Florida has been attracting the rich and famous for decades – and it’s easy to see why. Wander through the art deco district in Miami’s South Beach, following in the footsteps of the Rat Pack to the Bleau Bar. Marvel at the pretty wooden houses in Key West, before stopping off at Sloppy Joe’s – a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway. Or head for stylish Fort Lauderdale or the sophisticated beach resort of Palm Beach, for chic boutiques and fine dining.
Welcome to the Sunshine State: a spellbinding mix of buzzing cities and blissful beaches.
Things to do
For a taste of nearby Havana, be sure to squeeze in a Cuban breakfast. Spicy eggs, speciality Cuban toast and café cubano have become something of an institution in Miami. Visit Florida between October and May and you’ll see fresh stone crab on menus. Or, when in Key West, sample a definitive slice of zesty Key Lime pie. Of course, you can’t leave without savouring some of Florida’s fresh oranges – you’ll find citrus juice used as a ceviche marinade in many fine dining restaurants.
Beach-lovers are spoilt for choice in Florida. Dive amongst colourful fish and barnacle-clad shipwrecks around Key West, or charter a boat for a little fishing off the coast of Palm Beach. Wander along the boardwalk at South Beach, Miami, and find a spot for sunbathing on the fine sands. Kiteboarding and jet skiing are popular here, too. Or you could just sit back and watch the luxury yachts cruise by.
The chain of islands known as the Florida Keys is where you’ll find the only living coral barrier reef in the US. The scuba diving here – off the coast of Key West – is superb. Of course, many come to Florida to experience the Everglades. Stretching from the southernmost tip and fringing Miami and Fort Lauderdale, this vast national park is home to an array of species, from turtles and manatee, to panthers, alligators and the American crocodile. Book a private airboat tour or a canoeing trip to see this incredible eco-system first-hand.
Visit literary landmarks like the homes of Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway, or the locations for films from Scarface to Goldfinger – Florida has been the backdrop for many iconic movies.
Top Tip from SLH