After Iceland, next destination is Florida. It's been a while that the Sunshine State is wandering in our mind: Miami, Orlando, World Disney World, the Keys...this itinerary was born for our relatives who wanted to visit Florida in less than 2 weeks.
Please note that we have never been in Florida; thus, this itinerary is based on travel guides and websites.
When to go
If you have the possibility, choose the winter-spring period to go to Florida since it's the best moment both for temperatures (approximately 26°C) and for air humidity which is more acceptable compared to that of summer period.
Note that hurricane season lasts from June to November.
But...Can I have sea baths all year long? Absolutely yes! Water temperature in Miami changes from 24°C during winter period and it increases up to 30°C during summer.
Day 1: Milan/Rome - Miami
Day 2: Miami
Day 3: Miami
Day 4: Miami
Day 5: Miami - Daytona Beach
Day 6: Daytona Beach - Orlando
Day 7: Orlando
Day 8: Orlando
Day 9: Orlando - Naples
Day 10: Naples- Key Largo
Day 11: Key Largo - Key West
Day 12: Key West
Day 13: Key West - Miami
Day 14: Miami - Milan/Rome
"Miami is always a great idea!"
Miami is not only a city but it's an icon! Sun, fashion, sea, jet-set...American Style!
Miami is divided into different neighborhoods, the most famous of which is South beach, where, besides long white beaches and colorful buildings, you can find shops, world famous boutiques, restaurants of every type (from gourmet to take away) and above all, nightlife. You can choose if to relax wathcing the ocean or to visit museums and historical sites or to walk along Lincoln Road. Finally, you can't miss a walk along Ocean Drive, one of the most famous street in the world.
Downtown Miami is the heart of commercial and cultural activities and in the last few years it is becoming more and more known among tourists.
The Metromover (a free monorail) seems to be a really good way to move and for a little bit of shopping and a snack Bayside Marketplace seems to be an ideal place.
Born, in 1800 Coconut Grove is another interesting destination, a village inside the big city.
The pedestrian center is full of cafè, boutiques and art galleries. Coral Gables and Bal Harbour are other interesting neighborhoods are
Where to sleep?
We'd like to stay in South Beach/Miami Beach neighborhood in order to go out and find the best of nightlife in Miami. Downtown Miami has not so much to offer in the evening since it is associated to commercial activities. The only problem is that South Beach and MIami Beach are the most expensive areas in Miami; Airbnb, instead of normal hotels, could be a solution since you can find nice apartments at acceptable prices.
American experience ( for sports lover )
Probably because we love American sport, we really suggest to go to see a basket/football/baseball match to live the real American atmosphere.
Miami - Daytona Beach
Stage: 466 kms; 5 hours drive without stops.
To See: Kennedy Space Center, Daytona Beach
After shopping and Miami nightlife, leave towards the North by car and start this spatial trip...
340 km far from Miami, at Kennedy Space Center of Cape Canaveral ( Link ), you can discover every secrets of the human history in the space. The ticket costs $ 50 and it allows different type of activities according to time and interests.
After stars, it's time to go to the most famous beach in the world: Daytona Beach, at approximately 110 kms from the Space Center. A little bit of relax on the beach and a walk along the boardwalk...an ideal way to end the day.
For info: www.daytonabeach.com
Daytona Beach - Orlando
Stage: 91 kms, 1 hour drive - without stops.
To see: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
You can spend the morning relaxing on the beach or, for sport and engine lover, visiting the
Daytona International Speedway ( Link ). Daytona is famous all over the world because of the speedway that you can visit with several tours (from half an hour up to 3 hours) with different prices (from 18$ to 52$)
It's time to go to Orlando, city of fun where to return child in one of theme parks.
Orlandodoes not have cultural attractions but it's the city of theme parks!
DisneyWorld, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Legoland ...
Choose will not be easy but it dipends from your preferences...we love the enchanted Disney world, which in Florida owns an entire county... WaltDisneyWorld fatto is made up of 4 theme parks, hotels, public transport system...and here everything is quite expensive.
Here some useful links to choose where to spend some fun days:
- Universal Studios: www.universalorlando.com
- WaltDisneyWorld: www.disneyworld.disney.go.com
- SeaWorld: www.seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando/
Orlando - Naples
Stage: 476 kms, 6 hours drive - without stops.
To see: Siesta Beach, Sanibel Island, Naples, Tamiami Trail
This is the longer stage of the entire holyday, 480 kms along Sunshine State between sun and sea! The first part (230 kms) starts from Orlando and arrives at Siesta Beach, defined as the best beach in USA for its white sand and turquoise sea.
After a little bit of relax, the second part (170 kms) will bring us to Sanibel Island, the shell island, which offers lots of beaches.
The last 85 kms leads to Naples, a really nice city, wealthy and tidy. The heart of the city is the 5th Avenue and also here there are some beautiful white sand beaches and a romantic pier.
Naples - Key Largo
Stage: 242 kms - 3 hours drive - without stops.
To See: Everglades National Park, Naples
Naples and Key Largo are not too far and if you decide to drive along the US 41 - Tamiami Trail you will pass through the Everglades National Park ( Link ), whose entrance is at Shark Valley Visitor Center. The Everglades are a wetland area rich in a particular flora and fauna, known above all for the great presence of alligators. The best time to visit the park is the winter one given the low rainfall and low humidity. The entry with the car is $ 20.
After Everglades, Florida Keys are our next stop. The first of them is Key Largo where there are lots of beaches and sea activities (snorkeling, dolphins experience...) - according to many opinions on internet, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park ( Link ) seems to be a good place to try some of them.
Key Largo - Key West
Stage: 157 kms - 2 hours and a half drive - without stops.
To see: Florida Key Scenic Highway, Bahia Honda State Park, Marathona.
It's time to take the Florida Key Scenic Highway which, in the middle of the ocean, passes through Islamorada, Marathon e Big Pine Key.
Speed limits are really low but this is not a problem since you can see dolphins swimming and incredible landscapes which change with different part of the day.
Alond the trip, Bahia Honda State Park ( Link ) could be an interesting place to stop and nrelax on the beach or Marathon where there is also a Turtle Hospital ( Link ) and a dolphin research center that can be visited with the possibility to see these wonderful creatures ( Link ).
Finally, Key West the biggest island of the USA, only 90 kms far from Cuba.
Key West likes almost to everyone who visits it because, besides sea and beaches, it offers different attractions. Being surrounded by clear Carribbean water, this is ideal place for water sports and relax. The best public beaches seem to be South Beach at Southernmost Point ( at eh end of Duval Street, opposite to Mallory Square ), Fort Zachary Taylor beach, Higgs Beach, lsandy and wide at the end of Raynolds Street, Rest Beach and Smathers Beach.
Key West offers also an intense nightlife. The ideal beginning is at Mallory Square per to admire the sunset. Then a long night begins in one of the many bars and pubs near Mallory Square and Duval Street.