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Destination Guides


Florida

General   Weather   Airports   Attractions   Activities  

Introduction

Sunset in Everglades National Park ©Esther Lee

Millions of pleasure-seekers can't be wrong! Florida is North America's favourite holiday destination and draws hordes of tourists all year round. The reason for the state's popularity as a vacation station is its sunny climate and its situation along the coast. Consisting of a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of the United States, Florida's uneven coastline is indented with estuaries, bays, inlets, lagoons and rivers, creating ideal enclaves for holiday resorts. Right in the south the peninsula ends in an arc of islands resting on coral reefs, known as the Florida Keys, today accessed via a highway ending in Key West, the southernmost point of the United States.


After World War II, tourism development took off at a great pace in Florida, not to enhance its natural attractions, but to build new man-made ones. The central part of the state, particularly around Tampa and Orlando, has since become a theme park paradise for thrill seekers. Enticing venues offer everything from water slides to rollicking roller coasters, and themed animal habitats attract thousands to the accompanying resort hotels on the mammoth sites of Disney World, Sea World, Busch Gardens and other major resort operators.


The state's biggest city, Miami, echoes the vibrancy of the rest of this holiday paradise, with its soft white sandy beaches vying for attention with the city's numerous attractions and colourful neighbourhoods. Its famous Art Deco district and Latin American quarter are constantly thronged with visitors, many of them passengers from the hundreds of cruise ships that come and go in the bustling port. Within easy access from Miami are the Everglades, a marshy grass plain home to plentiful wildlife and filled with alligators.


Aptly named the 'Sunshine State', Florida offers anything anyone seeks in a holiday, whether it be fine wining and dining, learning about space exploration, discovering endangered wildlife, riding a roller coaster or bronzing on one of its famous beaches.


Climate Info

Sunshine and blue skies are the basic ingredients to the weather in Florida, at any time of year. However, the Florida climate is divided into two climatic zones: subtropical in the south, and warm temperate in the north. Summer in the south (Orlando and below) is humid with afternoon storms and the peak tourist season is in the winter, between December and February, when temperatures remain warm but there is little humidity. Summer, between June and August, is the peak season north of Orlando, but temperatures are usually comfortable. The hurricane season in Florida is between June and November.


Getting Around

The mainstay of the Miami public transport system is the Metrobus; however, the network is large, and it takes some time to get used to. The fare is standard to any destination. If you need to change buses, ask for a transfer when buying your ticket, as it costs extra. There is also an elevated train service called the Metrorail, which connects North and South Miami with stations at one mile intervals, and an elevated monorail, the Metromover, which offers great views of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay and connects with buses and trains. Most visitors, however, take taxis or hire a car. This can be more convenient, as the city is sprawled out over a large area. To rent a car, the driver must be over 21, have a valid credit card and, if from abroad, hold a passport and English language driving license. Local drivers can be aggressive.


Melbourne International Airport (MLB)

LocationThe airport is located 1.5 miles (2.4km) northwest of downtown Melbourne.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).
Getting to city

A Space Coast Area Transit (SCAT) stop is located outside the main terminal. SCAT buses provide transport throughout Brevard County via Route 24, operating from 7am to 7:45pm; a one-way fare is $1.25. Melbourne's Greyhound Lines bus terminal offers daily service to major Florida destinations and beyond. A few local hotels offer courtesy transfers with advance bookings.

Car Rental

Car rental agencies at the airport include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. Rental desks are located near baggage claim.

Airpor Taxis

A number of taxi companies offer metered service to and from the airport, including Cab To Go, Call A Cab, Hollywood Taxi, and Mitch Taxi Service.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include an ATM, lost and found, pet assistance, on-site police department, two restaurants, and an airport museum.

Car Parking

Parking is $1 per half hour, up to a daily limit of $10. Motorcycles and oversized vehicles cannot be accommodated. There is a cell phone lot for pick-ups and drop-offs.

Websitewww.mlbair.com


Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)

LocationThe airport is situated 18 miles (28km) northwest of Panama City.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November)
Getting to city

A variety of taxi and shuttle companies service the airport, and some hotels arrange airport transport for guests. Sunshine Shuttle $ Limousine is the premium ground transport provider at the airport. Rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, Enterprise and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Numerous taxi companies operate at the airport.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include computer work stations, copy and fax services, mailing services, an ATM, a lost and found, and a small selection of restaurants and gift shops.

Car Parking

Short and long-term parking is available at the airport. The first 10 minutes are free and thereafter it costs about $3 per hour, up to a daily maximum of $11 in the short-term lot and $9 in the long-term lot.

Websitewww.iflybeaches.com


Miami International Airport (MIA)

LocationThe airport is located nine miles (15km) west of central Miami.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).
Transfer terminals

The three terminals are connected by walkways and trains.

