Best Florida Guide Books

white sand beach under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

If you’re planning to go to Florida in the winter or spring, then fall is a good time to start checking out the newest guide books for the state.

Best for Bucket Listers

If you want to see the best there is in Florida with regard to natural beauty and active, outdoor vacations, then we recommend Florida Bucket List Adventure Guide & Journal: Explore 50 Natural Wonders You Must See!

This number-one bestseller is popular because it not only gives you the basics but then you have to write about your adventures, too. So, it’s a guidebook that holds you accountable!

Also, if you’re the type that enjoys making and checking off lists, then of course you will want to record all the details. Shout out to my Virgos—you know who you are 😉

Best All-Purpose Guide

Fodor’s has long been a well-respected name in the guidebook world, but only started really promoting U.S. travel in the 1980s.

The latest full-color, whole-state guide to Florida has sections dedicated to the best beaches, the Space Coast, the Everglades, and Disney World, as well as hotels, museums, Art Deco, and nightlife. For those who want even more about Disney and Orlando , Fodor’s has a brand new, extensively researched guide for that, too.

This is a great early quote from Fodor:

America is still a little-known and little-understood country, and we don’t do much to promote ourselves abroad. We may need to go to Europe to visit our past, but the rest of the world comes to America to see their future.

Eugene Fodor

Best for Florida Off the Beaten Path

Lonely Planet writers are always good at finding the weirdest, most offbeat places. And there are plenty of those in Florida!

That’s why we like the latest Lonely Planet Florida guide. It’s been trimmed down by nearly half since its pre-pandemic editions, with every detail checked and re-checked before publishing. Also included are more than 60 maps, a pull-out “landing guide” with essential info, and more than a few tips on where to find restaurants and bars with just the right vibe.

By the way, Lonely Planet’s coffee table book on the Ultimate USA travel list makes a great gift.

Best for Disney World

For some travelers, Florida means only one thing: Disney World!

The Unofficial Guide to Disney World is one of the oldest guides to focus on Disney World and it is consistently updated, including for 2023.

“How do some guests get on the big, new attraction in less than 20 minutes while others wait for longer than 2 hours—on the same day? Why do some guests pay full price for their visit when others can save hundreds of dollars?” The Unofficial Guide answers these and plenty of other first-time visitor questions.

Best Coffee Table Guide Book to Florida

Just published, Florida! by independent publisher A24 is a beautiful and quirky guide to Florida that features infographics like how to build a Tampa-style Cuban sandwich and how to become a professional mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Covering the whole state, from the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida! is a joy to look at and looks great on a coffee table.

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