Florida has to be the perfect vacation location for almost anyone. With the exception of the occasional hurricane, Florida weather is ideal year-round. Florida is the only state that sits on two ocean fronts. The eastern part of Florida faces the Atlantic Ocean and the western side of the panhandle is boarded by the Gulf of Mexico. Florida can be broken down into three major tourist areas; the east coast, the west coast and the Florida Key Islands.
Florida’s East Coast or Atlantic Coastline
The east coast of Florida is geared toward the modern traveler. Popular tourist cities include Miami, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Daytona. The area is filled with amusement parks and theme parks such as Disney World, Sea World Orlando and Universal Studios Florida. Space and science buffs will marvel at the Kennedy Space Center located near Titusville Florida. Some space enthusiasts plan vacations within Space Shuttle launch windows in hopes of being able to attend a space launch from Florida’s emerald coast. Anyone into NASCAR will want to attend the Daytona 500. The race is held each February at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. Surfing, wave running, deep sea fishing and shopping are some of the adventurous ways to spend a day along the East Coast of Florida.
Florida’s West Coast or Gulf Coast
Florida’s Gulf Coast offers a more traditional Florida vacation. Known worldwide for its deep sea fishing, the westside of the Florida panhandle is filled with chartered fishing tours to help every tourist “catch the big one!” The westside of the Florida shore line is also known for animal sanctuaries, aquariums and zoos. Some of the more popular locations include the Clearwater Aquarium and the Lowery Park Zoo. These are among the many wonderful locations where visitors to the Florida Gulf Coast can view sea life, schedule a Dolphin adventure or check up on injured animals that have been rescued from the Florida oceans and shores. Many visitors enjoy touring the lighthouse found along the Florida West Coast. Others just relax away the day at one of the many resorts or beaches found along this beautiful Florida coastline.
Florida’s Key Islands
The Florida Keys are geared toward the eco-tourists and nature enthusiasts. Florida’s famous Everglades National Park is located in the Florida Keys. The park offers canoeing, nature trails, campsites, mountain bike trails and guided tours. The Keys are home to the only living natural coral reef in Northern America. Other reefs can be found along the coast, however they are man-made. Many precautions have been taken to protect this delicate area including buoyed boat tie-offs in the waterways along Florida’s Coral Reef. These where put in place so that boats bringing those who want to dive and snorkel the area won’t have to drop anchor and risk endangering the fragile reef. Bird watching, kayaking and glass bottom boat rides are also popular pastimes for visitors to Florida’s Key Islands. Some of the major islands along the Florida Keys include Key West, Marathon Key and Key Largo. To get to the Islands of the Florida Keys, visitors can come by sea, air or land. The oversea highway that travels from the Florida mainland to the famous Keys is U.S. Highway 1. If long drives with a view of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, is not your style, there are air shuttles and ferries that bring eco-travelers to this tropical wonderland.