Florida is a big state with thousands upon thousands of restaurants that need to satisfy millions of travelers and locals every year. With hungry families famished from a day at a theme park, to spring breakers looking for late night munchies, and everything in between - the Florida food scene has blossomed into a melting pot of flavors. As much as we love the Cuban-inspired and southern dishes you can find throughout the state, we're here to talk about one thing: pizza.
Pizza is the great equalizer. Everyone loves a slice or an entire pie. You can have it for all three meals, and even for a late night snack. When you're on vacation, pizza is the quick meal that keeps everyone happy and on-the-go. It's also darn cheap, so you aren't breaking the bank every time you sit for a meal.
Everyone claims to have the best pizza, since it is such a simple recipe on the surface. We're here to lay waste to those claims and actually name the best pizza worth traveling for in the great state of Florida.
The atmosphere, the food, the service, and the location put these establishments over the top and onto our list of the best pizza worth traveling for in Florida. So grab your sandals, your sunblock, and your appetite and try out each entry on our list:
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza (Multiple Locations)
Six locations around Florida utilize 800-degree coal fired ovens to cook these delicious pies.
Bella Roma (Saint Cloud)
Family owned and operated pizzeria using secret recipes that will melt in your mouth.
Cafe Ponte (Clearwater)
You want award-winning wine with your pizza? Come here.
Flipper's Pizzeria (Multiple Locations)
Community service is a major selling point of visiting Flipper's pizzeria - you'll feel good about it.
Fratelli La Bufala (Miami)
This establishment is all about "Italian" authenticity - from the ingredients, to the ownership and more.
Inspired by the Veneto region of Italy, Joey's is located in the coolest neighborhood in Wynwood, the Wynwood Arts District.
Kitchenetta (Fort Lauderdale)
If you're looking for homestyle Italian cooking, like your Nana or Nonni used to make, Kitchenetta is your spot.
Nick's New Haven Style Pizzeria & Bar (Coral Springs, Boca Raton)
The secret is in their homemade sauce, 20-year old recipe, and hand-built coal pizza ovens, we affectionately call "the Dragons."
Nino's Thick and Thin (Fort Myers)
New York style pizza dishes are found here, with both thick and thin crusts, as well as Sicilian style dishes.
NYPD Pizzeria (Orlando)
Praised by Zagat's as an Orlando pizza haven, NYPD Pizzeria is so good it has even franchised.
Pizza Fusion (Multiple Locations)
Fresh ingredients and a sustainable process, what could be better?
Pizza Rustica (Miami)
Pizza Rustica is all about GOURMET pizza, they don't even have a freezer in the restaurant! Don't need one! It's all fresh!
Pizzeria Oceano (Lantana)
A recent TripAdvisor reviewer says: "If good cooking can be elevated to an art form, this place is the Picasso of pizza."
Pizzeria Valdiano (Winter Park)
Tops among central Florida pizza joints - try the Hawaiian or garlic knots for a real treat.
Rey Pizza (Miami)
Taking cheese beyond mozzarella, Rey Pizza is truly the King in Miami.
Scuola Vecchia Pizzeria (Delray Beach)
Ranked one of the 101 best pizzas in America according to Daily Mail.
Spadini's Pizzeria (Boca Raton)
For the top al fresco dining experience, this Boca Raton shop is your choice.
Stanzione 87 (Miami)
More artists than chefs, you'll find incredible Neapolitan options here.
Outside of their delicious pies, the atmosphere at Thea's might be the top on this list.
Tuccis Pizza (Boca Raton)
If you like your pizza charred, then you'll LOVE Tucci's.
Florida offers destinations for every type of traveler, so if you're planning to visit this gorgeous state, you're in luck. Before deciding where you'll spend your getaway, though, consider who you'll be traveling with and what experiences you hope to have.
Romantic Destinations for Couples
Whether you're retired or visiting on your honeymoon, Florida offers sites and experiences that will bring you closer together. Visit the Everglades National Park for airboat and bird watching excursions. This ecosystem is unlike any in the world, and it's home to falcons, alligators, crocodiles, turtles, and even panthers, making it a must-see adventure the two of you will never forget.
At the southernmost tip of the continental U.S., Key West is a paradise in itself. Once home to the likes of Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway, there's a charming, romantic vibe in this city, with its vintage atmosphere, brick streets, and relaxing trolley tours. Key West boasts pristine beaches and the Great Florida Reef, making it the best place in Florida for diving, snorkeling, and deep-sea fishing.
Fun-Filled Destinations for the Whole Family
You can't plan a family trip to Florida without the kids getting excited about Disney World. Orlando is the quintessential family destination in the country, boasting four main theme parks inside Walt Disney World Resort. There simply isn't enough time to see it all, but you'll have a blast trying!
Tampa also offers kid-friendly theme parks like Busch Gardens and nearby LEGOLAND Florida. These two cities are also just over an hour apart, so you may want to consider staying in between Tampa and Orlando or spending half your vacation in one city then moving to the next, in order to take advantage of all the thrilling attractions.
Cities With the Best Nightlife for Friends and Singles
South Beach has something for every visitor, but its robust club scene draws in fun-loving tourists from across the country. It's known the world over for incredible nightlife that doesn't stop until dawn, so if you're planning to sleep all day and live it up at night, South Beach is the place to be.
Ft. Lauderdale may be known as a boater's paradise, but it also draws in the spring break crowds with its 23 miles of beaches and artificial reefs. This city also offers plenty of singles events and meet-and-greet parties, so there's always an opportunity to socialize. Whether you're up for an evening at a wine bar, comedy club, sports bar, or nightclub, you'll find them all in Ft. Lauderdale.
