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Planning A Trip To Florida: Miami vs Orlando

Florida is, obviously, a well-known and well-loved vacation spot for a lot of people. However, with so many great destinations on offer, how are you meant to choose? For the most part, the two best destinations in Florida are Miami and Orlando. Arguably, Miami has the better nightlife, but Orlando tends to be more family oriented. Your choice will obviously depend on what you want from your vacation. This is why we have put together the following information to help you when it comes to planning your next vacation to Florida. Keep reading for more information. 


Miami is a great destination. In terms of the age range of people that you can expect, there is a real mix in Miami. It is ideal for those that want to enjoy the Florida weather without having to battle the crowds around Orlando for Disneyland. There are still a number of touristy things to do, including the beach, galleries, and the vast options for nightlife too. Tourists might want to take in the art deco architecture of South Bay, or if you are more into nature and outdoor pursuits, then the Everglades Nature Reserve is pretty close by, as is Wildlife Miami. 

Miami has a large Latinx population which is evident in its cuisine. Miami has great food; in particular, there is a large Cuban influence which is perhaps most seen in Versailles. As mentioned above, the nightlife in Miami is amazing and depending on where you decide to go, you are likely to see further evidence of the influence that Latinx culture has had here. Miami is arguably better than Orlando for water sports. Tourists can choose from any number of options like canoeing, surfing, water skiing or snorkeling, or if you simply want to relax and sunbathe on the beach, then there are a number of locations like Sunny Isles Bay. 

In terms of finding somewhere to stay in Miami, there are several options to consider. Arguably, while it is still a tourist destination, you are probably going to find more retail properties, beachfront lodgings or condos as opposed to other options. Of course, there are still many great hotels, some of the best offering stunning beach views. Miami is probably the best option for a chilled vacation. 


Orlando is another fabulous destination in Florida. Obviously, thanks to Disneyland, the age demographic in Orlando does skew to be more family-friendly than in Miami. However, Disneyland does still appeal to a lot of adults regardless of whether they have children or not. The hotels and tourist spots tend to appeal more and are more catered to this. There are lots for the kids to do here, from amusement parks to wildlife parks and even cinemas. 

In addition to Disneyland, there are a number of other places for you to check out, like Universal Studios. If you are more into the arts, then there is the Shakespeare performing arts auditorium. For sports lovers, there are a huge number of golf clubs to explore. You can also find some stunning spas to help you relax. Or, again, if outdoor pursuits are more your thing, then you could choose to check out the Orlando Canopy Outdoor Adventure for great hiking trails or zip-line adventures. In terms of the food, you are likely to find a lot more of the good old American food that you are used to having. There are burger joints and cafes aplenty. 

Despite the fact that Orlando does skew more towards families, there are still plenty of nightlife opportunities. There are several cool bars and clubs for you to enjoy, some of which boast live music and other entertainment. In terms of watersports, Orlando is near the coast, but it is definitely more of a journey than Miami. That being said, within Orlando itself, there are some great swimming pools which can mimic the experience. In terms of finding somewhere to stay, there are a number of great hotels to choose from, including some within the Magic Kingdom itself. 

Choosing Between The Two

Truthfully, your choice will depend entirely on you and your family. What do you want to get out of your vacation? Both destinations are truly great. Of course, they are geared towards different ends, which is something that you will need to think about. However, there isn’t really anything that says that you have to choose between the two. Are you vacationing with family? You will need to consider the ages of those that you are going on vacation with as well as their preferences in terms of the activities that will make up the itinerary too. Why not consult the other parties? Asking for their input ensures that you will organize a vacation that works for everyone. 

Depending on how long your vacation is, you could choose to do both. Realistically, Miami and Orlando are not that far apart, and there are excellent transport links between the two. For example, Wanderu has train tickets for Miami to Orlando. This would allow you to start your vacation in Miami and take advantage of its relaxing beaches, nightlife and water sports while gearing up to finish out your vacation in Orlando and hit the big theme parks like Disneyland. 

The Bottom Line

Truthfully, there is a reason why Miami and Orlando are the two most popular destinations in Florida. Both cities have a lot to offer, although they are distinctly different from each other too. This is why your personal circumstances and preferences will need to be taken into account when trying to choose which one you want to vacation to, although, as mentioned above, you don’t necessarily have to choose.

Orlando is great for families or those who like to have a busier vacation jam-packed with activities, whereas Miami is great for those who take a more laid-back approach to their vacations. Whichever one you choose, you are still likely to have a truly great vacation so don’t worry.`

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