Holidays to Florida
Buckle down for the ride of your life on Florida holidays where thrilling theme parks, emerald coastlines, sun-kissed sands and suave Miami vibes are just the start!
Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on one side, the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Florida is commonly known as the Sunshine State, thanks to its year-round fabulous, sunny climate. Florida is a gorgeous destination like no other offering miles of sugar-soft sands, championship golf courses, extreme water sports, exquisite shopping, five-star restaurants, magical theme parks and emerald forests full of wildlife! The thing I love most about Florida is there is a plethora of arts & culture to explore as well as palm-lined beaches and top-notch nightlife!
Live the thriving buzz of Miami, take a heart-stopping ride as you pass by the alligators in the Everglades and sink your feet into soft white sands on the west coast. If you’re on holiday with the kids, you’ll love the incredible attractions in Orlando – theme park capital of the world.
The Climate in Florida
Florida’s climate is just as lovely as you’d expect from somewhere nicknamed the Sunshine State. From June to August temperatures hover around 30 to 35°C but it can get humid, particularly in the south. In winter it’s dry and still warm with an average temperature of 17°C. Spring comes early and has plenty of sunshine and I recommend this as the perfect time to visit! Autumn is warm in the mid-20s but there can be heavy thunderstorms.
Why not start planning your next summer holiday to this oasis of natural beauty!
Flights to Florida from Ireland
Getting a flight to Florida from Dublin or Belfast takes between 9-10 hours to arrive with a non-stop flight. You can easily reach major airports like Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, so be sure to check to use our fantastic Flight Finder tool to book a cheap flight. Flying from Cork and Shannon include layovers, so if you can reach one of the bigger airports and don’t want the headache of a layover then you will have an expansive range of airports to fly in to. I strongly recommend booking at least one month in advance to get the VISA requirements in order and you can find bargain prices, from as low as €300 return!
The most popular destinations in Florida
At the heart of Florida’s tourist industry is the city of Orlando, no less than 15, including six Parks at Walt Disney World Resort, and other household names like Universal Orlando Resort™ and SeaWorld® Orlando. Head to one of the theme/water parks for a fantastic family holiday and visit International Drive, also known as I-Drive for dining out, entertainment and shopping! With access to Universal Studios Florida® amongst others as well as a plethora of boutique and outlet stores, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Other nearby attractions can be a refreshing change of pace, including the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral and the Orlando Science Center. If you are in need of some retail therapy or fancy bringing home a few bargains, you will find designer malls in Orlando and in the fantastic outlets.
Everything in Miami oozes glamour, elegance and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Glimmering Miami is nestled on the Atlantic coast of Florida’s most southern tip, as such it’s not hard to see why it boasts a sunny and pleasant climate all year round. With some of the best beaches in the country, impressive Art Deco landmarks, world-class cultural sights, stunning coral reefs and aquatic life of Biscayne Bay, there’s no shortage of exciting places to visit during your Miami holiday. Caribbean influences are found in Miami’s lively ethnic neighbourhoods of Little Haiti and Little Havana. Boasting Art Deco architecture, a decadent arts scene and wealth of cultural heritage, plus renowned nightlife and world-class dining, Miami draws an eclectic mix of travellers, from celebrities to families seeking fun in the sun.
The city of Tampa sits on an inlet on Florida’s west coast, just across the bay from St. Petersburg. Tampa is especially popular with families, who come to enjoy its many wildlife-filled attractions. Busch Gardens is the best-known, a giant amusement park combined with a zoo that has endless things to see and do. Animal-lovers can also visit the Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park and the Tampa Aquarium and a public manatee-viewing centre. Tourists can also visit Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary for abused and abandoned cats, including lions, tigers, jaguars, and more.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach on Lake Worth, inland from Palm Beach, has a number of interesting museums and many trendy and fine dining restaurants. As the city’s name suggests, it is often defined by its amazing miles of soft, sandy beaches, and many tourists come primarily to soak up the sun and enjoy the water. West Palm Beach is also home to plenty of other attractions, many of them family-friendly animal encounters. A trip to West Palm Beach is ideal for family holidays, whereby the parents and kids can enjoy the plethora of leisure activities to do from splashing in the sea to dining in cosmopolitan restaurants.
One of Florida’s most undervalued attractions is the Everglades National Park, known as the River of Grass. It is an unspoiled area for recreation, offering things to do in the Everglades that you simply can’t find anywhere else in Florida. When it comes to wildlife, the Everglades is unsurpassed. This luscious part of Florida is home to striking panthers, crocodiles, manatees, amphibians, fish, and an estimated 200,000 alligators. Wading birds such as herons, wood storks, and spoonbills make their home in the Everglades along with belted kingfishers and impressive raptors such as ospreys and bald eagles. However you choose to explore this natural Florida attraction, you are sure to encounter plenty of native wildlife!
St. Augustine is brimming with nearly 500 years of history and the best way to see it is just lose yourself in the meandering cobbled-stone streets dating back to the 17th century. The beautiful coastal city of St. Augustine is home to pristine beaches and one our top favourite’s is Crescent Beach – a wide stretch of powder white sand. Anastasia State Park provides a plethora of activities and adventure including swimming, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing and more. One of the most significant historic structures in this old-world town is Castillo de San Marcos is an awe-inspiring sight perched on the coast of the city. I recommend taking the tour around the fort, meander through the hallways and gaze at the walls that withstood many battles and learn about the intriguing past of this imposing fortress.
Across the bay from Tampa is neighbouring St. Petersburg and nearby Clearwater. Visitors, particularly travellers from northern states, come here to escape cold winters and enjoy the oceanfront beaches and mild climate. Some unique areas to explore include the St. Petersburg Pier, the dockside shops and restaurants of Johns Pass, the quaint atmosphere of historic Pass-a-Grille, and the soft sand of Indian Rocks Beach. Clearwater is also known for its beach, one of the best beaches in Florida and also a popular resort destination. St. Petersburg has many cultural tourist attractions, including several theatres and prominent art museums, like the Dali Museum and the Morean Art Center. One of the most popular things to do when visiting St. Petersburg is taking boat tours that range from dolphin-spotting and eco-tours to recreational cruises.
Historic Key West, at the far southern tip of the continental USA, has a distinct island feel, with old architecture and a slow pace. This picturesque and laid-back city is famed for having been home to several well-known authors, including Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway. Its location has led to a rich cultural mix that includes influences from many Caribbean islands, which have brought a relaxed attitude, interesting architecture, and culinary variety to the region. Key West is also a popular cruise ship port, full of entertainment options and things to do. Sit down for a pint at famed resident Ernest Hemingway’s favourite Sloppy Joes haunt, get out on the water above the USA’s only living coral barrier reef and then slink off the grid to a tiny speck of golden beach on Little Palm Island. Some of the city’s top attractions include a shipwreck museum that explains the area’s long history of salvaging, and the Key West Aquarium. Those interested in ocean ecology will want to visit Dry Tortugas National Park, which consists of seven reef islands that form an archipelago.
The Best Deals for a holiday in Florida
Can’t wait to go? If you book in advance and aim for an off-peak time, you can find fantastic deals to Canada. Check out our best deals and fantastic guides about Florida holidays on our website and you’ll soon be on your way to the glorious sunshine state!