If you tell anybody you’re going on holiday to Florida, they’ll automatically assume you’re going to the Disney and Universal resorts. As some of the world’s most popular attractions, they’re synonymous with the region’s tourism – serving as a Venus Fly Trap for pale British Families year after year. However, with an area of 65,755 square miles (roughly half the size of England) there is much more to Florida than Orlando and mice in high shorts.
The capital city of Florida; Tallahassee is somewhat more of a cultural experience than its rollercoaster-centric brethren. Home of the Florida State University (which offers a tour) and a selection of museum and wildlife refuges; Tallahassee offers a slower-paced yet intriguing insight into authentic Floridian life, past and present.
St. Marks Lighthouse makes for a beautiful backdrop to a romantic evening stroll.
Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is the third busiest cruise port in the world, serving as a gateway to the beautiful Caribbean. Many cruisers will be granted a few days stay in Fort Lauderdale book-casing their holiday. With year-round temperatures averaging 77 degrees, the city attracts a largely affluent and sophisticated clientele who return year after year for the beautiful stretches of beach and redeveloped downtown.
Spend a few days in Fort Lauderdale before embarking on the Palm Trees and Pink Sands cruise.
On the southern-most tip of the state is the city Will Smith oft-eulogised glowingly about; Miami is enduringly popular with visitors seeking its Caribbean-esque beaches and endless stretches of bars and restaurants. Visitors return every year to the city voted America’s cleanest by Forbes Magazine for its clean streets, clean air and vast green spaces. Just be sure to avoid the traditional Spring Break vacation unless you want to party with a host of drunken 21 year old college kids.
Enjoy a few nights in Miami before and after Cruise1st’s Western Caribbean Cruise.
An island in the straits of Florida; Key West is only about 4 square miles in area, but packs a lot of beauty and history into this space. The Winter White House on the island has played host to a large number of Presidents during their terms, escaping the winter blues of Washington DC. Ernest Hemingway developed his love for deep sea fishing on Key West and was given his ‘Papa’ nickname whilst cavorting with the locals. Legend has it Hemingway wrote part of A Farewell to Arms on the island, and the first draft of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams was said to have been completed here.
Take in the beauty of Key West in the Majesty of the Seas Bahamas cruise.
The Space Coast
The east coast of Florida is often referred to as the Space Coast due to the residency of the NASA space programme, with every US space shuttle taking flight from the region since 1961. The Kennedy Space Centre and Cape Canaveral have become iconic tourist destinations for space enthusiasts. Both still operate visitor centres but you won’t be able to witness a launch with the closing of the US space programme in 2011.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Bob Jagendorf, Stephen Nakatani, Steve Sutherland, Caroline Gagne, Harold Navarro.
Final image cleared for release by Joint Staff Public Affairs