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Post from 22/10/2010

American way of holiday home

Get a taste of the American Way of Life and consider spending a holiday home vacation in the Sunshine State! atraveo has a selection of 174 holiday properties in Florida which usually include a swimming pool. The peninsula Florida is a quite diverse region: Dangerous alligators in the Everglades, total recuperation at the shiny blue green waters along the Keys or lively city life in the midst of Miami! Florida offers next to a beach vacation along the miles long beaches of the east and west coast also fun for the entire family in one of the many renowned recreational parks in Orlando or one can go on an extensive shopping tour in the largest outlet mall in Fort Lauderdale.

Central Florida – On a visit to Mickey Mouse

Away from the coast Florida is renowned for its citrus fruits, the extensive and breathtaking Walt Disney and the second largest horse breeding farm in America located in Ocala. The Ocala National Forest displays the natural beauty of Florida – pine forests, oak trees and numerous mineral springs can be admired on whilst taking a stroll on one of the countless hiking trails and waterways. Should you be on the lookout for a holiday home in this region then we recommend the town of Kissimmee, south of Orlando, which is the ideal starting point for visiting one of the several parks – Sea World, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World – and are all in the close vicinity.

Alligators in the Everglades
Alligators in the Everglades

Everglades – Alligator lookout at the southern tip of Florida

The Everglades were in the 1950s declared to be a nature reserve and since then alligators, pelicans, pumas and other wild animals have made this place their home. It is therefore not advised to embark on a discovery tour of the marshlands by yourself but instead take part in one of the guided tours on offer. The Air Boat Tours are very popular and they take you for 30 minutes at full speed through the large marshland landscape. Far quieter are the guided ranger tours that are offered in abundance over the winter months. We recommend that you plan an entire day for a visit to the Everglades.

East Coast – Washed around by the Atlantic

From the First Coast to the Gold Coast the eastern coast of Florida stretches out over 560 kilometres. Regardless whether swanky towns such as Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale, bustling ones as Daytona Beach or those with a more scientific focus such as Cape Canaveral – the towns of Florida are diverse and offer young as well as old a great repertoire of entertainment, culture and relaxation.

Ocean Drive in Miami
Ocean Drive in Miami

Miami – See and Be Seen

Miami has many sides – large cruise liners in the port, colourful houses in the Art Déco District and luxury limousines at Ocean Drive. Start your Miami-Tour in the Art Déco District which is renowned for its many colourful houses dating back to the 30s and 40s and stroll over to Ocean Drive – here the motto is seen and be seen! As it is famous for its vibrant nightlife the bars and clubs located around Ocean Drive attract many VIPs. Luxury limousines and sports cars are quite common here. After all the hustle and bustle you should consider taking a relaxing walk on the footbridge that runs along the white sandy beaches and starts just behind Ocean Drive. You should also not miss out on visiting the largest cruise liner harbour in the world where luxury liners arrive and depart in great frequency. It is worth seeing the entrance and exit as well as transposition manoeuvres which can be best viewed from Watson Island Park.

Tip: You will mainly find apartments and studios in Miami. Should you prefer a more typical American villa for your holiday then you should look for something outside of Miami!

Cape Canaveral – Space Station in Nature Park

The well known space station 'Kennedy Space Center' from which NASA launches their satellites and space shuttles towards the stars is surrounded by a nature reserve. On a two hour bus tour you will see the launching site, assembly building and the International Space Station Center where you can walk through a space aircraft. Those who don’t fear taking a longer hike might consider after the visit of the Space Center a detour of the nature reserve as you will find very extensive and secluded beaches.

West Coast – At the warm waters of the Gulf Stream

The west coast of Florida lies at the Gulf of Mexico and compared to the more populated eastern coastline has countless small bays with white sandy beaches and small waves that are ideal for new surfers as well as those seeking relaxation. The most well known towns are Fort Myers and Cape Coral but also the more luxurious Naples has a lot to offer!

Fort Myers, Pine Island and Sanibal Island

Fort Myers got the name 'City of Palms' from the inventor Thomas Edison who once planted McGregor Boulevard with Cuban palm trees. The 11 kilometre long beach of Fort Myers Beach entices numerous crowds of people in the evenings who want to view the spectacular sunset. Also worthwhile are trips to the islands Pine Island and Sanibal Island where you can find peace and relaxation. The subtropical Pine Island has a large number of citrus plantations and Matlache offers Caribbean flair with loads of houses painted in an array of colours. Should you visit Sanibal Island then it is also recommended to pop over to the neighbouring Captiva Island. Here you can spend some time collecting sea shells as more than 400 types are flushed to the beaches every day. You can reach both islands easily by car but the bridge to Sanibal Island is subject to a charge. Have you become interested in a holiday to Florida? How about this typical American bungalow surrounded by a massive garden situated directly at a waterway with landing stage and pool in Cape Coral. Or do you prefer this apartment house with direct beach access on Anna Maria Island – just take some time out to search for your perfect beach house!

Recuperation along the beaches of Florida
Recuperation along the beaches of Florida

Swim with dolphins at the Keys

The Florida Keys are a chain of islands that comprise of lime stone and corals that stretch out about 150 miles (roughly 241 kilometres) into the Gulf of Mexico. 42 bridges connect the islands with one another with Key West being the most southern island. This is at the same time the most southern point of the United States with it only being about 90 miles (141 kilometres) to Cuba.
An unforgettable vacation impression will be the swimming with dolphins. Whether it is a fortuitous encounter or under the guidance of a trainer – there are different ways to get close to the dolphins on the Keys. Whilst on the Keys you must also go on a diving or snorkel trip before Key Largo, the largest of the Key islands. The John Pennekamp State Park is a big protected area with beautiful coral riffs and snorkel courses as well as excursions with glass boats are provided.

Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie

Culinary delights  - Typical for Florida

When one normally thinks of American food then burgers and donuts come to mind. But have you actually heard of these very typical delights and specialties which originate from Florida?
  • Key Lime Pie: Lemon pie made from 'Key Limes' (sour, yellow limes) grown in the Keys
  • Mahimahi: Sweet tasting perch type
  • Hush Puppies: Crunchy croquettes made with cornmeal and are commonly served with fried fish, oysters or scallops
Or how do you fancy an American barbecue? Many holiday houses like this villa in Fort Myers have a grill that enables you to have many gourmet meals with fresh fish and juicy steaks.

Discovery tour with a car

In order to discover the beauties and diversity of Florida it would be good to rent a car and plan in trips of the eastern and western coast as well as Central Florida! The ideal travel period for Florida is between October and April as the temperatures are pleasantly warm and there are few rainy days. Even in the month of December the temperature in Miami does not go below 25°C.