Category: Florida

Florida’s hidden gems: 10 more reasons to visit

There are plenty quiet and magical places sans crowds in Florida if you know where to look — places we like to refer to as Florida’s hidden gems. Rest assured that when Ponce de León first arrived in Florida in 1513 he wasn’t greeted by Walt Disney or Mickey Mouse. You too can get to Florida and not just find theme parks or senior citizens’ specials. The Sunshine State has hidden gems that whisk you way beyond the expected.

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Dry Tortugas National Park – Fort Jefferson 360 view

Almost 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, lies a cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand, called the Dry Tortugas. With the surrounding shoals and water, they make up the Dry Tortugas National Park, an area noted for bird and marine life and shipwrecks. Fort Jefferson, its central cultural feature, is one of the nation’s largest 1800s masonry fort. Video shot in 360 with a Kodak Pixpro SP360 camera.

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4 Fun Free Things to Do in Key West (+ 2 )

Key West, at the southernmost tip of the United States below Florida (and only 90 miles from Cuba), can leave you getting sucked into one attraction or tourist kitsch shop after another. And that can leave a dent in your wallet. How about four free things to do in Key West that are totally cool and fun? (Plus, we’ll toss in 2 bonus things to do).

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Running at Disney World turned me into an outlaw

During a trip to Orlando, Fla., in 2015, I was reminded of a previous vacation my husband and I took to Orlando’s Disney World – one where I actually tried running at Disney World. For runners, the city can be so aggravating: I call it the home of “sidewalks to nowhere.” That’s assuming there are any. Usually there are not. The moniker “sidewalks to nowhere” came up a long time ago when I would find that sidewalks just ended – wheelchair ramp and all – leaving any unlucky pedestrian in the middle of a busy street or slogging through rough grass and mud beside an endless stream of cars and trucks. Basically, this city ain’t designed for anything but automobiles.

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Disney World Christmas light show is extraordinary and fun

We can’t say that either of us at HI Travel Tales will travel far and wide for Christmas Light shows and displays. But we’d heard the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney World was a do-not-miss. So on quickie trip to Orlando, we scampered back one evening from Epcot at Disney World to the Streets of America at Hollywood Studios to take them in. This is no ordinary Christmas light show mind you. It is extraordinary and then some, with millions of tiny and colorful LED lights beautifully timed and “dancing” to the holiday music, from rock...

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