Florida is a peninsula in the south east of the US with the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. In the Florida Keys, a coral archipelago to the southwest, water temperatures can reach 69° F (21° C) during winter, and as warm as 86° F (30° C) during the hot, and humid summer months which are often accompanied by afternoon thunderstorms; many will pass by as quickly as they arrive.
The diving opportunities in Florida are vast and varied, including coral reefs, caves, long drift dives, shipwrecks, extensive spring water cave systems, and the unique opportunity to dive with the gentle manatee.
Out of the water a trip to the liberal Key West will transport you from this traditionally conservative retirement state. Enjoy literary festivals, eat fusion cuisine in its cafes, and explore the rooms of the Spanish colonial house that Ernest Hemingway’s cats used to call home.
If that all sounds too cultural then head to the Everglades National Park, put your flippers on, and try to outrun an alligator.
When you’re relaxing you can hang out with artists in the liberal Key West, play a round of golf, or laze with a book and complete your dive log on the beaches of Miami. In the evening, enjoy Miami’s vibrant club scene and dance with the other beautiful people.
If you need your picture taken with Donald Duck then head to Orlando. The roller coasters at Busch Gardens, and the history at Kennedy Space Centre offer an alternative.
The Everglades National Park, a world heritage site, provides a natural environment for manatee, American crocodile and Florida panther. You can hike, canoe and cycle until the ocean starts calling you again.
There isn’t much you can’t do in Florida.
Depending on your destination, Florida has three main international airports located in Orlando (mid central), Tampa (west coast), and Miami (south). The state is well served by domestic airports to the major cities, including Key West.
Independent travelers can easily rent a car at the airports.