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Florida…ever wondered what lies beyond the magic of Disney, Universal and all of the other wonderful theme parks? Then read on to discover what other gems you could discover in the Sunshine State.

Anna Maria Island, near Sarasota

Anna Maria Island, near Sarasota

The balmy shores of Florida’s Gulf Coast has pristine white-powdery beaches with clear, shallow waters and some of the world’s finest sunsets.  With more than 100 barrier islands off the mainland, many of which are uninhabited, you could easily become Robinson Crusoe for the day.

Just off the states’ southern most tip, the Florida Keys can only be described as a ribbon of islands, stretching more than 150 miles with a tropical island atmosphere.  Here divers and snorkelers have the opportunity to explore the only living coral reef in North America.

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

On the east side of Florida, Miami has a truly vibrant feel.  Experience its South Beach Art Deco District, where you will find the beaches finest dining, nightlife and spas.  Fort Lauderdale, a little further north is sometimes known as the Venice of America.  A water taxi tour will take you past Millionaires Row, with mega yachts moored up outside palatial mansions.  Both Fort Lauderdale and Miami are major ports for cruise ships, ideal for a cruise and stay holiday.

Fort Lauderdale's Intracoastal Waterways

Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterways

Florida’s Space Coast is most renowned for Cape Canaveral and the NASA Space Centre, but this region also has the Daytona International Speedway and Blue Spring State Park, home to the manatee.

See Manatees in Blue Spring State Park

See Manatees in Blue Spring State Park

For something further off the tourist trail, the very north of the state is regarding as ‘old’ Florida.  Historical places of interest abound, along with fabulous beaches, great snorkelling and a Deep South charm.

With over 10 national parks, 171 state parks & trails (including the Everglades, Canaveral and the Florida Keys) and more golf courses than any other state, those seeking a more active holiday are extremely well catered for.  Little wonder the Sunshine State attracts millions of visitors each year.

Try an air boat ride through the Everglades

Try an air boat ride through the Everglades

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