get anywhere outside of South Beach, particularly during peak season, and this is an issue for the sensitive traveler.

Bottom line: If you’re a Miami Heat basketball fan, you’ll be right at home in South Beach. However, if you’re looking to get the true feel of Florida, a nearby location to consider might be Vero Beach. It’s only a couple hours up the coast from Miami and you can still easily see the sights in South Beach on a day trip. Consider spending your travel in a nice community like this as opposed to the bustling metropolis of inner Miami.

Jacksonville instead of Orlando

Jacksonville, Florida

Disney World and Universal Studios are neat, but they don’t represent the true essence of Florida. Even if these locations are a must-see for anyone who frequents Florida in their lifetime, Orlando is an average enough city that it’s overrated as a travel destination. For one, Orlando doesn’t accurately depict the meaning of the Sunshine State. Particularly if you’re heading to Florida from another state or country, it’s wise to consider spending the bulk of your time near the ocean. The Southeast, and Florida in particular, can be incredibly humid and the ocean breeze can help mitigate the feeling of damp heat.

Bottom line: Although it’s safe to admit that Orlando has some seriously attractive things to do, it’s still overrated. It’s not strikingly beautiful or near an ocean, and in Florida, any location with those characteristics is over-hyped as a major travel hotspot. A nice alternative would be Jacksonville. It has similar wide-ranging activities, but is closer to the ocean.

Cape Coral instead of Key West

Cape Coral, Florida

Key West is a location that’s overrated for a number of reasons, most notably because in reality it’s a bit different than it’s perceived from the outside. If you’re looking for a crazy beach vacation or even a trip to the coast with your family, Key West is over-hyped. It’s quainter that one would expect and has a high retirement population, taking some of the excitement out of the area’s aura. There are very cool bike and boat excursions, but still, it’s just not worth the effort it takes to get there.

Bottom line: Key West is a great travel destination, but it isn’t one to aim for if you’re going to Florida and have limited time or budget. It has nice amenities and entertainment, but it takes a bigger effort to get there that similar places. A nice alternative would be to consider Cape Coral. It’s a large city in-between Tampa and Miami with over 30 recreation parks and a nice beach. It would be an unexpectedly fun travel spot for family or romance.

Florida is unbelievable and is by no means overrated as a state. However, there are some places that are a bit overhyped when it comes to taking a vacation there. Keep them in mind when planning your itinerary and make the most of your time in the area. It’s a beautiful state and you’re bound to enjoy any and every area you decide to check out.

For more information on where to take your travels in Florida, see here.


Michaela Price is a travel geek that loves oranges. You can see why she likes Florida. When she’s not trying to organize a beach getaway, she writes for Vacation Home Rentals.

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