Places to Visit and Places to Skip in Florida
Florida, the Sunshine state, is one of the most popular destinations in the US. With plenty of beaches, bustling cities, Latino infused culture and food, it seems like heaven on earth. And it is, mostly. Here are some of the best Florida destinations, but also some reasons you might want to avoid them.
Catch Your Portkey to Orlando
If there’s one thing Orlando does well, it’s obviously the theme parks. The Theme Park Capital of the World has been home to Walt Disney World for decades, but recently it has met its match. In 2007, the Harry Potter fandom let out a collective gasp followed by squeals of excitement when news broke that a Harry Potter theme park was in the works. Opened in 2010, the park has met and exceeded the expectations of even the most ardent fans. Who wouldn’t want to take a stroll through Hogsmeade, fly on a hippogriff, have a butterbeer, buy a wand at Ollivander’s and send a letter by owl post! Well, if there are still some who have not yelled “Lumos!” and seen the light, there are plenty of other amusement parks in Orlando, including the aforementioned Disney World. All in all, Orlando is the perfect starting point for your Florida holiday. Orlando might not be for you if: You hate crowds. Visiting the big, popular parks is quite an endeavour. Thousands of people show up every day, so if you’re aiming for something spontaneous and laid back, this isn’t it. It’s best to plan ahead for the perfect experience. Also, though you might be tempted by the significantly lower prices, stay away from the hotels on the Eastern side of the city, traffic jams will eat up most of your time.
Photo source: Roxana Oliver
Collect Shells on Sanibel Island
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, just off Fort Myers, Sanibel is easy to reach – after all, it’s connected to the mainland by a causeway. Don’t be fooled by its proximity to the touristy mainland, though. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Northern America, with perfect white sand and clear waters. But that is not all it’s famous for. For all those who like romantic walks on the beach and collecting shells, Sanibel is a dream come true. The area is so rich in various types of shells, they even have a Seashell Museum. But there are other species to see here as well: around half of the island is a wildlife refuge. The other half? It’s dedicated to luxurious resorts, hotels, and restaurants serving fresh local seafood. Sanibel might not be for you if: You prefer a more active scene. While Sanibel is idyllic, it’s lacking in the nightlife department.
Photo source: Flickr
The bustling metropolis is the largest Latino settlement north of Mexico, and that is visible everywhere you go. By day, you can browse the jaw-dropping Art Deco architecture, lounge on the perfect white sandy beaches of Biscayne Bay and South Beach, and gorge on the Cuban delicacies. By night, Miami turns on its lights, and the wild party begins. Miami might not be for you if: You are pregnant. Be aware that, as of now, the active transmission of the Zika virus has been confirmed in two of Miami’s neighbourhoods. Travelers to the area, especially pregnant women, should follow the CDC’s recommended measures to prevent infection.
Photo source: pixabay.com
Connect With Nature in the Everglades
Before you’ve visited, you might be silly enough to dismiss the Everglades as just a swamp. In reality, the subtropical wetlands resemble a slow, endless river. The World Heritage Site is just an hour’s drive from Miami. One hour is all it takes to step into a timeless world, a dreamlike landscape of dazzling sunsets and elusive creatures. The protected habitat is a complex tapestry of different ecosystems such as the mangroves and the cypresses, and is home to alligators, crocodiles, manatees, over 350 species of birds, and the endangered Florida panther.
Photo source: pixabay.com
The Everglades might not be for you if: You are planning your vacation in the middle of the summer. The area can get pretty hot, and swarming with mosquitoes. Florida is almost perfect, but we all know that true perfection doesn’t exist. Luckily, the Sunshine State has so much to offer, everyone is bound to find a destination they will love and come back to. Featured Photo: unsplash.com