1. Likes, comments and submissions
What does “I like this story” do?
VISITFLORIDA's new “likes” system is a rating scale based on how many people like the content; basically, it's the equivalent of a thumbs up. If you find a photo, article, video or listing that you like, simply click “I like this!” to add your vote.
Who can add comments?
Registered users can add comments to photos, videos, articles and listings. If you are not a registered user, you will be prompted with a simple registration form when you go to post your first comment. You will then receive an email asking to activate your new account. After activation, you will be able to post comments throughout the site.
What are the guidelines for posting comments?
All submissions are the property of VISIT FLORIDA.
Comments not related to travel in Florida will not be posted.
Comments that are profane, illegal, libelous or political in nature will not be posted.
Comments that are known to be untrue or are promotional in nature will not be posted.
All comments are subject to editorial review to correct grammar and spelling, delete expletives and provide additional commentary to a user’s submission for clarification purposes.
Comments are posted in real time unless: 1) it is flagged as profane or inappropriate, based on a list of banned words.
Click here to see Terms and Conditions.
What are the guidelines for submitting photos, videos and/or trips?
All submissions, including photos and videos, are the property of VISIT FLORIDA.
Submissions not related to travel in Florida will not be published.
Submissions that are profane, illegal, libelous or political in nature will not be posted.
Submissions that are known to be untrue or are promotional in nature will not be posted.
2. Video and photo uploads
What are the video and photo submission guidelines?
We accept .avi , .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .wmv video file types
Videos cannot exceed 15MB
Photos must be JPGs in RGB mode only, 465x465 pixels minimum
You can only upload one photo at a time
Photo file max size is 3mb
Click here for Terms and Conditions.
3. Visiting Florida
When is Spring Break and what are the areas most heavily visited for Spring Break?
Spring Break vacation times vary from school to school. Some start as early as late February, however March through April are the months when most Spring Breaks occur. Students on Spring Break visit destinations all over the state, but the areas with the most Spring Break activities are Daytona Beach, Key West, Miami and Panama City Beach.
When is “Season”?
“Season” refers to an area’s busiest tourist season and varies by area. In general, the summer months will be season in the northern part of the state, while the winter months are season for most of the central and southern areas. For information about a specific area’s season, contact the local Visitors Bureau.
What beaches are closest to Orlando?
Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach and Cocoa Beach are all about an hour east of Orlando on the Atlantic, all with their own unique personalities. Clearwater Beach is the closest Gulf coast beach, about two hours west of Orlando. For more information, check out this article, Beaches Close to Orlando.
How can I obtain a Florida Highway Map, Visitor Guide or other printed VISIT FLORIDA publications?
You can order a free map and other publications from VISIT FLORIDA here. If you want a guide for a specific area, you can usually get one from its visitors’ services. For example, here’s where you can order a free vacation planning kit from Orlando’s visitors’ services.
What are the average monthly temperatures in Florida?
Check out the average monthly temperatures, precipitation and more for 117 Florida cities from U.S. Climate Data.
What are the average water temperatures of Florida’s beaches?
To view a chart of average water temperatures at beaches near where you’re going, visit the National Oceanographic Data Center website for Gulf of Mexico temperatures and Atlantic Ocean temperatures.
As a general rule, the water anywhere in Florida will be warm enough to swim between April and October. During the cooler months, the farther south you go, the warmer it will be. Fort Lauderdale, Miami, the Keys, Marco Island and Naples will have the warmest water during the winter.
How can I find out which beaches and state parks allow pets?
Domestic pets are permitted in designated day-use areas at all Florida State Parks. They must be kept on a handheld leash that is six feet or shorter and be well-behaved at all times. Pet owners are required to pick up after their pets and properly dispose of their droppings. Pets are not permitted on beaches or playgrounds, or in bathing areas, cabins, park buildings or concession facilities. Individual parks may have specific areas prohibiting pets. Here’s more information on Florida State Parks Pet Policies.
To find out which Florida beaches allow dogs, visit BringFido.com. The site lists the top ten Florida dog beaches as well as listings for numerous cities.
What do I need to know about Florida’s wildlife?
Florida is home to a wide variety of the most amazing wildlife in the world, which is a huge draw for many visitors, environmentalists and researchers. While alligators, crocodiles, sharks, snakes, bears and other wildlife are prevalent in our state, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), attacks by these creatures are “very rare” occurrences. Despite that rarity, it is wise for visitors to learn more about The Sunshine State’s fauna. For safety tips and other information, please go to MyFWC.com.
