when we mention to fellow travellers that we love visiting Florida and we’re going to return to the Sunshine State for a month in February 2015, many people asked why, even Americans.
It seems Florida is looked at by many as a child’s Disneyland dream come true and full of fast food chains.
Well that is the case if you spend time in and around Orlando. There is no doubting that Disneyland, Universal Studios and Wet n Wild are exhilaratingly fun for a family vacation, but there is another side of Florida many don’t know about.
We tend to base ourselves in Bradenton on the west coast, Gulf of Mexico. Life is so much more laid back and relaxed on the coast compared to city’s like Miami and Orlando. Florida actually has one of the highest car insurance rates in the US due to how slow most people in the state drive.
Having travelled all over South East Asia (SEA) and the Caribbean laying on plenty of gorgeous beaches, we have seen some breathtakingly tropical landscapes by the ocean. But we both agree that Florida is our favourite beach destination.
That statement is something Americans themselves even questioned us about until we revealed pictures to them that we have taken in the past of Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key and Venice Beach.
Spotlessly clean and maintained by the council with restroom facilities, free car parking and no sun loungers or funky umbrellas to spoil the setting.
You will be surprised at how many people acknowledge you with a simple smile or, hello when passing on the street or in a supermarket. It makes you feel really comfortable and joyful when the local people welcome you in to their town.
As for the fast food chains, well their still everywhere but you can find many independent fish restaurants, burger joints, quirky little beach bars and homemade ice cream shops full of character.
We recommend looking at staying with an AirBNB (www.airbnb.com). We chose this option to save us money on accomodation and wanted to find somewhere with more outdoor space then we might of had if we stayed in a hotel. It saved us a few hundred pounds for sure!
If you want your vacation to be fast paced and lots to do then this is still the perfect place for you. With so many walking trails, biking trails, National parks, great fishing, airboat rides, shopping, golf, the beach, parks, Busch Gardens, wildlife watching and many more!
The best way to discover any country is to see it for yourself and give it your own view.
By Alan Bogle.