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mmbcross
sorcerer.png Martin Says:

I am a 25-year resident in Miami. I have worked in tourism here and in Latin America for over 35 years. I am presently taking a course to become a certified tour guide. South Florida is a fabulous place to be. Though it's awfully tempting, don't waste it by just lying on the beach.

There is plenty of public transportation where you need it, but it runs on a timetable, so to organize yourself access the local bus transit sites. Miami Beach and the city of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale beach and Las Olas Blvd. are covered top to bottom. There is regular Greyhound service from Miami to Key West. There are also regular buses and trains to Orlando. Air fares to Orlando or Tampa run around US$ 120.00 return.

If you are coming, by all means contact me. Let me know your interests and I'll try to give you some tips on how to get the most out of your holiday.

Here are some local events you might like to set up your visit around:

Miami
Art Deco Weekend Festival, January, Miami Beach
Started by the Miami Design Preservation League and going strong for more than a quarter century, the Art Deco Weekend heralding Miamiís Art Deco era (roughly from 1925 to 1945), brims with events including tours, lectures, films, music, a parade, and more.

South Beach Wine & Food Festival, February, Miami Beach
A world-class wine, spirits and food tasting unfolds along with sparking dinners, a beachside barbecue, a champagne brunch, and more.

Calle Ocho, March, Little Havana
Little Havana's festival of food, music and Latin culture stretches out over the 23-block area flanking SW 8th Street (Calle Ocho).

Art Basel Miami Beach, December, Miami and Miami Beach
Sister to Art Basel in Switzerland, Art Basel Miami Beach showcases art from more than 150 galleries in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia.

King Mango Strut, December, Coconut Grove
This zany quarter-century old parody of traditional holiday parades spoofs newsmakers and current events.

For the rest of Florida I'd pick out.(not including events held by theme parks)...

Ft. Lauderdale
Orange Blossom Festival Parade & Rodeo, February
In Davie, this country festival focuses on the communityís rural agricultural roots, with a parade, livestock fair, a cook-off and crafts, strawberry festival, live country entertainment and a professional rodeo. Keep in mind Florida is the second largest beef producing state after Texas.

Air & Sea Show, May
This air and sea spectacular along Fort Lauderdale Beach -- Shows the might of U.S. Navy and Air Force. Among the nationís largest spectator events -- draws enthusiastic crowds for the no-admission visual treats. If only Osama bin Laden had witnessed this before 9/11.

Fort Lauderdale Holiday Boat Parade, December
Billing itself as the nationís oldest boat parade, the free holiday extravaganza cruises the intercoastal waterway showing off millionaire's yachts covered with millions of lights. Absolutely stupendous and unique.

Tampa
Gasparilla Invasion and Parade, January
A Parade of Pirates follows the arrival of the pirate ship of Jose Gasparilla at Knightís Point on Harbour Island. Sponsored by Ye Mystical Krewe of Gasparilla, this is one of the most heavily attended annual events in the greater Tampa Bay area. Events held on the third and last Saturdays in January. Similar to a Mardi Gras parade

Florida Strawberry Festival, February
Plant City Fairgrounds hosts an annual celebration of the strawberry, with local agriculture and livestock exhibits, amusements and rides, lots of food and crafts vendors, and especially strawberries in the form of shakes, shortcakes, sundaes, cobblers and ice cream. Freshly harvested strawberries, as well as strawberry plants, also will be provided by the local farmers.

Orlando (mostly theme park stuff, but two outstanding arts festivals)
Mt. Dora Arts Festival, February
Free to the public, eclectic Mount Dora magically transforms into one gigantic art museum with more than 300 artists, performers, temporary shops, and games,

Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival, March
Some 1,600 artists from around the world apply each year for entry into some 275 slots at this prestigious, nearly half century old show in Winter Park's Central Park.

Key West
Fantasy Fest, October
In Key West, late Octoberís Fantasy Fest tops itself in wackiness and wickedness every year.

Jacksonville
Monster Truck Jam, February
Monster trucks, hot rods, and more are on tap at ALLTEL Stadium.

Hope these will tickle someone's fancy.
whereshegoes
Thank you Martin! These are awesome tips.

I have a strange question...I know that sometimes people get really cheap Caribbean holidays and cruises when they can go last minute. I have heard of alot of Floridians taking advantage of this. Have you and how would one go about it?

Thanks in advance!
mmbcross
QUOTE(whereshegoes @ Jun 22 2007, 08:53 PM) *

Thank you Martin! These are awesome tips.

I have a strange question...I know that sometimes people get really cheap Caribbean holidays and cruises when they can go last minute. I have heard of alot of Floridians taking advantage of this. Have you and how would one go about it?

