Florida, with its mild climate and huge number of tourist attractions to suit all tastes is quite rightly regarded as one of the world’s premier tourist attractions. Whether your interests are cultural, environmental or just centered on adrenalin-rush experiences, you will find something in Florida to keep you occupied twenty-four hours a day. The most famous Florida attractions include Walt Disney World and Bush Gardens, all of which capitalize on Florida’s exceptionally fine climate and the American desire for more variety and greater excitement.
Those whose interests lie elsewhere will be glad to know that there is more to Florida than the movie studios and theme parks of Orlando – the State abounds with hills and forests, winding waterways and freshwater lakes, and thirteen thousand kilometers of coastline featuring endless beaches, inlets and islands. Florida consists of eight focus points. Miami and Miami Beach are the stamping grounds of the super rich while Palm Beach is the place to be for the “beautiful crowd”.
The fit head for Fort Lauderdale with its superb choice of recreational and sports destinations, while families may prefer the beautiful beaches and clear blue waters of the Florida Keys. The capital city of Tallahassee is a magnet for tourists in search of an archetypal southern experience; Tampa and Saint Petersburg are largely built-up areas, while Jacksonville abounds in military history waiting to be discovered.
Florida shares climatic conditions with the North African and Southern Mediterranean countries. This means that the winters are mild and the summers hot enough to justify spending all day on the beach. There are many exciting things to see in Florida, and the following list is by no means exhaustive:
Fort Lauderdale is a laid-back place sometimes referred to as the “Venice of America” because of the city’s canal system. A visit to the extensive waterfront is a must, as is a walk down town exploring the boutique restaurants and the exciting nightlife. Not into city life? Then head for Butterfly World, which has six large aviaries and a bug zoo for the kids.
Miami is a vibrant city that benefits from the exciting cultures of the many immigrant groups that have settled here. The food is varied and great and you can often enjoy it to the sound of local music. When the weather is great, why not head for the beaches – South Beach is the current hot spot for the flashy, rich and famous and lined with countless bars, boutiques, high-end stores, hotels and restaurants where you may shop until you drop if you so wish.
Key West is an island city at the most southerly point of the United States. The historic old town has many unique historical attractions that date back to the early pioneering days, and the nearby Duval Street bar and restaurant area offers a number of superb dining experiences. You can explore this fascinating old town on foot or rent a bike and enjoy a gentle ride while window-shopping among the numerous artists and street vendors vying for your attention.
The Air Force, Space and Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral is an amazing place where you can walk up to and touch the huge space rockets that fuelled America’s space race before the space shuttles arrived. If you get your timing right, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the current generation of explorers blasting off not far away.
Walt Disney World is another top destination comprising the legendary Magic Kingdom with its fairy tale castle and phenomenal rides; Epscot with its stunning natural history exhibits including insights into underwater life; the spectacular Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon attractions; the Disney World Animal Kingdom Park; and a range of vacation accommodations to satisfy all tastes and wallets.
Bush Gardens presents a number of spectacular rides set in park-like surroundings with a wide range of animal and birdlife attractions. It is the perfect place for the younger family, as mom can sit in the shade under the trees with junior while dad takes the rest of the gang for an experience they won’t forget easily.
The Big Cyprus National Reserve provides safe opportunities to explore nature, including the famous Everglade Swamp, in the company of a ranger. Adventure activities include hiking along designated trails or even orienteering through unmarked country. While the dry season is the most straightforward, the wetter months provide added challenges including wading through water up to waist deep. The rewards of the Big Cyprus are many – on a single day you could spot a bear track, watch an otter catch a fish, or simply find a cooling spot where the wind rustles through your hair.
If the idea of big and busy places puts you off, then you could opt instead for a quiet beach holiday at one of the many peaceful coves that line the Florida coast. Special family opportunities include self-catering cottages, houseboat vacations, river cruises and much more. In fact, the sky’s the limit when you visit Florida. These are just a few of the many unforgettably exciting things to do in the Sunshine State.
If you get tired of the busy tourist spots, why not just hop in the car and follow your heart along one of the first class motorways that cross the state in every direction? You will find the accommodations first class, the food excellent and the people friendly. The Sunshine State is waiting to welcome you.
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