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Florida

This guide divides Florida into eight color-coded sightseeing areas, as shown on this map. Find out more about each area on the following pages.

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DISCOVER Getting to Know Florida

Miami

A sophisticated big city with a Latin beat, Miami has many moods. Experience the different atmospheres of its neighborhoods like the historic Coral Gables, lively Little Havana, and the offbeat art mecca of Wynwood. Downtown Miami feels like a real modern metropolis, and is enriched with a growing emphasis on museums and culture to add to its shops and restaurants. While central areas like Miami Beach draw crowds to enjoy Art Deco architecture, thrilling nightlife, and action-packed beaches, farther afield there are places like Key Biscayne offering a calm escape on its long, sandy shoreline.

Best for Nightlife, arts, and architecture

Home to Ocean Drive, Little Havana, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and the Ancient Spanish Monastery

Experience Staying up late to enjoy a fun Miami night in the South Beach clubs

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t Ocean Drive illuminated at night

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The Gold and Treasure Coasts

Sun-kissed beaches and small towns line the coast north of Miami, a much-loved destination for both vacationers and retirees. Fort Lauderdale, with its cruise port, is the busiest place along the Gold Coast, while Palm Beach is the wealthiest, known for its mansions and luxury shopping. The Treasure Coast begins with Jupiter, a favorite place for the golfing world, then turns more rural with unspoiled beaches heading north to Sebastian Inlet.


Best for Beach resorts and golf

Home to Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Fort Lauderdale

Experience Joining a boat cruise to see hidden mansions in Fort Lauderdale

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t A lifeguard at one of Fort Lauderdale’s pristine beaches

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Walt Disney World® Resort

There may be other Disney parks across the globe, but there’s nothing quite like this vast complex on the outskirts of Orlando. Escape from the real world into four fantastic theme parks and two wild water parks – or enjoy the laid-back campgrounds, multiple golf courses, or the exciting shopping and dining on offer at Disney Springs. There’s enough for days of diversions for all ages, so everyone can find a place where they belong in this enchanting kingdom.


Best for Quality family time and magical memories

Home to Magic Kingdom®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, EPCOT®, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom®

Experience A charming tour around the globe on the “it’s a small world”® boat ride in the Magic Kingdom®

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t A fantastic firework display over Cinderella Castle

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Orlando and the Space Coast

In contrast to the high-energy and excitement found at Orlando’s theme parks, the city’s peaceful downtown, with its many museums and gardens, offers a pleasant change of pace. Its upscale neighbor Winter Park is well worth exploring, as are the futuristic wonders at the Kennedy Space Center. Beach breaks on the Space Coast can be laid-back affairs at the Canaveral National Seashore or full of surfing action on Cocoa Beach.


Best for Families, theme parks, and charming cities

Home to Universal Orlando®, LEGOLAND®, Central Orlando, Kennedy Space Center

Experience The thrilling speed and jaw-dropping effects of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ ride at Universal Orlando®

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t The engines of the Saturn V rocket at the Kennedy Space Center

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The Northeast

Daytona Beach is known to car racing fans and students on spring break, and the state’s oldest town – the charming St. Augustine – attracts history buffs, but many visitors overlook the rest of this quiet coast. To do so means missing out on a long string of fine beaches, and the lovely city of Jacksonville, with its revitalized downtown along the St. John’s River. Further inland there are sprawling horse farms near Ocala, and, to the north, peaceful quaint Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, another great find for beach lovers.


Best for Quaint country towns and history

Home to Jacksonville and St. Augustine

Experience Seeking out the fabled Fountain of Youth in historic St. Augustine

Go To: The Northeast i

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t St. George Street, the heart of St. Augustine

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The Panhandle

This quieter northern border has more ties to the Old South than the main Florida peninsula. This heritage is strong in cities like the state capital of Tallahassee and the historic districts of Pensacola. The coastline is a beach-lover’s dream, accompanied by buzzing beach towns such as Panama City and Destin. Fishing villages such as Cedar Key and Apalachicola offer a different side of Florida, more removed from the touristy vacation spots, and there are national parks and islands to escape the crowds and get back to nature.


Best for Nature, beaches, and Old South flavor

Home to Pensacola and Tallahassee

Experience Strolling the wooden boardwalks to reach the pristine beaches of Grayton Beach State Park

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t Blue heron on Pensacola Beach

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The Gulf Coast

Along with stunning beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, this region is rich with both city pleasures and unspoiled nature. Upscale Sarasota is a wonderful cultural center with two museums created by the famous Ringling brothers. Meanwhle, St. Petersburg boasts the largest Dalí Museum in the US, and in growing high-rise Tampa, the historic Ybor City district provides both history and nightlife. To the south, shell collectors flock to the Lee Island Coast off Fort Myers. Farther north, the scene shifts to natural springs and state parks perfect for outdoor activities.


Best for Seaside fun, museums, and city life

Home to St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lee Island Coast, Ringling Musuem of Art, Ringling Musem Cà’ d’Zan

Experience Watching performing mermaids dance underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs

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t Clearwater Beach at sunset

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The Everglades and the Keys

On the southern tip of the peninsula, the vast wilderness of the Everglades acts as a fascinating natural counterpoint to the beach and city tourism focus in the rest of the state. And beyond the mainland are the Keys, where laid-back island communities are reached via 42 bridges on the Overseas Highway. The Keys are loved by divers and snorkelers for North America’s only live coral reef, and by fisherman for bountiful deep-sea catches of marlin and tarpon.


Best for Wildlife, boat trips, snorkeling, and fishing

Home to Everglades National Park and Key West

Experience Spotting alligators and rare birds on a boat tour through the Everglades

Go To: The Everglades and the Keys i

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t Riding an airboat through the Everglades

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