This is an account of a 9 day Road-trip to Florida the sunshine state from Arkansas. It was pretty much a dry run till Florida. Things spiced up after that. We traversed pretty much the whole state as seen from the map.

Day 1: Birmingham – Tampa, mostly spent driving.
Day 2: Tampa, Busch gardens.
Day 3: Orlando, Epcot.
Day 4: Orlando, Universal Studios.
Day 5: Miami, lazing around South Beach and a trip to the Everglades.
Day 6: Miami – Key West, jet skiing, lazing around.
Day 7: Key West – Tampa, Mostly driving, drop by at Everglades.
Day 8: Tampa – Hattiesburg MS, full day driving along the Gulf coast.
Day 9: Hattiesburg – Conway, back home.

The first 3 days were the typical theme park holiday, spent a day each at Busch Gardens, Disney’s Epcot and Universal Islands of Adventure. One day in Miami is just not sufficient, we went on a airboat ride in the Everglades, spent time shopping and dining on Lincoln St in South Beach and kinda just strolled the beach due to the continuous bad weather during our trip. The drive to Key West is fun and need to be enjoyed through out, no sleeping :). There’s tons of things to do there, we did the glass bottom boat ride to the reefs and a 27 miles jetski tour around the island. The return was more or less driving, break, driving. Although driving along the gulf coast starting from Tallahasse was interesting, there was a diverse change in terrain and locality.

Florida Planning:

There’s a lot to planning information available on lots of sites, but there always some information those sites miss out on. Here’s my todo list before you depart for Florida.

  • Sunscreen lotion, whether you go to the beach or theme parks.
  • A hat or cap and sun glasses, flip flops.
  • Every theme park has some rides that get you wet, so prepare in advance for that. Wear something that dries quickly.
  • If you plan on driving a lot, and beyond just Orlando its good to get a Sun Pass mini sticker. There’s lot of toll areas and the worst part is some of the exits are specifically for Sun Pass customers, if not you’re out of luck. You can’t get in or get out at such exits.
  • Small Dry bags for keys and wallet while at the beach or even the theme parks.