While the state of Florida is not exactly an island, it is a cultural and geographic world unto itself. Visitors will find a fantastic variety of experiences in what is (appropriately) known as the “Sunshine State,” from quaint towns emanating American Southern charm in the northern peninsula part of the state to the cosmopolitan melting pot of coastal Miami.
On this road trip through Florida, you will travel from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the only state in the country where you can swim in both bodies of water in a matter of hours (although you’ll want to stay a few days to really enjoy the experience).
Orlando is the heart of Florida. There are such world-famous attractions as Universal Studios Florida Theme Parks, Magic Kingdom, Avatar Flight of Passage, and many more. This is the city where it is customary to start your Florida trip. If you are going to rent a car, it is better to do it at the reference point. Under 25 car rental Orlando helps you. Hurry up, take a car and go on this exciting trip.
St. Petersburg: Art and Entertainment on the Gulf Coast
Rent a car (how about a convertible?) for an adventure filled with sun and sand. If you’re worried about car rentals in Orlando Florida under 25, don’t be. You can rent a car in Florida if you’re not yet 25. From the airport, head southwest to St. Petersburg, a laid-back city with a youthful, vibrant vibe surrounded by white sand beaches.
A short drive east takes you to the city’s waterfront downtown, as well as North Straub Park, where you can admire the great views of Tampa Bay. Be sure to take a picture in front of the huge banyan trees. Art aficionados can visit the Museum of Fine Arts or the St. Petersburg Museum of History, both located within walking distance of the park.
Consider staying one night, because the second day will be spent on the sparkling white sands of St. Pete Beach, where you can admire the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beach rentals, water sports, and restaurants will be available. If you prepare to leave around noon, you’ll have plenty of time to get to the next stop: Sanibel Island.
Sea, Sand, and Shells on Sanibel Island
If you head south along Florida’s Gulf Coast, you’ll see the towering arch of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. It is 131 meters high and passes over the crystal-clear waters of Tampa Bay.
Take a quick side trip to learn about Florida history at Historic Spanish Point in Osprey. Afterwards, eat at the Snook Haven Restaurant, an old Florida-style eatery located in Venice, and continue your trip to Sanibel Island.
This is one of the best places in Florida for birding, with more than 245 species, including the elusive roseate spoonbill. Destine for a one-night stay in this tropical paradise. You’ll find a variety of accommodations, from family-friendly hotels to luxurious oceanfront resorts. Just be sure to wake up early to head to your next destination: the Everglades.
Explore the Largest Subtropical Wilderness in the United States: Everglades National Park
You can take Interstate 75 south, but remember that smaller roads tend to be more scenic. Opt to drive along US 41/Tamiami Trail to tour the coastal towns and experience the many facets of Southwest Florida. Stop to stretch your legs on the Royal Palm Hammock hiking trail in Collier-Seminole State Park, a hidden gem with an observation deck.
Or visit Kirby Storter Roadside Park, located a little further south, with a lovely wooden boardwalk through the mature cypress trees. Continue driving east along Alligator Alley toward the center of the Everglades.
These vast, wide-open spaces of protected wetlands hide countless animals, from hundreds of bird species to black bears, alligators, and the rare Florida panther. The Shark Valley Visitor Center is located about halfway down the southern tip of Florida’s peninsula.
In addition, you can rent a bicycle and explore the 15-mile loop at your own pace. Besides camping, there are no other overnight accommodations in the area, so continue the journey to the last stop – Miami. Watch the skyline transform from the untamed Everglades to the growing city skyline.
Cuban Culture and Fashionable Beaches in Spectacular Miami
Miami is a cosmopolitan destination with an enormous diversity that combines a variety of suburbs, from the historic Spanish-style rooftops of Coral Gables to the rowdy nightclubs of South Beach.
The influence of Latino culture is ingrained in the daily life of the area. Everywhere you go, Spanish is as common as English. West of downtown Miami is Little Havana and its main attraction, Calle Ocho (8th Street). This place has grown to become a tourist and cultural mecca.
Visit one of the local eateries, Versailles Restaurant, for a feast of Cuban cuisine or simply to order a cortadito (espresso latte with milk) from the ventanita (a take-out window). For dessert, savor a pastelito (Cuban pastry) from a local bakery.
Once your appetite for Cuban food is satiated, drive east over the causeway to South Beach. With its world-class restaurants and tropical beaches, South Beach is truly an experience that should be on your bucket list. See the places you want to see in one trip. Rent a car, it’s the best solution. Especially if renting a car in Florida under 25 is possible.
Not many people know about this route, and you should visit all these places before they become iconic. Have a great vacation!