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Florida

Overview of Florida

Sunset in Everglades National Park
Photo credit: Esther Lee
The Sunshine State of Florida is a vacationer's paradise 365 days a year. Its climate, pristine beaches, and theme parks are all geared towards the leisure and pleasure of the millions of vacationers who flock in from around the world. 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. These islands, which together make up the southernmost part of the United States, are perfect for all water based activities, like snorkeling, kayaking, and dolphin watching.

After World War II, tourism development took off in Florida, where the industry not only focused on enhancing the state's 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. Enticing venues offer everything from water slides to rollicking roller coasters. 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.

map of Florida


Key Facts

Language:
English is the most common language spoken but Spanish is often heard in the south-western states.
Passport/Visa:

It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Visa is required for short visits unless travelers qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the US for a stay of up to 90 days without a visa. Visitors under the VWP need to register online three days before travel and have an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This allows the US government to screen all visitors before travel. Visitors entering the country under the VWP must have a machine-readable passport (MRP) that has a barcode on the photo page. Travellers under the VWP must have passports that include biometrics if they wish to enter the country without a visa, which means that passports must contain unique personal data such as fingerprints or iris details. All passports must contain a digital photo image in order to travel visa-free. All visitors to the USA have a photograph and two fingerprints taken by an inkless scanner on arrival, including those travelling visa-free under the VWP.

As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA, a valid passport is required by immigration authorities. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Currency:

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Electricity:
Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs (two flat parallel pins and a rounded pin) are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.

Travel Advisories

Travel to Florida

Climate

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. North of Orlando, the peak season is summer, between June and August, where temperatures are usually comfortable. The hurricane season in Florida is between June and November.

Health Notes when travelling to United States of America

There are no specific health risks associated with travel within the USA. Medical facilities are excellent, but expensive. Only emergencies are treated without prior payment and treatment can be refused without evidence of insurance or proof of funds. Good medical insurance is essential.

Safety Notes when travelling to United States of America

Travel within the United States is generally trouble-free, however, travellers should be aware that the US shares with the rest of the world, an increased threat from terrorist incidents. Security has been heightened, particularly at airports. Restrictions on hand luggage apply and travellers are advised to check on the latest situation with airlines in advance. Travellers should also be alert to the dangers of car and street crime in cities and should use common sense and take basic precautions. Hurricanes are common between June and November, putting the southern USA, including the Gulf Coast and the eastern US at risk. There is a risk of wildfires in many dry areas in the US, particularly on the West Coast from March to November.

Customs in United States of America

Laws vary from state to state, including speed limit, fines and punishment. The age at which you may legally buy and consume alcohol is 21 years.

Duty Free in United States of America

Travellers to the United States who are returning residents of the country do not have to pay duty on articles purchased abroad to the value of $800 provided their stay was longer than 48 hours and their duty-free allowance was not used in the 30-day period prior. For passengers arriving from Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, a duty-free allowance of $1,600 is allowed. The following items are included in this: 50 cigarettes and 10 cigars and 150 millilitres (5 fl. oz.) of alcoholic beverages or 150 millilitres (5 fl. oz.) of perfume containing alcohol. Restrictions may apply to goods from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Burma (Myanmar), Angola, Liberia and Sudan. It is prohibited to import Cuban cigars from any country.

Travellers to the United States who are non-residents do not have to pay duty on the following items: 50 cigars or 200 cigarettes and gifts to the value of $100 provided their stay in the USA is not less than 72 hours and that the allowance has not been used in the preceding six-month period.

Prohibited items for residents and non-residents include meat or meat products, poultry, narcotics, absinthe, plants, seeds, vegetables, fruits, soil, live insects and other living plants or animal pests. Fish is prohibited unless it carries disease-free certification. Wildlife and animals or their by-products carry restrictions. Dairy products and eggs from specified countries are not allowed. Firearms and ammunition are not allowed without the necessary license and permit.

Doing Business in United States of America

In such a large country, filled with so many diverse groups, business practices may differ according to each state, however rarely to any large degree. The East Coast is traditionally more formal than the West Coast, however in states such as California dress code and conservative appearance are as common as they would be in New York. Punctuality is important throughout the country and it is considered rude to be late for a meeting. Gift-giving is uncommon as it may be construed as bribery. Appropriate titles (Mr, Mrs, Ms) are used upon introduction and until otherwise stated. Americans favour politeness and greetings of 'Hello' and 'How are you?' are often expressed with sincerity. Business hours may vary in each state, but an 8am start and 5pm finish Monday to Friday is the most common with an hour over lunch.

Status and age are not necessarily indicative of seniority, nor do they carry much weight in themselves. Those doing business in the States should be mindful of this fact; never make assumptions about someone's position or rank. Best practice is to be respectful to all parties. That said, the US upholds a hierarchal business structure, in which 'the boss' is the ultimate decision-maker. Senior leaders have the power of the last word, and can go against the grain just as easily as they can follow popular opinion. Concentrate on winning over this individual, even if the greater group seems unsupportive. Americans value a direct style of communication. In this fast-paced, consumer culture 'time is money', and small-talk is viewed as unnecessary and wasteful. Get to the point quickly, speak about issues in a frank and open manner, and don't take offence if someone questions or challenges you outright.

Communication in United States of America

The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, especially all urban areas, and wifi is widely available.

Tipping in United States of America

A 15 percent tip is expected by taxi drivers, bartenders, hairdressers and waiters, but don't tip in fast-food or self-service restaurants. In expensive restaurants or for large parties, tip 20 percent of the bill. It is normal to tip staff such as valets and porters in hotels; this is discretionary, although a minimum of $5 is expected. Most services are customarily tipped if the service is good.

Passport/Visa Note

It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Visa is required for short visits unless travelers qualify for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the US for a stay of up to 90 days without a visa. Visitors under the VWP need to register online three days before travel and have an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This allows the US government to screen all visitors before travel. Visitors entering the country under the VWP must have a machine-readable passport (MRP) that has a barcode on the photo page. Travellers under the VWP must have passports that include biometrics if they wish to enter the country without a visa, which means that passports must contain unique personal data such as fingerprints or iris details. All passports must contain a digital photo image in order to travel visa-free. All visitors to the USA have a photograph and two fingerprints taken by an inkless scanner on arrival, including those travelling visa-free under the VWP.

As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA, a valid passport is required by immigration authorities. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for Canadians:

The most important requirement on entering the U.S. is providing proof of Canadian citizenship. A valid Canadian passport is the best document to prove Canadian citizenship and the right to return to Canada. However, several other documents can serve, depending on the mode of transport. Generally, Canadian citizens do not require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States from Canada, though there are some exceptions.

Entry requirements for UK nationals:

UK nationals require a passport valid for duration of stay. Most passport holders can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows travel to the US for up to 90 days. The VWP includes tourism, certain types of business visit and transit to another country.

Entry requirements for Australians:

Passports must be valid for the period of intended stay. If visiting the US for fewer than 90 days, Australian nationals may be eligible to apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), and enter under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Entry requirements for Irish nationals:

Passports must be valid for duration of stay. Irish nationals can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Programme for entry into the United States.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders:

Passports must be valid for duration of stay. New Zealand nationals can get an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) under the Visa Waiver Programme for entry into the United States.

Entry requirements for South Africans:

South Africans must hold a passport valid for duration of stay. A visa is required.

Currency

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Exchange rate for 1 USD - U.S. Dollar
1.00 BMD
Bermudan Dollar
0.90 EUR
Euro
0.69 GBP
U.K. Pound Sterling
108.90 JPY
Japanese Yen
1.31 CAD
Canadian Dollar
0.99 CHF
Swiss Franc
1.38 AUD
Australian Dollar
25.11 UAH
Ukrainian Hryvnia
337.71 KZT
Kazakhstani Tenge
1,505.84 LBP
Lebanese Pound
0.71 LYD
Libyan Dinar
6.86 BOB
Bolivian Boliviano
107.88 NPR
Nepalese Rupee
0.38 OMR
Omani Rial
3.64 QAR
Qatari Rial
1.38 SGD
Singapore Dollar
8.29 SEK
Swedish Krona
6.63 TTD
Trinidad Tobago Dollar
9.98 VEF
Venezuelan Bolivar
45.83 DOP
Dominican Peso
6.72 HRK
Croatian Kuna
18.63 MXN
Mexican Peso
586.30 XOF
West African CFA Franc
3.16 PGK
Papua New Guinean kina
1.00 BSD
Bahamian Dollar
2.11 FJD
Fiji Dollar
22.64 HNL
Honduran Lempira
110.53 DZD
Algerian Dinar
1,191.31 MMK
Myanma Kyat
11.19 BWP
Botswana Pula
3.37 PEN
Peruvian Nuevo Sol
693.53 CLP
Chilean Peso
478.10 AMD
Armenia Dram
24.17 CZK
Czech Koruna
19.98 MDL
Moldova Lei
124.29 ISK
Icelandic Krona
2,938.75 UZS
Uzbekistan Sum
3.85 ILS
Israeli New Sheqel
0.71 JOD
Jordanian Dinar
0.30 KWD
Kuwaiti Dinar
31.35 UYU
Uruguayan Peso
35.52 MUR
Mauritian Rupee
28.51 NIO
Nicaraguan Córdoba
8.34 NOK
Norwegian Krone
3.92 PLN
Polish Zloty
3.75 SAR
Saudi Riyal
146.02 LKR
Sri Lanka Rupee
35.62 THB
Thai Baht
3.67 AED
U.A.E Dirham
3.59 BRL
Brazilian Real
4.05 RON
Romanian New Leu
7.77 HKD
Hong Kong Dollar
587.63 XAF
Central African CFA Franc
22,474.70 VND
Vietnamese Dong
13.95 ARS
Argentine Peso
2.70 XCD
East Caribbean Dollar
7.83 GTQ
Guatemalan Quetzal
9.77 MAD
Moroccan Dirham
0.38 BHD
Bahrain Dinar
1.00 PAB
Panamanian Balboa
1.50 AZN
Azerbaijan Manat
3,117.81 COP
Colombian Peso
68.30 KGS
Kyrgyzstan Som
279.76 HUF
Hungarian Forint
7.87 TJS
Tajikistan Ruble
13,683.10 IDR
Indonesian Rupiah
8.88 EGP
Egyptian Pound
1,191.10 KRW
South Korean Won
5,669.42 PYG
Paraguayan Guaraní
4.16 MYR
Malaysian Ringgit
538.75 CRC
Costa Rican Colón
1.47 NZD
New Zealand Dollar
104.74 PKR
Pakistani Rupee
66.80 RUB
Russian Rouble
15.60 ZAR
South African Rand
2.12 TND
Tunisian Dinar
2.00 BBD
Barbadian Dollar
1.75 BGN
Bulgarian Lev
2.95 TRY
Turkish Lira
46.62 PHP
Philippine Peso
32.62 TWD
New Taiwan Dollar
196.50 NGN
Nigerian Naira
107.15 XPF
CFP Franc
3.91 GHS
Ghanaian Cedi
124.92 JMD
Jamaican Dollar
1.80 ANG
Neth. Antillean Guilder
1.38 BND
Brunei Dollar
110.56 RSD
Serbian Dinar
6.58 CNY
Chinese Yuan
19,898.50 BYR
Belarussian Ruble
6.65 DKK
Danish Krone
3.44 TMT
New Turkmenistan Manat
67.26 INR
Indian Rupee
     
Exchange Rate for
Euro to U.S. Dollar

1 EUR = 1.12 USD

Exchange Rate for
Canadian Dollar to U.S. Dollar

1 CAD = 0.76 USD

Exchange Rate for
U.K. Pound Sterling to U.S. Dollar

1 GBP = 1.44 USD

Exchange Rate for
Australian Dollar to U.S. Dollar

1 AUD = 0.72 USD

Exchange Rate for
New Zealand Dollar to U.S. Dollar

1 NZD = 0.68 USD

Exchange Rate for
South African Rand to U.S. Dollar

1 ZAR = 0.06 USD

Airports in Florida

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport
http://www.iflybeaches.com

Location: Panama City The airport is situated 23 miles (37km) northwest of Panama City, Florida.

map of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November)

Getting to the 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.

Airport Taxis: Numerous taxi companies and shuttles operate at the airport.

Facilities: Airport facilities include computer work stations, copy and fax services, mailing services, an ATM, a lost and found, a small selection of restaurants and gift shops, a service animal/pet relief area, and the Military Welcome Center.

Parking: Short and long-term parking is available at the airport. The first 20 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.

Miami International Airport (MIA)
Miami International Airport
http://www.miami-airport.com

Location: Miami The airport is located eight miles (13km) west of central Miami.

map of Miami International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Transfer between terminals: The three terminals are connected by walkways and trains.

Getting to the city: The airport is well connected to the Miami Intermodal Center (Central Station) by the free MIA Mover electric train. From here numerous services 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, E-Z Rent A Car, Hertz, National, Payless, P&P Family Auto Rental, Royal, Sixt Rent A Car, and Thrifty.

Airport 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).

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

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. All vehicles parked in the garage are allowed to stay for a maximum of 60 days.

Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
Palm Beach International Airport
http://www.pbia.org

Location: Fort Lauderdale The airport is located six miles (10km) west of Palm Beach.

map of Palm Beach International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 561 471 7420.

Getting to the 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 and connect with TriRail, which runs trains to Miami, and the Amtrak station. From there, passengers will find 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. A few mobile app based taxi services are available, although some are restricted from the airport.

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

Airport 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.

Facilities: Facilities at the airport include bars, shops and restaurants, a spa, 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.

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. Short-term parking has a maximum charge of $17 a day.

Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Orlando International Airport
http://www.orlandoairports.net

Location: Orlando The airport is situated six miles (10km) southeast of Orlando.

map of Orlando International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 407 825 8463

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

Getting to the 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. The rental car companies are located on the A-Side and B-Side of the terminal on the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1).

Airport 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. On average a one-way trip will cost $14-$18.

Facilities: Passenger services at the airport include ATMs, currency exchange, information centres, an interfaith chapel, 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.The terminal top parking garage is one of the highest points in Orlando, providing a clear view of downtown Orlando and its nightly fireworks display. Facilities for the disabled are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Parking: Orlando International Airport has a number of parking options ranging from the cost free North and South Cell Phone Lot used to pick-up/drop-off passengers, to the Terminal Top parking lot and the Parking Garage A and B which 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.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
http://www.broward.org/airport

Location: Fort Lauderdale The airport is located 26 miles (42km) north of Miami and six miles (10km) from downtown Fort Lauderdale.

map of Fort Lauderdale International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

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

Transfer between terminals: Free shuttles ferry passengers between the terminals from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. If changing terminals, travellers may have to go through security again.

Getting to the 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. Twelve 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.

Airport 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.

Facilities: There are ATMs, currency exchanges, 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.

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. The Palm and Hibiscus parking garages are also convenient and connected to all four terminals.

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
Jacksonville International Airport
http://www.flyjacksonville.com

Location: Jacksonville The airport is situated 14 miles (23km) north of downtown Jacksonville.

map of Jacksonville International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 904 741 2000.

Getting to the city: All ground transportation services, including rental car agencies, 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.

Airport 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.

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

Parking: Parking in all lots is charged at $2 per 30 minutes. Daily rates start from $22 in the Hourly Lot, $18 in the Daily Lot, $11 in the Daily Surface Lot, and $6 in Economy Lots 1 and 2.

Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Tampa International Airport
http://www.tampaairport.com/

Location: Tampa The airport is located nine miles (14km) west of downtown Tampa.

map of Tampa International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 813 870 8700.

Getting to the city: Shared passenger van services as well as several city buses travel to Tampa and other destinations. The local HART bus stop is located at the Rental Car Center. Taxi services are available outside the Baggage Claim Level.

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

Airport Taxis: Taxis from Yellow Cab and United Cab are available curbside outside all the baggage claim areas. The minimum airport fee is $19 and the flat rate fee to downtown Tampa and the cruise terminal is $29.

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.

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.

Southwest Florida International (RSW)
Southwest Florida International Airport
http://www.flylcpa.com

Location: Fort Myers The airport is located 17 miles (27km) southeast of Fort Myers.

map of Southwest Florida International

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 239 768 4381.

Getting to the city: LeeTran provides public transportation between 7.25am and 9.25pm on weekdays, on 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.

Airport 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.

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.

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.

Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB)
Orlando Sanford International Airport
http://www.orlandosanfordairport.com

Location: Orlando The airport is located 22 miles (about 35km) northeast of Orlando.

map of Orlando Sanford Airport

Time: Local time is GMT -5 (GMT -4 between March and November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 407 585 4500

Transfer between terminals: A shuttle bus service connects terminals A and B.

Getting to the city: Lynx bus #33 serves the airport, stopping right outside the terminal buildings.

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

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

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

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

Departure Tax: None.

Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)
Daytona Beach International Airport
http://www.flydaytonafirst.com

Location: Daytona Beach The airport is located four miles (6km) southwest of Daytona Beach.

map of Daytona Beach International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Getting to the city: The Votran municipal bus service stops at the airport regularly on weekdays and Saturdays, 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.

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

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

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 $15. Long-term parking costs $12 per day. Weekly parking is available for $65. There are free shuttles operating to the terminal.

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport
http://www.srq-airport.com

Location: Sarasota The airport is nine miles (14km) south of Bradenton and five miles (8km) northwest of downtown Sarasota.

map of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 941-359-5200.

Getting to the 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.

Airport Taxis: Taxis wait outside the baggage reclaim area.

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

Parking: All drivers get 30 minutes of free parking at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Thereafter parking rates are $2 for up to 40 minutes, $2 per additional 20 minutes, and $13 to $18 per day.

Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH)
Tallahassee Regional Airport
http://www.talgov.com/airport/airport.aspx

Location: Tallahassee The airport is situated seven miles (11km) southeast of Tallahassee.

map of Tallahassee Regional Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Getting to the 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.

Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the baggage claim area.

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

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.

Gainesville Airport (GNV)
Gainesville Regional Airport
http://www.flygainesville.com/

Location: Gainesville The airport is located five miles (8km) northeast of Gainesville.

map of Gainesville Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4, from mid-March to the first Sunday in November)

Getting to the 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.

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

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

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.

Key West International Airport (EYW)
Key West International Airport
http://www.eyw.com

Location: Key West The airport is situated two miles (3km) east of Key West.

map of Key West International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

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

Getting to the city: Shuttles and taxis can be found at the airport.

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

Airport 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.

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.

Parking: Free parking is available for one hour in the short term parking lot. Thereafter, parking rates are $3 for each additional hour, up to a daily maximum of $15 and a weekly maximum of $84.

Pensacola International Airport (PNS)
Pensacola International Airport
http://www.flypensacola.com

Location: Pensacola The airport is situated five miles (8km) from central Pensacola.

map of Pensacola International Airport

Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November)

Getting to the city: Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) buses service the airport. Shared shuttles, taxis and limousines can also be hired at the airport and cars can be rented. Uber and other similar mobile app based taxi services are also available.

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

Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport.

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

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 $8 per day. The Cell-phone lot is free for the first hour, thereafter it costs $2 per hour.

Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS)
Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport
http://www.flyvps.com

Location: The airport is situated 16 miles (26km) from Destin, and nine miles (14km) from Fort Walton Beach.

map of Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport

Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to first Sunday in November).

Getting to the city: No public transportation services the airport, but numerous bus, shuttle, taxi and mobile app based taxi services operate at the airport.

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

Airport 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.

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

Parking: Parking is free for the first 10 minutes, $1.50 for the next 50 minutes, and $1.50 for every hour thereafter, up to a daily maximum of $8.50. Free airport shuttles transport passengers between the parking lots and the terminal. A free cellphone parking area is available.

Miami

A Miami cityscape
Photo credit: k1ng
The party and cruise capital of the word, Miami is a bright, brash, playground city that 15.5 million tourists flock to every year. The Roaring Twenties saw this town bloom into a seaside capital, blessed with a legacy of Art Deco architecture, diverse cultures, and natural wonders enough to satisfy any holiday-goer.

Being the gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America, Miami has a large Cuban presence, evident in the vibrant neighbourhood of Little Havana. Art lovers can meander around the art districts like Wynwood and the Coconut Grove, while others can lounge on the miles of sandy beaches. For families there are kid-friendly attractions like the Seaquariumand Metrozoo. The nightlife is sophisticated and varied. The city also gives easy access to Florida's popular Gold Coast resorts and attractions, as well as the natural wonder of the Florida Everglades.

It is no wonder Miami is America's favourite holiday destination and the hub of a vibrant cruise ship industry, its port constantly jammed with sleek passenger liners. North of the city, the miles of beautiful beaches on the Gold Coast are hemmed in by southeast Florida's major tourist towns: Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, and Palm Beach.

map of Miami

Getting around in Miami

The mainstay of the Miami public transport system is the Metrobus. However, the network is large and 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. For a more scenic option, the elevated monorail, the Metromover, offers great views of downtown Miami and Biscayne Bay and connects with buses and trains. However, most visitors 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. Be aware when driving around Miami that local drivers can be aggressive.

Nightlife in Miami

Miami comes to life when the sun goes down. The South Beach streets pump with clubs and bars, and there's plenty of partying and live music in the Design District area. Downtown Miami hosts a few trendy venues, Coconut Grove being a particulalry popular party zone. With everything from cocktails and comedy shows, to lounges and nightclubs, one night in Miami would never be long enough.

Visitors to Miami might like to start their evening at one of the many cocktail bars, or perhaps the Dan Marino sports bar and restaurant. Visit Greater Miami for flamenco or cabaret shows, or even a drag show! There are also various comedy performances, including stand-up, sketch, and improvisational comedies.

Miami dance clubs and lounges tend to offer a sultry Latin beat, while nightclub music ranges from Afro-Cuban to rumba rap to indie rock to electro-pop. These clubs are widspread in downtown Miami and Little Havana, as well as west of the Bay area.

Dining in Miami

Miami's cuisine has a unique flavour, being predominantly floribbean(a combination of Latin, American and Caribbean). Eateries include everything from steakhouses and cafés, to Italian, Oriental, and Middle Eastern restaurants. South Beach and Coconut Grove both have a thriving cafe society, and tourists will find plenty of sidewalk seating. Miami is well known for its seafood, so be sure to try a Stone Crab dish, a local delicacy.

The most common complaint about restaurants in Miami is that mid-range eateries are hard to come by. Food in Miami is either very cheap or very expensive. However, with new venues opening constantly, there is always something new to sample. Meals for under $10 are plentiful in Little Havana, while South Beach has a collection of high-end restaurants.

A fun way to dine out in Miami is by sampling the fare offered by food trucks. These mobile eateries offer excellent (and cheap) food; the challenge comes in figuring out where they are! A few of the most popular, including gastroPod Mobile Gourmet, Latin Burger and Taco, and Feverish Gourmet Pops have twitter accounts to keep hungry customers updated as to their locations.

Palme d'Or —
French

Voted as the best restaurant in south Florida, Palme d'Or offers glamorous dining at the prestigious Biltmore Hotel. Specialising in Nouvelle French cuisine, the menu offers tasting portions; patrons can sample the array of flavours, textures and taste sensations which Palme d'Or is renowned for. Try the slow-braised beef effilochée with polenta and parmesan, or the wild mushroom cassolette. This excellent dining experience is complemented by attentive service and live music. Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner. Reservations recommended.

1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables
Miami, United States of America

http://www.biltmorehotel.com/dining/palme.php

Joe's Stone Crab —
Seafood

A Miami institution, Joe's Stone Crab has burgeoned since its humble beginnings as a sidewalk vendor in 1913. Renowned for its stone crab claws, a plethora of scrumptious side orders include Joe's famous hash browns and cole slaw, creamed spinach, grilled tomatoes and fresh salads. Don't forget to try Joe's famous mustard sauce and the appetizing seafood bisque (there is also a selection of other seafood, steaks, ribs and chicken to choose from). Note: Joe's is only open during Stone Crab season, from October to May. Open for lunch from Tuesday to Saturday, and dinner all week.

11 Washington Avenue
Miami, United States of America

http://www.joesstonecrab.com

News Café —
Cafe

The South Beach breakfast establishment, News Café, offers a superb oceanfront setting, outside seating and an international newsstand - ideal for that first coffee of the morning. With a plethora of breakfast options, patrons can tuck into Eggs Florentine, buttermilk pancakes, or try the Middle Eastern combo (a hummus, tabouli salad and grape leaf platter). Their burger and fries or smoked salmon bagel are also great. The ultimate lure of News Café is that they're open 24 hours a day, and breakfast can be ordered around the clock.

800 Ocean Drive
Miami, United States of America

http://www.newscafe.com

Señor Frog's —
Mexican

Señor Frog's appeals to college students and young people because of its trendy atmosphere and affordable menu. It's known for a rip-roaring good time, potent margaritas and a mariachi band. The food at this cantina is cheesy and tasty, if not exactly authentic. A specialty, the mole enchilada with 14 different kinds of mild chillies mixed with chocolate, is flavourful and unique - a definite must! Portions are huge and served with rice and beans. Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations not accepted.

3480 Main Hwy, Coconut Grove
Miami, United States of America

http://www.senorfrogs.com

Timo —
Mediterranean

Timo is a hip and happening restaurant in Sunny Isles, owned by executive chef Tim Andriola. The restaurant is a trendy Italian Mediterranean establishment popular with North Miami Beach locals. Specialties worth trying are the wood-fired rock shrimp pizza, or the herb-roasted chicken. Timo's atmosphere is laid-back and casual, making it the ideal place to enjoy any kind of occasion, from a business lunch to a romantic candle-lit dinner. Open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner all week. Reservations required.

17624 Collins Ave, Sunny Isles
Miami, United States of America

http://www.timorestaurant.com

Red Fish Grill —
Seafood

Located at the edge of the saltwater lagoon lies the Red Fish Grill, surrounded by the magnificent setting of the tropical Matheson Hammock Park. The ambience of the restaurant, reminiscent of Old Miami, makes it an ideal place for a romantic dinner. Red Fish Grill offers delicious seafood dishes that won't disappoint - try the Chilean sea bass, or the mahi-mahi with spinach, sweet potato and blue cheese. Open daily for dinner and closed on Mondays.

9610 Old Cutler Rd
Miami, United States of America

http://www.redfishgrill.net

Shopping in Miami

Miami abounds with unqiue shopping experiances. Miami's Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian promenade lined with palm trees and art deco buildings, home to big name labels like the Gap and Banana Republic. For another 'open mall' option, the Falls not only has all the usual shops but also beautiful seating area near the waterfall.

For elite shopping, few places measure up to Bal Harbour Shops, including stores like Tiffany & Co, Prada, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Miracle Mile is one of Miami's top shopping locations, hosting over 170 upscale shops and 40 gourmet restaurants within walking distance of each other.

On the waterfront, Bayside Marketplace offers a variety of shops, restaurant, and entertainment just minutes from downtown Miami. Espanola Way is a quirky street in Miami Beach, filled with stalls selling local arts and crafts on weekends. U.S.1 Discount Mall is an air-conditioned flea market in Cutler Bay with over 200 vendors ready to satisfy all consumer desires, from belly piercing to tailoring.

Be warned that a Sales Tax of seven percent is built into purchase prices, as sales taxes are set at state level. There is there is no way to obtain a refund from the federal government for non-US visitors.

Climate in Miami

Greater Miami enjoys a subtropical climate that ensures plenty of sunshine all year round. Sun protection is advised, even when temperatures are moderated by cool ocean breezes. In summer (June to August), average high temperatures rise to around 90°F (32°C). Winters (December to February) are typical of the 'Sunshine State' with temperatures ranging between 60°F (16°C) and 75°F (24°C). Rainfall occurs mainly during summer and early autumn. Summer humidity levels are usually between 85 and 90 percent, making Miami one of the most humid cities in the US. Miami is genuinely a year-round destination; however, many travellers prefer to avoid the crowds over December and January, and the oppressive heat of July and August.

Sightseeing in Miami

With an endless supply of beaches, trendy shopping malls, and a variety of both cultural and historic sites, Miami offers a wealth of attractions.

Antique lovers should visit the Vizcaya Villa, built in the Italian Renaissance style in 1916, as well as the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux, the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere. A romantic attraction is the Coral Castle, which was hand-carved by a man as a homage to his unrequited love. Famous for its marine life, visitors to Miami's Seaquarium interact with all kinds of aquatic creatures. Also worth exploring is Jungle Island, which has an exciting array of wildlife, from parrots, to crocodiles and penguins.

At the Miami Science Museum, sightseers could run into a few aliens, as well as view collections of rare natural history specimens. Visit the South Miami-Dade Cultural Center for exemplary performances of music, theatre, and dance, and the Wolfsonian Museum to view a collection of art and design, depicting popular culture from 1885 to 1945.

Almost constant sightseeing is made possible by sunny skies and ample public transport, but avoid hurricane season (June to November) and the crowds of spring break in March. Travellers should save money and avoid queues with the Go Miami Card, to sightsee throughout the city.

Kids Attractions in Miami

Miami is a great holiday destination for families with kids. This exciting city offers numerous attractions and activities for children, many of which parents will enjoy too. From museums to parks and beaches, there is no shortage of places to take kids while on holiday in Miami.

Miami favourites for kids include the outer-space exhibits at the Miami Science Museum, as well as the killer whale performances at the Seaquarium. Children also love seeing Jungle Island's exotic parrots, crocodiles, and penguins. One of the best beaches for children is Crandon Park Beach. Both the Gold Coast Railroad Museum and the Miami Children's Museum will provide hours of amusement.

Summer tends to be a bit too warm and stormy to enjoy with kids on holiday in Miami; most families prefer to visit in winter when the temperatures are a bit more comfortable, and off-season rates for accommodation and attractions are available. Families also generally choose to avoid the Spring Break antics of March, when the student-filled beaches could be inappropriate for children.

Miami Attractions

Miami Science Museum

Opening time: Daily from 9am to 6pm.

Admission: $28 adults, $20 children 3-11 years old.

Miami Science Museum
Photo credit: FarleyKatz
The Miami Science Museum, officially called The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, contains more than 140 exhibits, all designed to be hands-on and interactive. Coupled with live demonstrations and collections of rare natural history specimens, the museum makes learning heaps of fun. The Wildlife Center boasts more than 175 live reptiles and birds of prey, and the adjacent Space Transit Planetarium provides even more thrills with projected astronomy and laser light shows. The whole family is bound to enjoy a visit to this science centre.

map of Miami Science Museum

Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL.

Telephone: (305) 434 9600

Website: http://www.frostscience.org/


Miami Seaquarium

Opening time: Daily 10am-6pm (box office closes at 4:30pm).

Admission: $46 adults, $36 children

Miami Seaquarium
Photo credit: Marc Averette
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. Another favourite star is the sea lion Salty and his colleagues, who amuse and amaze with their antics. It is even possible to arrange close encounters with some of the animals. The Miami Seaquarium is set in a tropical paradise boasting wonderful views of the city, an extra perk for those who can drag their eyes from the animal shows. Visitors should be sure to check the official website for a schedule of show times before planning their day.

map of Miami Seaquarium

Getting there: CitySightSeeing Miami has a new route from Brickwell to the Miami Seaqurium. Miami-Dade's bus service route B provides bus service from Brickell Station to Miami Seaquarium.

Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway

Telephone: (305) 361 5705

Website: http://www.miamiseaquarium.com


Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Opening time: Daily (except Tuesdays) 9:30am-4:30pm.

Admission: $18 adults, $6 children, other concessions available.

Vizcaya Museum, Miami
Photo credit: Tom Schaefer
Lovers of antiques will enjoy visiting the magnificent 34-room Vizcaya bayfront villa, built in the Italian Renaissance style in 1916. The grand mansion took hundreds of artisans five years to complete, and the formal gardens, which surround the villa fronting on Biscayne Bay, took even longer to lay out. Today visitors can tour the villa and grounds, enjoying the original furnishings and décor in a variety of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococco, and Neoclassical styles. Vizcaya Villa gives visitors a taste of the best of Europe right in the heart of Miami.

map of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Getting there: Metrorail to Vizcaya station

Address: 3251 South Miami Avenue

Telephone: (305) 250 9133

Website: http://www.vizcayamuseum.com

Email Address: VIZCAYAINFORMATION@VIZCAYA.ORG


Spanish Monastery

Opening time: Monday to Saturday 10am-4.30pm; Sunday 11am-4.30pm.

Admission: $10 adults, $5 children, students, and seniors.

Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux
Photo credit: Daderot
Miami boasts the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, but cannot claim to have actually built it. Dating from 1141, the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in North Miami Beach is a hugely popular tourist attraction. The monastery stood originally in Segovia in Spain, but in the early 1950s the medieval building was bought by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, disassembled, shipped piece by peice to Miami, and rebuilt on its present site. Time Magazine called the project the 'biggest jigsaw puzzle in history'. The fascinating medieval complex is a joy to explore, and the fact that it seems out of place in Florida only makes it more magical. Guided tours are available for groups of 15 or more.

map of Spanish Monastery

Address: 16711 West Dixie Highway

Telephone: (305) 945 1461

Website: http://www.spanishmonastery.com

Email Address: spanishmonastery@bellsouth.net


Coral Castle

Opening time: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday to Sunday 9am-7pm.

Admission: $18 adults, $8 children, other concessions available

Coral Castle
Photo credit: paparutzi
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 is sometimes called America's Stonehenge and has been featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles. Visitors are awed by the castle, which also contains affidavits from neighbours testifying to the fact that the builder had no assistance with his mammoth task. The creator, Edward Leedskalnin, once proudly showed visitors around the castle himself, but now an audio guide does the honours. This quirky attraction is fascinating to visit and fun for the whole family.

map of Coral Castle

Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead

Telephone: (305) 248 6345

Website: http://www.coralcastle.com


Everglades National Park

Alligator, Everglades National Park
Photo credit: Rodney Cammauf
The vast Everglades National Park that spans the tip of the Florida peninsula, 35 miles (56km) southwest of Miami, is a 40-mile-wide (64km) slow-moving river of grass, interspersed with shallow wetlands. It is the only subtropical preserve in North America, containing both temperate and tropical plants. It is also the home of dozens of endangered species, like the swallowtail butterfly, American crocodile, leatherback turtle, southern bald eagle, and West Indian manatee. The best way to explore the park is by canoe; although private operators also run rapid airboat tours, which are popular with thrill-seekers. The park has been accorded several honours including its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.

map of Everglades National Park

Telephone: (305) 242 7700

Website: http://www.nps.gov/ever


Wynwood Walls

Opening time: Monday to Thursday 10.30am-11.30pm; Friday to Saturday 10.30am-Midnight; Sunday 10.30am-8pm.

Admission: Free.

Wynwood Walls
Photo credit:
Once a run-down, industrial district, Wynwood has been revitalised by a group of artists, who in the early 2000s, wanted to enrich their streets through celebrating the unrecognised talent of graffiti artists. The neighbourhood is now home to numerous galleries, art studios, art complexes, art fairs, museums and collections.

Wynwood Walls is the centre of this urban sprawl, an open air gallery that has spilled out onto its neighbours' walls. Art lovers will revel in the entirely unique and unusual pieces around them, created by international artists, ranging from old school artists to new school innovators. Admission to the 'museum of the streets' is free. Be sure to check out the Wynwood Walls shop, kitchen and bar, or the renown Joey's Cafe when visiting. Walking tours of the area are available twice daily.

map of Wynwood Walls

Address: 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami

Telephone: (305) 531 4411

Website: http://www.thewynwoodwalls.com


Lincoln Road Mall

Opening time: Daily 10am-11pm.

Lincoln Road Mall, Miami
Photo credit: Ed Webster
A pedestrian promenade lined with palm trees and colourful art deco buildings, Lincoln Road Mall is a great haunt for locals and foreigners alike. 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 but also houses the renowned Regal Movie Theatre and the Lincoln Theatre, home to the New World Symphony. As the street is considered one of the best people-watching haunts in South Beach, visitors can take refreshment at one of the string of sidewalk cafés or soak up some local culture at the many art galleries along the mall. The Farmers Market on Sundays is the best place for fresh vegetables, fruits, juices, homemade breads, and flowers. And on weekends, antique vendors display their wares along the sidewalk. At night, street performers take to the mall, entertaining passersby.

map of Lincoln Road Mall

Address: Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach,

Website: http://www.lincolnroadmall.com


The Wolfsonian

Opening time: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10am-6pm; Fridays 10am-9pm; Sunday 12pm-6pm. Closed Wednesdays.

Admission: $7 adults, $5 seniors, students and children.

Wolfsonian Museum
Photo credit: Acroterion
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, visitors can pick through the origins of graphic and industrial design from the distinctive propaganda art from Germany, Italy, and the United States, and the remarkable industrial design pieces from modern German design to Bauhaus. A haven for lovers of design, the Wolfsonian is full of artistic treasures. Not to be missed is the eccentric Dynamo café and museum shop.

map of The Wolfsonian

Address: 1001 Washington Avenue

Telephone: (305) 531 1001

Website: http://www.wolfsonian.org


Jungle Island

Opening time: Daily 10am-5pm.

Admission: $40 adults, $33 children

Macaw at Jungle Island
Photo credit: Dick Daniels
An offshoot of Parrot Jungle, 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 cliffs of Manu, Peru. At the Parrot Bowl, a gaping amphitheatre, you can be entertained by the clever antics of cockatoos, parrots, and macaws. Look out for the rare albino alligator and 21-foot crocodile at the Serpentarium. The waterpark featuring the 168-foot Hippo Slide, with an exhilarating 40-degree drop is also a favourite. The theme park is full of fun and interesting animals to marvel and interact with.

map of Jungle Island

Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail

Telephone: (305) 400 7000

Website: http://www.jungleisland.com


Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park
Photo credit: Catholic 85
The Biscayne National Park can be seen from downtown Miami, but the city and the park offer vastly different experiences for tourists. The coral reefs and tiny islands of this water sanctuary are home to an abundance of wildlife, along with a couple of pirate shipwrecks. Biscayne is a great camping, boating, and swimming spot for families, providing a tranquil sanctuary right on the doorstep of Miami for those who need a break from the bustle of the city. There are a variety of boats and watercrafts available for hire - check out the official website listed below for more details.

map of Biscayne National Park

Getting there: Access to the park from the mainland is limited to the immediate vicinity of the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Convoy Point where most tours and activities begin.

Telephone: (305) 230 114

Website: http://www.nps.gov/bisc

Email Address: nps_web@nps.gov


Crandon Park Beach

Opening time: Daily from 7am-6pm

Crandon Park
Photo credit: Paulkondratuk3194
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 enjoy, making it a very good option for families on holiday. The Crandon Park Gardens are a haven for indigneous plants and animals, with a few picnic spots to enjoy as well. The beach itself is long and spacious, ensuring that it seldom feels crowded, and there are plenty of picturesque palm trees providing shade. The water deepens very gradually so that the shallows are extensive and safe for kids.

map of Crandon Park Beach

Address: 4000 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne

Telephone: (305) 361 5421


Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Opening time: Monday to Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday to Sunday 11am-4pm.

Admission: $8 general admission, other concessions available.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Photo credit: Micha L. Rieser
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 the Tank Engine rides for children. Model train building sessions take place between 10am and 2pm on weekdays, and between 11am and 4pm on weekends. Tours are conducted at specific times each day and cost a small additional fee - check the official website listed below for details.

map of Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Address: 12450 S.W. 152nd Street

Telephone: (305) 253 0063

Website: http://www.gcrm.org


Miami Children's Museum

Opening time: Daily 10am-6pm

Admission: $22 general admission, other concessions apply

Miami Children's Museum
Photo credit: Marc Averette
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 and moving anything they like. The Mount Michimu rock-climbing wall offers a fun physical challenge for older children, while the Music Makers Studio allows children of all ages an interactive auditory experience. The museum ensures that there's always something going on to entertain visitors and many fun activities and play areas are always available. For safety reasons, children are not allowed into the museum unaccompanied by an adult, and adults are not allowed into the museum unaccompanied by a child. The Miami Children's Museum is the perfect family attraction for a rainy day in the city!

map of Miami Children's Museum

Address: 980 MacArthur Causeway Miami, FL

Telephone: (305) 373 5437

Website: http://www.miamichildrensmuseum.org


South Beach

South Beach
Photo credit:
Once known for its high crime rates and 'cocaine cowboys', South Beach is now celebrated for its thriving nightlife, beautiful beach, and art deco architecture. Miami's most popular beach is a hive of activity, with rented lawn chairs, volleyball games, and night time beach parties. Visitors can also enjoy fine oceanside dining or explore the boutiques showcasing South Beach's flourishing fashion industry.

