Your own island

Searching for the Five Star in Florida

Holidays in Florida can only be described as fun in the sun; why else would it have been nicknamed the Sunshine State? It isn’t all crowds, fast-paced rides and theme parks however and those who desire to find luxury holidays in Florida will be pleased to learn of Orlando’s many idyllic, neighbouring resorts.

When we think of Florida, we often associate it with the Walt Disney World Resort – one of the most renowned theme parks to date. However, despite boasting a playground to both children and children at heart, it is also home to a number of luxury resorts, many of which offer ultimate relaxation.

Your own island

Sandpiper Bay

Sandpiper Bay, located just two hours from Orlando and Miami, is one such indulgent resort. Despite showcasing a large element of relaxation however, it’s suited to both families and sportsmen.

Budding golfers can perfect their swing at one of the 15 courses in the surrounding area, whilst fitness fans can try their hand at a beach workout. Other popular activities include sailing down the St Lucie River, exploring nearby Miami on a Harley Davidson and sharpening up your tennis skills with an expert coach.

St Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa Bay

Those searching for a picture-perfect beach will need to head west on the coastline, where you will find the shore enveloped by inviting, golden sands. St Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa Bay are just a few of the more renowned beach spots, boasting powder-soft sands and clear blue waters.

Naples

Further South stands the sophisticated Naples, a popular hangout with the chic individuals amongst us. The Everglades National Park is another must-see resort and is home to a range of wildlife including crocodiles and manatees.

Florida Keys

Diving enthusiasts looking to indulge in a little laid-back luxury will certainly welcome an opportunity to visit the southernmost tip of Florida – the Keys. Wander the sand-fringed shores barefoot, switch off and get ready to chill.

When you long for a little life, the sharp contrast of nearby Miami boasts the ultimate haven for those that love to party. Miami also boasts a little more culture than anywhere else in Florida, with Spanish influences and its art-deco legacy.

Little Venice

If you want more than just leisurely activities, head to the east coast. Here you will find Little Venice, the NASA Kennedy Space Centre and Fort Lauderdale. All of these travel hot spots boast a backdrop of the dramatic Atlantic Sea – the ideal holiday hotspot.

Stone scultpures of the Coral Castle

A visitor’s guide to Florida City

Located in Miami-Dade County in the southern region of the state of Florida, Florida City is the most southernmost city in the USA. Although not as popular as other cities in the region it’s full of exciting attractions and provides visitors with an alternative view of the state. Those looking to spend a week in this American city will have a lot to keep them busy.

Stone scultpures of the Coral Castle

Historical features

A good way to start a weeklong vacation here is by visiting Coral Castle. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Coral castle is a stone structure that is said to have been constructed, entirely unaided, by Edward Leedskalnin in the early 1900s.

Dining and entertainment

For a healthy lunch, ‘Robert Is Here’ is a well-known fruit stand and is a landmark of the city. Established in 1960 visitors can choose from a selection of exotic fruits and can tickle their taste buds with unusual treats including a key lime pie smoothie. The afternoon can then be spent checking out the deals at the city’s popular factory shops and outlets, ideal places to find great for gifts or souvenirs.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is popular for its hearty breakfast and brunch menu as well as its child-friendly atmosphere. It’s a perfect way to start off the day, especially before visiting the Everglades Alligator Farm. This has a multitude of exciting attractions and around 2,000 resident alligators to keep a family entertained all day. There are also alligator feedings as well as airboat ride tours of the everglades. After an exhilarating day learning about reptiles, Pine Tree Park is a relaxing green space in which to relax and unwind.

The Everglades

Alternatively, there’s the option of an everglades full-day tour. Visitors have the opportunity to try out slough slogging or wet walking and admire the Dwarf Cypress forests. As well as alligators the region is the home to Bard owls and a number of interesting snake species. There’s also the chance to paddle through sawgrass prairies, mangrove tunnels, and bays where there are carnivorous plants.

Other Florida City attractions

A great way to spend a lazy Sunday is to take a Frisbee or a football and a picnic down to the splendid Willie Fasulo Park and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Loren Roberts Park is also a great space in which to play a few sets of tennis and build up an appetite for dinner. Captain’s Restaurant and Seafood Market is an ideal place for local cuisine. With delicious fresh fish and outside dining it’s ideal for a last evening vacation treat.

Climate

The region has a beautiful climate through the year but mid summer can be particularly hot. When holidaying with children it might be best to avoid travelling to this area at that time of year. In terms of accommodation, visitors can choose from budget rooms at the Holiday Inn Express or Travelodge, to more luxury suites at Hyatt Regency or the Mayfair Hotel and Spa, all of which are child-friendly.

