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Travel Guide to FloridaTravel Guide to Florida

Travel Guide to Florida 2018 Travel Guide to Florida

The Travel Guide to Florida is a guide to travel in the state of Florida with editorial stories and features on travel destinations in the Sunshine State. There are detailed sections on each of Florida’s tourism regions plus editorial features on over 20 statewide tourism themes.

United States
Globelite Travel Marketing, Inc.
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editor’s message

According to TripAdvisor, Florida is the state with the most things to see and do. Add in hundreds of miles of beaches and the Everglades, and it’s easy to see why the Sunshine State continues to draw visitors to its sandy shores year-round. Every year introduces new attractions, museums and experiences—especially in the Orlando area, the nation’s top destination for fun and adventure. While Disney, SeaWorld and other amusement parks throughout Florida deliver endless excitement, staying at a resort hotel can be expensive. It’s important to find ways to save money. One solution is to book a vacation rental, complete with full kitchen, dining room, outdoor patio and grill and plenty of space for your family to enjoy. It also encourages you to explore the surrounding area in new and exciting…

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rules of the road

Florida is easy to explore by vehicle. Bring your own, or if you’re at least 25, rent one. Visitors ages 16 and up holding licenses from other states or countries may drive in Florida. Cash is no longer accepted on some Florida toll roads. Purchase a SunPass Mini Sticker transponder at one of the more than 3,100 retail locations for US$4.99 plus tax. A minimum opening balance of US$10 is required. Most rental cars come with a SunPass. Drivers and front-seat passengers must wear seat belts. All children under 18 are required to wear seat belts, regardless of where they are sitting. Children, three and younger, must be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat in the back seat; children, ages four and five, also must be in the back seat…

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brighter than ever!

The Sunshine State has attracted visitors to its sandy shores for the past 500 years, however, people first reached Florida at least 12,000 years ago. The coastline was very different then because the sea level was much lower than it is today. As a result, the Florida peninsula was more than twice its current size. Written records about life in Florida began with the arrival of the Spanish explorer and adventurer Juan Ponce de León in 1513, marking the beginning of the American Frontier. He named what he saw "La Florida," or "place of flowers," because of the lush landscape. Indeed, Florida has 300 native plants, ranging from the thorny sweet acacia to the wild azalea. The state lists an additional 1,300-plus introduced exotics, many of them considered invasive. Others are housed…

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need to know

Many beaches, parks and festivals don’t charge an entrance fee, or if they do, it’s only a few dollars. If you do run out of cash, ATMs are everywhere from convenience stores to festivals. Many stores allow debit card users to obtain “cash back” above their purchase without a transaction fee. Most banks are open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM, however, TD Bank has locations open every day, except major holidays. Banks and government offices, including the post office, are closed on major US holidays. Most attractions remain open year-round. Holidays are listed in the back of this guide in our Resource Directory. Florida’s base sales tax on purchases is six percent, with some counties adding discretionary taxes. In addition to pet deposits, most hotels charge a “bed”…

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great savings

Head to South Florida in the heat of summer for good deals. Winter yields great rates in northern Florida. Orlando has its own seasons, which coincide with school breaks; Visit Orlando recommends visiting during “deal season,” August 15–September 30. Save on attractions, restaurants and shopping by visiting VisitOrlando.com/ discounts-and-tickets and reputable online ticket brokers such as Mousesavers.com, Ticketmomma.com, UndercoverTourist.com and OfficialTicketCenter.com. All the Walt Disney World theme parks, SeaWorld, Universal Studios and various bars and restaurants in Orlando have free Wi-Fi to which you can easily connect. The Entertainment Book (entertainmentbook.com) is a local favorite and you don’t have to be a local to buy it. Also try Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com for 35 to 90 percent off at hotels, attractions and restaurants. Four of South Florida’s top attractions—Lion Country Safari, Miami Seaquarium,…

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stay clear

American alligators and crocodiles are found in the state’s 67 counties. Wherever you see a body of water—even a large puddle that has formed on the side of a highway—you should assume a reptile is in it. Do not feed alligators: It’s dangerous and illegal. Never swim in a canal or wade in an unknown body of fresh or brackish water, especially at dawn or dusk, which are their feeding times. And keep small children and pets away from fresh or brackish water shorelines at all times.…