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Experience Your Best Florida Vacation
The Sunshine State is about more than Mickey Mouse. The world outside the Magic Kingdom casts its own spells with candy-colored Art Deco hotels, pearly white beaches, and a wide variety of flora and fauna.
With highlights ranging from the manmade (Walt Disney World) to the all-natural (Everglades National Park), Florida can do no wrong as a destination spot. Its miles of coastline, endless summers and affordable, kid-friendly hotels, mean that it's bound to be on your list of vacation spots at least once. Let Orbitz help you plan your trip, starting with the best time to go, the top 10 attractions and insider tips on all things related to Florida travel.
Flights to Florida
|Washington DC||Orlando||Wed, May 27 - Mon, Jun 1||$98|
|Washington DC||Miami||Mon, Apr 27 - Tue, May 5||$78|
|Philadelphia||Tampa||Tue, May 19 - Wed, May 27||$98|
|Dallas||Fort Lauderdale||Tue, May 26 - Wed, May 27||$65|
|Cleveland||Fort Myers||Mon, Apr 27 - Wed, Apr 29||$78|
|Pittsburgh||West Palm Beach||Tue, May 19 - Fri, May 29||$157|
|Washington DC||Jacksonville||Thu, Jul 30 - Tue, Aug 18||$137|
|Charlotte||Key West||Sun, May 24 - Wed, May 27||$292|
|Washington DC||Pensacola||Wed, May 6 - Sat, May 9||$214|
|Atlanta||Sarasota||Wed, May 20 - Tue, Jun 2||$188|
|Louisville||Daytona Beach||Sat, May 30 - Tue, Jun 2||$182|
|Washington DC||Valparaiso||Mon, Aug 31 - Thu, Sep 3||$224|
To a Floridian, cold is any temperature that dips below 70 degrees. Accustomed to two climates -- hot and hotter -- the locals don't waste the sunshine, but those not familiar with the humidity and tropical temps should stay away during certain times of the year.
Weather-wise, the mildest seasons are fall, winter and early spring. However, with those cooler temps come the crowds, especially in cities such as Miami and Orlando, a huge draw for spring breakers and snow birds. Summer is a staple for families en route to the theme parks.
Hurricane season officially covers the period between June and November, but the state has seen storms hit outside these months.
Some Florida beaches outlaw public drinking; an exception is Madeira Beach. You can thank me when you're sipping a bottle of Corona in your bikini.
Pelican Hotel on Ocean Drive
For an offbeat, but still highly stylized, South Beach experience, check in at the Pelican Hotel on Ocean Drive. Created by Diesel Jeans, the hotel boasts theme rooms that will truly get you excited about what's behind the door. Executive Zebra, anyone?
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Want to skip Disney World this year? Plan a trip to Ichetucknee Springs State Park, which is best explored by inner tube.
This might just be Florida's most quirky bar: ICEBAR Orlando. Nowhere else in Florida will you get to don a thermal cape just to drink vodka -- chilled, of course -- in a setting where even the bar stools are made out of ice.
Blue Spring State Park
Even in 'winter time' the water temperature is still in the 70s in Blue Spring State Park, also a designated wildlife refuge for manatees.
