Discover The Real Florida

Discover The Real Florida

The following guide has been written for​ those who are interested in​ going on​ holiday to​ Florida. Whether you​ seek the fun and​ fantasy of​ Walt Disney World®, great shopping and​ dining, or​ recreation​ and​ relaxation​ on​ fantastic beaches, Florida, the ‘Sunshine State’, has it​ all!

Kissimmee & Orlando

The Kissimmee resort area lies at​ the heart of​ the ‘Sunshine State’, with the highest concentration​ anywhere of​ theme parks and​ attractions. The choice of​ entertainment is​ practically endless. Walt Disney World’s® four parks - The Magic Kingdom®, Epcot® , Disney-MGM Studios and​ Disney’s Animal Kingdom™ - as​ well as​ Universal Studios® and​ Universal’s Islands of​ Adventure® and​ Sea World are all fabulous theme parks you​ won’t want to​ miss. Each park is​ wonderfully unique, providing fun and​ adventure which is​ sure to​ delight visitors of​ every age!

The action​ is​ virtually non-stop, with the parks open late and​ a​ nightlife that is​ equally unique and​ entertaining. in​ the Summer months you​ can even spend a​ balmy evening at​ a​ water fun park like Wet ‘nWild® or​ Typhoon​ Lagoon. There is​ a​ wide choice of​ good quality restaurants often with an​ all you​ can eat buffet, as​ well as​ a​ full range of​ fast food places. you​ can combine dinner with entertainment at​ one of​ the themed dinner attractions in​ the area. in​ case you​ find free time on​ your​ hands, you​ can ‘shop till you​ drop’ in​ one of​ the enormous malls or​ factory outlets. The bargains are great!

The Florida Suncoast

Central to​ the Suncoast are the communities of​ St Pete Beach, Madeira Beach, Indian Shores and​ Indian Rocks Beach. These are uncrowded beach resorts close to​ a​ host of​ activities that make for​ a​ perfect beach holiday. The beach and​ sea are the areas’ greatest attractions, but tourist attractions are plentiful, giving you​ the opportunity to​ do as​ little or​ as​ much as​ you​ please. for​ years visitors from all over the world have enjoyed Busch Gardens, the Salvador Dali Museum and​ Sunken Gardens, among the many fun and​ interesting places within​ easy reach. Sports enthusiasts will delight in​ the range of​ activities whether you​ are a​ participator or​ a​ spectator: fishing, boating, golf, tennis and​ baseball to​ name just a​ few. The proximity of​ St. Petersburg, Clearwater and​ Tampa offers an​ even wider choice of​ places to​ explore, restaurants to​ enjoy and​ shops to​ discover. The restaurants range from the deliciously sophisticated to​ the irresistibly informal, from fresh lobster to​ pizza and​ beer! Madeira Beach has outstanding fishing and​ is​ particularly famous for​ John’s Pass Village and​ Boardwalk - a​ unique collection​ of​ shops, boutiques and​ restaurants built on​ the water. From here you​ can hire boats for​ the day (or forever!). Indian Shores and​ Indian Rocks Beach are the ‘friendly island’ towns with a​ welcoming and​ laid back Florida lifestyle.

Sarasota Area

The Sarasota/Bradenton​ area is​ easily accessible from Orlando. The area contains some lovely beaches, local shops and​ good family restaurants. The Sarasota area offers botanical gardens, fine museums, performing arts, world class golf courses, upmarket shopping, boating and​ other watersports - there is​ something for​ everyone!

Anna Maria Island​ is​ a​ peaceful seaside community with no high rise hotels, lovely sandy beaches and​ turquoise-blue Gulf waters. you​ can even enjoy the serene beauty from the island’s delightful beachfront dining facilities. a​ perfect year round location​ for​ families and​ couples.

At the southern end of​ the Sarasota area is​ the island​ of​ Siesta Key. Siesta Key’s award winning beaches are officially recognised as​ having the most pristine, powdery white sands in​ the world. No sand​ is​ quite like it; even under the burning subtropical sun, it​ feels cool to​ the touch! to​ the visitors who flock here each year, the enchantment is​ many-fold: miles of​ wide white walking beach, elegant gourmet restaurants, a​ quaint village with resident artists and​ interesting shops, and​ an​ island​ ambience all of​ its own.

South of​ Sarasota lies unspoilt Manasota Key. With an​ average year-round temperature of​ 75ºF and​ the sea nearly always in​ the 80’s, it​ is​ not surprising that those who have discovered one of​ Florida’s best kept secrets have not been in​ a​ hurry to​ tell others! you​ will often see dolphins at​ play just off the beach and​ logger-head turtles in​ the sand. Collect shells, take a​ relaxed dip in​ the sea and​ watch the sun go down. The small charming seaside town of​ Venice is​ just minutes away.

The Englewood area offers a​ choice of​ restaurants and​ shopping. Fabulous Boca Grande Island​ with its excellent beaches and​ quaint village is​ closeby. The area’s smaller keys such as​ Palm Island​ and​ Little Gasparilla have regular ferry services and​ tempt you​ to​ try a​ real desert island​ day out.

Sanibel, Captiva and​ Fort Myers Beach

Sanibel and​ Captiva islands are a​ vacationers’ paradise, enjoying an​ average yearly temperature of​ 82ºF. The area is​ surrounded by the Gulf of​ Mexico to​ the south and​ west. this​ unique position​ makes the area a​ mecca for​ seashell collectors. The only ‘main’ road on​ Sanibel is​ Periwinkle Way which winds its way through the centre of​ the crescent shaped island​ lined with trees and​ bike paths. Biking is​ a​ must on​ Sanibel. The “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on​ Sanibel is​ a​ 5000 acre preservation​ area which can be enjoyed via a​ scenic biking, walking or​ driving route. Two public golf courses, tennis, boat rentals and​ charters are readily available. at​ the south end of​ Periwinkle Way are clusters of​ shops and​ boutiques tucked unobtrusively among tropical landscaping and​ offering a​ most delightful melange of​ clothing, souvenirs, arts and​ crafts.

Fort Myers Beach on​ Estero Island​ is​ 7 miles of​ sugar sand​ beach-front along the inviting Gulf of​ Mexico. The gentle sloping shoreline, calm waters and​ relaxed atmosphere make Fort Myers Beach a​ favourite with families. The location​ is​ also ideal for​ a​ day trip to​ the Everglades or​ a​ visit to​ the secluded islands of​ nearby Sanibel and​ Captiva. The town of​ Fort Myers is​ a​ short drive away and​ offers many golf courses, shopping malls and​ attractions including the winter homes of​ Thomas Edison​ and​ Henry Ford. Back on​ the beach enjoy sporting activities such as​ cycling, tennis or​ boating, or​ take a​ leisurely stroll at​ sunset on​ the crystal-white sandy beach. Dine at​ restaurants right on​ the beach, where fresh local seafood awaits you​ or​ enjoy the casual atmosphere of​ the many eateries and​ bars.

Naples and​ Marco Island

Naples is​ a​ great après-theme-park escape for​ the discerning visitor to​ Florida. Just 3 1/2 hours drive from Orlando and​ 11⁄2 hours drive from Miami, its sweeping Gulf beaches are just a​ stones throw from the Everglades. The superb Naples lifestyle is​ still relatively unknown to​ visitors, but a​ visit here will reveal why so many people want to​ return again​ and​ again. Every corner of​ Naples holds an​ image of​ tropical bliss, from swaying palm trees and​ technicolour sunsets to​ landscaped communities and​ sparkling waterways. Naples is​ known for​ its upmarket shopping. Both 3rd Street South and​ the Village of​ Venetian Bay offer a​ unique cluster of​ speciality shops, open air cafes and​ restaurants. Cultural pursuits include a​ resident Philharmonic orchestra, theatres and​ first-rate art galleries and​ museums. Other entertainment includes the Pier, Jungle Larry’s Zoological Gardens, Collier Automotive Museum, and​ even a​ Teddy Bear Museum! for​ those who are passionate about golf, you’ll find paradise on​ a​ par with the unparalleled lifestyle.

Situated at​ the corner of​ the Sunshine State is​ Marco Island, the largest of​ the ‘Ten Thousand​ Islands’ and​ a​ gateway to​ the Everglades. Just six miles long and​ four miles wide, the island​ has over three miles of​ beautiful white sandy beach and​ waterways reaching into every corner of​ its inland​ landscape. Marco Island​ simply surrounds you​ with opportunities: over thirty golf courses conveniently closeby, close to​ seventy restaurants, the Everglades National Park, a​ historic trail with charming boutiques, factory outlet shopping and​ an​ endless range of​ watersports.

Florida Keys and​ Key West

The Florida Keys, Highway 1 ‘The Overseas Highway’ and​ forty-two bridges connect this​ string of​ coral rock islands. Bounded on​ the east by the clear blue waters of​ the Atlantic Gulf Stream and​ on​ the west by the tranquil Florida Bay and​ the outlying fringes of​ the Everglades, the Keys enjoy the second largest coral reef system in​ the world. The reef protects the Keys and​ is​ the reason​ why there are no sandy beaches on​ these islands. America’s foremost underwater parks - John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and​ the adjacent Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary - cover approximately 178 nautical square miles and​ are the area’s star attractions. you​ must see and​ experience the wondrous enchantment of​ the ancient coral landscape, home to​ an​ extensive variety of​ fish and​ undersea life, either as​ a​ shallow water snorkeller or​ a​ deep-water scuba diver. Dive shops, guides, charters and​ equipment in​ the Upper Keys are abundant.

133 miles from the southernmost tip of​ the Florida mainland​ is​ Key West an​ island​ where the famous and​ infamous alike come to​ enjoy a​ lifestyle with a​ European flavour and​ an​ all-American flair. Key West is​ home to​ poets, writers, artists and​ craftsmen all lured by its special way of​ life. Stay in​ Key West and​ leave your​ car parked. Key West is​ a​ town that never seems to​ sleep, but instead seems to​ come alive as​ the sun goes down. Each evening jugglers, musicians and​ street artists convene on​ the Mallory Dock for​ the Sunset Celebration. The streets are filled with sidewalk cafes, open-air bars, legendary pubs and​ world-class restaurants. Discover Duval Street, ‘the longest street’ in​ America because it​ stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to​ the Gulf of​ Mexico! Here you​ will find the world famous Sloppy Joe’s, Rick’s Cafe and​ the home of​ the Pina Colada. The nightlife is​ exceptional with theatre, cabaret, and​ so many dining experiences from fresh seafood to​ Cuban cuisine.

South East Florida

Palm Beach offers a​ rich variety of​ water pleasures, which include boating, fishing, snorkelling and​ deep-sea diving, and​ features more than 150 golf courses. on​ the western border lies the Everglades, a​ truly unique ecosystem. Enjoy a​ quiet al fresco lunch in​ Palm Beach itself and​ watch the rich and​ famous go by. Palm Beach, charming and​ elegant, is​ located entirely on​ a​ barrier island​ and​ is​ home to​ the historical mansions of​ some of​ the world’s best-known families.

South Beach is​ the red hot destination​ for​ visitors from all over the world. South Beach has long been a​ magnet for​ celebrities, sophisticates and​ fun-lovers from all over the world who thrive on​ its cosmopolitan atmosphere, chic restaurants and​ night-clubs and​ fabulous beaches. Seen around town ….Cindy Crawford, Will Smith, Jennifer López, Cameron​ Diaz, Robert De Niro and​ Gloria Estefan to​ name a​ few. South Beach is​ also a​ mecca for​ shoppers looking for​ trendy boutiques. Adding to​ the light-hearted fun of​ the colour palette are the pastel painted Art Deco hotels, the landmark of​ the historical area.

Fort Lauderdale is​ characterised by broad esplanades and​ boulevards, shaded by tall palm trees, elegant sidewalk cafés and​ marinas filled with gleaming yachts. Sawgrass Mills, with over 400 name brand​ stores and​ the world’s largest outlet mall. Las Olas Boulevard, in​ the heart of​ downtown Fort Lauderdale is​ a​ beautifully landscaped, gas–lighted street and​ is​ lined with chic boutiques and​ fine dining spots.

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