Cheap flights to Florida depart from Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London. Most intercontinental flights to Florida arrive in Orlando International Airport or Miami International Airport. International travellers are required to pass through customs and immigration before leaving the airport. UK citizens may qualify for the Visa Waiver programme, which allows them to stay in the US for up to 90 days without a visa. Local buses are available from the Main Terminal building of Orlando International Airport, offering services to downtown Orlando and surrounding suburbs. Various prepaid tickets and passes are available for purchase from the LYNX website. Taxis and limousines can also be hired from the taxi stand outside the Main Terminal building.
The Airport Flyer is an express bus service from Miami International Airport to Miami Beach. Tri-Rail runs a commuter train service to Palm Beach County – the train station is just outside the airport on NW 21st Street. As well as taxis, the airport also offers a SuperShuttle service to destinations within Florida. Look out for the blue vans with ‘SuperShuttle’ printed in gold on the side.
The extensive Metrobus and Metrorail services provide transport throughout Miami Dade County. Purchase an EASY card for ease of travel – the credit card-sized tickets are available from various newagents in Miami. The Metromover is a monorail system that provides free transport to areas in Downtown Miami. Tri-Rail offers services to other cities within the South Florida region.LYNX operate local bus services to downtown Orlando and its suburbs. Look up routes, maps and fare prices on the LYNX website. Most hotels will offer free shuttle services to the various amusement parks and attractions in Orlando.
Orlando is a classic family holiday destination. Walt Disney World is undeniably the most popular attraction in Orlando. This massive resort houses a variety of theme parks, among them the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Other theme parks include Universal Studios, Legoland, and SeaWorld.
There are plenty of amusement parks in Miami too, but the main attraction here is the great outdoors. Discover the sprawling Everglades, or come face to face with wildlife at Biscayne National Park. Recognise the pastel-coloured facades along South Beach? These glamorous Art Deco buildings have been featured in many Hollywood films
Enjoy Miami’s wonderful tropical weather while shopping at the open-air Sunset Plaza. This shopping strip offers a line-up of high-street brands, as well as a cinema and several restaurants. Pick up some artwork by up-and-coming artists at the Miami Design District. Fill up with authentic Cuban cuisine at the De Rodriguez Cuba Restaurant on Ocean Drive, or eat with your fingers at Bar-B-Que Beach restaurant on Miami Beach. Move over to Mansion to party with Miami’s beautiful set, or enjoy a more laidback atmosphere at Play Bar and Lounge in the Circa39 Hotel.
The Florida Mall is Orlando’s biggest shopping centre. Choose from six department stores, as well as hundreds of independent brands. Bring home some reminders of your trip from the Downtown Disney Marketplace. Everglades Restaurant serves steak and fresh seafood, along with some more unusual delicacies like alligator meat. Stay out all night in Universal CityWalk – it’s impossible to have a boring moment here thanks to its many restaurants, bars and nightclubs.