Getting to city

The airport is well connected to the new Miami Intermodal Centre by the free MIA Mover electric train, from here numerous services offered by the Miami-Dade Transit Department connect to greater Miami. These include the scheduled, local Metrobus; a mass-transit Metrorail system; a fixed rail system designated specifically for downtown Miami and Brickell; and the TriRail commuter train, reaching Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Car Rental

Car rental agents operate at the new Miami Intermodal Centre (Central Station) which is connected to the airport by the the free MIA Mover electric train. Companies represented include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis and shuttles are available from the arrivals level, outside the baggage claim areas. There are wheelchair-accessible taxis and shuttles available upon request. Fares to the city centre are about $27 in a taxi and $15 in a shuttle (shuttle estimate is per person, fares vary with additional passengers).

Airport Facilities

There are numerous restaurants, bars, cafes and fast food chains available 24 hours. Dozens of shops, including duty-free, are available. The airport also has ATMs, bureaux de change, a chapel, an art gallery, and a rooftop swimming pool at the airport hotel. Facilities for the disabled are good.

Car Parking

Miami International Airport's long-term parking facilities consist of two multi-level parking garages. Short-term parking is available in the same area, near the terminals. Garage parking rates are $6 for the first hour, and $17 for around three hours up to a full day.

Websitewww.miami-airport.com


West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)

LocationThe airport is located four miles (6km) west of Palm Beach.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 561 471 7420.

Getting to city

There is a public bus service, Palm Tran, connecting to various points in the Palm Beach area, departing from Level 1. Shuttles are available to take passengers to West Palm Beach to connect with TriRail, which runs trains to Miami, and the Amtrak station, which provides rail services to a number of US cities near and far. Taxis, door-to-door shuttles, and rental cars are available and many hotels provide transport for guests.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty and National.

Airpor Taxis

Taxi companies Yellow Cab, ExecuCar, Imperial Transportation PBC, as well as SuperShuttle are available and can be booked in advance. Ground transportation desks are located at each end of the terminal.

Airport Facilities

Facilities at the airport include bars, shops and restaurants, ATMs and currency exchange facilities. The Traveler's Service Center on the second floor offers meeting rooms and business facilities, including fax, internet and photocopying. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Car Parking

Parking rates at the airport range from $7 a day in the Economy Lot, to $30 a day in the Premium Lot. Parking that is distant from the terminal is serviced by regular shuttle buses.

Websitewww.pbia.org


Orlando International Airport (MCO)

LocationThe airport is situated 11 miles (18km) southeast of Orlando.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 407 825 8463.

Transfer terminals

Terminals A and B are within the same builiding. The crossing between the terminals is on level 3.

Getting to city

Public transport facilities are to be found on the Ground Transportation Concourse on Level 1 of Terminal 1. Lynx buses numbers 11, 42, 51 and 111 depart around every 30 minutes, between 5.30am and 10.30pm, for downtown Orlando, the trip taking about 40 minutes and costing $2. Many hotels provide free shuttles for guests. Taxis are available on Level 1 on both the A and B sides of the Main Terminal, and may carry up to nine passengers with metered rates. Cruise passengers may also check with their cruise line, as some offer direct transfers to the port.

Car Rental

Numerous major car hire companies are represented at the airport, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar and National.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available on Level 1 on both the A and B sides of the Main Terminal, and may carry up to nine passengers with metered rates.

Airport Facilities

Passenger services at the airport include ATMs, currency exchange, information centres, and postal services. There are a wide variety of bars, restaurants and shops, including duty free. The Kennedy Space Center, Disney, Universal Studios and Sea World all have their own branded shops. Facilities for the disabled are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Car Parking

Orlando International Airport has a number of parking options ranging from the Express Pick-up/Drop-off lot, which charges $1 per 30 minutes for the first two hours and $5 per hour thereafter. Terminal Top parking lot and the Terminal Garage have rates of $2 for 40 minutes and $1 for each additional 20 minutes. The daily maximum is $17. The two economy lots, serviced by regular airport shuttles, cost just $10 per day.

Websitewww.orlandoairports.net


Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

LocationThe airport is located 21 miles (34km) north of Miami and three miles (5km) from downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 954 359 1200, +1 866 435 9355

Transfer terminals

Free shuttles ferry passengers between the terminals from 6am to 9pm.

Getting to city

Shared shuttle vans with GO Airport Shuttle can be booked at the transportation desks located in each terminal. They offer a door-to-door service from the airport to most local destinations. Broward County Transit (BCT) bus services and TriRail feeder buses operate from bus stops outside the terminal buildings. The TriRail train service connects the airport with Miami-Dade County. Taxis are available outside each terminal. Major rental car companies are located at the Rental Car Centre.

