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Holidays to the Gulf Coast​

Florida's gorgeous Gulf Coast, with its mile upon mile of velvet white sands, dazzling turquoise water and charming islands, is nothing short of a dream destination. This is a place of swaying palm trees and amazing marine life, where you can choose  your resort to chime with your mood - from family friendly, to laid back, romantic or buzzy. Not forgetting that most days of the year this coast basks under a blanket of glorious sunshine, with daytime winter temperatures up to 24⁰C, rising to the low 30s in summer.​

The water that laps the shore is some of the warmest and clearest you'll find anywhere, making a perfect home for the dolphins that play in the waves and the multi-coloured fish that swarm the reefs. And the softness of the sand has to be felt to be believed - it slips through your fingers like satin. Beautifully studded with seashells on some of the islands, it makes for the perfect place to soak up some rays and then watch a trademark Technicolour Gulf Coast sunset.

Places like Anna Maria, Captiva and Sanibel islands are a haven for holidaymakers craving some R&R. Longboat Key has an upmarket vibe, and Sarasota is perfect for culture vultures - while St Pete and Clearwater draw not only families but fans of fishing, wildlife and watersports. The Tampa Bay area has animal parks, aquariums, museums and some jumping night-life on offer; and travel inland a while and you'll hit the theme parks and buzz of Orlando.

Because the thing about Gulf Coast holidays is that they have something for everyone: idyllic islands for peace lovers; activities aplenty for action fans; stunning wildlife for nature buffs; and all bundled up with beautiful beaches and non-stop sunshine. It's paradise on Earth.​

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Life's a Beach

Gulf Coast beach

There's a beach for everyone along the gorgeous Gulf. From action-packed to family-friendly or deserted coves, you don't have to go far to find the one that's right for you. There's State-protected stretches with rustling pines and mesmeric birdlife; there's  beaches with lifeguards where families gather; there's shell-studded shores for collectors; and there's surfing and watersports beaches for adrenaline addicts.

Glorious Golf

The courses that dot the coast like emeralds are top-class and perfect for working on your swing while the sea glitters in the distance. There's a wealth of public and semi-private courses to get to grips with and 30 in the Sarasota area alone - four of which have been voted among Florida's top ten.

Go Wild

There's fascinating wildlife and stunning State Parks all around this area. Dolphins, manatees, osprey and pelicans are par for the course, while kayaking through the wetlands of Myakka State Park and exploring the mangrove forests  of the J. N. 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuges are unforgettable experiences not to be missed.

Take To The Water

All sorts of watersports are in abundance along the coast, including surfing, paddle boarding, jet skis, windsurfing, paragliding, kayaking - even flying over the water with the help of a jet pack. And when the water's this warm and inviting, it seems a shame not to take advantage. There's also boating, island hopping, diving, snorkelling, and fabulous fishing for redfish and tarpon.

Classy Culture

It doesn't have to be all about the beach, since there's a clutch of cultural gems to discover. There's the Dali museum in St Petersburg; the Edison and Ford winter estates in Fort Myers; a Historical Museum on Sanibel;  plus the many delights of Florida's 'Capital of Culture' Sarasota, including world-class performing arts and the fascinating Ringling estate with its circus museum.

Dolphin Racer  
Take an exhilarating tour of Treasure Island and St Pete beach on the Dolphin racer. Watch as bottlenose dolphin jump and bodysurf alongside the boat – from £15 per person.

Cruise from Clearwater  
On this 1 hour and 45 minute sunset cruise from Clearwater, explore the Beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico whilst soaking up the amazing views of the Florida coast. Whether a romantic evening out or a good time with friends, just sit back, relax and grab a glass of Champagne to toast this special evening on a double-decker catamaran – from £16 per person.

Sunset Celebrations
Celebrate the amazing sunsets at Pier 60 Festival, a nightly sunset celebration at Pier 60 Park on Clearwater Beach, Florida. This festival is free features artisans, crafters, street performers and musical entertainment.

Salvador Dali Museum
Observe impressive surrealist art at the Salvador Dali Museum. Located on the waterfront in downtown St Petersburg the Dali Museum houses the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Europe..

Go for a Swim
Swim at Caladesi Island State Park, Accessible only by boat, with translucent water, making it a great place to swim. Nature enthusiasts can spot wildlife while walking the nature trail through the island´s interior or while kayak through the mangroves.

You can add tickets for activities to your booking later.

You will need your ESTA!
The US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority if you are travelling to the US. Any passengers who have not made an application for and received their travel authorisation via ESTA before travelling may not be permitted to board the aircraft or could be denied admission at the US entry destination. But of course, neither possession of a visa, nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visa-free on the VWP will guarantee a passenger admission to the United States. The final determination of admissibility is made by the immigration office at the port of entry.

Where can I apply for ESTA?
Prior to travel, you will need to visit https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and fill out an online application form.

When should I apply?
This will need to be applied for at least 72 hours prior to travel if you intend to travel to America.

How long is my ESTA valid for?
Your ESTA will be valid for up to two years, or until your passport expires. It is also possible for you to use for multiple entries to America. Just be sure to amend any necessary data, such as date of travel and your address whilst in the US.

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