Fodor’s Florida is one of over 40 Full-color Travel Guides by Fodor and the latest 35th edition was published on July 13, 2021.
The introductory chapter “Experience Florida” sets the scene with a “bucket” list of 28 ultimate experiences like snorkelling over a shipwreck in Key Largo, travelling through the Everglades, seeing Hemingway’s Key West, visiting the theme parks, paddle boarding in the Panhandle, watching a rocket launch, exploring the Ringling museum, riding around the Daytona International Speedway and walking through history in St. Augustine.
“What’s Where” provides a basic map and helps to place the 13 regions covered in the rest of the book.
If you want to sample authentic Floridian cuisine then the “What to Eat and Drink in Florida” section gives advice on where to buy the best Florida favourites like Conch Fritters, Key Lime Pie, Blackened Mahimahi and a Grouper Sandwich.
Florida is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and Fodor’s Florida highlights the best beaches in both South, Central and North Florida.
If art is your thing, then “An Art Lover’s Guide to Miami” gives details on the many art museums around Miami including the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
If you enjoy day trips then “Day Trips from Miami” and “Day Trips from Orlando” lists 17 very different drives ranging from 6 to 150 miles.
Rounding off the first chapter is a list of books, films and TV shows to get you in the mood, everything from “To Have and Have Not” by Ernest Hemingway to “Bloodline” on Netflix.
The second chapter “Travel Smart” gives you basic facts and figures for those less familiar with Florida plus weather, seasons and best times of the year to travel, tipping, resort taxes, mosquitoes, transport options including journey times between major cities and what to pack.
There are also recommendations on types of accommodation, where to eat, health and safety, shopping, entertainment, sports and outdoor activities with price guidelines and concludes with a series of itineraries ranging from a couple of days up to a week with driving maps and suggested stopovers for a range of interests including the natural wonders of Florida, major highlights and the best beaches.
Fodor’s Florida provides a lot of useful information written by local writers, packed into one compact volume and covering the whole of Florida
The bulk of Fodor’s Florida describes the whole of Florida and is split into thirteen convenient regions starting with Miami and Miami Beach followed by The Everglades including the National Parks of the Everglades, the Florida Keys including the Upper, Lower and Middle Keys plus Key West, Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast including Boca Raton. It then moves on to the Tampa Bay Area including St Petersburg and Sarasota, Southwest Florida including Fort Myers, Naples and the coastal islands, the Orlando Area, the Space Coast, Northeast Florida from St. Augustine and Jacksonville down to Daytona and finally Northwest Florida including Tallahassee, Pensacola and the Gulf Coast.
Central Florida’s two biggest theme parks, namely Walt Disney World and Universal Studios each have their own chapter with individual park maps.
Each chapter starts with the main reasons to visit the region, followed by planning information like when to go, how to get there and get around. It then goes into more detail on local attractions and activities, best places to stay and eat with prices ranges, nightlife and shopping with maps showing where everything is.
The book is lavishly illustrated with over 250 colour photos, a pull-out map, over 30 destination overview maps (including double pages) and planning pages.
Note that most Fodor guide books are re-published annually so you can often pick up a bargain if you don’t mind last year’s edition.