Florida is the most southern state in the USA and offers its visitors a unique mixture of societies and beautiful environments. It is famous for its amazing coastline with gorgeous beaches, estuaries and bays; its weather and its beaches, as well as its food and theme parks, particularly Disneyland. The countryside is flat, with many wetlands and lakes spread throughout the 4 regions; North, Central and South Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Cities tend to be large and sprawling, and most of the rural areas farming crops like sugar cane and citrus lie far removed from the tourist areas. The Florida Keys are a group of subtropical islands that lie between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The climate in Florida tends to be on the balmy, with more humid sub-tropical areas in the north and semi-tropical temperatures in the south. Breezes tend to give a little relief from the heat by the coast, though it is the inland areas that are cooler during the winter months. No matter where you decide to head to in Florida, there are plenty of accommodation options in the major cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando and elsewhere throughout the country.
- Thanks to its bountiful sunshine, Florida was where the first widely used suntan lotion was invented.
- Florida has over 30,000 lakes and 1,000 golf courses.
- The name Florida is Spanish and translates as “Feast of Flowers”.
- The Everglades are the only place worldwide where crocodiles and alligators coexist.
- Watch out for thunderstorms in Clearwater, it´s the city with the highest number of lightning strikes per capita.
- In Pensacola there is an annual mullet toss where 1000´s of Floridians stand at the state line and toss dead fish into Alabama.
Things to Do
Florida has a great climate for outdoor activities, but sometimes you need to escape the heat and head indoors. Thankfully there are plentiful opportunities to do both. We at Wimdu have listed a few examples of some things to check out on your visit there.1) The Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex is the U.S. space port for the manned missions to the moon and the Space Shuttle and a great destination for anyone fascinated by our exploration of space. Take it one step further by heading to the Space Shuttle Launch, the only place in the world where you can watch a manned space launch.
2) The Salvador Dali Museum in St Petersburg has the largest collection of Dali´s work outside of Europe.
3) Visit the unique Everglades Park by car along the US 41 to get a real feel for how large this park really is. An airboat ride through the swamps is a thrilling experience you won´t forget!
4) Fishing fans will love Florida for its amazing freshwater and saltwater fishing locations with large species such as Largemouth Bass, Tarpon and Sailfish to be found.
5) Head to the beach and soak in the sun. Daytona Beach, Panama City Beach, and West Palm Beach are some of the best in the state.
6) Visit one of the many water and theme parks around the country, Disneyland being the biggest and most famous of course! However there is also Sea World, Wet and Wild, Universal Studios and the Discovery Cove.
Florida´s Food Delights
Florida is known for its export of citrus fruit, which grow plentifully in the warm climate, as do strawberries, grapefruit, mangoes, avocados and many others. Local specialities which are worth trying are alligator (tastes seemingly just like chicken) and key lime pie, made from the local key limes. Southern food is available in most of North and Central Florida, and barbecue shacks are popular throughout the state. Try some boiled peanuts, often sold at the roadside. Strawberries are also a treat not to be missed when in season.
With such an impressive coastline it´s evident that seafood features largely in the seaside areas. Grouper fish are caught plentifully in Florida, with most restaurants buying the fish straight from the fishermen. Cuban food is also widespread in the Miami and Tampa area, with common dishes like black beans and rice, and sandwiches and desserts.
Florida has four main airports; Orlando International Airport, Miami International Airport, Tampa International Airport, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. There are a number of other airports spread around the state which may be closer to your ultimate destination, so do watch out for these when planning your trip. For getting around in Florida, you can either take the Greyhound or RedCoach buses that connect all the major cities, the relatively expensive train service or else get a car rental and discover Florida along the highways and interstates.
Accommodation and Apartments for Rent in Florida
There are many type of accommodation rentals on offer in Florida, with self-catering villas being amongst the most popular. Compared to a hotel or a hostel, a villa or apartment with Wimdu offers much more flexibility and comfort, not to mention a more personal approach. If you fancy something a bit smaller, you can always opt for a room with a bed and breakfast option or without, either way, you´ll get the feel for how the locals live and have a friendly host to hand to help you with local recommendations and insider tips.