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Florida - something for everyone

USA thumb hard-rock-universMake the most of Florida, with the help of Craig from our new USA team. Here's some suggestions of his based on his most recent trip.

We flew out to Florida, the “sunshine state”, to Orlando and back from Fort Lauderdale with United Airlines with seamless connections through their hub at Newark. Seat back TVs and onboard WiFi loaded with movies and TV programmes ensured the time passed quickly on the transatlantic flight.

Like many others from the UK and Ireland, we spent time in Orlando, famed for it’s theme parks and great value shopping. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, Orlando, where each room has a piece of music memorabilia and there’s a huge pool with underwater music speakers.

We choose the Hard Rock Hotel, as it's one of the on-site properties at Universal Orlando that has exclusive on-site benefits for guests including:
• Universal Express for unlimited ride access to skip the regular queues in the park, saving guests up to $89 per person
• Early park admission to Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure and the new water park, Volcano Bay

After almost a week in Orlando we drove down to Florida’s largest city – Miami – with its combination of big city style and waterfront living. Miami offers two beaches, the quieter Miami Beach to the north and then from 21st Street south, the livelier Miami Beach.

Palm tree lined Ocean Drive on South Beach with its Art Deco styled buildings is must-see, great for fans of architecture or just for people watching. Along both Collins & Washington Avenue, you will find all the major American retailers. Or if you head further into downtown here you will find more high-end designers such as Dior and Chanel.


FL highlight Key-West shutterstockFrom Miami we then took a 3.5 hour drive to the Florida Keys, in particular to Key West which is the southernmost point on the continental US. En route we crossed the world famous 7 mile bridge linking the town of Marathon with Duck Key.

Key West has a laid-back, Cuban feel, given that it is only 90 miles across the sea from Cuba. and it's easy to reach as this small city has an airport with connections throughout the country on some of America's major airlines.

Duval Street in Key West is a strip of shops, bars and restaurants with the most famous bar being Sloppy Joe’s, this was a favourite of Ernest Hemmingway when he lived in the city.

After an amazing trip in the Florida sunshine, we flew with United Airlines from Fort Lauderdale via Newark back to the UK – refreshed, relaxed and wanting to go back!

Must-sees:

  • Wet Willies Bar for 15 amazing slush cocktails on Ocean Drive in Miami
  • Don’t miss the Ernest Hemmingway home and museum in Key West
  • Head to the Gulf Coast for spectacular sunsets

Did you know?

  • Florida has 1197 miles of coastline and 663 beaches – and wherever you are in the state you're never more than 60 miles from the ocean

Top tips:

  • Mix days at theme parks with more relaxing days by the pool, or shopping
  • Opt for the Toll Pass when driving on the freeways, it saves time and money at the Toll Plazas
  • Try Fort Lauderdale Airport, a quick 30-minute drive north of Miami, it’s not so busy as Miami and has lots of international airlines due to its proximity to Port-Everglades, the largest and busiest cruise port in the world


Need help in creating the perfect Florida trip?

Craig McACall our USA team on 0141 955 4000.

Happy holiday planning!

Craig, your Florida specialist

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