Florida and Las Vegas, two extremely diverse yet incredible travel destinations. First things first, Florida is a considerable state and to see it all would take a lot of time. So this blog purely focuses on the surroundings of Orlando.
I booked the trip for my 21st Birthday – I wanted to go somewhere different. Somewhere people don’t usually go, but in the end I decided what better way to spend my 21st birthday than in America.
I had actually found flights via Skyscanner directly to Florida for £330 return, and then an internal return flight to Las Vegas for £60, and all in all the hotels and travel cost me £1000 (which is usually what I aim for but it all depends on your budget)
Because I spent two weeks here I have decided to write this blog in two parts – this is part 1 and based on Florida.
I have broken the blog down in to three sections, ‘Where to Eat, What to Do and Where to Stay’. This trip also included a 2 day stopover at West Palm Beach and Miami.
FLORIDA – ORLANDO
As mentioned, Florida is a big state and I only went to Orlando so I am going to focus on this area.
WHERE TO STAY – International Drive is usually a common name you’ll here when talking and planning your trip and is known as the ‘vegas strip’. I certainly would recommend it for getting around, location, and food.
If you’re on a budget but would like to stay on International Drive I would recommend taking a look at the ‘Avanti’ Resort as a cheaper option – we stayed here and loved it. If you’ve got a bigger budget try staying in Lake Buena Vista at the Sheraton hotel.
There are also the official park hotels which are extremely highly rated and may suit you depending on what you are going to do out there. Walt Disney World offers free transfers to and from the airport.
TIPS – I would definitely recommend renting a car for your stay in Orlando if you’re not staying on International Drive as public transport is few and far between.
If you are wanting to visit only one or two parks, I would recommend staying in a hotel close to them as you are more likely to have access to shuttle bus transfers to the various theme parks that are free, instead of having to fork out for the theme park’s car park!
WHAT TO DO – Despite the glaringly obvious thing to do in Orlando (theme parks) there is much more that you can add to your list to make for an unforgettable trip to Florida; these include:
- Watch a baseball game in Tampa!
- Visit the Titanic Museum in Orlando
- Visit Lake Eola Park
- Orlando International Premium Outlets – I bought some levi jeans for $10!!!
- Visit the Wonderworks Museum in Orlando – Attraction with 100+ hands-on science exhibits plus laser tag, a ropes course & a 6D motion ride
- A day trip to the Everglades National Park – a wetland preserve on the southern tip of Florida
- Visit the Kennedy Space Centre – one of ten National Aeronautics and Space Administration field centres
- Visit the beaches
- Drive down to Miami
- Watch an ice hockey game
WHERE TO EAT – America is known for it’s food, huge portions, whacky flavours and all you can eat buffets and Orlando has every chain restaurant possible. Here’s some of the places I’d recommend:
- If you live in England, you must try iHop for breakfast – a must, trust me
- Texas de Brazil – Steakhouse
- Rusty Spoon Restaurant – American food
- Hard Rock Cafe – American food
- Bahama Breeze – Caribbean
- Hash House A Go Go – American Brunch
- K Restaurant – American food
TIPS – If you’re planning on going to the theme parks, buy a meal card beforehand. We used the Universal Dining Plan and purchased prior to going to the park – this included a full meal, snack, alcoholic beverage and a soft drink and was around $23 and saved us a lot of money in the actual park.
If you’re wanting to eat at the well known chains, such as Planet Hollywood it may be better to book in advance.
Now as mentioned earlier we took a trip to West Palm Beach and Miami. We actually stayed with a friend in West Palm and chilled at the beach and went to a local fair in the evening. Why do the road names sound so good? Sunset Boulevard?? Like I wanna live there, now!
In Miami we chilled at the beach (again!) and went to my first ever Ice Hockey game. Miami was good, but not what I thought it would be.
We hired a car for the three days to travel down to Miami and back. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to hire a car for your full trip or to visit Orlando. We only hired the car for the days we were travelling out of Orlando which saved us a lot of money.
Part 2 will be my review of Las Vegas showing you ‘Where to stay, What to do and Where to Eat’ coming later on this week!
Have you been to Florida? What did you get up to?