Florida is famous for its beautiful weather, beaches, hurricanes and even prices. If people google for Florida, it is usually about a vacation or relocation. This is the main Florida article on our website – general information that will help you to understand the state better, no matter if you are a tourist or looking for a place to retire. Travelrows LLC is a fan of Florida and we will be happy to provide you any Florida travel or living information.
Florida is a South Atlantic state situated on the South East of the United States and bordered by Georgia and Alabama to the North.
Florida is a big state and it would be wrong to describe it all in one. Depending on the region of Florida information changes, weather is different and living conditions are different. A lot is different. In our next articles about Florida please pay attention to the region.
Interesting thing is that there are some regions in Florida and different sources give different numbers – 3,4, 6, 8 and so on. Let’s figure it out.
The easiest way to understand regions is by 3:
- Central Florida
- North Florida and The Panhandle
- South Florida and The Keys
If you look at Florida by land, it is divided into 4 regions:
- Gulf Coast/Atlantic Ocean
- Upland of the north and northwest
- Florida Keys
According to the USGS.gov there are 6 regions:
- Big Bend
- West FL Peninsula
- FL Keys
- SE Coast
- NE Coast
One more option – 8 regions and they are:
- Northwest Florida
- North Central Florida
- Northeast Florida
- Central West Florida
- Central Florida
- Central East Florida
- Southwest Florida
- Southeast Florida
8 regions sounds like a lot but this is probably the best way when it comes to weather and nature description. I would use 3 regions version which makes sense but Central East and Central West Florida are different due to different water borders. Share your opinion about the regions in comments, we will be happy to discuss it!
More about Florida Regions is here
Weather and Water Temperature
Depending on a region, air and water temperatures can differ a lot. In summer, it is obviously hot everywhere in Florida. Areas away from the ocean also are very humid. Those, who can not handle heat and humidity prefer to visit Florida in fall, winter and spring. This is where the most weather questions happen. Though people travel less during school year, there are still a lot of families who goes to Florida for national holidays, weekend getaways and spring vacations.
Look at the map, to understand the location better:
Today is February 21 and a perfect day to add winter weather information for Florida so you understand what I want to say. In Jacksonville – Northwest Florida it is 44F at 9am in the morning and in Miami – Southwest Florida it is 75F at 9am in the morning. During the day air temperature get closer but it does not work for water.
Average Atlantic Ocean temperature in Jacksonville in February is 56F and in Miami – 73F. This is quite a difference for swimming and enjoying the beach. For those, who really wants summer during winter I would recommend visiting Caribbean islands, but Florida is closer, cheaper and does not require a passport. Do not mind cooler temperatures for Christmas vacations? Welcome to Miami or Key West!
More about weather in different Florida regions and cities in our next articles. Especially, we will mention hurricane seasons that bring not only strong and destructive winds but also flooding. In case, if you do not want to book your Florida vacation in advance because of hurricane risk, consider getting last minute deals, it is easy and cheap during winter months (except Christmas and New Year).
Speaking about prices. Florida is amazing for its prices. Even in a high season you can find affordable places to stay and eat. Just try to avoid city centers. It is easy if you travel by car or rent a car. Hotels are cheaper as compare to other states with ocean fronts and there are a lot of accommodations with kitchens for cooking yourself. I have just checked a couple airbnb options for July and great house type properties are available for rent starting from $600 per week.
Not to mention, why so many people choose Florida for retirement and residence – less taxes, less expenses, free educational programs. Unfortunately, salaries are lower and hurricanes happen often – but all about that in our upcoming articles. This page – is just for general information.
I would say, the most expensive place in Florida is Disney but it does not affect the traffic to Orlando. Disney and Universal Studios is a “must see” place in Florida. Amusement parks and water parks are amazing and in summer it is a true torture to stay in lines. I believe, for this price you should not suffer that much and next time I go, I choose to go in winter. This is a great dilemma because of summer vacations. Amusement parks’ main clients are kids and they can not skip school just to enjoy the rides in a cooler weather. If you do not have kids or your kids are on homeschooling, I would definitely go visit Orlando in fall, winter or spring, outside of holidays and school vacations.
Florida Cities and Ports
Florida is a vacation state and this is why a lot of hotels, vacation rentals and many other types of accommodations are available all over the state, especially by the ocean front and Central Florida with its amusement parks. Still, it is useful to know the main cities and ports, which allows to navigate easier.
The capital of Florida is Tallahassee and the largest city is Jacksonville
The other 10 largest cities are: Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Hialeah, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar.
Cruise ports of Florida are: Port of Miami (Miami), Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), Port Canaveral (Orlando), Port Tampa Bay (Tampa), Jaxport (Jacksonville), Port of Palm Beach (Palm Beach).
Transportation to and from Florida
Let’s start with cars. A lot of families travel to Florida by cars and RV’s just because it is cheaper or they have pets traveling with them. This is a hard way to get to Florida (especially if it is Miami or Key West) but I know people, who travel by car all the way from Wisconsin or Canada. Car travel has a lot of advantages especially if you are renting a house/villa or stay with airbnb or similar options. This allows to rent a cheap accommodation, which is often without any public transportation access and drive around anywhere you want. Car rentals is a popular thing too just because there are so many vacation rentals, camping and summer cabin owners in Florida. Florida is all about vacation rentals, all-inclusive Caribbean type hotels is not a thing there.
There are more that 130 public airports in Florida, but the major ones that accept millions of tourists every year are:
- Miami International Airport
- Orlando International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale International Airport
- Jacksonville International Airport
- Tampa International Airport
- West Palm Beach International Airport
- Key West International Airport
- Daytona Beach Airport
Buses and trains
Traveling to Florida by bus or train is an option, but not very comfortable. I would check flight cost before considering a bus or a train. From major USA cities flights to Florida are very affordable. I would ride an Amtrak train as an adventure with kids and use a bus as the last option. If you think different – tell about your bus travel to Florida in comments, we will be happy to read about your experience. More information on buses and trains – in upcoming articles about Florida.
Flora and Fauna
Other than hurricanes, Florida is famous for its nature. Everglades National Park is a “must visit” sightseeing and a nature wonder. Unfortunately, “wonderful” alligators can be found not only in the National Park but just anywhere in the woods. Florida has a lot of swamps perfect for some creepy creatures. I would not worry about an alligator on Miami beach but some beaches may have jelly fish and its relatives to worry about. If you see some interesting creatures on the beaches or in water (happens in some seasons), do not attempt to touch them. They can be poisonous. Do not freak out if you rent an airbnb house in the middle of nowhere (or in the middle of swamps) and an alligator will come visit you instead of a Virginian squirrel. Do not worry it does not happen very often 🙂 Just follow the main rule – do not touch 🙂
There are a lot of sightseeings in Florida, depending on where you go. That is why we will mention them in our next articles about the regions and cities. For now I just want to say that the main reasons why travelers visit Florida are:
- Amusement parks
- Cruise departures
- National parks
Depending on what you want to do and to see you plan a vacation. If you need help with planning a trip to Florida feel free to contact us. If you need more information about Florida, just keep reading our articles. Florida is beautiful!