Getting there

Florida city makes for a fantastic vacation and is best reached by plane, especially if travelling from other parts of the USA – it’s easy to get there.

De Soto beach in Florida

Florida and beyond for a lasting experience

De Soto beach in  Florida

Florida, the ‘Sunshine State’, is a popular city with tourists because of its huge range of attractions. Visitors young and young at heart can immerse themselves in some of the world’s top theme parks. Visit what is uniquely Orlando by taking advantage of amazing experiences like flying through a swamp on an airboat or getting up close with wildlife at Gatorland or SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove and your trip will be one to remember. Some say make it to Florida and you’ve made it to heaven. Why not find out for yourself?

Disney Resort, Orlando

Disney is the world’s most visited entertainment resort where fairy tales take life through exciting entertainment, classic attractions and of course beloved Disney characters. Travel through these lands and see how fantasy becomes reality when you learn how to be a pirate and match wits with funny monsters.

Universal Studios

What’s Florida without Universal Studios? Based in Orlando, this is perhaps the most visited attraction after Disney, and perhaps the number one among adults! Go behind the scenes and jump right into the action of your favourite movies on this film studios. The world’s premier movie and TV based theme park within your reach!

Sea World

There is more to the sea than just lying on the beach, although you can find plenty of beach along the coasts of Florida. But if you fancy peeking under the surface, Sea World will show you how life is bustling in the sea with thrilling activities such as the Sky Tower or Dining with the sharks at the shark’s underwater grill… SeaWorld gives you a life opportunity to explore the blue horizon, wild marine life and journey to Atlantis.

Cruise and Stay Holidays

After feeling the high spirits of Florida’s parks and attractions, why not try the laid-back atmosphere of the Caribbean?
Book yourself on one of the world’s top cruise ships such as Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas or Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Dream for an extra splash of luxury. Experience the powder sand beaches, sparkling turquoise water and palm trees that seem to sway to reggae beats of the Carribbean that you will discover on cruise and stay holidays.
All is not dull on board a cruise ship. Entertainment options are all over the place, from the heart-racing waterslide to the soul-soothing pools. You can do as little as you want or as much as you require.

These are just a few ways that you can plan a holiday that will not be boring or the same the entire way through. Most travel companies will allow you to custom design these types of holidays so that you can add in exactly the types of experiences you want to have. That’s one way to make your holiday a once-in-a-lifetime experience tailored specifically to your needs for an ultimate adventure.

De Soto beach in Florida

The top things to do in Florida

De Soto, Florida

Walt Disney Resort

There are many must-sees and must-dos on your Florida holidays checklist, and perhaps the best place to start is the home of the world’s most famous mouse, Walt Disney World® Resort, and its four main parks: the iconic Magic Kingdom®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom®, and Epcot®. As well as these unique attractions, Disney World holidays also offer two fantastic water parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. As there are no beaches in Orlando, these are refreshing escapes from the sometimes-crowded parks and provide a chance to enjoy Florida’s balmy sunshine.

Universal Studios, Orlando

More adventurous teens and adults will maybe prefer the two main parks at Universal Orlando Resort®: Universal Studios® and Universal’s Island’s of Adventure®. Packed with thrilling roller coasters and nods to your favourite Hollywood movies, comic-book characters and superheroes, featuring many world-firsts for technological innovation – a visit to Universal Orlando Resort® has to be at the top of every thrill-seeker’s agenda.

Shopping & golf

Orlando holidays aren’t all rides and chutes, for those who adore shopping, visit one of its premium outlet malls to grab some top-quality branded clothing for an absolute bargain. Golf-lovers will enjoy the many challenging and world-renowned golf courses in Orlando, and the whole family will delight in sampling the food in one of the hundreds of restaurants dotted along International Drive.

The longest coastline in any US state

Holidays to Florida aren’t limited to Orlando, however, Florida is home to many of the best beaches in the United States; with the longest coastline of any other US State. Thanks to its location, being surrounded by turquoise waters and within such close proximity to the Caribbean, there is a distinct Cajun feel to its fare and an obvious love of delicious seafood. The Florida Keys embody this laid-back, beachside feel and offer a relaxing hotspot with unparalleled diving opportunities.

For those in search of a balanced mix of nightlife and daytime relaxation, Miami is an energetic city like no other and a must-see destination. Its stylish bars and hip restaurants complement its beautiful beaches, architecture and oh-so-cool atmosphere.

Cheap Florida holidays are easy to come by, with a great range of independent tour operators constantly in search of excellent flight and accommodation deals, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for at a fantastic price.