FLORIDA HOLIDAYS

More Than Just Sunshine

Florida holidays feature some of the world’s best theme parks and five distinct beach holiday zones. Many visitors head for Florida’s theme parks first, then decompress with a week by the sea. The sheer scale of the Sunshine State means that Florida’s many beaches differ in vibe, there is one to suit everyone. The beaches closest to Orlando are very popular, but it’s definitely worth venturing further afield to experience your perfect Florida beach holiday.

Florida Theme Parks

If your idea of a great family holiday is thrilling rollercoasters, exhilarating attractions, taking in spectacular shows and relaxing by resort pools, Florida's theme parks are the place for you. From the ever-popular Walt Disney World Resort, with its new Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions to the three amazing theme parks and spectacular hotels at Universal Orlando Resort™, there are experiences for the entire family to look forward to.

Not sure which theme park is right for you? Choosing the perfect theme parks, the best ticket combination and the ideal hotel can feel overwhelming. Our experts can share their first hand knowledge to design the perfect family holiday to Florida to suit you and your budget. While Orlando is undoubtedly the theme park capital of the world, it’s easy to combine the thrills of Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando with a city break or relaxing beach holiday. Direct flights to Orlando now available from Belfast make the prospect even more appealing.

Florida Beaches

Florida Gulf Coast beaches tend to be calmer and slightly warmer and therefore great for families. Those wide, soft white sand beaches could be lifted straight out of the Caribbean. Key West is a true blue resort town, filled with seafood restaurants, a myriad of boutiques and fishing boats for charter. St. Pete, Clearwater, Naples and Sanibel are all well worth a visit.

On the Atlantic side, the waves are higher, the water is cooler and better suited to extreme watersports, like kitesurfing on Cocoa Beach. Head to Florida’s Treasure Coast with a metal detector to scan the sand for pirate booty. Then flee the maddening crowds and head for sanctuary further south at Ponce Inlet or Canaveral Seashore. With romantic island getaways, city beaches and family-friendly coastline shores, Florida is the perfect beach holiday destination.

Florida is the ideal sun holiday destination. With five distinct beach zones – north-east, central, south-east, Gulf Coast and the Keys – you really can’t go wrong with the 1,200 miles of dramatic coastline.

Florida Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast tends to be calmer and slightly warmer and therefore great for family holidays to Florida. Those wide, soft white sand beaches could be lifted straight out of the Caribbean. Key West is a true blue US resort town, filled with seafood restaurants, a myriad of boutiques and fishing boats for charter. The Gulf Coast has parks for cycling, kid-centric attractions, golf and a lively nightlife scene. St Pete, Clearwater, Naples and Sanibel are all well worth a visit.

Atlantic Coast Beaches

On the east coast, or Atlantic side, the waves are higher, the water is cooler and better suited to more extreme watersports, like kitesurfing on Cocoa Beach. There’s plenty to amuse on this side. Head to Florida’s Treasure Coast with a metal detector to scan the sand for pirate booty. Or tick one more thing off the bucket list and take a drive along Daytona’s beach. To avoid the tourists, the hotels and the maddening crowds on your holiday to Florida, head for sanctuary further south at Ponce Inlet or Canaveral Seashore. With romantic island getaways, city beaches and family-friendly coastline shores, Florida has a beach for every visitor.

Beaches and Resorts to Enjoy on your Florida Holiday

Here are some of the most popular beaches to visit on your holiday to Florida

  1. St Petes/Clearwater
  2. Sarasota & Her Islands
  3. Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
  4. Naples, Marco Island & EVerglades
  5. Daytona Beach
  6. Palm Beach
  7. Greater Fort Lauderdale
  8. Miami and the Keys

St.Petes/Clearwater

One of the USA’s premier beach resorts where the warm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico caress 35 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches. Spectacular sunsets, water sports and stunning nature parks, here you’ll be spoilt by a world record average of 360 days of sunshine.

Sarasota & Her Islands

Sarasota is a natural paradise. Spot the dolphins leaping in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Manatees lumbering in the intra coastal waterways. The islands of Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key are all within an easy drive from the city and offer world class white sandy beaches and lots of outdoor activities.

Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel in South West Florida are made up of over 100 barrier islands strung along the Gulf of Mexico and have a laid-back, barefoot vibe. Hit the beach with a bucket, spade and small net, at low tide you’ll find the ocean’s bounty of conch, cockles and scallop shells. From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel connected to the people and unspoilt nature around you.

Naples, Marco Island & Everglades

The jewel of Southwest Florida set against the calm warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico is home to Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades. Chic beach towns, spectacular sunsets and a relaxed way of life offer an affordable family holiday destination that appeals to nature, beach and golf lovers.

Daytona Beach

The ultimate playground, here you’ll find the famous Daytona International Speedway and its $400 million “re-imagining” project. Indulge your cultural cravings at the new Cici & Hyatt Brown Museum of Art. Stroll the iconic Daytona Beach Boardwalk & Pier and Ocean Walk Village, test your skills on the greens with 20 exciting golf courses or plan your stay around 50 annual events and festivals. Zipline through the scenic Tuscawilla Preserve. All this and so much more just an hour’s drive from Orlando.

Palm Beach

There are 47 miles of beaches in the Palm Beach area and are some of the most inviting you’ll find anywhere. Don’t miss a visit to the Flagler Museum, former home of Henry Flagler, famous and responsible for building the Florida East Coast Railway from Daytona to Key West. Nearby Jupiter Beach once a fishing village is now a popular holiday destination or alternatively Delry Beach is smaller with lots of style.

Greater Fort Lauderdale

Greater Fort Lauderdale occupies a prime stretch of East Florida’s coastline with several spectacular oceanfront towns, world-class beaches and the glamorous hub of Fort Lauderdale city. Enjoy chi chi cocktail bars and upmarket shopping in the city then discover its other vibe that revolves around the peaceful Intracoastal Waterway – earning the resort the name “the Venice of America”. See the area by Water taxi where the drivers are more like tour guides.

Miami and the Keys

From the glamorous beachfront to the cultural hub of Downtown Miami, there’s plenty to do here. For ultimate post-beach cocktails, head to South Beach and marvel at Art Deco architecture in this “see and be seen” hotspot. For a more cultural experience, visit Little Havana and admire the vibrant Hispanic murals and the Walkway of the Stars. The up-and-coming warehouse district “The Wynwood Walls” is a hotbed for art, trendy cafes and restaurants.

Connected by the 43 bridges of the Overseas Highway, the sun-dappled islands of the Florida Keys are an hour’s drive from Miami. With a slower pace of life and stunning natural beauty, the islands have a vibrant arts scene. There are also plenty of opportunities to kayak, sail, fish and snorkel, but if you prefer to keep your feet dry, taking to a hammock with a cocktail in hand is just as popular.

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