4. Transportation and Accessibility
How can I get information on driving safely in Florida?
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) provides detailed safety tips and educational materials for driving in the state of Florida here.
Does Florida have any highway rules or laws that may differ from my state of origin?
Visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website here and here for more information on Florida highway safety laws and other important information.
How can I find out what handicap services are available in an area?
Florida has extensive resources for travelers with special needs. Check out this article, Florid-able, for more information. You can contact the local Visitors Bureau for information on services in the area you'll be visiting.
How can I find information on transportation options?
You can find a list of Partners offering transportation options and other travel-related services here.
Does Florida require international travelers who wish to drive in the state to have an International Driving Permit?
You don’t need an international driving permit to drive in Florida; you just need a valid driver license, issued in your name, from your state or country of residence.
5. Partnership and Advertising
Why do some areas show no listings for restaurants, attractions or other categories?
Businesses listed on VISITFLORIDA.com are participants in the VISIT FLORIDA Partnership program. If there are no members in a particular destination, a page will return no results. For more information on businesses in the area, contact the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau.
How do I get a listing on this Web site?
Businesses listed on VISITFLORIDA.com are participants in the VISIT FLORIDA Partnership program. Our affordable Partnership levels provide increased consumer exposure for your business and access to marketing programs. For more information on becoming a VISIT FLORIDA Partner, click here.
How do I advertise on this Web site?
For information on advertising, click here.
How do I find out if a business is legitimate or file a complaint?
Contact the Florida Division of Consumer Services at www.800helpfla.com or 1-800-HELPFLA.
6. Local Webcams
How do I add my local webcam to VISITFLORIDA.com?
Webcams are not hosted by VISIT FLORIDA, rather third-party sites. If you would like to submit your webcam for inclusion on VISITFLORIDA.com, please complete the online submission form. We are looking for webcams with a clear view showing the current state of Florida beaches. Priority is given to webcams from VISIT FLORIDA's DMO Partners and those with the least amount of obstruction of beach view.
7. Other FAQ
How can I get information on relocating to Florida?
Contact the local Chambers of Commerce for relocation information.
Where can I find information about Florida for a school project?
For school report information and fun facts about Florida, visit Florida fun facts. For other facts and information about Florida visit the official government site, www.myFlorida.com.
Q: How can I find the perfect beach for me?
Here’s a quick primer on Florida beaches to help you choose. Start by choosing your general location and the time of year you want to visit.
Next, you should figure out the general vibe you’re looking for. Do you want a big city? A charming little town with shopping and cafes? A beach where you see almost nobody else? Someplace upscale? Someplace old-fashioned? Do you like miniature golf and T-shirt shops, or do you hate them? Florida features beaches on both coasts in all these varieties.
A few articles you may find helpful:
To further research any destination that you find interesting, put its name into the search engine on the VISIT FLORIDA homepage, and it will give you lots of info that you can filter by blog, article, photo or video, to help you decide which one is the best fit for you.
I’m happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, too! Just write me with details of what you’d like!
Q: What's the closest beach to Orlando?
Cocoa Beach would be the closest to Orlando. It’s on the Atlantic side and only about 55 minutes away. It's also home to the Kennedy Space Center. Daytona Beach or New Smyrna would be about a 75-minute drive. If you seek Gulf coast beaches, head to St. Petersburg/Clearwater Beach (less than two hours). The beaches are beautiful and there is plenty to do for families – we love Pier 60 in Clearwater.
Q: Where can I find discounted theme park tickets?
Most theme parks run their own specials, so before your visit, log on to the park's website and click "specials" or "offers." Often, you'll also find special rates for Florida residents on the theme parks' websites. If you live in Florida, be sure to buy your tickets online for SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resorts.
If you're an out-of-state visitor, check ticket brokers. Mousesavers offers various discounts for military, GE, Hilton, Costco and AAA. Speaking of AAA, members can get discounts through AAAsouth.com. Another reliable source is the Official Ticket Center, which offers discount tickets for all the Orlando theme parks, plus dinner shows and other attractions. Also try UnderCover Tourist, Orlando Fun Tickets and Reserve Orlando.
It may take some digging, but you CAN score a deal on theme park tickets, leaving more money for snacks and souvenirs.
Q: How do I get my fishing license to fish in Florida?
