International Airports in Florida: Knowing Your Options - The Family Vacation Guide (2023)

Florida is renowned for its hundreds of miles of beaches, with the Atlantic bordering it to the east and the Gulf of Mexico snuggly to the west.

People the world over flock to this tourist hotspot because of its famed theme parks, the most notable being Walt Disney World, historical landmarks, untamed natural wildlife preserves, and glamorous urban scenes.

With travel restrictions lightening around the globe, that dream vacation two years delayed by the pandemic is at last in your grasp, and you are ready to purchase your tickets. As delighted as you are, there is an aspect of this process that is time-consuming.

Whether you are a Florida native looking to go abroad this summer or an international traveler seeking to soak up the sun on a balmy Florida beach, you’ve probably encountered the difficulty of choosing the right airport to facilitate your plans.

Have no fear, dear traveler, because this article will help guide you through the top five international airport options! The aim is to demystify your choices as much as possible by acquainting you with the ins and outs of Florida’s largest airports

  • 1) Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • 2) Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • 3) Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • 4) Tampa International Airport (TIA)
  • 5) Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)
  • Wrap Up

1) Orlando International Airport (MCO)

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Named the busiest airport in Florida, Orlando International Airport (MCO) sees upward of 50 million guests annually. Now that the world has begun opening up again, Orlando has received an influx of travelers whose delayed vacation plans to Walt Disney World are finally being realized.

13 miles from the city’s center, it is only 19 minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort via FL-528! If your flight gets in late and you are too tired to keep your eyes open to make the drive, rest assured! The esteemed Hyatt Regency Hotel is attached to MCO, and the reviews are spectacular.

Orlando International Airport is nothing to scoff at. There is a sense of satisfaction that accompanies the security this airport can provide. Ground transportation is offered to and from MOC, assuring visitors have a safe transit to wherever they may be going, be it to the Hyatt Regency Hotel to spend a decadent evening before hitting the itinerary hard or simply back to their car parked in a distant lot!

MCO Amenities

  • 37 airlines
  • Diamonds & Co.
  • Gift Shops
  • Ground Transportation
  • COVID-19 Testing Facilities
  • City Arts Market
  • WiFi
  • Pet Play Area
  • On-Site Medical Care
  • Shoe Shops
  • Disney Stores
  • ATM
  • Currency Exchange

Things To Do in Orlando

The heart of Florida is where magic is found! Orlando is the third-largest metropolitan area in all of Florida behind Miami and Tampa. Given its fame as host to the legendary Walt Disney World, it comes as little surprise. But Orlando has much more to offer. There’s amusement, nightlife, and history beyond its resident magical kingdom. From top-tier dining to thrilling cinemas and galleries, discover the breadth of Orlando:

See also Where To See Alligators in Florida: 13 Gator Watching Spots

2) Miami International Airport (MIA)

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Research does not lie: Miami International Airport is the second busiest airport in Florida, with close to 48 million passengers passing through its state-of-the-art facilities! And why would it not be so acclaimed? Miami is a city whose name carries weight around the globe; people come from near and far to lounge on the stunning beaches and entrench themselves in the vibrant nightlife this glittering seaside port boasts in spades.

As one can expect, the MIA is no less disappointing. It has earned its position for a myriad of reasons. The most prominent would have to be the variety of services and amenities the airport offers to guests attached to the airport. Miami International Airport is the first on this list to advertise an associated hotel for guests coming to and leaving from Miami, Florida!

Before deciding whether to book a flight through MIA, check out just some of the key features this airport has to offer. This list is impressive, but by no means comprehensive. For more details about the services MIA brings to its guests, browse the official website. This overview is a sampling of the many conveniences people flying in or out of MIA can look forward to.

MIA Amenities

  • 50 Airlines
  • MIA Galleries
  • Jetsetter Spa
  • Yoga Room
  • VIP Clubs and Lounges
  • ATM
  • WiFi
  • Currency Exchange
  • Dining
  • On-Site Medical Care
  • On-Site Veterinary Services
  • Pet Play Areas

Things To Do in Miami

The airport itself is almost too good to leave, but the plentiful Miami attractions persuade tourists with time to kill to check them out. As the second-most populated city in Florida, catering to visitors is a specialty of theirs. There is no need for boredom when there are so many heritage points, museums, art exhibits, and amusement parks to indulge in. To find out more about what this stunning metropolis has to offer, visit these pages below:

3) Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

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‘Well traveled’ is the phrase that comes to mind when as many as 33 million visitors annually pass through the gates of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Whether you are coming or going from FLL, this airport will have something to sate your immediate needs. Be it for rest and relaxation, for shopping, collecting souvenirs, or grabbing a bite to eat to pass the time, there are a plethora of potential stores and restaurants to choose from!

