10 Days in Florida is an ideal amount of time to experience all that the Sunshine State has to offer. In this guide, guest blogger Polly Clover shares this comprehensive 10-day Florida Itinerary to help you make the very most of your trip.
Are you craving warm sunshine, beautiful beaches, and amusement parks? If so, it’s time to pack your bags and head to Florida!
As a southern girl from South Carolina, Florida was always one of my favourite East Coast family vacations. So much so I even moved there for a little while as an adult.
The Sunshine State offers tons of memorable experiences. That’s why I’ve created the ultimate Florida itinerary so that you can experience the magic for yourself!
This detailed travel guide takes you to 3 popular cities: Orlando, Miami, and Key West. These destinations are each special in their own way and offer plenty of exciting things to do.
There’s fun for everyone on this trip to Florida, from theme parks and national parks to beaches and historical sites! I’ll share popular spots along with some of the East Coasts’ best hidden gems, as well as where to stay and eat during your vacation.
So let’s get to it. Here’s my tried and tested 10 Day Florida Itinerary.
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How to Spend 10 Days in Florida
With hundreds of miles of coastline and many unique cities, it’s easy to spend a long time in Florida.
However, this itinerary has been carefully planned so that you can enjoy the best of Florida in 10 days.
For your first three days, you’ll explore the vibrant amusement parks in Orlando. Then, you’ll travel 3.5 hours south to Miami for a 4-day cultural and beach adventure.
Finally, you’ll make your way another 3.5 hours south to spend three days on the stunning island of Key West.
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The Best Florida Itinerary for 10 Days
We’ve made it to the fun part! Let’s take a look at the best Florida sites and activities for your 10-day adventure.
3 Days in Orlando Itinerary
Orlando offers magic unlike any other place in the US. For your 3 days in Orlando, you’ll check out theme parks on the first 2 days and explore downtown on your final day.
If you prefer to get more time at the parks, feel free to make this your entire trip. Many people do! However, checking out downtown is a fun way to change things up and see more of what Orlando has to offer.
Day 1 and 2: Theme Parks
Whether you’re travelling with friends, your partner, or as a family, theme parks are what Orlando’s all about!
That’s why I suggest taking at least two days for theme parks to see what the hype is all about and get the whole experience.
There are 4 Disney theme parks in Orlando: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. There are also 2 Disney waterparks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
Then there are the Universal Studios parks, with hundreds of rides and attractions based on all of your favourite Hollywood movies.
Before you begin your 10 days in Florida, I recommend doing some research and deciding which theme parks you’re most interested in checking out.
Each one offers a unique experience for visitors of all ages to enjoy a magical adventure. Personally, my favourite was Epcot (that’s the travel bug in me!).
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the parks to make things easier for you:
Orlando Theme Parks
- Magic Kingdom: home to six-themed lands with more than 40 attractions, including dining and shopping.
- Animal Kingdom: an incredible zoological theme park and the largest in the world.
- Epcot: home to global culture, space, seas, and mother nature.
- Hollywood Studios: offers a look inside the worlds of film, tv, drawing, music, and theatre.
- Typhoon Lagoon: a water park with a waterslide, a propelled water-coaster, raft rides, and a lazy river (best for kids).
- Blizzard Beach: very similar to Typhoon Lagoon and filled with tons of fun water rides activities (best for adults).
- Universal Studios: It’s like watching your favourite TV shows and movies IRL, only on some of the most advanced rides in the world.
- Islands of Adventure: Home to the incredible Harry Potter World and other jaw-dropping attractions.
Book Your Orlando Theme Park Tickets in Advance!
Each theme park mentioned above, except for the waterparks, is open through the evening.
I highly recommend hanging out all day and enjoying your evening at the park, too. You can find countless unique dining experiences and events at night.
Magic Kingdom is even more magical after the sun sets with bright lights shining and an evening parade. And Epcot lights up after dark as you enjoy dinner and drinks ‘around the world’ and other amazing experiences.
Animal Kingdom offers a special evening safari tour and a bioluminescent rainforest ride. And Hollywood Studios is also well-worth hanging around for its incredible nighttime shows.
Day 3: Explore Downtown Orlando
Some people want to spend all their time in theme parks while staying in Orlando.
But, if you’ve had your fill and want to see more of this vibrant city, Orlando has a lot of exciting things to do outside of the parks.
When I travel, I enjoy checking out areas the locals enjoy. So on day 3, I recommend exploring downtown Orlando.
It’s the city’s beating heart where you can enjoy beautiful parks, a vibrant culture, delicious food, and lively nightlife.
Most of the following destinations are within walking distance of each other. You can also use pedicabs and bike-share services for convenient travel.