Florida is probably the most convenient place in America to buy a fishing license. You can do it over the phone or online. To learn more, go to http://www.myfwc.com/license/.
Q: Where and when can I see manatees?
Check out my blog post, “Five Great Places to See Florida Manatees” for some recommendations on where to go, what time of year is best, and how to interact responsibly with Florida’s gentle giants.
Q: Where would I find scenic drives in Florida?
Great back road drives are all over the state and a book that’s recommended often is Jan Godown Annino's Scenic Driving Florida. Also, check out VISITFLORIDA.com/driving_tours, which offers articles, videos, blogs and photos on roads, attractions, parks and museums. Until then, a few of my favorites are:
Q: Are there any food and wine festivals in Florida?
We have several Food & Wine Festivals, including the famous Food Network South Beach Food & Wine Festival. Here’s a link with more information: http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/articles/2010/february/1495-top-wine-and-food-festivals.html
Q: What is the best time of the year to get good sales at the Orlando Premium Outlets?
We posed your question to Chelsea Auffarth, spokeswoman for Orlando Premium Outlets. See below for her response.
Happy shopping (and saving)!
While every day is a sale at our centers, outlets do have seasonal sales. Please see below for our 2011 sale calendar. Orlando Premium Outlets offers over 300 stores in the Orlando area which offer savings of 25 percent to 65 percent everyday with additional sales throughout the year. You can visit the Sales & Events page of our website to view our current in-store promotions.
It’s no secret that shopping is a top activity for travelers and vacationers. While kids of all ages enjoy the thrills of Orlando’s theme parks, savvy shoppers enjoy the thrill of finding the finest designer brands at savings at the area’s two incredible outlet centers – one serving the area near Walt Disney World and the other serving the area near Universal Orlando Resort.
Located close to Universal Orlando Resort at the north end of International Drive is Orlando Premium Outlets - International Drive, featuring 180 designer and name-brand outlet stores, including: Baccarat, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Cole Haan, Dooney & Bourke, J.Crew, Jack and Janie, Judith Ripka, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, Lalique, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, The North Face, Pearl Izumi, Perry Ellis, Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, St. John, Thomas Pink, True Religion, Vince and much more.
Located only one mile from Walt Disney World on Interstate 4 at exit 68 on Vineland Avenue, Orlando Premium Outlets - Vineland Avenue features 150 designer and name-brand outlet stores. This beautiful, Mediterranean inspired village offers area visitors a chance to purchase some of the finest designer brands at great savings. The impressive list of stores includes A|X Armani Exchange, Barneys New York Outlet, BCBG Max Azria, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Diesel, Dior, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, J.Crew, Kenneth Cole, Lacoste, LeSportsac, Lucky Brand, Marni, MaxMara, Michael Kors, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tag Heuer, Tod’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Wolford, Zegna Outlet and much more.
In addition to these two high end outlet centers, shoppers should save time to stop by a third area center, located just south of Orlando Premium Outlets - International Drive. Orlando Marketplace features 40 designer and name-brand outlet stores that have impressive savings on such brands as Calvin Klein, Coldwater Creek, Nine West, Reebok, Sketchers, Van Heusen and more.
To save even more, shoppers can log onto www.premiumoutlets.com/vip to sign up for the VIP Shopper Club. There is no cost to join, and shoppers will receive additional exclusive savings and discounts.
For additional information, log onto the website, www.premiumoutlets.com/orlando.
Presidents’ Day Sale: Friday-Monday, Feb. 18 - 21
Friday, Feb. 18: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 19: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 20: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 21: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Easter: Sunday, April 24
10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: Friday-Monday, May 27-30
Friday, May 27: 10am-11 p.m.
Saturday, May 28: 10am-11 p.m.
Sunday, May 29: 10am-9 p.m.
Monday, May 30: 10am-11 p.m.
July 4 Summer Sale: Thursday-Monday, June 30 - July 4
Thursday, June 30: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Friday, July 1: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday, July 2: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, July 3: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Mon, July 4: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Labor Day Weekend Sale: Friday -Monday, Sept. 2 -5
Friday, Sept. 2: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 3: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 5: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, Nov. 24 - Center Open
After-Thanksgiving Weekend Sale featuring Midnight Madness: Friday - Sunday, Nov. 25 - 27
After-Holiday Sales: Monday, Dec. 26 - Monday, Jan. 2