Tropical landscaping and lagoons create an exotic atmosphere at the recently-refurbished Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive in Orlando, known as the Official Hotel of I-Drive 360 and Home of the Orlando Eye. Relax in the whirlpools or sauna, burn off some... More
The Wyndham Hotel Corporation was started in 1981, and today the company has grown into a recognized name that provides upscale service in popular destinations throughout the world. The Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort is ideal both for families enjoying a trip to Disney... More
Orlando Inn offers theme park shuttle and kids stay free with an adultBaymont Inn and Suites is a non-smoking hotel with all the comforts of home. For families, there is a free shuttle service to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resorts and SeaWorld Orlando. For... More
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Seralago Hotel and Suites Maingate East in Orlando offers affordable rooms that please the budget traveler, as well as suites designed for maximum comfort. Children come first at this hotel, which is divided into two distinct sections: one for the adults and one for the... More
Settle into a special retreat surrounded by more than 1,400 landscaped acres when you check into the Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake. This unique condominium resort spreads family fun through four unique villages that comprise one of Orlando's most beautiful... More
Built in 1990, the Holiday Inn Resort ORLANDO-LAKE BUENA VISTA offers convenient access to theme parks, entertainment venues and convention centers. This Floridian, central Orlando hotel sports a stylish lobby, spacious guestrooms, and KidSuites that have a... More
OverviewJust south of the Magic Kingdom, you'll discover a resort that enchants children and grownups alike. Florida hotels promise deluxe accommodations and this remarkable Disney property epitomizes the concept with a stunning architectural exterior opening into a... More
Magical Memories Villas provide vacation rentals with pristine landscaping, private sparkling pools and spacious living quarters, providing all the comforts of home in a central Florida setting. Vacation homes, resort villas and townhomes have between one and seven... More
Disney groups hotel properties into three categories: value, moderate and deluxe. Pop Century is a value resort, great for families on a budget. Themed around trends spanning the 1950s through to the 1990s, the exterior makes guests feel like they've entered a time-warp... More
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The Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort provides a natural lakeside setting right in the midst of the International Drive scene in Orlando. One- or two-bedroom villas let you create your own vacation, among cultivated tropical flowerbeds and oasis-like water features. Each... More
Miami Beach hotel with water sports rentals and sparkling water views This Miami Beach hotel has the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the city and Intracoastal Waterway on the other. As such, the hotel treats guests to partial or full views from every room. The traditional... More
The Royal Palm South Beach Miami boasts an enviable location on Collins Avenue, just north of the iconic Ocean Drive at 15th Street. With direct access to the beach and boardwalk, the resort is near the most appealing attractions of vibrant South Beach. The resort... More
South Florida splendor at this Sunny Isles Beach hotelAn oceanfront setting with rows of thatched-roof cabanas tempt couples and families to this Sunny Isles Beach resort. Newport Beachside Resort was once a playground for stars such as Sammie Davis Jr. and Tina Turner.... More
Stylish South Beach hotel with free happy hour and bustling nightlife When in South Beach, lounge, dine and cocktail like the locals. The nightlife sizzles at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, thanks to two rooftop pools, three bars and two restaurants, including the... More
South Beach boutique hotel marries old and new Miami Beach The hotel is located in a prime area of South Beach, between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive. Jetsetters appreciate the Art Deco exterior details with contemporary interiors. The hotel has 90 rooms and... More
Dream South Beach, winner of the Best Stay and Gold Key Award for Best Guest Room Design, is a fashionable Art Deco-inspired paradise located in the heart of South Beach. We casually declined their invite to be like everyone else and became The Best instead. Dream South... More
Contemporary Biscayne Bay hotel retreat hosts executives, cruisersPristine views of Biscayne Bay, a picturesque marina and business amenities lure pre-cruise travelers and executives to Miami Marriott Hotel Biscayne Bay, a luxury hotel near the Port of Miami. The 600-room... More
Experience Miami with color and style on the north end of South BeachMiami is all about color and RED South Beach Hotel greets guests with the brightest in the sea, coral red, umbrellas and baroque mirror frames. Hotel highlights include patio restaurant, swimming pool... More
Art Deco boutique hotel near South Beach clubs, shops and restaurantsOriginal 1936 Vitrolite panels light the entrance to this Art Deco jewel in the heart of South Beach. The 42-room hotel is more minimalist than its flashier competitors and has been restored to its... More
Riverfront, business-friendly hotel in downtown MiamiThis downtown Miami hotel houses travelers doing business at the next-door Miami Convention Center. The Hyatt Regency Miami has miles of space to host conferences and social gatherings in-house. The property is a magnet... More
Fort Myers Hotels
