The revised edition of the Eyewitness Travel Guide: Family Guide Florida was published on April 18, 2017 and is one of eight Dorling Kindersley family travel guides.
Dorling Kindersley also publish a range of other Florida related titles including Eyewitness Top 10 Miami & The Keys, Eyewitness Top 10 Orlando, Florida (Eyewitness Travel Guides) and Walt Disney World Resort & Orlando.
Like all publications from Dorling Kindersley, the Family Guide Florida is profusely illustrated with colour photographs, cut-away illustrations, easy-to-use detailed colour maps and street guides.
The aim of the Family Guides is to spotlight a mixture of age-related cultural attractions and family friendly activities for both parents and kids, focussed around the major sights on offer.
The first chapter provides the usual mixture of history and practical advice, explaining what Florida has to offer, a list of events throughout the year, how to get there, how to get around, and other topics like insurance, health, safety, money, shopping, eating and accommodation.
A great guide book if you are planning a family holiday in Florida with children aged 4 to 12
The main book is split into eight colour-coded regions making it easy to find your way around the guide. Each chapter starts with a selection of highlights for the region.
This is followed by a “Best of” page showing the best things for families to do with themed suggestions ranging from one week tour itineraries to specific topics like history, art, science, culture, gardens, outdoors and games.
A double page spread displays a detailed colour map highlighting the main points of interest in the region and a panel called “The Lowdown” gives practical advice on how to get there and get around, identifies main supermarkets, markets, pharmacies and festivals.
The following pages then cover the major “hub” destinations and other destinations with the best sights to visit in each area as well as advice on where to eat and drink and the best shopping experiences.
A major problem with taking kids to attractions is when they get tired or bored. For each destination, there is a paragraph called “Letting off steam” which addresses this issue. It gives advice on places where the kids can unwind and run about, like beaches and playgrounds or places to have a family picnic.
For each point of interest, “The Lowdown” panel gives the map reference, address, telephone number, website address, how to get there, opening times, prices, suitable age ranges, guided tours, how long to allow, other activities and where to eat and drink; both snacks/picnics and treats/real meal recommendations.
On many pages there is a “Kid’s Corner” in the margin with quirky facts, quizzes, cartoons and activities for children to keep them occupied. The answers are given on the bottom of the page. You’ll also find a paragraph called “Find out more” which gives suitable websites for further research.
Each chapter ends with recommendations on where to stay with their main facilities and a price budget guide.
The book ends with five double page full colour maps covering the whole State plus three double page Miami street maps. The back cover folds out to provide a Greater Orlando street map with a highlighted Walt Disney World panel.
If there is one criticism of this book, it is the rather erratic coverage of the main Central Florida attractions. Whilst the Kennedy Space Center and Legoland Florida both get four pages, each of the main Disney parks only get two pages, whilst Discovery Cove gets barely a mention and Fantasy of Flight which houses the world’s largest private aircraft collection on display, is ignored completely. However, most people buying this book would not be buying it if they were simply planning a two week stay in Orlando anyway. It will appeal to visitors with families who are planning on travelling around or staying in other parts of Florida.