By Susan & Simon Veness
There’s simply nowhere like Florida anywhere else on the planet. OK, that doesn’t sound quite right, so let’s try it again. Florida is a unique and enchanting holiday destination that has no equal. How’s that?
That’s certainly our opinion, and it’s one gleaned from having visited the Sunshine State for several decades and lived here for the past 15 years. Our home is Orlando but our playground is the whole of Florida, all 58,560 square miles of it (which is roughly the size of England and Wales combined).
It has 1,350 miles of sandy coastline, and it runs from Alabama and Georgia on its norther border almost 500 miles south all the way to Key West, the USA’s southernmost city.
Yet basic measurements don’t do Florida justice. This is perfect holiday territory by any standards, but there are 10 reasons why you should make this your next holiday choice:
- It is one of the friendliest states in the US. It boasts genuine Southern hospitality (which really is A Thing!), and, when people say “Have a nice day,” they honestly mean it.
- It is consistently good value for money, year in and year out. Whatever the exchange rate may do, Florida delivers great value in everything it does, from theme parks to dining and nature tours to beach days.
- Did we mention the beaches? The Sunshine State has literally hundreds, and the only thing that varies is the sand – from golden to pure white, and soft to even softer! You absolutely cannot go wrong wherever you go.
- How about the nature? This is the place to come for a truly natural experience. The wildlife is spectacular, both at sea and on land. You can see manatees, dolphins, stingrays and tropical fish aplenty, plus alligators, turtles, deer, bobcats, armadillos and wild boars, as well as a wealth of birdlife.
- There’s also a LOT of history and culture, which often surprises visitors most. The state’s native peoples date back some 12,000 years, while the country’s first European settlers arrived in 1513, establishing the oldest city (St Augustine) in 1565 and creating a wealth of cultural influences over the past 500 years.
- Orlando is the Theme Park Capital of the world, and its theme parks and attractions are world class, with fabulous resort hotels and restaurants to back them up. And, if you thought the likes of Disney, Universal and SeaWorld were just for kids, well, there is just as much here for grown-ups as for children!
- City life in Florida is both modern and ever-changing, with new additions, the latest trends and a booming profile in micro-breweries, five-star dining and glamorous shopping.
- As good as the cities are, some of the small-town experiences are even better. The state excels in charming, off-the-beaten track places like DeLand, Winter Park, Stuart, Dunedin, Crystal River, Cedar Key, Mount Dora, Apalachicola and Islamorada.
- And then there’s the wonderful weather. It may be obvious (this is the SUN-shine State after all), but Florida has a glorious year-round climate that is positively idyllic in winter. It encourages a healthy outdoorsy lifestyle that appeals to all-comers.
- It keeps people coming back year after year. Many think this will be their once-in-a-lifetime holiday, but that is the happiest mistake they will make!
So, those are the basic points about ‘Why Florida?’ There are literally dozens more, and we’ll tell you plenty of them in this weekly blog. And you’re in the perfect place to book once you have read up on it – America First Coast Travel is a top UK specialist for Florida holidays. Now, what’s stopping you…?!
Susan & Simon Veness are the UK’s leading experts on Florida, having written about it for more than 25 years and sold more than half a million books about Orlando, Disney and the Sunshine State.