Close your eyes and think of the Sunshine State – Florida. What springs to mind? Disney World? The Florida Keys? The Everglades? Orange groves? Perhaps you have visions of Miami Vice, wearing a white suit with Gucci loafers, jumping from your Ferrari into a speedboat and pitching up at a Miami Beach bar staffed by models. As true as that may be, in true Team Umbrella style we’d like to share a few more insights.
Flying to Florida is easy. We’ve recently used both Miami International Airport and Orlando. Both offer a fast and efficient arrival process with a minimum of fuss. There is a vast selection of hotels; top level 5-star venues, including boutique hotels and serviced apartments with full 24-hour service, Florida has it all.
We believe that a core element of business travel is the “down time”, and whether you’re here for business or leisure you will be spoilt for choice of things to do. We’ve selected just a handful of activities– some obvious, some not so.
No great surprise here. Florida has some world-renowned golf courses, many of them Championship courses. What may come as some surprise is just how many there are, and how accessible they can be. No need to book your round of golf months in advance, and it’s easy to play several courses in one day, such is their proximity. Why not play a different course every day of the week? Of course, there is one vital component that every golfer will talk about and that’s the famous “19th Hole”. Fear not, Florida is not short of “rest spots” at the end of your round…
With its extensive coastline you can find some of the finest seafood you will ever experience. Everything from Tuna to Grouper, Swordfish to Catfish, Lobster, Crab – you really are spoilt for choice. Meat eaters can try the more exotic meats such as alligator and snake. Vegetarians need not feel left out though, as Florida caters for all tastes, and it’s not just the variety of food that you can look forward to; Florida cuisine boasts its fair share of Michelin stars, alongside a multitude of great restaurants where the food will not disappoint you.
Sailing & Fishing
An obvious choice, but with a few quirks. Yes, you can sail on the sea and also fish for all manner of seafish. But you can also sail inland – the everglades are an interesting and exciting place to see from the water; there are also plenty of inland waterways where you can simply explore, enjoy the amazing scenery, and the many dining places to try.
We really do emphasise “wild”. Florida is known for alligators, and a visit to Gatorland in Orlando is a must. Meet one of the rarest animals in the world, the white alligator; not the albino alligator with white skin with red eyes; these are the rarer leucistic alligators – magnificent creatures with white skin and blue eyes, of which there are believed to be only about a dozen in the world. Thankfully they will never become shoes or handbags – at a value of around $3 million each, they’re a little too valuable for that. There’s plenty of other wildlife in the many animal parks and in the Everglades themselves, and the guides there help you to get up close and personal with some frightening creatures.
There is of course much more to tell but not enough time or space here. Contact us to discuss your interest in Florida and we can help to build a program to suit you.