Warm temperatures aren’t the only thing in the air in Florida: love is too. With more than 1300 miles of coastline, cosmopolitan cities with happenings galore and secluded terrain primed for romantic outings, the Sunshine State is a multifaceted destination for lovebirds near and far.
Central to Florida’s allure are its pleasant year-round climate – particularly for those escaping colder US states during the wintertime – and its spectrum of lux and affordable adventures. This means walks on white-sand beaches, resort stays and intimate outdoor excursions are always in reach.
Here are seven of Florida’s most romantic trips – spanning all corners of the state – to help hearts flutter.
Embark on a snorkeling adventure in Key West
There are plenty of water-adventure businesses to wow you and yours in the Florida Keys. For a build-it-yourself adventure that lets your romantic creativity shine, make a snorkeling outing at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park – the site of a pre–Civil War fort – your itinerary’s anchor.
No boat is needed to get your snorkel on here. Simply bring your own equipment (or rent some on-site) and then venture into the water where coral, parrotfish, snapper, lobsters and more colorful creatures will greet you.
After some time on the water, head to Key West’s Southernmost Point. In addition to snagging a photo with the anchored buoy at the Southernmost Point in the continental US, time your trip to coincide with a sunset. Your geographical journey will leave you just as tingly as the cotton-candy-like colors swirling in the sky.
Build your own around-the-world itinerary at Epcot in Orlando
If a dreamy excursion to France or Italy has ever been on your bucket list, you can make it happen in-state – or a version of it, at least. There are few places on planet Earth where you can visit 11 replica countries in one day, enjoying authentic cuisine and shopping up a storm along the way, but at Walt Disney World in Orlando, you can do just that with a classic eating-and-boozing “around the world” adventure at Epcot.
As easy as it can be to randomly wander and nosh on anything within the park’s 300-acre confines, consider building an itinerary around a cuisine you both enjoy. For wine lovers, for example, that could mean hitting Les Vins de France for champagne pours, Japan for plum wine and cold sake and Italy’s Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. As easy as it can be to focus on wine, you could easily go the beer-and-food-only route at Epcot too.
Shop ‘til you drop in South Florida via Brightline
South Florida traffic can be a total nightmare. Fortunately, the ultra-sleek and high-speed Brightline train has been a total game-changer, connecting the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach like never before. For a date night or a weekend getaway, book a premium-class ticket, which includes a lounge and on-board car with drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and curated bites.
As for the quintessential shopping destinations within the Brightline route’s reach, you can peruse the boutiques and restaurants of Clematis Street, Rosemary Square and Worth Avenue in West Palm Beach; mature-tree-clad Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale; and funky, graffiti-covered Wynwood, street mall Lincoln Road and uber-classy Bal Harbour Shops in Miami.
Picnic and see some dolphins at Lovers Key State Park
If the name of this Fort Myers Beach park itself doesn’t do the trick, perhaps its stunning confines will. This is a popular destination for weddings, with a gazebo on the beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. But there’s plenty to light some sparks even if you’re not tying the knot, including 5 miles of wooded trails to bike, a 2.5-mile estuary to kayak or canoe and a butterfly garden to explore. If you decide to go for a swim, dolphin and manatee sightings can happen here.
Go horseback riding on the beach at Amelia Island
Jacksonville is Florida’s largest city by population, with more than 900,000 residents. When locals and visitors alike want a reprieve, they head approximately 30 miles northeast of the River City to Amelia Island and its luxury resorts and golf courses.
One of the state’s more unique experiences for couples is a horseback ride on the beach. And yes, many companies – including Amelia Island Horseback Riding, Happy Trails Walking Horses and Kelly Seahorse Ranch – offer guided excursions for novice equestrians.
Get pampered in Hollywood in a Rock Spa & Salon couples’ treatment suite
Less than 10 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale – a canal-filled romance hotspot in its own right, dubbed the “Venice of America” – the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino beams with warm vibes. And we mean that quite literally: at night, a beam of light streams up through the clouds from its guitar-shaped hotel.
Beyond the Bora Bora–style pool setup and nightly light shows – in which the hotel structure itself puts on a synchronized light and music show – the property’s Rock Spa & Salon is the ultimate couple’s spa destination. For unmatched romance, book one of the three 800 sq ft couples’ treatment suites, each with its own private shower and Jacuzzi. The utopia or relaxation also has an open atrium area with wet lounges, dipping pools, saunas, quiet rooms and a salt room.
Select a hotel to match your romantic vibe
According to Visit Florida, there are more than 4200 hotel properties in the Sunshine State to help set the tone for your getaway. Time-tested options in northern Florida include the Henderson Park Inn in Destin, which has a tranquil sunset deck overlooking the Emerald Coast, as well as Gainesville’s Bed and Breakfast District, which includes the Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast Inn, offering pet-friendly cottages if Fido is joining.
In Central and South Florida, book a stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, where you can explore a 4.5-acre glass atrium loaded with landscaping and waterways with your boo. For Miami luxury, the St Regis Bal Harbour Resort exudes oceanfront indulgence, with Bal Harbour Shops across the street for a shopping spree and an on-property adults-only pool for ultimate privacy.