Car Rental

Car rental companies, such as Avis, Budget, Dollar, National and Hertz are located at the Rental Car Centre. Passengers arriving at Terminal 1 should follow the signs to the Concourse B Pedestrian Bridge. All other terminals have a shuttle bus service located on the baggage claim level that ferries passengers to the Rental Car Centre.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available from the lower level outside each terminal. Rate comparison charts are posted at the Transportation Booths located outside the baggage claim area of each terminal.

Airport Facilities

There are ATMs, shops, bars and restaurants throughout the airport. Each terminal has a business centre, with fax and photocopy facilities available in the Terminal 2 business centre. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance. There are also pet relief areas and medical services.

Car Parking

There is ample short and long-term parking available adjacent to the terminal. Hourly parking is charged at $3 every hour up to $36 per day, and daily rates are similar with a daily limit of $15. Economy parking goes up to $7.50 per day. The Palm and Hibiscus parking garages are also convenient and connected to all four terminals.

Websitewww.broward.org/airport


Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)

LocationThe airport is situated 14 miles (23km) north of downtown Jacksonville.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 904 741 2000.

Getting to city

All ground transportation services, including rental car agencies and taxi and limousine services, are located on the lower level of the terminal building, adjacent to baggage claim. Some hotels offer pick-up services and shuttle companies offer a door-to-door service to nearby destinations. These services should be booked in advance, if possible.

Car Rental

Car hire companies represented include Avis, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Gator City Taxi is the official taxi company serving the airport. It is a good idea to book a taxi at the desk in the terminal and enquire about rates beforehand, as the drivers have been known to overcharge tourists.

Airport Facilities

The airport has numerous ATMs, bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. There is a nursing room, a spa, an art gallery and a meditation room available at the airport. There are also fax and photocopy facilities available.

Car Parking

Parking in all lots is charged at $1.50 per 20 minutes. Daily rates start from $18 in the Hourly Lot, $14 in the Daily Lot, $8 in the Daily Surface Lot, and $5 in Economy Lots 1 and 2.

Websitewww.flyjacksonville.com


Tampa International Airport (TPA)

LocationThe airport is located four miles (6km) west of downtown Tampa.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 813 870 8700.

Getting to city

There are shared passenger van services as well as several city buses that travel to Tampa and other destinations. The local HART bus stop is at the west end of the Red Baggage Claim area by Belt number 15.

Car Rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Alamo and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis from Yellow Cab and United Cab are available curbside outside all the baggage claim areas.The minimum airport fee is $15 and the flat rate fee to downtown Tampa and the cruise terminal is $25.

Airport Facilities

The airport has a bank, ATMs, currency exchange facilities, a shopping mall, and several restaurants, bars and cafes. The Airport Marriott (located in the terminal) has its own business centre and conference rooms. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should advise their airline in advance.

Car Parking

Short-term parking at Tampa International is located above the terminal. The first 60 minutes is free. Then it costs $4 for up to 80 minutes and $2 per 20 minutes thereafter, with a daily maximum of $22. In the long-term lot the daily maximum is $18, and in the economy lot the daily maximum is $10. Walkways, a monorail, or free shuttles connect the parking lots to the terminal, depending on distance.

Websitewww.tampaairport.com


Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)

LocationThe airport is located 10 miles (16km) southeast of Fort Myers.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 239 768 4381.

Getting to city

LeeTran provides public transportation between 7.25am and 9.25pm on weekdays an hourly basis to a transfer point, located at Daniels Parkway and U.S. 41, where connections can be made to the remainder of the LeeTran routes. Many hotels in the area offer a shuttle bus service to and from the airport. Taxis and limousines are also available.

Car Rental

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are all represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis operate on a fixed fare system and can be ordered from the transportation booths located within the terminal building. Fares are calculated on a zone system and for a maximum of three passengers. A $10 surcharge is levied for each additional passenger. It costs $50 to get to Cape Coral and $35 to take a taxi to Fort Myers.

Airport Facilities

The airport has ATMs, a currency exchange office and several cafes, restaurants and bars. The business centre on Level 2 offers fax and photocopy facilities, laptop connections and internet access. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Car Parking

Short-term parking is available directly in front of the terminal and costs $2 for the first 20 minutes (after the initial 20 minutes of free parking), $3 for the first hour and a daily rate of $18. Long-term parking is farther away and connected by a free shuttle service. Long-term parking costs $2 per hour and $11 per day.

Websitewww.flylcpa.com


Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)

LocationThe airport is located 22 miles (about 35km) northeast of Orlando.
Time DifferenceLocal time is GMT -5 (GMT -4 between March and November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 407 585 4500

Transfer terminals

A shuttle bus service connects terminals A and B.

Getting to city

Lynx bus #33 serves the airport, stopping right outside the terminal buildings.

Car Rental

Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available outside the arrivals area. Expect to pay around $60 to get to downtown Orlando from the airport.

