With 57 countries under her belt, we’re willing to bet Sylvia Longmire knows a thing or two about travel. The Florida-born writer, speaker, veteran, accessible tourism advocate and mother-of-two has plenty a tale to tell about capturing the perfect photo in Tangiers or getting goosebumps in front of a Klimt painting in Vienna.
That said, Sylvia speaks with a special fondness for her home state in the USA. While she warns that Florida’s cities are sprawling and you’ll probably need your own van, she urges visitors to check out these five fun things to do in Florida.
1. Orlando Theme Parks
The draw-card to this major Florida city is obvious. Orlando is all about the theme parks, one of the most fun things to do in Florida for kids and adults.
“The accessibility in these theme parks is amazing,” says Sylvia. “Disney sets the bar; they also have great accessible transportation between the resorts.”
2. International Drive
The theme parks aren’t the only fun things to do in Florida.
“There’s a big road called International Drive with different smaller attractions – museums and parks. All the restaurants are accessible.”
3. Tampa Beaches
This coastal city and its surrounds snag first prize when it comes to sea, sand and sport.
“Clearwater Beach rates Number 1 or Number 2 in the country every year. It has white sand so it never gets hot. And not too far from Clearwater is Sarasota.”
More and more beach mats are getting rolled out in the region each year, explains Sylvia, who picks Siesta Key as her favourite beach.
4. Miami (and surrounds!)
For those seeking fun things to do in Florida with high-energy and lots of new friends, head to Miami.
“The traffic is a nightmare,” warns Sylvia, “but there is lots of stuff to do. It is a good place for sports and for concerts.”
And a word to the wise from the expert herself? Don’t miss Fort Lauderdale.
“It is like Miami’s little brother. It is 30 minutes away and it’s got a really great beach.”
5. Florida Keys
“I love Key West,” says Sylvia. “It is easy to get around and it’s very small. You also have a trolley [a tram] that’s accessible.”
Traffic is a bit tricky approaching Key West, but you can easily fly or even take a cruise.
This article first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.