Florida Holiday but NOT Disney
Iamblossom · 04/01/2021 10:57
Looking for some experiences people might have had of going to Florida, visiting the Quays and travelling through that area, fishing, snorkelling, things to do with 2 teenage boys (15 and 17).
When would be a good time to go, would August be ok?
Thanks in advance.
LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 04/01/2021 11:06
It's a great holiday, so is the Sarasota coast - look at the barrier islands like Siesta Key. I've done both and slightly preferred the Sarasota side, but either would be a great holiday with plenty to do/see.
August would be far too hot and humid for me though. We did the Keys in July and the weather was unpleasant. Sarasota was November and far nicer - it's so humid in the summer.
Iamblossom · 04/01/2021 11:08
Thankyou @LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett. How long do you think you would need? November out due to school etc.....
movingonup20 · 04/01/2021 11:12
It's hurricane season so whilst August can be lovely it can also be downright scary especially on the coast. Even if there's no hurricane there's awful thunderstorms regularly
nimbuscloud · 04/01/2021 11:14
We went in March
Weather not too hot
Miami, the Keys - all the way to Key West.
Over to Sanibel and up the coast from there
Back to Miami
zafferana · 04/01/2021 11:14
July/August would be a 'no' from me too - far too hot and humid - but it depends what you like.
We've been to FL three times, once in Feb to Tampa/Clearwater and twice in Oct to Orlando. The weather in October was perfect, Feb was a bit chilly, but right now it's apparently 80 degrees in FL, so winters there can be amazing and if you were on the Keys that's pretty far south. The website Weather2Travel is useful for checking average temps in any place in any given month www.weather2travel.com/
grey12 · 04/01/2021 11:21
I went as a kid and it was awesome to check the Kennedy Space Centre, and the Sea World and, yes, Disney
We stayed in Orlando and the beach was amazing. They have a very popular surf shop (Ron Jon) there, if your sons are into it.
It was ages ago so I don't remember much more
LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 04/01/2021 14:49
Totally depends on how many stops you want to make/for how long - you can drive the length of the keys in a couple of hours iirc, they aren't isolated. We drove from Miami and it only took half a day to get to Key West, for example.
Juanbablo · 04/01/2021 15:01
We went in April which was perfect weather. Hot but not rainy. Clearwater is amazing, they do boat trips out to see the dolphins. There's Discovery Cove in Orlando where you can swim with dolphins. Busch Gardens or Universal if you wanted parks that teen boys might enjoy. I think this place is called Kelly Park Rock Springs or something like that where you can Kayak and it looks like a lot of fun.
underneaththeash · 06/01/2021 21:37
Florida let’s are a great place to learn to scuba dive.,
Captiva, sanibel, Sarasota are great resorts too. Good food, beaches and wildlife.,
Driving distances are long, but easy conditions.
Weather’s best in April.
LilyE1234 · 06/01/2021 21:51
Anna Maria Island is beautiful. We went in Feb half term a few years ago and weather was great. Drove a couple of hours to Busch Gardens one day to get our theme park fix
PresentingPercy · 15/01/2021 12:48
No one should swim with dolphins. Not acceptable.
Florida is mostly resort towns and low on culture and history. So many better places to go but not in August.
BritWifeinUSA · 19/01/2021 21:52
Does it have to be Florida? There are much nicer states in this country. I can’t imagine why anyone would choose Florida over somewhere like South Carolina if they didn’t want to go to theme parks.
EnjoyingTheSilence · 19/01/2021 21:54
Please don’t do Sea World or swim with Dolphins 😢
Empressofthemundane · 19/01/2021 22:12
Agree Sarasota and it’s barrier islands are lovely. Key West is fun if a little louche.
Also consider the natural springs:
Rodeo might be fun too, depending when you go:
Great festival of you are there in March:
Of course there are always airboat rides in the Everglades and coconut grove and South beach in Miami.
CorianderBee · 19/01/2021 22:15
Not in August. I went in August a few years ago to act Lauderdale and Bocca Bay. You couldn't leave the house between 11.30 and 1.30 or you literally melted.
The heat and humidity was unbearable.
Tigerstripe20 · 07/02/2021 18:39
We have been to the USA 24 times, 16 to Florida , we did the theme parks at first about four times
The rest of the time we have done the Keys, Gulf coast, East coast , driven down the centre , driven across the Everglades a couple of times and loved it all.
We have also driven up to Savannah from Orlando
Sept, October and November are our preferred times the weather is good it’s slightly cheaper to fly and stay in November
Personally I would try and fly indirect eg: Man - Atlanta - Orlando for one as Orlando immigration is a right pain and if you fly indirect you go through immigration at your first point of landing in the USA and land as a domestic passenger in Orlando which is much easier .
Equimum · 10/02/2021 22:05
We did a fly-drive into Miami and drove down to the Everglades and along the Keys to Key West. It was amazing. We took an air boat tour, went snorkelling, kayaked through the Mangroves. Definitely recommend.
EmmaStone · 27/02/2021 13:47
I grew up in Florida, and we've been going back most years since my teens were born (cancelled 2020, but have just booked for Oct 2021, fingers crossed!!).
Florida is about the size of the UK, but driving around it is absolutely fine. However, you should give some thought as to how much time you want to be sitting in a car! Miami to the Keys would take a few hours, and I think you should really take the time to stop on the way, the drive is spectacular, but Key West is very different to the other Keys in feel. The Keys don't really have beaches as such, be prepared.
Miami is a lot of fun, you have the city itself as well as Miami Beach (which is a different city). On Miami Beach you've got the amazing Art Deco district, and the beach is beautiful and quite iconic.
You can choose between the Gulf Coast beaches or Atlantic Coast beaches. My favourite is Gulf side (Naples, Marco Island, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Anna Maria, Sanibel & Captivate...), but there's lots to be said for Atlantic too (Palm Beach, Daytona, as well as Miami etc).
Everglades worth a visit, I love seeing the alligators!
Further north, St Augustine is (I think) the oldest continually occupied city in the US, very touristy, but I really like it. I've not done J'ville or the Panhandle, although it's on my list!!
We drove Miami to Savannah in Georgia last time we went, took about 7 hours of driving in total (took advantage of jet lag and left at crack of dawn, stopped in St Augustine for lunch, got to Savannah late afternoon), if you fancy something a bit different. It was beautiful. Would love to do Charleston too one day.
Weather wise, I'd avoid August and the summer months, the humidity is absolutely disgusting, and you'll get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Plus you'll get caught up in tropical rainfall, potentially hurricane type weather (but you'd be unlucky for that extreme!). Personally I'd avoid any later than May and any earlier than end September. We usually go at Easter, and enjoy 25-30 degree non-humid sunshine (depending how far south you are as well).
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