Florida has always been a popular vacation destination, but the Sunshine State broke new tourism records in 2022.
According to Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism board, Florida saw 137.6 million visitors in 2022, up 12.9% from 2021 and up 5% from its previous record in 2019.
Florida is one of the top destinations in the United States for American travelers and international travelers alike.
Interestingly, however, in 2022, fewer travelers entered the state by airplane. Arrivals by airplane dropped from 41% to 38%, meaning that more Americans are driving to Florida for their vacation.
Here’s why so many Americans vote Florida as their favorite destination:
1. Incredible Beaches
One of the things Florida is most famous for is its beaches.
For pristine white sand beaches and clear turquoise water, you can’t go wrong with the Gulf Coast. If you’re looking for more action and nightlife, Miami and Fort Lauderdale are the places to go.
And if you want to escape to a secluded paradise, the Florida Keys, Marco Island, and Sanibel Island are some great beach destinations to check out.
2. Theme Parks
You can’t talk about Florida without talking about the theme parks.
Orlando is home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, and numerous other theme parks. Of the 137.6 million visitors to Florida in 2022, more than 100 million of them came to Orlando.
Disney World and Universal are extremely popular destinations for families with small children, and they are growing in popularity with other demographics like childless adults and multi-generational family groups.
Of course, there’s also a lot more to do in Orlando aside from theme parks.
3. Amazing Weather
Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing. One of the biggest draws to Florida is its year-round warm and sunny climate.
If you’re looking to escape the cold, Florida is the perfect winter sun destination. Much of the state rarely drops below temperatures in the seventies and eighties all year long.
Just watch out for August and September, which are the hottest and most humid months, as well as being the worst part of the hurricane season.
4. Diverse Activities
Beaches and theme parks may be some of the biggest draws for visitors in Florida, but there’s so much more to the state to discover!
For nature lovers, kayaking in Everglades National Park or scuba diving with manatees in Crystal River are some incredible things to do.
If you’re interested in history and culture, some places to check out are St. Augustine (the oldest city in the United States), the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West.
And, of course, you can’t beat Miami when it comes to dining, shopping, and nightlife.
5. Affordable Prices
While Florida can be a pricy destination, it can also be incredibly affordable, depending on where you go. It’s possible to snag a nice hotel room in many top destinations for under $200 a night.
For example, in this comparison of the most and least expensive destinations in Florida, you can see that in beautiful Panama City Beach, the average price per night for a hotel room is just $103, and in Kissimmee, which is a short drive from Orlando, it’s only $94.
6. Flight Connections
According to Flight Connections, there are 100 domestic nonstop flight routes to Orlando and nearly 80 domestic nonstop flight routes to Miami.
It’s safe to say that Florida is well-connected when it comes to flights, and most Americans will be able to find a nonstop flight to the Sunshine State. The ease of getting to Florida is just one more reason why this destination is so popular with American travelers.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com