This is where you and your loved ones can renew, reconnect and reimagine. Consider first some of the facts that set Florida apart… The Sunshine State has an average annual temperature of 72 degrees. St. Petersburg is in the Guinness Book of Records for consecutive days of sun of 768.
With 825 miles of beaches from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic, Florida sets a sweet soundtrack with the roll and fall of surf. From oceans that are never more than an hour away, to lakes and rivers, to natural springs, Florida is a daily wonderland for snorkeling and diving, kiteboarding and kayaking, tubing and powerboating. This is the the biggest playground of water for everyone including those fishing afficionados since Florida is the fishing capital of the world, as well.
Legendary for its Theme Parks: Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and LEGOLAND there will be plenty to do and keep you entertained. Plus water parks, historic and cultural sites, botanical gardens, museums and galleries, zoos and aquariums.
There are 200 state and national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges that offer outdoor adventures every day of the year. So, should a theme park not be your thing, a long hike or ziplining through the forest and creature encounters might just do it for you!
Ballparks. Spring training baseball, in 13 cities across the state, has been a Florida pastime for more than 100 years. The Everglades is “The River of Grass” of literary legend and one of the wild wonders of the world. Skim the surface on an airboat. Or set off into the unknown with a swamp walk.
Cape Canaveral. For close to 60 years, Florida has been the world’s launchpad for manned space flight. Mercury. Gemini. Apollo, the space shuttle. At the Kennedy Visitors Center, you can stroll through a garden of rockets or watch one rise into the blue.
Floridians are the descendants of the Timucuan and the Seminole native Americans, the European explorers and the freed slaves, the Cuban and Haitian refugees. They are all here today -- in our art and architecture, our language and food, our daily rhythms.
Florida Regions. You can witness a sunrise on the Atlantic and a sunset on the Gulf of Mexico in the same day. Between the coasts, there are dense forests and a river of grass, antebellum towns and futuristic theme parks, cowboys and boat captains. Here is a rapid tour by region.
You can wear shorts and sandals every day. Need more proof?
It's called the Sunshine State for a reason. While temperatures may vary slightly from region to region, the average temperature for the state is 72 degrees. July tends to be the hottest month, with an average of 82 degrees, and the coldest is January when temperatures drop to 61 degrees. As a general rule, summers throughout the state are warm and fairly humid, with coastal areas averaging slightly warmer temperatures. On average, the best months for swimming anywhere in Florida will be between April and October when the water is at its warmest. Typically the summer months are busiest for the northern part of the state, while the winter months are when central and southern Florida see the majority of tourists.
It does rain -- allegedly. Summer afternoons are frequented by thunderstorms. And travelers should note that hurricane season runs from June through November.
Each year, millions of visitors travel to Florida. And with major hubs in Florida for American Airlines, Southwest, Delta, and JetBlue, getting into the sunshine state is easy and convenient. Here is a simple overview of some of the most popular ways to get to Florida!
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the best choice for Disney World or other attractions in Central Florida. This airport offers car rentals and free shuttles to Disney World.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is the biggest airport for travel in South Florida, including the Everglades and the Keys. It is also a hub for American Airlines. There is nearby Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) airport, as well, which has flight routes with many domestic low fare carriers.
Tampa International Airport (TPA) serves the Gulf Coast and has direct flights to and from London Gatwick. There are international flights to Canada, Mexico, Panama, and the Cayman Islands. Tampa International Airport is considered to be the number one airport in America, as well.
Other international airports can be found in Jacksonville (JAX), Pensacola (PNS), Fort Myers (RSW), Tallahassee (TLH), St. Petersburg/Clearwater (PIE), West Palm Beach (PBI), Sarasota (SRQ), Key West (EYW), Gainesville (GNV), Melbourne (MLB), and Sanford (SFB).
For cruisers, Florida is the largest state for embarkation in the United States. Cruises depart from Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami, with cruises heading throughout the Caribbean.
For bus trips, Greyhound is the main long-distance operator in the United States, and Florida is the only state with scheduled statewide service. Megabus and Red Coach are additional options. Train travel is another viable option for reaching Florida via Amtrak, which runs between New York and Miami with services that include Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale.
Traveling within Florida
You can fly. Florida is a big state. From Pensacola in the northwest corner, New Orleans is 500 miles closer than Miami -- a 10-hour drive. Thus, there are 54,000 nonstop flights annually between Florida’s airports. American Airlines and Silver Airways account for 80 percent of those flights.