The eclectic neighbourhood is as diverse as its inhabitants, offering varied entertainment for all. Espanola Way, the historic Spanish Village, with its authentic pink stucco buildings and side walk cafes, is the perfect escape from the bustle of the Washington Avenue. A popular way to explore the area is by bicycle. Visitors can rent bike at the Lincoln Road Mall and buy some South Beach essentials such as jewel studded Havaianas and designer sarongs on the way. Those in search of some evening entertainment have plenty of options; from dance clubs, to cocktail lounges and dive bars.

map of South Beach

Getting there: While South Beach has no direct Metrorail stations, it is connected by numerous Metrobus lines. The South Beach Local bus line connects all major points of South Beach to other bus lines in the city costing $0.25.

Address: From South Pointe Park to 23rd Street.


Miami Beaches

South Beach
Photo credit: Marc Averette
The beaches in Miami are world-famous; some for their stunning scenery, and others for their stunning sunbathers. Crandon Park Beach is perfect for children, with playgrounds and carousels as well as picnic areas and restrooms. Haulover Beach Park has great sport facilities like volleyball and tennis courts, a golf course, ample kiosks and picnic tables. However, parents should be aware that the northern end allows nude sunbathing. Hobie Beach is the best place for windsurfing in Miami, while the sandy beach in Oleta River State Park is popular for boating and kayaking. The central Miami beaches have good facilities, like concession stands, showers, lifeguards, walking trails, and beach chair and umbrella rentals, but tend to be crowded at peak times. Free yoga classes at sunrise and sunset are held at 3rd Street Beach every day of the year. Topless sunbathing is allowed in Miami Beach.


Little Havana

Calle Ocho Plaza
Photo credit: Cristo Vlahos
There's no place in Miami where Cuba's influence is more apparent than Little Havana. The historic district just west of Downtown Miami teems with culture, from cigar shops to distinct Latin cocktail bars and cafes. Come to Little Havana for a Cuban coffee with its unique espumita. Visit the Ball and Chain, a legendary jazz club once frequented by Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. And enjoy one of Cuba's national pastimes at the Domino Park, where locals have been playing competitive dominos for years. While the neighbourhood is a worthwhile visit anytime, there are two nights per month that are noteworthy. On the last Friday of each month, the community celebrates Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) by welcoming visitors to enjoy the bars, restaurants, live dance and music, and art galleries until the early hours. On the second Friday of every month, galleries stay open until midnight allowing guests to mingle with artists while admiring their works. Those holidaying in Miami during March must be sure to make time for the Calle Ocho Festival, a one-day fiesta and the biggest Hispanic bash of the year on the streets of Little Havana.

map of Little Havana


Pompano Beach


Photo credit:
Situated midway between Palm Beach and Miami, the holiday resort town of Pompano Beach is the heart of the Gold Coast. Anglers are understandably drawn to the long municipal fishing pier, hoping to land a big one from the plethora of fish swimming offshore. The resort town is historically a fishing community, named for the area's popular ocean fish species, the Florida Pompano. While the anglers have their fun there is plenty for the rest of the family to do. The beachfront promenade offers playgrounds, grill sites, and picnic tables, while the town contains numerous parks with sports facilities. Golfing enthusiasts will delight in the dozens of top-flight courses within a half-hour of the resort. Then, of course there are the three and a half miles (6km) of golden sands, local attractions, fine dining, and shopping opportunities. The town has a full calendar of special events, including a holiday boat parade, seafood festival, and fishing rodeo.

map of Pompano Beach


Events in Miami

Calle Ocho
Thursday March 15, 2018 to Sunday March 15, 2020 (15 March 2020)

Where: The streets of Little Havana, with the street party centering on the Orange Bowl Stadium

Claiming to be the biggest street party in the world, and undoubtedly the biggest Hispanic bash in the United States, Carnaval Miami offers two weeks of concerts, parades, family entertainment, sports, art exhibits, and ethnic food, all culminating in the massive 'Calle Ocho' street party and parade on the streets of Little Havana. Organised by Little Havana's Kiwanis Club in aid of underpriviledged children, Carnaval in Miami attracts a million fun-lovers who swarm through 23 city blocks. More than 40 stages are placed on intersecting avenues, from which emanate merengue, salsa, pop and Caribbean music. Food kiosks line the streets, and four blocks are devoted entirely to children's entertainment. For more information check out the website listed below.

carnavalmiami.com

Coconut Grove Arts Festival
Saturday February 15, 2020 to Monday February 17, 2020 (15 - 17 February 2020)

Where: McFarlane Rd, South Bayshore Drive and Pan American Drive in Coconut Grove

The charming village of Coconut Grove, downtown Miami on Biscayne Bay, becomes the setting for a premier outdoor fine arts festival held every Feburary. The festival attracts more than 150,000 people to view the works of more than 300 contemporary artists, ranging from photography, to sculptures, jewellery, painting, and woodwork. Visitors can meet and chat with the artists, sample delicious cuisine, and enjoy live entertainment and music. The impressive variety of art on show is complemented by a fun, festival atmosphere perfect for families. Even if you don't take an art piece home, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival is a great day out. Check the website below for more details.

http://www.cgaf.com

Ultra Music Festival
Friday March 29, 2019 to Sunday March 31, 2019 (TBC 2020)

Where: Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami

The Ultra Music Festival is so much more than a huge outdoor concert. For electronic music lovers, the festival held in Downtown Miami is a pilgramage. The festival has grown exponentially, becoming one of the highest-grossing music festivals anywhere in the world. Consisting of 16 stages, involving over 300 DJs, and with an expected attendance in excess of 165,000; tickets are bound to be scarce on the ground. Book tickets as soon as possible (sometimes they sell out in minutes), be sure to book accommodation early as the festival attracts many international visitors, and stock up on plenty of sleep!

http://www.ultramusicfestival.com

Spring Break
Saturday February 15, 2020 to Thursday April 30, 2020 (Between February and April annually)

Where: Various beach areas and resort towns around Florida

The notion of students misbehaving a little during their time away from their books is not unique to the USA. However, the annual wild partying of American students over Spring Break is something that visitors to Florida, especially those travelling with children, should prepare themselves for.

Ever since the 'Fort Liquordale' days of the 1980s, Florida has been a notoriously popular destination for Spring Break revellers. These days, the presence of MTV film crews and internationally-renowned performers on the Sunshine State's beaches only adds to the party atmosphere.

Although Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach, St Petersburg, and Miami's South Beach draw thousands of students, Panama City Beach has become the new epicentre with about 400,000 spring breakers expected every year. Love it or hate it, visitors should prepare themselves for Florida's transformation to party central.

Airports in Miami

Miami International Airport (MIA)
Miami International Airport
http://www.miami-airport.com

Location: Miami The airport is located eight miles (13km) west of central Miami.

map of Miami International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Transfer between terminals: The three terminals are connected by walkways and trains.

Getting to the city: The airport is well connected to the Miami Intermodal Center (Central Station) by the free MIA Mover electric train. From here numerous services 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, E-Z Rent A Car, Hertz, National, Payless, P&P Family Auto Rental, Royal, Sixt Rent A Car, and Thrifty.

Airport 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).

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

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. All vehicles parked in the garage are allowed to stay for a maximum of 60 days.

Tampa

Tampa Skyline
Photo credit: Mark Szelistowski
Tampa, on the Florida peninsula's west coast, is a thriving city where historic neighbourhoods co-exist with sleek skyscrapers, and where shrimp boats are docked next to cruise liners in the busy port. Vicente Martinez Ybor, a Cuban immigrant, put Tampa on the map when he introduced the cigar industry in the 1880s. This developed Ybor City, now fully restored to its Latin Quarter elegance.

Most visitors to the Tampa area stay in the resorts of St Petersburg and Clearwater, across Tampa Bay from the city. However, every visitor has ample reason to pay at least one visit to Tampa itself for the exciting attractions and museums on offer. Tampa is a firm family favorite due to the city's most popular attraction, the Busch Gardens entertainment park. Tampa is also within easy reach of Orlando, site of the world-famous Walt Disney World and numerous other theme parks. Tourists staying in Tampa can look forward to some thrilling excursions, and enjoy both urban attractions and the sun, sand, and sea of the resorts just outside the city.

map of Tampa

Getting around in Tampa

As with most US cities, a rental car is the easiest way to get around Tampa for travellers due to limited public transport and the fact that many visitors choose to stay just outside the city in one of the neighbouring resorts. However, HART provides local and express bus services for the Tampa area, serving all the major malls and attractions and connecting to nearby beaches. Particularly useful for tourists is the TECO Line streetcar system, which operates in Tampa's historic district, connecting the downtown area, Channelside, and Ybor City. Taxis are available, but often need to be ordered in advance.

Climate in Tampa

Tampa Bay experiences a subtropical to tropical climate with hot, wet weather during the summer months and cooler, dry conditions during winter. In summer, between May and September, temperatures average between 69°F (21°C) and 90°F (32°C), although it can get substantially hotter. Temperatures remain pleasant during the winter months, between November and February, with average temperatures between 51°F (11°C) and 76°F (25°C). The shoulder seasons are short and mild. In summer, frequent afternoon thunderstorms and cool evening breezes interrupt the heat. Spring and winter are the most popular times to visit Tampa, when it is pleasantly warm, dry and sunny.

Sightseeing in Tampa

The city of Tampa is one of the top spots in Florida. As a holiday destination, its main draws are the fantastic Busch Gardens amusement park and Ybor City, the historic downtown Spanish district, with its nightclubs, bars and shops, converted from Cuban cigar factories. The Henry B. Plant Museum offers visitors exotic exhibitions and architecture and tropical gardens to explore. The Tampa Museum of Art lures tourists with both ancient and contemporary treasures. The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) will delight and educate young and old. The Tampa Bay History Center walks visitors through 12,000 years of the region's history.

Holidays in Tampa are designed for families with children. Apart from the impressive Busch Gardens, families will enjoy the enormous Florida Aquarium and the Big Cat Rescue, the largest accredited big cat rescue facility in the country.

Tampa Attractions

St Petersburg


Photo credit:
A picturesque peninsula located on Florida's west coast, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, St Petersburg is the fourth largest city in the state of Florida and is commonly referred to as 'St Pete' by locals. It offers up 35 miles (56km) of beaches on eight major barrier islands and is home to some of America's award winning beaches, such as Caladesi Beach.

With an average of 360 days of sunshine each year, it has earned the nickname 'The Sunshine City' and is a popular tourist and retirement destination. This area is diverse and comprises 26 communities, ranging from the Greek influence in Tarpon Springs to the Scottish heritage of Dunedin. St Petersburg's unique melting pot culture has resulted in some eclectic eateries, museums, galleries, and boutiques, all with their own unique charm.

Some of the many attractions in St Petersburg include the Salvador Dali Museum and the mazes of the Sunken Gardens. The Pier offers a concentration of shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars, a large food court, aquarium, and bayside observation deck.

map of St Petersburg


Ybor City

Ybor City
Photo credit: Bobak Ha'Eri
Ybor City in central Tampa, is a National Historic Landmark District that beckons visitors back to an era when this Latin Quarter was the cigar capital of the world. The historic enclave, founded in 1886, has been fully restored. The old cigar factories now house shops, restaurants, clubs, and art galleries drawing large numbers of visitors. It is still possible to watch locals demonstrate the ancient art of premium hand-rolled cigar making, or spend a wild night applauding Spanish Flamenco dancers.

map of Ybor City

Website: http://www.ybor.org


Busch Gardens

Opening time: Monday to Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 10am-7pm.

Admission: $90 adults, other concessions available

Cobras Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Photo credit: Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is an extraordinary adventure park: a combination between massive zoo and theme park. It 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 numerous different areas with thousands of animals living in naturalistic environments. At Busch Gardens it is possible to come face-to-face with some of the world's most endangered animals, including Bengal tigers and orangutans. The site also contains thrill rides, live entertainment venues, shops, and restaurants, all overseen from the Skyride cable car that crosses high above the park. In one day it is possible to visit Tutankhamen's Tomb in Egypt, cross the plains of the Serengeti, and watch snake charmers in a Moroccan sultan's tent. Popular rides include the Cheetah Hunt rollercoaster, that travels up to 60miles per hour (96 km per hour), and the Falcon's Fury drop tower. Opening times vary according to season so be sure to check the official website when planning your trip. If you plan to visit any other theme parks in the region it is well worth investigating the combination tickets on offer for deals.

map of Busch Gardens

Address: 10165 N McKinley Drive

Website: http://www.buschgardens.com


Museum of Science and Industry

Opening time: Open daily 10am-5pm

Admission: $13 adults, $8 children

Wind generator
Photo credit: Tampa MOSI
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 experience what it is like to be in a Gulf Hurricane with winds of up to 74 miles per hour (200km/h), or defy the laws of gravity in space. The biology section features a unique way to explore the human body, and visitors of all ages will enjoy strolling through the butterfly garden. Also at the museum is Florida's first IMAX dome theatre, and the museum building is set in a 47-acre nature reserve which features walking trails. The museum can easily occupy the whole family for at least half a day.

map of Museum of Science and Industry

Address: 4801 E Fowler Avenue.

Telephone: (813) 987 6000

Website: http://www.mosi.org


Tampa Museum of Art

Opening time: Monday to Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday 11am-10pm; Saturday to Sunday 11am-5pm.

Admission: $15 adults, other concessions available

Tampa Museum of Art
Photo credit: Zeng8r
The Tampa Museum of Art's stunning facilities 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 exhibitions programme. From the innovative translucent ceilings to walls covered with LED lighting, the seven interior galleries and one exterior sculpture gallery offers visitors a world-class experience. Visitors will appreciate the museum's setting and should take the opportunity to stroll along Hillsborough River while in the area.

map of Tampa Museum of Art

Address: 20 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa

Telephone: (813) 274 8130

Website: http://www.tampamuseum.org/


Henry B. Plant Museum

Opening time: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm, Closed Monday.

Admission: $10 adults, $5 children, other concessions available.

Henry B. Plant Museum
Photo credit: Ebyabe
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 which is said to be a copy of the famed Alhambra Palace in Spain. Railroad tycoon Henry Plant built the edifice in 1891 as the 511-roomed Tampa Bay Hotel. Today it houses period art and furnishings from Europe and the Orient, and details via exhibits the history of the resort and the early days of the tourist industry.

map of Henry B. Plant Museum

Address: 401 W Kennedy Boulevard.

Telephone: (813) 254 1891

Website: http://www.plantmuseum.com


Florida Aquarium

Opening time: Open Daily 9.30am-5pm

Admission: $29, adults, $24 children. Tickets discounted when bought online

Florida Aquarium
Photo credit: adobemac
More than 5,000 aquatic creatures 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 waterways of the state, including crocodiles and moray eels, as well as many of the favourites found in aquariums the world over. The aquarium offers behind-the-scenes tours, dive shows, audio tours, close-up animal encounters, and touch-tanks for an immersive the experience. There is a little waterpark and play area for young children needing some extra entertainment.

map of Florida Aquarium

Address: 701 Channelside Drive.

Telephone: (813) 273 4000

Website: http://www.flaquarium.org

Email Address: moreinfo@flaquarium.org


Clearwater Beach

Sunset on Clearwater Beach
Photo credit: Waters2100
Known for the breath-taking sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico and warm tropical breezes, Clearwater Beach is consistently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the United States. Perfect for family vactions, Clearwater is generally known as a safer, quieter, and more affordable option than other more prominent destinations in Florida. With over two and a half miles (4km) of beautiful tropical beaches, Clearwater Beach has some of the best water activities in Tampa Bay, including jetskis and parasailing, boat tours, diving, fishing, and sailing charters. Pirate ship cruises aboard the 70-foot (21m) three-tiered Pirate's Ransom are a must for anyone up for a little swashbuckling. The Jolley Trolley is a great way to visit some of the surrounding attractions, such as Sand Key and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Holiday makers can enjoy a shopping spree at Pier 60, sample the famous Stone Crabs at Frenchy's restaurant, or visit one of the fifty golf courses around the area.

map of Clearwater Beach


Airports in Tampa

Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Tampa International Airport
http://www.tampaairport.com/

Location: Tampa The airport is located nine miles (14km) west of downtown Tampa.

map of Tampa International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 813 870 8700.

Getting to the city: Shared passenger van services as well as several city buses travel to Tampa and other destinations. The local HART bus stop is located at the Rental Car Center. Taxi services are available outside the Baggage Claim Level.

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

Airport Taxis: Taxis from Yellow Cab and United Cab are available curbside outside all the baggage claim areas. The minimum airport fee is $19 and the flat rate fee to downtown Tampa and the cruise terminal is $29.

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.

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.

Orlando

Orlando Skyline
Photo credit: Bill Dickinson
The most famous resident of this central Florida city is Mickey Mouse, the cartoon creation of animated movie tycoon, Walt Disney. His vision has turned Orlando, and the adjacent Lake Buena Vista and Kissimee areas, into the world's busiest, biggest and best-known concentrated tourist paradise. Disney bought up land in the area with the aim of establishing his dream theme park back in the 1960s. He died before the first park, the Magic Kingdom, officially opened in 1971. But his legacy lives on. Currently the Disney empire in Orlando includes four theme parks, dozens of smaller attractions, thousands of hotel rooms and holiday apartments, hundreds of restaurants and snack bars, and even two cruise ships.

It is not only the Disney dazzle that draws visitors to Orlando. There are plenty of other attractions, like Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, and the beloved SeaWorld, all adding to the maelstrom of thrills this city is now renowned for.

map of Orlando

Getting around in Orlando

Anyone staying at a Disney resort or official Disney hotel need have no fears about getting around the Orlando magic kingdom. An unlimited, free transportation network with buses, monorails, ferries, and water taxis connecting all the parks and attractions before, during, and for a couple of hours after opening hours. The I-Ride Trolley operates exclusively in the busy International Drive resort area; the fare is $2 per ride, and various passes are available. Those wishing to take a break from the world of Disney and travel elsewhere are advised to hire a car, particularly during peak holiday seasons when buses are likely to be crowded. Mears Transportation runs a bus service covering all Orlando's surrounding attractions, even as far away as Busch Gardens in Tampa. There are also free shuttles linking some of the theme parks, including SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa. Taxis queue for passengers in front of most of the resorts in the area; they can also be ordered by telephone. However, taxi fares tend to be high.

Dining in Orlando

Floridian food is a melting pot of flavours, spices, and sensations. The food of Orlando represents its cultural diversity, with restaurants serving old American classics as well as fusion cuisine with strong Caribbean and Spanish influences. From fast food to fine dining, Orlando has it all.

'Floribbean' cuisine incorporates flavours and styles from the neighbouring Caribbean islands, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and even the American Deep South. As a result, dining out in Orlando is an experience for the senses. Seafood is a staple, so be sure to sample signature dishes such as muscles in rum and butter sauce, fried gator bites, and roasted red snapper.

Head down International Drive to choose from some of the trendiest restaurants in town, or spend some time in Downtown Disney or Universal's CityWalk where more traditional cuisine is provided. With so many options, diners will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in Orlando.

Jack's Place —
Steakhouse

Serving a variety of steaks, grills and seafood, Jack's Place is the place to go for quality food. Start with the tender grilled crab cake or stuffed shrimp and enjoy the Lobster Ravioli served with fresh English pea and corn sauce. Open for dinner. Bookings recommended.

Rozen Plaza Hotel, 9700 International Dr
Orlando, United States of America

http://www.jacksplacerestaurant.com

A Land Remembered —
Mediterranean

This renowned Orlando steak house is the place for carnivores to meet and features an impressive wine list to boot. Start with the Little Creek Frog Legs, which are Cajun spiced with a mango rum glaze and tuck into a mouth watering Châteaubriand, Filet Mignon or the famous Key Lime Pie. Open for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.

Rosen Shingle Creek 9939, Universal Blvd
Orlando, United States of America

http://www.landrememberedrestaurant.com

Cala Bella —
Italian

For mouth-watering Tuscan cuisine where Italian classics marry with American cuisine to create a wonderful taste sensation, Cala Bella is the place to go. Start with the mozzarella stuffed Bella meatballs braised in Borolo wine before diving into marinated herb roasted lamb chops with pickled garlic and shallots in rosemary minted Marsala. Bookings recommended.

9939 Universal Blvd
Orlando, United States of America

http://www.calabellarestaurant.com

Shopping in Orlando

There is no shortage of shopping opportunities for travellers in Orlando and with a choice of luxury department stores, upscale boutiques, antique shops and farmers markets, shoppers will have a hard time deciding where to begin. Many hotels offer free shuttle services to major shopping destinations.

Start off at one of the largest single-storey malls in the United States, the Florida Mall, which features more than 250 stores including Macy's, Sears, JCPenney, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as an outdoor shopping plaza where shoppers can enjoy all those sunny days. The Festival Bay Mall on International Drive is home to stores, a skate park, and a theatre. The Waterford Lakes Town Center is an open-air mall featuring large chain stores, small shops, restaurants, and even IMAXDigital. And the Mall at Millenia boasts designer names like Betsey Johnson, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.

Antique junkies need look no further than Orlando's Antique Row on Orange Avenue, where a wide variety of collectables can be found. Bargain hunters should head over to Flea World in Sanford and Osceola Flea & Farmers Market in Kissimmee, where collectively more than 2,600 wholesale dealers can be found providing everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to old books, leather goods, jewellery, souvenirs, and beachwear.

Of course the main souvenirs in Orlando are anything Disney or NASA-related so be sure to pick up your caps and t-shirts from the gift shops before you leave.

Climate in Orlando

Orlando experiences holiday weather all year, with temperatures typically ranging between 52°F (11°C) in mid-winter and 91°F (33°C) at the peak of summer, with a humid, subtropical climate. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortably hot in August, and winter is dry and temperate, with night time temperatures occasionally plunging surprisingly low. Thunderstorms are common between May and September, offering some respite from the heat. Summer is hurricane season, between June and November.

Sightseeing in Orlando

Famed for one of the US's most popular attractions, Walt Disney World, Orlando boasts many other noteworthy attractions besides the iconic Magic Kingdom. Head a little further into this Floridian city to discover Universal Studios, its two theme parks, entertainment complex, and film sets. Visiting during the summer? Wet 'n Wild is a must for cooling off, while Sea World has earned itself a reputation as one of the best marine parks in the world for more than 25 years.

Florida's second most popular attraction is the Kennedy Space Centre at the nearby Cape Canaveral. Visitors can walk through a giant model of the new International Space Station, view authentic rockets, and marvel at all the original artefacts from the moon landing.

The Orlando Museum of Art is a must for fans of fine arts, while adrenalin junkies should make a pilgrimage to the NASCAR Daytona Speedway. For something a little stranger, look no further than the Orlando Odditorium where exhibits of weird and wonderful things, amassed over a period of 40 years by explorer Robert Ripley, can be viewed.

Travellers planning on extensive sightseeing should consider buying a Go Orlando Card which grants free entrance to various attractions as well as providing a full-colour guide book with in three, five or seven day sightseeing options. Go Cards are available at the Official Visitor Centre or Festival Bay Mall.

Kids Attractions in Orlando

Being the home of Mickey Mouse, it goes without saying that Orlando is one of the most popular holiday destinations for families travelling with kids. With plenty of sunshine and attractions as Sea World, Walt Disney World, and Universal Studios, Orlando is a children's playground and very often tops the list of places kids would most like to visit.

Universal Studios is great for older kids too, as there are plenty of thrilling blockbuster-themed rides to enjoy, as well as games and other interactive activities. The 'littlies' can enjoy Fieval's playground, Woody Woodpeckers Nuthouse Coaster, and a 'Day in the Park with Barney', a live stage production where younger children can sing along to their favourite songs. Kids will also love a visit to Gatorland, a theme park and wildlife preserve that is nicknamed 'the Alligator Capital of the World', where thousands of crocodiles and alligators can be viewed from a boardwalk suspended above the marshy swamps below.

Take the family to Water Mania or Wet 'n Wild to cool off in the hot Floridian sun, enjoy a historic and educational tour of the Kennedy Space Centre; spend the day hiking and picnicking in the Turkey Lake Park; check out what's happening round Lake Eola, or simply let the kids run around in the nearby playground while parents take a breather.

With all these options and more, kids will have a fabulous time on holiday in Orlando, but parents should note that during the spring and summer months the main tourist attractions and theme parks are heaving with visitors and a better time to visit Orlando may be during the slightly cooler months of autumn or winter.

Orlando Attractions

Walt Disney World

Admission: $114 general admission.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
Photo credit: cd.harrison
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. Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and has been making dreams come true ever since. Today it is just one of four Disney parks that cover more than 28,000 acres of Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida, with accompanying resorts, shopping complexes, hotels, and waterparks. Apart from the Magic Kingdom, Disney World now includes the Epcot centre, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It also contains two water parks; Disney's Blizzard Beach and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon.

The Magic Kingdom is where the most famous Disney attractions are located. Little girls can visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to receive princess makeovers, while boys can become ferocious swashbucklers at the Pirates League. Rides at the Magic Kingdom include classic favourites like Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and It's a Small World.

Disney's Hollywood Studios gives visitors a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the workings of the glitz and glamour of the movie industry, with rides and attractions dedicated to the Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, the Twilight Zone, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even American Idol.

Animal Kingdom is a wildlife park home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species. Visitors can go on an Expedition to Everest, or a Kilimanjaro Safari, or through Avatar's Pandora. The iconic Tree of Life towers over conservation exhibits and dinosaur boneyards, with bird shows, thrilling rides, and live musicals.

map of Walt Disney World

Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

Telephone: (407) 939 5277

Website: http://www.disneyworld.com


SeaWorld Orlando

Admission: $80 single-park ticket

SeaWorld, Orlando
Photo credit: David R. Tribble
Spread out between the Disney parks at Lake Buena Vista and downtown Orlando area is the renowned SeaWorld attraction. The park is designed to give an interactive look at the sea, featuring themed animal habitats from tidal pools to iceberg lakes. Visitors can hug a dolphin, kiss a killer whale, and watch the famous aquatic SeaWorld stars go through their paces in various entertaining shows.

SeaWorld is not only well-known for its exciting animal encounters and epic rides. Be sure to enjoy Mako, the tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster in Orlando. It reaches speeds of up to 73 miles per hour (117km per hour) on an impressively long steel track, leaving riders feeling both breathless and weightless.

Neighbouring Discovery Cove offers visitors a chance to swim with dolphins, view wildlife, sunbathe on gorgeous beaches, and snorkel among the coral.

map of SeaWorld Orlando

Address: 7007 Sea World Drive

Telephone: (407) 545 5550

Website: seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando


Universal Studios Florida

Opening time: Monday 9am-9pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-10pm.

Admission: $90 adults, $70 children.

Universal Studios
Photo credit: Robert Linsdell
The delights that the Universal Orlando entertainment complex has to offer are so numerous that it takes at least two days to fully appreciate. There are two theme parks: the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Universal Studios is a movie-themed park with thrilling, innovative rides, production studios, and film sets where visitors can go behind the scenes and see the tricks used to create movie magic. Islands of Adventure offers thrilling rides, shows, and villages on five different islands all based on hit film classics. On-site are three superb luxery hotels, so that the fun never has to end at Universal Orlando.

map of Universal Studios Florida

Address: 6000 Universal Boulevard

Telephone: (407) 363 8000

Website: http://www.universalorlando.com


Orlando Odditorium

Opening time: Daily 9am-midnight

Orlando Odditorium
Photo credit: filippo_jean
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 heads and a scale model of a Rolls Royce made entirely of matchsticks. Visitors can measure themselves up against the world's tallest man and learn about all sorts of odd and surprising records. Ripley's 'Believe it or Not' collection is world-renowned and has been documented in television series and best-selling books.

map of Orlando Odditorium

Address: 201 International Drive

Telephone: (407) 345 0501


Orlando Museum of Art

Opening time: Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm; Saturday to Sunday 12am-4m. Closed Monday

Orlando Museum of Art
Photo credit: Ebyabe
Orlando's Museum of Art is a world of creative themed exhibitions, showcasing its permanent collections of American Art, Art of the Ancient Americas, and African Art. Group tours are made memorable with commentary about art appreciation and the lives of the various artists represented. The museum's collection is extremely varied, covering a number of time periods, artistic schools, and movements. Visitors should note that the museum is closed on Mondays.

map of Orlando Museum of Art

Address: 2416 North Mills Avenue

Telephone: (407) 896 4231

Website: http://www.omart.org

Email Address: info@omart.org


Fantasy of Flight

Admission: $12 adults, $8 children

Fantasy of Flight
Photo credit: Valder137
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 flight, and today it features many rare and vintage aircraft, which actually take to the skies. Visitors are treated to an 'Aircraft of the Day' flypast, as well as the chance to fly themselves in a simulator. The site also offers tours of the aircraft collection in hangars, a sight and sound presentation detailing the history of aviation, a tour of the 'back lot' where vintage aircraft are restored, and an Exploration Centre.

map of Fantasy of Flight

Address: 1400 Broadway Boulevard SE, Polk City

Telephone: (863) 984 3500

Website: http://www.fantasyofflight.com


SeaWorld Aquatica

Admission: $60 single-day ticket, free admission for children under 3

Loggerhead Lane at Aquatica
Photo credit: SeaWorld Aquatica
Look no further than SeaWorld's Aquatica for exhilarating water slides, wave pools, and once in a lifetime encounters with sea animals. There are a multitude of thrill rides to enjoy in this water park as well as other varied attractions, ensuring the whole family stays entertained. Visitors can experience an educational ride through an undersea world to see the sea life below, or they can revel in an adventure-fuelled race against the rapids. With so many rides and slides to choose from, this water world will leave any visitor delighted, and soaked!

The signature ride, Dolphin Plunge, features slides that shoot riders through a pool of Dolphins. For the real adrenalin junkies the most fast paced ride of all is the Ihu Breakway Falls, a watery free-fall drop slide. Whether you're after relaxation or adrenalin, SeaWorld's Aquatica is great fun for the whole family. The park is open daily all year-round, but opening and closing times do change according to season.

map of SeaWorld Aquatica

Address: 5800 Water Play Way

Telephone: (407) 545 5550

Website: http://www.aquaticabyseaworld.com/en/orlando


Kennedy Space Center

Opening time: Daily 9am-6pm

Admission: $57 adults, $47 children

Launch of 'Discovery' Shuttle
Photo credit: NASA
The John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, 46 miles (74km) southeast of Orlando on Florida's east coast, is one place in the state where fact is just as entertaining as fiction. Visitors to the centre follow the story of NASA's exploration of space through interactive exhibits, movies, and tours. Guests can tour a full-size replica of the space shuttle 'Explorer', walk through a giant model of the International Space Station module, and view films about Mars and the Pathfinder exploration. They can also explore historic authentic rockets, like that piloted by pioneer astronaut John Glenn, and marvel at the Apollo/Saturn Centre, which houses all the artefacts from the historic moon landing. The Space Center requires several hours to fully appreciate. On the same site is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, established on the land NASA did not require for its space operations. The 220-square-mile (570 sq km) refuge contains more endangered species than any other wildlife refuge in the US, including the southern bald eagle and Atlantic loggerhead turtle. Be sure not to miss the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, in the nearby town of Titusville, as you leave the area.

map of Kennedy Space Center

Telephone: (321) 867 5000

Website: http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com


Discovery Cove Orlando

Opening time: Daily 8am-5.30pm

Admission: Prices change according to day

Dolphin Swim at Discovery Cove
Photo credit: Discovery Cove
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 experience of visiting Discovery Cove so unique is the level of interaction that it offers: guests can swim with bottlenose dolphins, snorkel alongside a coral reef teeming with exotic fish, unwind on pristine sandy beaches, and hand-feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary. It is even possible to wade in the welcoming Freshwater Oasis, coming face-to-face with playful otters and curious marmosets in the lush landscaping. The combination of relaxation and adventure is glorious.

Discovery Cove offers some impressive ticket combination deals which should be considered for those visiting multiple theme parks in the region.

map of Discovery Cove Orlando

Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way

Telephone: (407) 513 4600

Website: http://www.discoverycove.com


Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Opening time: Opening times change according to season

Admission: $90 per day, package deals are available.

Hogwarts Castle
Photo credit: The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek
We are pleased to inform you that you have been formally invited to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The magical theme park 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. It also has thrilling rides such as the Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. Children can visit Ollivander's to find their perfect wand, or sample chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans at Honeyduke's sweet shop. The attraction is wildly popular and fun for the whole family, but be warned that queues can be exceptionally long at peak times. Harry Potter fanatics give the park rave reviews, but even those who are unfamiliar with the wizarding world will be enchanted by the park.

map of Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Address: 6000 Universal Boulevard

Telephone: (407) 363 8000

Website: http://www.universalorlando.com


Gatorland

Opening time: Daily 10am-5pm

Admission: $30 adult, $20 children, purchase online for discount

Gatorland
Photo credit: Brian Marshall
Florida is famous for its alligator population, and Gatorland in Orlando is a good place to experience these interesting animals. The park is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, with a breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower, reptile shows, an aviary, petting zoo, swamp walk, and educational programs. A huge thrill is provided by the Gator Zip Line, which allows brave visitors to the park to zoom about high above the enclosures. Gatorland has several restaurants and even offers a gluten-free menu. Visitors can enjoy the whole park at a leisurely pace in about four hours, but a family can easily spend longer time enjoying the various attractions.

map of Gatorland

Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail.

Telephone: (407) 855 5496

Website: http://www.gatorland.com


The Holy Land Experience

Opening time: Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm; Closed Sunday

Admission: $50 adults, $35 children.

Holy Land Experience
Photo credit: David Joyce
Vastly different from most theme parks in Orlando, the Holy Land Experience is a religious attraction designed to recreate pivotal scenes from the Bible. These include settings such as the Great Temple, the Last Supper Communion, and a Jerusalem Street Market. Staff members re-enact stories from the life of Jesus, and large-scale productions are staged in the Church of all Nations auditorium. The park is designed to be spiritually motivating and a visit can be moving for the religiously minded. The Holy Land Experience is far more about the story of Jesus than it is a genuine recreation of Jerusalem, but the replica temples and ancient streets help to bring the story to life and set the scene.

map of The Holy Land Experience

Address: 4655 Vineland Road, Orlando

Telephone: (407) 872 2272

Website: http://www.holylandexperience.com


Airports in Orlando

Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Orlando International Airport
http://www.orlandoairports.net

Location: Orlando The airport is situated six miles (10km) southeast of Orlando.

map of Orlando International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 407 825 8463

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

Getting to the 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. The rental car companies are located on the A-Side and B-Side of the terminal on the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1).

Airport 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. On average a one-way trip will cost $14-$18.

Facilities: Passenger services at the airport include ATMs, currency exchange, information centres, an interfaith chapel, 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.The terminal top parking garage is one of the highest points in Orlando, providing a clear view of downtown Orlando and its nightly fireworks display. Facilities for the disabled are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Parking: Orlando International Airport has a number of parking options ranging from the cost free North and South Cell Phone Lot used to pick-up/drop-off passengers, to the Terminal Top parking lot and the Parking Garage A and B which 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.

Orlando Sanford Airport (SFB)
Orlando Sanford International Airport
http://www.orlandosanfordairport.com

Location: Orlando The airport is located 22 miles (about 35km) northeast of Orlando.

map of Orlando Sanford Airport

Time: Local time is GMT -5 (GMT -4 between March and November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 407 585 4500

Transfer between terminals: A shuttle bus service connects terminals A and B.

Getting to the city: Lynx bus #33 serves the airport, stopping right outside the terminal buildings.

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

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

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

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

Departure Tax: None.

Pensacola

Pensacola Beach
Photo credit: Father of JGKlein
Pensacola, close to the Alabama state border on the Gulf coast, is one of the more laid-back of Florida's cities. With its numerous historic and natural charms, it will give travellers ample opportunity to sit back and relax in this beach paradise.

Ancient Native Americans left their mark around the natural deep-water harbour, before the Spanish Colonists arrived in 1559. It was the start of a long rivalry for control of the port, with France, Great Britain, the United States and the Confederacy battling it out for years. They left the city with blended architectural influences ranging from Spanish brickwork and French wrought-iron balconies to Victorian mansions. Pensacola is home to the Seville Historic District, showcasing its heritage. The city also has a noteworthy Historical Museum.

Apart from ancient history, Pensacola is known for its current stars, the Blue Angels precision flying team of the US Navy, who are based here and hold thrilling exhibitions. The US Naval Air Station is situated to the west of the city next to the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

In and around Pensacola, beaches abound along the coastline and the Gulf Islands, particularly at Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach with their luxury resorts.

map of Pensacola

Getting around in Pensacola

The Escambia County Area Transit System (ECAT) runs public buses around the city daily, although service is more limited on weekends. There are bicycles and scooters for hire, and taxis can be ordered by telephone from various companies. Most visitors to Pensacola opt to hire a car, which provides maximum convenience for exploring the city and surrounding region. Uber and other similar mobile app based taxi services are also available.

Climate in Pensacola

Pensacola has a humid subtropical climate, with short, mild winters and hot, humid summers. Summer temperatures are moderated by the southerly prevailing winds from the Gulf of Mexico and temperatures in the peak summer months, between June and August, average between 72°F (22°C) and 89°F (32°C), though highs can reach 100°F (38°C). Summer is the wettest season, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms providing relief from the heat. In winter, between December and February, temperatures average between 42°F (6°C) and 63°F (17°C). Snow is rare in Pensacola. The city enjoys an average of 228 days of sunshine a year, making it a year-round travel destination, but visitors should note that late summer and autumn can be very windy.

Sightseeing in Pensacola

Pensacola caters for a more sedate market: those who appreciate excellent seafood, miles of deserted beach, spectacular views, scuba diving on shipwrecks, and exploring the local historic sites.

50-odd miles (80km) of white sandy beach should be enough to draw sun-seekers to holiday in Pensacola, but this Florida city contains much more than natural attractions and historic sites. The city is home to the US Navy's Blue Angels flight squad, and is renowned for the spectacular air displays that attract hundreds of spectators to Pensacola. The National Museum of Naval Aviation also holds a number of other interesting military craft and exhibitions. Pensacola is also celebrated for its location: Tallahassee and Panama City are close by and Amelia Island, Santa Rosa Island, and the Gulf Islands National Seashore offer many diversions for visitors, making the city a great travel base for those wanting to explore the surrounding coastline and islands.

Pensacola Attractions

National Museum of Naval Aviation

Opening time: Daily 9am-5pm

Admission: Admission

National Museum of Naval Aviation
Photo credit: Kristianrj
The museum on site at the sprawling US Naval Air Station west of Pensacola is 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 realistic recreation of a World War II aircraft carrier and a wartime Pacific airbase. Between March and November visitors might catch a practise session of the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team soaring through the skies. If not, the team can be seen in action in one of two IMAX films shown at the museum. Keen would-be aviators can have a go at doing it themselves on the flight simulator. Please note that as of 1 February 2016, all visitors to the National Naval Aviation Museum who do not possess a Department of Defense identification card will be required to enter via the West Gate located off Blue Angel Parkway.

map of National Museum of Naval Aviation

Address: 1750 Radford Boulevard, Pensacola

Telephone: (800) 327 5002

Website: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org

Email Address: namfoffice@navalaviationmuseum.org


Tallahassee

Downtown Tallahassee skyline
Photo credit: Zverzver
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 more reminiscent of the Deep South than sunny Florida, with its fragrant magnolia trees, and old plantation houses Tallahassee hosts the Florida State University and the state's new Capitol Building, which towers 22 storeys above the downtown area. The city's five Canopy Roads, where trees form tunnels, are lined with sites such as plantations, ancient Native American settlements and mounds, gorgeous gardens, and scenic picnic spots. There is also a Museum of Natural History and Science combined with a natural habitat zoo of indigenous wildlife.

map of Tallahassee


Gulf Islands National Seashore

Opening time: Daily from 8am-9pm

Gulf Islands National Seashore
Photo credit: National Park Service
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. Camping, hiking, and biking in the isolated regions is a treat for travellers looking to get away from the crowded resorts of southern Florida. The park includes several islands, including Santa Rosa Island (home to the popular Fort Pickens Campground), Perdido Key, Horn Island, and West Ship Island (home of Fort Massachusetts). There are limited restaurants and shops in the Gulf Islands National Seashore region, though most camping sites are near enough to coastal beach communities that visitors don't need to bring everything with them and will find necessary amenities not too far away.

map of Gulf Islands National Seashore

Address: 3500 Park Road, Ocean Springs

Telephone: (228) 875 9057

Website: http://www.nps.gov/guis


Panama City

Panama City Beach
Photo credit: j.s. clark
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 Park and Pine Log State Forest, and city attractions like the Panama City Visual Arts Center and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. Panama City is usually a fairly quiet town, but comes alive each spring as thousands of students flock to the town for Spring Break. Concerts, parades, and other events are regular occurrences during this period. Travellers looking for peace and quiet should remember to avoid Panama City at this time.

map of Panama City

Website: http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com


Airports in Pensacola

Pensacola International Airport (PNS)
Pensacola International Airport
http://www.flypensacola.com

Location: Pensacola The airport is situated five miles (8km) from central Pensacola.

map of Pensacola International Airport

Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November)

Getting to the city: Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) buses service the airport. Shared shuttles, taxis and limousines can also be hired at the airport and cars can be rented. Uber and other similar mobile app based taxi services are also available.

