12 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £1849pp
Miami 1 night
Key West 1 night
Key Largo 1 night
Naples 2 nights
Sarasota 1 night
Crystal River 1 night
St Augustine 1 night
Orlando 3 nights
Cocoa Beach 1 night
Day 1: Fly to Miami. On arrival collect your hire car and head to your hotel. Perhaps enjoy dinner or a nightcap along Ocean Drive?.
Day 2 Miami/Key West: Journey south, crossing 42 bridges and 32 islands as you drive on the Overseas Highway (US1) all the way to Key West, only 90 miles away from Cuba. Colourful and carefree Key West is known for its watersports, lively nightlife, historic sites and its pastel, conch-style architecture. Don’t miss the Hemingway House, one of Key West’s most famous celebrity shrines (166 miles).
Day 3 Key West/Key Largo: Retrace your journey back along the Keys to Key Largo whose star attraction is undoubtedly the spectacular coral reefs. By far the best way to see them is to dive right in, although glass-bottom boat tours are available at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (97 miles).
Day 4 Key Largo/Naples: Today cross “Alligator Alley” via the Everglades National Park. Be sure to stop off at the visitor centre and then hop aboard an airboat for a thrilling experience, during which you may see alligators. Continue to Florida’s south west coast and the swanky town of Naples where designer shopping and fine dining compliment the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches (174 miles).
Day 5 Naples: If you can bear to drag yourself away from the gorgeous beach, you may want to stroll along Naples Pier, play a round of golf at one of the many courses or, perhaps browse the art galleries and shops of Fifth Avenue and Third Street South in the historic downtown area. After dark, you’ll find no end of fabulous eateries and funky bayside bars.
Day 6 Naples/Sarasota: Continue north to Sarasota, passing the popular Fort Myers and Venice beaches before perhaps stopping to visit the winter residence of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford outside Fort Myers. Consider taking a side trip to the tropical barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva (toll bridge). Continue to Sarasota, one of Florida’s prime Gulf Coast cities offering an eclectic blend of culture and fine dining, circus thrills and pristine beaches, not to mention a wide array of shopping opportunities (117 miles).
Day 7 Sarasota/Crystal River: Travel north and inland today and head for Crystal River, perhaps stopping en route at Homosassa Springs, home to Nature World, a nature reserve for endangered manatees. Continue to Crystal River, located along Central Florida’s “Nature Coast”, one of the few places where you can get up close and personal with gentle manatees. In the winter months more than 400 of these aquatic mammals migrate here to enjoy the year-round warm waters, and some stay in the bay through the summer months (135 miles).
Day 8 Crystal River/St Augustine: This morning, visit Silver Springs Park where the first Tarzan movies were filmed or enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride on the crystal-clear waters of Silver Springs. Cross the Ocala National Forest via Palatka to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest continuously settled city. The city boasts a plethora of historically significant structures, including the Castillo de San Marcos. Other highlights include Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth archaeological park (130 miles).
Day 9 St Augustine/Orlando: We recommend you visit famous Daytona Beach before swinging inland and following Interstate 4 to the theme park capital of the world, Orlando (105 miles).
Days 10-11 Orlando: Two full days to get your fill of Orlando’s theme parks and water parks - choose from the magic of Walt Disney World Resort and the amazing attractions of Universal Studios. If that’s not your scene, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping, as well as some incredible golf courses too.
Day 12 Orlando/Cocoa Beach: Drive east to the Space Coast of Florida and land in Cocoa Beach, home of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame. You may want to explore the universe at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center or walk the famous Cocoa Beach pier and enjoy the shops, food and ocean air (62 miles).
Day 13 Cocoa Beach/Miami: Return your car at the airport (203 miles) where your tour concludes for your onward journey.
Accommodation: In 3* hotels. Higher grade hotels are available at a supplement.
Meals: Room only.
Tour price: The price shown for this tour is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights to and from Miami, 13 days compact 4 door car with fully inclusive insurance and 12 nights accommodation.
Sunshine Trails is also available with a motorhome rather than a car. The price shown includes return international flights to and from Miami, one pre-night at Pestana Arts Hotel Miami and a C25 motorhome for 12 days.
12 night self-drive motorhome tour from £1699pp