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Florida....?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Smashatom, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    I've been absent for quite some time, but just thought I would ask a quick question as this forum has been my only link to people on the other side of the pond.

    My girlfriend and I are visiting Orlando Florida for a couple of weeks soon, mainly to do the parks etc... But just wondered if there was anywhere or anything else that anyone would recommend visiting, be it for photography or not!

    Thanks in advance...

    Sam
     
  2. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    Kennedy space center for the saturn V rocket...less than an hr drive from Orlando. If you go to the west coast, Ft. Desoto Beach is pretty nice and you have a view of the Skyway bridge.
     
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  3. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Depending on your interests, I highly recommend the Morse Museum in Winter Park (suburb of Orlando these days) and the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Both have world class collections that you can't see elsewhere.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    Hi
    Me and my wife n child go again mid may...LOVE IT!
    Personally prefer universal parks over disney.WAY BETTER VALUE..if you have a car you need to go to one of the coasts...daytona / new symrna beach only an hours drive away...clearwater / st petes...brilliant for Photogs
    Dont listen to all the bad Rap seaworld/ busch gardens get..for what it is...a great day out..Aquatica best water park around
    eating out on I drive...cant go wrong with MILLERS ALE HOUSE...olive garden....Marlowes tavern...and chillis for good value...enjoy
    Ps boggy creek is a good visit near by...great photo ops. be warned though at this time of year gators stay near bottom of swamp to avoid heat...but we saw tons of birds,snakes and a bald eagle and turtles...tip the airboat driver well and they might let you go round back and handle the little gators for yourself..we did.
    Have fun and take your credit card for premium outlets!

    Scott.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    Cheers guys, lots of advice, taken lots of notes!

    We've got a car, so definitely up for traveling around a bit.

    Fancied visiting Miami as well, just because it's Miami really! No plans for what to do there, anyone got any recommendations?
     
  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi,

    If you go to Miami, consider going to Everglades nearby.

    Miami has lots of Art Deco architecture; google Colony Hotel for an example.

    You can also drive to the Florida Keys if you have time.

    It's off-season now, so lodging, etc. should be reasonable.

    Barry
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    Everglades looks amazing so does the Florida keys, I hope we can fit them both in!

    We're renting a house in Orlando, so can't really afford to stay over anywhere else (otherwise we're paying twice for the night!) So we will probably only have one day travelling down to Miami it looks like that area could easily fill a few days!

    Thanks a lot for the tips.

    Sam
     
  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry

    The space coast is very pretty as well and it is only a day trip from Orlando (an hour or so one way). Merritt Island and the beaches at Melbourne or Satellite Beach (I would skip Cocoa personally unless you have to see Ron Jons) are great. Here are a few images from the Melbourne area.

    https://www.mu-43.com/threads/75125/page-3#post-759926
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Miami is a long way from Orlando. I wouldn't make that drive in a day, especially so much of Miami is nightlife. Same with Everglades and Key West isn't a day trip.

    Kennedy is a great trip for the day. The rocket garden, the shuttle Atlantis... Was a better day than I expected.

    There is also a swamp/wildlife refuge near Tampa...Green Swamp maybe? That was a nice day trip.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    Brilliant, lots of things to make note of there! Thanks! That coast looks really nice, and not too far at all... Why would you skip Cocoa? What's Ron Jons?! I've googled it and it comes up as a surf shop, I've never heard of it though...

    Yeah I know Miama is quite far but it's something I would quite like to do! We're hoping if we share the drive it won't be too bad, driving used to be a big part of my job when I was an event technician, 9 hours straight driving wouldn't be out of the ordinary - but that was in a country I'm familiar with and on the side of the road im comfortable with! I guess we can see how we get on.

    I need to have a look into Kennedy space center, I wasn't original too bothered but a few people have recommended it now.

    Thanks!
     
  11. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Ron Jons is a really big surf shop right on Cocoa Beach. Actually calling it a surf shop is only half true - really it is a surf mega store that also sells beats and luggage and t shirts and does rentals and and and...

    So your choice is a beach like this:

    full.

    or one like this:

    full.

    and the inland waterway about 500 yards away

    full.

    of course it depends on the beach experience you want! Obviously I have a bias!
     
