Florida Holidays – Outside of Orlando
Ultimately if you are planning a Floridian adventure with the family, you will no doubt be flying into Orlando which is where you will spend most of your time. After all Orlando is home to some of the world class theme parks including the infamous Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, which provide endless entertainment for families making holidays in Orlando fun and exciting for everyone.
Though you will have plenty of things to occupy your time with in Orlando, you will also find plenty of other things to do and places to visit in Florida. For this reason we have compiled a short list of other destinations that could tickle your fancy.
Laying off the Southern Coast of the Floridian peninsula you will find the Florida Keys; a group of 1,700 islands creating a subtropical archipelago just 145km away from Cuba.
The islands are interconnected by one main highway providing a tranquil drive from island to island. The archipelago is of similar tropics to the Caribbean making the weather slightly different to the weather found on the mainland. The Upper Keys are made up of fossilised coral remnants while the Lower Keys have formed from plants and marine organisms that create a sandy limestone composite.
The keys are rich in nature inhabited by a range of animals including the American Crocodile. Also lurking in the waters you will find Dolphins, Porpoises and the endangered Manatee or Sea Cow.
Key West is the most well known and populated of the islands and is where you can catch a cruise or sit back and enjoy some of the most spectacular sunsets looking out over the crystal blue waters. You can also explore the old colonial buildings in the Old Town and soak up the relaxed atmosphere it offers and visit Ernest Hemmingway’s home for a spot of cultural sightseeing
By visiting the keys you will have opportunities to relax on the beaches, do a spot of fishing, enjoy a romantic meal with ocean views whilst dining on fresh seafood. You can also swim with dolphins, go sightseeing around the Old Town and overall take in the setting and enjoy the views. Whatever you do, definitely don’t leave the keys before tasting its famous key lime pie.
When to visit?
For many people the best time to visit the keys is at a time when the weather is a little cooler and less humid, and find the months of November through to May are the best.
Miami South Beach
Welcome to Miami’s lower section of Miami Beach in Florida. Also known as ‘SoBe’, Miami South Beach is famous for its stunning art deco architecture and through the years has gone through various stage changes but has evolved today into lively, vibrant and a major destination of entertainment for local residents and international visitors.
With long stretches of white running sand alongside crystalline waters, there is no wondering why Miami South Beach has been used as a back drop on Miami Vice and is a haven for sunbathers.
The cityscape boasts a string of boutique hotels, expensive high rises, modern apartments, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants and bars which reflects its popularity as a major tourist hub. Here at Miami South Beach you will find something for everyone.
During the day you can sit back sipping a Long Island iced tea whilst basking in the sun dining on fresh seafood and watching locals show their strength in strong man contests or tan their bodies on the beach. By night you could be brushing shoulders with the stars and dancing the night away with supermodels in world famous nightclubs to the tones of Spanish music.
Though it isn’t the cheapest place to visit, Miami South Beach has been coined as one of the most popular nightlife spots in the USA. For these reasons it is well worth putting some extra cash aside to enjoy the atmosphere and make your trip to Miami a memorable one and enjoy everything it has to offer.
When to visit?
You can enjoy Miami South Beach any time of year, whether you visit in December or July the beaches are always welcoming and the nightlife is always busy. But be warned the summers are very hot and humid and storms are more likely especially between the months of June to November.
After visiting the third largest national park in the USA, the next time someone asks you where in the world will you find crocodiles and alligators living side by side you will be able to answer the Everglades, Florida. This National Park is a World Heritage Site and it’s easy to understand why. There is nowhere else you can find these two reptiles living harmoniously together. Thanks to the habitat provided by the wet marshlands, mangrove trees, pinelands and sawgrass prairies you will see a lot more besides these two infamous predatory reptiles. The Everglades is rich in wildlife and is a haven for many different types of water birds which you will see throughout as you explore on one of the airboat tours on offer.
As you glide through the water ways cutting through the reeds, you will be astonished to see just how many reptilian sunbathers you will see basking in the sun on the river banks. You will also be surprised to see the swamplands and grasses stretch as far as the eye can see.
Tip: When visiting the Everglades make sure to take plenty of mosquito and insect repellent. These insects thrive in the temperate waters and without repellent you will suffer the consequences.
When to visit?
Again like most places throughout Florida, the best time of year is from November to June when the weather is less humid and a little cooler.
Overall if you are looking to enhance your experience and get most from your holiday to Florida, you can escape the typical haunts of Orlando and explore further afield, and since we have discussed three of the most popular areas, each of these mentioned destinations provides you with a good starting point. So next time you are looking for cheap holidays to Florida, put some additional money aside for exploring further afield and make your holiday one to remember.