Florida is one of the great family holiday destinations, full of theme parks, long sandy beaches and national parks, though it’s also a great American escape for couples, with hidden spots, romantic walks, museums and trendy rooftop bars to enjoy.
Of the many highlights of Florida, the Sunshine State is probably best known for its fun-filled menu of activity and theme parks. From the intergalactic delights of the Kennedy Space Centre to Universal Orlando Resort, home to Universal Studios, the Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay, much-loved by those of all ages; there is something for everybody here. Days can be spent exploring the wonders of the Universal experience, though don’t stop for too long as there’s plenty else to uncover during your luxury trip to Florida. The action keeps coming, for example, at Legoland, Disney World and the fantastically-themed, fully immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter, totally unmissable attractions in their own right.
For something a little more cultured, Florida scores of excellent museums, such as the evocative History Miami Museum; Morikami and the Japanese Gardens; Perez Art Gallery; the Salvador Dali, Ringling, Vizcaya and Flagler Museums, some of which are housed in charming early 20th century mansions. You can visit the former home of Ernest Hemmingway in Key West, between stints lounging on renowned beaches, of course. If staying in Key West or indeed Miami proper, be sure to enjoy the city’s golden sands and lively sea view bars, this is after all an iconic coastline that’s been attracting well-heeled crowds since its 1960’s heyday. During that time, an influx of Cuban and Latin American nationals made their way to Florida, and have certainly left a lasting impact on the state’s culture, cuisine and music scene, as you’ll see to varying degrees throughout your trip.
It’s not all about the manmade attractions, glitz and glamour though, as Florida is awash with natural beauty and national parks too. Fort DeSoto is an enchanting expanse of powder-white beach that seems to stretch for miles, while Caladesi Island, Cayo Costa and Dry Tortugas National Parks are all only accessible by boat, leaving them largely untouched (aside from the formidable Fort Jefferson which occupies one of the Dry Tortuga islands). Then, there’s the Everglades National Park: 1.5 million acres of pristine wetlands, abundant wildlife and unforgettable sunsets. If seeking a momentary respite from the bustling city streets and highways, visiting the Everglades is a must. Here, you can get wonderfully lost in a land of mangrove canals, wooden walkways dissecting the marshes and plentiful species, some of which are endangered such as the leatherback turtle. Take in the views from the Shark Valley Panoramic Lookout Point, or hike the Tamiami Trail and Big Cypress National Preserve to enter a true wilderness. No matter which route you take or how you get around, keep your eyes open for crocodiles, alligators, bobcats, bald eagles, manatees, pelicans and even white-tailed deer, among hundreds of other species whether taking to kayak, motorboat or walking trails.
Throughout all of this, Florida also has some of the most luxurious five-star hotels and boutique coastal resorts to come home to. So, look forward to extravagant infinity pools, Michelin-star food and sea views or, if travelling with children, there are family-friendly activities onsite, kids’ clubs and themed events. Your Elite Travel Concierge specialist will pick the perfect property for you and yours during your luxury tour of Florida.