FloridaFlorida has been known to catch people staring. From the gorgeous bodies that pepper the beaches to the awe-inspiring theme parks to the natural wonder of its national parks, there's something to catch your gaze wherever you look. One of Florida's allures is that it's easily capable to meet the demands of any visitor. It doesn't matter if you're heading to the Sunshine State for a romantic honeymoon, a fun-filled family vacation or an exciting spring break escape, there's something for everyone!
The Four Regions of Florida
Florida's four distinct regions each offer the traveler a different way to experience this great state. Central Florida is where the majority of its world-famous theme parks are located, specifically Orlando, Florida. In fact, Orlando's amusement parks are visited by more people than any other amusement park destination in the world! Northern Florida is a naturalist's dream, with acres of undeveloped nature that are perfectly suited for sport hunting or fishing.
The southern region of Florida is a sunbather's delight, with the beaches of Miami, Florida and the Florida Keys providing a landscape of beautiful people and miles of surf. The Panhandle is home to the state's capital, Tallahassee, as well as the Emerald Coast.
What to See in Florida
It doesn't matter where in Florida you're visiting, there's always something fun to do or impressive to see. Here's a breakdown of just a few of the things available in each region.
Panhandle -- The Emerald Coast's beaches at Destin and Fort Walton are some of the most beautiful in the U.S. and the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna is a favorite stop for many families.
South Florida -- This region of Florida is home to the historic Everglades National Park and the cosmopolitan vibe of Miami. Along with the sun drenched Florida beaches and archipelago of islands, Southern Florida is an artistic combination of modern complexities and old-world traditions and it has the art galleries to prove it. Watersports like scuba diving, surfing and boating are also very popular in this region.
Central Florida -- Besides the sea, sand and sun, the biggest draw for Florida is its theme parks and central Florida is where the best of them can be found. Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and of course, Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom offer endless hours of family fun in the sun.
Northern Florida -- The oldest city in the U.S., Saint Augustine, can be found in northern Florida, as well as miles and miles of pristine parks and natural landscapes.
Where to Stay in Florida
Florida has accommodations to fit every budget. The luxurious Florida hotels found in the heart of Miami, the inexpensive comfortable Inns of the Panhandle and the larger than life resorts ideally located on the grounds of Disneyworld are just a few of the types of accommodations you can choose from in Florida.
What to Expect in Florida
While Florida's Spanish-American influences can be seen everywhere, visitors can expect a more Caribbean vibe in the southern region. Likewise, the northern region is more closely related to the "down south" feel of its neighbor, Georgia. This difference of style is also represented in the cuisine of Florida, with each region home to its own style of food.
The weather in Florida is usually sunny and warm, and it's been known to get quite humid. Occasional morning rains bring some humidity relief and are almost always followed by sun for the remainder of the day. Being situated right off the Gulf of Mexico, Florida's rain showers can be quick moving and strong. Florida is subject to hurricanes during the season (June 1 through November 30) so it’s important to check the weather prior to leaving if you're visiting during that period.
Florida's rich heritage and culturally significant history are part of what makes the U.S. what it is today. Whether you're visiting Florida for a family theme park vacation or simply to get away from exams for a few weeks, taking the time to experience some of Florida's cultural influences and natural splendor can make a great trip even more memorable.