Airport Facilities

Facilities include ATMs, bureaux de change, restaurants and cafes, Internet access, and the Royal Palm Lounge.

Car Parking

Short-term parking available, at $2 for every 30 minutes.

Depature TaxNone.
Websitewww.orlandosanfordairport.com


Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)

LocationThe airport is located three miles (5km) southwest of Daytona Beach.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

The Votran municipal bus service stops at the airport regularly on weekdays and Saturday, with a more limited service on Sundays. An adult bus fare is about $1.75.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. Car hire desks are located inside the terminal, opposite the baggage claim area.

Airpor Taxis

There are taxis from multiple companies available at the east end of the terminal, located just outside the baggage claim area.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include shops, restaurants, a meeting room, ATMs, postal services, and a lost and found.

Car Parking

Short-term parking facilities, located adjacent to the main terminal, offer 15 minutes free parking and thereafter charge $1 every 30 minutes, up to a daily maximum of $14. Long-term parking costs $11 per day. Weekly parking is available for $65. There are free shuttles operating to the terminal.

Websitewww.flydaytonafirst.com


Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)

LocationThe airport is seven miles (12km) south of Bradenton and four miles (7km) northwest of downtown Sarasota.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Contacts

Tel: +1 941-359-5200.

Getting to city

Buses heading into Sarasota and Manatee leave from the west end of the baggage claims area. Taxis and rental cars are also available.

Car Rental

Car rental companies with desks at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis wait outside the baggage reclaim area.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include an ATM, a lost and found, child care rooms, conference rooms, wifi, restaurants and shops.

Car Parking

All drivers get 30 minutes of free parking at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Thereafter parking rates are $2 for up to 50 minutes, $1 per additional 20 minutes, and $12 to $15 per day.

Websitewww.srq-airport.com


Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH)

LocationThe airport is situated five miles (8km) southeast of Tallahassee.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

Buses, hotel shuttles, limousine shuttles, rental cars and taxis are available from the airport.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Alamo, Budget and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available outside the baggage claim area; the average taxi fare to downtown Tallahassee is $20.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities include a food court, a gift shop and a business centre with comfortable workstations.

Car Parking

Parking rates are displayed at the entrance to each lot: the first 30 minutes are free in both the hourly and daily parking lots. In the short-term lot, the first hour costs $3 and each additional 30 minutes costs $3, up to a daily maximum of $13. In the long-term lot, the first hour costs $2 and each additional hour costs $2, up to a daily maximum of $11.

Websitewww.talgov.com/airport/airport.aspx


Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV)

LocationThe airport is located three miles (5km) northeast of Gainesville.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4, from mid-March to the first Sunday in November)
Getting to city

Regional Transit System (RTS) Route 25 operates between downtown Gainesville and the airport regularly every day, although the schedule is reduced on Sundays. Adult bus fare is $1.50. Several hotels in the area also offer shuttle services for guests.

Car Rental

Car hire companies operating from Gainesville Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.

Airpor Taxis

Several taxi companies operate from the airport and can be hailed at the curb.

Airport Facilities

Airport facilities are limited, but include ATMs, a restaurant, a pet relief area, and disabled assistance.

Car Parking

Short-term parking costs $1 for the first 30 minutes, $2 for the first hour, then about $2 per hour up to a daily maximum of $12. Long-term parking is slightly cheaper, with daily rates of $9 and weekly rates of $55. There is a cell phone lot for drivers picking up passengers.

Websitewww.gra-gnv.com


Key West International Airport (EYW)

LocationThe airport is situated two miles (3km) east of Key West.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).
Transfer terminals

Key West International is a small airport and no transport is necessary between the two terminals.

Getting to city

Shuttles and taxis can be found at the airport. Shuttle services are provided by Lower Keys Shuttle.

Car Rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Dollar and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are the most popular form of airport transport and there are usually a number of cabs lined up outside the arrivals area waiting for passengers. Fares vary according to destination. Uber is not permitted to operate at the airport.

Airport Facilities

The airport has limited services, but a snack counter, a bar and some small shops are provided and there is a lost and found service.

Car Parking

Free parking is available for 30 minutes in front of baggage claim and for up to an hour west of the terminal. Thereafter, Parking rates are $3 for the first first hour and $1 per half hour thereafter, up to a daily maximum of $15 and a weekly maximum of $84.

Websitewww.eyw.com


Pensacola International Airport (PNS)

LocationThe airport is situated six miles (10km) from central Pensacola.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November)
Getting to city

Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) buses service the airport, departing roughly every hour on weekdays. Shared shuttles, taxis and limousines can also be hired at the airport and cars can be rented.

Car Rental

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty are all represented at the airport.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available at the airport.

Airport Facilities

Pensacola International Airport is a small, simple facility, but does provide an ATM, a lost and found, postal services, public phones, free wifi, a gift shop and a restaurant for passengers.