Thanks in advance!


Hello Carmella,

This is indeed the case. I've seen up to 75% off. These are generally available three months out, and you can find them all over the internet. Just type in "cheap cruises" and they appear like magic.

If you are already in Florida and can travel at any time, call into a local travel agent, who will have all the latest deals. The cruse lines generally don't sell directly to the public. There is a tour operator here called MK Travel that often has spectacular deals to Mexico and the Caribbean. Check them out at http://www.mktours.com/

Cheers
Martin
whereshegoes
Sounds great Martin smile.gif Thanks for your quick response. I hadn't thought of calling to a local TAgent. I wonder why the cruise lines don't sell to the public...seems it would save them money, no?

Anyway, I will certainly look into it. Cheers!
mmbcross
QUOTE(whereshegoes @ Jun 26 2007, 12:11 AM) *

Sounds great Martin smile.gif Thanks for your quick response. I hadn't thought of calling to a local TAgent. I wonder why the cruise lines don't sell to the public...seems it would save them money, no?

Anyway, I will certainly look into it. Cheers!


I stand corrected. Nevertheless online cruise sellers and travel agents often have better rates than the actual cruise lines. Unlike airlines, cruise lines are still hesitant to undercut their best clients, the tour operator and travel agent. It's always wise to shop around. There are some incredible deals out there if you search well, are elastic with your dates and are patient. It's a buyer's market at this time.

Cheers
Martin
trave
Hi guys,

I have recently joined this forum. I love this website very much as it provides lots of information regarding different areas in all over the world. Actually, I feel amazing after knowing the details about Florida.
mmbcross
Hello,

Thanks for accessing the site, and if you have any questions I'd be happy to try to answer them to the best of my ability.

Cheers
Martin


QUOTE(trave @ Nov 27 2007, 01:21 AM) *

Hi guys,

I have recently joined this forum. I love this website very much as it provides lots of information regarding different areas in all over the world. Actually, I feel amazing after knowing the details about Florida.
galpalrachele
Hi Martin,

I am new to this site and was excited to see your posting for Florida information at the top of the topics list! My husband and are are traveling south for job interviews which should be around the Coral Springs and Boca Raton areas. We're kind of on a tight budget, so I would like to find a cheap hotel to stay at. However, I will not comprise our safety. Can you recommend areas of town or nearby that you would advise against staying in? I know that often times a low price means a dangerous area, so like I said, I want to find a good deal in a reasonable safe area (if that's possible:) I appreciate your help!!

-R
starlagurl
I went to Seaworld and I saw the killer whale/dolphin show. Why is the last one of the day the best? I thought they were all the same.
mynetdude
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Sep 8 2008, 11:24 AM) *

I went to Seaworld and I saw the killer whale/dolphin show. Why is the last one of the day the best? I thought they were all the same.


I feel like I know you already, you post everywhere and everybody calls you Louise biggrin.gif, as to your question he said the sunset makes it the best of all when you watch the last show of the day.

Oh I am new... and for Martin here... If things go the way I planned or work out the way it should (hey I'm open for any contingencies as needed) I should be going to Florida starting January (see my long introductory thread).

Looks like you'll be my contact if this is where I intend to start.
starlagurl
Ohhhhhhh, OK gotchya, I missed that part about the sunset.

Aw, nice to meet you mynetdude. I read your big intro post just now... what's your real name?
mynetdude
QUOTE(starlagurl @ Sep 29 2008, 09:30 AM) *

Ohhhhhhh, OK gotchya, I missed that part about the sunset.

Aw, nice to meet you mynetdude. I read your big intro post just now... what's your real name?


My long unwanted intro wink.gif At the top, it says my name and age smile.gif Shannon nice to meet ya right back at ya Louise biggrin.gif (btw thanks for the tips)
starlagurl
Oh yeah, I knew that, but forgot or something. Shannon the boy.
moinmotion
QUOTE(mmbcross @ Jun 15 2007, 07:34 AM) *

sorcerer.png Martin Says:

Orlando (mostly theme park stuff, but two outstanding arts festivals)
Mt. Dora Arts Festival, February
Free to the public, eclectic Mount Dora magically transforms into one gigantic art museum with more than 300 artists, performers, temporary shops, and games,




Hey there. Is there anything else you would recommend in Orlando for the person who does not want to visit the theme parks (been there, done that)? Any funky neighbourhoods to explore downtown?
vipdistinct
I've seen the Parade of Pirates in Tampa. It's defiantly something to attend. I love the fact that there are even Pirate ships in the bay shooting fake cannons at each other with the real thundering gun power sound!
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