Image credit: Razvan Orendovici
Wave goodbye to the queues, costumes and overpriced merchandise of a certain mouse-mad theme park and explore what the Sunshine state really has to offer the whole family.
Relatively speaking, St Augustine can be described as an ancient town (in America at least). Originally founded by the Spanish in 1565, and continuously occupied since, this charismatic community clings to its roots and ensures historical landmarks, such as the Castillo de San Marcos, are put front and centre.
A stroll down one of the many colonially-influenced cobbled streets will delight at any time of year, and you can always guarantee a warm breeze blowing in from offshore.
1 hour 45 mins
Once you know that this persistently popular coastal town holds the world record for the most consecutive days of sunshine in a year (361, if you’re interested) there’s simply no reason not to take a detour here.
The name alone gives you an idea of what to expect, but with a range of eclectic events like film, jazz and strawberry festivals throughout the year, plus a wide array of activities around the harbour, there’s much more to occupy your time than just taking a dip in the clean, cool waters.
The deep turquoise that glows from the Gulf of Mexico set against the bright white sands of the Longboat, Lido and Siesta bays will capture your attention as soon as you draw close to stylish Sarasota.
Defined, in its day, by John Ringling when he brought his famous circus to town, you will find that creativity permeates every crevice of this waterside settlement and as you weave your way around extravagant mansions, ornately decorated theatres and sleekly spacious high-rises, you will easily find yourself drawn in by this bastion of the arts.
Named after Princess Ameila, daughter of George II, this temperate seaport settlement boasts miles of pristine beaches as well as an abundance of wildlife, if you’re in the mood for a spot of nature.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Isle of Eight Flags’ Amelia’s rich heritage presents a veritable treasure trove of antiquities to unearth. Make a beeline for the Museum of History (located in the Nassau County Jail) if you want to brush up on everything from the island’s pirates to present day attractions.
2 hours 30 minutes
Don’t be put off by the toothy animal inhabitants of America’s most famous wetland reserve. The Everglades are the perfect place to go on a snap happy safari, where glimpses of alligators, manatees and panthers provide a thrilling addition to the ever popular airboat rides.
Funnily enough, the dry season (from December to April) is the prime time to visit, as the humidity is low and there’s less chance of getting drenched in a sub-tropical rainstorm. Don’t forget the insect repellent, unless you’re after a souvenir or two from the mosquitoes.