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

Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport.

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

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 $8 per day. The Cell-phone lot is free for the first hour, thereafter it costs $2 per hour.

Key West

Key West
Photo credit: Direnzoa
On the tip of the Florida Keys, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, lies the historic island city of Key West. Situated as it is at the gateway to the Caribbean and in close proximity to Cuba, this island supports a vibrant community and a long seafaring and naval tradition,

Key West, also known as the 'Conch Republic', has a distinct Caribbean flavour. The streets of its old quarter are lined with palms and pastel-painted, wooden colonial 'gingerbread' houses. It has been the favoured holiday haunt of greats like Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Harry Truman. This is because of its relaxed atmosphere, colourful neighbourhoods, legendary bars and restaurants, offshore fishing opportunities, and lively nightlife. The city also hosts innumerable pageants, parades and festivals, has an active theatre culture, and several heritage museums.

The streets of Key West are attractions by themselves; buskers providing impromptu entertainment for those at sidewalk cafés or browsing the many stores. Visitors on holiday here flock to 'The Bight', the old harbour, to arrange sea trips for fishing, snorkelling, or diving. Nightlife in Key West starts with sunset drinks on the Mallory Dock, before moving on to areas like Bahama Village, and along Duval Street.

map of Key West

Getting around in Key West

Most visitors to Key West choose not to drive because of the great public transport options. Park-and-ride shuttles and buses are available and recommended. Key West is very pedestrian friendly with bike and scooter rentals available, a great alternative to driving as parking in Key West can be difficult.

The Dade-Monroe Express bus runs from Key Marathon to Florida City, offering round trips on the hour and stopping on demand. Greyhound runs a Keys shuttle bus several times a day between Miami International Airport, stopping at all major points along the Keys.

Climate in Key West

Key West enjoys a tropical savanna climate, with two main seasons: it is hot, wet and humid between June and October, and drier and cooler between November and May. In the hottest months, between June and August, temperatures average between 78°F (26°C) and 89°F (31°C), and in the coldest months, between December and February, temperatures average comfortably between 64°F (17°C) and 76°F (24°C). August and October are hurricane season.

Sightseeing in Key West

Explore one of the world's most scenic and intriguing archipelagos at Key West. The island is a perfect destination for families, as it combines the opportunity for dozens of water-based activities with some cultural and educational sightseeing.

Just beyond Key West are other islets along the Florida Keys chain, perfect for a day trip. Key Largo is known as one of the best places to go scuba-diving. Children can enjoy up-close interactions with marine life at the Dolphin Research Center and Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

Key West Attractions

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Opening time: Daily 9am-5pm

Admission: $14 adults, $6 children (6-12 years)

Hemingway's Writing Desk
Photo credit: squirrelist
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 period, and to enjoy the lush garden where more than 40 cats have taken up residence. The cats themselves have an interesting back-story: Hemingway owned a cat with extra toes and almost all the cats that now live at the house have this genetic trait; some of them are said to be direct descendants of the original pet. Entertaining guided tours are offered. There is a bookstore and gift shop where visitors can buy their own Hemingway souvenirs.

map of Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Address: 07 Whitehead St, Key West

Telephone: (305) 294 1136

Website: http://www.hemingwayhome.com

Email Address: info@hemingwayhome.com


Key West Lighthouse Museum

Opening time: Daily 9.30am-4.30pm

Key West Lighthouse
Photo credit: placesaroundfl
The landmark beacon of the Key West Lighthouse was built in 1847 to warn ships of the hazardous reefs lying off the lower Keys. Having been taken out of commission in 1969, it is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb the 86-foot (26m) high tower to marvel at the spectacular view. The clapboard bungalow that was the keeper's quarters has been restored and maintained as a museum, providing a glimpse of life in Key West in the 19th century and into the bygone profession of lighthouse keeping. Interestingly, the first keeper of the Key West Lighthouse was a woman, an almost unheard of appointment for the 19th century.

map of Key West Lighthouse Museum

Address: 938 Whitehead St

Telephone: (305) 294 0012

Website: http://www.kwahs.org/visit/lighthouse-keepers-quarters/


Butterfly Conservatory

Opening time: Open daily 9am-5.30pm

Admission: $12.50 adults, $8.50 children 4-12 years, other concessions available

Viceroy Butterfly
Photo credit: PiccoloNamek
The Key West Butterfly Conservatory is like a trip through paradise, as visitors walk through the tropical wonderland filled with free-flying butterflies and brightly-coloured birds. The conservatory is home to nearly 60 species of butterfly and 20 different species of birds, all contained in climate-controlled glass habitats with waterfalls, streams, and hundreds of flowering plants. In the Learning Center, visitors can explore the butterfly anatomy, physiology, lifecycle, feeding, and migratory world of the Monarch, and get an up-close view of the caterpillars. There is also a gallery showcasing butterfly art and a gift shop selling souvenirs.

map of Butterfly Conservatory

Address: 1316 Duval St

Telephone: (305) 296 2988

Website: http://www.keywestbutterfly.com

Email Address: info@keywestbutterfly.com


Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Opening time: Daily 9.30am - 4.15pm

Admission: $14 adults, $5 children, other concessions available

John James Audubon
Photo credit: Public Domain
The restored homestead of Audubon and Tropical Gardens was originally built in the 1840s by Captain John Geiger, a harbour pilot and wrecker. It now contains the works of renowned ornithologist John James Audubon, who visited the Florida Keys in 1832 and completed drawings of 18 previously undiscovered birds in the gardens of this house. Audubon House has been furnished in the typical style of a prosperous Key West home of its era. Audio tours are available. In addition to exploring the house visitors can enjoy wandering through the gardens, planted with orchids, bromeliads, and other tropical plants.

map of Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Address: 205 Whitehead St, Key West

Telephone: (305) 294 2116

Email Address: audubonhouse@audubonhouse.org


Airports in Key West

Key West International Airport (EYW)
Key West International Airport
http://www.eyw.com

Location: Key West The airport is situated two miles (3km) east of Key West.

map of Key West International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

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

Getting to the city: Shuttles and taxis can be found at the airport.

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

Airport 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.

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.

Parking: Free parking is available for one hour in the short term parking lot. Thereafter, parking rates are $3 for each additional hour, up to a daily maximum of $15 and a weekly maximum of $84.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville
Photo credit: Jtesla16
The city of Jacksonville, on the northeast coast of the Sunshine State, hosts millions of visitors a year. Those who come in search of winter sunshine to one of the biggest cities in the United States will be offered miles of uncrowded beaches and some of the world's best golf courses. This is coupled with historic sites and neighbourhoods, unique shopping and dining, lively nightlife and entertainment, and river cruises. There are also several nature and wildlife reserves within the city limits.

A popular seaside city, Jacksonville's busy 'Jaxport' terminal is used as a base for Bahamian cruises. Many visitors who visit Jacksonville are cruise passengers spending a few days before or after their cruise exploring the city and surrounds. Jacksonville Landing (located downtown on the north bank of St John's River) is a hub of restaurants and nightlife in Jacksonville, while Hemming Plaza is surrounded by museums and beautiful city buildings that will appeal to sightseers. Just off the coast are several worthwhile sites, including Amelia Island, a popular weekend destination, drawing tourists with its golf and tennis resorts, and stunning scenery.

Despite being a modern city, Jacksonville still retains its southern charm, with oak-lined avenues, lawns spreading alongside the river, and friendly locals greeting passers-by from their porch-swings. There is seldom a dull moment for travellers, with art galleries, a brewery tour, warm waters, museums, the riverside market, historic architecture, delectable restaurants, and so much more.

map of Jacksonville

Getting around in Jacksonville

Although many visitors do choose to hire a car, it is possible to get around Jacksonville using public transport. The elevated Skyway provides free transport around downtown Jacksonville on weekdays from 6am-9pm. The charming Riverside Trolley is also useful for tourists, and departs roughly every 20 minutes weekdays. Taxis and rental cars are also available and those hiring cars will find that Jacksonville is easy to navigate and provides plenty of public parking.

Climate in Jacksonville

Jacksonville experiences a humid subtropical climate characterised by mild winter weather (December to February) and hot summer weather (June to August). Average daytime temperatures in summer hover between 64°F (18°C) and 91°F (33°C), and thunderstorms are common during summer afternoons, due to the high humidity in Jacksonville. Winters can be cold, with temperatures ranging between 41°F (5°C) and 68°F (20°C), and hard freezes during the night are not uncommon, but extreme temperatures are usually short-lived. Snow is extremely rare in Jacksonville. Despite the city's location on the edge of the hurricane belt, Jacksonville does not experience the full force of passing hurricanes, though tropical storms are common throughout the hurricane season, between August and October.

Airports in Jacksonville

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX)
Jacksonville International Airport
http://www.flyjacksonville.com

Location: Jacksonville The airport is situated 14 miles (23km) north of downtown Jacksonville.

map of Jacksonville International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 904 741 2000.

Getting to the city: All ground transportation services, including rental car agencies, 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.

Airport 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.

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

Parking: Parking in all lots is charged at $2 per 30 minutes. Daily rates start from $22 in the Hourly Lot, $18 in the Daily Lot, $11 in the Daily Surface Lot, and $6 in Economy Lots 1 and 2.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale
Photo credit: Kolossos
Known as the 'Venice of America,' Fort Lauderdale is a city of islands, built on a network of canals, rivers, bays, and waterways. With 23 miles (37km) of beaches, this is a popular stop for cruise ships in Florida. This sophisticated yet casual resort town situated in the heart of the Gold Coast, attracts families and couples from all over the United States, and beyond.

Boating is a favourite Fort Lauderdale pastime, as is cycling, or simply strolling along the beachfront promenade. Near Fort Lauderdale, divers can enjoy one of the only living coral reefs in the United States accessible from shore. There are sporting facilities galore throughout the city, particularly the world renown golf courses.

Those in search of culture will be captivated by the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida Grand Opera, the annual Film Festival, and numerous art galleries and museums. Fort Lauderdale's downtown shopping street is the broad avenue of Las Olas along the river, lined with fashion boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and sidewalk cafés. Diners are supremely well catered for, with more than 3,500 restaurants covering greater Fort Lauderdale. These range from intimate cafés to al fresco waterfront terraces, quaint bistros, and ethnic eateries to cosy steakhouses. As with most of Florida, the local treat is fresh seafood.

Fort Lauderdale's facilities and attractions will please any visitor on holiday, and if that is not enough, the exciting city of Miami lies only 40 miles (64km) away, perfect for a day trip.

map of Fort Lauderdale

Getting around in Fort Lauderdale

The easiest way to get around Fort Lauderdale is by car. The city is set up on a grid and is easy to navigate. Hiring a bicycle is also a popular option, as biking is an efficient way to cover downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach. There are bicycle lanes in some of the main tourist areas. However, those driving or cycling should note that the east side of Fort Lauderdale, between downtown and the beach, is crisscrossed with canals, which can only be crossed by bridge, making a good map vital. Broward County Transit (BCT) provides bus service in Fort Lauderdale, although tourists sometimes find the service frustratingly slow or limited. A regular one-way bus fare is $2. The Sun Trolley offers seven free routes around Fort Lauderdale. Most useful to tourists is the Downtown Link, which operates between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, every 15 to 20 minutes.

Climate in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale enjoys a tropical rainforest climate, with little variation in temperature throughout the year. The average monthly low temperatures seldom drop below 66°F (19°C) year-round. Summer, between May and October, is the wet season, with high humidity and average high temperatures of between 86°F (30°C) and 90°F (32°C). Most of Fort Lauderdale's rain comes in the form of afternoon thunderstorms. Winters, between November and April, are a bit cooler and drier, although some rain is still likely. The average high temperatures between November and April hover more comfortably around 75°F (24°C) and 82°F (28°C). The hurricane season runs from June to November, with major storms most likely to hit between September and October.

Airports in Fort Lauderdale

Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
Palm Beach International Airport
http://www.pbia.org

Location: Fort Lauderdale The airport is located six miles (10km) west of Palm Beach.

map of Palm Beach International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Contacts: Tel: +1 561 471 7420.

Getting to the 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 and connect with TriRail, which runs trains to Miami, and the Amtrak station. From there, passengers will find 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. A few mobile app based taxi services are available, although some are restricted from the airport.

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

Airport 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.

Facilities: Facilities at the airport include bars, shops and restaurants, a spa, 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.

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. Short-term parking has a maximum charge of $17 a day.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL)
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
http://www.broward.org/airport

Location: Fort Lauderdale The airport is located 26 miles (42km) north of Miami and six miles (10km) from downtown Fort Lauderdale.

map of Fort Lauderdale International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

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

Transfer between terminals: Free shuttles ferry passengers between the terminals from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. If changing terminals, travellers may have to go through security again.

Getting to the 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. Twelve 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.

Airport 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.

Facilities: There are ATMs, currency exchanges, 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.

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. The Palm and Hibiscus parking garages are also convenient and connected to all four terminals.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach
Photo credit: Pat Williams
Daytona Beach is America's favourite family holiday destination for good reason. With 23 miles (37km) of fine grain sandy Atlantic beaches, this city is a staple attraction for holidaymakers, even during the winter months. Without moving from the beach you can surf, jet ski, go boating, parasailing, go fishing, bicycling, and even take a drive in a hired beach buggy. Daytona's hard-packed sands have provided for speedsters ever since the early 20th century, when Sir Malcolm Campbell set and broke records motoring on the beach. Today, speeding is reserved for the world-famous Daytona International Speedway, where the annual Daytona 500 Nascar race is held.

With so much to do on the beach, it is difficult to find the motivation to move off it. Those who do are greeted with numerous recreational facilities and attractions in the string of towns along the intracoastal waterway and on the mainland. Try truly adventurous Floridian cuisine, like fried gator tail, and shrimp and scallop pie at one of the many restaurants along the Halifax River. Visit the home of John D. Rockefeller or the ruins of the first steam-powered sugar mill in Florida to understand the city's history. From archaeological sites to mini-golf, museums to haunted houses, and planetariums to chocolate factories, there is never a dull moment in Daytona Beach.

map of Daytona Beach

Getting around in Daytona Beach

While it is fairly easy to drive in the Daytona Beach area, it is possible to get around using public transport. The city is pedestrian friendly and bicycles can be rented at most major tourist stops. Votran provides trolleys and buses along the hotels and all major attractions. There are also city-wide bus services that are the same fare as trolley fares. Taxis and rental cars are also available and those hiring cars will find that Daytona Beach is easy to navigate and provides plenty of public parking.

Climate in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach has holiday weather all year round, with temperatures ranging between 90°F (32°C) at the peak of summer, and 46°F (8°C) in mid-winter, with a humid, subtropical climate. Typical of Florida, there are two season in Daytona Beach, with the warmer, wetter season (May through October) and the cooler and drier season (November through April). Thunderstorms are common between May and September, offering some respite from the heat. Summer is hurricane season, between June and November.

Airports in Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)
Daytona Beach International Airport
http://www.flydaytonafirst.com

Location: Daytona Beach The airport is located four miles (6km) southwest of Daytona Beach.

map of Daytona Beach International Airport

Time: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from mid-March to the first Sunday in November).

Getting to the city: The Votran municipal bus service stops at the airport regularly on weekdays and Saturdays, 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.

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

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

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 $15. Long-term parking costs $12 per day. Weekly parking is available for $65. There are free shuttles operating to the terminal.

Gold Coast

West Palm Beach
Photo credit: Kim Pardi
The Gold Coast stretches for about 60 miles (97km) down Florida's southeast coast, from Palm Beach in the north to Miami Beach in the south. This stretch of coastline is hosts a string of tropical beach resorts which are very popular with visitors to Florida. The Gold Coast strip currently attracts close on nine million holidaymakers every year. Development is proceeding apace as the natural landscape of sprawling grassland is replaced with opulent resorts and high-rise apartment blocks. The larger resort cities along the coast, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood, are experiencing unprecedented building booms as the number of immigrants rises. Visitors and residents alike come to enjoy the natural attractions of the area, the laid-back atmosphere, the almost constant warm, sunny weather, the luxurious 'country-club' lifestyle, and the hundreds of sophisticated shopping malls. The best way to explore it all is to take a meander by car along Florida A1A, a narrow road that winds along the coast connecting the long thin barrier islands. Alternatively, pick a resort, kick off your shoes and enjoy a summer vacation, any time of year.

Sightseeing in Gold Coast

The main attractions of the Gold Coast are the glamorous hotels and resorts, beaches, and the upmarket shopping malls. There are also cultural and natural attractions for sightseers who manage to leave the beach. Scuba divers and snorkelers in the region would do well to pay a visit to the Biscayne National Park, while those wanting to meet some of the local wildlife will find a number of animal rehabilitation and conservation centres, including the Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex in Boca Raton, and the Marine Life Center of Juno Beach. Those wanting a taste of the indigenous local culture should visit the Big Cyprus Seminole Reservation, west of Fort Lauderdale, where the American Indian heritage of Florida is showcased.

Gold Coast Attractions

Norton Museum of Art

Opening time: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-5PM; Thursday 12pm-9PM; Monday closed.

Admission: Free.

Norton Museum of Art
Photo credit: Ebyabe
Art lovers should not miss out on one of Florida's major cultural attractions, the Norton Museum of Art in the upmarket West Palm Beach. The museum's permanent collection is internationally renowned, including European, American, Chinese, and contemporary art, from the Renaissance through to the present. The museum regularly hosts travelling exhibitions and offers educational programmes for children. There is a museum shop and cafe serving refreshments. Guided tours are available. Photography is allowed in certain parts of the museum, but not in many of the exhibition areas - be sure to ask permission before taking a photo.

map of Norton Museum of Art

Address: 451 S Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

Telephone: (561) 832 5196

Website: http://www.norton.org

Email Address: info@norton.org


Seminole Reservation

Seminole Reservation
Photo credit: CGAphoto
An hour west of Fort Lauderdale, on the road to Naples, travelors can visit the Big Cypress Seminole, where Florida's 'unconquered' Indian tribe still reside. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Khi museum in the reservation features historical exhibits and a living village where visitors can watch artisans at work. There is also a nature trail to explore, and a film on Seminole history shown regularly. Apart from the many interesting cultural artifacts on display, panoramic scenery at the reservation is spectacular, showcasing some of the typical everglades' flora and fauna. The Big Cypress Seminole Reservation is the ideal place to immerse oneself in the American Indian heritage of Florida.

map of Seminole Reservation

Address: 6300 Stirling Road, Hollywood

Telephone: (954) 966 6300

Website: http://www.seminoletribe.com/museum


Palm Beach

Palm Beach
Photo credit: Michael Kagdis
Palm trees arrived at Palm Beach in 1878, when a ship laden with Cuban coconuts was wrecked on the offshore barrier island that is only 14 miles (23km) long and half a mile (1km) wide. Palm Beach has long been the traditional winter holiday home of America's aristocracy, the Kennedys, Rockefellers, Trumps, and other society names filling the Gatsby-era mansions on the island. Henry Morrison Flagler put Palm Beach on the map in 1894 when he opened the Royal Poinciana Hotel on the island and promoted Palm Beach as America's premier winter resort. The mansion Whitehall, which he built in 1901 for his wife, is now the Flagler Museum dedicated to his memory. Today there are many more hotels in Palm Beach, and hundreds of restaurants, some of which rank among the finest in the world.

map of Palm Beach


Marine Life Center of Juno Beach

Opening time: Daily 10am-5pm

Marine Life Centre of Juno Beach
Photo credit: Alaina McDavid
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 along the Gold Coast. The Center is essentially a turtle hospital, and visitors can see ill and injured creatures being rehabilitated. The Center has numerous exhibits, including tropical fish and shells, and a gift shop. Evening guided 'turtle walks' are offered during June and July, but bookings must be made in advance. There are a number of other guided tours, hikes and talks available - check the official website for details.

map of Marine Life Center of Juno Beach

Address: 14200 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach

Telephone: (561) 627 8280

Website: http://www.marinelife.org

Email Address: info@marinelife.org


Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast Sunset
Photo credit: Steve Evans
Off Florida's west coast, adjacent to the inland city of Fort Myers, is a sprinkling of coastal islands resting in the tranquil Gulf waters. The islands have been developed as pristine resorts which, together with Fort Myers Beach and the town of Naples further down the coast on the mainland, have made this area an extremely desirable holiday destination.

Southwest Florida is the ideal place to enjoy leisure and pleasure in the great outdoors, as it is one of the warmest areas of the United States. In the height of summer ocean breezes keep things cool while visitors enjoy swimming, sunning, shelling, or playing a round of golf. Nature lovers are drawn here because of the close proximity to the Everglades National Park, the Big Cypress Swamp, and numerous other wetland reserves and wildlife refuges. Then, of course, there are the miles of beautiful beaches, washed by the warm Gulf waters and covered in an array of seashells. Winter is 'in season' in this part of the world, which stays warm while the more northerly states freeze. Little wonder that the Gulf Coast has become a magnet for visitors whom locals term 'snowbirds' migrating from the north to winter here.

Sightseeing in Gulf Coast

Unlike the glitzy Gold Coast, Florida's Gulf Coast attracts nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful resort retreat or perhaps a golfing or shelling holiday. The beaches are renowned for the vast amount of shells to be collected. There are numerous protected scenic areas and wildlife refuges in this part of Florida, including the Lee County Manatee Park, where tourists can view the endagered manatee in their natural habitat.

Naples and Fort Myers are popular cities to use as travel hubs and offer a sprinkling of good sightseeing, including the former homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, and the impressive Southwest Florida Museum of History, all in Fort Myers. Just north of Fort Myers the Shell Factory and Nature Park showcases the area's celebrated shells and fossils, and just south of the city the Koreshan State Historic Site attracts visitors with its odd history and pretty scenery. Beautiful Floridian landscapes can be enjoyed at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, and the Clam Pass Recreation Area, all near Naples, among many other places!

Gulf Coast Attractions

Lee County Manatee Park

Opening time: Daily from 7am to sunset

Manatee
Photo credit: NASA
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 observation decks. The Park also offers information, walking tours, and workshops, as well as picnic facilities and a fishing cove with a deck and a pier. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available. Some of the facilities are only open between May and November when the weather is hot and pleasant - check the official website to see what is available when.

map of Lee County Manatee Park

Address: 10901 Palm Beach Boulevard, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 690 5030

Website: http://www.leeparks.org

Email Address: HGienapp@leegov.com


Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Opening time: Daily 9am-5.30pm

Admission: $30 guided tours, $25 audio tours

Thomas Edison Estate
Photo credit: Fredlyfish4
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 Victorian house called Seminole Lodge still boasts working light bulbs, which he invented. They burn in the laboratory where he worked on more than 1,000 inventions during his winter visits. The house next door, Mangoes, was built by Ford in 1916. Visitors are given guided tours of both houses by costumed guides giving 'living history' accounts. Scenic river rides on board a replica of Edison's electric boat are also offered.

map of Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Address: 2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 334 7419

Website: http://www.efwefla.org


Koreshan State Historic Site

Opening time: Daily from 8am to sunset

Admission: $5 per vehicle, $2 Pedestrians and bicyclists,

Herons on the Estero River
Photo credit: Mwanner
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 and women and that the universe was a hollow sphere containing everything within it. Planning to build a utopian city, the community generated their own electricity, built boats, established a general store, and constructed numerous buildings of which 11 remain today. The last four members of the sect donated the land to the State of Florida in 1961 and it is now preserved as a park with a nature trail, picnic tables, and campsite. Guided tours of the Koreshan buildings are offered.

map of Koreshan State Historic Site

Address: 3800 Corkscrew Road, Estero

Telephone: (239) 992 0311

Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/koreshan-state-park


Southwest Florida Museum of History

Opening time: Closed for relocation

Southwest Florida Museum of History
Photo credit: Ebyabe
The Southwest Florida Museum of History 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 fire pump and a 1929 Pullman private railroad car are among the exhibits. Pride of place is held by the 'Land of Giants' section depicting the huge animals like mammoths, mastodons and the Bison Antiqus that roamed the area about 12,000 years ago. The museum also hosts regular travelling exhibitions. Guided tours are available and there is an audio guide in both English and Spanish for those who prefer to explore independently.

map of Southwest Florida Museum of History

Address: 2300 Peck St, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 332 5955

Website: http://www.swflmuseumofhistory.com

Email Address: museuminfo@cityftmyers.com


Shell Factory and Nature Park

Opening time: Daily 9.30am-6pm

Admission: $13 adults, $8 children

Seashells
Photo credit: Manfred Heyde
The beaches along this stretch of the Florida coastline are renown for their seashells. It contains one of the largest collection of seashells, fossils, corals, and sponges in the world. The Shell Factory not only exhibits a fascinating and extensive collection, but the 18-acre complex includes shops selling a range of jewellery, ornaments, lamps, objets d'art, and glassware. The complex also includes a petting zoo, wildlife refuge, eco laboratory, a restaurant, game arcade, a miniature golf course, and boating lake; more than enough to keep the whole family entertained.

map of Shell Factory and Nature Park

Address: 2787 N Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 995 2141

Website: http://www.shellfactory.com


Naples

Naples City Dock
Photo credit: Marc Ryckaert
The sophisticated city of Naples lies on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The central area preserves its old world charm, while the modern section to the north bristles with high-rise luxury hotels and resorts. Visitors flock here during the winter months to enjoy the magnificent Gulf beaches, world-class shopping and dining, and the challenging golf courses. Naples is also near Florida's top natural attractions, including the tropical wilderness of the Everglades National Park. An upmarket destination it may be, but Naples exudes easy-going friendliness along with its wealthy opulence.

map of Naples


Fort Myers

Fort Myers Beach
Photo credit: Sanibel sun
Billed as Florida's tropical island getaway, Fort Myers Beach is a haven for visitors seeking a relaxing family holiday. While it offers endless sport and recreational activities like the destinations of the east coast, this beautiful resort town on the Gulf of Mexico remains affordable, relaxed, friendly, and casual. The prime attraction and centre of activity at Fort Myers Beach is the seven-mile (11km) shoreline which has gained a reputation as the world's safest beach, with no undertow and shallow water ideal for swimming. Popular are the numerous water sports offered all along the beachfront, from jet-skiing to sailing a skiff. The village area clusters along a tree-lined walkway at the north end of the beach, offering shops and restaurants. The south is where numerous beachfront resorts with condominiums and hotels have sprung up around Lovers Key State Park. Between these, the beach is lined with parks, recreation areas, and marinas offering fishing and boating charters, sightseeing trips, dining and dancing cruises, and even offshore gambling jaunts. On the opposite side of the narrow Estero Island, is the Matanzas Pass Wilderness Preserve with acres of mangrove swamps, live oak hammocks, and local wildlife to explore from elevated boardwalks.

map of Fort Myers


Sanibel and Captiva

Sanibel Island
Photo credit: Invertzoo
Those who are searching for the tranquillity of the beach will delight in the Florida Gulf coast resort island of Sanibel, and its smaller sister, Captiva. The slow pace of island life rarely heats up where the main event is the magnificent sunset. The families and romantics who holiday here come to enjoy the beaches strewn with seashells, the warm Gulf waters, the huge variety of wildlife, and the fabulous fresh seafood. These islands have no high-rises or honking horns, instead they offer all the amenities to make for a comfortable and relaxing holiday. There are art galleries, award-winning restaurants, live theatre, and the occasional musical performances. The more exclusive of the twin islands is Captiva, connected to Sanibel by a bridge. Captiva is the smaller, characterised by wealth and quiet charm, topped off at its northern end by the luxurious all-inclusive South Seas Resort.


Marco Island

Marco Island
Photo credit: MBandman
Measuring just over six by four miles (10km by 6km), Marco Island is a bustling full service holiday community on the northern edge of west Florida's coastal wilderness area known as Ten Thousand Islands. Just a stone's throw from the vibrant city of Naples, Marco Island is on the doorstep of nearly 100 miles of protected undeveloped islands, bays, and estuaries. It's hemmed in by the Rookery Bay Nature Reserve to the north, and by the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Collier-Seminole State Park, and the Everglades National Park to the south. Unsurprisingly, the resort waters are stocked with diverse and healthy fish populations, are a magnet for fishermen and anglers. The community also offers top class shopping, recreational, and dining opportunities.

map of Marco Island


Port of Call - Fort Lauderdale


Photo credit:
Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, often the start and end of cruises to the Caribbean. Located just next to the picturesque resort area of Fort Lauderdale, the port makes a great beach destination on its own.

The most popular, and best, activity in Fort Lauderdale for idle time before or after a cruise is spending all day hopping on and off the water taxis that navigate the elaborate canals of the city.

Port Everglades has amenities to handle more than three million passengers a year. Port Everglades is located conveniently close to the airport, giving extra time for a detour in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The cruise terminals have every conceivable amenity for embarking and disembarking passengers, including transportation between the city and airport.

map of Fort Lauderdale

Shopping in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is packed with shops and even offers shopping tours. Las Olas Boulevard and Riverfront are perfect for high end boutique window shopping. For everything under the sun, the Sawgrass Mills claims to be the largest discount and entertainment mall. Fun and unique bargains can be found in the south's largest flea market, the Swap Shop.

Dining in Fort Lauderdale

Gilbert's 17th Street Grill - casual family restaurant with excellent burgers

Truluck's Restaurant - upscale seafood and steak restaurant

101 Ocean - classy but casual dining in the heart of city

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Ride the rail to Miami

Waste a day in Delray Beach

Ride a swamp boat in the wetlands

Gamble at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino

Tour the Florida Keys

http://www.porteverglades.net/cruising

Port of Call - Miami


Photo credit:
With one foot already in the Caribbean, Miami is one giant playground of a disembarking port city, complete with stretches of white sand beach only outshined but the coils of hot pink neon lights, making it the crowned 'cruise capital of the world'.

Most associated with Miami is South Beach, both the long stretch of sand and the Art Deco neighbourhood alongside famous for nightlife, restaurants and shopping.

With over four million passengers a year, the Port of Miami is the home of about 24 different cruise ships and ten cruise lines departing to all over the world, particularly the Caribbean. The port is located on Dodge Island and connects to the city centre via a short bridge. New cruise passenger terminal buildings D and E and four older terminals have every conceivable passenger amenity.

map of Miami

Shopping in Miami

The best shopping is done in several open air malls, the famous Lincoln Road Mall and The Falls. Upscale shops are best found in both Miracle Mile and Bal Harbour. Near to the Port of Miami, Bayside Marketplace is a fun place to peruse souvenirs.

Dining in Miami

Azul - One of the city's best, serving Mediterranean and Asian cuisine downtown

Joe's Stone Crab - Simple and famous casual seafood dining and great crab

News Cafe - Beach side quick and delicious breakfast and lunch café

Things to do in Miami

Explore Everglades National Park

Get awestruck over Coral Castle

Visit Fort Lauderdale

Swim with dolphins in Key Largo

Sail into the sunset over the Keys

http://www.miamiandbeaches.com

Florida Attractions

Overview

Florida has a wealth of attractions to offer its visitors, promising activity appealing to a variety of interests. Home to some of the most famous beaches in the world, and the incredible resorts that accompany them, Florida certainly earns its name as the Sunshine State. With the beaches of Miami keeping sun-lovers happy and relaxed, there are also loads of activities on offer for those seeking a little more adventure.

The magical Walt Disney World is one of Florida's major attractions, pulling visitors from across the globe. Sea World is also a firm favourite and a must-see, as is Universal Studios, promising both adults and children alike interaction and fun. Other popular favourites in the state include exploring the Florida State Parks, such as the Biscayne National Park, as well as enjoying the picturesque views of Florida Keys. If culture and art is what you're after, there certainly is no shortage: many museums and galleries across the state compete to occupy those with cultural inclinations.

With so much to choose from, visitors can happily craft their own itineraries around any one of the three major cities of Florida - Miami, Orlando and Tampa - and can fit it all in with adequate time and planning.

Norton Museum of Art

Opening time: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-5PM; Thursday 12pm-9PM; Monday closed.

Admission: Free.

Norton Museum of Art
Photo credit: Ebyabe
Art lovers should not miss out on one of Florida's major cultural attractions, the Norton Museum of Art in the upmarket West Palm Beach. The museum's permanent collection is internationally renowned, including European, American, Chinese, and contemporary art, from the Renaissance through to the present. The museum regularly hosts travelling exhibitions and offers educational programmes for children. There is a museum shop and cafe serving refreshments. Guided tours are available. Photography is allowed in certain parts of the museum, but not in many of the exhibition areas - be sure to ask permission before taking a photo.

map of Norton Museum of Art

Address: 451 S Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

Telephone: (561) 832 5196

Website: http://www.norton.org

Email Address: info@norton.org

Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex

Opening time: Monday to Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm

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 includes large outdoor aquariums containing local marine life, including the area's ubiquitous sea turtles. Visitors can also visit a butterfly garden, see visual presentations and interpretive displays, catch the view from an overhead observation tower, and stroll along an elevated boardwalk through the hammock and mangrove swamp. The nature centre is informative and fun for people of all ages.

map of Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex

Address: 1801 N Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton

Telephone: (561) 544 8605

Website: http://www.gumbolimbo.org

St Petersburg


Photo credit:
A picturesque peninsula located on Florida's west coast, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, St Petersburg is the fourth largest city in the state of Florida and is commonly referred to as 'St Pete' by locals. It offers up 35 miles (56km) of beaches on eight major barrier islands and is home to some of America's award winning beaches, such as Caladesi Beach.

With an average of 360 days of sunshine each year, it has earned the nickname 'The Sunshine City' and is a popular tourist and retirement destination. This area is diverse and comprises 26 communities, ranging from the Greek influence in Tarpon Springs to the Scottish heritage of Dunedin. St Petersburg's unique melting pot culture has resulted in some eclectic eateries, museums, galleries, and boutiques, all with their own unique charm.

Some of the many attractions in St Petersburg include the Salvador Dali Museum and the mazes of the Sunken Gardens. The Pier offers a concentration of shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars, a large food court, aquarium, and bayside observation deck.

map of St Petersburg

Seminole Reservation

Seminole Reservation
Photo credit: CGAphoto
An hour west of Fort Lauderdale, on the road to Naples, travelors can visit the Big Cypress Seminole, where Florida's 'unconquered' Indian tribe still reside. The Ah-Tah-Thi-Khi museum in the reservation features historical exhibits and a living village where visitors can watch artisans at work. There is also a nature trail to explore, and a film on Seminole history shown regularly. Apart from the many interesting cultural artifacts on display, panoramic scenery at the reservation is spectacular, showcasing some of the typical everglades' flora and fauna. The Big Cypress Seminole Reservation is the ideal place to immerse oneself in the American Indian heritage of Florida.

map of Seminole Reservation

Address: 6300 Stirling Road, Hollywood

Telephone: (954) 966 6300

Website: http://www.seminoletribe.com/museum

Miami Science Museum

Opening time: Daily from 9am to 6pm.

Admission: $28 adults, $20 children 3-11 years old.

Miami Science Museum
Photo credit: FarleyKatz
The Miami Science Museum, officially called The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, contains more than 140 exhibits, all designed to be hands-on and interactive. Coupled with live demonstrations and collections of rare natural history specimens, the museum makes learning heaps of fun. The Wildlife Center boasts more than 175 live reptiles and birds of prey, and the adjacent Space Transit Planetarium provides even more thrills with projected astronomy and laser light shows. The whole family is bound to enjoy a visit to this science centre.

map of Miami Science Museum

Address: 1101 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL.

Telephone: (305) 434 9600

Website: http://www.frostscience.org/

Miami Seaquarium

Opening time: Daily 10am-6pm (box office closes at 4:30pm).

Admission: $46 adults, $36 children

Miami Seaquarium
Photo credit: Marc Averette
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. Another favourite star is the sea lion Salty and his colleagues, who amuse and amaze with their antics. It is even possible to arrange close encounters with some of the animals. The Miami Seaquarium is set in a tropical paradise boasting wonderful views of the city, an extra perk for those who can drag their eyes from the animal shows. Visitors should be sure to check the official website for a schedule of show times before planning their day.

map of Miami Seaquarium

Getting there: CitySightSeeing Miami has a new route from Brickwell to the Miami Seaqurium. Miami-Dade's bus service route B provides bus service from Brickell Station to Miami Seaquarium.

Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway

Telephone: (305) 361 5705

Website: http://www.miamiseaquarium.com

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Opening time: Daily (except Tuesdays) 9:30am-4:30pm.

Admission: $18 adults, $6 children, other concessions available.

Vizcaya Museum, Miami
Photo credit: Tom Schaefer
Lovers of antiques will enjoy visiting the magnificent 34-room Vizcaya bayfront villa, built in the Italian Renaissance style in 1916. The grand mansion took hundreds of artisans five years to complete, and the formal gardens, which surround the villa fronting on Biscayne Bay, took even longer to lay out. Today visitors can tour the villa and grounds, enjoying the original furnishings and décor in a variety of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococco, and Neoclassical styles. Vizcaya Villa gives visitors a taste of the best of Europe right in the heart of Miami.

map of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Getting there: Metrorail to Vizcaya station

Address: 3251 South Miami Avenue

Telephone: (305) 250 9133

Website: http://www.vizcayamuseum.com

Email Address: VIZCAYAINFORMATION@VIZCAYA.ORG

Spanish Monastery

Opening time: Monday to Saturday 10am-4.30pm; Sunday 11am-4.30pm.

Admission: $10 adults, $5 children, students, and seniors.

Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux
Photo credit: Daderot
Miami boasts the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, but cannot claim to have actually built it. Dating from 1141, the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux in North Miami Beach is a hugely popular tourist attraction. The monastery stood originally in Segovia in Spain, but in the early 1950s the medieval building was bought by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, disassembled, shipped piece by peice to Miami, and rebuilt on its present site. Time Magazine called the project the 'biggest jigsaw puzzle in history'. The fascinating medieval complex is a joy to explore, and the fact that it seems out of place in Florida only makes it more magical. Guided tours are available for groups of 15 or more.

map of Spanish Monastery

Address: 16711 West Dixie Highway

Telephone: (305) 945 1461

Website: http://www.spanishmonastery.com

Email Address: spanishmonastery@bellsouth.net

Coral Castle

Opening time: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm; Saturday to Sunday 9am-7pm.

Admission: $18 adults, $8 children, other concessions available

Coral Castle
Photo credit: paparutzi
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 is sometimes called America's Stonehenge and has been featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles. Visitors are awed by the castle, which also contains affidavits from neighbours testifying to the fact that the builder had no assistance with his mammoth task. The creator, Edward Leedskalnin, once proudly showed visitors around the castle himself, but now an audio guide does the honours. This quirky attraction is fascinating to visit and fun for the whole family.

map of Coral Castle

Address: 28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead

Telephone: (305) 248 6345

Website: http://www.coralcastle.com

Everglades National Park

Alligator, Everglades National Park
Photo credit: Rodney Cammauf
The vast Everglades National Park that spans the tip of the Florida peninsula, 35 miles (56km) southwest of Miami, is a 40-mile-wide (64km) slow-moving river of grass, interspersed with shallow wetlands. It is the only subtropical preserve in North America, containing both temperate and tropical plants. It is also the home of dozens of endangered species, like the swallowtail butterfly, American crocodile, leatherback turtle, southern bald eagle, and West Indian manatee. The best way to explore the park is by canoe; although private operators also run rapid airboat tours, which are popular with thrill-seekers. The park has been accorded several honours including its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance.

map of Everglades National Park

Telephone: (305) 242 7700

Website: http://www.nps.gov/ever

Ybor City

Ybor City
Photo credit: Bobak Ha'Eri
Ybor City in central Tampa, is a National Historic Landmark District that beckons visitors back to an era when this Latin Quarter was the cigar capital of the world. The historic enclave, founded in 1886, has been fully restored. The old cigar factories now house shops, restaurants, clubs, and art galleries drawing large numbers of visitors. It is still possible to watch locals demonstrate the ancient art of premium hand-rolled cigar making, or spend a wild night applauding Spanish Flamenco dancers.

map of Ybor City

Website: http://www.ybor.org

Busch Gardens

Opening time: Monday to Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 10am-7pm.