Best Destinations for History Buffs
St. Augustine, Florida isn't just a historical city. It's the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the country. Visit the oldest masonry fort in the U.S., the Castillo de San Marcos, the iconic St. Augustine Lighthouse, the Oldest House, or the Fort Matanzas National Monument.
Pensacola is another destination that boasts historical sites, including Fort Pickens, a Civil War fort dating back to 1829. History buffs will also enjoy historic Pensacola Village, Fort Barrancas, and the Civil War Soldiers Museum.
Florida offers something for everyone. You won't find any shortage of fun and adventure here, no matter your travel style.
Typically we pick topics for the FlipKey blog based on things we think are important and relevant to the vacation rental industry. This isn't necessarily one of those times.
Earlier in the week a friend sent me the above photo of the top pictures on National Geographic in '07. The following pic caught my eye (and luckily not my hand).
The bad news: This is a real photo.
The good news: They were able to recover the hand and successfully re-attach it to the original owner (not joking).
Ultimately the photo reminded me of the misconceptions between alligators and crocodiles. Florida represents one of the largest vacation rental markets in the world and is also one of the only geographies were both alligators and crocodiles exist.
Typically, when I return from my Florida travels friends and family often ask me if I had any crocodile run-ins. Before I answer "no", I take the time to explain that Florida's population of alligators far out numbers the population of crocs. In addition, Florida is only home to saltwater crocodiles which are significantly less aggressive than freshwater crocs found in Africa and Australia. The above picture is of a "Nile Crocodile" in Africa - you will not find this type of croc in Florida.
Alligators are not particularly aggressive creatures. Between 1948 to 2005 there were only 17 recorded "deaths by alligator". That's about 0.3 deaths per year. Comparatively, crocodiles have been responsible for 51 recorded deaths between 1990-1994. That's nearly 13 deaths per year - nearly all of them occurring outside of the U.S. In fact, I could not find a recorded 'death by crocodile' in the United States.
Taken from Yahoo Answers, here is a breakdown of additional differences between alligators and crocs:
By Traci L. Suppa
As the first major theme park to be built in Central Florida in a decade, LEGOLAND Florida opened in October to great anticipation. When I visited the new park in Winter Haven, FL with my 11-year old son, - a fervent LEGO aficionado since toddlerhood - it was nothing short of a pilgrimage.
I'm glad we had two full days to explore the park, because at 150 acres, the world's largest LEGOLAND offers too much to do and see in just one day. Depending on the time of year, the hours of operation here may limit you to just seven hours in which to cover ten distinct sections.
What did we enjoy most about the park? Here are our top picks:
At the top of our list was Miniland. You'll need at least an hour to stroll through the eight geographical areas with LEGO replicas of skylines, landmarks, and city scenes. We were amazed by the clever details which elevate these creations from plaything to art. Water features, sound, moving pieces and vehicles add to the realism. There are several buttons kids can push to make fountains gush, soldiers march, and D.J.'s play.
Unique Rides & Coasters
Being a “tween,” my son was eager to try out the rides. We found several that are unique to LEGOLAND. I enjoyed the 360° view when we ascended 150 feet in the air on Island in the Sky. It's the perfect vista of the entire park, as well as Lake Eloise. His favorite was the Aqua Zone Wave Racers. We raced jet skis around a central dock, while steering to avoid - or in his case, hit head on - fountains shooting water 15 feet high.
The four roller coasters don't break any size or speed records, which is why we enjoyed them. This is a park targeting kids 2-12 years old, and even the coasters are sized appropriately. Coastersaurous is the first wooden coaster within any LEGOLAND park, and Flying School is the first suspended coaster. LEGO Technic is designed in a Mouse Trap style. The longest lines stood outside for the Dragon coaster, a hybrid of a dark indoor journey through a dragon's lair and an outdoor ride offering spin, turn, and drop thrills.
LEGOLAND purchased the land of what was once the Cypress Gardens attraction, and responsibly preserved and restored the lush gardens with species from around the world, as well as the cove for water ski shows. The gardens are lush, shady, and quiet, with the perfect trail to walk along if you have a youngster in need of a stroller nap.
Neither of us had ever seen a water ski show before, and we both did a lot of “oohing” and “ahhing.” During “The Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty,” the brave Imperial Soldiers fight Brickbeard the Pirate. The ski stunts are impressive, and the cast engages the audience in water cannon play and pirate talk.
Lots for Little Ones
LEGOLAND excels in catering to the pre-school set, so I almost regretted not bringing my 4-year old daughter along on this trip. DUPLO Land is an entire section dedicated to children five and under, with indoor and outdoor play spaces. There are multi-level playgrounds and play spaces in the Land of Adventure and LEGO Kingdom sections. Several rides allow children at the height of just 36” to ride by themselves, including Royal Joust, Beetle Bounce, and the Junior Driving School. All the other elements are in place to facilitate young families, such as a Baby Care Center, stroller rentals, and healthy food options.
Actually, the water park hasn't opened yet. But knowing my son and how he loves swimming, I'm adding it to this list of highlights. The water park will open this summer, and will feature a wave pool, water slides, a super soaker area, a toddler play area, and a special Build-a-Raft River, which allows families to design and build a raft out of LEGO before floating down a lazy river.
Traci L. Suppa drags her small-town family to see a quirky array of the world’s largest, longest, or tallest things, and blogs about it at Go BIG or Go Home.
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