FLIGHTS TO FLORIDA
There are countless places and ways to vacation in Florida, whether you’re looking for relaxing beach time, amusement park thrills or glitzy nightlife. Wherever you end up in the Sunshine State, pack your bags for pleasant weather. With an average annual temperature in the low 70s and enough sunshine to have earned it its famous nickname, Florida’s great weather beckons any time of year. And because it has more miles of coastline than any other state in the contiguous U.S., there are plenty of places to soak up the rays.
Book a flight to the Theme Park Capital of the World and buckle your seatbelt for fun. Home to both Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando has the rides, shows, thrills, fantasies and beloved characters to entertain visitors of all ages. But outside of its storied theme parks, Orlando itself is a lesser-known hotspot. Its thriving downtown area features idyllic historic pockets, music, museums and a culinary scene that only continues to gain steam.
Once a famous destination for spring breakers, Fort Lauderdale has long since ceded that title to other Florida cities. And it’s just as well. Now the older and more discerning crowd that flocks to the city can have more of its beautiful beaches to themselves. Its flourishing arts and culture scene boasts galleries, theaters and museums and its local restaurants make the best of its bountiful seafood. And, of course, Fort Lauderdale’s coastline offers up natural coral reefs for the snorkeling and day excursions for the fishing.
Like many cities in Florida, Tampa has a history richly influenced by native cultures and European settlers. Today it’s a growing city that’s buoyed by diverse businesses in healthcare, finance, retail and insurance. And it’s also shaped by the tourist industry. In particular, docking cruise ships have helped transform its bustling Channelside District. Take the 2.2-mile long Riverwalk that encompasses seven parks, five museums and eleven bridges. Or, because you’re in Florida, visit the local amusement park: Busch Gardens, which is replete with both rides and animal attractions.
Miami is so much more than its parties and beaches. Although it’s certainly those things as well. The city’s design-centric aesthetic makes it a favorite of those with artistic and architectural interests. Its Cuban influence touches everything from the local food to the festivals, music and dance. Its clubs and nightlife pulse into the wee hours. And, of course, its beaches and barrier islands are world famous destinations for water sports, seeing, being seen or just some sunshine-drenched R&R.
A more intimate destination than other bustling South Florida destinations, Fort Myers offers comfortable accommodations, dining, and entertainment within shouting distance of travel highlights like the Everglades and iconic southwest Florida beaches. Originally a strategic military post in operation during the American Indian Wars, Fort Myers was officially incorporated in 1866, and by the beginning of the 20th century, was well on its way to becoming a winter port of call for vacationers. A family-friendly destination with laid-back vibes, Fort Myers serves as a haven for travelers looking to avoid the crowds. When you visit, spend some time exploring the Caloosahatchee River delta and relax on the beaches around Sanibel Island.
If you’ve only flown through Jacksonville in the past, now is the time to stop and stay a spell. Long a major commercial and financial hub of the Sunshine State, Jacksonville also has a number of cultural credits to its name. Situated along the picturesque St. Johns River, it’s home to the largest urban park system in the country. And if you’re an art or historic buff, you won’t want to miss the city’s array of afternoon-worthy museums, including the impressive Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.
At a mere four miles long and one mile wide, Key West is the smallest-biggest place you’ll ever visit. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in the amount of art, culture, and colorful fun packed onto its tropical island. Marvel at its historical haunts and the famous people who’ve lived there, stroll down Duval Street popping in and out of galleries and party long into the night at its quirky and legendary hotspots.
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