See also 15 of the Best Waterpark Resorts in Florida

FLL is home to many well-known airlines such as United, Delta, Air Canada, and Southwest, all of which are recognized internationally! In addition, alongside these major names are smaller lines such as JetBlue and Spirit that also frequent this terminal. These are perfectly sound choices for those interested in more local bookings, so no matter where you are wanting to go, FLL has your back!

FLL Amenities

  • On-Site Medical Care
  • ATM
  • Baggage Wrapping
  • Currency Exchange
  • Nearby Hotels
  • Transportation Services
  • Dining
  • WiFi

Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a beautiful city, smaller than nearby Miami, that may hold appeal to tourists looking to get away from serious crowds. Located in southeastern Florida, it is known for its boating and canals! The Strip is an oceanside promenade stretching along highway A1A, lined with ritzy boutiques and numerous outdoor restaurants. Here is a list of major attractions and eateries around Fort Lauderdale, Florida!

4) Tampa International Airport (TIA)

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Tampa is a lively city located on the Gulf of Mexico. Its international airport is just as bustling. Six miles west of downtown Tampa, TIA is a hub of activity that takes in over 19 million travelers per year! Numbers certainly are a wonderful indication of quality, but to experience the Tampa International Airport in all that it has to offer is another level of personal satisfaction. TIA is the complete package.

For the environmentally conscientious, it is imperative to note that Tampa International Airport has committed wholeheartedly to reducing its carbon footprint. In a letter from Chief Executive Officer Joe Lopano, he speaks on the importance of social responsibility and economic wisdom as a key figure in aviation internationally. This promise can be seen in the airport-wide implementation of improved trash disposal and curtailing of water usage.

The knowledgeable and friendly TIA staff don’t disappoint. Ecologically isn’t the only kind of friendly this airport happens to be; rave reviews have earned it nearly 5 stars, all of them extolling its first-rate customer service. If you appreciate smaller facilities with more employee engagement, booking your flight through TIA is perfect!

TIA Amenities

  • 23 Airlines
  • ATM
  • Gift Shops
  • Currency Exchange
  • On-Site Medical Care
  • Nearby Hotels
  • Animal Services
  • Bars
  • Dining
  • WiFi
See also 11 of the Best Aquariums in Florida

Things To Do in Tampa

Being situated along the breathtaking Tampa Bay, this major business center is also renowned for its many cultural museums and botanical gardens. Busch Gardens is an African-themed amusement park that will bring joy to all who enter its gates. For more about local Tampa tourist destinations, check out:

5) Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)

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Are you planning a trip to Fort Myers or the Gulf Coast? Are you a local looking for a passageway to some of the United States’ largest cities? Then Southwest Florida International Airport is the airport for you! Certified for service in May of 1983, Southwest Florida International Airport is one of the newest in the nation, with another terminal built as recently as 2005. It is operated by Lee County Port Authority (LCPA).

Beautiful and pristine with its island-inspired décor, the RSW itself rivals some of the most gorgeous resorts, possessing an uncompromised view of the crystal clear coastal waters. Smell the salty air and sip on a cool beverage offered to you by its charming seaside boutiques, such as the Boardwalk Café, A Touch of Italy, and many more, while you, alongside approximately 8.8 million fellow annual visitors move onto the next step.

In addition to the phenomena of shopping and exquisite airport cuisine, RSW offers nonstop service throughout North America, according to its fast facts page. It is one of the premier gateways to major cities like Atlanta and Chicago.

RSW Amenities

  • 14 Airlines
  • ATM
  • WiFi
  • Currency Exchange
  • On-Site Medical Care
  • Gift Shops
  • Restaurants Beachside

Things To Do in Fort Myers

At the heart of Lee County is Fort Myers, Florida, which is approximately a 20-minute drive from RSW airport! Compared to the larger metropolitan areas, Fort Myers is a breath of fresh air, as its population sits well below the 100,000 mark. From prominent art museums to historical landmarks such as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford “winter estates,” the City of Palms has a little something for every visitor!

Wrap Up

With so many airport options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is best for you and your travel plans. Knowing how busy each airport is, the amenities each one offers, and the ease with which to travel to and from your destination can go a long way in helping you get where you’re going with minimal stress and maximum fun.



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