Two Florida Cities Just Named Best Travel Destinations by Experts

St. Petersburg and Destin-Fort Walton Beach win raves from travel enthusiasts and influencers

Downtown St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg sits on the coast of Tampa Bay, offering exceptional museums in a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere. Pixabay

Two Florida cities recently were included in a round-up of best places to travel in the United States by Forbes: St. Petersburg and Destin-Fort Walton Beach.

The Forbes roundup wasn’t a ranking of travel destinations per se. Rather it was a collection of suggestions from “leading women travel experts and influencers,” according to author Laura Begley Bloom.

Bloom wrote that the resulting choices included some destinations from her “own little black book.” Two Florida cities made her list. Other cities included Phoenix, San Francisco, Savannah, Portland (Maine), Traverse City (Michigan) and Kansas City.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach

This Northwest Florida spot was chosen by Chicago-based freelance writer Kate Schweitzer for its year-round “near-perfect” weather, growing hotel scene and dining choices.

Schweitzer particularly emphasized the educational, family-friendly activities available in the region, including the Gulfarium CARE Center, which focuses on protecting sea turtles.

Schweitzer goes on to call Destin “a Florida hidden gem.”

St. Petersburg

Bloom includes the Tampa Bay hotspot in her list, shortening the name to just “St. Pete” (something normally reserved formally for only St. Pete Beach). Florida-based travel writer Terry Ward nominated the city.

The city – once only known for its retirement population – has increasingly won raves for its lively downtown district, impressive museum offerings and friendliness to the LGBTQ+ community.

The city’s downtown pier, recently completely rebuilt, also won acclaim in the review as a year-round gathering spot.

Click here to read the full Forbes story on best travel cities.

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