I'm travelling over to Florida for the first time next year. We've got a function to attend that will last 4 days(3 nights) and will take place in Naples. The rest is free time.
We're trying to arrange an itinery for the 14 nights, can be extended to 17. We're not too fussed on the parks as that can be taken in on a seperate holiday later.
Anything that's worth missing, deffo worth seeing etc...?
There will be 4 of us going out and really looking forward to it.
This is just my thoughts on Florida for you. I spent a couple years going to school there, and have gone there every year since I was 2.
Florida is a fun place, but, my friend, the parks are where its at.
There are a few places, St Augustine (oldest city in America), the coasts and their beaches, and a few other sights, but they will not take up the remaining 10 days you have. That is unless you like just hanging at the beaches. *grins* I could do that for days on end.
Cape Canaveral is nice, if you like the idea of learning about America's space program. They have made it so that you can almost spend a full day there, but you have to like that sorta stuff to go there for the whole day. Cocoa Beach is right near it, a virtual surfers' haven, although the beaches south you may have better luck at finding the larger mass of surfers. They also have the 24 hour Ron Jon's surf shop there. Even if you don't surf (which I don't), it is a cool store to stop in and you can let the females get their shopping in.
I have been to Tampa, but only briefly. No offence to anyone that lives there or in Jacksonville, but I never found any great draw to staying in either of those two places for more than a day. Perhaps someone will tell me more about it though.
I would recommend the Everglades, an airboat ride, stopping at a croc farm, and trying some aligator, catfish, and frogs' legs. *grins* Even for a non-seafood lover like myself, you have to try everything once.
Not spent much time in Miami, maybe someone will chime in on that for you.
If you are interested in the parks after all, just say so. But I will leave that for another time.
Really depends on your attitude, time of year and the scene you want to be a part of. A drive through Alligator Alley is worth a day, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are lovely as are the Keys. Spring Training baseball is an event even for non baseball fans and much more intimate than seeing baseball in the big league parks.
There are tons of beaches and outdoor activities (fishing, jet ski, surfing, swimming, parasailing, horseback riding, sailing, hiking, etc). Checking out the wildlife in the Everglades is fun...
Miami has some serious nightlife (very latin in it's flavor).
and of course there is Orlando. Since I don't have much nice to say about it I'll shut my mouth on that topic.
Naples is a beautiful place, nice beaches and a charming downtown (5th Avenue/3rd Street), but 3/4 days is probably plenty.
I'd skip the theme parks, unless you have kids that won't stop bugging you to visit them.
The Keys are defintely worth a visit. The drive to Key West is beautiful, I make it several times a year and I am always impressed by the beautiful water. The Bahia Honda State Park, just past Big Pine Key, is beautiful and worth a visit. Key West is terrific and worth a few days.
Miami is good fun, South Beach, Coconut Grove, etc...
St. Augustine is another great place, the old town is wonderful to wal around.
As far as the west coast goes, there are some nice rivers north of Tampa, Homosassa River, Chassowitza River, Crystal River. Tampa has some nice sites as does St. Petersburg.
And there is always the panhandle area too.