By  Mike Miller   Updated June 12, 2024

Most of the time I travel around the Sunshine State in my car by myself. In fact I have traveled the same way all over the United States.

I never thought of my way of traveling as having anything to do with gender. But then a small female friend opened my eyes about Florida solo travel for women.

Florida Solo Traveler in ConvertibleSolo Woman Traveler in Convertible

We were walking in the downtown area of a medium size Florida city one night. This city was a great place for seafood and we had just left a restaurant and wanted to see if we could find a coffee shop.

She was nervous about some men gathered on the sidewalk under a street lamp ahead of us. I assured her they were nothing to worry about.

Ybor City Street Scene
Ybor City Street Scene
Photographic Destinations by Bob Kyle

She responded, "Yeah, you are a 6 foot 5 inch 230 pound man with a pistol carry permit. I am a 5 foot tall 100 pound woman with sharp fingernails and that's about it."

So that got me to thinking. What places would I feel comfortable recommending my small friend visit if I were not available to escort her?

There is probably no such thing as a perfect place, but some of them would probably also be one of the safest places.  

This might be the foremost consideration for many female travelers as well as new people visiting Florida for the first time. 

Surfside, Florida

No matter your gender, it is always nice to be able to find clean restrooms on your Florida travels.  I have found Publix Supermarkets to be the best place to go.  Find your Publix.

My website has information about more than 200 Florida towns and cities and a similar number of tourist attractions.

I went through these places and came up with what I consider places she would feel comfortable visiting.

Safety was not the only consideration. They also had to be places where there were interesting things to do and places to see. So I came up with this list. 

They are not ranked in particular order, I just needed to assign a number to them.

1. Major Theme Parks and Attractions

Cinderella Castle, Walt Disney WorldCinderella Castle, Walt Disney World

I've been to all of the big ones: Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and just about any other popular attraction you can think of in the state. They are not my favorite places, but I would not hesitate to recommend any of them to a solo woman traveler.

They are safe, have all the conveniences, are walkable, and more. Common sense will rule out these places if someone does not like crowds or waiting in long lines.

Read More About Florida Theme Parks and Attractions

2. The Florida Keys

Key DeerMiniature Deer on Big Pine Key
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

There are many great places to see and things to do in the Florida Keys. One of the best things for any traveler making their first solo trip to Florida is that it is very hard to get lost.

There is only one highway - US-1 - that extends all the way from Key Largo to Key West. You can even hop a boat or plane and go further west to Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson.

You can see the miniature deer on Big Pine Key but are not allowed to pet them or feed them because they can't handle our kind of food, such as bread.  They are an endangered species and it is illegal to do so.

An organization called "Save Our Key Deer" is working hard to open a rehab center to help the tiny deer and provide a venue where tourists can see them in a safe enviornment.

You will enjoy seeing great things in Key West like the Hemingway Home or the colorful local people who blend in so well with the happy tourists.

Read More in the Florida Keys Travel Guide

3. Fernandina Beach

Downtown Fermandina BeachDowntown Fermandina Beach

This small city is as far north on the Atlantic Coast that you can travel in Florida. It is on Amelia Island, and close to many outdoor activities. One of the favorites is horseback riding on the island's white sandy beaches.

The beautiful downtown area has many well preserved historic buildings, gift shops, art galleries, restaurants, and coffee shops.  

Fort Clinch State Park in in Fernandina Beach with camping facilities, beaches, and a historic fort to explore.

Read More About Fernandina Beach

4. Sanibel Island and Captiva Islands

South Seas Planation, Captiva IslandSouth Seas Planation, Captiva Island

These popular islands are reached by a causeway from Fort Myers. They are not burdened down with high rises and have some of the nicest beaches in Southwest Florida.

Sanibel is famous for its shell beaches and shell museum.  It also has a large refuge for birds, the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Captiva Island is truly at the end of the road and less populated than Sanibel.  It has several great lodging and dining choices.

Read More About Sanibel Island

Read More About Captiva Island

5. St. Augustine

Castillo de San MarcosCastillo de San Marcos

My favorite thing to do when I have out of state visitors is to take them to the oldest city in Florida. It is a great way to introduce them to the early history of European settlement in North America. It is also loaded with interesting places and weird attractions to visit.

It has a great lighthouse to climb and nice white sandy beaches to explore.

Read More About St. Augustine

6. Miami Beach's South Beach

Courtyard Hotel, South BeachCourtyard Hotel, South Beach

There are many areas in the Miami area where I would not recommend my female friend visit or take a walk. South Beach along Ocean Drive is an exception.

Not only does South Beach have some of the most pristine beaches in urban South Florida, it is almost one of the most popular vacation destinations.

When I visit South Beach I like to stay on nearby Key Biscayne for a good reason : it is much quieter at night than South Beach.

Read More About South Beach

7. Pinellas County Beaches

Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach

This stretch of separate beach towns begins in Clearwater Beach and extends south to Pass A Grille Beach and St. Pete Beach.

There are still a lot of "mom and pop" type motels along this stretch of beach.  Each of the small towns along this beach route has its own distinct personality.

These towns include Belleair Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, Johns Pass Village, and Treasure Island.

Read More About Pinellas County Beaches

8. Florida State Parks and National Parks

Topsail Hills Dunes State ParkTopsail Hills Dunes State Park

Not only are Florida's parks great places for outdoor activities and camping, they are interesting and a safe place to see Florida the way it used to be. National Parks and State Parks always have rangers on duty to keep an eye on things and show you around.

Read More About Florida's State Parks

9. Mount Dora

Mount Dora Lighthouse on Lake DoraMount Dora Lighthouse on Lake Dora

This is a very walkable town with interesting antique shops, restaurants, and many historic homes. It is known as the "Festival City" because of its many annual events such as art shows, garden shows, craft fairs, cycling events, and more.

Read More About Mount Dora.

10. The Villages Florida 

Sumter Landing, The Villages FloridaSumter Landing, The Villages Florida

Although one of Florida's newest communities, The Villages Florida has expanded into a huge retirement community. It has great shopping and entertainment venues, and I would not hesitate recommending this place to female solo travelers.

You can rent bikes, golf carts, electric bikes, play golf and tennis, and just have a good time in a safe place.

Read More About The Villages Florida

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