Admission: $90 adults, other concessions available

Cobras Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Photo credit: Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens is an extraordinary adventure park: a combination between massive zoo and theme park. It 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 numerous different areas with thousands of animals living in naturalistic environments. At Busch Gardens it is possible to come face-to-face with some of the world's most endangered animals, including Bengal tigers and orangutans. The site also contains thrill rides, live entertainment venues, shops, and restaurants, all overseen from the Skyride cable car that crosses high above the park. In one day it is possible to visit Tutankhamen's Tomb in Egypt, cross the plains of the Serengeti, and watch snake charmers in a Moroccan sultan's tent. Popular rides include the Cheetah Hunt rollercoaster, that travels up to 60miles per hour (96 km per hour), and the Falcon's Fury drop tower. Opening times vary according to season so be sure to check the official website when planning your trip. If you plan to visit any other theme parks in the region it is well worth investigating the combination tickets on offer for deals.

map of Busch Gardens

Address: 10165 N McKinley Drive

Website: http://www.buschgardens.com

Museum of Science and Industry

Opening time: Open daily 10am-5pm

Admission: $13 adults, $8 children

Wind generator
Photo credit: Tampa MOSI
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 experience what it is like to be in a Gulf Hurricane with winds of up to 74 miles per hour (200km/h), or defy the laws of gravity in space. The biology section features a unique way to explore the human body, and visitors of all ages will enjoy strolling through the butterfly garden. Also at the museum is Florida's first IMAX dome theatre, and the museum building is set in a 47-acre nature reserve which features walking trails. The museum can easily occupy the whole family for at least half a day.

map of Museum of Science and Industry

Address: 4801 E Fowler Avenue.

Telephone: (813) 987 6000

Website: http://www.mosi.org

Tampa Museum of Art

Opening time: Monday to Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday 11am-10pm; Saturday to Sunday 11am-5pm.

Admission: $15 adults, other concessions available

Tampa Museum of Art
Photo credit: Zeng8r
The Tampa Museum of Art's stunning facilities 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 exhibitions programme. From the innovative translucent ceilings to walls covered with LED lighting, the seven interior galleries and one exterior sculpture gallery offers visitors a world-class experience. Visitors will appreciate the museum's setting and should take the opportunity to stroll along Hillsborough River while in the area.

map of Tampa Museum of Art

Address: 20 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa

Telephone: (813) 274 8130

Website: http://www.tampamuseum.org/

Henry B. Plant Museum

Opening time: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm, Closed Monday.

Admission: $10 adults, $5 children, other concessions available.

Henry B. Plant Museum
Photo credit: Ebyabe
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 which is said to be a copy of the famed Alhambra Palace in Spain. Railroad tycoon Henry Plant built the edifice in 1891 as the 511-roomed Tampa Bay Hotel. Today it houses period art and furnishings from Europe and the Orient, and details via exhibits the history of the resort and the early days of the tourist industry.

map of Henry B. Plant Museum

Address: 401 W Kennedy Boulevard.

Telephone: (813) 254 1891

Website: http://www.plantmuseum.com

Florida Aquarium

Opening time: Open Daily 9.30am-5pm

Admission: $29, adults, $24 children. Tickets discounted when bought online

Florida Aquarium
Photo credit: adobemac
More than 5,000 aquatic creatures 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 waterways of the state, including crocodiles and moray eels, as well as many of the favourites found in aquariums the world over. The aquarium offers behind-the-scenes tours, dive shows, audio tours, close-up animal encounters, and touch-tanks for an immersive the experience. There is a little waterpark and play area for young children needing some extra entertainment.

map of Florida Aquarium

Address: 701 Channelside Drive.

Telephone: (813) 273 4000

Website: http://www.flaquarium.org

Email Address: moreinfo@flaquarium.org

Walt Disney World

Admission: $114 general admission.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
Photo credit: cd.harrison
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. Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and has been making dreams come true ever since. Today it is just one of four Disney parks that cover more than 28,000 acres of Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida, with accompanying resorts, shopping complexes, hotels, and waterparks. Apart from the Magic Kingdom, Disney World now includes the Epcot centre, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It also contains two water parks; Disney's Blizzard Beach and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon.

The Magic Kingdom is where the most famous Disney attractions are located. Little girls can visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to receive princess makeovers, while boys can become ferocious swashbucklers at the Pirates League. Rides at the Magic Kingdom include classic favourites like Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and It's a Small World.

Disney's Hollywood Studios gives visitors a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the workings of the glitz and glamour of the movie industry, with rides and attractions dedicated to the Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, the Twilight Zone, Pirates of the Caribbean, and even American Idol.

Animal Kingdom is a wildlife park home to more than 1,700 animals from 250 species. Visitors can go on an Expedition to Everest, or a Kilimanjaro Safari, or through Avatar's Pandora. The iconic Tree of Life towers over conservation exhibits and dinosaur boneyards, with bird shows, thrilling rides, and live musicals.

map of Walt Disney World

Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

Telephone: (407) 939 5277

Website: http://www.disneyworld.com

SeaWorld Orlando

Admission: $80 single-park ticket

SeaWorld, Orlando
Photo credit: David R. Tribble
Spread out between the Disney parks at Lake Buena Vista and downtown Orlando area is the renowned SeaWorld attraction. The park is designed to give an interactive look at the sea, featuring themed animal habitats from tidal pools to iceberg lakes. Visitors can hug a dolphin, kiss a killer whale, and watch the famous aquatic SeaWorld stars go through their paces in various entertaining shows.

SeaWorld is not only well-known for its exciting animal encounters and epic rides. Be sure to enjoy Mako, the tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster in Orlando. It reaches speeds of up to 73 miles per hour (117km per hour) on an impressively long steel track, leaving riders feeling both breathless and weightless.

Neighbouring Discovery Cove offers visitors a chance to swim with dolphins, view wildlife, sunbathe on gorgeous beaches, and snorkel among the coral.

map of SeaWorld Orlando

Address: 7007 Sea World Drive

Telephone: (407) 545 5550

Website: seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando

Universal Studios Florida

Opening time: Monday 9am-9pm, Tuesday-Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-10pm.

Admission: $90 adults, $70 children.

Universal Studios
Photo credit: Robert Linsdell
The delights that the Universal Orlando entertainment complex has to offer are so numerous that it takes at least two days to fully appreciate. There are two theme parks: the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Universal Studios is a movie-themed park with thrilling, innovative rides, production studios, and film sets where visitors can go behind the scenes and see the tricks used to create movie magic. Islands of Adventure offers thrilling rides, shows, and villages on five different islands all based on hit film classics. On-site are three superb luxery hotels, so that the fun never has to end at Universal Orlando.

map of Universal Studios Florida

Address: 6000 Universal Boulevard

Telephone: (407) 363 8000

Website: http://www.universalorlando.com

Wynwood Walls

Opening time: Monday to Thursday 10.30am-11.30pm; Friday to Saturday 10.30am-Midnight; Sunday 10.30am-8pm.

Admission: Free.

Wynwood Walls
Photo credit:
Once a run-down, industrial district, Wynwood has been revitalised by a group of artists, who in the early 2000s, wanted to enrich their streets through celebrating the unrecognised talent of graffiti artists. The neighbourhood is now home to numerous galleries, art studios, art complexes, art fairs, museums and collections.

Wynwood Walls is the centre of this urban sprawl, an open air gallery that has spilled out onto its neighbours' walls. Art lovers will revel in the entirely unique and unusual pieces around them, created by international artists, ranging from old school artists to new school innovators. Admission to the 'museum of the streets' is free. Be sure to check out the Wynwood Walls shop, kitchen and bar, or the renown Joey's Cafe when visiting. Walking tours of the area are available twice daily.

map of Wynwood Walls

Address: 2520 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami

Telephone: (305) 531 4411

Website: http://www.thewynwoodwalls.com

Lee County Manatee Park

Opening time: Daily from 7am to sunset

Manatee
Photo credit: NASA
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 observation decks. The Park also offers information, walking tours, and workshops, as well as picnic facilities and a fishing cove with a deck and a pier. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available. Some of the facilities are only open between May and November when the weather is hot and pleasant - check the official website to see what is available when.

map of Lee County Manatee Park

Address: 10901 Palm Beach Boulevard, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 690 5030

Website: http://www.leeparks.org

Email Address: HGienapp@leegov.com

Orlando Odditorium

Opening time: Daily 9am-midnight

Orlando Odditorium
Photo credit: filippo_jean
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 heads and a scale model of a Rolls Royce made entirely of matchsticks. Visitors can measure themselves up against the world's tallest man and learn about all sorts of odd and surprising records. Ripley's 'Believe it or Not' collection is world-renowned and has been documented in television series and best-selling books.

map of Orlando Odditorium

Address: 201 International Drive

Telephone: (407) 345 0501

Orlando Museum of Art

Opening time: Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm; Saturday to Sunday 12am-4m. Closed Monday

Orlando Museum of Art
Photo credit: Ebyabe
Orlando's Museum of Art is a world of creative themed exhibitions, showcasing its permanent collections of American Art, Art of the Ancient Americas, and African Art. Group tours are made memorable with commentary about art appreciation and the lives of the various artists represented. The museum's collection is extremely varied, covering a number of time periods, artistic schools, and movements. Visitors should note that the museum is closed on Mondays.

map of Orlando Museum of Art

Address: 2416 North Mills Avenue

Telephone: (407) 896 4231

Website: http://www.omart.org

Email Address: info@omart.org

Palm Beach

Palm Beach
Photo credit: Michael Kagdis
Palm trees arrived at Palm Beach in 1878, when a ship laden with Cuban coconuts was wrecked on the offshore barrier island that is only 14 miles (23km) long and half a mile (1km) wide. Palm Beach has long been the traditional winter holiday home of America's aristocracy, the Kennedys, Rockefellers, Trumps, and other society names filling the Gatsby-era mansions on the island. Henry Morrison Flagler put Palm Beach on the map in 1894 when he opened the Royal Poinciana Hotel on the island and promoted Palm Beach as America's premier winter resort. The mansion Whitehall, which he built in 1901 for his wife, is now the Flagler Museum dedicated to his memory. Today there are many more hotels in Palm Beach, and hundreds of restaurants, some of which rank among the finest in the world.

map of Palm Beach

Fantasy of Flight

Admission: $12 adults, $8 children

Fantasy of Flight
Photo credit: Valder137
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 flight, and today it features many rare and vintage aircraft, which actually take to the skies. Visitors are treated to an 'Aircraft of the Day' flypast, as well as the chance to fly themselves in a simulator. The site also offers tours of the aircraft collection in hangars, a sight and sound presentation detailing the history of aviation, a tour of the 'back lot' where vintage aircraft are restored, and an Exploration Centre.

map of Fantasy of Flight

Address: 1400 Broadway Boulevard SE, Polk City

Telephone: (863) 984 3500

Website: http://www.fantasyofflight.com

National Museum of Naval Aviation

Opening time: Daily 9am-5pm

Admission: Admission

National Museum of Naval Aviation
Photo credit: Kristianrj
The museum on site at the sprawling US Naval Air Station west of Pensacola is 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 realistic recreation of a World War II aircraft carrier and a wartime Pacific airbase. Between March and November visitors might catch a practise session of the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team soaring through the skies. If not, the team can be seen in action in one of two IMAX films shown at the museum. Keen would-be aviators can have a go at doing it themselves on the flight simulator. Please note that as of 1 February 2016, all visitors to the National Naval Aviation Museum who do not possess a Department of Defense identification card will be required to enter via the West Gate located off Blue Angel Parkway.

map of National Museum of Naval Aviation

Address: 1750 Radford Boulevard, Pensacola

Telephone: (800) 327 5002

Website: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org

Email Address: namfoffice@navalaviationmuseum.org

Tallahassee

Downtown Tallahassee skyline
Photo credit: Zverzver
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 more reminiscent of the Deep South than sunny Florida, with its fragrant magnolia trees, and old plantation houses Tallahassee hosts the Florida State University and the state's new Capitol Building, which towers 22 storeys above the downtown area. The city's five Canopy Roads, where trees form tunnels, are lined with sites such as plantations, ancient Native American settlements and mounds, gorgeous gardens, and scenic picnic spots. There is also a Museum of Natural History and Science combined with a natural habitat zoo of indigenous wildlife.

map of Tallahassee

Marine Life Center of Juno Beach

Opening time: Daily 10am-5pm

Marine Life Centre of Juno Beach
Photo credit: Alaina McDavid
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 along the Gold Coast. The Center is essentially a turtle hospital, and visitors can see ill and injured creatures being rehabilitated. The Center has numerous exhibits, including tropical fish and shells, and a gift shop. Evening guided 'turtle walks' are offered during June and July, but bookings must be made in advance. There are a number of other guided tours, hikes and talks available - check the official website for details.

map of Marine Life Center of Juno Beach

Address: 14200 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach

Telephone: (561) 627 8280

Website: http://www.marinelife.org

Email Address: info@marinelife.org

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Opening time: Daily 9am-5.30pm

Admission: $30 guided tours, $25 audio tours

Thomas Edison Estate
Photo credit: Fredlyfish4
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 Victorian house called Seminole Lodge still boasts working light bulbs, which he invented. They burn in the laboratory where he worked on more than 1,000 inventions during his winter visits. The house next door, Mangoes, was built by Ford in 1916. Visitors are given guided tours of both houses by costumed guides giving 'living history' accounts. Scenic river rides on board a replica of Edison's electric boat are also offered.

map of Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Address: 2350 McGregor Boulevard, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 334 7419

Website: http://www.efwefla.org

Koreshan State Historic Site

Opening time: Daily from 8am to sunset

Admission: $5 per vehicle, $2 Pedestrians and bicyclists,

Herons on the Estero River
Photo credit: Mwanner
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 and women and that the universe was a hollow sphere containing everything within it. Planning to build a utopian city, the community generated their own electricity, built boats, established a general store, and constructed numerous buildings of which 11 remain today. The last four members of the sect donated the land to the State of Florida in 1961 and it is now preserved as a park with a nature trail, picnic tables, and campsite. Guided tours of the Koreshan buildings are offered.

map of Koreshan State Historic Site

Address: 3800 Corkscrew Road, Estero

Telephone: (239) 992 0311

Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/koreshan-state-park

Southwest Florida Museum of History

Opening time: Closed for relocation

Southwest Florida Museum of History
Photo credit: Ebyabe
The Southwest Florida Museum of History 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 fire pump and a 1929 Pullman private railroad car are among the exhibits. Pride of place is held by the 'Land of Giants' section depicting the huge animals like mammoths, mastodons and the Bison Antiqus that roamed the area about 12,000 years ago. The museum also hosts regular travelling exhibitions. Guided tours are available and there is an audio guide in both English and Spanish for those who prefer to explore independently.

map of Southwest Florida Museum of History

Address: 2300 Peck St, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 332 5955

Website: http://www.swflmuseumofhistory.com

Email Address: museuminfo@cityftmyers.com

Shell Factory and Nature Park

Opening time: Daily 9.30am-6pm

Admission: $13 adults, $8 children

Seashells
Photo credit: Manfred Heyde
The beaches along this stretch of the Florida coastline are renown for their seashells. It contains one of the largest collection of seashells, fossils, corals, and sponges in the world. The Shell Factory not only exhibits a fascinating and extensive collection, but the 18-acre complex includes shops selling a range of jewellery, ornaments, lamps, objets d'art, and glassware. The complex also includes a petting zoo, wildlife refuge, eco laboratory, a restaurant, game arcade, a miniature golf course, and boating lake; more than enough to keep the whole family entertained.

map of Shell Factory and Nature Park

Address: 2787 N Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers

Telephone: (239) 995 2141

Website: http://www.shellfactory.com

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Opening time: Daily 9am-5pm

Admission: $14 adults, $6 children (6-12 years)

Hemingway's Writing Desk
Photo credit: squirrelist
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 period, and to enjoy the lush garden where more than 40 cats have taken up residence. The cats themselves have an interesting back-story: Hemingway owned a cat with extra toes and almost all the cats that now live at the house have this genetic trait; some of them are said to be direct descendants of the original pet. Entertaining guided tours are offered. There is a bookstore and gift shop where visitors can buy their own Hemingway souvenirs.

map of Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Address: 07 Whitehead St, Key West

Telephone: (305) 294 1136

Website: http://www.hemingwayhome.com

Email Address: info@hemingwayhome.com

Key West Lighthouse Museum

Opening time: Daily 9.30am-4.30pm

Key West Lighthouse
Photo credit: placesaroundfl
The landmark beacon of the Key West Lighthouse was built in 1847 to warn ships of the hazardous reefs lying off the lower Keys. Having been taken out of commission in 1969, it is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can climb the 86-foot (26m) high tower to marvel at the spectacular view. The clapboard bungalow that was the keeper's quarters has been restored and maintained as a museum, providing a glimpse of life in Key West in the 19th century and into the bygone profession of lighthouse keeping. Interestingly, the first keeper of the Key West Lighthouse was a woman, an almost unheard of appointment for the 19th century.

map of Key West Lighthouse Museum

Address: 938 Whitehead St

Telephone: (305) 294 0012

Website: http://www.kwahs.org/visit/lighthouse-keepers-quarters/

Butterfly Conservatory

Opening time: Open daily 9am-5.30pm

Admission: $12.50 adults, $8.50 children 4-12 years, other concessions available

Viceroy Butterfly
Photo credit: PiccoloNamek
The Key West Butterfly Conservatory is like a trip through paradise, as visitors walk through the tropical wonderland filled with free-flying butterflies and brightly-coloured birds. The conservatory is home to nearly 60 species of butterfly and 20 different species of birds, all contained in climate-controlled glass habitats with waterfalls, streams, and hundreds of flowering plants. In the Learning Center, visitors can explore the butterfly anatomy, physiology, lifecycle, feeding, and migratory world of the Monarch, and get an up-close view of the caterpillars. There is also a gallery showcasing butterfly art and a gift shop selling souvenirs.

map of Butterfly Conservatory

Address: 1316 Duval St

Telephone: (305) 296 2988

Website: http://www.keywestbutterfly.com

Email Address: info@keywestbutterfly.com

Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Opening time: Daily 9.30am - 4.15pm

Admission: $14 adults, $5 children, other concessions available

John James Audubon
Photo credit: Public Domain
The restored homestead of Audubon and Tropical Gardens was originally built in the 1840s by Captain John Geiger, a harbour pilot and wrecker. It now contains the works of renowned ornithologist John James Audubon, who visited the Florida Keys in 1832 and completed drawings of 18 previously undiscovered birds in the gardens of this house. Audubon House has been furnished in the typical style of a prosperous Key West home of its era. Audio tours are available. In addition to exploring the house visitors can enjoy wandering through the gardens, planted with orchids, bromeliads, and other tropical plants.

map of Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

Address: 205 Whitehead St, Key West

Telephone: (305) 294 2116

Email Address: audubonhouse@audubonhouse.org

Lincoln Road Mall

Opening time: Daily 10am-11pm.

Lincoln Road Mall, Miami
Photo credit: Ed Webster
A pedestrian promenade lined with palm trees and colourful art deco buildings, Lincoln Road Mall is a great haunt for locals and foreigners alike. 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 but also houses the renowned Regal Movie Theatre and the Lincoln Theatre, home to the New World Symphony. As the street is considered one of the best people-watching haunts in South Beach, visitors can take refreshment at one of the string of sidewalk cafés or soak up some local culture at the many art galleries along the mall. The Farmers Market on Sundays is the best place for fresh vegetables, fruits, juices, homemade breads, and flowers. And on weekends, antique vendors display their wares along the sidewalk. At night, street performers take to the mall, entertaining passersby.

map of Lincoln Road Mall

Address: Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach,

Website: http://www.lincolnroadmall.com

The Wolfsonian

Opening time: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10am-6pm; Fridays 10am-9pm; Sunday 12pm-6pm. Closed Wednesdays.

Admission: $7 adults, $5 seniors, students and children.

Wolfsonian Museum
Photo credit: Acroterion
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, visitors can pick through the origins of graphic and industrial design from the distinctive propaganda art from Germany, Italy, and the United States, and the remarkable industrial design pieces from modern German design to Bauhaus. A haven for lovers of design, the Wolfsonian is full of artistic treasures. Not to be missed is the eccentric Dynamo café and museum shop.

map of The Wolfsonian

Address: 1001 Washington Avenue

Telephone: (305) 531 1001

Website: http://www.wolfsonian.org

Jungle Island

Opening time: Daily 10am-5pm.

Admission: $40 adults, $33 children

Macaw at Jungle Island
Photo credit: Dick Daniels
An offshoot of Parrot Jungle, 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 cliffs of Manu, Peru. At the Parrot Bowl, a gaping amphitheatre, you can be entertained by the clever antics of cockatoos, parrots, and macaws. Look out for the rare albino alligator and 21-foot crocodile at the Serpentarium. The waterpark featuring the 168-foot Hippo Slide, with an exhilarating 40-degree drop is also a favourite. The theme park is full of fun and interesting animals to marvel and interact with.

map of Jungle Island

Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail

Telephone: (305) 400 7000

Website: http://www.jungleisland.com

SeaWorld Aquatica

Admission: $60 single-day ticket, free admission for children under 3

Loggerhead Lane at Aquatica
Photo credit: SeaWorld Aquatica
Look no further than SeaWorld's Aquatica for exhilarating water slides, wave pools, and once in a lifetime encounters with sea animals. There are a multitude of thrill rides to enjoy in this water park as well as other varied attractions, ensuring the whole family stays entertained. Visitors can experience an educational ride through an undersea world to see the sea life below, or they can revel in an adventure-fuelled race against the rapids. With so many rides and slides to choose from, this water world will leave any visitor delighted, and soaked!

The signature ride, Dolphin Plunge, features slides that shoot riders through a pool of Dolphins. For the real adrenalin junkies the most fast paced ride of all is the Ihu Breakway Falls, a watery free-fall drop slide. Whether you're after relaxation or adrenalin, SeaWorld's Aquatica is great fun for the whole family. The park is open daily all year-round, but opening and closing times do change according to season.

map of SeaWorld Aquatica

Address: 5800 Water Play Way

Telephone: (407) 545 5550

Website: http://www.aquaticabyseaworld.com/en/orlando

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne National Park
Photo credit: Catholic 85
The Biscayne National Park can be seen from downtown Miami, but the city and the park offer vastly different experiences for tourists. The coral reefs and tiny islands of this water sanctuary are home to an abundance of wildlife, along with a couple of pirate shipwrecks. Biscayne is a great camping, boating, and swimming spot for families, providing a tranquil sanctuary right on the doorstep of Miami for those who need a break from the bustle of the city. There are a variety of boats and watercrafts available for hire - check out the official website listed below for more details.

map of Biscayne National Park

Getting there: Access to the park from the mainland is limited to the immediate vicinity of the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Convoy Point where most tours and activities begin.

Telephone: (305) 230 114

Website: http://www.nps.gov/bisc

Email Address: nps_web@nps.gov

Crandon Park Beach

Opening time: Daily from 7am-6pm

Crandon Park
Photo credit: Paulkondratuk3194
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 enjoy, making it a very good option for families on holiday. The Crandon Park Gardens are a haven for indigneous plants and animals, with a few picnic spots to enjoy as well. The beach itself is long and spacious, ensuring that it seldom feels crowded, and there are plenty of picturesque palm trees providing shade. The water deepens very gradually so that the shallows are extensive and safe for kids.

map of Crandon Park Beach

Address: 4000 Crandon Boulevard, Key Biscayne

Telephone: (305) 361 5421

Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Opening time: Monday to Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday to Sunday 11am-4pm.

Admission: $8 general admission, other concessions available.

Gold Coast Railroad Museum
Photo credit: Micha L. Rieser
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 the Tank Engine rides for children. Model train building sessions take place between 10am and 2pm on weekdays, and between 11am and 4pm on weekends. Tours are conducted at specific times each day and cost a small additional fee - check the official website listed below for details.

map of Gold Coast Railroad Museum

Address: 12450 S.W. 152nd Street

Telephone: (305) 253 0063

Website: http://www.gcrm.org

Miami Children's Museum

Opening time: Daily 10am-6pm

Admission: $22 general admission, other concessions apply

Miami Children's Museum
Photo credit: Marc Averette
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 and moving anything they like. The Mount Michimu rock-climbing wall offers a fun physical challenge for older children, while the Music Makers Studio allows children of all ages an interactive auditory experience. The museum ensures that there's always something going on to entertain visitors and many fun activities and play areas are always available. For safety reasons, children are not allowed into the museum unaccompanied by an adult, and adults are not allowed into the museum unaccompanied by a child. The Miami Children's Museum is the perfect family attraction for a rainy day in the city!

map of Miami Children's Museum

Address: 980 MacArthur Causeway Miami, FL

Telephone: (305) 373 5437

Website: http://www.miamichildrensmuseum.org

Kennedy Space Center

Opening time: Daily 9am-6pm

Admission: $57 adults, $47 children

Launch of 'Discovery' Shuttle
Photo credit: NASA
The John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, 46 miles (74km) southeast of Orlando on Florida's east coast, is one place in the state where fact is just as entertaining as fiction. Visitors to the centre follow the story of NASA's exploration of space through interactive exhibits, movies, and tours. Guests can tour a full-size replica of the space shuttle 'Explorer', walk through a giant model of the International Space Station module, and view films about Mars and the Pathfinder exploration. They can also explore historic authentic rockets, like that piloted by pioneer astronaut John Glenn, and marvel at the Apollo/Saturn Centre, which houses all the artefacts from the historic moon landing. The Space Center requires several hours to fully appreciate. On the same site is the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, established on the land NASA did not require for its space operations. The 220-square-mile (570 sq km) refuge contains more endangered species than any other wildlife refuge in the US, including the southern bald eagle and Atlantic loggerhead turtle. Be sure not to miss the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, in the nearby town of Titusville, as you leave the area.

map of Kennedy Space Center

Telephone: (321) 867 5000

Website: http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com

South Beach

South Beach
Photo credit:
Once known for its high crime rates and 'cocaine cowboys', South Beach is now celebrated for its thriving nightlife, beautiful beach, and art deco architecture. Miami's most popular beach is a hive of activity, with rented lawn chairs, volleyball games, and night time beach parties. Visitors can also enjoy fine oceanside dining or explore the boutiques showcasing South Beach's flourishing fashion industry.

The eclectic neighbourhood is as diverse as its inhabitants, offering varied entertainment for all. Espanola Way, the historic Spanish Village, with its authentic pink stucco buildings and side walk cafes, is the perfect escape from the bustle of the Washington Avenue. A popular way to explore the area is by bicycle. Visitors can rent bike at the Lincoln Road Mall and buy some South Beach essentials such as jewel studded Havaianas and designer sarongs on the way. Those in search of some evening entertainment have plenty of options; from dance clubs, to cocktail lounges and dive bars.

map of South Beach

Getting there: While South Beach has no direct Metrorail stations, it is connected by numerous Metrobus lines. The South Beach Local bus line connects all major points of South Beach to other bus lines in the city costing $0.25.

Address: From South Pointe Park to 23rd Street.

Discovery Cove Orlando

Opening time: Daily 8am-5.30pm

Admission: Prices change according to day

Dolphin Swim at Discovery Cove
Photo credit: Discovery Cove
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 experience of visiting Discovery Cove so unique is the level of interaction that it offers: guests can swim with bottlenose dolphins, snorkel alongside a coral reef teeming with exotic fish, unwind on pristine sandy beaches, and hand-feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary. It is even possible to wade in the welcoming Freshwater Oasis, coming face-to-face with playful otters and curious marmosets in the lush landscaping. The combination of relaxation and adventure is glorious.

Discovery Cove offers some impressive ticket combination deals which should be considered for those visiting multiple theme parks in the region.

map of Discovery Cove Orlando

Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way

Telephone: (407) 513 4600

Website: http://www.discoverycove.com

Naples

Naples City Dock
Photo credit: Marc Ryckaert
The sophisticated city of Naples lies on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The central area preserves its old world charm, while the modern section to the north bristles with high-rise luxury hotels and resorts. Visitors flock here during the winter months to enjoy the magnificent Gulf beaches, world-class shopping and dining, and the challenging golf courses. Naples is also near Florida's top natural attractions, including the tropical wilderness of the Everglades National Park. An upmarket destination it may be, but Naples exudes easy-going friendliness along with its wealthy opulence.

map of Naples

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Opening time: Opening times change according to season

Admission: $90 per day, package deals are available.

Hogwarts Castle
Photo credit: The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek
We are pleased to inform you that you have been formally invited to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! The magical theme park 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. It also has thrilling rides such as the Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. Children can visit Ollivander's to find their perfect wand, or sample chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott's Every-Flavour Beans at Honeyduke's sweet shop. The attraction is wildly popular and fun for the whole family, but be warned that queues can be exceptionally long at peak times. Harry Potter fanatics give the park rave reviews, but even those who are unfamiliar with the wizarding world will be enchanted by the park.

map of Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Address: 6000 Universal Boulevard

Telephone: (407) 363 8000

Website: http://www.universalorlando.com

Gatorland

Opening time: Daily 10am-5pm

Admission: $30 adult, $20 children, purchase online for discount

Gatorland
Photo credit: Brian Marshall
Florida is famous for its alligator population, and Gatorland in Orlando is a good place to experience these interesting animals. The park is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, with a breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower, reptile shows, an aviary, petting zoo, swamp walk, and educational programs. A huge thrill is provided by the Gator Zip Line, which allows brave visitors to the park to zoom about high above the enclosures. Gatorland has several restaurants and even offers a gluten-free menu. Visitors can enjoy the whole park at a leisurely pace in about four hours, but a family can easily spend longer time enjoying the various attractions.

map of Gatorland

Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail.

Telephone: (407) 855 5496

Website: http://www.gatorland.com

The Holy Land Experience

Opening time: Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm; Closed Sunday

Admission: $50 adults, $35 children.

Holy Land Experience
Photo credit: David Joyce
Vastly different from most theme parks in Orlando, the Holy Land Experience is a religious attraction designed to recreate pivotal scenes from the Bible. These include settings such as the Great Temple, the Last Supper Communion, and a Jerusalem Street Market. Staff members re-enact stories from the life of Jesus, and large-scale productions are staged in the Church of all Nations auditorium. The park is designed to be spiritually motivating and a visit can be moving for the religiously minded. The Holy Land Experience is far more about the story of Jesus than it is a genuine recreation of Jerusalem, but the replica temples and ancient streets help to bring the story to life and set the scene.

map of The Holy Land Experience

Address: 4655 Vineland Road, Orlando

Telephone: (407) 872 2272

Website: http://www.holylandexperience.com

Miami Beaches

South Beach
Photo credit: Marc Averette
The beaches in Miami are world-famous; some for their stunning scenery, and others for their stunning sunbathers. Crandon Park Beach is perfect for children, with playgrounds and carousels as well as picnic areas and restrooms. Haulover Beach Park has great sport facilities like volleyball and tennis courts, a golf course, ample kiosks and picnic tables. However, parents should be aware that the northern end allows nude sunbathing. Hobie Beach is the best place for windsurfing in Miami, while the sandy beach in Oleta River State Park is popular for boating and kayaking. The central Miami beaches have good facilities, like concession stands, showers, lifeguards, walking trails, and beach chair and umbrella rentals, but tend to be crowded at peak times. Free yoga classes at sunrise and sunset are held at 3rd Street Beach every day of the year. Topless sunbathing is allowed in Miami Beach.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Opening time: Daily from 8am-9pm

Gulf Islands National Seashore
Photo credit: National Park Service
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. Camping, hiking, and biking in the isolated regions is a treat for travellers looking to get away from the crowded resorts of southern Florida. The park includes several islands, including Santa Rosa Island (home to the popular Fort Pickens Campground), Perdido Key, Horn Island, and West Ship Island (home of Fort Massachusetts). There are limited restaurants and shops in the Gulf Islands National Seashore region, though most camping sites are near enough to coastal beach communities that visitors don't need to bring everything with them and will find necessary amenities not too far away.

map of Gulf Islands National Seashore

Address: 3500 Park Road, Ocean Springs

Telephone: (228) 875 9057

Website: http://www.nps.gov/guis

Panama City

Panama City Beach
Photo credit: j.s. clark
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 Park and Pine Log State Forest, and city attractions like the Panama City Visual Arts Center and Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum. Panama City is usually a fairly quiet town, but comes alive each spring as thousands of students flock to the town for Spring Break. Concerts, parades, and other events are regular occurrences during this period. Travellers looking for peace and quiet should remember to avoid Panama City at this time.

map of Panama City

Website: http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com

Fort Myers

Fort Myers Beach
Photo credit: Sanibel sun
Billed as Florida's tropical island getaway, Fort Myers Beach is a haven for visitors seeking a relaxing family holiday. While it offers endless sport and recreational activities like the destinations of the east coast, this beautiful resort town on the Gulf of Mexico remains affordable, relaxed, friendly, and casual. The prime attraction and centre of activity at Fort Myers Beach is the seven-mile (11km) shoreline which has gained a reputation as the world's safest beach, with no undertow and shallow water ideal for swimming. Popular are the numerous water sports offered all along the beachfront, from jet-skiing to sailing a skiff. The village area clusters along a tree-lined walkway at the north end of the beach, offering shops and restaurants. The south is where numerous beachfront resorts with condominiums and hotels have sprung up around Lovers Key State Park. Between these, the beach is lined with parks, recreation areas, and marinas offering fishing and boating charters, sightseeing trips, dining and dancing cruises, and even offshore gambling jaunts. On the opposite side of the narrow Estero Island, is the Matanzas Pass Wilderness Preserve with acres of mangrove swamps, live oak hammocks, and local wildlife to explore from elevated boardwalks.

map of Fort Myers

Sanibel and Captiva

Sanibel Island
Photo credit: Invertzoo
Those who are searching for the tranquillity of the beach will delight in the Florida Gulf coast resort island of Sanibel, and its smaller sister, Captiva. The slow pace of island life rarely heats up where the main event is the magnificent sunset. The families and romantics who holiday here come to enjoy the beaches strewn with seashells, the warm Gulf waters, the huge variety of wildlife, and the fabulous fresh seafood. These islands have no high-rises or honking horns, instead they offer all the amenities to make for a comfortable and relaxing holiday. There are art galleries, award-winning restaurants, live theatre, and the occasional musical performances. The more exclusive of the twin islands is Captiva, connected to Sanibel by a bridge. Captiva is the smaller, characterised by wealth and quiet charm, topped off at its northern end by the luxurious all-inclusive South Seas Resort.