You can drive fast (that is, within the legal limit). There are four interstate highways.
You can drive more leisurely. There are 26 officially designated scenic highways, and seven of them run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.
You can rent a car at all airports and many downtown locations.
You can let someone else drive. Greyhound and Red Coach buses serve all major and midsize cities. Pegasus tour buses specialize in corporate, leisure and group travel.
Major Events and Festivals
January - JuneThere are international art shows such as Art Basel. There are national sporting traditions such as the Daytona 500 and baseball spring training. There are cultural inspirations such as Zora! and Word of South. And there is fresh seafood, lots and lots of seafood. Here is a sampling by month:
The climax of the college football schedule involves three weeks of bowl games, eight of them in Florida locations (St. Petersburg, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami) from mid-December to New Year’s Day. Zora! celebrates the Harlem renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston and Eatonville, the nation’s first town incorporated by African-Americans. The 30A Songwriters festival features four days of live performances at 25 venues along the scenic beach highway in South Walton.
Stock-car racing is quintessentially American with its beginnings among North Carolina bootleggers and on the hard-packed sand of Ormond Beach. Speedweeks and the Daytona 500 are NASCAR’s crown jewels. Fort Myers salutes prolific inventor Thomas Edison with a two-week Festival of Light. Edison’s home and laboratory and auto giant Henry Ford’s home on the Caloosahatchee River are a must-see tour. Celebrity chefs and gourmet appetites converge at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
Sports fans are well-fed this entire month: Baseball spring training in 13 Florida cities … the men’s golf tour on its spring swing … Indy-car racing on the streets of St. Petersburg. All manner of fried food and powdered dessert is available at the Florida State Fair outside Tampa. Carnaval Miami is a platform for Hispanic art, music, fashion and food. The Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival is a four-day mix of music and magic in the south Florida heartland from dusk until dawn.
All roads lead to Sopchoppy in northwest Florida for the annual Worm Gruntin’ festival. It goes like this: “Gruntin’ consists of toting a wooden stake, a stob, and steel bar into the woods near Sopchoppy to basically scare worms from the ground to harvest as fishing bait.” Don’t knock it until you’ve “grunted.” Also in April: Slow your jam at Blues Fest on Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg and Wanee Fest at Spirit of the Suwannee.
Time to eat at festivals celebrating shrimp (Amelia Island), sweet corn (Zellwood), Tupelo honey (Wewahitchka), and crawfish (Pensacola). Sun Fest in West Palm Beach is the state’s largest waterfront music and arts event. The golf world comes to Ponte Vedra Beach for The Players Championship. The 17th-hole island green can bring out the worst in the best players -- so it’s a fan favorite.
Pride month is a celebration of the LGBT community. Events and parades are held throughout the month. Among the most significant are in Key West, Wilton Manors and St. Petersburg.
July through DecemberJuly
Key West celebrates two claims to fame -- key limes and the Nobel laureate author Ernest Hemingway -- in separate festivals. After the pie and the prose come pampering: It’s Spa Month in Miami. Farther north, fast cars return to Daytona Beach for the Coke Zero 400. On the Gulf coast in Steinhatchee, hungry seafood lovers will take to the seagrass beds to bag some scallops and then take them to a local restaurant to cook them.
Miami Spice is a two-month dining promotion with participating restaurants offering three-course meals at reduced prices. Spiny lobster season is another chance for neophytes to catch their dinner, this time in the warm blue-green seas off the Florida Keys.
College football in Florida is intergenerational weekend worship, with families and friends tailgating and cheering their schools in stadiums from Tallahassee to Miami.
The Clearwater Jazz Holiday is four days of world-class musicians in an open-air venue on the Intracoastal Waterway. Key West Fantasy Fest describes itself as “a 10-day party in a paradise for grown-ups.” The climactic night parade is a costumed, R-rated celebration.
Fort Lauderdale, the “Venice of America” with its 165 miles of navigable waterways, is the natural setting for its International Boat Show. In Pensacola, home to Top Gun naval aviators, the acrobatic Blue Angels thrill gawkers with their annual air show.
Lighted downtowns and boat parades -- not snow -- are features of the holiday season throughout Florida. Art Basel, a four-day takeover in Miami Beach, is the premier art event in the Americas.
As you can see there is a lot to do in Florida all year around. When you are ready to travel, we are here for you. Give us a call or send us an email to get started!
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