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We're going to Miami

Be inspired to hit the roads around Florida with this great itinerary. 

Florida's sub-tropical climate means you'll rarely need to consult the weather-gods before hitting the road.  Make sure you pack your swimmers as you'll find yourself needing them, no matter the season. Swap four wheels for two fins and explore some of the greatest waterways and beaches America has to offer! 
 
1. Orlando - Daytona
1hr (64 miles)
Starting out in Daytona will ensure you kick into holiday gear very quickly with lots of fun-filled activities to fill your day.

As the 'world centre of racing' there's plenty here for the race fans starting with the famous Daytona Speedway. If hanging out at the beach is more your kind of thing, the Daytona Beach is one of the most famous in the world. The Boardwalk and Pier should be on your list of things to do while in the area too. The pier features an amusement park with rides like the 'Sandblaster Roller Coaster' for the adventure-seeker.

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image: www.seedaytonabeach.com

 
2. Daytona - St. Augustine
1hr (53 miles)
St. Augustine is Americas oldest city, so be sure to soak up the history at living museums like the historic Catillio de San Marcos, the Colonial Quarter or Old Town Trolley Tours.

Devour some chocolates while on a tour of the Whetstone Chocolate Factory or visit the Pirate and Treasure Museum. St. Augustine has something catering to everyone!!

For those who like to experience something a little bit different, and maybe freak themselves out a little bit - The Dark of the Moon tour visits the lighthouse and keepers house at night, with the guides sharing the paranormal history before letting you investigate on your own!

 
3. St. Augustin - Ocala National Forest
1hr 18mins (83 miles)
With some of the most beautiful bodies of water of any national forest, Ocala is a must see. Featuring huge springs, twisting streams and lakes for fishing and swimming, it's the perfect way to enjoy those long hot summers days. 

Many of the lakes were formed when limestone bedrock dissolved, permitting the surface layer to slump and fill with water creating a number of beautiful cool crystal-clear lakes to enjoy.

Juniper Springs, Alexander Springs, Salt Springs and Silver Glen Springs entice even the least likely swimmer to take a refreshing dip. Snorkelers frequently find a thrilling underwater view of fish, swaying vegetation and cavernous springs.

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 image: www.stateparks.com

 

4. Ocala National Forest - Crystal River
1hr 30mins (70 miles)
Have you ever wanted to swim with a Manatee? Crystal River is one of the best places to experience the majesty of these beautiful gentle creatures of the sea.

If you haven't been swimming with Manatee's before, it's probably a good idea to enlist the help of a guide as there is some 'manatee etiquette' which needs to be adhered to. 

An experience you're not likely to forget in a hurry, swim slowly, stay calm and you could enjoy a whiskery face nuzzle, flipper hug or a full body rub from these shy but sociable mammals.

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image: www.untamedscience.com

 

5. Crystal River - St. Petersburg
1hr 33mins (91.5 miles)
Take a relaxing stroll through the gardens in the heart of the city and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. The four acre gardens offer exotic collections of tropical plants and birds, making it the perfect place to breathe in some fresh air.

Home to jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, visit the place it all started at the Manhattan Casino. Spoil yourself to an amazing dinner from the famous Sylvia's of Harlem. This legendary soul food will have you dreaming of fried chicken and grits.

 

6. St. Petersburg - Sarasota
50mins (38 miles)
Sarasota has lots of attractions for the whole family. With everything from the natural science museum,  aquariums and the circus arts conservatory you can guarantee there will be something for even the most fussy kid to participate in.

For those who love an outdoor adventure St. Petersburg is all about the water with kayaking adventures, paddle boarding and boating all within a stones throw of each other. If you're lucky you might even get to swim with the dolphins while you're out on the water as they have been inhabiting the area for the last four decades.

 
7. Sarasota - Miami
3hrs 17mins (230 miles)
You'll probably be singing 'we're going to Miami'. Will Smith wasn't wrong when he wrote this song, one of the most multi-cultural and fun places to visit in America will have you smiling the entire time you're there.

 With rooftop bars for miles, lots of delicious places to eat and beaches to rival the rest of america, you will fall in love with this vibrant place. Catch a sports game, go on a tour or hit the shops. No matter what, you can't miss Miami by boat. It's a great way to see the best of the city!

 
8. Miami - Key west
3hrs 20mins (166 miles)
Rich in arts and culture, a trip to Florida isn't complete without a visit to Key West. With eco-tours, walking trails, snorkeling and diving adventures and world class fishing - you won't need to go far to connect with the great outdoors either.

Visit an old fortress or be allured by the gothic design of the local cemetery - which is also the highest point on the island, or go on a sunset sail around the island while dining on some of the best local seafood experiences in the state!

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image: www.goldcardkeywestreviews.com

 
9. Key West - West Palm Beach
4hrs 16mins (231 miles)
Enjoy a round of golf at some of America's nicest golf clubs or check out the wild life at the Lion Country Safari, McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary or the Palm Beach Zoo.

One of the coolest places to visit when at West Palm beach is the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden. Enormous sculptures sprawled across lush grounds. The historic house takes you back in time as you relax in this luxurious garden from one of America's influential artists from the 19th century. Artists will love spending the afternoon plein air painting.

 

10. West Palm Beach - Cape Canaveral
2hrs 10mins (140 miles)

The famous 'space coast' is where the Kennedy Space Centre is located and where all manned space flights have been launched. Your inner-child is guaranteed to be soaring as high as the rockets launched when visiting here.

It's worth checking out the NASA page before you arrive at the visitors centre to try and coordinate your visit on a day when there is a launch occurring!

Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the views from the Cape Canaveral lighthouse as you watch cruise liners docking into one of the busiest ports in the world.

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image: www.wordpress.com/maximumadventure

 
11. Cape Canaveral - Orlando
55 mins (55 kms)
The capital of amusement parks, there's bound to be one to cater to everyones taste. Have your photo taken with Mickey and Minnie at Disney world, which is sure to be a family favourite and a great way to tucker everyone out!

Not only known as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is also nicknamed the city beautiful and it's easy to see why when you are wandering around Lake Eola Park and drinking in the beautiful views.

 image: www.grayline.com

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