Start your morning at the charming Thornton Park, where you can grab breakfast, relax, wander around, and even shop.
Around the park, you can find cafes, shops, and a local Farmer’s Market.
While there are many museums and galleries in the area, CityArts is one of the most unique.
This eclectic art gallery is located in a neat space and features exhibitions from local and international artists.
Tip – Best of all, there’s no fee for entry (at this time).
Allow: 1-2 hours
Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is located between the previous two destinations (Thornton Park and CityArts). However, I’d save it for the afternoon to enjoy a picture-perfect sunset.
This beautiful park is a locals’ favourite. Every now and then, you’ll find events taking place at Lake Eola Park.
Or, if you’re up for an adventure, you can rent a swan-shaped paddleboat to take out on the lake.
If you’re interested in enjoying dinner and drinks into the evening, you can stick around downtown Orlando for a fun night out on the town.
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Where to Stay in Orlando
Hotels and accommodations are situated throughout Orlando, making finding your ideal home base easy. Let’s check out some top hotel recommendations in Orlando.
Best Budget Hotel: Hilton Orlando – Hilton Orlando is a simple, budget-friendly option that’s also centrally located. This hotel is a couple of miles from SeaWorld and a few miles from the vibrant area on International Drive. The hotel also offers on-site dining and a mini-golf course.
Best Mid-Range Hotel: Castle Hotel – Castle Hotel offers a unique stay with castle-style decor and an outdoor pool with various water features. You’ll be located just a few miles from Universal Orlando Theme Park, and the hotel features a fitness room, a cafe, and a restaurant.
Best Luxury Hotel: Walt Disney World Dolphin – Walt Disney World Dolphin is the perfect accommodation if you plan on enjoying all that Orlando’s theme parks have to offer. This resort has it all, from a water taxi service and various on-site restaurants to five outdoor pools and a wellness spa.
You can also check out many other accommodation options in Orlando here. Or use the Map below to see all your options:
Where to Eat in Orlando
From homestyle breakfast to tasty tapas and delicious wine, you’re sure to be impressed by Orlando’s food and wine scene.
- Breakfast: Se7enBites, in the Milk District ($$)
- Sophisticated Cafe: The Robinson Cafe & Cocktail Lounge, near Lake Eola Park ($$)
- Seafood: The Waterfront, on Lake Jennie Jewel ($$)
- Tapas, Entrees, & Wine: Wine Bar George, near Disney Springs ($$$)
4 Days in Miami Itinerary
Next up on your 10 day Florida itinerary is one of my favourite places in the world: Miami.
Home to all things entertaining, like beaches, culture, and nightlife, Miami is one of the most popular destinations on the entire East Coast.
With so much to see and do in Miami, I recommend spending most of your time here.
Four days is a perfect amount of time to explore, relax, eat, and drink your way around Miami.
Day 1: South Beach and Ocean Drive
I’m all about taking some time to relax on the beach on my first day in a coastal town, so that’s what I recommend on your first day in Miami. And South Beach is the perfect place to do it!
What makes South Beach different from many others is its incredibly cool pastel-coloured art-deco pieces along the beach.
In fact, South Beach and the famous Ocean Drive offer so much to do that you can easily spend the day here. Stop by a cafe for coffee and breakfast before settling in at the beach.
With gorgeous white sands, blue waters, and Florida’s fabulous weather, it’s hard not to kick back and relax for hours.
When you’re ready for a break from the beach, explore Ocean Drive. This iconic art-deco street is home to tons of restaurants, shops, and bars.
If you’re still in the area for sunset, head over to South Pointe Park Pier for some unforgettable views.
Day 2: Wynwood and Downtown Miami
One of Miami’s main attractions is its unique art scene. And, a close second is the shopping.
On day 2, you’ll explore two popular areas: Wynwood and Downtown. Since these two areas are about 5 miles from each other, you’ll want to take the tram or a taxi (unless you’re driving).
I’d suggest spending the first half of your day in Wynwood and the second part into the evening in Downtown Miami.
Wynwood is easily my favourite area in Miami. I could visit over and over again and never get tired of it!
It’s also one of the most Instagrammable areas in Miami by far. The district is basically an outdoor museum displaying unique and colourful murals.
Not only can you spend hours on a self-guided mural artwork tour, but there are also tons of quirky art galleries and various craft breweries.
Almost as cool as Wynwood, the downtown area is home to shopping, culture, and events.
There are several blocks to explore on and away from the water, which is why you should dedicate the second part of your day to strolling around downtown.
While this district is the oldest in the city, it boasts modern theatres, museums, shops, restaurants, and bars.
To get a good feel of Miami’s past, HistoryMiami Museum is the largest history museum in the entire state. It’s $10 to enter with discounts for seniors, students, and children.
