Florida Vacation Guide

Vacation opportunities abound from the southern Keys through Miami, up the east coast, to Orlando and all the way across to Pensacola in the panhandle. The Keys offer fantastic experiences for water sports including diving and snorkeling in beautiful turquoise waters.

Sport, deep-sea and flats fishing are very popular - either as a primary adventure, or along with other activities on a vacation.  There are many marinas along the Keys for charters, and boat rentals.  Fishing can also be as simple as dropping a line from one of the many bridges or along the coastal roads.  One thing that the Florida Keys do not offer, surprisingly, are a lot of beaches.  There are only a few natural sand beaches along the Keys, although many hotels do offer their own small, private beaches.

Moving up the coast to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas, visitors can find world-class nightclubbing.   High energy nightclubs for the jet set crowd, famous celebrities, or for us mere mortals are very abundant.  Miami also offers a strong Latin cultural experience with a rich Hispanic and Caribbean atmosphere and areas within the city.

Several cruise lines are served from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, with many cruises into the Caribbean and beyond.

This area offers stunning beaches, nice parks, and endless beach front hotels - a tropical paradise!

Opposite this area over on the west coast is the Florida EvergladesThis natural wonder can be experienced through tours or by simply by driving across on one of the few roads that cut through the region.  Trekking here is not as glamorous as in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, but it does offer a unique and more relaxing experience.  North of the Everglades are the cities of Naples and Fort Myers with numerous beaches, excellent fishing, golfing and various areas of interest.

Moving further north up to central region are three distinct regions.  The Orlando area is the world's undisputed place to go for theme parks and attractions.  Several Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World parks and many other attractions, large and small, could entertain one for weeks without seeing the same thing twice.  Do not overlook the many smaller attractions and places of entertainment, especially if you've already visited some of the larger theme parks.  This area offers family entertainment for all ages - small children to teenagers and adults.   Research the various theme parks to match your interests.  Hotels and restaurants are endless and offer a broad array of accommodations and price ranges.  Lose yourself in an Orlando Vacation!

On the west coast of central Florida are the cities of Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg.  These cities offer a well-rounded mix of nightlife, beaches, attractions, boating, sailing, fishing and shopping.  The Tampa Bay area is about an hour and a half drive to the Orlando area, so this is a good place for those who want to enjoy a mix of beach and theme park activities.

On the east coast of central Florida is Daytona Beach with its world-renowned, 23-mile beach and Daytona International Speedway. The speedway is host to the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race. For "motorheads", this is the ideal vacation area.  Motor racing, surfing, swimming, fishing and golfing are the primary interests here. Daytona is also a popular place for motorcyclists during Bike Week in early March or "Biketoberfest®" in late October, during which Daytona Beach is teaming with motorcycles.

Moving up to the northeast is the city of Jacksonville.  Like the Tampa Bay area, Jacksonville offers a good mix of nightlife, beaches, attractions, boating, sailing, fishing and shopping.  And like Daytona Beach, surfing is also popular along the Jacksonville beaches.

Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, is located between Jacksonville and Pensacola.  Tallahassee is known for its southern charm and elegance.  A tour of the restored, 1845 Old Capitol building is very interesting and free to the public.

West of Tallahassee are Panama City Beach and Pensacola.  Panama City Beach is a small beach resort area with spectacular sugar-fine, white sand beaches and the most amazing, emerald-green water.  A number of hotels are located on the broad beaches for those who want the convenience of walking right out to the beach from the hotel.  Various water sports are available including boating, fishing, sailing, parasailing and jet skiing - or just plain sunbathing on the beach!

Pensacola and Pensacola Beach are located at the western end of the panhandle.  Pensacola offers a low-key place to visit with historical significance, and a very nice historical district with shopping, restaurants and museums.

Pensacola Beach is known for its many miles of unpopulated, and pristine snow-white beaches.