Fab Florida

Peninsular Florida is the most unique of the mainland states of America. Reaching down into the Gulf of Mexico towards the Caribbean it is both tropical in climate and culture. From fabulous palm-tree beaches, world famous theme parks, challenging golf courses and exotic wildlife it has such a variety of attractions on offer that it is a holiday that will suit the tastes of each member of your family.

The choices seem limitless. You can go for an activity holiday where you can fill your time with as varied activities as you can cram into two weeks. But in the guaranteed heat of the summer you may just prefer to relax on a fabulous beach and chill out with an iced margarita, which you will be drinking just to acclimatize of course.

Orlando is the world capital of theme parks and is of course the home of Walt Disney World, which is the ultimate destination if you want to escape with your kids into a world of fantasy at the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT Centre. The best option is to stay on the Disney Resort so that you are never far away from the fun. Other theme parks in the Orlando area worth a visit include Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

The Gulf Coast of Florida is famous for the magnificent white sands of its beaches and tropical seawater that is as blue can be. The best resorts are Clearwater and St Petersburg. The long attractive pier, the focal point of St Petersburg, stretches out into the ocean and is the perfect for an early evening stroll. For lovers of surreal art, the finest collection in the world of Catalan painter Salvador Dali’s work is housed in a museum at the end of the pier. St Pete Beach, as the locals call it, sunsets are among the best in Florida. Nearby, just outside Tampa, is the Busch Gardens theme park with its wildlife park and harem scarem rollercoaster rides.

If you get tired of the beaches and the theme parks you can always spend a day down in the Everglades National Park. Here you can take a boat trip out into the mangrove swamps and go alligator spotting. Daytrips to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canavaral is a prerequisite to satisfy the potential astronaut in the family and Daytona Beach is a place of pilgrimage for motor racing enthusiasts.

Miami, the major city of Florida State, is so familiar because of Miami Vice and the countless films that have used the city as a backdrop. It is a bustling Latino city and is one of the best places to sample some great Cuban cuisine. South Beach is undoubtedly Miami’s major attraction with the magnificent colourful Art Deco buildings and the famous beachlife. This is the place for beautiful people and seems to spontaneously erupt each evening with some unscheduled beach party or other. For lovers of nightlife this is the place to be.

Miami is the gateway to the Florida Keys, a series of islands that stretch into the Gulf of Mexico like a finger pointing towards the Caribbean. This is exclusive Florida and a drive along the ocean hugged Highway 1 is arguably one of the most enjoyable drives you can make. Eclectic Key West is the most western of US cities and is actually closer to Cuba than the mainland.

A first visit to Florida is only a taster and you wont be disappointed. There is so much on offer for you to do and see. It is important to squeeze some down time on the beach too, so if you miss out on doing something on this trip you can always come back and do a little more next year and perhaps take one of those unforgettable cruises. You will certainly be welcomed by the relaxed and friendly Floridians on your return.



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