Car Parking

In the Surface Parking Lot rates are $2 per hour, up to $9 per day; in the Garage Parking Lot rates are $11 per day; and in the Economy Parking Lot rates are $2 per hour, up to $6 per day.

Websitewww.flypensacola.com


Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS)

LocationThe airport is situated 16 miles (26km) from Destin, and eight miles (13km) from Fort Walton Beach.
Time DifferenceGMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to first Sunday in November).
Getting to city

No public transportation services the airport, but numerous bus, shuttle and taxi companies operate at the airport and rental cars are available.

Car Rental

Car hire companies represented at the airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, National, Dollar, Enterprise and Hertz.

Airpor Taxis

A list of more than 50 taxi and shuttle companies operating at the airport can be found on the official website. Rates vary according to company and destination.

Airport Facilities

It is a small airport, but a restaurant, a bar, gift shops, ATMs, family restrooms and baby changing stations are provided.

Car Parking

Short-term parking is free for the first 10 minutes, $0.50 for the first 20 minutes, and roughly $1 for every 30 minutes thereafter, up to a daily maximum of $8.50. Long-term parking is free for the first 10 minutes, $1.50 for the first hour, and $1.50 for each additional hour, up to a daily maximum of $7. Free airport shuttles transport passengers between the parking lots and the terminal.

Websitewww.flyvps.com


Norton Museum of Art


Culture vultures should not miss out on one of Florida's major cultural attractions, the Norton Museum of Art in trendy, upmarket West Palm Beach. The museum's permanent collection is internationally renowned, including European, American, Chinese and contemporary art, from the Renaissan
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Norton Museum of Art ©Ebyabe



Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex


Situated in Boca Raton at Red Reef Park on a barrier island, Gumbo Limbo (named after a species of tree) is an eight-hectare (20-acre) marine and estuarine reserve dedicated to showcasing and preserving a concentration of plants known as a 'tropical hammock'. The Environmental complex in
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Seahorse at Gumbo Limbo ©Lisa Jacobs



Seminole Reservation


An hour west of Fort Lauderdale, on the road to Naples, the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation boasts the Ah-Tah-Thi-Khi Museum, giving visitors an insight into the history and culture of Florida's 'unconquered' Indian tribe. The museum features exhibits and a living village where visitors
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Seminole Reservation ©CGAphoto



Miami Science Museum


Nothing is staid or boring in Miami, least of all its museums. The Miami Science Museum, officially called The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, north of Coconut Grove, contains more than 140 exhibits, all designed to be hands-on and interactive, coupled with live demonstrati
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Miami Science Museum ©FarleyKatz



Miami Seaquarium


At least half a day is required to fully enjoy south Florida's premier attraction. The Seaquarium is world-renowned for its marine life shows and attractions, including performing killer whales and television aquatic star and dolphin, Flipper. Another favourite star is the sea lion Salty
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Miami Seaquarium ©Marc Averette



Vizcaya Villa


Lovers of antiques revel in visiting the magnificent 34-room Vizcaya bayfront villa, built in the Italian Renaissance style in 1916 as a winter retreat for wealthy industrialist James Deering. The grand mansion took hundreds of artisans five years to complete, and the formal gardens, whi
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Vizcaya Museum, Miami ©Tom Schaefer



Spanish Monastery


Miami boasts the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere - but there is a catch. Dating from 1141 the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in North Miami Beach is a hugely popular tourist attraction, although not quite indigenous to the area. The monastery stood originally in Segovia
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Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux ©Daderot



Coral Castle


Legend has it that unrequited love led a Latvian immigrant to spend 25 years single-handedly carving a castle out of rock between the Florida Keys and Miami, on the South Dixie Highway. The amazing monument to the man's determination has been called America's Stonehenge and has been feat
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Coral Castle ©paparutzi



Everglades National Park


The vast Everglades National Park that spans the tip of the Florida peninsula, 35 miles (56km) southwest of Miami, has been described as a 40-mile-wide (64km) slow-moving river of grass, interspersed with shallow wetlands. It is the only subtropical preserve in North America, containing
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Alligator, Everglades National Park ©Rodney Cammauf



Ybor City


Ybor City in central Tampa, with its cobblestone streets and huge old cigar factory buildings, is a National Historic Landmark District that beckons visitors back to an era when this Latin Quarter was known as the cigar capital of the world. The historic enclave, founded in 1886, has bee
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Ybor City ©Bobak Ha'Eri



Busch Gardens


Busch Gardens is an extraordinary adventure park, a combination between massive zoo and theme park, which predates Florida's more famous Walt Disney World and offers an equally exciting and entertaining experience for visitors. The park is based on an overall African theme, divided into
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Cobras Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay ©Busch Gardens



