"A dozen of theme parks, endless beaches and wondrous city skylines define Florida best"
Welcome to the USA’s much-loved Sunshine State, and one of the most popular destinations in the world. Home to thrilling theme parks, beautiful beaches and stunning nature, holidays to Florida are sure to be full of smiles, sun and fun.
With fantastic year round weather, Florida makes a perfect winter getaway. Whether you fancy heading to Disney World with your family in Orlando or settling on Miami’s beautiful sands with your other half, you’ll love the wealth of attractions on offer during your stay.
Sunshine State of Mind
The sunshine state is a diverse destination, with an eclectic mix of cultures and interests to enjoy on holidays to Florida. For a distinct southern vibe, head to North Florida and visit the historic town of Jacksonville, while those looking for fine food and old American hospitality should visit Florida Panhandle.
South Florida is home to the beaches of Miami and swamps of the Everglades as well as the countless beautiful islands in the Florida Keys while adventure-seekers and adrenaline junkies should visit Central Florida, the self-confessed theme park capital of the world.
Whether you fancy a spot of fishing in the Keys or dancing until sunrise in Panama City, there is a wealth of activities to suit you during your holidays in Florida.
Magic and Thrills
Contrary to the pages of travel brochures worldwide, Florida holidays encompass much more than sandy beaches and Mickey Mouse. However, Walt Disney Resort in Orlando is one of the biggest and best theme parks in the world and shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re young or just young at heart, you’ll love the mix of thrilling rides, enchanting fireworks and a hefty dose of magic thrown in for good measure.
Nature-lovers looking for thrills away from the theme parks will enjoy catching a glimpse of Florida’s natural landscape. All holidays to Florida should incorporate a visit to the Everglades National Park. Despite its swamp-like appearance, this area is a place like no other. Forget journeying by airboat or swamp buggy and instead, bike or walk around the park. Keep your eyes peeled for the many alligators that inhabit the area and don’t forget your camera!
Of course, a trip to Florida is not complete without visiting one of its many beaches. With 1,197 miles of coastline to choose from, this is the ideal location for sun worshippers and those looking to discover these wondrous Caribbean climates. Try Clearwater, Tampa and Florida Keys for the ultimate in relaxation before heading to a nearby beach bar for a tropical-inspired Mojito – a Floridian favourite sure to encourage a state of paradisiacal bliss.
For a real party in the USA during holidays in Florida, head to the beaches found in Panama City. Dip your toes in the sand, party until dawn and keep your eyes peeled for any celebrities in the crowd.
Recharge and Relax
Offering more than just wild rides and serene beach spots, there are also plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind. In Miami, take a stroll down to Ocean Drive where you can admire the art-deco style buildings that grace the beachfront. Immerse yourself in the ambience of the glamorous 1920s as you pass Park Central Hotel and The Imperial before exploring the Art Deco district.
Florida is also one of the best states for spas, with many waterfront choices. If you’ve got the cash to splash or just fancy a special treat, The Ritz-Carlton in South Beach is the swankiest place to be. With relaxation lounges and a couple’s treatment suite, this spa will ensure relaxation long after your homebound flight has departed.
Wine and Dine
Florida’s food and drink is one of the many reasons people flock to the Sunshine State. An eclectic mix of traditional southern dishes, it has the spicy kick of Caribbean and Latin flavours and tastes undeniably delicious. If you’re looking to sample a taste of Florida, expect barbecued chicken, garlic-seasoned shellfish, wholesome sweet potatoes and cornbread as well as a host of other flavours.
For the ultimate in Floridian treats, ensure you devour a slice of South Florida’s famous Key Lime Pie, washed down with a tropical Mojito from one of Florida’s many bars – the perfect taste of paradise.
Action and Adventure
When embarking on a holiday in Florida, swimming with dolphins should be top of your to-do list. An experience of a lifetime, this activity is one of the top attractions and provides children and adults alike with fond memories and great fun. Visit Key Largo for a great range of swim schools offering the opportunity to get up close and personal with these enchanting creatures.
If you’re looking for something with more of an adrenaline injection, head to the Florida Keys. Hailed as the American Caribbean, these islands lend themselves well to a range of water sports including diving, sailing and jet skiing. Whether you’re daring yourself to parasail above tropical waters or enjoy a sunset sail, there is a great selection of adventurous things to do in Florida.
Of course, when it comes to visiting Florida with the little ones, there is only one thing that springs to mind. Walt Disney World Resort is the area’s biggest attraction and has been delighting both the young and young at heart for decades. Stretched out across sun-drenched Florida, it comprises four huge theme parks, two thrilling water parks and masses of restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. This magical world is amassed with opportunity for the entire family – from a safari trek in the Animal Kingdom to meeting Mickey Mouse himself!
If you’d rather shy away from Disney, then why not visit the Kennedy Space Centre to learn about their space programme or explore tropical wilderness and its sinister inhabitants as you journey through the Everglades National Park by boat.
For a real party in the USA, there is nowhere more vibrant than Miami. Well-known for its opulent and energetic nightclubs, you’ll also love the rooftop bars and cool cocktails on offer. For an old haunt with a romantic history, head to Tobacco Road. The first bar to obtain a Miami liquor licence back in the day, this charming bar serves cheap cocktails and shed -loads of character.
If you’re after some hard-core clubbing action, head on down to South Beach. Famous for world-class DJs, luxurious clubs and top tunes, this is a mecca for any clubbing fan.
If, however, you’re after evening entertainment with a little more sophistication, Sarasota is the place to be. Watch theatre, ballet and classical music here in Florida’s culture capital.