Clearwater Beach

Sunset on Clearwater Beach
Photo credit: Waters2100
Known for the breath-taking sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico and warm tropical breezes, Clearwater Beach is consistently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the United States. Perfect for family vactions, Clearwater is generally known as a safer, quieter, and more affordable option than other more prominent destinations in Florida. With over two and a half miles (4km) of beautiful tropical beaches, Clearwater Beach has some of the best water activities in Tampa Bay, including jetskis and parasailing, boat tours, diving, fishing, and sailing charters. Pirate ship cruises aboard the 70-foot (21m) three-tiered Pirate's Ransom are a must for anyone up for a little swashbuckling. The Jolley Trolley is a great way to visit some of the surrounding attractions, such as Sand Key and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Holiday makers can enjoy a shopping spree at Pier 60, sample the famous Stone Crabs at Frenchy's restaurant, or visit one of the fifty golf courses around the area.

map of Clearwater Beach

Marco Island

Marco Island
Photo credit: MBandman
Measuring just over six by four miles (10km by 6km), Marco Island is a bustling full service holiday community on the northern edge of west Florida's coastal wilderness area known as Ten Thousand Islands. Just a stone's throw from the vibrant city of Naples, Marco Island is on the doorstep of nearly 100 miles of protected undeveloped islands, bays, and estuaries. It's hemmed in by the Rookery Bay Nature Reserve to the north, and by the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Collier-Seminole State Park, and the Everglades National Park to the south. Unsurprisingly, the resort waters are stocked with diverse and healthy fish populations, are a magnet for fishermen and anglers. The community also offers top class shopping, recreational, and dining opportunities.

map of Marco Island

Little Havana

Calle Ocho Plaza
Photo credit: Cristo Vlahos
There's no place in Miami where Cuba's influence is more apparent than Little Havana. The historic district just west of Downtown Miami teems with culture, from cigar shops to distinct Latin cocktail bars and cafes. Come to Little Havana for a Cuban coffee with its unique espumita. Visit the Ball and Chain, a legendary jazz club once frequented by Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. And enjoy one of Cuba's national pastimes at the Domino Park, where locals have been playing competitive dominos for years. While the neighbourhood is a worthwhile visit anytime, there are two nights per month that are noteworthy. On the last Friday of each month, the community celebrates Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) by welcoming visitors to enjoy the bars, restaurants, live dance and music, and art galleries until the early hours. On the second Friday of every month, galleries stay open until midnight allowing guests to mingle with artists while admiring their works. Those holidaying in Miami during March must be sure to make time for the Calle Ocho Festival, a one-day fiesta and the biggest Hispanic bash of the year on the streets of Little Havana.

map of Little Havana

Pompano Beach


Photo credit:
Situated midway between Palm Beach and Miami, the holiday resort town of Pompano Beach is the heart of the Gold Coast. Anglers are understandably drawn to the long municipal fishing pier, hoping to land a big one from the plethora of fish swimming offshore. The resort town is historically a fishing community, named for the area's popular ocean fish species, the Florida Pompano. While the anglers have their fun there is plenty for the rest of the family to do. The beachfront promenade offers playgrounds, grill sites, and picnic tables, while the town contains numerous parks with sports facilities. Golfing enthusiasts will delight in the dozens of top-flight courses within a half-hour of the resort. Then, of course there are the three and a half miles (6km) of golden sands, local attractions, fine dining, and shopping opportunities. The town has a full calendar of special events, including a holiday boat parade, seafood festival, and fishing rodeo.