  12. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    From Orlando, Miami is a bit far as a day trip. Also, Miami itself isn't all that interesting. It's Miami Beach, a separate city, that is worth seeing. If you attempt it, I would recommend getting off the Turnpike just south of Ft. Lauderdale and cutting over to the old US1 at Hollywood and driving down the coast to Miami Beach. Still, you should expect a round trip to be near 8 hours of driving. Miami to Key West would add another 4 hrs down and 4 hours back, assuming no traffic accidents on the one and only road through the Keys. Don't get me wrong, US1 through the Keys is a great drive, it's just a long drive at an average of 40-45mph with the occasional traffic light.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Yes it is. As you get out onto the Keys progress slows pretty significantly. I spent a couple of weeks on Islamorada, we had a great time.

    Sunset from Islamorada MM75

    full. [/QUOTE]
     
  14. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    Completely agree, that second beach looks amazing. Which beach is that?

    I am intrigued by Ron Jons now though!

    Yeah I think maps are a bit misleading! Key west is definitely out of the picture unless we do decide to stop over somewhere. Can't be doing that in a day. Thanks for the route I will check that out on the map.
     
  15. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Florida is a long state. Miami and KW are long trips from Orlando. Factor in traffic, parking, stops ... Just go to the space coast. Plenty to do and if you want to hang out at a beach later in the day, they're all deserted during the week. Make sure you pick a weekday for the excursion. Weekends are of course, busy everywhere.
     
  16. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The top red dot is the space center (roughly). The tour out to the launch pads is well worth it and not a fixed time. In other words you can take the tour out and look at the Saturn V and the launch sites and then grab whatever bus you want back. You could spend days at the cape but you could do a morning too. Then you can drive down the coast past Ron Jons and walk on the beach have some food and cut over to the I-95 heading back north and then go west to Orlando.

    The second red dot is Ron Jons. The google map pin is where the beach photo was taken and the third red dot is a great NY style pizza restaurant on the beach front (Indialantic).

    full.

    Space Center -

    full.
     
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  17. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    Yes

    Leave, in a hurry!!

    If you stay close to Orlando and want other things to do, there are a lot of places to shoot wildlife, mostly birds on either coast. Either drive would be less than 90 minutes. If you fancy the oldest city in the US, St. Augustine is worth the two hour drive. It's one of my favorite places in the whole country. If you want restaurants with a local flair let me know. The suggestions above were for chain restaurants and while Orlando doesn't have the most varied cuisine for a big city, there are a few that are really wonderful.

    Seriously though, the ONLY reason to go to Miami is to drive through on the way to Key West or the Everglades. As a resident of FL for 30 plus years now, I see very little positive about the city any longer.
     
  18. Smashatom

    Smashatom Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Feb 24, 2013
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
    Sam
    Amazing thanks for doing that, really appreciate it. Sounds like a good plan for a day excursion.

    We're not actually going until late June, so we're thinking it will be quite busy. My girlfriend thinks the school would have broken up by then?

    Ah that's a shame about Miami, it's such a famous city I thought it must be good! I guess it's not worth the 8 hours of driving! Thanks for your honesty!

    Would love some tips on restaurants please! We're pretty excited about the food....!
     
  19. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    I'm just going to list several of the restaurants as they all have web pages. All are good, some are pretty pricey.

    Cask and Larder
    Four Rivers Smokehouse
    The Capital Grill
    The Ravenous Pig
    Toojay's (A deli type of place with wonderful service and great food, it's a local chain)
    Five Guys Burgers and Fries (it's a chain, but wow are they good!)

    If you have any particular type of food you like, or have questions, let me know. I'm sure you can get suggestions on other places as you go. Any full service restaurant at Disney or Universal is going to be good as well.
     
  20. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    scott
    AHHH these chain diners might be of poor standard to some ...But i come from england ..let me tell you this in yorkshire high end eateries..are on par with the us chains...we like like to eat at michelin star restaurants..and have ....but when on holiday and spending mega bucks on shopping and theme park passes..cheap n cheerful good enough for half of your nights eating:drinks:I dont like to presume everyone wants to blow $150 plus on their tea for two:p
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015