If you’d like to check out an upscale shopping and dining area, check out The Shops at Mary Brickell Village. This shopping and entertainment centre spans two blocks in Miami’s downtown Brickell neighbourhood.
While there are tons of great dinner spots in the area, Crazy About You offers a spectacular menu along with waterfront sunset views.
Day 3: Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
While Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park isn’t directly in Miami, it’s nearby on the tip of Key Biscayne.
Boasting endless natural beauty, I highly recommend the 8.5-mile drive over for a day. I suggest you pack your swimsuit for this one, too.
Bill Baggs is situated along Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The views are incredible, and the activities are endless!
Some things to see and do at Bill Baggs include:
- Beach access: hang out on the beach to swim, relax, and stroll (chairs and umbrellas are available to rent).
- Nature trails: explore mangrove wetlands and the coastal strand by foot or bicycle (rentals available at the park).
- Wildlife viewing: tons of neotropical migrants around the park and beach.
- Cape Florida Lighthouse: A historical 1800s lighthouse that’s been restored, with tours available.
Day 4: Bayfront Park and Marketplace
On your final day in Miami, you’ll head back downtown to explore Bayfront Park and Bayside Market. Today offers opportunities to relax, shop, eat, and get out on the water.
Bayfront Park is a city park on the water. It’s an ample green space with a fountain and amphitheatre and hosts regular events. It’s the perfect spot to bring a to-go coffee or picnic breakfast and relax.
Bayside Market is an open-air shopping centre next to Bayfront Park on the water. Along with plenty of shops, you can find cafes and restaurants galore.
If you’re up for an adventure, you can rent jet skis or if you prefer a more relaxed afternoon, take a boat tour to explore more of Miami.
You can also find opportunities to get out on the water at Bayside market. There are several boat tours and water equipment rentals in the area.
If you’re up for an evening activity, check out Villain Theater. This quaint, fun comedy club offers the perfect end to your time in Miami.
Save Time and Book a Tour
Where to Stay in Miami
With so much to see and do in Miami, there’s no shortage of accommodations. My top suggestions are:
Best Budget Hotel: Habitat Brickell I Sextant – Habitat Brickell I Sextant is a simple yet clean and cosy hotel. Not only is it one of Miami’s more affordable accommodations, but it’s also close to popular areas. Bayfront Park and Bayside Marketplace are both about a mile away.
Best Mid-Range Hotel: Eurostars Langford – Eurostars Langford offers a comfortable stay in a historic building in the heart of Miami. The hotel offers a modern vibe and rooms with views of the city. Located close to several activities on this Miami itinerary, it’s an ideal base.
Best Luxury Hotel: SLS Brickell – SLS Brickell is situated in the upscale Brickell area just a few minutes from The Shop at Mary Brickell. Not only is the location incredibly convenient to nearby activities, but the hotel itself offers an on-site bar and rooftop pool. You can also enjoy a spa and fitness centre.
You can also check out many other accommodation options in Miami here. Or use the Map below to see all your options:
Where to Eat in Miami
One of the things I enjoy most about Miami is the amazing food! While incredible restaurants dot the entire city, here are some of my top choices:
- Brunch: Limonada Bar + Brunch, near South Beach ($$)
- Mexican: Pink Taco, near South Beach ($$)
- Seafood: The River Oyster Bar, Downtown Miami ($$)
- Fine Dining: LPM Restaurant & Bar, in the Brickell neighborhood ($$$$)
3 Days in Key West Itinerary
As you finish up your 10 days in Florida, the final stop is the southernmost point in the United States: Key West.
This spectacular island is most known for its exciting watersports, vibrant nightlife, stunning architecture, and beautiful beaches.
This 3-day Key West itinerary allows you to slow down and relax for the final leg of your trip.
You’ll spend your time hanging out on the beach, taking a ferry ride to a national park, and spending a day exploring downtown.
Day 1: Beach Day
As you settle into Key West, I highly suggest taking the day to enjoy one of the city’s fantastic beaches.
With so many to choose from, there’s an ideal seaside destination for every kind of traveller including some of Florida’s best family beach resorts.
Here are some of the best beaches in Key West:
Smathers Beach – Smathers Beach is one of the biggest and most popular beaches in the area.
There are tons of activities to enjoy, including beach volleyball and watersports. You can even rent kayaks and jet skis at the beach!
With amenities and food trucks all around, it’s the perfect place to spend the day.
Tip: Arrive early to enjoy breathtaking sunrise views!
Higgs Memorial Beach – With full amenities and tons of space, Higgs Memorial Beach is another fantastic place to spend your day.
Kick back and relax or get in the water for swimming or snorkelling. Beach rentals are available, making things super convenient for your beach day.
