Would you like to go on a road trip in the USA and do you want to visit beaches and theme parks? Florida is the place to be! Check out this Florida itinerary.
Get a rental car in Florida
When you’re not from the USA and don’t have a car in the USA, you’ll need a rental car to go on an amazing 2-week road trip in Florida. It’s smart to pick a car up from the airport when you arrive, for example in Miami or Orlando. When you’re from Europe it’s smart to make a reservation through a European website beforehand. This is usually way cheaper and you know for sure that all the insurance you need is included. I usually book my rental cars through AutoEurope or Alamo.
When you start your road trip in Florida in Miami (like I will show you in this Florida itinerary) you don’t need a rental car right away. Parking in Miami can be pretty expensive and it’s pretty easy to get around by public transport.
Day 1 & 2: Miami
To explore Miami, you’ll need at least two full days (three nights), there’s so much to see in this vibrant city! It’s also a great place to recover from your jetlag after a long flight. When you stay in Miami Beach, you can visit most highlights on foot. Check out the colorful lifeguard towers on the beach, and go for a stroll on Ocean Drive.
Other fun places in Miami you should visit are Little Havana (a Cuban neighborhood), Wynwood Walls (colorful street art), and the impressive Holocaust Memorial.
Day 3: Road trip to Key West on the Overseas Highway
When you drive from Miami to Key West, you’ll have to drive over the Overseas Highway. This is one of the most spectacular highways in the United States. You’ll visit many islands (the keys) and drive over many bridges.
One of the highlights along the Overseas Highway is the Bahia Honda State Park. There are also many other places that are worth a stop, so take your time. You’ll see lots of small islands, white sandy beaches, palm trees, and you might even see some flamingoes! At the end of the day, you’ll arrive in Key West, where you should stay at least 2 nights.
Day 4: Key West
Key West is a fun place to explore for everyone, but it’s highly recommended to go on a Key West girls trip! It has this Caribbean vibe, with all the wooden houses, palm trees, and roosters that walk freely in the streets. In the historic city center, you won’t find a lot of large chain stores or restaurants, but lovely independent places.
There are many great things to do in Key West. For example, take a picture on the Southern West Point of the continental United States, eat Key Lime Pie (it’s so good!), go snorkeling (the reef is pretty good and the stingrays are huge!), and check out the sunset on Mallory Square. Here you will see one of the best sunsets in Florida and it’s so much fun! So if you have some extra time, stay an extra night in Key West.
Day 5: Another day to explore the Florida Keys
On day five, you’ll travel back in the direction of Miami. Visit the places you didn’t get to see on day three or just revisit the places you loved! You might even see the small Key Deer (check Big Pine Key). At the end of the day, you’ll arrive in Key Largo where you’ll stay the night.
Day 6: Everglades National Park
One of the highlights of this Florida itinerary is a visit to Everglades National Park. This is where you’ll go on day 6 of this amazing road trip. You’ll drive from Key Largo to Naples on Highway 41. Get some information at the visitor center, go on a little off-road adventure, and go on an airboat-tour. The best place to do that is Everglades city, where you’ll race through the mangroves. You’re bound to see some huge alligators! At the end of the day, you’ll arrive in Naples, where you’ll stay for the night.
Day 7: Naples
You can relax for a day in one of the nicest towns along Florida’s Gulf Coast: Naples. Did you know that Naples is one of the best walkable beach towns in Florida? You barely need your car to get around.
Relax on the beautiful beach, check out the pier, look for dolphins swimming in the ocean, see the huge houses of the rich & famous, or go shopping in a mall.
Day 8: Discover Florida’s Gulf Coast
Put on your swimsuit, because, on day 7 of this Florida itinerary, you’ll explore some of the best places on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Make sure to spend some time on Sanibel and Captiva, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. This is a great place to find some awesome shells.
When you continue your road trip in Florida over the awesome Sunshine Skyway Bridge in the direction of Saint Petersburg, you’ll pass one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States: Fort de Soto. White sand and the water is crystal clear.
If you don’t like beaches, there are also many great museums to be found along the Gulf Coast, for example, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. And if you’re more into hiking, you might want to check out Myakka River State Park.
Day 9: Tampa & Saint Petersburg
It’s time to visit some big cities again! The cities of Tampa and Saint Petersburg are connected, so you can easily visit them both in one day or two days. In Saint Petersburg (also known as St. Pete), you’ll find the famous Salvador Dalí museum, which I can highly recommend. Not only because it’s filled with amazing artworks by Dalí, but also because the building is a real eyecatcher. You can easily fill a full day in St. Pete, there’s also a lot of cool street art to be found in this city.
In Tampa, you can visit the Florida Aquarium or the Amalie Arena to attend a concert or a sports event. If you really love theme parks, I can also recommend going to Busch Gardens. It’s some sort of a zoo with lots of amazing rollercoasters.
If you have more time, you might want to make this a South Florida multi-city trip and explore Sarasota as well!
Hotel at Busch Gardens: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Tampa-USF-Busch Gardens
Appartement Tampa $$: Stay Alfred on Franklin Street (luxurious apartment in the city center of Tampa)
Pro tip: Are you planning on spending more time in the Tampa Bay Area? Get a Tampa Bay CityPASS! This pass will give you a great discount on some of the best activities in Tampa, like Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and The Florida Aquarium.
Day 10-14: Orlando
At the end of this Florida road trip, you’ll spend four days in Orlando. Isn’t that a bit much? Not at all, because there’s so much to do! Visit some of the amazing theme parks, like Disney World and Universal Studios. Go shopping in the Premium Outlets (great discounts!).
Pro tip: Get your tickets for the theme parks on this website, which has some really good deals!
And there are also many great things to do in Orlando besides theme parks and shopping malls. For example, you go could explore Explore Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve, the interesting town of Celebration (which is one of the most perfect towns in the world), or you can go hiking in Wekiwa Springs State Park.
Where to stay in Orlando?
It’s a lot of fun to stay in a villa with a private pool in Orlando, and you can get really good deals on those. Check out Homeway.com or Airbnb to compare prices. Have you never booked anything through Airbnb before? Use this link to get a great discount on your first booking.
There are also many hotel rooms to be found in Orlando. Check Booking.com for all the possibilities and prices.
Suggestions to expand this Florida itinerary
Do you have more than 2 weeks and would you like to visit some other areas in Florida? There are a couple of places you could add to this itinerary.
- Follow Florida’s Gulf Coast north and visit Crystal River. This is a famous place to see some manatees.
- The town of St. Augustine is one of the oldest towns in the United States of America. A must see if you’re into history.
- Have you always wanted to drive on the beach and do you like car races? Daytona Beach is the place to be!
- Are you interested in space travel? Make sure to visit Cape Canaveral, this is a place where you might see a rocket launch! When there’s no launch scheduled, it’s still worth to visit Kennedy Space Center.
This is my favorite itinerary for a 2-week road trip in Florida. Have you ever been to Florida? What’s your favorite destination in the sunshine state?
Great resources for your vacation in Florida
Do you need more information for your Florida road trip? Get one of these guidebooks: