Florida is known as the Sunshine State, probably due to its year-round sunshine as well as the sunny demeanour of its residents. This holiday destination attracts visitors from all over the world to enjoy the theme parks, impressive scenery, warm coast, and famously large portions of home-cooked food.
While many guests visit mainly for Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Orlando, and the other parks, there is much more to do and see if these attractions aren’t to your taste. There’s the exhilarating wildlife of the everglades, culture in the form of the Dali Museum and others, plus countless shopping malls, beaches, nightclubs, and delicious places to eat.
Families – Kids will adore an Orlando holiday, due to it being known as the theme park capital of the world
Nature lovers – With the swampy Everglades and the impressive snorkelling opportunities, Florida has great natural bragging rights
Foodies – Delicious dishes in gigantic portions!
Walt Disney World is so popular that it is often the main reason for Europeans travelling to Florida. While it’s seen as a park for children, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, or even if you’re a Disney fan at all – the thrill and magic of the rides, the attractions, and the setting are incomparable. Over 50 million people visit Walt Disney World every year, so isn’t it time you joined them, or went back to make more memories?
Orlando hosts some of the greatest theme parks in the world and was named the number one most visited city in the USA by Travel Pulse. Outside of the fantastic Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks, you’ll discover untouched nature parks, romance for couples at Ivanhoe Village, culture at countless museums or the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and a nightlife to suit all tastes
If you prefer the idea of combining peace and quiet with a theme park holiday, the small town of Kissimmee offers both. Venture into the historic downtown and you’ll find a welcoming time warp back to a period when classic American diners reigned supreme. While you can find more up-to-date attractions outside of central Kissimmee, you can also find Old Town USA, which is a replica village that aims to bring the town’s history to life.
If you’re hungry to relish the famous Florida coastline, Clearwater is a delightful holiday destination that provides beautiful beaches and a scenic seafront, as well it being just a drive away from Walt Disney World. The nightlife in Clearwater is great, whether you’re downtown or still enjoying the buzzing beaches, which wake up as the sun sets. Add great places to eat, like the Tarpon Springs restaurants just a short way away, and you have yourself a spectacular holiday destination.
The glamorous Miami of the movies is much like the glamorous Miami of the real world: drenched in the sun, filled with art lovers and roller-bladers, and blessed with one of the most perfect city skylines on the planet. It’s a colourful city packed with charming districts and a wide variety of different cultures, and when night falls, you’ll find both giant mega-clubs and more sophisticated outdoor bars and cafes.
Key West is at the southernmost tip of the USA and is a popular stop-off point for cruises. It was also home to one of America’s most enduring writers, Earnest Hemingway, which gives the area a bohemian appeal. Key West also offers a trail of historic landmarks and the opportunity for some of the best watersports in the country. Enjoy a lively nightlife in one of Florida’s more unique destinations, relishing the music, beaches, and divine seafood.
Fort Lauderdale has over 100 nightclubs and more than 4,000 restaurants, which gives it an incredible appeal to party-lovers and food fans. Pass between canals and waterways as you tour the city, which define Fort Lauderdale’s love for the water, including its sandy beach, its pristine seafront, and the many watersports and diving opportunities close by.
Florida holidays aren't just for the theme parks, but it’s impossible not to mention Walt Disney World and all its fantastic rides, experiences, and adventures. However, you can also visit Florida for the unforgettable cities such as art-filled Miami and water-tracked Fort Lauderdale, and absorb the magnificent beauty of the Everglades, where you can learn about the wildlife while hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and even jet skiing through the wetlands.
Florida is a joy for theme park lovers, and offers some of the most popular attractions in the world. Of course, there are also the state’s famously sun-kissed, smooth-sand beaches, but you’ll almost certainly want to enjoy wide the range of experiences at Walt Disney World and the rest. As well as meeting Mickey and trying out all that Disney has to offer, you can ride the Cobra’s Curse and the high-standing Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens, experience the movies like never before at Orlando Studios Florida, and more.
The state is home to the incredible Everglades, where visitors can experience Florida’s wildlife and fauna at its rawest. Across the rest of Florida you’ll also find a swamp safari in the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, the vast expanse of Lake Okeechobee, and the chance to snorkel in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Monroe County. If you’re staying in Miami (or fancy a long drive), Butterfly World is filled with natural wonders, and features flowers and insects of all the colours of the rainbow.
Florida is a country that’s internationally famed for its theme parks and beaches, but if you look a little closer you’ll also find cultural activities and attractions detailing Florida’s love of art as well as its unique history. In Miami, the broader aspects of Floridian culture are found in the Winwood Arts District and the Cuban culture-infused Little Havana. As for Orlando, there is the Orlando Museum of Art and the Mannello Museum of American Art, plus exhibitions describing the state’s past like the Osceola County Welcome Center, History Museum, and Pioneer Village, and the Maitland Art and History Museums.
Stone Crab Claws are a delicious, meaty snack that’s also naturally sustainable, due to the crabs’ unusual ability to regenerate its claws. If you want to try something unique, you’ll have plenty opportunities to try alligator, which has a similar taste to chicken but has a distinctly fishy aftertaste. Try the grouper fish, which is a dense, delicious food that’s great in a sandwich, the deliciously popular Key Lime Pie, and the boiled peanuts which are a tasty snack found in a lot of bars.
In Orlando, while you may be visiting for the theme parks, you’ll still want places to visit during your evenings whether you’re with children or not. If you’re with a group or your partner you may want to visit Wall Street Plaza and the Downtown clubs, while if you are with younger family members there’s the Kings Bowl Orlando for a family-friendly evening out, or for a spectacular show there’s the Cirque du Soleil. Meanwhile, there are parties to be found every night of the week in Miami, and on the island of Key West there are happy hours galore, atmospheric dive bars, and plenty of live entertainment.
The USA’s visa waiver programme allows British tourists to stay for up to 90 days without a visa. However, you will still need to register through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), which you can find here.
Find the most up-to-date information on gaining entry to and travelling around the USA here.
• Orlando International (MCO)
• Miami International (MIA)
• Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
• Key West International Airport (EYW)