You'll never fall into the tourist traps when you travel with Frommer's. It's like having a friend show you around, taking you to the places locals like best. Our expert authors have already gone everywhere you might gothey've done the legwork for you, and they're not afraid to tell it like it is, saving you time and money. No other series offers candid reviews of so many hotels and restaurants in all price ranges. Every Frommer's Travel Guide is up-to-date, with exact prices for everything, dozens of color maps, and exciting coverage of sports, shopping, and nightlife. You'd be lost without us!
Completely updated every year (unlike most of the competition), Frommer's Florida features gorgeous color photos of the fun that awaits you in the Sunshine State. Much more comprehensive and detailed than its major competitor, this is simply the most reliable guide you can buy. Our team of expert authors has inspected countless accommodations, and they've selected the very best: lavish golf resorts, spas, stunning B&Bs, beachfront motels, and family-friendly condos. No matter what your budget, this guide can help you design a memorable Florida vacation.
Frommer's covers all the highlights: the sizzling South Beach club scene, dive sites in the Keys, spring training, theme parks, the Kennedy Space Center, world-class golf courses, and course, beaches, water sports, and beach bars galore. You'll learn about all the latest developments at Disney and Universal Studios, and get lots of insider tips about airfare bargains and package deals. You'll even get a free color fold-out map and an online directory that makes trip-planning a snap!
About the Author
About the Authors Bill Goodwin began his career as an award-winning newspaper reporter before serving as speechwriter and legal counsel for two U.S. senators. These days he spends as much time as possible exploring the ins and outs of other places with naturally hot air; he's also the author of Frommer's South Pacific. Lesley Abravanel is a freelance journalist and a graduate of the University of Miami School of Communication. When she isn't combing South Florida for the latest hotels, restaurants, and attractions, she is on the lookout for vacationing celebrities, about whom she writes in her weekly columns, "Nocturnal Admissions," for miami.citysearch.com and "Velvet Underground," for the Miami Herald's weekly entertainment newspaper, The Street. She is the Miami correspondent for Black Book Magazine and is also the author of Frommer's South Florida. Jim and Cynthia Tunstall have been waiting impatiently in Walt Disney World lines since the Magic Kingdom's opening bell in 1971. In the 3 decades since, they've sampled just about every element of a great Orlando vacation. Those experiences are the credentials that allow these Florida insiders to separate the good from the bad and the ugly. Based close to the Disney epicenter, they have written three other Orlando-related books including Frommer's Walt Disney World & Orlando.
Read an Excerpt
1 The Best Beaches
Virginia Key (Key Biscayne): The producers of "Survivor" could feasibly shoot their show on this ultrasecluded, picturesque, and deserted key, where people go purposely not to be found. See chapter 5.
Matheson Hammock Park Beach (South Miami): This beach features an enclosed, man-made lagoon that is flushed naturally by the tidal action of the adjacent Biscayne Bay. The serene beach is surrounded by the bay's warm, calm waters; its backdrop is a tropical hardwood forest. See chapter 5.
Bahia Honda State Park (Bahia Honda Key): One of the nicest and most peaceful beaches in Florida, located amidst 635-acres of nature trails and even a portion of Henry Flagler's railroad. See chapter 6.
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park (Dania Beach): Unfettered by high-rise condominiums, T-shirt shops, and hotels, this wonderful beach boasts an untouched shoreline surrounded by a canopy of Australian pine to ensure complete seclusion. See chapter 8.
Lover's Key State Park (Fort Myers Beach): You'll have to walk or take a tram through a bird-filled forest of mangroves to this gorgeous, unspoiled beach just a few miles south of busy Fort Myers Beach. Although Sanibel Island gets all the accolades, the shelling here is just as good if not better. See chapter 10.
Cayo Costa State Park (off Captiva Island): These days, deserted tropical islands with great beaches are scarce in Florida, but this 2,132-acre barrier strip of sand, pine forests, mangrove swamps, oak hammocks, and grasslands provides a genuine get-away-from-it-all experience. Access is only by boat from nearby Gasparilla, Pine, and Captiva Islands. See chapter 10.
Naples Beach (Naples): Many Florida cities and towns have beaches, but few are as lovely as the gorgeous strip that runs in front of Naples's famous Millionaires' Row. You don't have to be rich to wander its length, peer at the mansions, and stroll on historic Naples Pier to catch a sunset over the gulf. See chapter 10.
Caladesi Island State Park (Clearwater Beach): Even though 31/2-mile-long Caladesi Island is in the heavily developed Tampa Bay area, it has a lovely, relatively secluded beach with soft sand edged in sea grass and palmettos. Dolphins cavort in offshore waters. In the park itself, there's a nature trail, and you might see one of the rattlesnakes, black racers, raccoons, armadillos, or rabbits that live here. The park is accessible only by ferry from Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area off Dunedin. See chapter 11.
Canaveral National Seashore (Cape Canaveral): Midway between the crowded attractions at Daytona Beach and the Kennedy Space Center is a protected stretch of coastline 24 miles long, backed by cabbage palms, sea grapes, and palmettos. Its neighbor is the 140, -acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to hundreds of Florida birds, reptiles, alligators, and mammals. Wooden boardwalks lead from a free parking lot to the huge expanse of soft brown sand and a few well-spaced picnic tables. See chapter 13.
Gulf Islands National Seashore (Pensacola): You could argue that all of Northwest Florida's gulf shore is one of America's great beaches-an almost-uninterrupted stretch of pure white sand that runs the entire length of the Panhandle, from Perdido Key to St. George Island. The Gulf Islands National Seashore preserves much of this natural wonder in its undeveloped state. Countless terns, snowy plover, black skimmers, and other birds nest along the dunes topped with sea oats. East of the national seashore and equally beautiful are Grayton Beach State Park near Destin and St. George Island State Park off Apalachicola. See chapter 14.
St. Andrews State Park (Panama City Beach): With more than 1, acres of dazzling white sand and dunes, this preserved wilderness demonstrates what Panama City Beach looked like before motels and condominiums lined its shore. Lacy, golden sea oats sway in gulf breezes, and fragrant rosemary grows wild. The area is home to foxes, coyotes, and a herd of deer. See chapter 14.
Table of Contents
List of Maps.
What's New in Florida.
1. The Best of Florida.
2. Planning Your Trip to Florida (Bill Goodwin).
3. For Foreign Visitors (Bill Goodwin).
4. Getting to Know Miami (Lesley Abravanel).
5. What to Sèe & Do in Miami (Lesley Abravanel).
6. The Keys (Lesley Abravanel).
7. South Florida Side Trips: The Everglades & Biscayne National Park (Lesley Abravanel).
8. The Gold Coast: Hallandale to the Palm Beaches (Lesley Abravanel).
9. The Treasure Coast: Stuart to Sebastian (Lesley Abravanel).
10. Southwest Florida (Biff Goodwin).
11. The Tampa Bay Area (Bill Goodwin).
12. Wait Disney World & Orlando (Jim, Cynthia Tunstall).
13. Northeast Florida (Bill Goodwin).
14. Northwest Florida: The Panhandle (Bill Goodwin).