Raise your hand if you have never dreamed to fly to Florida during a cold, sad and rainy winter!
And winter season is the favorite time of the year for Americans’ (and not only) to visit Florida. This is either for its mild climate throughout the whole year either by its countless attractions that bring together young and old people.
In this regard, the risk is to have high rates.
Pay attention: December and January are in average the more expensive months.
We went there at the end of November, leaving Italy in the cold and arriving in Miami wearing a t-shirt.
We absolutely love the States and our ambition is to be able to visit them all. We are today at 23 visited States; not bad, dont’ you think? 🙂
The first thing that impressed us is the diversity between Florida and the nothern States: first of all, the language … Spanish seems to be the official language, spoken more than English, and then the difference in driving: less respect for speed limits and more zig-zag on the highway. Be careful, however, as sheriffs are always checking!
In Florida you won’t be on shortage of attractions and cities to visit, our journey has primarily focused on the most popular tourist attractions in Orlando, then the Keys, the Everglades and Miami Beach.
As usual, we rented a car, in order to also enjoy the scenery and small towns along the way, with their characteristics and their strangeness.
We give you some suggestions based on our experience … and then, enjoy Florida!!
Thinking about Orlando we immediately think to the magical world of Disney. We got the childish enthusiasm again for two days and we visited two of the theme parks. Let us give an advice … although there are several kiosks and shops that advertise the tickets sale in the city, go to the official ticket office in one of the parks you plan to visit. They are the ones that can offer the most varied combinations between all WaltDisneyWorld parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and the water parks Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.)
We suggest you not be in a hurry, but spend a day at each park you choose.
If you don’t have small children travelling with you, Epcot is a “must see”.
It is a really interesting world of entertainment for adults . Attractions are related to technology, culture and even the food.
Among those, some attracrion are even somehow thrilling (Test Track and Mission Space).
The area dedicated to various countries of the world is very interesting … especially for the buildings you can find there, the habits and the restaurants. You can even enjoy a good pizza! 🙂
This park is definitely a must see. It is clearly designed for children and some areas are really only for them, but even adults can have some fun!
Going around the streets and attractions of this world is very easy to meet the characters of fairy tales, comics and cartoons.
Even for an adult can be fun to meet the characters of his childhood and run after them to take a picture together!
One thing not to miss is the parade that head up to the Sleeping Beauty Castle and the show that you can watch in front of the castle itself.
And if you have small girl who yearn to be princess for a day, inside the castle there is a beauty salon ready to fulfill the desires of young ladies. Hairdressers and makeup artists, behind lavish compensation, will shape the beautiful princesses ready to wear gorgeous clothes that can be found in gift shops.
You can not leave Florida without seeing at least one alligator.
And, mind you, we are talking about alligators and not about crocodiles!
You will never be able to find crocodiles in the Everglades since they are leaving only in Asia and Africa.
In the southwest of the United States, however, we find the alligators that differ from the “cousins” to the shape of the muzzle and the type of teeth as well as the size.
Crocodiles can easily reach 8 meters, while the alligators stop to ONLY 5 meters.
And I must say that the size of an alligator is more than enough, especially when you find it on the roadside while walking happily through swamps of the Everglades!
Usually the best and even more fun way to visit the Everglades and enjoy nature and animals is to walk along the marshy channels or to take an airboat or hovercraft, the boat with the propeller behind. They have the great disadvantage of being very noisy and therefore you must wear headphones to avoid going to get a headache.
Instead, what we did and we strongly suggest, is to make a visit in the swamps on a small train with a guide who takes you around comfortably seated and stops occasionally to explain curiosity or let you know the fauna of the area.
This tour is organized by the Shark Valley Tram Tours and lasts for about an hour or two depending on the time and costs approx $ 20.00 per person.
Beware that the Everglades are a national park and therefore, like any other national park in the U.S.you have to pay an entrance fee when access with a vehicle. The cost for a car is $ 10.00.
Visiting the Everglades you will realize that alligators are certainly a special attraction, but all the birds and other animals that inhabit the swamps are just as worthy of attention and they too deserve a photo shoot.
Driving south, before spending a couple of days in Miami, we went to the Florida Keys.
We could not resist to the appeal of this famous archipelago easily accessible from the mainland by a highway of about 200 km long, with plenty of bridges connecting the several islands.
The view is simply amazing. Sea to the right and to the left, greenery and crystal clear water.
The temptation to stay for the whole holiday in this small paradise was really strong, but we had other places to explore and we could dedicate only a couple of days to the Keys .
Our advice is that if you have more time, just spend a few days on the islands. Key West is undoubtedly the most famous and the most popular.
Here you will find every kind of tourist attraction and every type of accommodation.
Our favorite island was Key Largo either because we treated ourselves with the most relaxing cocktail gazing the sunset, or because at one of the beaches where we stopped we saw a man fishing a small shark.