Get around

By bus

Bus service is provided by Greyhound and RedCoach that connect the major cities in Florida. There are a number of local and regional Public Transportation organizations that offer inter-city bus services throughout the state.

By car

The legal driving age is 15 if you have a learners permit. 16 on a restricted license, and 18 on a unrestricted license. Anyone 16 and under cannot drive between 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for one year, unless with a driver who is 21 or older. Anyone aged 17 cannot drive between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for one year, unless with a driver who is 21 or older.

Car rental agencies abound in Florida and many are available at every major airport. Orlando, in particular, known as the “Car Rental Capital of the World”. With Florida being the most visited state in the US, car rental rates here are among (if not the) highest rates in the country.

Florida’s major highways include:

  • Interstate 4 crosses diagonally from Tampa, heads east through Plant City & Lakeland, then heads northeast past Kissimmee, Walt Disney World, Orlando, and ends at Interstate 95 near Daytona Beach. Interstate 4 is the most traversed highway in Florida and due to the large volume of traffic, high speeds (70 outside of urban areas), construction (which is almost complete), and large number of tourists it is the most dangerous highway in the state, in terms of the number of accidents.
  • Interstate 95enters Florida from Georgia north of Jacksonville and travels near the Atlantic coast (never more than 20mi or so), past St.Augustine, Daytona Beach, Cape Canaveral, Vero Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and ends at US 1 just south of downtown Miami.
  • Interstate 10enters Florida from Alabama near Pensacola and travels across the Panhandle, past Tallahassee,and through north Florida to its terminus in Jacksonville.
  • Interstate 75enters Florida from Georgia and runs south through Gainesville, Ocala, just east of Tampa, then parallels the Gulf coast past Bradenton, Sarasota, Fort Meyers, Naples, and then crosses due east across the Everglades swamp (a section known as ‘Alligator Alley’) to the Miami suburbs.
  • Florida’s Turnpikeis a toll road that runs from Interstate 75 south of Ocala, through Orlando, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and ending south of Miami. It provides the easiest access to Orlando and southeast Florida for persons entering the state via I-75 or I-10.
  • Interstate 275is a secondary interstate that runs from I-75 north of Bradenton, past downtown St. Petersburg & downtown Tampa, before rejoining I-75 north of the Tampa area. Interstate 275 crosses the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, 5.5mi (8.8km) long and with a 193ft(58.8m) clearance, across the mouth of Tampa Bay and later across the Howard Frankland Bridge over Old Tampa Bay. Note: Interstate 75 does not provide access to these areas, it passes through rural/suburban areas 10 miles (at closest) from Tampa. I-4 approaches Tampa from the east, but ends at I-275 just before downtown.
  • S. Highway 1 is a historic and scenic highway that originates in Key West and continues up the east coast.
  • State Road A1Aruns parallel to US 1 and Interstate 95, but lies to the east of the Intercoastal Waterway (mainly on the barrier islands) and running mostly along the ocean.
  • US 98enters Florida from Alabama at Pensacola and travels a very scenic route along the Gulf Coast of the Panhandle, it continues diagonally across the peninsula to its terminus in West Palm Beach.
  • US 27is a well-traveled alternative to the Florida’s Turnpike and runs from Miami, along Lake Okeechobee, through the mostly-rural heartland of Florida, Ocala, Gainesville, Tallahassee
  • US 41runs from Miami, makes a scenic 2-lane journey through the Everglades, and travels along the Gulf Coast , the east side of Tampa Bay, and north into Georgia.

By train

  • Amtrak Silver Starand Silver Meteor (Trains 91-92 and 97-98 respectively) – This is a relatively expensive option but will suffice if other means are not possible. Both routes span from Jacksonville to Miami. While the two routes are slightly different, within the borders of state of Florida, the routes are exactly the same and stop at the following stations: Jacksonville, Palatka, DeLand, Winter Park, Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland (to/from the north only), Tampa, Lakeland (to/from the south only), Winter Haven, Sebring, Okeechobee, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Miami.

By ferry

A high speed ferry service operates from the cities of Fort Myers Beach and Marco Island to Key West. The Key West Express offers daily service and docks in the Historic Seaport district of Key West. The ferry ride takes approximately 3.5 hours and the Ft. Myers Beach vessels have a capacity exceeding 300 passengers and amenities aboard include; out-door sundecks, flat-screen TV’s, galley service and a full bar.


