The first thing to say about Florida is that it’s big. Way bigger than you might think. If you were to drive from Pensacola in the northwest to Miami in the south, it would take around 10 hours. And you still wouldn’t have reached the Keys.
Give this huge area, there’s an appropriately infinite number of things to do in the Sunshine State. Orlando, with its sprawl of Disney attractions, pulls in the bulk of the Florida’s nine million annual visitors, but there’s so much more to it – eco-adventures and outdoor pursuits (kayaking, golf and fishing for example) abound here.
From Orlando you can head east for the Atlantic or west for the Gulf Coast – in either direction you’ll find some of the dreamiest beaches in all of the US. Alternatively, head south for long enough and you’ll eventually pitch up in the Keys. This collection of low-lying tropical islands joined by a network of bridges is exquisitely beautiful, with a determinedly alternative mindset you just don’t find elsewhere in the States.
And then there’s Miami – glamorous, hedonistic and seemingly dripping with bling. You either love it or hate it, but you need to experience it at least once.
Florida has something for the adventurer, the solo traveller, wildlife enthusiast, families and everyone in between. No wonder it remains as popular with British holidaymakers as ever.
Florida is known as the Sunshine State for good reason. It sees up to 266 sunny days per year, with temperatures reaching highs of 35°C. However, if you're planning to visit between June and September, be advised that it can get seriously humid. There's also the chance of a hurricane during this time.
Those heading to Disney area or the more northerly resorts of the Gulf Coast will be looking to fly into Orlando, which is served by both Orlando International Airport and Orlando Sanford International. For southerly destinations, including the Everglades, the Keys and Naples area, opt for Miami.
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