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America enthusiasts' tips for driving around Florida

Published
26.12.2015 at 07:00
Road trips are some of the best America has to offer, and Florida's winter climate creates excellent conditions for them.

One unforgettable route takes you to the southern tip of Florida – Key West – a mere 150 km from Cuba. The narrow road connects the islands over 43 bridges; most of it above water, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other.

The feel is bohemian and unhurried in Key West, as the swings rock lazily on terraces in the gentle tropical wind.

The road is framed by hotels, motels, and eateries. When you stop for food, go for fresh seafood, of course.

Waterways are the best way to explore the islands of the Florida Keys. From the shores you can jump on a boat to fish or take a cruise further away, and the calm waters are great for supping, snorkelling, and canoeing.

Canoe routes take you through canals shaded by mangroves, and if you are lucky, you may get to meet a manatee, Florida's state marine mammal.

Opportunities for water sports in general are limitless in Florida. Another excellent supping site is Florida's Venice at Fort Lauderdale, with its canals, villas, and luxury boats.

Beware of alligators!

When driving through the state all the way to Naples on the Gulf of Mexico, you go through the wetlands of the Everglades. If you take a detour via a loop road, you may come across an alligator or two. If you want to be sure to spot some reptiles, climb aboard an airboat.

Slow-paced Naples is slightly outside the usual tourist flow. You can dine in style under the glow of lanterns on 5th Avenue, and admire pelicans or even dolphins on the shore. A bicycle ride is the best way to see the beach boulevard mansions, and you can hire a bike at many hotels.

Florida's warm sun energises you – and makes everything look particularly good in photos. The hurricane seasons ends in November, after which the Sunshine State's tourist season kicks off.

Driving is stress-free and reasonably priced in America. The distances are long but petrol prices won't break the budget: a gallon, or 3.785 litres, may even cost under two dollars at its cheapest.

The same goes for care hire prices, as long as you remember to book beforehand. A Finnish driving licence is sufficient to drive in America. Road signs are clear, the roads in good condition, and the speeds aren't excessive.

Instead of monotonous highways, travellers of leisure can choose scenic byways. There are many websites with more information about them.

Safe travels!

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