Museum of Science and Industry


The hands-on Tampa Museum of Science and Industry, affectionately known as MOSI, is designed to educate, amaze and amuse both young and old with more than 450 interactive exhibits. Visitors can, for example, experience what it is like to be in a Gulf Hurricane with winds of up to 74 mile
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Wind generator ©Tampa MOSI



Tampa Museum of Art


The Tampa Museum of Art boasts stunning facilities, and is located along Gasparilla Plaza. The 66,000-square-foot building houses a collection of 20th-century and contemporary art, as well as a renowned collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. There is also a changing special exhibitio
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Tampa Museum of Art ©Zeng8r



Henry B. Plant Museum


The Henry B. Plant Museum, in the heart of downtown Tampa, is designed to transport visitors back to the turn of the century. The ornate building is Moorish in design, featuring 13 silver minarets, said to be a copy of the famed Alhambra Palace in Spain, and in itself is worth a visit. R
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Henry B. Plant Museum ©Ebyabe



Florida Aquarium


More than 5,000 aquatic creatures, including crocodiles and moray eels, live at the three-storey Florida Aquarium, where it is possible to explore the underwater world in air-conditioned comfort. The Florida Aquarium is home to an impressive array of the animals found in the famous water
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Florida Aquarium ©adobemac



Walt Disney World


Orlando's most familiar landmark is undoubtedly the turreted Cinderella Castle that stands in the centre of the original Disney Florida theme park, the Magic Kingdom, at Lake Buena Vista. Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and has been making childhood fantasies come true ever since. Today
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Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World ©cd.harrison



SeaWorld Orlando


Spread out between the Disney parks at Lake Buena Vista and the downtown Orlando area is the renowned SeaWorld attraction, which has been making a major splash in central Florida for more than a quarter of a century. The park is designed to give an interactive look at the sea and all its
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SeaWorld, Orlando ©David R. Tribble



Universal Studios Florida


Experienced theme parkers recommend that it takes at least two days to fully appreciate all the delights on offer at the Universal Orlando entertainment complex, which includes two theme parks: the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. The movie-themed park with its thrilling, inno
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Universal Studios ©Robert Linsdell



Wet n Wild Orlando


One of Orlando's numerous water parks, Wet 'n Wild has the distinction of being the most popular water attraction in the area and also the world's first amusement park devoted solely to water flumes, pools and slides. The park was designed by George Millay, creative genius behind the Sea
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Wet 'n Wild Orlando ©Yarkob



Lee County Manatee Park


A sighting of an endangered West Indian manatee, a shy and lumbering walrus-like creature whose numbers are dwindling, is a must for visitors to Florida. At the Lee County Manatee Park, on the Orange River in eastern Fort Myers, these animals can be viewed in their natural habitat from o
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Manatee ©NASA



Orlando Odditorium


Housed in an odd-looking building that is tipped to one side and apparently sinking into the ground, the Orlando Odditorium contains a remarkable collection of weird and wonderful exhibits, amassed over a period of 40 years by explorer Robert Ripley. Examples of the exhibits are shrunken
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Orlando Odditorium ©filippo_jean



Orlando Museum of Art


In true Florida style, Orlando's Museum of Art is not just another gallery but a fascinating world of creative themed exhibitions showcasing its permanent collections of American Art, Art of the Ancient Americas and African Art. The Museum also has an active programme of visiting exhibit
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Orlando Museum of Art ©Ebyabe



Kennedy Space Centre


The John F. Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, 46 miles (74km) southeast of Orlando on Florida's east coast, is one place in this fantasyland state where fact is just as entertaining as fancy. Visitors to the centre follow the story of NASA's exploration of space through interactive
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Launch of 'Discovery' Shuttle ©NASA



Fantasy of Flight


Midway between Tampa and Orlando, about 20 minutes drive west of Walt Disney World, the Fantasy of Flight resort is billed as the world's greatest aircraft collection. The attraction began as a vision of aviation enthusiast and historian, Kermit Weeks, as a tribute to the pioneers of fli
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Fantasy of Flight ©Valder137



National Museum of Naval Aviation


The museum on site at the sprawling US Naval Air Station west of Pensacola is regarded as one of the largest and most remarkable air and space museums in the world, with more than 170 aircraft on display, dating from the 1920s to the space age. In addition, the museum boasts a very reali
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National Museum of Naval Aviation ©Kristianrj



Tallahassee


The capital city of Florida, Tallahassee is located 191 miles (308km) east of Pensacola on the 'Big Bend', close to the border with Georgia, 14 miles (23km) to the north. The city is set in rolling hills and sports moss-draped oaks, fragrant magnolia trees and grand old plantation houses
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Downtown Tallahassee skyline ©Zverzver



