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Powdery white beaches and clear blue waters. Fun theme parks and electric entertainment. Lush golf courses and scenic fishing spots. Great food, great culture and a great nightlife. Short of nothing, Florida, nicknamed the ‘Sunshine State’, is a dream destination for a villa holiday in 2021.
Home to some of the state’s best beaches – think Destin, Pensacola, Panama City and Fort Walton – Florida’s north west is a wonderful area to base yourself if you’re after a laidback coastal villa experience.
Alternatively, nature lovers might want to consider Gainesville, which is known for its hiking trails, or quiet and calm Cedar Key. In the more central part of the north, Florida’s charming capital Tallahassee is always a top choice, too.
In the north eastern corner of Florida, you’ll find plenty of history and culture, especially in cities such as St. Augustine – the oldest in the US – and Jacksonville. Other options include the Jacksonville Beaches and Amelia Island.
If you’re in the mood for fun-filled, larger-than-life entertainment, then make a beeline for central Florida. Famous the world over for its epic theme parks, Orlando is a hugely popular destination for families, while Kissimmee and Winter Haven are great options for the kids, too.
Elsewhere, to the west, look to rent a villa in and around Tampa, one of the Gulf Coast’s hippest of cities; St. Petersburg – check out the Salvador Dalí Museum – and Clearwater, whose eponymous beach was named by TripAdvisor as one of the best in the US in 2021.
The central eastern coastline, meanwhile, is a popular choice with holidaymakers after sun, sea and sand. Cocoa Beach and Daytona offer a classic beach experience.
South Florida is one of the most eclectic and exciting parts of the state. In the east, the uber-cool Miami is hard to miss – do as the locals do and treat yourself to a villa with a private pool – while nearby Fort Lauderdale indulges in its own luxuriousness (be warned – villas are far from cheap here).
For true escape, it’s all about the Florida Keys, a cluster of idyllic islands off the southern coast of Florida. A favourite of Ernest Hemingway, Key West, in particular, is an enchanting, almost Caribbean-esque destination.
Towards the south west, Fort Myers has plenty of stories to tell and beaches to unwind on, Naples will please both foodies and shoppers alike – it’s a little more upmarket – while Sarasota, also blessed with gorgeous beaches, is a hotbed for art and culture.
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