Florida is an excellent destination for people of all ages. However, some cities in the Sunshine State offer visitors an easygoing experience filled with activities perfect for mature adults. Filled with boat tours, golf resorts, oceanside restaurants, and sunset walks, these Florida cities are a little slice of heaven. Check out these top five senior-friendly travel spots in Florida, including what to do and where to stay.
1. St. Augustine
While the tourist town of St. Augustine gets crowded during the summer, it is the perfect laidback spot between March and May. With fewer people and comfortable temperatures, you can enjoy this charming historic town all to yourself. St. Augustine is one of the most unique places in Florida and features a growing retirement population. The city is definitely walkable, but you can also get around the downtown area by trolley. And if you’re a history or nature buff, this travel spot is for you! You can enjoy everything from scenic drives to casual walks on the beach to historical sites and wine-tasting cruises.
Things to do and see: carriage rides, food/drink cruise, stroll through Old St. Augustine, visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, take a scenic drive to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Where to stay: Villa 1565 Hotel (Mission-style hotel), Casa Monica Resort & Spa (upscale 4-star hotel)
Where to eat: Harry’s Seafood (Cajun-Creole bar and grill), Columbia Restaurant (traditional Spanish eatery), Prohibition Kitchen (1920’s-themed American tavern)
Sitting along the Atlantic Coast south of Orlando, Melbourne is known for its beach activities, lively art scene, and relaxed atmosphere. Spring is the ideal time to visit when the weather is mild, the crowds are few, and nature is in full bloom. This city is for laid-back yet active people who enjoy outdoor activities, museums, and gardens. Plus, the area has a great sense of community!
Things to do and see: Paradise Beach and Park, concerts at the King Center, Liberty Bell Memorial Museum, Foosaner Art Museum, stroll through downtown
Where to stay: Port d’Hiver Bed and Breakfast (4-star B&B with ocean views), Tuckaway Shores Resort (beachfront suites)
Where to eat: Chart House (upscale seafood with beautiful views), The Mansion (casual American in a Victorian house)
Located along the Gulf Coast south of Tampa, Sarasota is a vibrant city with many cultural institutes, fine dining, and miles of pristine beaches. You can kayak through mangroves, hang out by the water, or visit a botanical garden. Sarasota is great for people of all mobility levels who love to soak up the sun in a beautiful setting. The weather is perfect during the spring and fall.
Things to do and see: riverboat tour, Sarasota Opera House, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Lido Key Beach, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, farmers market, Sarasota Classic Car Museum
Where to stay: The Westin (4-star hotel with a rooftop pool), Sandcastle Resort (casual 3-star lodge with Gulf views)
Where to eat: Veronica Fish and Oyster (seafood supper club), Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse (upscale steak and cocktails)
4. Punta Gorda
This Southwest Florida city sits along the Charlotte Harbor north of Fort Myers. Punta Gorda is well known for its high level of safety, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful marinas, and delicious restaurants. This city is especially popular for retirees due to its low cost of living, low crime rates, and plenty of things to do. You can spend your vacation lounging on the beach, taking boat tours, or perusing a farmer’s market. Spring and early fall are the best times to visit.
Things to do and see: Peace River Wildlife Center, Military Heritage Musem, Ponce De Leon Park, Gilchrest Park, boat tours, Alligator Bay Distillers, Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, Fishermen’s Village
Where to stay: Charlotte Bay Resort and Club (3-star hotel near the water), Fishermen’s Village (waterfront resort complex with shopping and dining)
Where to eat: Laishley Crab House (seafood on the water), Leroy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar (Southern soul food)
This luxury beach city is in the Tampa Bay area, which is famous for its white sand beaches and emerald waters on a barrier island. This pick can be a little livelier than the others on this list, but if you go during early fall, you can beat the crowds and the heat. When you’re not strolling along Clearwater Beach, one of the best beaches in the country, you can check out nearby islands, go on a Tiki cruise, watch the dolphins, or eat fresh seafood with ocean views.
Things to do and see: Sand Key Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Honeymoon Island State Park, pirate cruise, Hogan’s Beach Shop
Where to stay: Shepherd’s Beach Resort (beachy 3-star resort), Opal Sands Resort & Spa (posh 4-star hotel on the water)
Where to eat: Crabby’s Bar & Grill (laidback seafood spot with happy hour), Marina Cantina (dockside Mexican spot with a roof deck)
Summary of the 5 Top Senior-Friendly Travel Spots in Florida
|#||Senior-Friendly Travel Spots||Attractions|
|1||St. Augustine||Carriage rides, food/drink cruise, stroll through Old St. Augustine|
|2||Melbourne||Paradise Beach and Park, concerts at the King Center|
|3||Sarasota||Kayaking among mangroves, riverboat tour, Sarasota Opera House,|
|4||Punta Gorda||Peace River Wildlife Center, Military Heritage Musem, Ponce De Leon Park|
|5||Clearwater||Sand Key Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Honeymoon Island State Park|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Artiom Photo/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.