Marine Life Center of Juno Beach


Over thirty years ago Juno Beach resident Eleanor Fletcher, affectionately known locally as 'the Turtle Lady', began assembling a collection of turtle artefacts and information that has grown to become the Marine Life Center on the oceanfront at Loggerhead Park, which monitors turtles al
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Marine Life Centre of Juno Beach ©Alaina McDavid



Edison and Ford Winter Estates


Famous inventor, Thomas Edison, and his friend, automobile magnate Henry Ford, both spent dozens of winters in the city of Fort Myers in the early years of the 20th century. Edison's home is the region's top historic attraction, and has been preserved as it was during his lifetime. The V
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Thomas Edison Estate ©Fredlyfish4



Koreshan State Historic Site


In the dying years of the 19th century a former Civil War surgeon, Dr Cyrus Teed, founded a pioneer settlement on the banks of the Estero River, south of Fort Myers, where he led the community to practice a religion he termed Koreshanity. Chief among his beliefs was the equality of men a
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Herons on the Estero River ©Mwanner



Southwest Florida Museum of History


The Southwest Florida Museum of History is housed in the former Atlantic Coastline Railroad depot and chronicles the history of Southwest Florida, from the Paleo Indians through the Calusa, the Seminoles and the Spanish explorers to the early settlers. A pioneer cracker house, a 1926 fir
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Southwest Florida Museum of History ©Ebyabe



Shell Factory and Nature Park


The beaches along this stretch of the Florida coastline are world-renowned for their seashells and the largest collection of shells, fossils, corals and sponges in the world is the focus of a unique family-oriented attraction north of Fort Myers. The Shell Factory not only exhibits a fas
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Seashells ©Manfred Heyde



Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum


In the heart of Key West's old town is the house where Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway, one of America's most respected authors, lived and wrote for more than 10 years. The rooms and gardens are open to the public, enabling visitors to step back in time to Hemingway's most productive
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Hemingway's Writing Desk ©squirrelist



Key West Lighthouse Museum


The landmark beacon of the Key West Lighthouse was built in 1847 to warn ships of the hazardous reefs lying off the lower Keys, and, having been taken out of commission in 1969, is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb the 86-foot (26m) high tower to marvel at the spectacu
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Key West Lighthouse ©placesaroundfl



Pigeon Key


Tiny Pigeon Key is an island west of Marathon on the Overseas Highway, which originally served as a construction camp for the first railroad built through the Keys. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and operated by the non-profit Pigeon Key Foundation as an his
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Pigeon Key ©Stig Nygaard



Crane Point


In the downtown area of Marathon there is a tropical oasis of nature trails and educational displays, set among hardwood trees, on a piece of land that was originally occupied by a Bahamian immigrant family in the early 20th century. Known as Crane Point Hammock, the Adderley family made
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Crane Point ©Ebyabe



Butterfly Conservatory


The Key West Butterfly Conservatory is billed as a trip to paradise, and a walk through the tropical wonderland filled with free-flying butterflies and colourful birds is certainly a magical experience. The conservatory is home to nearly 60 species of butterfly and 20 different species o
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Viceroy Butterfly ©PiccoloNamek



Audubon House and Tropical Gardens


The restored homestead known as Audubon House contains the works of renowned ornithologist John James Audubon, who visited the Florida Keys in 1832 and completed drawings of 18 previously undiscovered birds for his folio in the gardens of this house. The house was originally built in the
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John James Audubon ©Public Domain



Dolphin Research Center


One of the most enjoyable activities on a visit to the Florida Keys is an up-close-and-personal encounter with dolphins, which abound in the area. At the Dolphin Research Center visitors can enjoy half-day education programmes, walking tours and a 'dolphin encounter', spending 20 minutes
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Dolphin Research Center ©Reinhard Link



National Key Deer Refuge


The endangered, attractive and tiny white-tailed Key deer have found a safe haven in their refuge at Big Pine Key, where they can roam in 14 square miles (36 sq km) of their natural tropical hardwood hammock habitat, which is threatened just like them. There were only 27 or so Key deer s
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National Key Deer Refuge ©Marc Averette



Lincoln Road Mall


A pedestrian promenade lined with palm trees and colourful art deco buildings, Lincoln Road Mall is a great haunt for locals and foreigners. Once called the 'Fifth Avenue of the South', this lively seven-block shopping district serves up big name labels like G.A.P. and Banana Republic bu
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Lincoln Road Mall, Miami ©Ed Webster



Wolfsonian Museum


A vivacious collection of art and design pieces depicting popular culture from 1885 to 1945, the Wolfsonian is the amalgamation of a long-term pursuit by eccentric heir and collector, Mitchell Wolfson Jr. Housed in the original warehouse used as a storage facility for the 70,000 pieces,
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Wolfsonian Museum ©Acroterion



