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Nicknamed "The Sunshine State", Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the US. If you were to design a state from scratch simply to drive through and explore, this would be it: Florida road trips have everything you could wish for. This long Southern state is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Of Mexico and has endless stunning sandy beaches.
Add in buzzing cities like Miami and Orlando, the vast national parks and the scenic drives down the Keys, and you have everything you could wish for. It is no surprise that so many people choose to vacation here and drive around the state rather than stay in one place.
Florida is one the best US states to explore by car, and cheap car rental in Florida starts from just $5.39 per day for an economy size vehicle with Enjoy Travel and a popular Ford Mustang Convertible starts from $32.50. Driving in Florida is a fun way to visit all the best amusement parks and cities such as Miami and Orlando.
Guide to Florida
Located in the south-eastern part of the United States, Florida is the third-most populous state, with over 21 million people. Cushioned between the Atlantic Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, this peninsula boasts the longest coastline in the nation and is famous for its beaches, theme parks, orange orchards, and beautiful landscapes. Major cities include Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville. Interestingly, although Miami is the largest urban center in Florida - and the seventh-largest in the United States - it's actually Jacksonville that takes home the prize for the most populous city, with nearly half of all Floridians living there.
History of Florida
A Brief History
With Archaeological evidence dating back 14,000 years, the First Nation people that originally inhabited the Florida region include the Paleo-Indians, Apalachee in northwest Florida, Timucua in northern and central Florida, and many other smaller groups. The Europeans arrived in the peninsula with the first Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de León, who named this land 'La Florida,' in reference to the abundance of flowering plants in the region. That was the start of colonization and immigration in Florida. French and Spanish settlements were built in the 16th century, and the Black Seminoles made a home here in the 19th century. The peninsula became a part of the United States in 1821 and finally became the 27th US state in 1845.
21st century Florida
Florida is a flourishing state with a booming tourism industry, thanks to its beautiful beaches with a year-round warm climate. Although agriculture is the second-largest industry in this state, its top "agricultural" export is, in fact, meat. Florida's economy is one of the largest global economies, and if it were a country, it would have the 17th highest GDP in the world, which would surpass even Saudi Arabia! Floridians may be a culturally diverse bunch, but they are all united by their mutual - and fierce - love of sports!
Things to see and do in Florida
Walt Disney World, Orlando
Home to Mickey Mouse on the East Coast, the Walt Disney World in Orlando is a mega-amusement park that brings an unforgettable theme park experience to you and your family. From water parks to exquisite spa treatments to the famous Epcot International Food and Wine Festival that takes place twice a year at Walt Disney World, you'll never run out of entertainment options! It's no surprise that this place witnesses millions of visitors every year from all over the world who come here to enjoy the magical world of Disney. Fun fact - Orlando's Disney World is so large that it's technically its own city, with its own county laws!
Miami Beach is one of Florida's main attractions for a good reason- its crystal clear waters and beautiful white sand. The gorgeous coastline makes it an ideal place for seaside activities such as sunbathing, beach volleyball, and sandcastle building. Miami Beach is also home to the historic Art Deco District, which houses the most extensive and eclectic collection of whimsical architecture, from retro to neoclassical. These buildings are unmissable - in fact, they're built so you can't miss them even if you tried - due to their brightly colored exteriors.
Everglades National Park
Spread across 1.5 million acres, this national park is absolutely massive, and most of it can only be accessed by boat. Because of its vastness, it boasts a variety of eco-systems, from coastal lowlands to mangroves to pinelands to estuarine (mix of saltwater and freshwater) environments. These are home to 40 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles, and more. Aside from boat rides, this park also offers bird-watching expeditions, hiking, camping, and tram and airboat tours. If you're lucky, you might get the chance to see some exotic wild animals and birds such as falcons, herons, and even panthers! If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you might like to take a week or ten days to canoe and camp along the 99-mile Wilderness Waterway!
Fort Lauderlade is a city that is oft-overlooked in favor of its bigger sisters like Miami or the Florida Keys, but for those who take the time to seek her out, she holds a few surprises up her sleeve. Known as the "Venice of America," Fort Lauderlade boasts 165 miles of winding waterways inside the city limit. This had been central to a laid-back lifestyle that revolves around fishing, paddle boating, party-boating, and enjoying leisurely canalside meals and drinks. Another special feature of the city is Hollywood - no, not that one - a long stretch of incredible art murals by some of the best artists on the scene, including Tatiana Suarez, Rone, and The London Police.
Kennedy Space Center (Nasa)
Located on Merritt Island in Florida, the Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit for space lovers. It takes an hour by car to reach this famous tourist destination from Orlando. If you've ever wanted to see the Red Planet up close, witness a rocket launch, experience an astronaut simulation, this is the place for you. Make sure to book in advance to reserve your spot. The visitor complex is divided into "mission zones" that will allow you to learn about the US Space Program in chronological order: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and more! Tickets are US$47 for children 11 and under, and US$57 for adults. The Kennedy Space Center is wheelchair and mobility-friendly.
Getting to and from Florida
Some of Florida's major airports include Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Tampa (TPA), and Jacksonville (JAX). These are connected to other US cities by domestic carriers such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines. International carriers like Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and Air Canada connect Florida to Europe and Latin America.
Enjoy Travel is available to pre-book vehicles for collection through our partners at airports and cities throughout the United States. Be sure to book in advance to avoid any disappointment or inability to secure the size and type of car you need for your trip.
When in Florida, you can use public transportation such as Go Lynx buses ($2 single ride, or $4.50 all-day pass), trolleys, or taxis while traveling shorter distances. You will also find bike-sharing programs in cities like Miami Beach and Punta Gorda.
To travel between cities, car rental is recommended as it offers you both comfort and flexibility. It is an excellent option for travelers who like the freedom to plan their own schedule and the ability to travel any distance in comfort. Enjoy Travel works with a wide range of local partners across Florida to offer you the best deals. Booking in advance of your trip will save you time and money; it will also ensure you have the broadest possible choice of vehicles, meaning you can have peace of mind knowing that your booking is secured.v
Some rules that you should follow when driving in Florida:
- While driving, you should keep on the right side of the road.
- You can't make a right turn after stopping at the red signal.
- Always wear a seat belt while driving in Florida.
- Speeding is a big no-no, whether you are a local or a visitor.
- Don't be distracted by your phone while driving.
- The blood alcohol limit is 0.08% if you are 21 years old.