Naples neighborhood on a budgetComfortable, spacious rooms with Florida-friendly amenities like balconies and an outdoor pool make the Naples Plaza Hotel a great choice for vacationers and business travelers on a budget. Proximity to swanky Naples, beaches,... More
Casual luxury beachfront resort in Fort MyersUnlike chain resorts, the Diamond Head Beach Resort is an independently owned resort hotel on the sugary-white sand beaches of Fort Myers. This all-suite hotel boasts familiar amenities like a heated beachfront pool and day... More
Family-owned Fort Myers beachfront hotel provides affordable family vacationsContinuously owned by the same family for 40 years, the Outrigger Beach Resort offers families an affordable beach vacation. Relax on the beach, read by the pool, sip a cold drink or get involved... More
Naples luxury resort offers waterfront lifestyle on Fifth AvenueThe Naples Bay Resort feels like an exclusive waterfront village where every amenity and service is a phone call or short walk away. Guests enjoy the finest personalized service, sophisticated accommodations... More
Airport and spring training proximity at budget hotel in Fort Myers Spacious, comfortable rooms, free breakfast and a heated olympic-sized pool are among the highlights at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Fort Myers Sanibel Gateway, where guests have easy access to Fort... More
Luxe Gulf resort welcomes kids The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa boasts a great location at the tip of Estero Island, straddling trendy Naples and laidback Captiva and Sanibel islands. The resort offers a comprehensive vacation experience for parents as well as the... More
Resort offers family vacationing at its finest on Captiva IslandThe South Seas Island Resort, on a secluded Captiva Island location on a 330-acre Wildlife Preserve, creates a memorable vacation experience by providing a broad range of accommodations for families large and... More
Deluxe beach resort offers great value for family vacationsHoliday Inn gives guests a lot for their money at this intimate beachfront resort, without the resort fees. Comfortable rooms are well appointed for vacationers who are minding their wallet with free beach chairs,... More
Championship golf and tennis at beachfront Naples resortThe Naples Beach Hotel holds status as Naples' only beachfront hotel with on-site championship golf and tennis, plus 317 remodeled rooms and suites. Guests unwind at a beachfront pool, complete fitness center and... More
Quiet and casual intimate Sanibel resortThe Sanibel Inn is a casual beachfront resort for guests who enjoy a peaceful, nature-filled setting for their vacation. Stroll the beach, hunt for shells and savor the shaded respite of the gardens. It is the best of both worlds at... More
Fort Lauderdale Hotels
Modern stay in Fort Lauderdale with ocean views, pool and bistroThe Sonesta Fort Lauderdale has 240 rooms with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. Families on vacation or visitors on business trips find the location ideal: The hotel is close to the Las Olas... More
Since its multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2014, the Sea Club Resort is the perfect embodiment of the Florida city in which it resides, combining updated kitchenettes, free Wi-Fi throughout (fees may apply) a stone-landscaped pool, and comfy outdoor seating.... More
Nightly entertainment, a lively tiki bar and residential amenitiesOcean Manor Beach Resort channels the best of the South Florida lifestyle, from the beachside tiki bar to the luxury penthouses with sweeping views of the skyline and Atlantic Ocean. Long before a... More
As part of the Best Western chain, the Best Western Fort Lauderdale Airport South Inn & Suites stands out as favorite for the business crowd. With a free shuttle to the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport (FLL), in-room microwaves, free Wi-Fi access throughout the... More
The Crowne Plaza Hollywood styles itself as a tropical hideaway on the shores of east coast Florida, with an infinity pool that seems to span the horizon. The waterside Lava Tiki Bar serves up Caribbean grilled dishes and umbrella cocktails, and personal treatments are... More
One of Fort Lauderdale's most striking waterfront resorts, the Pelican Grand Beach Resort, A Noble House Resort delivers 106 oceanfront suites, all with private balconies, for those seeking accommodations with indulgent sea-gazing. With its palm-lined patios and outdoor... More
Tucked between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, the Courtyard by Marriott combines the beauty of the Florida countryside with the city's pulsing energy. Dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and the Blue Water Restaurant for some classic... More
If you want to stay near the beach, with rooms spacious enough to call home, the Ocean Sky Hotel Fort Lauderdale fills the bill. The scent of polished wood, tiki canopies and palm trees hangs in the air, and when dusk settles, the hotel lights up in aqua hues, preparing... More
The Grand Lady of the Port Everglades Cruise PortDubbed the grand lady, the Hollywood Beach Resort Cruise Port holds a prominent spot in local history. Built in 1925, the Hollywood Beach Resort Cruise Port was designed to mirror the classic Mediterranean revival style.... More
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Chic, oceanfront retreat in Hollywood, Florida with indulgent amenities and unforgettable views.Easy to access from Fort Lauderdale and Miami airports, the Diplomat is perfect for leisure and business travelers alike.With a luxurious spa, beachfront pools, private cabanas... More
Twenty-acre beachfront playground for adults and kids alikeThis tropical beachfront resort is a playground for both kids and kids-at-heart. The Island Grand is surrounded by meandering canals and miniature golf greens. The grounds have so much built-in entertainment that... More