Jungle Island


An offshoot of Parrot Jungle, which was established in 1936, Jungle Island is a new complex offering an exciting array of wildlife from parrots and macaws to crocodiles and penguins. You can witness over 200 parrots at the Manu Encounter, the world's only aviary replicating the clay clif
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Macaw at Jungle Island ©Dick Daniels



SeaWorld Aquatica


If you're up for something exciting, intriguing and just downright fun, then SeaWorld's Aquatica is certainly worth the visit. There are loads of thrill rides to enjoy in this water park as well as other varied attractions, ensuring the whole family stays entertained. Visitors can experi
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Loggerhead Lane at Aquatica ©SeaWorld Aquatica



Biscayne National Park


The Biscayne National Park can be seen from downtown Miami, but the city and the park offer vastly different treasures for tourists. The coral reefs and tiny islands of this water sanctuary are home to an abundance of wildlife, and even a couple of awe-inspiring pirate shipwrecks. Biscay
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Biscayne National Park ©Catholic 85



Crandon Park Beach


A family holiday in Miami wouldn't be complete without spending some time on the beach. Aside from providing a beautiful sample of Florida's famed sand and sea, Crandon Park Beach also has an Amusement Center with a carousel, a roller rink, a splash fountain and a playground for kids to
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Crandon Park ©Paulkondratuk3194



Gold Coast Railroad Museum


Kids will be delighted by the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, which offers train rides, toy trains to play with, and interesting model train exhibits. The museum's railroad car collection includes President Roosevelt's historic Ferdinand Magellan carriage. In March each year there are Thomas
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Gold Coast Railroad Museum ©Micha L. Rieser



Miami Childrens Museum


The child-sized exhibits at the Miami Children's Museum are both colourful and interactive. Kids can explore the museum's simulated hospital, supermarket or fire station, playing with and moving anything they like. The Mt. Michimu rock-climbing wall offers a fun, physical challenge for o
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Miami Children's Museum ©Marc Averette



Discovery Cove Orlando


Discovery Cove is an exquisite tropical island paradise. In recent years, Discovery Cove has supplanted its sister park, SeaWorld, as the premier marine theme park in the state of Florida, but the competition remains steep and many travellers choose to visit both. What makes the experien
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Dolphin Swim at Discovery Cove ©Discovery Cove



Wizarding World of Harry Potter


The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located at Islands of Adventure and allows visitors to enter their favourite scenes from the films, including the Hogwarts Express, Hogsmead village, Zonko's joke shop and Diagon Alley, and has fun rides that include the Flight of the Hippogriff and
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Hogwarts Castle ©The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek



Gatorland


Florida is famous for its alligator population, and Gatorland in Orlando is a good place to get an up-close-and-personal experience with these interesting animals. The park is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, as well as a breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower
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Gatorland ©Brian Marshall



The Holy Land Experience


Vastly different from most theme parks in Orlando, The Holy Land Experience is a religious attraction designed to recreate pivotal scenes from the Bible, including the Great Temple, the Last Supper Communion, and a Jerusalem Street Market. Staff members re-enact stories from the life of
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Holy Land Experience ©David Joyce



Miami Beaches


The beaches in Miami are world-famous; some for their stunning settings and some for their stunning sunbathers. Crandon Park Beach is good for children, with the playground and carousel as well as picnic areas and restrooms. Haulover Beach Park also has good facilities like volleyball an
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South Beach ©Marc Averette



Key Largo


The longest and largest of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is the closest of the islands to Miami, and easily accessible at only an hour's drive from the city. Although the main drag has rather a strip-mall feel to it, Key Largo is known as one of the best places to go scuba diving in Florid
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Key Largo Harbour ©Elmschrat



Marathon


Located roughly at the midpoint of the Florida Keys, Marathon is a popular holiday destination for families in Florida. The bustling town has a number of good restaurants and hotels, as well as interesting historical attractions like the museums of Pigeon Key and Crane Point, including t
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Old Seven-Mile Bridge ©Cbdehart



Gulf Islands National Seashore


Located on the western end of the Florida panhandle, Gulf Islands National Seashore is a 150-mile (241km) stretch of undeveloped beach. What it lacks in tourist traps it makes up for in sheer beauty, and camping, hiking and bicycling in the isolated, protected regions is a treat for trav
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Gulf Islands National Seashore ©National Park Service



Panama City


Located near Pensacola on the gulf coast of the Florida panhandle, Panama City is a popular travel destination. Set along 27 miles (43km) of white sand beaches, the town is a great place for families on holiday in Florida, with plenty of outdoor activities available in St Andrews State P
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Panama City Beach ©j.s. clark



Amelia Island


Located off the coast of Jacksonville, on Florida's northern Atlantic Coast, Amelia Island is the southernmost of the Sea Islands, which extend north along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. Amelia Island is a popular weekend destination from Jacksonville and Pensacola, drawing to
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Fairbanks House ©Ebyabe



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