The 15 Best Songs about Florida to Get Some Sunshine in Your Life

songs about florida
Songs about Florida. Image by Derek Mckinney on Unsplash.

Even if you aren’t from Florida, we can all agree that many great songs and bands have come from the Sunshine State. If you’re looking to discover the best songs about Florida, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our list below.


“Gainesville” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers  

Tom Petty, the king of heartland rock, is one of those songwriters who basically couldn’t write a bad song. His albums are filled with songs that could have been hits.

He even has dozens of songs that were left off albums that are very high quality, including the 1998 outtake “Gainesville.”

The reflective mid-tempo ballad, which is named for Petty’s hometown, has that classic Tom Petty feel. Its positive, nostalgic lyrics are a good benchmark for a list of best songs about Florida.


“The State of Florida” by Less Than Jake  

Another band from Gainesville, ska rockers Less Than Jake released their ode to the Sunshine State, “The State of Florida,” in 2008. It’s from their album GNV FLA.

The upbeat ska punk track, which is in the incomparable Less Than Jake vein, is considered one of the best songs about Florida, especially among rock fans.


“Kokomo” by The Beach Boys  

Though known for their songs about California and surfing, the Beach Boys biggest hit was about a fictional island off the Florida coast, “Kokomo.” 

Taken from the 1988 album Still Cruisin’, there was a time when you couldn’t get away from this song, whether on the radio, in commercials, or out shopping. If not one of the best songs about Florida, it’s at least one of the most famous.


“Florida” by Modest Mouse  

Indie rockers Modest Mouse delivered many classic albums in the 2000s. Their 2007 release, the typically sad titled We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, contained their ode to Florida.

The indie rock track has the usual Modest Mouse jankiness and slightly shouted lyrics. Some think “Florida” in the song is actually a euphemism for drugs. Regardless, it’s still perhaps the best rock song about Florida.


“Florida Time” by Bob Seger and the Last Heard

Bob Seger is well known for massive 70s hits like “Turn the Page,” “Old Time Rock n’ Roll,” and “Still the Same.” 

What many don’t know is that the heartland rocker actually began his career in the 60s. Car song “Florida Time,” from 1967, is straight-up garage rock. The Last Heard certainly aren’t the Silver Bullet Band. 

This unheralded gem is definitely one of the best songs about Florida.

“Florida Kilos” by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey’s cinematic songs of tragic romance have really hit home with a certain subset of people. 

“The Florida Kilos,” from her 2014 album Ultraviolence, is a typical dark Del Rey pop track about unrequited love. As far as sad pop songs about Florida go, it’s hard to beat “Florida Kilos.”


“Deep Down in Florida” by Muddy Waters  

Blues legend Muddy Waters wrote about many places in America, especially his adopted hometown of Chicago.

He had the Sunshine State on his mind for “Deep Down in Florida,” a heavy piece of blues from one of his many solid 70s albums, Johnny Winter produced Hard Again. There aren’t many blues songs about Florida, but we’re happy we dug this one up for you.


“Florida” – Luke Temple

Now here’s a dark horse pick for you! East Coast songwriter Luke Temple sets his sights south on “Florida,” which has a serious 70s flavor.

I swear this one was a huge yacht rock hit in 1978 or something. His silky smooth vocals are just a cherry on top. 


“Old Folks at Home” by Stephen Foster  

Stephen Foster was perhaps the first important American songwriter. He wrote hundreds of songs in the mid-1800s, many of which are still well-known today.

Standard “Old Folks at Home,” which has been covered hundreds of times by bluegrass, rock, folk, and blues artists, was the state song of Florida until 1953. 


“The Florida Song” – Ricky Sylvia

“You like the gators – man, we got ’em!” 

Orlando native Ricky Sylvia gets deep into the spirit of Florida on this track. It perfectly evokes the laid back, party atmosphere of a beach with its slide guitar.

One of the best songs about Florida and perhaps also the most fun.


“Mainline Florida” by Eric Clapton  

“Mainline Florida,” from guitar god Eric Clapton’s 1974 album 461 Ocean Boulevard, features an infectious riff and interestingly lazy sounding lead vocals. 

One of the best songs about Florida, it is likely about Patty Boyd, ex-Beatle George Harrison’s ex-wife who he eventually married. 


“Florida” by Patty Griffin  

Popular for her honest songwriting style, Patricia Griffin is a renowned musician, songwriter, and singer.

Hauntingly beautiful, “Florida” tells the story of broken love. “Isn’t hard sometimes? Isn’t it lonely?” Indeed, Patty. 


“Floridays” – Jimmy Buffett

What list of songs about a lounge-y state like Florida would be complete without an entry from ol’ Bubba?

The title track from Jimmy Buffett’s 1986 album, it actually isn’t much like his more popular tiki bar music. It’s a rather tender ballad about looking back on “better days.”


“Miami” – Will Smith

You didn’t think we’d have a list of songs about Florida without this banger, did you? What utter blasphemy that’d be.

This fun dance track, the third from Smith’s hilariously titled smash hit album Big Willie Style, hit #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Swimming in Miami – Owl City

Considering that we’re Music in Minnesota, we definitely couldn’t go an entire article about the best songs about Florida without mentioning our guy Owl City!

From his first record Of June, “Swimming in Miami” has that classic laid back, electronic pop sound that we know and love from our hometown hero.

One of the best songs about Florida and, more specifically, one of the best songs about Miami.

What do you think are the best Florida songs? Let us know in the comments! 

Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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