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Summer Has Arrived
Summer has arrived, well at least it has here in Florida. Now that I think about it, it's as if it never truly left. That can mean only one thing, time to start planning those summer vacations!
All of my out of state friends constantly ask me "Where should we stay when we visit?", "What should we do?". Those are loaded questions as there are so many variables that go along with them. Simple things such as what part of the state you're planning on visiting, the time of year you'll be here, your budget, etc. need to be taken into consideration.
So let's say budget isn't a factor and you're willing to check out any part of our state. If that was the case, this link offers up the 2015 Conde Naste Traveler Top 25 Resorts in Florida If I had to personally recommend some hotels in our great state, the list would go as follows, in no particular order:
Loews Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando - There are underwater speakers in their pool - enough said.
Loews Miami Beach Hotel - Overlooking the beach, they've also got an amazing pool area, so the choice is yours!
The Westin Key West Resort and Marina - It's Key West, that's all you really need to know.
The Mandarin Oriental Miami - Get a room that faces the city....easily the best view you will ever have, at any hotel. Ever.
Now all of the above are higher end properties, but, they aren't so outrageous that you can't splurge and stay a night or two. I've stayed at all of them and the experiences are something I will never forget. Each resort is it's own inclusive paradise, with so much to do and see, you could never leave the hotel if you didn't feel like it.
There are an absolute TON of fantastic mid-range priced hotel chains in our state as well. My top three are Hampton Inn, La Quinta and Doubletree.
And when it comes to booking ANY hotel, regardless of the price level, do your research. Yes, booking through the hotels website usually gives you the best price. But I highly and I mean HIGHLY recommend checking out the various travel sites like booking.com, hotels.com and most importantly priceline.com. Priceline has a "Name Your Own Price" option which allows you to...well, name your own price. I've ended up with fantastic rooms at Sheraton's, Marriott's and the like for well under $50 a night. So don't be afraid to use that option to get the best deal you can!
And what to do while you're here? There's the obvious, we've got plenty of theme parks to visit. So if waiting in line is your thing, there's that. But I would like to offer up some of the Florida that most visitors never get to see, that's our amazing state parks. And I'm not talking just your average "Oh look, there's a hiking trail and some really big trees" kind of park. We're fortunate that activities abound in our state...and at our parks included. Whether you want to go fishing, kayaking, do some bird watching, maybe go boating, scuba dive, look for seashells, surf; pretty much if you want to do it, you can do it at a state park here. This link will provide you with everything you need to know about Florida State Parks
My personal favorites are Blue Springs, Sebastian Inlet and while it's a national park, not just a state one, Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Located 70 miles west of Key West, it is by far the most remote park in our state, but at the same time...a must see.
Need any suggestions prior to visiting The Sunshine State? Feel free to get in touch with me and I'll help you out all I can. Remember, there's so much more to Florida than Disney and the beaches...you've just got to think outside the box. And of course, if you decide that you absolutely love it here, there's always the option of contacting us to help you find the perfect vacation home, or better yet, a permanent residence!
Now dust off those flip flops, it's time to start planning that summer vacation!