Where else in the world offers more to do, more things to experience than the sheer magical place that is Florida?
With its enviable climate which boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year, Florida is not known as the “Sunshine State” for nothing! Add to this the countless numbers of theme parks, water parks, film studios, golf course and shopping malls and no wonder this part of the USA has become one of the most popular holiday and vacation destinations to be found anywhere in the world.
Without doubt, the best way to see this fabled state is by basing yourself in one of the many holiday homes, villas or holiday vacation rental properties, which can be found all over the state.
One of the main reasons behind Florida’s popularity is of course due to the fact that during the late 1950′s, Walt Disney chose to build the now iconic Disney World entertainment theme park complex in Orlando and the surrounding areas.
This has given Orlando the well earned tag of “entertainment capital” of the world and as anyone who has been there will tell you, there is simply no other place like it for the sheer scale and variety of entertainment and things to do for people of all ages, size and background, for children, teenagers, young couples and, of course, families.
However many attractions there are to be found in Orlando, there are many other places and resorts just waiting to be discovered throughout the whole of this State. Wherever you may choose to visit and stay, my advice is to consider renting one of the many holiday homes and holiday villas which are available to rent directly from the owners. From coastal communities in St Petersburg or Sarasota, to resorts such as Hampton Lakes, Bradenton or Tuscan Ridge in the pleasant suburbs of Orlando- you will be amazed at the quality and choice on offer.
Renting a holiday home or a holiday villa, allows you far more freedom to plan and organise your vacation to suit the needs and desires of your family. Renting a holiday property or other form of self catering accommodation allows you to come and go as you please, to eat and drink what you want when you want – in essence it is a true ” home from home” experience. There are holiday villas to rent with their own private pools set in beautifully manicured and gated communities as well as holiday homes and vacation rental properties which back onto superb championship quality golf courses. Did I mention that there are more golf courses in Florida than there are days in the year?
But Florida is not only about Disney World and its numerous theme parks, water parks, movie studios, designer and themed hotels,far from it. Florida covers a land mass of over 58,000 square miles and offers an amazing range of attractions to explore and enjoy.
Drive west down one of the many Interstates and you will arrive at the Gulf coast resorts of St Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater. These communities are full of the most beautifully appointed and spacious holiday homes, holiday villas and all manner of vacation rentals which you can rent for as many weeks of the year as you wish.
Continue a little further South and you will happen upon Naples with its pristine beaches and warm seas and the Everglades National Park which is where you will find the natural habitat of the oldest of Florida residents -the manatee, alligator and crocodile.
At the very bottom of the state, just 50 miles off the coast of Cuba, are the fabled Florida Keys. Adopted home of the author Ernest Hemmingway, the Keys are more reminiscent of the Caribbean in style, culture and feel as the atmosphere is very relaxing and laid back.
Compare this with the largest city in the State, Miami, where Spanish is spoken almost as widely as English. Miami is full of art deco tradition and heavily influenced by the Spanish and Latin American cultures.As a party town and place to let your hair down and experience “la vida loca”,then Miami is a city with no equal.
If you should ever tire of the central belt of Florida which is Orlando, take a day out to visit the Atlantic coast on the East side of the State. Head out to the Atlantic coast and enjoy the fun of surfing in huge rolling Atlantic breakers at the same time you can spend time marvelling at the wonders of the Space Center at Cape Canaveral. For a taste of real,down to earth coastal America, head for Coco Beach where you can drink Budweiser eat delicious key lime pie on the pier which juts out into the tempestuous Atlantic surf!
Truly, Florida is an amazing “must ‘go-to” place. But avoid staying in hotels and motels if you can. Renting a new and well appointed spacious holiday home or villa or vacation rental property or for that matter any other form of self -catering accommodation will give you and the family the freedom to come and go as you please which will allow you to make the most of what the “Sunshine State” has to offer.
The Author, Paul Mitchell, is an independent consultant to the travel industr