map of Pompano Beach

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Travel Research Online
Tuesday April 19, 2022
These Stunning Resorts on Florida's 'Paradise Coast' Are Perfect for a Family Vacation
Two golf courses, a waterpark, beachfront suites, video game lounge, and dining options for days - there's truly something for everyone at these Naples, Florida resorts
Travel+Leisure
Monday April 18, 2022
The First Margaritaville Cruise Sets Sail in April and We Got a Sneak Peek of the Ship
Margaritaville at Sea Paradise sets sail from the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, on April 30.
Travel+Leisure
Tuesday April 05, 2022
My 8 Favorite All-Inclusive Resorts In The U.S. The Whole Family Will Love
From Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida to Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana, these are the best all-inclusive resorts in the U.S.
Travel Awaits
Thursday March 31, 2022
This Family Friendly Road Trip Through Florida Leads To Whimsical Attractions, Themed Restaurants, And More
This family-friendly road trip in Florida will take you on the ultimate adventure. Make sure you're fueled up for a weekend of fun!
Only In Your State
Wednesday March 30, 2022
Four Cruise Lines Accused Of 'Prohibited Tourism' In Cuba
A Miami federal judge has ruled that four cruise lines with ties to South Florida took part in prohibited tourism by carrying passengers to the island nation and profited from the use of the port facilities in Havana.
Miami CBS
Thursday March 24, 2022
Travel agent accused of fraud agrees to pay $500k in restitution
A Florida-based travel agent is accused of defrauding her customers and making Ponzi-style payments to book cruise reservations.
WMAR News
Thursday March 17, 2022
This Florida Town Has One of the Best Beaches in the U.S.
Siesta Beach, on Florida's Siesta Key, was recently named one of the best beaches in the U.S. by Tripadvisor. Here's why it's a must-visit destination
Travel+Leisure
Tuesday March 08, 2022
Evil empire
On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida first used publicly the phrase "evil empire." In that speech, with reference to the Soviet Union, Reagan said:
Travel Research Online
Tuesday March 08, 2022
EU closes airspace to Russian flights, as tour operators and cruise lines shun Russia
A war in Ukraine is as far from our European vacation dreams as a war in Guatemala would be from Texas or Florida
Market Watch
Monday February 28, 2022
5 Hidden Gems in the Florida Swing State
For anyone looking to book an American Golf Holiday to Florida in the not too distant future here are 5 of the best
Your Golf Travel
Friday February 25, 2022
5 Best Romantic All-Inclusive Resorts
From the Florida Keys to the Caribbean, these all-inclusive resorts take a lot of the planning, research, and stress out of your dream vacation.
The Street
Friday February 25, 2022
The United States Purchases Florida
Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies. General Andrew Jackson, while fighting the First Seminole Wars
Travel Research Online
Tuesday February 22, 2022
The world's biggest cruise ship is making its debut
Measuring a staggering 1,188 feet, Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas was delivered last month and is due to begin its maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to the Caribbean on March 4.
CNN
Monday February 21, 2022
Luxury travel at its finest: Take a tour of Central Florida's 1st Brightline train
Bright Blue 2 is now at the vehicle maintenance facility south of Orlando International Airport.
WFTV
Tuesday February 15, 2022
You Can Drink Tropical Cocktails on a Floating Tiki Bar at This All-inclusive Resort in the Florida Keys
In the Florida Keys, travelers can find Bungalows Key Largo, an all-inclusive, adults-only property that's on a mission to help everyone chill out and find their zen.
Travel+Leisure
Monday February 14, 2022
Traveling for spring break? Experts say now is the best time to book trip
Florida will once again be a popular spot to visit even with omicron still trying to play spoiler.
WESH
Tuesday February 01, 2022
Millennials Can't Get Enough of This Stretch of Florida Coast
Why people of a certain age are flocking to Tampa and St. Petersburg.
AFAR
Monday January 31, 2022
Thanks to a newly designed cruise ship, Florida may soon be a major player in river cruises
Last year while many cruise lines were still months from any hope of reopening, U.S.-based cruises were able to restart. And new developments in the...
Orlando Weekly
Friday January 28, 2022
Could This Be the Most Underrated Winter Destination in America?
When it gets cold, everyone you know probably heads somewhere warm. Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, you name it—if it’s warm and has a beach, people are flocking there. But may I propose the Pacific Northwest
Fodor's Travel
Friday January 21, 2022
Key West Is Celebrating Its 200th Anniversary With a Heritage Festival, Parades, a Drone Show, and More
The island destination of Key West, Florida is celebrating its bicentennial anniversary this spring with historical exhibits, film nights, festivals, and more
Travel+Leisure
Friday January 21, 2022
Flying with a dog for the first time? We asked a vet for advice.
A couple of months ago, I flew for the first time with a dog. My partner and I were bringing our foster dog, Bono, from New York to his forever home in Florida
USA Today
Thursday January 20, 2022
Eastern Airlines Ceases Business
The 1980's were not kind to the legacy airlines. Deregulation brought onto the market a number of upstart airlines such as People Express. Legacy airlines like Eastern Airlines suddenly faced competition from the first wave of so-called "no-frills" carriers. Eastern was the largest employer in the Miami, Florida area and the company passed through a succession of managerial and financial maneuvers in an attempt to
Travel Research Online
Tuesday January 18, 2022
COVID-19 outbreaks hit 3 cruise ships as Florida breaks record for new cases
An undisclosed number of passengers and crew aboard the Carnival Freedom tested positive. It was the third outbreak this week affecting ships operated by Carnival and Royal Caribbean
NPR
Monday December 27, 2021
55 people catch COVID on Royal Caribbean cruise
Fifty-five passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday have since tested positive for COVID-19, a report said
New York Post
Thursday December 23, 2021
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS CLARIFIES TICKET REFUND PROCESS FOR TRAVEL ADVISORS IN NORTH AMERICA
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (December 21, 2021) – South African Airways (SAA) has informed travel advisors in the U.S. and Canada that the airline is continuing to process ticket refunds through the Refund Accounting Department in their North America Regional Office for customers whose flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To make the process more efficient, travel advisors have been asked to forward any refund requests for wholly unused or partially used tickets issued
Travel Research Online
Wednesday December 22, 2021
Dream Hotel Group Announces
Dream Hotel Group announced plans to open a 165-key, 10-story hotel in the heart of Downtown Miami, Florida
FTN News
Tuesday December 21, 2021
Man kicked off plane, banned from airline for wearing women's underwear as face mask
A Florida man who was kicked off of a United Airlines flight for wearing a woman's thong as a facemask reportedly said he did so in protest of the airline's mask mandate and also compared himself to Rosa Parks
FOX 28
Friday December 17, 2021
Comparing 5 New Cruise Ships Sailing From Florida
Over the past several months, I've had the opportunity to sail on five new cruise ships across five cruise lines that are now sailing to the Caribbean and
Cruise Fever
Friday December 17, 2021
United is restoring 4 routes to Alaska as demand for leisure travel rises in the state
Last week, the airline added eight resumed routes from its hub in Denver to places like Bozeman, Montana; Burlington, Vermont; and Sarasota, Florida
Insider
Wednesday December 08, 2021
Disney Guests Can Fly Directly to NEW Cruise Port For Under $50
Disney Cruise Line Guests can now fly directly to the cruise operator's new U.S. port in Florida for under $50. Full story inside
Inside the Magic
Friday December 03, 2021
Mark Twain
On this day in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the small town of Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pseudonym, Mark Twain, the writer proved to be one of the true originals of American literature. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn earned Twain a public following even in his own day. His wit and keen
Travel Research Online
Tuesday November 30, 2021
Carnival Cruise Line Will Have Two More Ships Return to Service in December
Carnival Cruise Line will bring two more ships back into service in December 2021 with Carnival Radiance in California and Carnival Conquest in Florida
Cruise Hive
Wednesday November 24, 2021
Azamara Announces a World Cruise
Azamara Cruises, a small, luxury cruise line based out of Miami, Florida, announced today a world cruise that is being touted as “All 7 Wonders of the World and more”. Focusing on an immersive experience aboard its ship the Azamara Onward, the global voyage
Cruie.blog
Wednesday November 17, 2021
Two Cruise Lines Resume Cruises from Two More Ports in Florida
Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line each resumed cruises from another Florida port this weekend as more cruise ships continue to come back into
Cruise Hive
Monday November 15, 2021
Avelo Airlines Introduces Nonstop Flight from Southern Connecticut to Southwest Florida
Avelo Airlines announces its first flight nonstop from Southern Connecticut Fort Myers, Fla
FTN News
Friday November 12, 2021
NCL Cancels Norwegian Encore Cruise Due to Unforeseen Circumstances
Norwegian Cruise Line cancels Norwegian Encore's November 14 sailing from Miami, Florida due to unforeseen circumstances
Cruise Hive
Friday November 12, 2021
Cruise News: New MSC Ship Departs Europe, Bound For The U.S.
Florida’s newest MSC Cruises vessel is one step closer to arriving. The line’s new Seaside EVO-class ship MSC Seashore departed Barcelona, Spain, earlier this week and is now making her way across the Atlantic Ocean towards North America
Cruise Radio
Friday November 05, 2021
What’s new and what you missed from cruise lines because of COVID
When COVID-19 shut down the cruise industry in March 2020, a lot of hardware had either just arrived or was on tap to debut in Florida, but instead of champagne cork inaugurals, cruise lines had to put the celebrations on ice
Orlando Sentinel
Thursday October 28, 2021
Panama shows off new cruise facilities during FCCA Conference
The recent Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Conference drew nearly 400 attendees to Panama City and gave the opportunity for cruise executives to see the new Amador port and developments at
Seatrade Cruise News
Wednesday October 27, 2021
Holland America's New Cruise Ship Departs on Maiden Voyage
Holland America Line's new cruise ship Rotterdam departs on a 14-day maiden voyage from Amsterdam that ends in Florida
Cruise Hive
Thursday October 21, 2021
Four Seasons to debut in Naples, Florida
The Athens Group and MSD Partners, L.P. have acquired Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, which will be the first Four Seasons hotel in Florida
Hotel Designs
Wednesday October 20, 2021
3 Golf Courses to Visit This Fall and Winter
Mild weather draws players to Sand Hollow, Streamsong Black, Lake Oconee's Great Waters. See what these courses in Georgia, Florida and Utah have to offer
AARP
Friday October 15, 2021
COULD KEY WEST COMPROMISE ON CRUISE SHIPS? - Florida Keys Weekly Newspapers
City lawmakers changed the course of Key West's cruise ship conversation on Oct. 5, ideas that had been raised by some business owners 19 months ago.
KeysWeekly
Friday October 08, 2021
Disney World Opens
Walt Disney World Resort opened on this date near Orlando, Florida in 1971. As the largest recreational resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort now consists of four theme parks, two waterparks and 28 resorts. Walt Disney began looking for an appropriate location as early as 1959. Unhappy with the many businesses that
Travel Research Online
Friday October 01, 2021
Walt Disney World opened 50 years ago today -- see historical pics and how WDW is celebrating
It changed acres and acres of orange groves. It changed Orlando. It changed Florida. It changed an already legendary company. And it changed the entire theme park industry
CNN
Friday October 01, 2021
Second Disney Cruise Ship Resumes Cruises From Florida
Disney Fantasy becomes the second ship in the fleet to resume cruise operations in the U.S. after departing with passengers from Florida
Cruise Hive
Monday September 13, 2021
Hotels open in North and Central Florida
The Renaissance and Red Roof Plus+ and Suites brands have opened new hotels in Florida. Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown Hotel The Renaissance openings
Hotel Business
Tuesday September 07, 2021
Florida named top travel destination this Labor Day weekend
This Labor Day weekend, half the country is planning to travel in some capacity, according to a study by finance website Value Penguin, and Florida is the top destination
ABC News
Friday September 03, 2021
A cruise line is offering 2 around-the-world cruises in 2023 after its previous global sailings sold out in 'record time'
Both of Viking's world cruises will depart from Florida in late December 2023. Prices start at about $55,000 per person
Business Insider
Tuesday August 31, 2021
Disney to Require Vaccinations for Bahamas Cruises
Disney Cruise Line on Tuesday joined other lines that dock in Florida in planning to require COVID-19 vaccinations for most passengers ages 12 or older traveling to the Bahamas
Tallahassee Reports
Monday August 30, 2021
In defiance of FL mandate, Disney requires vaccination on cruises
In a move that directly defies Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ ban on businesses requiring patrons to provide proof of vaccination, Disney Cruise Lines will now require all guests over the age of 12 on certain cruises to be
Greenwich Time
Thursday August 26, 2021
Carnival Cruise Line says unvaccinated passengers won't be allowed on board unless they have a doctor's note
Starting August 28, unvaccinated people on Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Maryland-based ships must prove they are medically exempt
Insider
Wednesday August 25, 2021
New budget airline Avelo Airlines expanding to East Coast with Florida flights
Avelo Airlines' new flights between tiny New Haven airport and four Florida vacation spots begin in November
USA Today
Thursday August 19, 2021
Disney Hotel Occupancy Rates Dropping Fast as Guests Cancel Walt Disney World Vacations Due to Florida COVID-19 Cases
Just a few days ago, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated the following about the impact of the Delta variant on their theme park business
WDW News Today
Tuesday August 17, 2021
The IBM PC Introduced
On August 12, 1981, IBM introduced the IBM 5150. Designed and created by a team of IBM engineers in Boca Raton Florida, the IBM 5150 quickly became known as the IBM Personal Computer, or, more commonly, as the IBM PC. It had two floppy drives and no hard drive. A decision was made to base the computer around the Intel 8086 chip and an operating system from
Travel Research Online
Thursday August 12, 2021
Ron DeSantis loses battle with Florida cruise line over vaccine passports
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law in May that prohibited businesses operating in the state from requiring proof of COVID vaccination.
Newsweek
Monday August 09, 2021
Sixth Carnival Cruise Ship Restarts Operations and Departs From Florida
Carnival Magic becomes the sixth Carnival cruise ship to restart operations and departed from Port Canaveral, Florida.
Cruise Hive
Monday August 09, 2021
Disney’s Next ‘Star Wars’ Hotel Could Take Fans to the Dark Side
As anticipation mounts for the official launch of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, West Coast Disney Parks lovers have been left wondering what might be in store for them
Inside the Magic
Wednesday August 04, 2021
Carnival's Newest Ship, MSC Cruise Line Set Sail Out of Florida in Latest Rebound of Cruise Industry
Carnival Cruise Line debuted a new ship while MSC Cruises set sail from the state for the first time in over a year, marking the latest signs of recovery in an industry that was halted due to the pandemic
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday August 04, 2021
Carnival Cruise Line's newest ship takes maiden voyage from Florida
The Mardi Gras is Port Canaveral's first paid-passenger cruise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
USA Today
Tuesday August 03, 2021
The Best Golf Resorts in Florida
From Orlando to St. Augustine, these are 11 of the best golf resorts in Florida
Travel+Leisure
Monday August 02, 2021
Disney Cruise Line is moving into a new Florida port
Despite last year's unprecedented shutdown of the cruise industry, Disney is pushing forward with its plans to add three new ships in the coming years
Orlando Weekly
Thursday July 29, 2021
Miami Incorporated
The City of Miami was incorporated on July 28, 1896. Julia Tuttle, a wealthy widow from Ohio, moved to the southern tip of Florida in 1891 and purchased 640 acres on which to farm. She befriended railroad builder Henry Flagler and convinced him to extend his railroad to Miami. Soon a resort hotel was built and
Travel Research Online
Wednesday July 28, 2021
Take a See-through Kayak Tour Over Bioluminescent Lagoons in Florida
Florida's Space Coast, 45 minutes from Orlando, is home to bioluminescent waters you can experience in a see-through kayak
Travel+Leisure
Tuesday July 27, 2021
CDC still has authority over cruise ship public health, Appeals Court in no rush (*updated*)
CDC conditional sailing order non-binding in Florida but ships still subject to inspection to prevent communicable diseases like COVID-19 and may be detained
Seatrade Cruise News
Tuesday July 27, 2021
At This Family-friendly Florida Resort, Kids Can Have 'Pirate Campouts' — and Parents Can Dine Kid-free
There's something to keep guests of every age happy at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Travel+Leisure
Monday July 26, 2021
DeSantis vows to keep fighting CDC over cruise ships
The legal fight over cruises comes at a time when Florida's Covid-19 case count is rising sharply even as the number of Floridians vaccinated has plateaued
Politico
Friday July 23, 2021
Honoring the Legacy of Bob Duglin
Zane Kerby, President and CEO of The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), issues the following statement on the passing of ASTA colleague and friend, Robert (Bob) Duglin: “With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our friend, colleague and industry statesman, Bob Duglin. Bob passed away on Sunday at his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. More than ten years ago, Bob was hired by Scott Koepf, who served as President of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) at the time. Bob’s initial role was to organize FAM trips for NACTA, now known as the ASTA Small Business Network. Through the years, Bob rose steadily in responsibility. At the time of his passing, he held the title of Vice President, International Membership & Host Agencies and Managing Director, ASTA Small Business Network. “Bob sat on ASTA’s Senior Staff for the past eight years and was a constant positive
Travel Research Online
Tuesday July 20, 2021
Court Rules CDC's Cruise Line Regulations Will Remain In Effect, Including In Florida
A federal appeals court has ruled that the CDC's regulations regarding cruise ships will remain in effect, including in Florida
Cruise Radio
Monday July 19, 2021
Norwegian Cruise Lines sues state of Florida over vaccine passport ban
Norwegian Cruise Lines is suing Florida after the state banned vaccine passports, saying it cannot safely resume sailings without ensuring its passengers and crew are vaccinated against COVID-19
Yahoo
Wednesday July 14, 2021
CDC reignites cruise fight with Florida after judge rules the agency's restrictions were excessive
The court battle between the CDC and Florida over the cruise industry continued Tuesday as the agency filed to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, nearly three weeks after a lower court judge
FOX Business
Thursday July 08, 2021
Airlines waive change fees for several Florida cities as Tropical Storm Elsa nears
Major U.S. airlines are waiving change fees for several Florida cities as Tropical Storm Elsa approaches the state
CNBC
Tuesday July 06, 2021
The 'Amazon of North America' could be Florida's best-kept secret
The Fakahatchee Strand, though small in comparison to other wilderness areas in South Florida, seems to have a knack for flying under the radar, then suddenly making big, out-of-the-blue headlines
CNN
Tuesday July 06, 2021
Florida banned vaccination proof requirements. Not all cruise lines appear to care.
Some cruise lines are weaving a path that accommodates Florida's law and CDC sailing requirements. Others are not
NBC News
Friday July 02, 2021
Extreme turbulence on American Airlines flight leaves 10 hospitalized
The flight hit severe turbulence on the way to Tampa, Florida, sending some of the people on board flying out of their seats
Newsweek
Wednesday June 30, 2021
Royal Caribbean says unvaccinated travelers on Florida cruises must have travel insurance
Royal Caribbean International said Tuesday that all guests over the age of 16 traveling from U.S. ports, except those in Florida, must be fully vaccinated
CNBC
Wednesday June 30, 2021
Celebrity Cruises drops requirement for passengers to show proof of COVID vaccine for Florida cruises
Celebrity Cruises has adjusted its COVID vaccine requirement for Florida cruises. Passengers will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination
USA Today
Thursday June 24, 2021
First test cruise sails as CDC control over cruises sits in limbo
Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas returns to Florida today after its first test cruise – part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirements to return to cruising from the U.S.
Cruise Blog
Wednesday June 23, 2021
A judge ruled that Florida would be harmed by the CDC stopping most cruise ships from sailing
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's conditional sailing orders on the cruise industry "likely constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to CDC."
CNN
Monday June 21, 2021
7 Awesome Animal Encounters In Florida
If you're looking for exotic animal encounters, Florida is your state. Learn about animal care, feed sea turtles, explore Safari Wilderness, and more
TravelAwaits
Wednesday June 16, 2021
Headed to Florida with your pet? Stay at these great pet-friendly hotels
Lucky dogs, cats and other pets headed to Florida with their owners have plenty of options for places to stay
USA Today
Monday June 14, 2021
Spirit Airlines plans big Miami debut as airlines battle for Florida
Discount airline Spirit is planning to expand into Miami, an American Airlines hub, increasing competition for South Florida
CNBC
Thursday June 10, 2021
The Most Luxurious Hotels and Resorts That Have Opened Since COVID
Eight gorgeous and unique accommodations ranging from Switzerland to the Maldives to Florida to consider for your upcoming trips. The post The Most Luxurious Hotels and Resorts That Have Opened Since COVID appeared first on Worth
Yahoo! Finance
Wednesday June 09, 2021
Republican governors of Florida, Texas battle with cruise lines over vaccine requirements
The Republican governors of Florida and Texas are headed toward showdowns with some of the world's largest cruise lines, including Norwegian and Carnival, over whether passengers boarding ships leaving their states can be required
CNN
Wednesday June 09, 2021
If Florida wins this lawsuit, it could spell the end to Alaska cruises this summer
A Florida win in a lawsuit aimed at speeding the return of cruising in Florida could have the unintended consequence of bringing an end to big-ship cruising in Alaska for the year
The Points Guy
Thursday June 03, 2021
Carnival gets CDC approval for Florida, Texas cruises this summer
Carnival Corporation's flagship cruise line was given the green light by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to begin sailing from three U.S. ports
FOX Business
Tuesday June 01, 2021
Cruise lines and Florida Gov. DeSantis square off over vaccine passports
Cruise lines are eager to set sail, but a new law championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis banning so-called vaccine passports may keep them anchored
NBC News
Monday May 31, 2021
Don't get excited about Florida cruises yet. The state's 'vaccine passport' ban creates ocean of confusion
Cruise lines plan to sail from Florida and have been approved to do so by the CDC. Will a ban on vaccine passports stop them? The answer is unclear
USA Today
Friday May 28, 2021
Florida Still Waits As Cruises To Alaska Get Green Light To Resume, Pending CDC Approval
Cruises to Alaska are set to resume sailing this summer with the signing of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act but what about Florida
CBS 4 Miami
Tuesday May 25, 2021
Florida's Lawsuit Against CDC to Restart Cruises Heads for Mediation
Judge orders mandatory mediation in the Florida lawsuit against the CDC to allow for an immediate restart on cruises
Cruise Hive
Wednesday May 19, 2021
Carnival Cruise Line Cancels Most Sailings Through July, but Remains Hopeful for Sailings in Florida, Texas
Passengers on a cancelled cruise can request either a full refund or a future cruise credit and onboard credit
Travel+Leisure
Thursday May 13, 2021
Carnival Cruise Line aims for July restart from Florida and Texas, cancels other sailings through July
Carnival Cruise Line announced Tuesday that it is planning to restart its U.S. operations with 3 ships sailing out of ports in Texas and Florida
USA Today
Wednesday May 12, 2021
'A hard position': Florida's cruise industry struggles with vaccine passport ban
The state’s massive cruise industry is caught in the cross hairs between the federal government’s cautious coronavirus rollbacks and Gov. Ron DeSantis’
Florida Politics
Tuesday May 11, 2021
Why the Oldest City in the U.S. Should Be Your Next Destination for a Girls Getaway
From delicious food to beautiful beaches, St. Augustine, Florida, has everything you need for a perfect girls getaway
Travel+Leisure
Tuesday May 11, 2021
South Florida resort makes Condé Nast Traveler’s 2021 Hot List of the best hotels in the world
“America’s rare private island resort makes waves with a complete rebuild and redesign” is how Conde Nast described Little Palm Island Resort & Spa located in Little Torch Key on
Islander News
Monday May 10, 2021
Hawaii, Florida, California: Try these spots for destination weddings
Small wedding destinations: Hawaii, Florida, California, more
USA Today
Friday May 07, 2021
Major cruise ship company may avoid Florida if state doesn't permit Covid-19 vaccination checks, CEO says
Florida's new law prohibiting businesses from asking whether employees or customers have been vaccinated against Covid-19 may take a toll on its cruise business
CNN
Friday May 07, 2021
Celebrity Cruises amps up Florida-bound ship to be largest ever in the fleet
Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises is amping up its fleet with its largest ship to date
FOX Business
Monday May 03, 2021
Florida lawmakers pass bill preempting Key West cruise limits
In a stunning turn of events, one day after a bill to reverse Key West's voter-approved cruise limits was declared 'dead,' Florida lawmakers found another way get the legislation through
Seatrade Cruise News
Thursday April 29, 2021
Founding of the Conch Republic
Drug smuggling and illegal immigration during the early 1980's found a home in southern Florida. The United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock and an inspection point in Key West to stop vehicles for searches. Both local citizens and tourists were greatly inconvenienced. Delays became so notorious that commercial airline traffic actually increased to the community to avoid the checkpoint. The Key West City Council complained
Travel Research Online
Friday April 23, 2021
Alaska joins Florida lawsuit against CDC over US cruise restrictions
Alaska will join Florida in taking legal action against the federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try to hasten the restart of cruising as the industry remains shut down in U.S. waters
USA Today
Thursday April 22, 2021
Will cruise lines with vaccine mandates be blocked from sailing from Florida?
In a press conference on Friday, the Florida governor suggested the state might fight efforts to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates on cruise passengers
The Points Guy
Tuesday April 13, 2021
Florida sues CDC to allow cruises to resume U.S. sailings, industry asks to be treated like airlines
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state will file a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, demanding cruise ships be allowed to resume sailing immediately
CNBC
Friday April 09, 2021
Cruise Radio News Briefs — April 9, 2021 [VIDEO]
With the support of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody announced Thursday morning that she had filed a lawsuit demanding that the Centers for Disease Control lift the Conditional Sailing Order
Cruise Radio
Friday April 09, 2021
Disney tourist arrested for refusing temperature check
A tourist was arrested on charges of trespassing at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida after allegedly bypassing a temperature check and then refusing to leave when asked by police
The Independent
Monday April 05, 2021
Florida may sue CDC over its cruise industry 'conditional sailing order'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has a beef with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He says if the CDC doesn’t lift its “conditional sailing order” on cruise ships soon, allowing them to resume sailing out of U.S. ports this summer
The Points Guy
Tuesday March 30, 2021
Florida's DeSantis threatens lawsuit if CDC doesn't enable U.S. cruises to resume by summer
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is threatening to sue the federal government if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't allow cruises to restart by the summer
Yahoo! News
Monday March 29, 2021
New hotels spring up across the U.S.
Recent openings in the U.S. include two Florida hotels, an Autograph Collection hotel in Fort Worth, TX, and more. Hilton Aventura Miami Located in the openings
Hotel Business
Thursday March 25, 2021
Travel search platform Kayak has partnered to create its first hotel — see inside the tech-powered Miami hotel
Kayak has unveiled its own hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, marking the travel search engine's first foray into the brick-and-mortar hospitality business
Business Insider
Monday March 15, 2021
Evil empire
On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida first used publicly the phrase "evil empire." In that speech, with reference to the Soviet Union, Reagan said: "In your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride, the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil." Reaction to the phrase was
Travel Research Online
Monday March 08, 2021
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT LAUNCHES LIMITED-TIME OFFER: SAVE 40% ON A 4-DAY, 4-NIGHT HOTEL AND TICKET VACATION PACKAGE
ORLANDO, Fla. (February 24, 2021) –Universal Orlando Resort is offering the perfect deal for a spring getaway, inviting your clients to take advantage of an incredible offer to save 40 percent on a 4-day, 4-night hotel and ticket vacation package starting at $1,388, after savings, based on a family of four. This limited-time offer includes: Four days of fun and park-to-park access to Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, home to more than 50 immersive experiences across both theme parks – including soaring into the Forbidden Forest on the epic “story coaster” Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade and jumping into the action-packed
Travel Research Online
Thursday February 25, 2021
Spirit Airlines unveils 4 new routes to a brand-new destination
Spirit Airlines just became the latest carrier to add a slew of new routes, despite the pandemic. The Miramar, Florida-based carrier will add a brand-new dot to its route map — Louisville, Kentucky — with four daily routes launching May 27
The Points Guy
Wednesday February 24, 2021
The United States Purchases Florida
Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies. General Andrew Jackson, while fighting the First Seminole Wars against Native Americans in Georgia, had on occasion attacked and captured Spanish forts in Florida without provocation. When Spain was unable to retaliate, President John Monroe and his Secretary of State
Travel Research Online
Monday February 22, 2021
White House weighs domestic travel restrictions as variant cases spike in Florida
The Biden administration is reportedly considering whether to impose restrictions on domestic travel in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 and target new variants of the disease that are spreading quickly in states like Florida
NBC 8 WFLA
Thursday February 11, 2021
MSC Cruises Now Plans to Resume Sailings in May 2021
MSC Cruises has followed other major cruise lines by canceling cruise operations in the U.S. for even longer. The extension impacts three MSC cruise ships originally planning on resuming cruises from two major Florida homeports
Cruise Hive
Thursday February 04, 2021
Many fancy hotels are just opening in South Florida. They want to wow you with food, spas and lots more.
Dozens of new hotels are opening all across South Florida this year — ready for the day that pandemic-averse travelers decide to take those long-awaited vacations
Yahoo! News
Monday February 01, 2021
Could Cuba Be a Cruise Destination Once Again?
So what is the situation right now with cruises to Cuba, which is only 110 miles from Florida?
Cruise Hive
Monday January 18, 2021
Eastern Airlines Ceases Business
he 1980's were not kind to the legacy airlines. Deregulation brought onto the market a number of upstart airlines such as People Express. Legacy airlines like Eastern Airlines suddenly faced competition from the first wave of so-called "no-frills" carriers. Eastern was the largest employer in the Miami, Florida area and the company passed through a succession of managerial and financial maneuvers
Travel Research Online
Monday January 18, 2021
Legoland adding shade over MiniLand USA, prepping other 10th anniversary activities
Legoland Florida is about to throw shade in the nicest possible way. The theme park is installing tents over the entirety of its MiniLand USA, a popular area featuring tiny versions of American cities
Orlando Sentinel
Friday January 08, 2021
BREAKING NEWS: FLA. SENATOR FILES BILL THAT WOULD VOID KEY WEST’S NEW CRUISE SHIP LIMITS
A senator from Bradenton, Florida filed a bill late Tuesday that, if passed, will void Key West’s newly approved cruise ship limitations. Republican Senator Jim Boyd has proposed Senate Bill 426 that states, “a local government may not restrict or regulate commerce in the seaports of this state,…including, but not limited to, regulating or restricting a vessel’s type or size, source or type of cargo, or number, origin, or nationality of passengers
Keys Weekly
Wednesday January 06, 2021
Star Wars-themed hotel due to open in 2021
The Walt Disney Park in Orlando, Florida, promises total immersion in the Star Wars universe from its opening in 2021, starting from the launch pod which takes visitors to the Halcyon, arriving at the Atrium and the Bridge, there will also be a light sabre initiation class
Euro Weekly News
Wednesday December 30, 2020
Eight months after all cruises were cancelled, customers still wait for refunds. Here’s what you can do
Eight months after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down cruising around the world, customers are still waiting for refunds of money they paid for canceled cruises. After reaching a fever pitch over the summer, complaints about delayed refunds are still coming into the Florida Attorney General’s Office
Yahoo! News
Friday December 04, 2020
Cruise Ships Are Returning Home To Florida
It is getting busier by the day on the Florida skyline as more and more vessels arrive back in the United States after being anchored for eight months. Slowly but surely, it looks like the return of cruising is getting closer. To qualify for the CDC’s approval to sail, the vessels will need to undergo testing and mock cruises while also implementing new protocols on board the ships.
Cruise Hive
Thursday December 03, 2020
Mark Twain
On this day in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the small town of Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pseudonym, Mark Twain, the writer proved to be one of the true originals of American literature. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn earned Twain a public following even in his own day. His wit and keen satire are staples of popular quotations
Travel Research Online
Monday November 30, 2020
First Carnival Cruise Ships Will Begin Arriving Back in Florida
As Carnival Cruise Line prepares to resume cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas out of U.S. ports, a few Carnival cruise ships will begin arriving in Florida.
Cruise Fever
Monday November 23, 2020
Disney Cruise Ship Heads to Florida: Will It Be The First to Sail?
Which Disney Cruise Line ship will be the first to sail? So far, Disney isn’t saying, but a clue comes in the form of Disney Wonder, which as of the morning of November 19 was approximately 3,700 miles east of Port Canaveral and heading for the Florida coast.
Cruise Radio
Friday November 20, 2020
Royal Caribbean Announces 2022 Caribbean Program
Royal Caribbean announced three Oasis-class ships – Symphony, Harmony and Oasis of the Seas – will sail from Florida and the Northeast in 2022, plus the Liberty, Explorer and amplified Mariner of the Seas, on Caribbean itineraries, according to a press release.
Cruise Industry News
Thursday November 19, 2020
Florida To International Visitors: We're Open, So Visit When You're Able!
The coronavirus pandemic has brought Florida’s tourism industry almost to a halt. But the agency in charge of marketing the state is making a pitch to visitors near and far.
WUSF
Friday November 06, 2020
Top 6 Romantic Travel Destinations for Couples in South Florida
The flamboyant lifestyle that characterizes South Beach is the main attraction that allures people to South Florida. But that’s not the half of it; South Florida has a lot more to offer — from the boisterous nightlife to world-renowned art centers. The multicultural composition of this region certainly adds to the allure.
South Florida Caribbean News
Wednesday October 28, 2020
‘We want to see the cruise ships sail again’: Florida governor says he’s working with White House
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that he wants to see cruises sailing again and that he’s been in communication with the White House about how it could happen. The statement from the governor comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s no-sail order is set to expire this weekend.
WESH 2
Wednesday October 28, 2020
Where Is The Top Travel Destination In The U.S.?
It's no secret that the current coronavirus pandemic is changing our travel habits. Instead of scheduling a world tour, you might be looking for a relaxing travel destination in the U.S. There are several top contenders, but the most popular place to visit in 2020 is Florida.
Forbes
Friday October 23, 2020
Cruise ship rescues 24 people from boat off Florida coast
A Carnival Cruise Line ship has rescued two dozen people from a sinking boat 37 miles off the Florida coast
ABC News
Monday October 19, 2020
Cruise cancellations further damage Florida's struggling tourism industry
As cruise lines extend cancellations, Florida's port-of-call cities, including Tampa, continue to take economic hits. This month Norwegian, MSC, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines have canceled voyages through November, and some companies like Carnival Cruises are holding off passengers through early 2021.
FOX 13 News
Wednesday October 14, 2020
Disney World Opens
Walt Disney World Resort opened on this date near Orlando, Florida in 1971. As the largest recreational resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort now consists of four theme parks, two waterparks and 28 resorts. Walt Disney began looking for an appropriate location as early as 1959. Unhappy with the many businesses that had cropped up around Ahaheim Disneyland, Walt Disney wanted a much larger parcel of land to control the development in the immediate vicinity of his project. To avoid rampant land speculation, he purchased land under dummy corporations for years. His first choice near Sanford, Florida rejected his early overtures. Disney died in 1966 and did not see the completion of his visionary project.
Travel Research Online
Thursday October 01, 2020
Local travelers react to Florida’s decision to lift all COVID-19 restrictions
Traveling to Florida now is much more of a concern now that Florida’s governor has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions. You wouldn’t know we were still in a pandemic down in Florida. You don’t need a mask, and bars and restaurants are back to full capacity and it has many people concerned about traveling there and those who come to Massachusetts.
News 22 WWLP
Wednesday September 30, 2020
'Urgent Need for Ships to Start Sailing' from Florida, Federal Maritime Commission Says
A report issued by U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner Louis E. Sola says there is an urgent need for the cruise industry to resume sailing from Florida's cruise ports, citing staggering losses to revenue, local employment and the contributions cruise passengers make to other tourism sectors such as the airline and hospitality industries.
CruiseCritic.com
Friday September 25, 2020
Set Sail Safely Act Introduced To Reopen Cruise Industry
On Wednesday afternoon, Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio introduced a bill aimed to get cruise ships sailing again. The duo rolled out the Set Sail Safely Act, which would establish a Maritime Task Force, in coordination with a private-sector advisory committee to address health, safety, security, and logistical changes to allow cruise lines to resume sailing and ports to remain operational.
Cruise Radio
Thursday September 17, 2020
The Carnival Cruise Ship That Spread Coronavirus Around the World
How were hundreds of infected Ruby Princess passengers allowed to disembark in Sydney and return to homes from Tasmania to Florida?
Bloomberg
Tuesday September 15, 2020
Millions projected to travel over Labor Day weekend despite COVID-19 concerns
Millions are projected to travel this holiday weekend despite COVID-19 concerns. Labor Day flight bookings are only around a third of what they were last year according to data analysis from travel itinerary app TripIt, but reservations to Florida have jumped 200 percent.
ABC News
Thursday September 03, 2020
Americans Are Heading to Florida and Hawaii for Labor Day Weekend, Data Shows
Data from travel app TripIt from Concur shows that Americans are heading to warm-weather destinations like Florida and Hawaii for Labor Day weekend.
Travel+Leisure
Friday August 14, 2020
Travel Research Online is pleased to announce that Cheryl Rosen will begin a bi-weekly column for TRO
Tallahassee, Florida / August 14, 2020 - Travel Research Online is pleased to announce that Cheryl Rosen will begin a bi-weekly column for TRO. Cheryl’s 40-year career in journalism is bookended by roles in the travel industry, including Executive Editor of Business Travel News in the 1990s, and recently, Editor in Chief of Travel Market Report and admin of Cheryl Rosen’s Group for Travel Professionals, a news and support group on Facebook.
Travel Research Online
Friday August 14, 2020
The IBM PC Introduced
On August 12, 1981, IBM introduced the IBM 5150. Designed and created by a team of IBM engineers in Boca Raton Florida, the IBM 5150 quickly became known as the IBM Personal Computer, or, more commonly, as the IBM PC. It had two floppy drives and no hard drive. A decision was made to base the computer around the Intel 8086 chip and an operating system from Microsoft, a start-up in Seattle. The maximum memory was 256 kB and the monitor was a monochrome green screen. This configuration sold for $3,005. While far from an "instant success" in the home market, IBM's entry into the field ensconced the personal computer on the desktops of businesses everywhere.
Travel Research Online
Wednesday August 12, 2020
TRO Announces New Weekly Column by Richard D’Ambrosio
Tallahassee, Florida / August 4, 2020 - Travel Research Online is pleased to announce that Richard D’Ambrosio will begin a weekly column for TRO titled Taking Control. is a master storyteller who, for more than 30 years, has helped leading brands like American Express, Virgin Atlantic Airways, the Family Travel Association (FTA), and Thomas Cook Travel tell their stories to their customers, the media, and employees.
Travel Research Online
Wednesday August 05, 2020
TRO Announces New Weekly Column by Industry Journalist David Cogswell
Florida / July 29 - Travel Research Online is pleased to announce that David Cogswell will begin a weekly column for TRO titled The Incessant Traveler. David is a freelance writer reporting remotely. Born at the dead center of the United States during the last century he has been incessantly moving and exploring for decades.
Travel Research Online
Wednesday July 29, 2020
Disney World delays some resort hotel reopenings as Florida COVID-19 cases spike
Disney World has delayed the reopening of some of its resort hotels and is keeping others closed that were scheduled to reopen.
USA Today
Tuesday July 28, 2020
A State-By-State Guide to Traveling Within the U.S.
From Alaska and Hawaii, to Florida and Maine, these are the COVID state travel restrictions currently in place.
Conde Nast Traveler
Tuesday July 28, 2020
Miami Incorporated
The City of Miami was incorporated on July 28, 1896. Julia Tuttle, a wealthy widow from Ohio, moved to the southern tip of Florida in 1891 and purchased 640 acres on which to farm. She befriended railroad builder Henry Flagler and convinced him to extend his railroad to Miami. Soon a resort hotel was built and, with Flagler's assistance, plans were laid out for the town. The city now ranks as the third wealthiest city in the United States.
Travel Research Online
Tuesday July 28, 2020
THE BOURNE STUNTACULAR IS NOW OPEN AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT
ORLANDO, Fla. (June 30, 2020) – The Bourne Stuntacular, the most technologically-advanced stunt show yet, is now open at Universal Studios Florida. Through the use of live performers, ground-breaking technology, extreme stunts and captivating practical effects, your clients can now feel fully immersed in the world of Jason Bourne – blurring the lines between stage and cinema in a hybrid form of entertainment that has never been seen before.
Travel Research Online
Monday July 27, 2020
Not all airlines are shrinking during the pandemic: Alaska adds 10 nonstop routes from West Coast
The airline is adding flights to vacation spots like Florida and Hawaii from Southern California, Seattle and Portland as leisure travel rebounds.
USA Today
Friday July 17, 2020
Florida Based Cruise Line Pushes Restart of Cruises to August
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, operator of two cruise ships that offer cruises to the Bahamas from South Florida, has announced that they are pushing back their restart of cruises to August.
Cruise Fever
Tuesday July 14, 2020
Key West to vote on proposal to ban big cruise ships
Some Key West residents are proposing the city restrict, if not ban, big cruise ships from stopping at the island. Florida Key News reports the PAC "Key West Committee for Cleaner, Safer Ships" has outlined three goals it hopes to pass as law in Key West
Cruise.blog
Tuesday July 14, 2020
Florida Casino Ship Offers Preview Of Cruise Gambling
While cruise ships are not yet sailing, I recently had the chance to do some gambling on the high seas thanks to a trip aboard the Florida-based casino ship Victory 1. While much smaller than a ship like Carnival Vista or Norwegian Breakaway, the experience offered insight into how mainstream lines might deal with some of their casino-centric returns when they’re finally able to sail again.
Cruise Radio
Monday June 29, 2020
13 tourist hot spots planning to reopen this July
Destinations like Italy, Iceland, Spain, the Florida Keys, and Jamaica rolled out the welcome mat once again to tourists in June. Other destinations decided to wait a little longer to put ample health measures and precautions in place amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Insider
Friday June 26, 2020
Disney CEO Assures Guests That Disney World Will Reopen "Responsibly"
Disney‘s decision to reopen Florida’s Disney World theme park in the summer surely rejuvenated the hopes of fans across the globe as they await a trickle of good news amidst troubled times. To underscore the company’s responsibility, CEO Bob Chapek has spoken with several media outlets
Hypebeast
Monday June 01, 2020
A Legendary Palm Beach Resort Reopens Its Doors
After an eight-week closure, one of America’s most storied and beloved resorts, The Breakers Palm Beach, is open again. The first returning guests on Memorial Day weekend were mostly in-state residents, especially from the South Florida tri-county area. With summer approaching
Forbes
Tuesday May 26, 2020
Florida Keys Reopening To Tourism On June 1
The travel industry is slowly starting to show signs of life and is reopening, piece by piece all around the world, including America’s beloved National Parks, which will be this summer’s hottest road trip destinations (read the latest about the Top 10 U.S. National Parks and America’s Best National Park Road Trip here). But when I saw that the Florida Keys were reopening, it really got my attention for
Forbes
Tuesday May 19, 2020
Florida man says he's been stuck on cruise ship in Italy for 8 weeks after testing positive for COVID-19
This family just wants their son to come home. A cruise ship worker says that due to positive test results for COVID-19, he’s still stuck on a cruise ship that’s docked in Italy. According to the Florida resident, he’s been waiting on the ship for about eight weeks now and doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be there. Taylor Grimes was working at a cruise ship jewelry store when the coronavirus pandemic
Fox Travel News
Monday May 18, 2020
'We have to get up on our feet': Hotels reopen in Florida as coronavirus restrictions ease
To reopen, or not to reopen? That's a question that has weighed on many hoteliers' minds in Southwest Florida, reports the Naples Daily News, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network. While some hotels and resorts in the region never closed their doors amid the coronavirus pandemic, others that closed for more than a month have started to reopen to guests – ahead of what's usually one of
USA Today
Friday May 15, 2020
How expensive will air travel be after the Covid-19 crisis?
When the state of Florida began enacting stay-at-home measures and closing beaches in mid-March, in response to the threat of Covid-19, Miami-based real estate agent and artist Nadia Bouzid was in the middle of painting a mural inside a new hotel in Cancun, Mexico. Putting down the paintbrush, she picked up her phone and began searching airfares to return home. "I watched a seat on the flight I
CNN
Thursday May 14, 2020
Floridians stopped traveling well before official shutdowns, data shows
The question has vexed epidemiologists for weeks now: How has Florida kept the coronavirus in check, given that official shutdown orders came so much later there than in other states? One answer, according to data analysis from the Tampa Bay Times, is that many Floridians stopped traveling long before their county or state stepped in. The Times looked at data from Google, Descartes Labs
CNN
Tuesday May 12, 2020
Carnival Cruise Line to phase in some cruises by August
Carnival Cruise Line on Monday announced a plan to phase in some North American cruises beginning August 1. Eight ships will depart from Miami, Port Canaveral, Florida and Galveston, Texas, Carnival said in a statement. "In connection with this plan, our pause in operations will be extended in all other North American and Australian markets through August 31," the statement said. All North
Yahoo!
Tuesday May 05, 2020
Outlook for Disney World and Disneyland reopenings: What will it be like? And when will parks be running?
Fans of Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California are already dreaming of the parks' eventual reopening down the distant road. But in a world that's been through a pandemic, what will that reality look like? Little is certain, but there's one sure thing: It's a going to be different world. After all, masks and wipes and social distancing were not part of the Disney experience before the March closures. If
CNN
Friday May 01, 2020
12 Best Beaches in Florida
You can splurge on plane tickets to Bermuda or Cancun, but the reality is that you can find some of the world’s most beautiful beaches right here in the U.S. Thanks to Florida’s 8,436 miles of coastline, beaches with soft sand and crystal clear water are just a short flight (or even drive) away. But with all that shoreline, finding the state’s best beaches requires some research. We’ve curated some of our favorite
Travel+Leisure
Thursday April 30, 2020
10 Best Places to Retire in Florida
Retiring in Florida is a goal for many baby boomers across the country – and the world, for that matter. Year-round warm weather, sandy beaches, natural beauty, theme parks, and plenty of cultural attractions make the Sunshine State an attractive place to settle down. In addition to all of that, tax advantages are a major draw. Florida has no state income tax, and that holds true for social security benefits
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday April 29, 2020
Founding of the Conch Republic
Drug smuggling and illegal immigration during the early 1980's found a home in southern Florida. The United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock and an inspection point in Key West to stop vehicles for searches. Both local citizens and tourists were greatly inconvenienced. Delays became so notorious that
Travel Research Online
Thursday April 23, 2020
Nesting Sea Turtles Are Thriving on Florida’s Empty Beaches
With the state’s beaches closed in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, researchers say that sea turtles have been able to build without any disruptions—good news for the threatened creatures. David Godfrey, Executive Director for the Sea Turtle Conservancy told CNN that less garbage, fewer people, and less disorientation caused by artificial lights for hatchlings, bodes well for this year’s nesting
Travel+Leisure
Thursday April 23, 2020
Royal Caribbean Cruises sheds 26% of U.S. workers as coronavirus cancellations continue
Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is reducing its U.S. workforce by 26%, with more than half of those workers in South Florida, the cruise line confirmed. “Earlier today, we told our employees the difficult news that we were laying off or furloughing approximately 26 percent of our more than 5,000 coworkers in the US,” the company said in a written statement. “We earlier announced the early
MSN.com
Thursday April 16, 2020
How Will Covid-19 Affect Future Travel Behavior? A Travel Crisis Expert Explains
Since 2007, the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative at the University of Florida has studied many disasters that have threatened the travel industry, from hurricanes to the Zika virus. Beginning in January, prompted by the coronavirus-related threat in China, it began a periodic survey of Americans who travel on their perceptions of risk and anxiety related to Covid-19, and the impact of those
New York Times
Wednesday April 15, 2020
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Will Resume Cruises on Mother's Day Weekend
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, operator of two cruise ships out of South Florida that sail to the Bahamas, has announced that they will resume cruises on Mother’s Day Weekend. Grand Celebration will resume operations on Friday, May 8, 2020 – welcoming travelers just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend. The official statement from Oneil Khosa, CEO of
Cruise Fever
Monday April 06, 2020
Holland America cruise ships with over 200 sick passengers and crew reach deal to disembark in Florida
Two Holland America Line cruise ships carrying hundreds of sick passengers and crew members are currently anchored off the Florida coast, awaiting final clearance to disembark after reaching a conditional arrangement with local authorities. The Zaandam and the Rotterdam arrived early on Thursday morning, with 233 passengers and crew who, at some point since March 22, were said to have been
Fox Travel News
Thursday April 02, 2020
Make Yourself a Margarita and Take This Virtual Tour of Florida's Best Beaches
As the weather heats up, staying home gets harder — most of us would give anything for a beach vacation right about now. Unfortunately, many of Florida’s beaches are temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, the Sunshine State is coming through to deliver an at-home beach experience: the Florida Beach Finder by Visit Florida lets you wander sand
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday April 01, 2020
How I finally fell for Florida
When it's safe to travel again, I know where I'm going first: Florida. But few who know me would have predicted this. You see, I've never been a big fan of Florida. Once I started traveling on my own as an adult, I looked to far-flung locations. I wanted to go far and away to unfamiliar places where I could get by on not a lot of money. This led to a two and a half week trip to China in
CNN
Wednesday April 01, 2020
Cruise ship passengers desperately plead with Florida to allow them in
When Andrea Anderson and her husband boarded the MS Zaandam cruise ship in Buenos Aires more than three weeks ago, they didn't know that their trip of a lifetime would disastrously coincide with a global pandemic that would leave them shut out and stranded at sea. Unable to find a port willing to accept them, their ship has been stuck in a holding pattern for nearly two weeks
NBC News
Wednesday April 01, 2020
Ships with people from ill-fated cruise beg Florida to dock
Two ships carrying passengers and crew from an ill-fated South American cruise are pleading with Florida officials to let them carry off the sick and dead, but Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida's health care resources are already stretched too thin. As the Zandaam and its sister ship the Rotterdam make for Florida, passengers confined to their rooms are anxious for relief, hoping DeSantis will
ABC News
Tuesday March 31, 2020
Cruise ship with 42 people experiencing flu-like symptoms headed to Florida
Three cruise ships carrying more than 100 sick people with flu-like symptoms are heading to South Florida. According to CNN, the Costa Favolosa and Magica are heading toward Miami. Between the two ships, there are about 30 people aboard with "influenza-like symptoms." Roger Frizzell, a spokesman for parent company Carnival cruises, told CNN that there are more than 1,000 crew
ABC 27
Friday March 27, 2020
Alaska, Florida and Hawaii force travelers to self-quarantine: What to know before you go
Travelers looking to escape to the sunny beaches of Florida and Hawaii or the mountains of Alaska during the coronavirus outbreak may want to reconsider as the states mandate visitor quarantines to keep the virus from spreading in their communities. Governors in both Alaska and Hawaii have issued orders mandating a 14-day quarantine for all visitors and residents arriving at state airports. Alaska's order goes into
USA Today
Wednesday March 25, 2020
Florida Couple Sues Coronavirus-Hit Cruise Ship Operator For More Than $1 Million
A Florida couple stuck onboard the coronavirus-hit Grand Princess cruise ship in California are suing the ship's operator, Princess Line Cruises, accusing the company of gross negligence by allowing passengers to be exposed to Covid-19 on the vessel. Broward County's Ronald and Eva Weissberger are suing Princess Cruise Lines, owned by Carnival Corp, for more than $1 million. They claim that the operator sailed despite
Forbes
Tuesday March 10, 2020
Pence: "Unique Challenges" with Cruise Lines
Vice President Mike Pence confirmed his Saturday trip to Florida to meet with various cruise lines on Saturday during a Wednesday evening press conference at...
Cruise Industry News
Thursday March 05, 2020
America’s Best Private Island Resort Is Back And Better Than Ever
An unusually destructive hurricane - even for the worst possible Category 5 - 2017’s Irma was considered the most powerful storm ever for the open Atlantic region and the worst to hit the U.S. since Katrina twelve years earlier. In addition to catastrophic destruction across the northern Caribbean, it was devastating in the Florida Keys. As a result, it has taken two and a half years for one of the nation’s most iconic luxury resorts
Forbes
Tuesday March 03, 2020
Disney World Jungle Cruise boat full of passengers sinks, hilarious reactions ensue
Thankfully, the angry hippos aren't real. Disney World's Jungle Cruise ride, which takes passengers on a gentle tour through a river filled with robot animals, went awry on Thursday, when a boat full of passengers sank into the shallow, murky water. Though Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who is starring in an upcoming adventure film inspired by the ride, wasn't there to leap to the rescue, Florida's Reedy
USA Today
Friday February 28, 2020
Country Music Cruise Lineup Announced for 2021
The lineup has been announced for the 2021 Country Music Cruise. This seven night cruise to the Caribbean is already 70% sold out and will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 24, 2021. The 8th Annual Country Music Party of Sea will feature neotraditional country artist Josh Turner as the headliner. The cruise will include special performances for passengers onboard in Key West, and Mark Chesnutt, Lee
Cruise Fever
Wednesday February 19, 2020
Massive 7.7-magnitude Earthquake Rattles the Caribbean
A massive 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck just northwest of the Jamaican town of Lucea on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 2:10 p.m. EST, data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) showed. The powerful quake could be felt as far away as Cuba and southern Florida. According to the USGS, the earthquake’s epicenter was to the south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. It happened along a strike-slip fault, which the
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday January 29, 2020
Did you know you could retire on a cruise ship?
Ralph Bias loves cruise ships — has since he was a child and watched the disaster movie “The Poseidon Adventure.” The South Florida resident sells cruises, takes six to eight a year himself and plans to spend even more time at sea after retirement. “We’re not going to build a second
The Washington Post
Friday January 24, 2020
'Falling Iguana' Alert Issued in Florida as Temperatures Drop (Video)
It’s cold in Florida. So cold, in fact, that residents there have been warned that iguanas — a cold-blooded reptile — may fall from the trees. While Florida may be known for its sunny beaches and warm days, some southern parts of the state were forecasted to hit in the mid
Travel+Leisure
Thursday January 23, 2020
The Best Places to Visit in Florida
Year-round sunshine, one thousand miles of beaches, and almost as many palm trees as people: what’s not to love? Florida is where the world goes on vacation. While the state eats, sleeps, and breathes tourism, deciding exactly where to visit in Florida can prove to be the hardest part. Any kind of traveler can enjoy a trip to Florida because the state has it all: theme parks for the family
Travel+Leisure
Monday January 20, 2020
Why Alys Beach, Florida Should Be Your Next Warm-Weather Destination
If you were transported, blindfolded, to the middle of Alys Beach, then opened your eyes sans-silk eye mask (just go with us here), you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported to Santorini. With its white stucco buildings, cobblestone streets, and Moorish-inflected architecture, the serene town feels worlds away from its Florida Panhandle location on the
Town & Country
Tuesday December 31, 2019
New cruise ships will begin sailing from Florida in 2020
New cruise ships will be calling Florida home in 2020, and the number of cruise lines calling at Port Tampa Bay will rise from three this year to six next year. Currently Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian offer cruises from Tampa, but in the coming year they are scheduled to be joined by MSC Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America. In September, MSC
Tampa Bay Times
Tuesday December 31, 2019
Florida, Hawaii Are Top Holiday Travel Destinations For the Season
Four of the most popular cities – Orlando, Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa– are located in Florida, while two – Honolulu and Kahului – are in Hawaii. Anaheim, California; Las Vegas; New York and Phoenix also made the list.
US News and World Report
Monday December 23, 2019
Miami of the Middle East? Dubai's pitch to winter cruisers
In the depths of midwinter in the northern hemisphere, minds can drift to sunlit beaches in faraway lands. For connoisseurs of cruise ships, the obvious choices are the palm-lined shores of Florida and the Caribbean, which account for the most popular cruise ports in the world. But more than 7,000 miles east of Miami, Dubai is staking its own claim as a capital of cruising. The Emirate's
CNN
Monday December 16, 2019
Everything You Can Eat at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Ranked
Food is an essential part of any travel experience. You wouldn’t leave France without having a croissant or Japan without trying ramen, and Walt Disney Imagineers wanted to give guests that same experience when visiting planet Batuu at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. When designing this land at Disneyland Park in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, the Imagineers wanted to fully
Travel+Leisure
Friday December 13, 2019
American Airlines apologizes to passenger booted over 'Hail Satan' T-shirt
American Airlines has apologized to a passenger who was allegedly ordered to change out of her “offensive” T-shirt — or get off the plane. Runi Goyal had boarded the Las Vegas-bound flight in Florida on Oct. 30, wearing a T-shirt reading “Hail Satan” and “Est. 666,” above an image of an upside-down cross. And although she wears the shirt often, and that most people usually find it to be silly, a member of the flight crew
Fox Travel News
Tuesday December 10, 2019
Everything We Know About Disney World’s Star Wars–Themed Hotel, Opening in 2021
Soon Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge visitors won’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to rest up for their next day of intergalactic adventures. Disney Parks has just revealed its highly anticipated hotel will be opening its cargo bay doors in 2021. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser isn’t just a hotel, it’s a two-night vacation experience at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where guests
People Magazine
Friday December 06, 2019
Everything You Need to Know About Visiting LEGOLAND Florida
Welcome to a theme park where everything is awesome. The LEGOLAND Florida Resort is a theme park designed with kids in mind, with plenty of rides, shows, and activities to keep the youngsters entertained. It wouldn’t be LEGOLAND without an opportunity to play with those famed bricks, and you can do so in the lobby of the LEGOLAND Hotel, atop inner tubes on
Travel+Leisure
Monday November 18, 2019
The future Rockefeller Christmas tree was cut down, and it's on its way to Manhattan
The Christmas tree that will light up Rockefeller Center this holiday met its end -- in the spirit of the season, of course. A tree-cutting crew arrived at Carol Schultz's home in village of Florida, New York, early Thursday morning to saw into her winning 77-foot Norway spruce. The sacrificial tree is already headed to its Manhattan pedestal. A small crowd of local schoolchildren and beaming neighbors
CNN
Friday November 08, 2019
Party Like a Rock Star at the First-ever Guitar-shaped Hotel — Now Open for Business
What does it take to construct the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel on a protected Seminole reservation near the bustling metropolis of sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Just $1.5 billion and some patience. The shiny new Guitar Hotel, centerpiece of the massive multi-year expansion of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, made its highly anticipated debut on October 24, 2019. In true
Travel+Leisure
Friday November 01, 2019
Unique guitar-shaped hotel opens at Florida Seminole casino
It looks like a rock ‘n’ roll guitar that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page would have played. But this one is 450 feet (137 meters) tall and is a light-beam hotel that the Seminole Tribe wants to become South Florida’s latest tourist destination. The Guitar Hotel had its grand opening Thursday on the tribe’s land in Hollywood, once only a trailer park and some smoke shops. It’s the latest step in the
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Monday October 28, 2019
Disney World Opens
