Although we have visited a few US states several times and the fact that it is one of the most popular US states, we just visited Florida for the first time this fall. Our trip was planned solely for the wedding we photographed and filmed in Fort Lauderdale, but as usual, our trip turned into a “Business and Pleasure” experience. All the free time we had was used on exploring new interesting places, as well as scouting new locations for filming so we managed to put our time in Florida to good use. Given that the “sunshine state” is three times larger than Croatian, we decided to limit ourselves to South Florida and explore it thoroughly.
We enjoyed our stay in Florida for 10 days. So we visited the famous yachting centre, Fort Lauderdale, where we stayed at, and the unavoidable Miami and Miami Beach, Everglades National Park, Key Biscayne, surrounding islands on which rich and famous people have there real estate and part of the Florida Keys, which are also the southernmost point of Florida .
Since we went to Florida primarily for the wedding that we were photographing and filming, our clients have directed us that November is the best time to visit Florida because the amount of moisture in the air during this period is somewhat lower, and stable and sunny weather is more often. Because of this reason they chose the month of November for their wedding, but unfortunately the weather that welcomed us was quite the opposite. 🙂 Our few sunny days in the “sunny state” were very warm, humid and damp. But the rest of the time, including the wedding day, it was cloudy, rainy and very windy. To us the wind looked more like a milder hurricane. 🙂
Temperatures ranged from about 30 ° C to 35 ° C, and of a decent haircut I gave up after the second day because of the high amount of moisture in the air. Every day I had an aura of tiny disobedient strands of hair all over my head.
Beaches in South Florida are mostly large, sandy and beautiful, but other than beaches we enjoyed exploring the interesting landscape of Florida, Everglades National Park, the beautiful picturesque streets of Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach, and the smaller islands nearby. From Miami and Fort Lauderdale run numerous lines of tourist boats that leave for a tour of the nearby islands around Miami Beach. We drove the long road that runs through the Florida Keys archipelago until the last of the islands – Key West. There we expected more tropical atmosphere and vast sandy beaches, but we were surprised when we realised that many beaches on the islands could not be accessed because the greater part of the coast is surrounded by private owned land. It’s interesting that the landscape is filled with swampy area that extends to the ocean. It was unusual to see that in some places, plants and trees emerge from the shore of the ocean.
As the name implies, most of the Miami Beach are beaches, but Miami Beach offers much more than that. There you can walk through many crowded streets, full of diverse restaurants, clubs and boutiques. South Beach is the most popular, and probably the most beautiful part of Miami Beach.
Everglades National Park is a place you should definitely visit. It is roughly a huge swamp filled with a diverse variety of plants and animal species, of which the most interesting to us was the American alligator. Panthers, which are also residents of the Everglades, we unfortunately (or fortunately) never saw in nature. Instead we rode an “airboat” through low water filled with tall grass such as Horatio Caine in the intro of CSI Miami. As soon as we stoped in the middle of the swamp, we were surrounded by several large alligators, it’s definitely been a new experience because we saw these notorious beasts for the first time and that from a distance of just one meter. Later we visited a small zoo in the national park where we had the opportunity to hand hold a live young alligator and taste roasted alligator tail meat.
It is interesting that every state of the United States really are unique and different, Florida also impressed and surprised us in its own way. Known for its tourism and holiday season, so a big and busy city acquires a more relaxing and fun vibe. People are drinking cocktails in cafes, and you can often spot hikers in bathing suits walking through the city.
In Florida, we particularly liked the people who are relaxed, always smiling and hospitable. In the US it’s common that someone will approach you with no particular reason and start a conversation, but in Florida we have experienced that even more often.