All-suites hotel centrally located on intimate Rocky Point Island Sailport Waterfront Suites is Tampa's only all-suite waterfront destination, overlooking the sparkling waters of Tampa Bay. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, visitors will find the resort... More
The Alden Beach Resort is the Right Place on St. Pete Beach! Located directly on the Gulf of Mexico on five lush acres this beachfront resort offers a perfect combination of comfort, value and recreation. All suites feature: fully equipped kitchenette with microwave,... More
Private beach with activities and drink service on Clearwater BeachWyndham Garden Clearwater Beach, located directly on pristine Clearwater Beach, has 500 feet of private beach to host numerous activities and drink service for an unmatched Florida vacation. Catch... More
Tropical Oasis on St. Pete BeachGuy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort is nestled on the pristine shores of St. Pete Beach, where vacationing couples and holidaymakers can view the 33,500-gallon aquarium at Guy Harvey RumFish Grill. Enjoy various water activities... More
Five and a half acres of private beach on Gulf of MexicoThe Beachcomber Beach Resort and Hotel, located directly on St. Pete Beach, provides a resort style atmosphere on 5.5 acres of lush tropical landscaped gardens and private sand. The resort is perfect for a fun-filled... More
The sugary sands and dolphins of the islands -- on Florida's West Coast Located on 13 acres of sugary sand on St. Pete Beach, the Sirata Beach Resort combines warm Gulf breezes with famous West Coast sunsets. Guests can stroll along the sandy beaches, swim in the... More
Acres of residential properties on banks of the Little Manatee RiverThe Resort and Club at Little Harbor is part of the residential village in Ruskin known as Little Harbor. The community, filled with Anglo-Caribbean architecture and lush tropical landscaping, offers... More
A treasure on Florida’s west coast Bilmar Beach Resort in Treasure Island, Florida is located in a picture-perfect location, offering the best of the area's recreation, shopping and entertainment with a complete selection of accommodations and amenities. The spacious... More
Everyone needs an escape from the daily routine Come visit us at the Treasure Bay Hotel and Marina to relax and recuperate. Boat owners will love our prime location on Boca Ciega Bay and new marina that is able to accommodate a wide variety of watercrafts. If you are here... More
Daytona Beach Hotels
Condo-style oceanfront resort just minutes from Daytona speedway The recently refurbished Daytona Beach Resort & Conference Center sits on the north end of Daytona's spectacular 23-mile stretch of white-sand beach. Condo-style suites include kitchens and views of... More
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Enjoy modern comforts and natural beauty at Daytona oceanfront inn Located a couple miles south of the Daytona strip, this full service oceanfront resort immerses its guests in comfort, serenity and natural beauty. The spectacular beach is wide, silky-soft, and... More
Luxurious, romantic getaway at chic oceanfront resort on Daytona shoresThe Shores Resort & Spa is a few miles south of the Daytona Beach strip, an appropriately remote location for this sophisticated, stylish retreat. From the soothing full-service spa to the romantic... More
Located directly on the beach, with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, this historic hotel has origins dating back one hundred years. The resort recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation that offers the business or leisure guest a memorable experience. This... More
The Royal Floridian Resort is an upscale oceanfront property located on the shores of Ormond Beach, Fl. The properties ideal location and array of amenities make the Royal Floridian Resort a perfect place to stay while vacationing in the Daytona Beach area. The resort... More
Oceanfront, all-condo resort near Daytona Beach is family destination Loyal patrons return to The Cove on Ormond Beach year after year for its friendly service, spacious condo-style accommodations and peaceful setting well north of the more bustling Daytona strip.... More
Kids are the stars at family friendly oceanfront Daytona Beach resortIt's a good thing Wyndham Ocean Walk's condominium-style suites are suitable for extended stays. Getting the kids to leave won't be easy. In addition to the World's Most Famous Beach, the resort features... More
Sunshine, sandcastles at Castillo Del Sol oceanfront in Ormond BeachAppropriately named the “Sun Castle,” sun, sand and a breathtaking ocean are the main attractions at this Ormond Beach hotel. Several miles north of Daytona Beach, Ormond is quieter and less crowded, but... More
Daytona Beach all-suite beach resort creates Florida vacation memories The Daytona Beach Regency is one of the few all-suite hotels in the heart of the Daytona Beach strip. It is across the street from the convention center and a short drive to Daytona's speedway. But... More
Family friendly beachfront resort brings flavor of Caribbean to Daytona With its plush lawn, palm trees and soft green paint scheme, guests feel the vibe of the Caribbean the moment they arrive at the El Caribe Resort and Conference Center. The magnificent beach and... More
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World, a collection of parks that include the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, is the template that all other theme parks attempt to duplicate. Behind those iron gates are dreams come to life and memories to be relived: that first picture of Cinderella's Castle, donning a pair of embroidered Mickey ears, parading with kids on your shoulders along a Main Street studded by ice cream parlors and trinket shops. This, indeed, is a magical kingdom.
