Florida is located in the United States on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts – it is in the south-east corner of the country. Much of Florida juts out in the Gulf of Mexico. It has an area of over 65,000 square miles and a large amount of coastal terrain.

Visitors to Florida can also venture north into Georgia and Alabama, or head west to New Orleans.Due to the large geographical size of the United States, visitors to Florida will be best served flying onwards to other major destinations such as San Francisco and New York.

Major Cities:

The capital city of Florida is Tallahassee, though the largest one is Jacksonville in the north of the state. Visitors to the state tend to concentrate in the southern portions, notably the Florida Keys and Orlando which is popular thanks to its many theme parks.

A Key West Sunset off Duval Street in 2007
A Key West Sunset off Duval Street in 2007

Climate and Geography:

A vast majority of the state sits on a peninsula, much of which is in low lying land and wetlands. The area is home to a large amount of wildlife and has a great deal of eco-diversity: alligators, deer, crocodiles, dolphins and whales can be seen here. Wildlife is particularly diverse in the Florida Keys, an archipelago which consists of thousands of coral islands.

Areas in Florida vary between tropical and subtropical, the weather is generally very warm and humid. Winters can be cooler, though snow falls only very rarely. Despite its reputation, the state has a tendency to receive extreme weather: hurricanes strike on an annual basis, while thunder storms and hurricanes are also relatively common. Hurricanes are most likely to strike between August and October; these can cause major damage so travelers should be wary of any projected landfalls.


Pirate ships double as sunset cruise boats in Key West, Florida
Pirate ships double as sunset cruise boats in Key West, Florida

Florida has become one of the most important tourist destinations of late thanks to a developed and focused tourist economy. This centers upon Orlando and the constellation of theme parks around it, highlighted by Walt Disney World Resort. Other theme parks also operate in the area, most notably Legoland (opening soon) and Universal Studios.

Florida’s varied and vibrant eco-systems also prove attractive to tourists – the Florida Keys has a stunning array of eco-diversity which draws in tourists and birdwatchers. The state is also well known for golf, beaches and spa holidays, no doubt thanks to its year round warm climate.

The population of Florida stands at over 18 million, making it the fourth largest state in the US. There is also a very large tourist population and it attracts over 60 million visitors each year, this makes it the most visited destination in the country.

Notable Sites:

  • The Southernmost Post in Key West, Florida
    The Southernmost Post in Key West, Florida

    Walt Disney World Resort

  • Universal Studios
  • The Florida Keys
  • Everglades National Park
  • Ernest Hemingway’s Home in Key West
  • Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center
  • Orlando Science Center

On a Budget:

Florida is a good destination for families looking for cheap trips. Companies like Ocean Florida holidays specialize in these packages and cater to the UK and European market. Visitors from Canada and the United States can drive to the Sunshine State and stay in affordable villa accommodation.

Other Resources:

Visit Florida provides excellent information while books like the Rough Guide, provide excellent offline resources.

Those looking for hotels are advised to consult TripAdvisor for user-submitted reviews.