I'm based in London to tell visitors from the United Kingdom why Florida, with its year-round sunshine, fabulous beaches and countless hidden delights, is world famous -- and my favorite destination.
More From the United Kingdom Insider
UK Insider QUESTIONS
Q: Id like to see another side of Florida, but dont want to travel too far from the big cities. Can you recommend some interesting day trips?
Here’s just a handful of metropolitan areas and the convenient day trips you can take. This just scratches the surface, so if you have more specific questions, please feel free to ask me or search for the area you have in mind in the search bar at the top of VISITFLORIDA.com.
Q: What is the weather like in Florida? When is the best time of year to come?
As with anywhere you might travel, Florida’s weather is very unpredictable. I would suggest you go to the NOAA website and VISIT FLORIDA’s weather page to check out the average air and water temperatures and rainfall for the areas of the state you’re considering. It will be also helpful to check these pages in advance of your trip for the most up-to-date weather forecasts.
No matter when you choose to visit, I am sure you will find any month you come to sunny Florida a pure delight.
Q: Where should I start looking for information on holiday rentals and hotels?
Rentals and other accommodations vary from city to city and county to county. I would suggest using the “Popular Cities” menu at the top of this site for your area of interest. Florida has so much to offer that it could be a hard choice.
Q: Where can I find out more about Floridas toll roads and how much they cost to travel?
If you are looking at Florida's State map, the toll roads will be colored green. The rates vary by location, and you can use this handy toll calculator to check the amounts that will be on your trip. For more information about Florida's Turnpike, visit their website at floridasturnpike.com.
In advance of your trip, you should also check with your rental car provider to find out more about their toll policies. For more information on recent changes to Florida’s toll roads, check out this article.
Have a safe and happy road trip through Florida!
Q: How can I get a Florida holiday guide or Florida road map?
You can check out VISIT FLORIDA’s guide and map pages to browse available guides, directories and maps online or request that certain guides be sent to you. You can also request eNewsletters that fit your interests, or check out the local Visitor’s Bureau for the areas you’re interested in visiting. If you’re looking for more information, feel free to ask.
For specific area maps and guides, please contact the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau. If traveling by car, please stop in one of our Official Welcome Centers located just inside the state line on I-10, US 231, I-75 and I-95. Any of these centers can help you find other information regarding the area you desire.
Q: How can I find discounted tickets to Floridas theme parks? What about deals on accommodations and other attractions?
Most theme parks run their own specials, so before you visit, log on to the parks’ websites and click "specials" or "offers." You should always check the theme parks' websites first for any special offers to SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resorts. If you're an out-of-state visitor, check ticket brokers. Mousesavers offers various discounts throughout the year. 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 and Orlando Fun Tickets.
In the UK, one of the biggest ticket brokers is Attraction Tickets Direct and they offer the best deals available on theme park tickets. One of their best selling tickets is the Orlando Freedom Ticket, which provides 14 days entry to all the parks including SeaWorld, Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, Aquatica and the Universal parks. Visit their website at www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk.
As a UK traveler it is advisable to book your theme park tickets before travelling to Orlando, they will be able to offer the best deals possible.
You can also browse the VISIT FLORIDA deals page for specials and packages that you can search by destination or interest.
Q: How can I travel within Florida? How can I get from the airport to my hotel?
The best and most efficient way to travel within Florida is by car hire. Other means of transportation are Amtrak, www.amtrak.com, which offers service from Miami to Orlando with stops in between, from Tampa to Jacksonville via Orlando with stops in between and from Jacksonville to Pensacola with stops in between. Amtrak’s Auto-Train runs between Washington, D.C. and Sanford, Florida (north of Orlando). The frequency on Amtrak in Florida is much more limited than the train frequencies in Europe, though some trains offer sleeping compartments and dining cars with waiters. The train stations may or may not always be located in the city center; check Amtrak’s online map and stations list. Greyhound, at www.greyhound.com, offers intercity bus service.
Each airport in Florida offers different transportation services. For example, transport available at Orlando International Airport includes car hire, local bus service, shuttle service and taxis. For further information, go to www.orlandoairports.net. Transport available at both Miami and Fort Lauderdale International airports includes car rentals, local bus service, hotel shuttle service and taxis. For further information, go to www.miami-airport.com/ and www.broward.org/airport.
To learn more about driving in Florida, click here.
Q: What are the closest beaches to the theme parks in the Orlando area?
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).
Q: Im visiting Florida for the first time and want it to be a phenomenal trip. What are the best places to visit, and how can I find out more information?
Florida has great areas to holiday in. I am not sure what section in Florida you wish to go. We have the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. We have state parks like no other and they all offer different adventures within. If white sand, blue water and a great tan is what you are looking for, Florida has it all.
I would suggest you visit the VISIT FLORIDA Insiders' Q&A Center. We will be able to answer any other questions you might have and get you started on planning the perfect holiday.
You can also check out VISIT FLORIDA’s guide page to browse available guides, directories and maps online or request that certain guides be mailed to you. You can also request eNewsletters that fit your interests. Take a look and see what you find of interest and have a great time. Don't forget the sunscreen and camera.