Zachary Taylor State Park Beach – While this state park is a little way from other local beaches, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy nature for the day.
It’s known as one of the cleanest beaches in the area, with jaw-dropping clear water that’s perfect for snorkelling.
Don’t forget to pack your go-pro, as you can get some awesome underwater photos.
Rest Beach – Rest Beach offers just that! It’s one of the best beaches if you’re simply looking to rest and enjoy nature.
It’s just 10 minutes away from downtown Key West. The beach pier offers unmatched views, too.
Evening Sunset Cruise – If you’re looking to stay at the beach into the evening, I highly recommend a sunset cruise in Key West.
Whether you’re looking to sip some wine and sail or enjoy a delicious dinner on the water, there are tons of options.
Day 2: Dry Tortugas National Park
Although Dry Tortugas National Park isn’t directly in Key West, it’s nearby and a must-visit!
This secluded piece of paradise is about 70 miles off the coast of Key West and is well worth a day trip.
I recommend hopping on The Yankee Freedom III ferry first thing in the morning and heading over to this gorgeous string of 7 small islands.
This trip takes you on a full-day adventure, where you can tour the historic Fort Jefferson and go snorkelling in some of the world’s most pristine waters.
Entry – $190 for the entire day trip + meals included (discounts for children, students, active military, and seniors; Allow: an entire day (7 AM – 5:15 PM)
Rather skip Dry Tortugas National Park? Feel free to soak up the sun and check out another beach!
Save Time and Book a Tour
For a more local experience, we recommend checking out the guided tours on Get Your Guide:
Day 3: Explore the City
On your final day in Key West, let’s explore the city. While the beaches are stunning, the city is just as great.
Rent a bicycle or walk around and explore what the downtown area has to offer. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to spend all day and into the evening exploring.
Key West Historic Seaport
The best way to start your final morning in Key West is by wandering around Key West Historic Seaport. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby, like the iconic Cuban Coffee Queen.
Grab a coffee and take a stroll around the marina, which sits on the water and offers shopping and scenery. There’s also a boardwalk worth checking out before heading over to Duval Street.
Duval Street is the centre of downtown and a well-known area. It boasts shops, restaurants, bars, and historic sites. I personally suggest experiencing the whole area and hanging out for the rest of the day!
Here are some noteworthy spots to check out around Duval Street (but, really, the list is endless!):
- Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: stunning historic home of the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway (entry: $17 with discounts for children).
- Truman Little White House: President Truman’s winter White House, now a museum (entry: $22.20 with discounts for children).
- The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: beautiful butterfly park and garden with other wildlife (entry: $15 with discounts for children, active military, and seniors).
- Mallory Square: a waterfront site with sunset views, restaurants, and nightlife.
Where to Stay in Key West
For convenience, I recommend staying in or around downtown in Key West. Since downtown is the city’s centre, it’s ideal for walking to and from restaurants, shopping, and more.
With that said, there are plenty of accommodations throughout the city, and I’ll share some of the best ones below.
Best Budget Hotel: Nyah – Nyah is an adult-only hotel about a 10-minute walk from the Duval Street area. The rooms are simple yet modern and nicely decorated. A nice breakfast is included in your stay, too, so it’s the perfect place if you’re looking to stay in Key West on a budget.
Best Mid-Range Hotel: The Cabana Inn – The Cabana Inn is a colonial-style guesthouse with sophisticated rooms. This one is also adult-only and has a swimming pool, hot tub, and a wine happy hour. It’s also located close to the downtown area.
Best Luxury Hotel: Ocean Key Resort and Spa – Ocean Key Resort and Spa offers a luxurious stay that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, which you can see from the incredible swimming pool. The resort has an on-site spa, fitness centre, and waterfront restaurants. This one’s also centrally located close to all the activities on Duval Street.
You can also check out many other accommodation options in Key West here. Or use the Map below to see all your options:
Where to Eat in Key West
There’s no shortage of fantastic food in Key West. Here are some places I recommend for dining and drinking, all of which you can find around Duval Street.
- Breakfast: the breakfast club, too ($$)
- Seafood: Lagerheads Beach Bar & Watersports ($)
- Tapas: Santiago’s Bodega ($$)
Enjoy an Epic 10 Days in Florida!
Along with the beautiful North Carolina, Florida is one of my favourite states in the country. It’s truly a unique and magical place with so much to offer!
I hope this ten day Florida itinerary has you excited about your vacation and that you have a wonderful time exploring all there is to see and do.
We love hearing from you! If you have any questions or feel that we’ve missed anything, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment in the comment section.
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
If you plan on seeing more of the East Coast during your trip, check out the rest of our East Coast USA Series to help you with your travel planning.