Thank Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles for landing on the shores of this Northeast Florida town, also called the Old City. Remnants of the conquistadors linger everywhere, including the most famous fort in Florida: the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the United States. Notably, the city is also where Ponce de Leon is said to have stumbled upon the Fountain of Youth. Want a drop? Visit the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park to sip from the legendary spring, then find a mirror and watch for signs that it worked.
Tampa doesn't really need a downtown: It has Ybor City. While the former checks out at 5 p.m., Ybor is just getting started, amping up with a global soundtrack of hip-hop clubs, reggae, Top 40, blues and indie music. Along La Setima, or 7th Avenue, visitors also get a taste of Tampa's immigrant past. Stroll by restaurants and brick buildings that once employed cigar workers. In the Centro Ybor section, catch a movie or improv show or, browse the shop before your authentic Cuban meal at Columbia Restaurant.
It's fitting that there's only one road into the Keys: Highway 1. After combing miles of crystal sand and diving into reef-rich azure waters, who would be in a rush to leave? Home to Jimmy Buffet and Ernest Hemingway, the Keys consist of more than 400 islands filled with cute bungalows and beach bars. Begin your aquatic journey during a snorkeling trip off Key Largo, and don't forget to round out your trip with a picture by the Southernmost Point in the continental U.S.
The eye candy comes in all colors here, an area known to the rest of the world as America's Riviera. This is where the moneyed, hard-bodied and couture-bedecked come out to play. What other zip code -- besides Hollywood, of course -- counts so many celebrities as residents? A typical day in SoBe might start with brunch at a cafe on Ocean Drive, watching models in Lummus Park and lining up to get into the hottest club to see the latest and greatest European DJ. Perhaps the most fun, though, is hotel hopping in this historic Art Deco District. Like a true singleton, you'll never be happy flirting with just one.
Siesta Key Beach
Dr. Beach, the foremost expert on beaches in the United States, chose Siesta Key Beach as his No. 1 pick for the Top 10 beaches for 2011. We can't argue with him. With heavenly, pure white sand and turquoise waters as far as the eyes can see, Siesta Key Beach will remain a perennial favorite for those hunting for that perfect sunset or seashell.
The Panhandle, almost a country of its own, is a loose term applying to the Northwestern region of Florida. Its proximity to Alabama dashes Southern flavor on the landscape and the residents, from live oaks to twangs. While South Florida heats up come fall and winter, the opposite rings true for the Panhandle, which draws more tourists during summer. Immaculate condo hotels and less-crowded beaches have made it popular with the stroller set.
Daytona International Speedway
There's a reason why Daytona International Speedway's grandstands are packed to the hilt with more than 150,000 fans. Everyone is an adrenaline junkie. Race cars of every make -- stock cars, go-karts and more -- zoom by, fueling a love for an all-American past time. If you'd rather be behind the wheel, try the Daytona 500 Experience, an interactive simulator that brings to life the bumpy, jarring ride. Is the game too wimpy for you? Book an actual ride during the three-lap Richard Petty Driving Experience to call yourself a speed demon.
Orlando wouldn't be Orlando without theme parks, and this one certainly keeps fueling the fantasy. At Universal Studios, which covers Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure, kids of all ages feed their adrenaline rush aboard rides such as the Men in Black: Alien Attack, The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and Shrek 4:D. Skip the soda and sweets; if this place doesn't leave you buzzed, then maybe you need to meet Harry Potter.
Everglades National Park
Equal parts fantastic and creepy (in the good way), the third-largest national park in the United States blows the mind with 1.5 million acres of waterways, mangroves, endangered species, flora and fauna. The 100-mile wildlife habitat beckons adventurers to go on nature walks, canoe rides and wet hikes through the precious ecosystem. It's chock full of wonderment from start to finish, especially upon that first sighting of an American Alligator.
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