Walt Disney World Resort opened on this date near Orlando, Florida in 1971. As the largest recreational resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort now consists of four theme parks, two waterparks and 28 resorts. Walt Disney began looking for an appropriate location as early as 1959. Unhappy with the many
Travel Research Online
Wednesday October 16, 2019
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's First Cruise Ship Is Delayed Due To Shipyard Issues
The inaugural ship in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which was originally set to launch from south Florida two nights before the Miami Super Bowl in February 2020, has delayed its debut by four months amidst cost issues in its construction at the shipyard. This delay affects not only the ship's first voyage from Fort Lauderdale – which is now scheduled for June 14
CruiseCritic.com
Wednesday October 02, 2019
Disney World Opens
Walt Disney World Resort opened on this date near Orlando, Florida in 1971. As the largest recreational resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort now consists of four theme parks, two waterparks and 28 resorts. Walt Disney began looking for an appropriate location as early as 1959. Unhappy with the many
Travel Research Online
Tuesday October 01, 2019
Humberto Strengthens Into Category 1 Hurricane
Humberto strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday evening as it makes its way east across the Atlantic Ocean, according to CNN. It is not predicted to make landfall in the U.S. However, the National Hurricane Center predicted that the storm could create dangerous rip-currents from central-east Florida up the coast through North Carolina this week. The storm will also likely affect Bermuda
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday September 18, 2019
The Bahamas needs your tourist dollars: Here's where you can still visit
After Hurricane Dorian tore a path of destruction through the Atlantic, images and stories began to emerge from the Abacos and other Bahamian islands that had been devastated by the Category 5 storm. As these islands begin the slow work of rebuilding, other Bahamian islands remain untouched and open for business. Altogether, the 30 inhabited islands stretch from near Florida to near Cuba, and the
CNN
Tuesday September 10, 2019
Cruise Line Sends Ship to Rescue 1,100 Bahamian Residents
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line has announced that one of their cruise ships, Grand Celebration, has returned to the Florida with 1,100 Bahamian residents who were evacuated as a result of Hurricane Dorian. The cruise line spent nearly a full day clearing potential evacuees, including vetting their visa and passport documentation. Grand Celebration
Cruise Fever
Monday September 09, 2019
Hurricane Dorian creates Labor Day travel trouble
As the Labor Day weekend comes to a close, travelers brace for the impact of Hurricane Dorian as it moves closer to the Carolinas. At Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the flight status board displayed the word “canceled” next to many Florida and Bahamas destinations. Marcia Morin from Delaware was in Charlotte over the weekend visiting family for the holiday weekend
WCNC
Tuesday September 03, 2019
Canadian government says to avoid all travel to Bahamas, Florida as Hurricane Dorian lands
The Canadian government has issued stern travel warnings for the Bahamas, as well as parts of Florida, as Hurricane Dorian is set to hit both regions. Travel advisories were issued Sunday afternoon as the Category 5 hurricane made landfall in the Bahamas, with wind speeds reaching 297 km/h. Gusts of that strength can rip trees from their root and potentially flatten homes. The
Yahoo
Tuesday September 03, 2019
See what Disney's new 'Star Wars' Galactic Starcruiser hotel will look like
Disney has launched two new “Star Wars”-themed attractions at the company’s theme parks in California and Florida, attracting crowds of fans looking to enjoy a glass of blue milk while gazing at the Millennium Falcon. Now, “Star Wars” fans can look forward to an “immersive hotel” that will aim to make them feel like they’re really living in “a galaxy far, far away,” with a new “Star Wars”
CNBC
Tuesday September 03, 2019
Traveling This Weekend? Here's What to Know About Hurricane Dorian
Airlines and cruise companies are taking precautions as Hurricane Dorian approaches the Southeastern United States, where it’s expected to hit as a major hurricane. Hurricane Dorian is expected to become a Category 4 storm before hitting Florida or Georgia Sunday night into Monday morning, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Service. Florida Governor Rod
Time
Friday August 30, 2019
Disney’s opening of Star Wars land drew crowds to Florida. Now they face Hurricane Dorian.
Tourists flocked to Central Florida on Thursday for an intergalactic experience: the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World. But they may be in for some atmospheric action as well. Hurricane Dorian continued on its path toward the Southeast United States the same day, with landfall possible in Florida by afternoon on Labor Day. The latest National Hurricane
The Washington Post
Friday August 30, 2019
Hurricane Dorian: What travelers need to know about flight waivers, Disney World, cruises
As Hurricane Dorian hurtles into the Caribbean, travelers may want (or need) to reconsider trip plans — especially since the storm isn't expected to slow down anytime soon. Dorian is expected to strengthen over the next 24 hours, and the threat of winds and heavy rains reaching Florida this weekend is increasing, the National Hurricane Center said. The latest track has Dorian as a
USA Today
Thursday August 29, 2019
Florida couple travels to every national park in 7 months with bed in van
While other couples daydream about packing up and traveling across the country for months at a time, Lauren and Steven Keys have actually done it. The pair are originally from Brandon and now reside in Gainesville. They recently returned from a seven-month trip to see every single one of America’s national parks, including those in the Virgin Islands and American Samoa. “So in the past, we had
NBC News
Tuesday August 27, 2019
South Beach Hotel Offers Aerial Photography Lessons With Famous Photographer
The one thing you never regret doing on vacation is taking pictures. It's great when you return home and are missing that relaxing getaway to take a peek at those pics to transport you back. But what if you could take a holiday photo that was worthy of being displayed in a gallery? Well, that's exactly what one Florida hotel is helping guests achieve. The Gates Hotel South Beach just launched
Forbes
Friday August 23, 2019
Florida among the least friendly states in America, travel website reports
Florida is among the least friendly states in America, a travel website reported. Big 7 Travel ranked Florida as the 42nd most friendly state in America in 2019. They said that "Florida has its work cut out for it. Cities such as Orlando and its tourist-friendly initiatives are helping the state big time, but overall its reputation has some catching up to do." New York was ranked last, with the website stating that the "locals
Fox News
Wednesday August 21, 2019
Here's How Much It Costs to Travel With Your Pet
It just doesn’t seem right to leave your pet at home while fly off to Hawaii or road trip down to Florida – especially if they’d love the destination as much as you do. And when it costs an average of $50 a day to board your pet, it makes even less sense. But as more and more
Travel+Leisure
Thursday August 15, 2019
Woman suing American Airlines claims flight attendant threatened her, locked dog in bathroom
A Florida woman is suing American Airlines, claiming an airline flight attendant verbally abused her and locked her emotional support dog in an airplane bathroom. Avigail Diveroli was traveling with her husband, her 87-year-old grandfather and her emotional support dog
Fox Travel News
Thursday August 15, 2019
Allegiant adds 24 new routes, including a return to Palm Beach, Florida, and Fort Collins, Colorado
Allegiant Air is gearing up for the busy winter travel season with 24 new nonstop routes that will take travelers from smaller cities to popular warm-weather destinations. The Las Vegas-based budget airline's latest expansion includes a return to two cities it previously served: Palm
USA Today
Tuesday August 13, 2019
Pensacola Beaches Are Now Accessible to People in Wheelchairs
Good news, Florida beachgoers! The renowned white sand and emerald green water of Pensacola beaches are now accessible to all thanks to the installment of five state-of-the-art wheelchair beach access mats. Mobi-Mats are a non-slip matting laid down over the sand that
Travel+Leisure
Tuesday August 13, 2019
The IBM PC Introduced
On August 12, 1981, IBM introduced the IBM 5150. Designed and created by a team of IBM engineers in Boca Raton Florida, the IBM 5150 quickly became known as the IBM Personal Computer, or
Travel Research Online
Monday August 12, 2019
A unique underwater memorial honors US military veterans
On the sandy bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, 12 concrete statues stand in a circle to honor the men and women who have served in the US military. The Circle of Heroes Veterans' Memorial opened to the public this week 10 miles off the coast of Clearwater, Florida. Its creators say it's
CNN
Thursday August 08, 2019
The First All-inclusive Resort in the Florida Keys Is Nearly Ready to Reopen Following Massive Fire
Last December, the Florida Keys welcomed its first-ever all-inclusive resort, Bungalows Key Largo. The adults-only spot came with plenty of fanfare and excitement. Sadly, just a few short months after its opening, Bungalows Key Largo suffered a massive fire that nearly
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday August 07, 2019
The billion-dollar travel group that tourism overlooks
Fed up of constant job rejections, 29-year-old Craig Kingston decided he need to do something drastic. So the South Florida native quit the nine to five role he hated, booked a one way ticket to Vietnam and sold all his stuff. But he wasn't quite
CNN
Monday August 05, 2019
Universal Is Opening a New Theme Park in Orlando
A brand new theme park is coming to Orlando, Florida. Universal’s Epic Universe will join Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay water park as the latest expansion of the Florida theme park resort. Details and an initial rendering of Universal’s Epic Universe were released at a press conference, showing
Travel+Leisure
Friday August 02, 2019
Girl, 9, tossed into air by charging bison at Yellowstone National Park
A 9-year-old girl was lucky to escape without major injuries after she was launched into the air by a charging bison in a stunning scene at Yellowstone National Park that was captured on video. The video shows a bull bison grazing just feet from visitors at Yellowstone on Monday before it charges and sends an unidentified girl from Florida flying several feet into the air. The National
Today
Thursday July 25, 2019
Disney, Beaches and More: Your Guide to Florida Travel on a Budget
When you travel to the Sunshine State for your family vacation, a few things are certain: There will be mosquitoes, you’ll need tons of sunscreen and you will have no shortage of activities. In fact, when you’re planning a Florida vacation, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the state’s wealth of tourist attractions, from Orlando to the Keys. If you’re not careful, you might find
Yahoo Finance
Wednesday July 24, 2019
10 Space-Themed Destinations To Visit In Honor Of The Moon Landing's 50th Anniversary
With the nation celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, why not take the family (or just your favorite friends) to one of these space-centric destinations? Learn all about the history of NASA, the science behind space travel and more. On Florida’s “Space Coast,” you can visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and spend an
Forbes
Monday July 22, 2019
Travel on trial: To infinity and beyond? An out-of-this-world weekend at Space Camp
Houston, we have multiple problems. There’s an ammonia leak on the shuttle that could kill us all, if the headlong collision course with Earth doesn’t first. Oh yes, and we’ve just left two astronauts floating in orbit. Our first Space Camp mission had not gone well. We – the crew of misfits in flight suits and headsets – somehow managed to survive, via a daring crash-landing into a Florida swamp. But we’d still
Telegraph (London)
Wednesday July 17, 2019
The Met's Blockbuster Moon Exhibit Shows How Much The Apollo Missions Exposed About Life On Earth
When John Glenn navigated the Mercury-Atlas 6 into orbit, becoming the first American to pilot a spacecraft around Earth, his payload included a point-and-shoot camera he picked up at a drugstore in Florida. At the time, NASA engineers viewed photography as a distraction, and astronauts had to sneak snapshots with equipment stashed in their personal belongings. The profound impact of
Forbes
Monday July 15, 2019
The Best Hotels In Orlando
Orlando, Florida hosted a record-breaking 75 million visitors in 2018, with nearly 50 million people flying into Orlando International Airport alone. This well-oiled tourism machine has endless options for where to stay (and what to do when you get there). Here are eight of the best hotels in Orlando for your next stay. This luxury resort sits on 1500 acres, with
Forbes
Friday June 21, 2019
Air Force Major Drowns Onboard Caribbean Cruise Ship
An Air Force major has drowned while on a cruise in the Caribbean. The Broward County, Florida, medical examiner's office says 37-year-old Stephen Osakue drowned Friday on board a Caribbean Princess ship. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports ship personnel were unable to revive him. Cruise line spokesman Nagin
US News & World Report
Tuesday June 18, 2019
Drunk Florida man vapes into bag on Spirit flight, gets banned for life, deputies say
A Florida man won’t have to worry about sneaking smoke breaks on Spirit flights anymore — because his vaping got him permanently banned from the budget airline, authorities said. The 30-year-old St. Petersburg man was traveling from Detroit to New Orleans when a flight attendant caught him smoking an e-cigarette and exhaling into a bag
Miami Herald
Tuesday June 11, 2019
How to pay for Disney World trip? Start baking cupcakes
Isaiah Tuckett has dreamed of going to Disney World for about as long as he can remember. But taking a family of seven to soak up all the wonders of greater Orlando, Florida, is no small travel investment, and his parents wanted Isaiah, their youngest, to be old enough to remember the trip. "Timing just never
CNN
Wednesday June 05, 2019
Adam Levine and Maroon 5 to Headline Opening of Guitar-Shaped Hotel in Florida
Maroon 5 will be headlining the opening of a guitar-shaped hotel in Florida in October, in what will be one of the premiere destinations in southern Florida upon its opening. The 35-story high building at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood will be open to the public on October 25, with frontman Adam Levine and the band performing at the hotel’s opening of Hard
People Magazine
Monday June 03, 2019
The 2019 Holiday Season Is Going to Be More Magical Than Ever at Universal Orlando Resort
There’s no better place to spend Christmas than in Florida. Don’t fret about changing your annual routine for the holiday, because theme park Christmas lasts all winter long at Universal Orlando Resort. From Nov. 16, 2019 through Jan. 5, 2020, Universal’s two Florida parks will feature festive experiences themed to favorite films like "The Grinch," "Minions" and the
Travel+Leisure
Thursday May 23, 2019
MSC Cruises and Brightline Partner to Offer Bag-Free Transportation to PortMiami
Sailing on MSC Cruises out of Miami? Passengers have a new way to get to and from the port, through the line's new partnership with South Florida's Brightline express train service. MSC Cruises and Brightline in tandem will offer Train-to-Port bundle packages allowing cruisers to travel bag-free between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale to Miami -- the cities in
CruiseCritic.com
Thursday May 09, 2019
How to Take the Ultimate Florida Keys Road Trip
The cool dark of the bar provided respite from the hot, afternoon sunshine and it was a minute or two before our eyes adjusted to the scene inside. Settling onto a couple of stools, we ordered beers and took in our surroundings. Dollar bills, most bearing messages penned in magic marker, covered every inch of the walls and ceiling, three and four layers deep in
Travel+Leisure
Thursday May 09, 2019
ASTA Renews Longstanding Partnership With National Transaction Corporation (NTC) For 15th Year
CORAL SPRINGS, FLORIDA (April 5, 2019) – Director of Business Development for American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Sarah Little announced that ASTA is excited to renew our longstanding partnership with National Transaction Corporation for a 15th year. Little says ASTA
Travel Research Online
Wednesday May 08, 2019
Massive Fire Reported at First All-inclusive Resort in the Florida Keys
In December, the adults-only Bungalows Key Largo debuted as the first all-inclusive in the Florida Keys. Early Sunday morning, an inferno of flames ravaged the luxury property, making for a frightening end to many a relaxing vacation. Sherry Conn, a resort guest on a girls’ trip from Raleigh, North Carolina, woke up to loud knocks on her door. “We were in a dead
Travel+Leisure
Tuesday May 07, 2019
The Ultimate Travel Guide to St. Augustine, Florida
The Fountain of Youth is calling your name—just like it called to the Spanish explorers more than 500 years ago. Maybe it’s those gorgeous beaches or maybe it really is something in the water. Either way, there is lots to explore in this charming city on Florida's Atlantic coast. Most people don’t realize that St. Augustine is the oldest continuouslly
Coastal Living
Friday May 03, 2019
Founding of the Conch Republic
Drug smuggling and illegal immigration during the early 1980's found a home in southern Florida. The United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock and an inspection point in Key West to stop vehicles for searches. Both local citizens and tourists were greatly inconvenienced
Travel Research Online
Tuesday April 23, 2019
When everything falls away
“I’m sorry.” Hiroko’s voice, made for singing, sounds flat, provisional. “What is it?” Struggling with the phone, I catch sight of the red digits on the hotel bedside table: 1:23. “My father now hospital,” says my wife, a dozen or more time zones away in Japan. “I’m sorry.” I try to clear my head. Drunks are reeling through the warm Florida night around me
BBC
Wednesday April 17, 2019
Europe's Discount Airlines 'Democratized' Air Travel. Now They're Going Belly-Up
In 1992, the U.S. witnessed the trial of John Gotti, the election of President Bill Clinton and the devastating arrival of Hurricane Andrew on the Florida coastline, causing a then-record $25 billion in damage. Further afield, it was also the year that Prince Charles initiated the world’s most-watched break-up by separating from Princess Diana. So, it’s only natural that the creation of something
Fortune
Monday April 08, 2019
Aviation photos: Behind the scenes at Miami International Airport
Check out April's batch of fun airplane and aviation photos, all shot during a day behind the scenes at Miami International Airport in Florida.
USA Today
Tuesday April 02, 2019
Disney announces new stroller and smoking policies at all theme parks and properties
Disney announced changes to its theme park policies on stroller size, smoking and ice at its properties like Walt Disney World, Epcot, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and Disneyland in California.
Miami Herald
Monday April 01, 2019
Airbnb and Miami Beach Are at War. Travelers Are Caught in the Crossfire.
The Florida city, like others around the country, is trying to control the home sharing market. Renters often find out their weekend home is illegal when they get a knock on the door.
New York Times
Thursday March 21, 2019
Carnival Drops Antigua Like A Hot Potato, Again
Carnival Cruise Line suddenly and unexpectedly canceled all future port stops to Antigua, according to the AntiguaNewsRoom today. Carnival’s announcement comes two weeks after Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne accused the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (“FCCA”) of “exploiting the region.”
Cruise Law News
Wednesday March 13, 2019
Evil empire
On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida first used publicly the phrase "evil empire." In that speech, with reference to the Soviet Union, Reagan said: In your discussions of the
Travel Research Online
Friday March 08, 2019
Traveling Around Florida? Ditch the Car and Ride the Rails, Says Virgin
Entering the newest train station in Miami is a bit like walking into another world. With natural light streaming through floor-to-ceiling windows, the modern building is bright, sleek and full of thoughtful amenities. Outlets and USB ports are at every seat, free Wi-Fi is available at the entranceway, and the entire structure smells lovely
New York Times
Thursday March 07, 2019
'Several' Cruise Passengers Injured After 'Sudden, Extreme' Wind Causes Ship to Tilt
Passengers on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship traveling toward Florida experienced extreme wind Sunday night that caused the ship to tilt to its side, injuring some passengers. The Norwegian Escape encountered “a sudden, extreme gust of wind” estimated at 115 miles per hour, and several passengers were injured as the ship tilted to its
Time
Wednesday March 06, 2019
The United States Purchases Florida
Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies. General Andrew Jackson, while fighting the First Seminole Wars against Native Americans in Georgia, had
Travel Research Online
Friday February 22, 2019
New nonstop flight to Pensacola from South Florida will save you time — and money
South Florida and Pensacola are now connected by a daily nonstop flight on Silver Airways. What used to be a nine-hour drive north to Pensacola from South Florida is now a two-hour flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as of Thursday. The Fort Lauderdale-based airline is offering discount fares starting at $89 one-way at silverairways.com for travel
Miami Herald
Thursday February 21, 2019
Baby born at 30,000ft during Jetblue flight
Jetblue gained its youngest customer ever after a baby was born during a flight from Puerto Rico to Florida. The US airline said it wants to rename the aircraft after the baby following the birth on flight 1954 on Saturday 17 February. The event aptly occurred on a plane named “Born to be Blue”, which flew from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale. “We’d like to thank the crew and
The Independent
Tuesday February 19, 2019
Cruise ship passengers denied access to Cuba return to Florida
Travelers returned home Monday heartbroken after a cruise ship promising a Valentine’s Day reunion with loved ones was turned away from Cuba. Grand Classica, chartered by Viva Travel, got back to the Port of Palm Beach about 9 a.m., with many passengers on board still upset. Zeida Ssbdia is one of the disappointed passengers. She was looking forward to seeing her
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday February 19, 2019
British Airways staffs Valentine's Day flight with 5 cabin crew couples
If it seemed like the cabin crew on British Airways' Valentine's Day flight from London to Buenos Aires, Argentina, were in a particularly good mood, there was a good reason why: the flight was staffed entirely by employee couples. The airline's press release quotes one couple, newlyweds Carl and Nathan, as being "over the (honey)moon to be showing our customers some British Airways love on this very special flight.” The couple, who have been together 13 years and married last November, has been with the airline for four years, during which time they've visited New York, the Caribbean, Turkey, Spain and Florida.
USA Today
Friday February 15, 2019
Norwegian cruise ship crashes into docks in Puerto Rico
A Norwegian cruise ship smashed into the docks in Puerto Rico, sinking the pier. Video shows the Epic cruise liner veering towards the San Juan docks, destroying two mooring points in the process. The vessel departed from Port Canaveral in Florida on 9 February for a seven-day cruise around the British Virgin Islands. However, technical issues onboard meant the ship had
The Independent
Thursday February 14, 2019
Kosher hotel proposed across from Hard Rock casino in Hollywood
A kosher hotel has been proposed across the street from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. Called the “Kosher House,” it would have a kosher restaurant and a synagogue space, in addition to automatic elevators that operate on the Sabbath so observant Jews do not need to push a button, developer Sharon Sharaby told the South Florida Business
Sun Sentinel
Thursday February 14, 2019
Paranormal activity meets history on Florida ghost tours
Larry Lawson spent his career in law enforcement investigating crimes. In retirement, using those same skills, he’s seeking out evidence of paranormal activity through Indian River Hauntings historical ghost tours. “You’d be surprised by how many cops are paranormal investigators on the side,” Lawson told me. “This is truly an extension for a lot of us for what we do.” In 1980
USA Today
Monday February 11, 2019
The under-the-radar, unsung beach towns of Florida
This was either a bar in south Florida, or a man cave in Braintree. I was surrounded by Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots paraphernalia. There was a Celtics game on TV. A woman sat beside me wearing a Gronk jersey and flip-flops and made Super Bowl predictions. “What’cha youse think?” she asked the bartender at the Village Pump, who I suspect had been
The Boston Globe
Monday February 04, 2019
Collette Tours' Anniversary Jitney Trip Highlights 100 Years of Travel
What was tourism like 100 years ago in the US? Collette Tours has the answer. The Rhode Island-based tour operator has been in existence since 1918, the year entrepreneur, Jack Collette got himself a jitney (a bus that makes frequent stops) and took a group of travelers from Providence, Rhode Island to St. Augustine, Florida.
Forbes
Friday February 01, 2019
Most Romantic Cruises from Florida
Set sail for romance this Valentine’s Day with these easy to reach cruises from Florida that are all made for romance with an ocean’s worth of special treats for two.
Reader's Digest
Thursday January 31, 2019
Carnival reveals itineraries for Port Canaveral-bound cruise ship Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line has marked the calendar for its arrival to Port Canaveral next year with its new ship Mardi Gras and cruises are on sale. The ship will sail into the Central Florida port on Oct. 15, 2020. Before it gets here, though, it will make a few pit stops in Europe and New York.
Orlando Sentinel
Wednesday January 30, 2019
Coast Guard halts search for missing cruise crewmember
The Coast Guard has ended the search for a crewmember from a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida's coast. According to the Royal Caribbean cruise line, co-workers saw the 26-year-old crewmember go overboard from the Majesty of the Seas early Thursday. The ship was about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of Florida's Hillsboro Inlet and sailing to Port
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday January 25, 2019
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line lets furloughed federal workers aboard for free
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is the latest company to roll out the red carpet for furloughed federal workers. The Bahamas cruise specialist says federal employees affected by the government shutdown who happen to be in the area of its South Florida hub can stop by for a free buffet lunch on one of its ships. They also can stick around for a free afternoon of fun on
USA Today
Wednesday January 23, 2019
ADA lawsuits targeting hotels’ websites for not disclosing how accessible they are
A Fort Lauderdale woman and her attorney who have reached settlements with at least 20 hotels and motels in Florida over the businesses’ websites not explaining how their properties meet the needs of people with disabilities have set their sights on two Keys resorts. Cheri Honeywell and her attorney, Jessica Kerr, of the Advocacy Group in Fort Lauderdale, filed lawsuits this
Miami Herald
Wednesday January 23, 2019
Florida-Cuba travel is in flux. Some airlines want in and others opt out
Air travel to Cuba is in flux with some U.S. carriers dropping out of competition for routes and others hoping to win approval for additional flights to the island. But there’s still keen interest in South Florida routes to Havana, and Miami International Airport has become the most important gateway for commercial air travel to Cuba. The most recent carrier to fall by the
Miami Herald
Tuesday January 22, 2019
Cruise Line Offers Free Lunch to Federal Workers Affected by the Government Shutdown
Beginning on January 21, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will provide a free buffet lunch to federal workers and their families affected by the government shutdown. The line's two ships -- Grand Celebration and Grand Classica, which together offer daily departures to the Bahamas from Florida's Port of Palm Beach -- will welcome the workers and their families from noon to
CruiseCritic.com
Monday January 21, 2019
Disney Cruise Line inks 10-year deal with Port of Galveston
Disney Cruise Line is getting more comfortable away from Florida ahead of its fleet expansion. The Port of Galveston signed a 10-year agreement for an increase in presence from the cruise line, which has sailed seasonally there since 2012. Disney Magic or Disney Wonder, the line’s smallest and oldest ships have dabbled in Galveston sailings almost yearly since then, but
Orlando Sentinel
Friday January 18, 2019
Taking little kids to Legoland this year? Prepare to save some money.
Happy New Year, indeed. Parents of preschoolers, Legoland Florida Resort has a sweet deal for you. If you’re thinking of taking the kids, say over spring break, prepare to save some money. Children under 3 get free admission, as they’ve always had, but now those ages 3 and 4 get in gratis as well.
Miami Herald
Friday January 11, 2019
Cruise cut short after hundreds of passengers get sick on Royal Caribbean ship
Two-hundred-seventy-seven passengers and crew members aboard the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas cruise ship became sick with a gastrointestinal illness, according to the cruise line. Because of the illness, the ship will return to Port Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday, a day earlier than expected. "All of the ship's guests will receive full
CNN
Friday January 11, 2019
Private islands are the biggest thing in Florida cruising
Florida will once again be the beneficiary of the cruise industry’s biggest and best offerings, but it’s not just ships that will be of interest to Sunshine State cruisers in 2019. The big news is private islands. Both Royal Caribbean and MSC have sunk millions into developing private islands in the Bahamas for those sailing out of Florida.
Tampa Bay Times
Friday January 11, 2019
Holy Ship! EDM cruise passengers arrested on drug charges
For the second year in a row, an EDM party cruise disembarking from Port Canaveral, Florida, ended in a swath of drug charges for passengers from across the country who had hoped to spend the weekend aboard the Norwegian Epic. The Holy Ship! cruise was scheduled for Jan. 5-9 with a second leg Jan. 9-12. In January 2018
USA Today
Wednesday January 09, 2019
Train lovers forge lifelong friendships through rail travel
They’re aboard because they love trains: The pilot from New Orleans, the computer consultant from New Jersey, the retired tax lawyer from Florida, the computer accounting consultant from Queens, N.Y., and his mother, the retired corporate executive, the computer scientist from Florida’s Space Coast. For the past decade, these one-time
Star Advertiser
Monday January 07, 2019
Eight Great Moments in Theme-Park Land, 2018
isitors to Central Florida theme parks and attractions could pretend they were the size of toys, be flung high above I-Drive, handle the Bat-Signal and dabble in virtual reality. Not a bad list of accomplishments for a year that was generally considered a prequel to a blockbuster 2019. Here are eight great moments of ’18.
Orlando Sentinel
Thursday December 27, 2018
Celebrity Edge: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai Helps Christen Ship in Florida
The most notable new cruise ship of the year now officially has a name. Celebrity Cruises late Tuesday celebrated the debut of its much-awaited, 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge with an emotional naming ceremony at Florida's Port Everglades presided over by one of the world's most famous activists. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai
USA Today
Thursday December 06, 2018
Mark Twain
On this day in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the small town of Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pseudonym, Mark Twain, the writer proved to be one of the true originals of American literature. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn earned Twain a public following
Travel Research Online
Friday November 30, 2018
Innovative 'Magic Carpet' on New Celebrity Cruise Ship Brings Passenger to Water's Edge
Call it the most unusual new feature to debut this year on a cruise ship. Celebrity Edge, the new Celebrity Cruises vessel being unveiled this week in Florida, boasts a first-of-its-kind, 90-ton passenger platform hanging over its side that serves a range of functions as it moves up and down the ship. Dubbed the Magic Carpet, the tangerine-colored
USA Today
Wednesday November 28, 2018
Tammy Levent Announces Another Year of "ItsMyBag.Cool" to Provide Foster Children With Some Dignity
TAMPA, Florida, Nov. 19, 2018—Entrepreneur and travel expert Tammy Levent has announced another big holiday season push for “It’s My Bag,” Levent’s humanitarian effort which provides suitcases, bags and toiletries to foster children. She is looking for people willing to coordinate and serve as drop-off locations around the country.
Travel Research Online
Wednesday November 28, 2018
Before and After Images Show Devastation, Recovery from Red Tide on Southwest Florida Beaches
A red tide bloom that's lingered off our beaches for more than a year is finally clearing. If you weren't around this summer, here's an update. In Southwest Florida, red tide counts reached as high as 200 million cells per liter this summer. Beaches were littered with dead marine life, Gulf water was discolored and during a time when many enjoy
USA Today
Wednesday November 07, 2018
New Cruise Ship Celebrity Edge On Its Way to Florida
Celebrity Edge has set sail for Florida. The first in a new class of ship from Celebrity Cruises left the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard on Sunday to make its way to Port Everglades where it will begin Caribbean service on Nov. 21. The handover ceremony
Orlando Sentinel
Tuesday November 06, 2018
UK Airline Slammed After 'Minor Technical Issue' Causes Three-day Delay
A UK airline has drawn intense criticism after a "minor technical issue" caused a flight to be delayed for three days. British Airways flight 2036 was headed to London from Orlando, Florida on Thursday (local time), but it was grounded for 24 hours due to technical issues, The New York Post reports.
Newshub
Tuesday November 06, 2018
An airline pilot was arrested in Florida after a loaded handgun was found in his luggage
A Sun Country Airline pilot was arrested in Florida on Friday night after a loaded handgun was found in his luggage as he passed through a TSA security checkpoint, according to multiple reports. According to NBC 5 Minneapolis, Brian A. Machtemes, 54, a pilot for Twin Cities-based Sun
Business Insider
Wednesday October 31, 2018
Couple Found Hidden Camera in Their Carnival Cruise Bedroom: 'Our Privacy Had Been Invaded'
A Florida couple is recalling a distressing experience on a Carnival Cruise after finding a hidden camera pointing at their bed. In an interview set to air Monday, Chris and Dana White told Inside Edition that they discovered a recording device hidden among TV wires in their stateroom last
USA Today
Monday October 29, 2018
Wave of Cruise Ships Line Up for Florida Debuts
With the winter sailing season arriving, Florida is set to add to its arsenal of new cruise ships with Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas, Norwegian Bliss, Celebrity Edge and Holland America ms Nieuw Statendam joining Carnival Horizon.
Orlando Sentinel
Monday October 29, 2018
Florida Man Dies After Falling on Bahamas-Bound Cruise Ship During His Bachelor Party
A Florida man was just months away from marrying the love of his life when he tragically fell to his death while aboard a cruise ship traveling to the Bahamas on Friday, the Associated Press reported. Christopher McGrory, 29, was celebrating his bachelor party with friends on the Paradise
People Magazine
Wednesday October 24, 2018
World's Largest Cruise Ship Nears Miami Debut
Symphony of the Seas which isn’t just the largest cruise ship int he world but also the fourth Oasis-class vessel is very near to her beginning new cruises from PortMiami, Florida. As of writing this, there are just 19 days until the ship arrives at the cruise capital of the world.
Cruise Hive
Wednesday October 24, 2018
Cruise ship tours: Inside Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration
Thinking about a quick getaway to the Bahamas? Our latest Cruise Ship Tour offers a deck-by-deck look at one of two cruise vessels operating super-short, two-day trips to the island nation from Florida: The 1,486-passenger Grand Celebration. Operated by three-year-old Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the former Carnival Cruise Line ship sails from
USA Today
Tuesday October 23, 2018
TSA’s ‘Don’t Lose Your Booze’ Airport Security Campaign Also Could Be ‘Keep Your Gun’
TSA’s slogan “Don’t Lose Your Booze” probably addresses the most travelers who need to learn what they can and can’t bring on a plane. But “Keep Your Guns” also could be used, both nationally and in Florida. As of Thursday, 3,503 firearms had been seized at airport security checkpoints nationwide, a pace that would put the year end total over
Miami Herald
Friday October 19, 2018
In Hurricane Michael's Wake, Travel Remains Snarled
Thursday morning, the Florida Panhandle and parts of Georgia awoke to blocked roads, downed trees, flooded streets and flights that were either canceled or rerouted. Travelers were being urged by airports, airlines, and government entities to avoid travel
New York Times
Friday October 12, 2018
Hurricane Michael Snarls Travel in the Southern US. What You Need to Know
Airlines canceled dozens of flights on Wednesday in the Southern U.S. as "life-threatening" Hurricane Michael approached Florida's Gulf Coast, packing 140 mph wind. The Category 4 storm was expected to make landfall on Wednesday. Federal forecasters warned
CNBC
Wednesday October 10, 2018
Major Hurricane Michael Affects Cruise Ships in the Caribbean, Zeroes In on Florida
All eyes are on Major Hurricane Michael, as the rapidly intensifying storm makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida -- so far rerouting at least seven cruise ships in its path. The Category 4 hurricane, which has maximum sustained wind speeds of 145 miles per hour
CruiseCritic.com
Wednesday October 10, 2018
Hurricane Michael Gains Strength, Takes Aim at North Florida
Hurricane Michael intensified into a Category 2 over warm Gulf of Mexico waters Tuesday amid fears it would strike Florida on Wednesday as an even stronger hurricane. Mandatory evacuations were issued as beach dwellers rushed to board up homes just ahead of what could be a devastating hit. A hurricane hunter plane that bounced into the
Vancouver Sun
Tuesday October 09, 2018
Brick or Treat: 7 Reasons to Go to Legoland's Halloween Party
October has arrived, along with everything ghosts, ghouls and pumpkin. Theme parks throughout Florida break out spooky and scary events for the season, including Brick or Treat at the theme park closest to South Florida: Legoland. Unlike some other Halloween events, Brick or Treat is not a specially ticketed event. All Legoland parkgoers can enjoy
South Florida
Tuesday October 09, 2018
Airbnb Activates Open Homes Program for Hurricane Michael
Airbnb activated its Open Homes Program to aid residents of the Panhandle and Northern Florida forced to evacuate from their homes in connection with Hurricane Michael, as well as relief workers arriving to provide assistance. In the event of major emergencies like Michael, Airbnb's Disaster Response and Relief Team activates its host communities
WTVY
Tuesday October 09, 2018
SeaWorld is Building a New Thrill Water Slide and Selling $9.99 Monthly Annual Pass
A thrill water slide is coming to Aquatica in 2019, and SeaWorld Orlando is adding more festivals and cutting the price of its annual passes to as little as $9.99 a month for Florida residents. Dan Dipiazzo, senior leader of marketing, spoke to the Orlando Sentinel earlier this week about the company’s plans in advance of the official opening of its
Sun Sentinel
Friday October 05, 2018
Red Tide Confirmed Off Palm Beach In Rare Outbreak for Florida's East Coast
Florida officials confirmed a rare red tide on the state’s Atlantic coast on Monday after beach goers began complaining about coughing and itchy throats along Palm Beach County over the weekend. While not as high as amounts detected on the Gulf Coast, where a ferocious red tide that appeared last fall has littered beaches with dead sea life
Miami Herald
Wednesday October 03, 2018
Disney World Opens
Walt Disney World Resort opened on this date near Orlando, Florida in 1971. As the largest recreational resort in the world, Walt Disney World Resort now consists of four theme parks, two waterparks and 23 hotels. Walt Disney began looking for an appropriate location as early as 1959
Travel Research Online
Monday October 01, 2018
Delta, JetBlue Accused of Getting "Kickbacks" for Selling Travel Insurance
Delta and JetBlue, two of the largest U.S. carriers, are facing separate class actions that accuse them of failing to disclose to consumers that they receive payments from sales of travel cancellation insurance promoted on their websites. According to the nearly identical lawsuits, which were both filed earlier this month by Florida law firm Leon Cosgrove
CBS
Wednesday September 26, 2018
Carnival's newest cruise ship makes Florida debut this week
Carnival Horizon makes its way to Florida to begin sailing from PortMiami on Caribbean itineraries...
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday September 19, 2018
A look at the Florida Keys resorts open now or reopening later
A year after Hurricane Irma, hotels and resorts in the Florida Keys are gearing up for the fall and winter tourism season...
Miami Herald
Monday September 17, 2018
Norwegian Cruise Ship Leaving Miami Rescues Four Stranded Cuban Nationals Off Florida Coast
Four stranded Cuban nationals were rescued by the Norwegian Getaway earlier this week. The ship delivered them to the ship’s next stop in Cozumel, Mexico. A Norwegian passenger, who goes by Pico on Twitter, wrote that the stranded sailors were spotted by a “flash in the middle of the ocean.” Cruisers then notified the cruise ship workers, who sent a tender to the vessel.
Miami Herald
Friday September 07, 2018
Norwegian Cruise Ship Rescues 4 People Stranded at Sea
While the Norwegian cruise ship had not long departed its homeport in Miami, Florida cruise passengers spotted a flash of light. After informing the ship crew about the light it turned out to be 4 Cuban nationals adrift at sea. The news was first reported by Fox News and was also confirmed by the cruise line.
Cruise Hive
Thursday September 06, 2018
Universal Orlando's Sleek, High-tech Aventura Hotel Debuts
The grand opening of the high-tech Aventura hotel this week will touch off a two-year run during which Universal Orlando Resorts will expand the number of rooms it has in Central Florida by more than 60 percent. The theme park giant is steeped in battle with Walt Disney World and Central Florida hotel companies for a piece of a fast-growing tourism industry, one that saw
Sun Sentinel
Thursday August 16, 2018
Best Water Parks in the Country
Summertime means plunging down water slides, bobbing in wave pools and floating along lazy rivers. At least, that’s how we roll in South Florida, home to water parks and attractions that deliver all of the above in abundance. Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach isn’t South Florida’s only oasis for wet-and-wild fun. For spills there are new inflatable obstacle courses in Dania
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday August 15, 2018
Frontier Adds Two Florida Airports in 11-route Expansion
Frontier Airlines is adding the Florida city of Sarasota to its route map as part of a broader 11-route expansion that also will return the carrier to Fort Lauderdale. Frontier’s flights from Sarasota (airport code SRQ) begin Dec. 10, when the “ultra-low-cost carrier” begins twice-weekly seasonal service to Cleveland (CLE). “This announcement brings the first nonstop service to
USA Today
Tuesday August 14, 2018
Andy's Backyard Comes Alive in Disney World's Toy Story Land
When Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuted in 1989 (then known as Disney-MGM Studios), it was Walt Disney World’s counter to the soon-to-open Universal Studios Florida. Both parks initially let visitors peer behind the curtain of the moviemaking process. But nearly 30 years later, they have largely abandoned the backlot tours, the soundstage presentations, and the special effects
USA Today
Monday August 06, 2018
Florida Hit By Worst 'Red Tide' Bloom in Over a Decade
Red tide, the build-up of a toxic algae in oceans that's harmful to humans and marine animals, isn't unusual in Florida—in fact, it happens every year. But this time it's different: Now stretching into its tenth month is the biggest and longest red tide since 2006, the Miami Herald reports, and it is leaving beaches littered with dead fish and devoid of tourists. Affecting a popular
Conde Nast Traveler
Monday August 06, 2018
See the Plans for Virgin's New Adults-Only Cruise Ship
The burgeoning Florida-based Virgin Voyages offered new images in recent days that reveal some of what one of its upcoming cruise ships will offer in terms of amenities and style. The new cruise liner, The Scarlet Lady, will be the company's first and is due to hit the water in 2020, sailing from the Miami area with a 2,700 passenger capacity and space for 1,150 crew members. Virgin Voyages, which comes from music
NOLA.com
Tuesday July 31, 2018
Thomas Cook to Stop Selling SeaWorld Tickets Over Killer Whale Captivity
Thomas Cook, one of the UK’s largest tour operators, will next summer stop selling tickets to animal attractions that include killer whales. The new policy announced over the weekend means SeaWorld in Florida, one of the world’s best-known attractions, and Loro Parque in Tenerife will be removed from the holiday firm’s site and brochures. Thomas Cook chief
Telegraph (London)
Tuesday July 31, 2018
Celebrity Cruises to Revamp Fleet While Moving Forward on Celebrity Apex
Celebrity Cruises is set to debut its first new ship in more than a decade when Celebrity Edge makes its way to Florida this fall, but the cruise line isn’t slowing down after that. This past week, the second of four Edge-class ships, Celebrity Apex, moved forward with a steel-cutting ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. And earlier this month, Celebrity announced it
Sun Sentinel
Friday July 27, 2018
4 Tips for Protecting Your Trip During Hurricane Season
With some parts of the world still recovering from last year’s brutal hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a slightly-above average stretch this year (through Sept. 1). Planning well in advance for potential disruptions is essential, even if you’re not traveling to a high-risk areas like Florida or the Caribbean, said Justin Tysdal, travel
New York Times
Thursday July 26, 2018
Passengers Overhear Teacher Talking About Low-Income Students, Give Her More Than $500 in Cash
Chicago schoolteacher Kimberly Bermudez has always been the chatty type. So when she was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida to visit her parents last week, and her seatmate asked her what she did for a living, she told him about her first-graders, some of whom are homeless, and all of whom come from low-income families. He asked her: ‘‘What’s the most challenging part of your job?’’
Boston Globe
Wednesday July 18, 2018
Celebrity and MSC Cruise Lines Plan New Florida Terminals to House Their Most Innovative Ships
Florida's cruise ports continue to grow, with two additional lines planning new terminals to accommodate their newest ships. Celebrity Cruises will complete its new terminal at Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fla.) in October in time for the launch of the Celebrity Edge cruise ship. In addition, MSC Cruises has announced plans to complete a new PortMiami terminal by 2022, designed to
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday July 18, 2018
Disney Signature Experiences Go Beyond the Parks
First there was Disneyland, Walt Disney’s groundbreaking foray into the amusement industry and the prototypical theme park. That inspired the massive Walt Disney World in Florida and a collection of theme park resorts across the globe. Disney’s parks have made a tremendous impact on the tourism industry and the ways that people vacation. The company has parlayed its expertise in travel and
USA Today
Tuesday July 17, 2018
Snake On a Plane? TSA Catch Python Hidden in Hard drive at Miami Airport
A man with a python hidden inside an external hard drive was stopped from boarding a Florida plane headed to Barbados. The Miami Herald reports that officers screening luggage at the Miami International Airport Sunday found an “organic mass” inside a checked bag. Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Sari Koshetz says a bomb expert then examined the bag
Vancouver Sun
Tuesday July 10, 2018
New Details Reveal the 'Star Wars' Hotel at Walt Disney World Will Have Special Access
Fans staying at Walt Disney World’s Star Wars hotel will have their own route to the park. According to permits filed with the South Florida Water Management District, the Orlando Sentinel reports, guests of the new hotel will be able to make a short drive from the Hollywood Studios’ parking lot over a drainage canal to get to the main hotel entrance.
Travel+Leisure
Monday July 09, 2018
Disney: New Details on Star Wars Hotel Access
People staying at Walt Disney World’s Star Wars hotel will drive from Hollywood Studios’ parking lot over a drainage canal to get to the main hotel entrance, according to recently filed permits. Several Disney bloggers, including WDW News Today, have reported the new details that emerged from documents filed with the South Florida Water Management District.
Orlando Sentinel
Friday July 06, 2018
Carnival Cruise Line to Return to San Diego as Carnival Miracle Redeploys
San Diego is back as a hub for cruise giant Carnival. The Miami-based line on Thursday announced its 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle would redeploy to the city in late 2019 for a three month season of Mexico and Hawaii cruises. The ship currently is based in Tampa, Florida. "We've got good demand (in the San Diego
USA Today
Friday June 29, 2018
Guitar-Shaped Hotel Tower Nears Top-off at Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood
he Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood has announced it is less than three weeks away from topping off its new guitar-shaped hotel — a 450-foot tower that has become visible for miles around South Florida. The hotel is part of a sweeping overhaul of the Hollywood gambling and entertainment complex, which started in 2016. The existing property opened in 2004.
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday June 26, 2018
Orlando Airport Will Be First in the U.S. to Scan Faces of All International Passengers
All departing and arriving international travelers at Orlando International Airport will soon be asked to undergo a facial-recognition scan, making Florida's busiest airport the first in the country to roll out the biometric technology on such a scale, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials recently announced. If getting your face scanned at a departure gate or
Conde Nast Traveler
Monday June 25, 2018
Why There Are No Mosquitoes at Disney World
Disney World in Florida has gone to extensive lengths to ensure mosquitos don’t kill the buzz for its 20 million plus annual visitors. With a hefty 29 per cent of the state covered in swamp, the family fun park has made safety a priority to ensure the abundance of mosquitos in the surrounding area pose as little risk to visitors as possible.
The Independent
Thursday June 21, 2018
Cruise Ship Tours: Inside Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Classica
Thinking about a quick getaway to The Bahamas? Our latest Cruise Ship Tour, in the carousel above, offers a deck-by-deck look at a vessel that just started up two-night voyages to the island nation from the port of Palm Beach, Florida: The 1,680-passenger Grand Classica.
USA Today
Tuesday June 19, 2018
After Hurricane Irma, Papas returning to Hemingway Days
The Papas are returning, and not a moment too soon. Every July, scores of white-bearded men in stifling wool sweaters, khakis and safari hats make a pilgrimage to Key West for the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike contest. It’s a jolly crew of grizzled wannabes on Florida’s southernmost Key, competing in arm-wrestling contests
Sun Sentinel
Monday June 18, 2018
Tower of Terror Too Scary? More Kid-Friendly Rides Are Coming to Florida Theme Parks
Our Team Speed race car is skidding along the track with a flying pirate ship, a royal bed and three other Lego models, all of them slipping and crashing in cartoon chaos. In front of us, a volcano erupts, a landslide threatens and part of the road rises up and crumbles. I duck to avoid a flying Lego brick.
Miami Herald
Friday June 15, 2018
10 Best Beaches in the U.S.
Each year, Steve Leatherman—also known as Dr. Beach—evaluates America's seashores based on criteria like water, safety, and sand quality. This year's list just came out, and unsurprisingly, the top ten is stacked with strips of sand in Hawaii, the Carolinas, and Florida. This gallery was originally published in May 2015. It has been updated with new information.
Conde Nast Traveler
Wednesday May 30, 2018
Disney Announces When New Star Wars-Themed Land Will Open
Disney announced new details about the highly anticipated upcoming Star Wars land, calledStar Wars: Galaxy Edge, which will open in California and Florida. The new expansion is expected to open in summer 2019 at Disneyland Resort and in late fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort, the company announced. The new world is roughly 14 acres and under construction at both parks.
Miami Herald
Thursday May 24, 2018
Maui's Kapalua Bay Beach Tops Dr. Beach's Best Beach List
A crescent-shaped beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui got the top slot Thursday on the list of best beaches issued annually by a Florida professor known as Dr. Beach. Kapalua Bay Beach topped the list released by Stephen Leatherman, a coastal science professor at Florida International University in Miami.
Vancouver Sun
Thursday May 24, 2018
What's New at Theme Parks: Wonder Woman Coaster, Pixar Pier
Orlando, Florida, doesn’t have a lock on theme park news this summer. Sure, Toy Story Land at Disney World and a new “Fast & Furious” attraction at Universal Orlando will be getting attention. But there are lots of other exciting openings around the country. Fans of Wonder Woman can ride the first coaster named for her, Wonder Woman Golden Lasso Coaster, at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio.
Vancouver Sun
Wednesday May 23, 2018
Take a 'Slothie' at Wild Florida
Up to 10 guests enter the sloths’ enclosure during each encounter. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get the bonus of an interaction with the iguana that resides with the sloths. During my encounter with Ari, the female sloth, she was happy to entertain her guests, while Guy, the male sloth, preferred his resting spot inside a ceramic pot.
Sun Sentinel
Friday May 18, 2018
Rock and Heavy Metal Bands to Rule the Waves on Monsters of Rock Cruise
Hard rock bands Tesla, Extreme, Queensryche and Cinderella singer and guitarist Tom Keifer are among more than 40 featured acts scheduled to perform next year aboard the ninth Monsters of Rock Cruise from Florida to the Caribbean. The cruise, which typically sells out, also offers a roster of metal-themed events aboard ship.
Sun Sentinel
Monday April 30, 2018
Loews Resorts at Universal Orlando Highlighting Florida Flavors
Guests of certain Loews Hotels in Universal Orlando will soon be able to spot some popular names in Florida food and beverage on resort menus. Select Florida-based ingredients, foods and drinks are being highlighted at Loews’ Portofino Bay, Sapphire Falls, and Royal Pacific hotels..
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday April 24, 2018
Founding of the Conch Republic
Drug smuggling and illegal immigration during the early 1980's found a home in southern Florida. The United States Border Patrol set up a roadblock and an inspection point in Key West to stop vehicles for searches. Both local citizens and tourists were greatly inconvenienced. Delays became so notorious that commercial airline traffic actually increased to the community to avoid the checkpoint. The Key West City Council complained to no avail.
Travel Research Online
Monday April 23, 2018
Investigation Raises Concerns Over Allegiant Air's Safety Record
An American airline that flew 12 million passengers last year, to holiday hotspots in Florida, as well as Las Vegas and Los Angeles, is at the centre of an investigation over its “high record of in-flight breakdowns”. Allegiant Air, a budget carrier that serves 120 destinations across the United States, suffered more than 100 serious mechanical incidents
Telegraph (London)
Wednesday April 18, 2018
The Most Unique Vacation Rentals in Florida Include Tree Houses, Hangars, Huts, and Yurts
Whether you’re a Floridian in search of a more adventurous kind of staycation, or a tourist looking to skip the theme parks and resorts in favor of tiny houses or shipping containers, the Internet offers plenty of weird and wonderful options in the Sunshine State.
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday April 18, 2018
The Talbot Islands: paradise on the edge
Separated from the urban sprawl of Jacksonville — Florida’s largest city in area and population — by a marshy back country alive with spirited wildlife, these islands, waterways, coastal forests and beaches defy the presence of a city.
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday April 11, 2018
The 7 Best Places to Go in Florida Now
Millions of people touch down in the Florida each year, drawn by its seemingly endless coastline of white sand beaches, warm weather, and blend of family-friendly and adult activities. In 2017 alone, Florida welcomed a record 116.5 million visitors, according to the state’s tourism division, with more than 102 million coming from other parts of the U.S.
Time
Monday April 09, 2018
The 7 Best Places to Go in Florida Now
Planning a trip to Florida? These cities, including Miami and Pompano Beach, have great amenities and attractions plus competitive prices.
Time
Friday April 06, 2018
Iconic Florida Keys Resort Reopens 6 Months After Hurricane Irma
Another major Florida Keys resort has reopened after being heavily damaged by last September's Hurricane Irma.
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday April 03, 2018
Pickleball at Sea? These Cruise Ships Court Fans With Facilities
The sport, hugely popular in active-retirement communities in Arizona and Florida, is now offered on all 14 Holland America ships.
USA Today
Monday April 02, 2018
Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes Florida-bound Carnival Horizon
Shipyards are spitting out cruise ships in quick order as Carnival Cruise Line took delivery of Carnival Horizon.
Sun Sentinel
Thursday March 29, 2018
Soak Up the Scenery, Silence on a Houseboat Journey Along Florida's St. Johns River
Cruising the St. Johns River by houseboat, you step into that story and recapture a bit of what¿s lost in our workaday lives.
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday March 28, 2018
Norwegian Bliss Leaves Shipyard Ahead of Debut
Norwegian Bliss will be spending the summer sailing in Alaska before repositioning to Florida this fall, but before that, the 168,028-ton ship had to squeeze down the Ems River from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday March 21, 2018
Woman Says She Was Fat-Shamed at Universal Theme Park
A woman who claims staff at Universal’s Islands of Adventure “humiliated” her by refusing to accommodate her size has filed a discrimination complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, WFTV reports.
Yahoo
Monday March 19, 2018
Universal Studios parks get faster, more furious this summer
Fast & Furious is, of course, the name of a crazy-popular movie series. It also could describe the pace at which Universal’s theme parks in Florida and Hollywood are developing new attractions and expanding their offerings.
USA Today
Friday March 16, 2018
Pearl Seas Cruises’ Complimentary Pre-Cruise Packages For Cuba Sailings
Pearl Seas Cruises is pleased to offer complimentary pre-cruise packages for new bookings on Fall 2018 Cuba sailings from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The complimentary package includes a one-night premium hotel stay in Ft. Lauderdale and transportation to the ship.
Travel Research Online
Thursday March 15, 2018
Florida-bound Celebrity Edge Looks to Raise Culinary Bar
When Celebrity Edge makes its way to Florida, it promises to offer the most dining options ever for the the cruise line.
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday March 13, 2018
Evil Empire
On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida first used publicly the phrase "evil empire." In that speech, with reference to the Soviet Union, Reagan said:
Travel Research Online
Thursday March 08, 2018
From Toy Story Land to Fast
With two new rides, Disney's Toy Story Land is the biggest new attraction opening at Florida's theme parks this year. But Universal Studios will have Fast and Furious, SeaWorld will have a whitewater raft ride, and Legoland adds a virtual reality roller coaster
Miami Herald
Thursday March 01, 2018
Can a Travel Boycott Force Florida to Toughen Gun Control Laws?
A 17-year-old survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is calling for college students to boycott Florida as a spring break destination...
The Boston Globe
Thursday March 01, 2018
Travel and Hotel Companies Break Ties to the NRA Amid Anger Over Florida School Shooting
As the nation continues to mourn the lives of 17 children and adults killed Feb. 14 by a gunman armed with an AR-15 rifle, companies have started to end business relationships with the NRA
LA Times
Monday February 26, 2018
Video Tour of the World's First Star Wars Hotel Released Ahead of 2019 Opening - Galaxy Views Guaranteed
The eagerly-awaited Star Wars hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida hotel promises an immersive experience, with guests able to take part in interactive multi-day stories
Telegraph (London)
Thursday February 22, 2018
The United States Purchases Florida
Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies
Travel Research Online
Thursday February 22, 2018
6 Great Gardens to Visit in Florida
With enormous resources they hired some of the nation’s landscape architects to design gardens that are as dazzling as any in the country. Here are six of Florida’s most enticing green oases
New York Times
Monday February 19, 2018
JetBlue Offers Free Flights to Family Members of Shooting Victims to Get to South Florida
On Saturday, JetBlue Airways announced on its company blog that it would offer free flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for families who lost relatives in the Valentine's Day shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland
Miami Herald
Monday February 19, 2018
Allegiant Expands in Destin, Up to 21 Non-Stop Destinations
Budget carrier Allegiant will add five new routes from Destin, part of a broader plan to establish a year-round base at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport in Florida’s Panhandle
USA Today
Tuesday February 13, 2018
Florida's Pinellas County Beaches offer Stretch of Sand for Every Mood
Want to hit the beach this spring break? There's no shortage of options along the Gulf Coast peninsula anchored by St. Petersburg, Fla.
Chicago Tribune
Monday February 05, 2018
So Much to Admire On — and About — Anna Maria Island
This sliver of land off Bradenton on Florida’s west coast seems lifted from an old-time postcard, when bicyclists owned the main street and ladies with parasols strolled the pier in the early evening to watch the sun drop into the ocean
The Boston Globe
Friday February 02, 2018
In a First, Same-Sex Couple Legally Marries at Sea on a Cruise Ship
Celebrity Cruises says South Florida residents Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray tied the knot aboard the line's 2,850-passenger Celebrity Equinox in a ceremony officiated by the vessel's captain, Dimitrios Manetas
USA Today
Wednesday January 31, 2018
The Best Places in Florida Away from the Crowds: Readers' Tips
It's not all showy spectacle, queues, rides and golf in the Sunshine State: historic sites, glorious gardens, quiet beaches and Biff's burger joint also feature
The Guardian
Thursday January 25, 2018
Getting a Leg Up on Lego Ninjago Days
Legoland Florida's newest Ninjago event features ninja action, new film, character meet-ups and group builds on weekends through Feb. 3. And it's in the home of Ninjago: The Ride
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday January 24, 2018
Orlando Airport Begins Construction of $2.1 Billion South Terminal
As Orlando International Airport tries to keep up with passenger growth, its main project this year is construction of a new terminal that will rank as one of the most costly public-works projects ever in Central Florida
Orlando Sentinel
Monday January 22, 2018
First Ride: Aboard Florida's New Brightline Train
For now, trains will run between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. But the railroad will expand to Miami later this year, with full service to Orlando still two years away
USA Today
Monday January 15, 2018
Florida Hotel Refuses Rooms to People Based on Where they Live
A Florida couple was shocked to find out a local hotel would not rent them a room for the very fact that they live in town
ABC15
Wednesday January 10, 2018
A Florida Wildlife Safari: Where to see Crocs, Giant Pelicans, Otters in the Wild
Go on a wildlife safari to see crocodiles in the Everglades, white pelicans in Charlotte Harbor, Key deer, manatees, otters, wild horses
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday January 03, 2018
MSC Seaside to Begin Florida Cruising this Week
MSC Seaside is set for its Miami debut on Thursday with a naming ceremony featuring godmother Sophia Loren and celebrities Dan Marino, Mario Lopez, Ricky Martin and Andrea Bocelli
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday December 20, 2017
Exploring Florida's Panhandle, Campground by Campground
For a taste of the seasons without the inconvenience of snow, go no farther than Florida's Panhandle, especially during the autumn and winter months as snowbirds and tourists gravitate toward Central and South Florida
Sun Sentinel
Thursday December 14, 2017
Florida or Dubai – Which is Best for a Family Holiday?
Which is the destination for you? In Orlando, it’s almost all about the theme parks, but fear not – there’s plenty more. Dubai is known for its enclosed resorts – but there is plenty of life beyond those walls
Telegraph (London)
Monday December 11, 2017
Book it: Four Luxe Hotels for a Taste of Glamour
Whether shopping in New York, sunning yourself in Florida or Barcelona, or hitting the slopes at Courcheval, be sure to head to one of these luxe hotels for a taste of glamour (and a smattering of stardust)
Telegraph (London)
Monday December 11, 2017
Sick of Theme Park Crowds? Here are 10 Ways to Escape
Within an hour of Orlando, you can see wildlife, delve into history, learn to swing on a trapeze or a zip line, ogle old war planes, ride a train into Old Florida or try a different kind of wine-tasting
Miami Herald
Thursday December 07, 2017
Mark Twain
On this day in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the small town of Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pseudonym, Mark Twain, the writer proved to be one of the true originals of American literature
Travel Research Online
Thursday November 30, 2017
Allegiant selects Design, Construction teams for Florida Hotel-Condos
Allegiant officials on Tuesday announced the design and construction teams for a hotel and condominium complex spanning 22 acres of beachfront property in western Florida.
Las Vegas Review Journal
Wednesday November 29, 2017
A Glam Hollywood Hotel, in an Unlikely Florida town
It’s a traditional bit of Americana — no high-rises allowed and nary a Missoni microkini in sight. But the casual, family-friendly beach is also home to a glamorous jewel of a boutique hotel with Hollywood lineage. Royal Blues Hotel was opened three years ago by Hollywood producer Edward Walson
The Boston Globe
Monday November 27, 2017
What to Pack, When to Hit the Road, for your Thanksgiving Holiday Trip
Take along rain gear if you're headed to Florida or the Pacific Northwest; sweaters and a knit cap for the Midwest and the Northeast; and if you're coming to Southern California for Thanksgiving, a swimsuit and sunscreen

