As Florida Celebrates 500 Years, Celebrates the Sunshine State

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Experience Florida with Viator during “Viva Florida 500”*


Florida is often thought of as the State in the U.S. with the best weather and rightfully so. But it also happens to hold the distinction of being recognized as the oldest as well, with Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León crossing its shores in 1513. The team at – the leading resource for researching and booking tours and activities worldwide – is commemorating the State’s 500th anniversary by highlighting amazing things to do in Florida with ways to explore these destinations like a modern-day conquistador.

St. Augustine – circa 1565

St. Augustine celebrates its history as the oldest, continuously occupied European-established settlement in the continental United States. Since the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria are out of commission, the St. Augustine Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour is a great way to explore this historic destination as Old Town Trolley conductors share the history, attractions and sights of the city. Not for the faint of heart, the Ghosts and Gravestones tour of St. Augustine explores another historic side of the city – the haunted one – with a visit to the Old Jail, scene of many supernatural occurrences. Travelers can soar over the intra-coastal waterways, North Beach and Porpoise Point during the St. Augustine and Porpoise Point Helicopter Tour.

Miami – the Deco Destination

With a distinctive architecture that harkens to a more recent moment in history, Miami, with its amazing art deco inspirations, is another unique destination to experience in the country’s oldest state. With everything from celebrity sightings to alligator appearances, the Miami Combo Tour City Sightseeing Biscayne Bay Cruise and Everglades Airboat Ride explores the hottest spots along South Beach, the peaceful Biscayne Bay and the thrills of Everglades National Park. Miami is a melting pot of Latin American cultures, and there’s no better way to experience that – via the local cuisine - during the South Beach Cultural Food and Walking Tour. Spicing it up a bit, the Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami visits six local eateries to sample traditional Cuban dishes while meeting local artists, watching cigar rollers, and listening to traditional Cuban music. To take it all in at once, the Miami Sunset Air Tour lets travelers capture sunset views as Miami casts its twinkling glow over Biscayne Bay.

Key West – pirates, shipwrecks and parrot-heads – oh my!

Ponce de Leon made his way here in 1521, and while the city is certainly more “settled” since then, travelers will still enjoy the laid back feeling that’s become synonymous with this southern-US paradise. For exploring the destination at your own pace, the Key West Hop on Hop off Trolley Tour is ideal with lessons in history spanning the days of Indians, pirates and the Civil War. The water off the Florida Keys is nothing short of breathtaking, and to getting travelers right in it is the Key West Island T'ing Sail Snorkel and Kayak Adventure. Another adventure for travelers in the seas off the Keys is the Shipwreck Snorkel and Wild Dolphin Encounter where shipwrecks and swimming dolphins are on the agenda. And to really experience the ease of the Keys, the Tall Ship Sunset Cruise in Key West takes in the views of Mallory Square, Sunset Pier and Sand Key Light Tower while the captain sails effortlessly through the emerald green Key West waters and off toward the horizon.

And of course, Viator also has a vast selection of experiences across Florida’s major theme parks and attractions including Disney World, SeaWorld, Kennedy Space Center and Universal Studios Orlando.

For more information on Viator, as well as the latest deals, promotions, contests and news, travelers can check out the Viator Travel Blog and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Note: *Viva Florida 500 is a statewide initiative led by the Florida Department of State.

About Viator

Viator is the world’s leading resource to discover and book travel activities, providing online and mobile access to more than 15,000 curated trip activities including tours, attractions, shore excursions and private guides, in more than 1,000 destinations worldwide. In-house travel experts work with trusted local operators to ensure the quality and value of every experience, all backed by Viator’s 24/7 customer service and global low-price guarantee. With more than 350,000 verified reviews plus exclusive videos and insider travel tips, Viator has everything a traveler needs to find and book the best things to do worldwide. In addition to the flagship site -- – travelers can book in advance or in-destination via the Viator Tours and Activities App for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android, the Viator Shore Excursions website as well as local-language sites for European, Latin American and Asian travelers. Viator also provides tours and activities to more than 2,500 affiliate partners including some of the world’s top airlines, hotels and online travel agencies. Founded in 1995, Viator is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Sydney, London and Las Vegas. Viator – travel with an insider.

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Kate Sullivan
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