When you think of Florida, it’s common to instantly associate it with the likes of Disney and Universal. The theme parks dominate the Sunshine State but there’s so much more to it.
Did you know it has some of the best beaches in America and the world, or that it’s the perfect place to get out and enjoy nature?
There’s far more to Florida than just its parks, so read on to find out how Florida could be the perfect holiday destination for you.
1. Beach Holidays
Some of Florida’s beaches rank amongst the best in the country and the world, and it’s to see why.
Head to Clearwater Beach for a perfect car-free set up with a carefree existence. The northernmost pearl in a string of white-sand islands in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, it’s known for its wide beaches and casual attitudes. Most of its beach parks lie within a strip less than two miles long and three blocks wide, easily doable on foot.
Santa Rosa Island is one of the longest barrier islands in the world, and Pensacola Beach sits atop it. TripAdvisor named it among the nation’s Top 10 beaches! You’ll find brilliant white sand that stays cool, a delight on your toes on the hot days, and the waters are shallow and inviting.
2. Winter festivities
Visiting in winter will still include smearing sunscreen on as the weather is still just as glorious. But the weather is just the tip of the sandbar.
The drop in temperature means that manatees head to warmer waters, such as freshwater springs, where temperatures remain around 70 degrees, throughout the year in Florida.
Get lit with over 74 winter events where blinking lights, animated characters, and holiday decorations adorn every December parade. Or if you can head to the theme parks where not only is it slightly cooler and an ideal time to visit them, but many of the parks celebrate the holidays in a BIG way that you won’t want to miss.
3. Culinary Culture
There’s an idea of America’s food that can put people off, but there’s far more to it that will thrill your tastebuds. In fact, the Sunshine State has a dizzying array of places to eat from breweries, fish shacks, key lime pies, farm to table restaurants and food tours.
Any food-obsessed traveller will delight in the speciality cuisine found in Florida, especially with the like of Tampa and their claim to the best Cuban sandwich, and St Augustine rich history providing inspiration to local chefs. History says the first authentic Cuban sandwich was served in Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant in 1905! Maybe it’s time to taste it for yourself…
- Columbia Restaurant
- La Cocina Restaurants
- The Grand Marlin Pensacola
- Urban Asado
- JB's Fish Camp
4. Beyond The Expected
From cycling along Florida’s adventure coast to meeting mermaid at Weeki Wachee Springs, you can take your imagination further than ever before.
Weeki Wachee is an enchanted spring where you can see live mermaids, take a trip on a riverboat cruise, learn about Florida wildlife and swim in pristine waters.
Florida’s Adventure Coast is a wonderland of outdoor amenities, active family fun, centuries of history and Southern hospitality. Follow historic streets to experience the charm of yesteryear and real in the memories with inshore and saltwater fishing.
5. More Than Theme Parks
It’s worth mentioning the likes of Disney and Universal are the main drawing point for many travellers but there is more to it than just its parks.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate, release and care for marine life is well worth visiting and learning more about. Visit the inspiration behind the Dolphin Tale movies and experience the world of marine life rescue.
And if you can’t wait until then, you can check out their webcam below.