Wednesday November 22, 2017
Seven of the Coolest Hotel Experiences Around the World
Hotels today offer an incredible variety of amenities; you can learn new skills, support local communities, and of course avail yourself of those spas and white-sand beaches. From mountainous Bhutan to sunny Florida, we've rounded up seven of the coolest hotel experiences around the world
Forbes
Thursday November 16, 2017
December filled with Holiday Boat Parades across Florida
The thousands of lights reflecting on the water make for a unique holiday experience while passengers celebrate and speakers pump out holiday tunes. Here’s some of the best options
Sun Sentinel
Thursday November 16, 2017
Winter Travel: Southwest Airlines Sale offers Fares starting at $55
Southwest Airlines winter sale: One-way trips from South Florida to New York or Washington for $90 and round trip to the Caribbean for $59
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday November 15, 2017
Florida Hotels and Resorts line up Cyber Monday deals
Florida hotels and resorts hope to entice holiday shoppers with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Several properties offer up to 30 percent off nightly rates for mutli-night stays. One hotel is offering a free three-night stay if you book a wedding on its property
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday November 08, 2017
Peak South Florida Cruise Season Opens with 'Smart' Ships, Fancy Terminals, Luxe Voyages
It’s time for South Florida’s annual peak cruise season, and passengers are about to be greeted with “smart” ships that offer high-tech concierge services, a re-imagined cruise terminal with a movie theater, digital avatar sailing companions and ultra-luxury voyages with butler service
Sun Sentinel
Monday November 06, 2017
Florida Lines Up Ice, Snow, Parades and More for the Holidays
Celebrating the holidays in Florida is easier than remembering the names of Santa's reindeer this season, with a multitude of events across the state
Sun Sentinel
Thursday November 02, 2017
Florida-Based Travel Agency Fails to Make Vacation Payments; Travelers' Trips Canceled
Where did their money go? That’s what a Port St. Lucie couple wants to know. Judy Go and her husband are out nearly $7,000 they paid to a travel agency, Legendary Journeys, only to have their trip cancelled this week
wptv.com
Monday October 30, 2017
Key West marker Restored after Hurricane Irma
Artists have restored one of the most photographed tourism icons in the Florida Keys after it was damaged by Hurricane Irma. The last brush strokes were placed on the “Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A.” marker Monday
The Washington Post
Thursday October 26, 2017
Seminole Hard Rock's Guitar-Shaped Hotel is Finally Happening. Here's the First Look
On Wednesday, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Hard Rock International previewed the progress of its long-touted guitar-shaped hotel. The $1.5 billion project includes a new Hard Rock Live venue, lagoon-style pool and larger casino
Bradenton Herald
Thursday October 26, 2017
Cruise Lines return to Puerto Rico and Urge Travelers to Book Caribbean Sailings
Officials with Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean International as well as Florida-Caribbean Cruise Assn. announced a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign to encourage vacationers to book cruises into the hurricane-hit Caribbean
LA Times
Tuesday October 17, 2017
Beware These 13 Theme-Park Curses
In recognition of this month’s Friday the 13th, here are 13 instances of bad luck in or around Central Florida’s theme parks
Sun Sentinel
Friday October 13, 2017
Cruise Ship that made Hstoric Return to Cuba to Become Azamara Pursuit
Most notably seen in Florida sailing under Carnival Corp.'s short-lived Fathom brand, Adonia, will be switching companies, getting a makeover and become Azamara Pursuit
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday September 27, 2017
Legoland Florida Adding Virtual Reality To Coaster
The Winter Haven theme park is revamping its existing Project X roller coaster into a new experience called The Great Lego Race VR Coaster. It is scheduled to open at Legoland Florida sometime next year, the park announced Tuesday
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday September 20, 2017
Irma Emptied Hotels Before it Arrived in Florida. A Week Later, Some are Still Closed
According to first statistics on Irma’s impact to tourism, hotels in Miami-Dade were only 42 percent full between Sept. 6 and 9, the days following evacuation orders in areas of South Florida. That occupancy rate was nearly 38 percent less than the same time last year, according to data analytics firm STR
Miami Herald
Tuesday September 19, 2017
Those who Fled Irma on Cruise Ship describe 'Awfull' Conditions
The ship, which is operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, tried to get a jump on the storm and had returned to Miami on Sept. 7, two days early, to unload. But many people couldn’t find hotel rooms or flights out of Florida, so when offered a chance to stay aboard for free, they took it
New York Post
Wednesday September 13, 2017
Hurricane Irma: Here's when Florida's Airports are Reopening (list)
Nearly all of Florida’s busiest airports east of the state's "Panhandle" have halted flights during of Hurricane Irma. Now, those airports have begun what's expected to be a slow restart of commercial airline service
USA Today
Tuesday September 12, 2017
Travel Companies Have a New Clientele: Hurricane Evacuees
Travel companies that typically transport vacationers to carefree getaways became part of the very real struggle by evacuees to get out of town or find lodging in the days before and after Hurricane Irma made its fatal sweep through the Caribbean and Florida
New York Times
Tuesday September 12, 2017
Irma Update: Royal Caribbean, Carnival to Resume Cruises from Florida on Tuesday
With Irma safely to the north, six Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships will depart from the ports of Miami and Fort Lauderdale on shortened sailings
USA Today
Monday September 11, 2017
Hurricane Irma: 2,000 Florida Flights Already Canceled, More Likely
Thousands of flights have been canceled in Florida – many preemptively – amid a rush of fliers trying to flee the state ahead of Irma’s possible landfall this weekend. Airlines expanded their change-fee waivers to include airports as far north as the Carolinas
USA Today
Friday September 08, 2017
Hurricane Irma: A Complete List Of Cruises Canceled, Delayed
Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are among the cruise lines making significant changes to upcoming sailings out of Florida
USA Today
Thursday September 07, 2017
Tourists Flee and Hotels Prepare to Welcome Evacuees as Irma Nears
Most hotels in Miami Beach were largely empty Wednesday as tourists heeded the advice of local officials to clear out of South Florida. Hotels are preparing to evacuate travelers or move them to sister properties
Miami Herald
Thursday September 07, 2017
Cruise Lines Cancel More Sailings As Irma Approaches Florida
Cruise giant Carnival and Disney Cruise Line late Tuesday joined Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line in cancelling upcoming sailings out of Florida as Hurricane Irma bears down on the state
USA Today
Wednesday September 06, 2017
Where's the Party? Depends on Whether you Want your Halloween Sweet or Scary
From cute pumpkin figures and trick-or-treating to chainsaws and Brain Eaters, Halloween events at Florida’s theme parks cover the full sweetness-to-horror spectrum
Miami Herald
Friday September 01, 2017
Allegiant Air to Build $600M Beachfront Resort in Florida
Allegiant Air is flying into the hotel business. The Las Vegas budget carrier will announce plans Tuesday to build a beachfront resort with a hotel, nine condominium towers and a marina spanning 22 acres in western Florida
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Thursday August 31, 2017
Halloween Events Get Going Early Across Florida
From major events like Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Horror Nights to smaller, family-friendly events like the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden's Zoo Boo Bash, the sunshine state has celebrations for everyone
Sun Sentinel
Thursday August 24, 2017
Fort Lauderdale City Guide: How to Spend a Weekend in the Venice of America
From soaking up some rays to hitting the Everglades, here’s how to spend 48 hours in this low-key Florida destination that’s on the up and up
The Independent
Wednesday August 23, 2017
Homewood Suites Joins Hotel Boom
The new Hilton Homewood Suites in the University Town Center area is the latest in a string of Southwest Florida hotel projects to open this year. The hotel, which is owned by Manatee County-based Benderson Development Company, features a mix of studio and one-bedroom rooms equipped with kitchens and separate living areas
The Herald Tribune
Tuesday August 22, 2017
Florida Zoo is Latest Charity to Move Gala from Trump Resort
The Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society and the American Friends of Magen David Adom said last week they decided not to hold fundraisers at the Palm Beach, Florida-based resort
The Washington Post
Monday August 21, 2017
8 Reasons to Visit Sarasota, Starting with the Circus
One might be excused for not immediately thinking of Sarasota when planning a Florida getaway. The city, located on the southern Gulf of Mexico, along with its surrounding beach communities of Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island, have a lot to recommend them
Sun Sentinel
Friday August 18, 2017
Florida Airports Battle Over Using The Name 'Orlando'
Officials from the board which runs Orlando International Airport in Orlando are objecting to the use of the name "Orlando" by the Orlando Melbourne International Airport on the Atlantic Coasts and by the Orlando Sanford International Airport that's on the periphery of the greater Orlando area near a town called Sanford
USA Today
Thursday August 17, 2017
Family Turned Away from Airport Lounge for Wearing Minnie Mouse T-shirts
Emma Raikes was travelling to Disneyworld, Florida with her two-year-old niece, mother and five other family members. Emma’s mother Jane had paid £700 for the group to relax in the lounge ahead of their nine hour and 30 minute international flight
The Independent
Tuesday August 15, 2017
From Canopy Walk to Gator-Filled Waters, this Florida Park Offers Wildlife Aplenty
Sarasota county' 29,000-acre Myakka River State Park boasts birds, reptiles and one of the country' few treetop walks
The Washington Post
Monday August 14, 2017
Young Girl Falls from Carnival Cruise Balcony, is Airlifted to Florida Hospital
A 3-year-old girl is in stable condition after falling from the balcony of the Carnival cruise ship late last week. The incident took place on Friday afternoon aboard the Carnival Breeze, which was heading back to Galveston, Texas, following a cruise to the Bahamas
Fox Travel News
Monday August 07, 2017
'Star Wars' Virtual Reality Experience to Open near Disney Parks this Year
“Star Wars” lovers now have something else to get excited about this holiday season. Disney will be launching its hyper-realistic virtual reality experience near both of its parks – Downtown Disney in Anaheim and Disney Springs in Florida
Fox Travel News
Monday August 07, 2017
Florida Keys Resort Gives a Hero's Welcome to Military, First Responders
Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys is making a visit extra enticing for past and present members of the military, police officers, firefighters and EMTs with its Heroes Salute program
Sun Sentinel
Thursday August 03, 2017
Winter Park's Alfond Inn Makes Magazine's List of Best Hotels in the World
The Alfond Inn, owned by Rollins College, was one of four Florida hotels to be honored. The Alfond nearly topped another of the World’s Best Awards list: It was No. 2 among the top city hotels in the continental United States
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday August 01, 2017
Miami Incorporated
The City of Miami was incorporated on July 28, 1896. Julia Tuttle, a wealthy widow from Ohio, moved to the southern tip of Florida in 1891 and purchased 640 acres on which to farm
Travel Research Online
Friday July 28, 2017
World's Busiest Cruise Ports are in Florida
If you are one of the 25 million passengers expected to take a cruise this year, chances are your travels may take you to Florida. Port Miami welcomed 4.8 million passengers last year, making it the busiest port in the world
LA Times
Tuesday July 25, 2017
Roadside Attractions: 50 Things to do When Traveling State Road 50
Florida’s highways are rife with roadside attractions dating to pre-Disney days, and State Road 50 has no shortage of destinations worth the drive. The highway stretches 115 miles almost from coast to coast
Sun Sentinel
Friday July 21, 2017
This New Hotel near Key West is Getting Lots of Buzz — and a Miami Family is Behind It
The Perry Hotel, a new contemporary, maritime-inspired hotel near Key West on Stock Island, is a family project in every sense of the phrase. It’s the first joint, ground-up development in recent years for the Weiser clan, whose history in South Florida’s hospitality industry stretches to the 1970s
Miami Herald
Tuesday July 11, 2017
Florida Travel: Lake Placid full of Murals, Caladiums and Clowns
Lake Placid was named after the famous Lake Placid in the New York Adirondack mountains at the suggestion of Dr. Melvil Dewey, namesake of the famed Dewey Decimal System. Apparently, inventing a proprietary library classification system just isn’t enough for some people
Sun Sentinel
Thursday June 29, 2017
Comparing On-Property Stays at Legoland Florida
When Legoland Florida opened on the former site of Cypress Gardens in 2011 it didn't have a hotel. Now it has two. Which is the better choice?
Miami Herald
Monday June 26, 2017
Allegiant Air's Newest Destination: Providence
Allegiant Air will make Providence its newest destination, announcing plans to launch three new routes there this fall. Allegiant’s first Providence flights will begin Sept. 28 with non-stop service to Punta Gorda in Southwest Florida
USA Today
Wednesday June 07, 2017
1,100 miles: Discovering Florida's Hidden Trail
Dozens of hikers head to the trail's start every year, a small plaque engraved in stone behind a visitor's center on U.S. 41 halfway between Naples and Miami. Few of them make it to the end, to the northern terminus 1,100 miles away, among the faded brick ruins of a long abandoned military fort off Pensacola Beach
Sun Sentinel
Monday June 05, 2017
Florida Resorts Offer up Savings and Unique Deals for Summer
It’s officially summertime in Florida so grab your sunscreen and your flip flops because deals are hot and adventures abound all over the state
Orlando Sentinel
Thursday June 01, 2017
Orlando’s Not the Only Hot Spot — Theme Park Fun Around U.S.
Orlando, Florida, often gets the spotlight when it comes to theme parks. This year is no exception with the openings of Disney World’s Pandora-World of Avatar and Universal’s Volcano Bay water park. But plenty of new attractions are opening elsewhere, from interactive rides that offer different experiences each time you go, to new parks in Alabama and North Carolina
Vancouver Sun
Tuesday May 30, 2017
Explore America’s Stunning Marine Sanctuaries Without Getting Wet
The United States is home to many underwater treasures: the haunting shipwrecks of Thunder Bay, the colorful corals of Gray’s Reef, the barnacle-covered statue of Christ in the Florida Keys. For most Americans, however, these sights are out of reach
The Huffington Post
Friday May 26, 2017
New Attractions Coming to Multiple U.S. Theme Parks in 2017
Orlando, Florida, often gets the spotlight when it comes to theme parks. This year is no exception with the openings of Disney World's Pandora-World of Avatar and Universal's Volcano Bay water park. But plenty of new attractions are opening elsewhere, from interactive rides that offer different experiences each time you go, to new parks in Alabama and North Carolina
Chicago Tribune
Thursday May 25, 2017
Finding My Florida
Long before hanging chads and headlines like “Lakeland Woman Treats 6-Foot Gator Like a Baby,” my splintered family shared a unifying dream: Florida, where true happiness was to be found among palm trees and miles of beaches. It was where everything would be O.K. It was our promised land
New York Times
Tuesday May 23, 2017
Trump's Doral Resort Pushing for Property Tax Break
Dealing with political dramas like firing the FBI director didn’t keep President Donald Trump from trying to trim his South Florida property tax bills. While Trump on Thursday was at the White House fending off criticism for ousting James Comey, an attorney for Trump National Doral was in Miami arguing to lower the golf resort’s nearly $1.8 million 2016 tax bill
Sun Sentinel
Friday May 12, 2017
Brightline's Fort Lauderdale Train Station: All aboard for first tour
The new Brightline train station in downtown Fort Lauderdale has given a sneak peek to dozens of South Florida transportation officials. The tours wrapped up a daylong transportation summit at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday. The glass-enclosed second floor of the train station, near the 200 block of W. Broward Boulevard, offered a 360 degree view of the city but there is much work left to do
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday May 10, 2017
Some of the Best Vacation Lodging is Inside Florida's State Parks
When you're searching for a Florida getaway, you may look in AirBnb, HomeAway, hotels.com or just do a Google search. And it's very likely that none of those places will lead you to one of the best sources of vacation lodging – cabins in Florida state parks. Florida state parks are exceptional – they've been named the best in the nation three times, something no other state park system can claim
Sun Sentinel
Thursday May 04, 2017
Big summer for Disney parks: Pandora and Guardians of Galaxy
The Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! attraction opens at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California. Pandora — The World of Avatar is a 12-acre land opening at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. But the creative designer behind the attractions says you don’t need to know anything about either movie to enjoy them
The Washington Post
Tuesday April 18, 2017
All-female craft beer festival coming to Florida
Women in the beer industry are banding together Memorial Day Weekend to for country's the first FemAle BrewFest in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The event will highlight female beer experts and brewers in the industry. At the festival, presented by women’s advocacy group Fem Collective, you can expect beer tastings, art, food from local female-owned restaurants, and live music
Fox Travel News
Tuesday April 18, 2017
Cruise crazy: Couple sets record with 200th Carnival sailing
Bernard and Janice Caffary have 30 more voyages booked with the line. Carnival this month celebrated the Florida couple's 200th cruise with the line — a record for the Miami-based company
USA Today
Monday April 17, 2017
It's sea turtle season in Florida. Here's how to see them.
Many Florida beaches welcome a special type of visitor as the weather gets warmer: sea turtles. Female sea turtles crawl out of the water from spring to early fall to build nests and lay eggs on the beach at night
The Washington Post
Friday April 14, 2017
Florida Officials Propose Hyperloop That Could Make Miami-to-Orlando Trip in 26 Minutes
The Hyperloop would shuttle riders between the two cities in only 26 minutes
Miami New Times
Thursday April 13, 2017
Hotels draw crowds, customers with special events
Central Florida’s hospitality industry increasingly is developing special events on its own properties. The goals: Entertain their guests, introduce themselves to locals and maybe lure away some customers
Orlando Sentinel
Monday April 10, 2017
Passenger on JetBlue flight bound for Florida overdoses on heroin
A plane that was about to depart Kennedy Airport for Florida was forced to return to the gate Wednesday when a 24-year-old man overdosed on heroin and anxiety medication, officials said
Fox Travel News
Friday March 24, 2017
The high-speed trains which will halve your Miami to Orlando journey
Rail travel in Florida is on track to be transformed this summer with new 125mph trains running north from Miami from July. The express train is known as Brightline. Unlike the existing Amtrak service, it is a privately funded initiative
The Independent
Monday March 20, 2017
Florida-bound Carnival Horizon reaches construction milestone
Carnival Horizon still has another year before its debut, but it's heavier by a few ounces today as it had its commemorative coin welded to the ship's mast
Sun Sentinel
Monday March 13, 2017
South Florida's newest Four Seasons hotel is set open March 27
On Friday, Miami-based developer Fort Partners hosted ribbon-cutting festivities for its new 77-room Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, which is slated to open to guests on March 27
Sun Sentinel
Monday March 13, 2017
Today in History
On March 8, 1983, President Ronald Reagan, in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida first publicly used the phrase "evil empire." In that speech with reference to the Soviet Union, Reagan said
Travel Research Online
Wednesday March 08, 2017
Save or Splurge: Vacation Rentals in Florida
TripAdvisor Rentals has picked 10 rentals in five popular destinations to fit your budget
USA Today
Tuesday March 07, 2017
Cruise ship passengers say construction at sea spoiled vacation
Some passengers on a South Florida-based cruise line said their vacation was spoiled by construction
Miami 10 News
Wednesday March 01, 2017
Florida's Siesta Beach named best beach in the U.S.
Florida is king of the beach again in the annual TripAdvisor Travelers
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday February 28, 2017
New food tours offer deep dive into Key West seafood, rum
Chef Paul Menta is passionate about fish and rum - the subjects of colorful stories over the years in his adopted home, the Florida Keys
Miami Herald
Friday February 24, 2017
TripAdvisor ranks the best beaches in the world
TripAdvisor has named Brazil’s Baia do Sancho as the best beach in the world in its Travelers’ Choice awards for 2017, while Florida's Siesta Beach topped the list for beaches
USA Today
Wednesday February 22, 2017
The United States Purchases Florida
Spain was losing its grip on its New World territories. Years of war and tension with England and France had left the Spanish empire without the means to firmly control its colonies. General Andrew Jackson, while fighting the First Seminole Wars against Native Americans in Georgia
Travel Research Online
Wednesday February 22, 2017
Whats new at Bok Tower? Ask the kids
Bok Tower, open since 1929, is well known for its lush gardens and 60-bell carillon atop a 205-foot beautifully constructed structure covered with Georgia marble, Florida coquina, and floral ceramic tiles.
Boston Globe
Friday February 17, 2017
Allegiant Airlines cancels New Orleans to Jacksonville nonstop route
Allegiant Air has discontinued nonstop flights from New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida, a little more than year after announcing the new connection
The Times-Picayune
Thursday February 16, 2017
Disney Parks Just Got More Expensive... Again
A Disney vacation just got a little more expensive. The company announced over the weekend that prices at its theme parks in Florida and California will increase, along with the costs of some annual passes
The Huffington Post
Monday February 13, 2017
Disney Just Announced the Opening Date for the Avatar-themed 'Pandora'
Disney Parks announced on Tuesday that the new “Avatar” theme park will open at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, on May 27
Travel+Leisure
Wednesday February 08, 2017
Greetings from the Redneck Riviera
Some of the most stunning white sand beaches in the country are located along the Florida Panhandle. Some call it the Emerald Coast, I call this paradise the Redneck Riviera
The Boston Globe
Monday February 06, 2017
Discover the other side of Florida – Naples
In the third part of this seven part series, Simon Calder travels across the Sunshine State where he explores another Naples, finds an abundance of oysters and visits the smallest post office in the USA
The Independent
Thursday February 02, 2017
Discover the other side of Florida – Kissimmee
In the second of this seven part series, Simon Calder travels across the sunshine state where he discovers a romantic name, takes a kayak trip and eschews Disneyland in favour of playing Tarzan
The Independent
Monday January 23, 2017
'I literally wanted to die': Woman claims she was bitten by hundreds of bed bugs at Atlantis resort
A Florida woman filed a lawsuit against the Atlantis Paradise Resort in the Bahamas alleging that she woke up covered with crawling bed bugs
Fox Travel News
Friday January 20, 2017
Underwater artwork delights Florida scuba divers
It’s not every day you get to flipper-kick your way through the staterooms of a sunken ship and gaze at artwork while you’re at it
USA Today
Wednesday January 11, 2017
What's new at Florida cruise ports in 2017
2016 was a good year for Florida cruise ports as far as shiny new ships are concerned. Just in the last two months, South Florida's Port Everglades and Port
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday January 03, 2017
Take A Peek Inside Disney's Magical Avatar Theme Park
Leave it to Disney to give fans everywhere a holiday present. The company released a sneak peak of Pandora ― the world of Avatar theme park on Christmas Day, ahead of its summer opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida
The Huffington Post
Thursday December 29, 2016
Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas makes Australia debut
While Florida enjoys the spoils of the three largest cruise ships in the world, there's one class of ship from Royal Caribbean that has never called Florida
Sun Sentinel
Thursday December 22, 2016
Emeril Lagasse opening new restaurant in South Walton, Fla.
Heading to the Florida panhandle this spring? Emeril Lagasse plans to open a new restaurant in the Grand Boulevard vacation community in South Walton
The Times-Picayune
Thursday December 22, 2016
Disney World: New holiday treats sweeten the season
Lights twinkle year round at Mickey's Florida home, but during the holiday season Walt Disney World positively sparkles. Some of the largest crowds of the year descend on the resort to enjoy its decked halls, Christmas-themed shows, and other holiday hoopla along with the parks' celebrated rides and attractions
USA Today
Wednesday December 14, 2016
The 20 Best Resorts in Central Florida: Orlando and Beyond
Condé Nast Traveler readers voted in this year's Readers' Choice Awards and let us know their favorite resorts in central Florida. Unsurprisingly, many of them are affiliated with Disney World
Condé Nast Traveler
Wednesday December 14, 2016
The 10 Best Resorts in The Florida Keys
Condé Nast Traveler readers voted in this year's Readers' Choice Awards and let us know their favorite resorts in The Florida Keys, which include everything from private island hideaways to fully equipped cottage colonies
Condé Nast Traveler
Friday December 09, 2016
Approved! Royal Caribbean, Norwegian are going to Cuba
You'll soon be able to sail from Miami to Cuba with a major cruise line. The parent companies of cruise giants Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line today announced they had received Cuban government approval for the brands to operate voyages to the country from Florida
USA Today
Thursday December 08, 2016
Disney World: New holiday attractions light up the season
Lights twinkle year round at Mickey's Florida home, but during the holiday season Walt Disney World positively sparkles
USA Today
Monday December 05, 2016
The 20 Best Hotels in Florida
Condé Nast Traveler readers voted in this year's Readers' Choice Awards and let us know their favorite hotels in the Sunshine State
Condé Nast Traveler
Monday December 05, 2016
Legoland Beach Retreat will open April 7
Legoland Florida Resort's newest sets of accommodations, the Legoland Beach Retreat, will open April 7
Sun Sentinel
Thursday December 01, 2016
Mark Twain
On this day in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in the small town of Florida, Missouri. Better known by his pseudonym, Mark Twain, the writer proved to be one of the true originals of American literature
Travel Research Online
Wednesday November 30, 2016
Fun alert! Biggest Carnival ship ever begins sailings from Miami
Another new giant of the seas is now calling Florida home. Carnival Cruise Line's six-month-old Carnival Vista on Sunday began year-round sailings from Miami
USA Today
Tuesday November 29, 2016
Inside the world's most expensive cruise ship suite
Love to cruise but can't stand the crowded buffets and over-booked shore excursions? Onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ new ship Seven Seas Explorer—which begins sailing to the Caribbean from Florida this December
Fox Travel News
Monday November 14, 2016
JetBlue adds another Florida-California cross-country route
JetBlue is adding a cross-country route that will connect two of the carrier’s “focus cities.” Starting May 3, JetBlue will fly one daily round-trip flight between Fort Lauderdale and Long Beach, Calif
USA Today
Tuesday November 08, 2016
South Florida Educator Named Harmony of the Seas Cruise Ship Godmother
Royal Caribbean International has named Brittany Affolter, a manager with Teach for America, as godmother of Harmony of the Seas, its third Oasis-class cruise ship. Harmony of the Seas arrives in its U.S. homeport of Fort Lauderdale on November 8
CruiseCritic.com
Tuesday October 25, 2016
Everything You Need to Know About Zika, in the U.S. and Abroad
If you’ve been following the advancement of the Zika virus—the mosquito-borne disease that’s been spreading throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and most recently, into southern Florida—it may feel as though the virus is unstoppable
Condé Nast Traveler
Friday October 14, 2016
10 alternatives to popular holiday destinations
There’s a reason why everyone flocks to destinations like New York City, South Florida and Cancun in December and January — between great weather, fun activities and festive atmospheres, they’re popular around the holidays year after year
USA Today
Thursday October 13, 2016
Hurricane Matthew Forces Cruise Port Closures
Six U.S. cruise ports have shut down as a result of the imminent threat of Hurricane Matthew, which is expected to approach Florida's east coast Thursday evening
CruiseCritic.com
Friday October 07, 2016
Best theme parks in the United States
No one does theme parks like the US. You’ll find dozens of family fun magnets scattered all across the country, from Disney’s and Universal’s vast entertainment metropolises in California and Florida to more than a dozen roller-coaster-packed parks by Six Flags
Escape
Tuesday October 04, 2016
Zika Virus Has Many Americans Rethinking Fall Travel To Florida
Florida's tourism industry is likely to take a big hit this fall as millions of Americans say they won't be traveling to the Sunshine State amid concerns over the Zika virus
Fox Travel News
Tuesday September 27, 2016
You'll Never Guess Where These Stunning Photos Were Taken
Florida is known as the place where shuttles launched into space. But the view from the ground is pretty nifty, too. Mark Andrew Thomas is a Florida-based wildlife photographer who grew up near the Everglades, a tropical wilderness of varied ecosystems fed by a slow-moving “river of grass” some 60 miles wide
The Huffington Post
Monday September 19, 2016
Grim news kept people away from theme parks
Heading into this summer, all signs were pointing to another banner year for Florida’s attractions. But it has been a cruel summer, especially for Orlando. In June, Orlando was stunned by the shooting death of “Voice” singer Christina Grimmie at a local venue, a massacre at the Pulse nightclub and a fatal alligator attack on a child at Disney World
Miami Herald
Wednesday August 31, 2016
Reports of Zika transmission in Miami Beach may threaten $24B tourism industry
Florida health officials reportedly have found evidence of local Zika virus transmission in Miami Beach, a popular tourist haven that saw 15.4 million holiday revelers flock to its beaches in 2015 alone
Fox Travel News
Friday August 19, 2016
7 great tiki bars in the Florida Keys
One of the things we love about the Florida Keys is the spot where authentic tackiness meets postcard views, and fresh fish meets pina colada: the tiki bar. If a Keys vacation were a college major, Tiki Bar 101 would be a required course. From north to south, here are a few of our favorites to help you meet graduation requirements
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday August 09, 2016
Florida’s $82 Billion Tourism Industry Braces for Zika
After enduring the years of ups and downs that came with being a part of Wynwood’s transformation from a struggling warehouse district into Miami’s hot new neighborhood, the restaurateur Ivette Naranjo thought the worst was behind her
New York Times
Thursday August 04, 2016
The 5 Best Private Island Resorts
From the South Pacific to the Florida Keys, discover paradise at the best and most beautiful private island resorts, where natural beauty abounds—and doing nothing is simply everything
The Huffington Post
Friday July 29, 2016
Florida May Have Its First Zika Virus Outbreak
Florida health officials said Tuesday they were investigating a possible case of Zika that wasn't carried back by a traveler. If it's confirmed, it would be the first evidence that Zika has spread to mosquitoes in the continental U.S. All cases up to now have been in people who traveled to Zika-affected regions or their sexual partners
NBC
Wednesday July 20, 2016
How to make money on your next road trip
Marc Gorlin was sitting in his truck in Montgomery, Ala., needing to get bathroom tile from Birmingham to the Florida Panhandle, when he was struck with a realization: Dozens, if not hundreds, of people would just so happen to be making that trip in the coming days or weeks
Chicago Tribune
Thursday July 07, 2016
Stunning Time-Lapse Video Captures The Magic Of Walt Disney World
t’s Walt Disney World as you’ve never seen it before. Filmmaker Anthony Cortese of Silver Pin Studios has captured Disney’s four theme parks in central Florida in high-definition time-lapse video with scenes made even more dramatic with a little help from nature
The Huffington Post
Wednesday July 06, 2016
Disney subtly removes gator references from its parks | Fox News
Disney, in the wake of this month's deadly alligator attack at one of its Florida resorts, is quickly removing gator references — even cartoon depictions — from park shows and displays, according to published reports
Fox Travel News
Thursday June 30, 2016
Walt Disney World: New attractions in all four parks this summer
Is a trip to Disney World on tap this summer? You'll want to revisit old standbys such as Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror of course. But there will be plenty of new features to discover as well. Let's run down what the Mouse has debuted this year at the massive Florida resort
USA Today
Wednesday June 29, 2016
New Travel Channel series '7 Water Wonders' to feature Florida resort pools
The premiere of the new Travel Channel series "7 Water Wonders" is slated to feature pools at three Florida resorts when it debuts this Sunday. The show that will air at 11 p.m. on June 19 will give viewers a closer look at the life aquatic to be had at Palm Beach County's Eau Palm Beach Resort
Sun Sentinel
Thursday June 23, 2016
Rest and Relaxation in Islamorada, Florida
Islamorada, a “village of islands”, is literally sprawled across various islands along the northern Keys, halfway between Miami and Key West. This sprawl reflects the town’s laid-back pace, where aside from fishing and water sports, there isn’t really much to do except sip something cool and soak up the rays
The Huffington Post
Thursday June 09, 2016
World's 25 most popular amusement parks
Mickey Mouse reigns again. The world's most famous mouse house has topped the list of the world's 25 most popular theme and amusement parks. The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida welcomed more than 20.4 million visitors in 2015, a 6% increase of over 2014, according to a report released Wednesday
CNN
Friday May 27, 2016
The best beaches in the Florida Keys
Almost every section of Florida has wider and sandier beaches than you'll find in the Keys. But the turquoise Caribbean water? And the fish and sea life you see snorkeling right off shore? And the whole Keys atmosphere and attitude? Yeah, you can't find that anywhere else
Sun Sentinel
Thursday May 26, 2016
The 12 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.
From the sunny beaches of Florida and California to the Arizona desert and beyond, these are the best places in America to retire
Condé Nast Traveler
Wednesday May 25, 2016
A Plush Hideaway in the Florida Keys
On Little Palm Island in Florida, guests can swim, kayak and lounge with a well-made cocktail (though the key deer can be frisky)
New York Times
Tuesday May 24, 2016
Florida's best beaches
With miles and miles of sandy shore, Florida has the perfect beach to fit your vacation dreams
Fox Travel News
Monday April 18, 2016
In St. Augustine, the Castillo is a rock star
If there is one destination in Florida that encompasses the rich tapestry of the Sunshine State's 503 years, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument --the iconic fortress in St. Augustine-- is it. The massive coquina-and-tabby structure located on Matanzas Bay has been a sentinel standing
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday April 12, 2016
7 Ways to Experience St. Augustine Florida
Ready for sun, cobble stone streets, rich history and beaches? If you have never graced the brick laid streets of St. Augustine then, my friends, plan a trip! It is hands down one of my favorite all time places to visit. From historic museums to ghost tours there is truly something for everyone!
The Huffington Post
Monday April 04, 2016
You know about Florida's alligators, but there's so much more to see at Everglades National Park
Spotting an alligator in Florida is a lot like spotting cattle in Texas. You don't need to look very hard because they're everywhere. There's even a toll road nicknamed Alligator Alley where the 150-million-year-old reptiles can be seen lolling alongside the highway
Sun Sentinel
Friday April 01, 2016
Avoid This Spring Break Vacation Rental Scam
When Shelly Stamis saw an ad online for a vacation home in Florida at only $200 a night, she thought she had found the ultimate vacation steal
NBC
Thursday March 31, 2016
Olympic and Everglades national parks differ in most ways except one: Their survival affects ours
To go where the wild things are, hit our national parks. Olympic in Washington and the Everglades in Florida tell contrasting tales of a treasure-trove of creatures but speak as one voice about why their survival matters
LA Times
Tuesday March 29, 2016
St. Augustine for foodies
The nation's oldest city has a fresh take on food. St. Augustine, founded in 1565, is attracting food lovers for its farm-to-table cuisine and agritourism opportunities. From the city's signature Minorcan clam chowder, to the blast of flavor from its prized datil peppers, to the harvests of nearby farms, the food scene showcases Florida's history and diversity with modern twists
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday March 22, 2016
Daily cruises to Havana may be on the horizon, cruise companies say
Cruise line companies at a conference in Florida this week have their eye on starting operations to Cuba. But it's complicated
LA Times
Friday March 18, 2016
What is the best family hotel in the U.S.?
Orlando is king for family-friendly resorts. So say the readers of TripAdvisor, who made their choices for best family hotels and resorts in the website's Travelers Choice Awards this month.The No. 1 choice was Floridays Resort Orlando, on International Drive just outside Walt Disney World
Sun Sentinel
Tuesday March 15, 2016
Cruise delayed after woman suffers injury from a Champagne cork
Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas didn't get far from its Florida port Thursday when a passenger on board got hit by a flying Champagne cork and needed to be taken off the ship by an emergency crew
Fox Travel News
Tuesday March 08, 2016
Coast Guard searching for man who fell off ship near Florida
The Coast Guard is searching for a Texas man who fell from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship off the coast of Key Largo, Florida
Fox Travel News
Monday March 07, 2016
What are the best restaurants in Florida?
Three restaurants in Florida have garnered AAA's five-diamond rating. Those are Palme d’Or in the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Salt at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach and Victoria
Sun Sentinel
Monday February 15, 2016
Solitude, spring breakers can both be found in Florida Panhandle
Dolphins leaping in the sea. Shells glistening on the shore. Perfect miles of white sand beaches that make you happy to be alive. The treasures of the Florida Panhandle belong to all of us and none of us. And whether you respond to this place with parties or solitude, it’s up to you
USA Today
Friday February 05, 2016
Florida hotel named best for romance
Henderson Park Inn in Destin has earned the top spot in the Travelers' Choice Awards for Romantic Hotels
Sun Sentinel
Wednesday February 03, 2016
Holland America's Florida-bound cruise ship Koningsdam finishes sea trials
Holland America's Koningsdam has completed sea trials and now will get the finishing touches before its planned April debut
Sun Sentinel
Monday February 01, 2016
What are the best hotels in Florida?
Florida took two of the top 25 and ranked in several other categories of the annual TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards for 2016
Sun Sentinel
Thursday January 28, 2016
A new railway rivals a glamorous past
Before Walt Disney came Henry Flagler, who made Florida a tourist hotspot by laying rails along the state's east coast. Now, a new high-speed train is set to follow in his tracks
BBC Travel
Tuesday January 26, 2016
Allegiant adds direct New Orleans flights to 2 Florida cities
Allegiant Air will launch nonstop flights from two Florida cities
The Times-Picayune
Wednesday January 20, 2016
Four beautifully-designed destinations to put on your radar in 2016
An Italian-inspired coffee bar in New York, a French brasserie in Florida, a Brazilian science museum and a high-end Swiss hotel
Globe and Mail
Thursday January 07, 2016
5 best family resorts in America
Located in must-visit vacation destinations, such as Florida, Hawaii and Las Vegas, Gayot's favorite family resorts offer close proximity to top tourist attractions, as well as envious on-site movie theaters, bowling alleys and water parks.
Fox Travel News
Wednesday December 30, 2015
Cruise insider: A walk through the revamped Disney Dream
Florida Today's Suzy Fleming Leonard offers a tour of new attractions on the Disney ship
USA Today
Tuesday November 24, 2015
Touring the lesser-known Florida Keys
Most visitors to south Florida stick to Miami or Key West. But in between are towns and islands that surprise with their natural beauty, culinary delights and friendly residents.
USA Today
Tuesday November 10, 2015
New Florida train service to whisk passengers between Miami and Orlando
A privately owned and operated passenger rail line will link Florida cities by mid-2017.
USA Today
Monday November 09, 2015
Florida Keys: Best stops on the Overseas Highway
Most visitors head straight to Key West, but Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada or Key Largo offer great fishing, diving and incredible wildlife
CNN
Tuesday November 03, 2015
Florida Keys: Best stops on the Overseas Highway
Most visitors head straight to Key West, but Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada or Key Largo offer great fishing, diving and incredible wildlife
CNN
Tuesday October 20, 2015
Countries in the making: 8 micronations open to visitors
From the Florida Keys and Nevada to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, bands of plucky citizens across the world are declaring their parcels of land to be micronations – independent states that are not recognized by other countries or by international bodies like the United Nations
Fox Travel News
Tuesday October 13, 2015
The end of shrinking airline seats? Minimum seat size petition launched in US
Passengers are finally being listened to in the US, as a Florida-based body files a petition demanding legal limits on the size of plane seats
Telegraph (London)
Wednesday September 30, 2015
Florida's best beach hotels and places to stay on a budget
From a five-star hostel by Miami beach to a campsite on Florida's white-sand barrier islands, here's our pick of affordable beach accommodation in the Sunshine State
The Guardian
Tuesday September 29, 2015
Silversea unveils another epic South America cruise
Luxury line Silversea is planning another epic sailing from Florida to South America and back for 2017. The 63-day voyage on the 540-passenger Silver Spirit will kick off Jan. 16, 2017
USA Today
Tuesday September 29, 2015
Sneak peek inside Disney World's new Indiana Jones restaurant
Disney this week released details about its new Indiana Jones-themed restaurant at Disney World in Orlando, Florida
Fox Travel News
Monday September 21, 2015
Airlines start waiving Florida change fees ahead of Erika
Southwest Airlines an American Airlines have issued flexible rebooking policies for some Florida airports as Tropical Storm Erika appears increasingly likely to affect the state
USA Today
Monday August 31, 2015
Disney announces 'Star Wars' themed lands for Florida, California parks
Disney theme parks have their sights on a galaxy far, far away
Fox Travel News
Monday August 17, 2015
MSC Changes Water Policy for North American Passengers on Europe Cruises
MSC Cruises has changed its water policy in preparation to re-enter the North American market with the return of MSC Divina to Florida and the arrival of MSC Seaside
CruiseCritic.com
Thursday August 13, 2015
Legoland first theme park to have own currency listed on exchange board
The Legoland Florida Resort will be the first theme park to have its official money listed on a currency exchange board
Fox Travel News
Wednesday August 12, 2015
World's top 25 amusement parks
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida welcomed more than 19 million visitors in 2014
CNN
Thursday June 04, 2015
Southwest says it's now the second-busiest carrier at Washington National
Southwest Airlines will add a new route to Florida out of Washington's Reagan National Airport (DCA)
USA Today
Tuesday June 02, 2015
Top ways to experience the Everglades
Florida isn't all theme parks and towering beachside condos. Here's how to explore its famed "river of grass"
CNN
Tuesday May 26, 2015
Legoland's second U.S. hotel blasts off at the Florida theme park
Legoland opened its second U.S. hotel last week at Legoland Florida Resort. In a grand kickoff, the plastic brick empire blasted thousands of Lego mini-figures from cannons atop the party-colored resort hotel in Winter Haven, Fla., midway between Tampa and Orlando
LA Times
Tuesday May 19, 2015
Miami: Little Havana has a lot of charm
Miami's South Beach may have all the glamour, but the rest of Florida's largest city rewards exploration
The Independent
Wednesday May 06, 2015
36 Hours in Key West, Fla.
From visiting Hemingway haunts to paddleboarding in mangroves, Florida’s southernmost key offers something for everyone in the family
New York Times
Thursday April 30, 2015
6 Florida Islands That Are Better (And Usually Cheaper!) Than The Caribbean
If you're craving an exotic beach escape to one of the best islands in the world, then head to Florida
The Huffington Post
Thursday April 30, 2015
For Visitors to the Florida Keys, More Hotel Choices
The room capacity of the Florida Keys has been on the rise, with nine new or substantially renovated hotels spread along the 125-mile island chain
New York Times
Thursday April 23, 2015
10 Best Buzziest Spring Break Destinations for 2015
This year's top spring break destinations for college students include the Colorado Rockies, Caribbean, Florida beaches, and Costa Rica
USA Today
Tuesday March 31, 2015
10 Best Places to Go in Florida
If you're dreaming of your next Florida vacation, no trip to the Sunshine State is complete without a visit to the 10 best places to go in Florida
Smarter Travel
Friday March 20, 2015
Ithaca, New York, tourism site: Don't come here, go to Florida
Just how cold is upstate New York? Apparently, it's so bad that those whose job it is to boost visits to Ithaca say tourists should rethink their plans
CNN
Wednesday February 18, 2015
In Key West, a Taste of Cuban Coffee Culture
The Florida Straits island offers the next best cafe con leche beyond Havana
New York Times
Friday February 06, 2015
Easy beaches: Six hassle-free Florida escapes
Get the best of Florida's famed sun and sand without the crowds and expense
USA Today
Friday January 30, 2015
Woman pays $164K per year to live on luxury cruise ship
Lee Wachtstetter, an 86-year-old Florida widow, took her daughter
USA Today
Tuesday January 20, 2015
10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
With an abundance of charming getaways dotting both its Gulf and Atlantic sides, the Florida seashore just might be the perfect escape from the busy city
Smarter Travel
Wednesday December 03, 2014
Feel young again in ’Old Florida’
Does the idea of spending time in the Magic Kingdom with the Mickey Mouse gang leave you thinking "Oh, rats!"? Does the idea of spending time with the hot people of Miami’s trendy South Beach leave you cold? Well, don’t give up on Florida just yet
CNN
Thursday November 06, 2014
First look: New day cruises from Florida to Bimini
Always wanted to visit Bimini in the Bahamas? A new fast ferry service to the destination that started up this week from Fort Lauderdale is making it easier
USA Today
Friday October 17, 2014
Why see the best of Florida when you can see the weirdest?
When you first turn into Cassadaga, it looks like any other small town, with bungalows, neat lawns and wide streets
Globe and Mail
Tuesday October 07, 2014
Frequent Flyer Programs to Get Fed Scrutiny
Florida resident Alan Grayson has accrued a whopping 10 million frequent-flyer miles. And like many mileage-collectors, he’s hopping mad about the airlines’ continual devaluation of their loyalty programs, and their callous disregard for his best interests as a program member
Smarter Travel
Tuesday September 30, 2014
Tampa: Bay of plenty
Florida’s unsung coastal city of Tampa has swapped ’surf and turf’ for ceviche and craft beer to become a foodie destination
The Independent
Thursday September 25, 2014
Most romantic Mid-Atlantic beaches
Florida and the Caribbean aren’t the only spots for a romantic beach getaway. There are plenty of perfect-for-couples locales within a few hours’ drive of the major metro regions of the Mid-Atlantic