Hello. At Ocean Florida we use cookies to give you the best possible
experience. By visiting our
site, you agree to our cookie policy Close white logo close

Jimmy's Taste of Florida Presents Irresistible Holiday Destinations

  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 05 March 2024
  • Revised 07 March 2024
Jimmy's Taste of Florida Presents Irresistible Holiday Destinations
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 05 March 2024
  • Revised 07 March 2024
Jimmy's Taste of Florida Presents Irresistible Holiday Destinations
  • By Tammy van der Westhuizen
  • Published 05 March 2024
  • Revised 07 March 2024

If you’re anything like us, you probably devoured every moment of Jimmy Doherty uncovering Florida's absolute best on ITV’s new five-part series - Jimmy’s Taste of Florida. From northwestern Pensacola to Miami in the southeast - including a pitstop at Central Florida’s adventure-packed Westgate River Resort Ranch & Resort - we were shown a slice of paradise.

Yet it's not just Jimmy who explored these culinary wonders - our Ultimate Test winners conquered some of these spots too, and you can get the inside scoop on these phenomenal destinations by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Then, when you're ready, you can follow this guide to plan your own ultimate foodie adventure in Florida... 

Pensacola - Panama City Beach

Jimmy started his gastronomic expedition in Pensacola, the City of Five Flags, where a clash of cultures is served up hotter than a Florida summer. From mouthwatering Southern boiled peanuts to wild Bloody Marys crowned with a chicken wing at African chicken joints, Pensacola's food scene is a rollercoaster of flavours. Then Jimmy took it up a notch and hit nearby Panama City Beach, the ultimate seaside capital of the South for oyster shelling and samplings. And what’s better than topping this off with the sweet seduction of Southern beignets?

Pensacola beach sunset

The Florida Panhandle is a feast for nature lovers, too. With golden beaches on one side and the Apalachicola National Forest on the other, it's particularly perfect for beach days and hiking. Check out our dedicated page for Emerald Coast & Panhandle holidays and keep your eyes peeled for our latest itineraries in this region of Florida.

New Smyrna Beach - Kennedy Space Center

Calling all surfers and stargazers! If you're all about sandy shores, epic swells, and the vastness of space, buckle up for this one. Here, you can dive into the surf scene and devour fresh catch of the day in the seaside haven of New Smyrna Beach, just like Jimmy did. Then, when it's time to chill, grab a freeze-dried ice cream at Kennedy Space Center before marvelling at the Rocket Garden, designed with actual spaceships. For any botanists out there, be sure to check out Mars Base 1 at the Kennedy Space Center too, where they cultivate crops in simulated Martian soil.

Kennedy Space Center Rocket Garden with friends

And if you time it right and catch a rocket launch, you're in for a treat. Book a seat at the Kennedy Space Center's viewing area to witness the spectacle, or head to Cocoa Beach for a jaw-dropping view as the rocket blasts into the sky.

But first, see our space-themed Florida itinerary - Mission to Florida’s Space Coast for more out-of-this-world holiday inspiration.

St. Pete - Tampa

St. Pete Beach sunset, The Don CeSar pink hotel

Swapping Florida’s Space Coast for the Gulf Coast, Jimmy made a beeline to Florida's crown jewel - St. Petersburg. Voted Number 1 Beach in the USA by Tripadvisor in 2021, St Pete steals the show with its sugar-white sand, sapphire sea, and vibrant local community. And its fresh local produce is the perfect touch to those lingering summer days when you want to eat something light. Another plus for this beach town is its proximity to Tampa, Florida’s Gulf Coast hub and a major Cuban hotspot. Follow Jimmy’s trail by exploring the Latin American quarter of Ybor City, home to the Cuban Sandwich and a once-thriving cigar manufacturing area, to explore the vibrant culture and historic architecture of this fascinating neighbourhood.

Ybor City Tampa historic architecture

And if you’re looking for thrills, well you’re in luck. You can brave the world’s tallest hybrid coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay - where our Ultimate Test couple soared through the roller coaster skyline.

View our Roadtrip:Orlando to the Gulf Coast itinerary for more multi-centre inspiration in this cherished region.

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo - Anna Maria Island

Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo, Saturday night rodeo

Strap on those cowboy boots, slap on your stetson, and follow Jimmy's lead for a one-of-a-kind Florida adventure at the Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo! Here, you can saddle up for horse-riding and mechanical bull thrills, catch the wild rodeo action, and dive into vibrant street parties. This authentic Florida dude ranch has it all for the young and young-at-heart. Nestled in Polk County’s BBQ Capital of Florida, you'll be spoiled for choice with 7 onsite eateries, whether you're camping, glamping, or sleeping in a Luxe Conesta Wagon.

Anna Maria Island beach sunset

This Central Florida hotspot is a road trip away from Anna Maria Island - Florida’s hidden gem. Picture secluded shores, breathtaking sunsets, and the chance to spot dolphins and manatees frolicking in the waters. It's a paradise that serves up relaxation for those moments when you need to escape it all. And with just a 2-hour drive from Orlando, you can make it a day trip or an extended stay without going too far off the grid. 

Our Ultimate Test couple absolutely adored their Anna Maria Island villa and raved about this charming island. You can replicate their itinerary by visiting our Ultimate Test page.

Orlando - Miami

The thrill capital of the world needs no introduction - but we'll whet your appetite anyway. Orlando, the ultimate tourist haven, packs a punch with magical moments at Walt Disney World, heart-pounding rides at Universal Orlando Resort, and a shopping spree through world-class malls. International Drive boasts a feast of entertainment and dining options, while Gatorland, Wild Florida, and Boggy Creek showcase wildlife wonders. Meanwhile, sports fanatics can catch an Orlando Magic basketball game from front-row seats at Jernigan’s Restaurant, as pictured by our Ultimate Test winners below.

Ocean Florida The Ultimate Test couple at Orlando Magic basketball game

Finally, wrap up your Floridian adventure in the Magic City of Miami, and bask in its ever-glowing atmosphere day and night. Here, you can relax on the beaches in the AM and hit the bars and clubs on Ocean Drive in the PM. For culture, exploring the Art Deco Historic District in South Beach, Wynwood Wall’s street art, or the opulent Vizcaya Museums is always a good idea.

Plus, if you wish to pair Orlando's buzz with Miami's energy, with a few stops in between, check out our newly curated Florida Four Less itinerary.

For anywhere else, simply browse our Florida Twin & Multi-Centre Holidays for award-winning packages with expert guidance.

Enjoyed This Article?
Now choose what happens next...
Looking to Book
a Holiday?

This button will take you to a short form where we'll ask about your destination and preferences. If you don't like filling in forms simply give us a call on 01708 989 371 and we'll be happy to help you.

Receive Our
Exclusive Offers

Join our email to receive exclusive offers and airline sales direct to your inbox. Unsubscribe anytime (but why would you want to?)