When we asked all our dealchecker readers for their very best travel tips to Florida we received a phenomenal response. We now know exactly which theme parks you rate, and have plenty of cunning ways to save your precious $$$ (see part 1 here). But obviously there’s a whole lot more to the Sunshine State than Mickey Mouse and co, so let’s dig into your suggestions on other unmissable sights and Florida holiday destinations.
Where would you go?
Pam urges you all to explore all that Florida has to offer:
“Try to get out of the theme park area to see the real Florida – visit Forever Florida and, to see Manatees in the wild, go to Blue Springs, Manatee Springs, Crystal Springs, Homosassa Springs, etc. Also Bok Tower Gardens and The Harry P Leu Gardens are great for a quiet day.”
Manattee – Image by USFWS/Southeast
John is full of suggestions from his experience travelling around Florida. He rates the Kennedy Space Centre, the fort at St Augustine, tropical Sanibel Island and the Everglade swamps as well as Fort Myers:
“We … drove to Fort Myers to visit the homes of some of America’s greatest – Edison, Harvey Goodyear & Henry Ford.
The tour of Edison’s home was absolutely fascinating – to see how the great inventor started as a railroad signal operator, and went on to achieve so much more!”
Edison Lab – image by milan.boers
Sue has tips for travelling even further afield. In the past she’s headed as far as New Orleans and Memphis on a fly-drive holiday starting out in Orlando, and her top tip is to book yourself on a cruise:
“Go to a travel agents in any Mall and book a cruise! They go out of Tampa Miami Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral all within a couple of hours drive of Orlando. We have done this twice now. The first time we went to the Bahamas for 3 nights for 100 dollars, the second time we went to Dominican republic, St Thomas and Bahamas for 4 nights for 150 dollars, both times with carnival cruises. Much cheaper than booking here.”
Even if you are primarily heading to Florida for the Orlando attractions there’s still plenty else to do nearby.
Richard has driven to the Everglades for the day. His tip is as follows:
“Thrilling visit, where it appeared that the crocodiles ospreys and American Eagles were waiting to welcome us. Only recommendation is to wrap up warm (if travelling out of summer) because on a hover-boat it is PERISHING”
Everglades & Turner River chaunceydavis818
Rob has a beach recommendation:
“When staying in Orlando area, head east on the192 keep on the same road until you reach Melbourne Beach.”
Sunrise at Melbourne beach – image by ÐIÐËO
And if you’re looking for golf then Gary has some tips:
“try the Highlander course, south on I.27 (join off I.92 few miles west of Kissimee) OR the Legends Course, north on the I.27 (same junction) 2 x excellent courses and if pushed i just prefer Legends. Enjoy!”
For all explorations of Florida by road this tip from Micheal B will probably come in useful:
“If you are going to drive a lot around Florida for 2 weeks or more you must buy an EASYPASS, this enables you to drive the TOLL ROADS such as the FLORIDA TURNPIKE and not have to stop every few miles to get through the toll booths… It saves a lot of minutes over a drive.”
Where to Eat
Our readers even helped us out with some restaurant recommendations. It’s unlikely you’ll ever be stuck for somewhere for a bite to eat in Florida, but take note of these trusted eateries.
“The best steak house in Orlando is a place called “Mannys”. It’s on the 27 heading out of Davenport on the right. The steaks are the best we have ever eaten and its really cheap. BUT be prepared to wait as its very, very popular.” – from RD
“You can’t beat Applebys for quality food at great prices. As usual, the Americans don’t hold back on the portion sizes, so make sure you’re hungry.” – from Gary
image by meshmar2
And if you’re planning on eating at Disney follow Julie’s advice:
“Book any dining reservations beforehand to eat in Disney Parks. Rules are forever changing but at the moment, you need to book in advance for everything apart from Quick Service. Good news though is that you can book online, much less hassle!!”
What to pack:
We’ll round up our Florida travel tips with some wise words on what to take – bear these in mind when you’re cramming the essentials into your suitcase:
Sue advocates packing light:
“Don’t take too many clothes. No-one dresses up, its not like Europe, everyone everywhere wears shorts or cropped jeans with vests or t shirts, with flip flops or sneakers day and night.”
and we can all learn from Annette’s tale:
“The sun doesn’t always shine in Florida so bring a light plastic mac! … My niece went there 2 years ago. I bought her a lovely pea green light mac. Everyone thought this was so funny – going to Florida with a raincoat??? Guess what? She had the last laugh. The rest of the party got soaked!”
Image by hydropeek
To read up even more real advice on Florida from real travellers check out the travel tips section of our website.
And we’re currently asking for all your best tips to Ibiza – our favourite will win a £20 iTunes voucher.
Top image by Bogeskov