See

  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex– America’s space port for the manned missions to the moon and the Space Shuttle, in Cape Canaveral. The visitors complex contains spacecraft displays, two IMAX movies, the Astronaut’s Hall of Fame, displays/exhibits chronicling the history and future of space exploration/travel, a new Space Shuttle Launch Experience, and more.
  • Space Shuttle Launch-Florida is the only place in the world where one can watch the launch of a manned space vehicle launch, as Russia & China launch their space craft in remote, restricted areas. On clear days, a launch can be seen well from over 150mi(250km) away. However, seeing a launch from Titusville is worth attending, especially for international tourists. Furthermore, rockets (carrying satellite)s are launched almost every month. You can check the launch schedule online.
  • Augustine, founded by the Spanish in 1565, is the United State’s oldest continually settled city. It contains a large fort, a museum concerning the city’s history, and plenty of nearby shops.
  • Gatorland– Full of Florida’s most unique animal, in Orlando.
  • Florida Lighthouses are numerous, historic, and beautiful, take some time to visit these iconic images of the coast.
  • Spring Training Baseballoccurs throughout the state in March and offers the ability to watch your favorite players for discount prices (front row tickets can be purchased as low as $15-20) and in smaller, more intimate venues.
  • Salvador Dali Museum, in downtown Petersburg, is the largest collection of Dali artwork outside of Europe.
  • Sunshine Skyway Bridgeis part of Interstate 275 crossing the mouth of Tampa Bay. It is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world and an engineering masterpiece. Furthermore, two long fishing piers beside the bridge, the approaches of the previous bridge, are renowned among local fishermen and provide a less expensive alternative for saltwater fishing.
  • Holocaust museum, ocated in downtown Petersburg. The Holocaust museum is one of the largest in the US and exhibits a box car used by Nazis to transport prisoners to concentration camps like Auschwitz or Treblinka.
  • Daytona International Speedway, located 1.5 miles off theDaytona Beach exit (261) on I-95. Home of the number one event in stock car racing – the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Daytona 500 (February) and other events throughout the year.
  • Ybor City. Ybor City is one of the largest party districts in the country. Countless bars, restaurants, clubs, and cigar stores are located within this district near downtown Tampa. Has a very historic feel, with a combination of Latin and Italian influence.
  • Florida Railroad Museum, 12210 83rd St E, Parrish Fl 34219, ☎941-776-0906, . Weekends. Located in the heart of the gulf coast, The Florida Railroad Museum offers a unique museum experience, here you ride the exhibits!!! Ride in railroad cars dating back to the 1920’s, pulled by 1950’s diesel engines. Fun for the whole family, special events throughout the year. $10 and up.

Do

  • Go to the beach!You have numerous options with Panama City Beach, Daytona Beach, South Beach, and West Palm Beach being some of the best.
  • Visit Florida’s world classwater parks and theme parks.
    • Disney World– The biggest and most renowned theme park in the world.
    • Sea World,Wet and WildUniversal StudiosIslands of Adventure, and Discovery Cove in Orlando.
  • Swim with the Florida Manatees.Nature Coast Manatee Tours in Crystal River Close encounters with Florida’s gentle giant.
    • Busch Gardensin Tampa.
  • Visit Everglades National Park, a place like no other on earth, and take an airboat ride through the swamps. A drive across the Everglades on US 41 is a great way to get a sense of the size and scenery of the Everglades. Stop at Shark Valley and Everglades City for great attractions and scenery.
  • Take a dip in Florida’s Largest Lake, Lake Okeechobee! Wade in the shallow waters, and enjoy the beautiful southern Florida landscape and wildlife.
  • Visit some of the more than 150Florida State Parks. Two-time winner of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Gold Medal award for state park systems.
  • Visit the Seminole or Miccosukee Indian reservationsthroughout the state. Here you can find out about their history and culture, eat their food, and then gamble in the casinos on their land.
  • Go diving-Florida coastlines offer many coral reefs, sunken vessels, and a diverse array of sea life.
  • Go hiking or backpacking-Florida has many state and national parks/forests that have nature trails suitable for hiking and camping.
    • Florida National Scenic Trailis a network of 1400 miles of hiking trails throughout the state. The most popular section of the trail is the 110-mile loop encircling Lake Okeechobee.
  • Go Fishing– Florida has some of the best fishing action in the world (both salt and freshwater). Several large and tough fighting species such as Sailfish, Tarpon, and Largemouth Bass can be found lurking in Florida water throughout the state. Info about charters and fishing locations can be found here.
  • Take a Cruise – leave from the Port of Miami, Tampa,  Lauderdale, or Canaveral.

 

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