Susan Hegarty 08 June 2002
We flew via London with British Airways for our 10 night Florida adventure.

For the first few nights of our trip we stayed at The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach, situated right on the water it was a very comfortable stay and I would certainly recommend it. With its gorgeous intercoastal waterways, laid back atmosphere and lovely hotels Fort Lauderdale is poles apart from its neighbour, hectic Miami, a city that never sleep.

During our stay in Fort Lauderdale we enjoyed walking around and soaking up the atmosphere, we enjoyed a glass of wine and freshly caught seafood in some of the numerous waterfront restaurants and relaxed by the pool. We took an air boat ride in the Everglades National Park, containing 105 million acres of swamps and jungles this is an area not to be missed. We saw alligators, snakes, exotic birds and my personal favourite the adorable manatee.

We also visited Saw Grass Mills, a short drive from Fort Lauderdale and Miami; this is the biggest mall I have ever been to. With a massive selection of shops and excellent prices it would be easy to spend an entire day here.

After four nights at the Sheraton we made our way to Miami and checked into the Doubletree Surf Comber Beach. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. With its stunning white sand beaches, art deco architecture and Cuban influence the vibe in Miami is electric. Sitting in one of the abundant cafes watching the world go by was a real treat.

While we were there we took a city tour of Miami which brought us to the Art Deco district, South Beach, Little Havana, Coral Gables and Millionaires Row.

We also took a Duck Tour which is an amphibious vehicle that can travel on land and water; this was a fun way to see the sights and would be great for families.

There is a host of other attractions in Miami including the Miami Zoo, Jungle Island, Monkey Island, hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, jet skiing, kite surfing and boating and fishing trips.

The Miami Art Museum and the Miami Science Museum are also worth a visit as is a day trip down to the Florida Keys. Having a car is not essential if you base yourself in Miami as bicycles, scooters and electric cars as well as pre-booked tours are an alternative way to see the sights.

After our three unforgettable nights in Miami came to an end all too quickly we made our way up the gulf coast stopping in lovely towns like Naples and Sarasota before arriving in St Pete’s Beach, our last stop on this trip. The gulf coast is the perfect place for relaxing with a lovely selection of towns that boast gorgeous beaches and there is a large selection of accommodation to suit singles, couples and families. We stayed in the Don Caser Hotel, dating from the 1920’s; it has an air of timelessness and grandeur.

All too soon this trip came to an end. With an endless list of attractions for all the family, Florida will most definitely be a place we will return to.

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