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Planning Florida Vacations

There is a lot more to Florida than just sunshine, beaches and entertainment parks. Scratch the surface and be prepared for a pleasant surprise. While Orlando and its entertainment parks are the most recognized public face of Florida, there is a lot more than just Mickey Mouse and thrill rides.

Gently meandering rivers and waterways, freshwater lakes and springs, rolling hills, forests, exciting cities, 8 400 miles of coastline (13 500 km), national parks, forests and camp sites, exciting ocean cruises, historic sites, the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys.... and that's just for starters !

Towns such as St. Augustine serve as a reminder that Florida's historical roots extend to the very beginning of USA history. In modern times the latin flavor that prevails in Miami bears testimony to the cultural diversity that is today's Florida.

At the opposite end of the state sits Tallahassee, the state capital, often described as "The Other Florida" with its distinctly Southern flavor and ambience.


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With such a vast range of natural and man-made attractions and experiences, the hardest part of any vacation in Florida is deciding what to leave out.

imageFlorida Vacations - Time Zones

Florida lies in the US eastern time zone, which is three hours ahead of Los Angeles and the west coast, and 5 hours behind Greenwich mean Time/UTC. The Panhandle area in the north west of the state lies in the US central time zone and is one hour behind the remainder of the state. Daylight saving is in effect between the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October. 

imageFlorida Vacations - The Weather

Florida enjoys a reputation as the Sunshine State, but like all places that are a joy to visit, the state gets its share of rainfall and climate changes. The best Florida weather for any particular vacation depends mostly on the type of vacation being considered.

For example, the Florida Keys is exposed to storms, which sometime escalate to hurricane proportions, during the period of June to November. Popular fishing grounds have peak seasons and off-peak seasons which are determined by the weather and seasons.  The weather may well be a factor when planning your Florida vacation.

December to May are generally considered the best period for visiting the south Florida regions. The temperatures are not unpleasant and there is minimal rainfall. The June to November period sees the temperature climbing to its summer peaks and the onset of humidity and ferocious afternoon thunderstorms.  The northern regions of the state experience colder winters and do not suffer the same levels of summer humidity.

imageFlorida Vacations - Especially For Children

Florida is synonymous with entertainment for families, and families involve children who are probably going to have a wonderful time on all the rides and visiting all the theme park attractions. But Florida vacations do not have to be just about thrills, rides and theme parks.

A lot of Florida hotels and resorts recognize the importance of providing children's facilities, themed playgrounds, supervised activities and parent breaks.  Planning all the resort activities to join can be an important part of a child's vacation. The attractions at resorts and hotels are obviously intended to attract guests.

But there is plenty of other entertainment and activities for children of all ages, ranging from environmental tours, dolphin swims, historical re-enactments, water sports, beach games, treks and canoeing.

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Florida & World Times - see local times in Florida and around the world

Florida Weather - what's happening with the weather in Florida

Florida vacations for children - ideas for vacations with children in Florida

Family Guide To The Florida Keys - ideas for family holidays in Florida

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