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Florida

HOTELS | GALLERY

Memorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine, Florida© Rob HuntleyMemorial Presbyterian Church, St. Augustine, Florida
© Rob Huntley
Anyone with small children knows that Orlando is a magnet for families. As well as Walt Disney World—one of the globe's biggest tourist attractions—the region is also home to theme parks ranging from the Universal Orlando Resort to SeaWorld Orlando.

But as much fun as thrill rides and giant mice can be, Florida has much more to offer. For thrills of a different type, head to Daytona Beach. See the action at the famous speedway, jump behind the wheel of your own speed wagon at one of countless go-kart tracks or catch a wave at one of the popular nearby surf spots.

To get a taste of Florida's past, visit St. Augustine, the oldest continuously inhabited municipality in America. Settled by the Spanish in the mid-1500s, the walled city is still remarkably atmospheric. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride or watch re-enactors bring Spanish colonial times to life.

Soft white-sand beaches lined with dunes are one of the biggest attractions along the Florida Panhandle. Fishing is another, and many sport fishers make Destin their base. From here, you can charter a boat to take you to nearby deep-sea waters teeming with sailfish and wahoo.

Urbanites will find lots to amuse them in Miami. Sophisticates gravitate to the Art Deco streets of South Beach for chic restaurants and boutique hotels, while families are drawn to the Miami Children's Museum and Parrot Jungle Island. Be sure to visit Calle Ocho, the street that runs through Miami's Little Havana, to snack on shrimp tortillas and sip a café con leche.

Watching a sunset, Key West, Florida© Paul B.Watching a sunset, Key West, Florida
© Paul B.
South Florida's other cities offer a range of amusements, from the upscale shops in West Palm Beach to pro baseball, football and hockey in the Tampa Bay area. But if you're in the mood for a more outdoorsy vacation, explore the watery Everglades, hunt for seashells on Sanibel Island or go snorkelling off the Florida Keys.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF


Stock Photos from 123RF