Publisher: Fodor's; Pap/Map edition
Publication Date: September 2009
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 15, 2010
If you have your own personal tour guide you can count yourself as one of the few lucky ones, however most of us have to rely on well balanced, comprehensive guides such as Fodor's. Fodor guides are written for the people and by the people and to me that makes it all the more interesting. Naturally one cannot expect to find everything from the small diner to Disney in this guide, but the flavor of Florida is in here. If you are planning to go to Disney, by all means purchase an additional guide to supplement this one. Once a year for many years I've boarded a plane to head to Florida. Years ago it was to Disney, but now I'm more interested in the slightly more eclectic destinations and, poring over this guide, I plan on trying out a few of those little restaurants listed, shop in a few out of the way places and take in a few totally new experiences.
In the front of the book I enjoyed reading about some of the new, exciting additions to the Florida landscape and was sorry to see a few that are leaving. For example Downtown Disney will be adding a "tethered hot-air balloon that will take guest soaring 300 feet in the air" by the end of this year. Some things will be exciting additions, but due to the economy some of the old standards will have closed.
Anyone can whirl around the net finding photos and places to go, but there is just something about having a guidebook in hand. I loved the vibrant, full color photographs scattered throughout the book. The ones from the Kennedy Space Center brought back some great memories and when you go to Florida, some of these pictures will be memory makers for you.
Now, if you've ever had a Fodor's guide, you know the basic layout. You'll find out where to eat, interesting places to visit (adult and kid friendly), the nightlife, getting around, how to get where you are going, when to go, where to stay, basic $ costs, sporting places, outdoor events, etc. In this book you will find the basics of the Panhandle, Northeast Florida, Orlando and the surrounding area, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Seaworld, the Tampa Bay area, the lower Gulf Coast, Palm Beach, the Treasure Coast, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Miami, Miami Beach, the Everglades, and the Florida Keys. In the back there is a basic map of Orlando and Miami. I always recommend a laminated map or, in this day and age, a good quality GPS. This guide is what I would dub a "decision maker." Hey, if it covered everything, your book would come in volumes.
Quill says: This is an excellent overview of Florida and if you're going, buy this one and perhaps one more in depth guide once you decide exactly where you are heading. Don't forget your toothbrush!