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Florida Vacations

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    Your 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

Departure Arrival Travel dates Round-trip
Dallas Orlando Sat, Jan 10 - Wed, Jan 21 $129
New York Miami Wed, Jan 28 - Wed, Feb 11 $155
Washington DC Tampa Tue, Dec 9 - Tue, Dec 16 $89
Washington DC Fort Lauderdale Sun, Dec 14 - Tue, Dec 16 $117
Washington DC Fort Myers Thu, Nov 13 - Fri, Nov 21 $145
Boston West Palm Beach Sat, Nov 15 - Tue, Nov 18 $137
Newark Jacksonville Thu, Dec 4 - Tue, Dec 9 $182
Tampa Key West Sun, Jan 11 - Fri, Jan 16 $305
Chicago Pensacola Sun, Nov 2 - Fri, Nov 7 $294
Atlanta Sarasota Tue, Mar 17 - Tue, Mar 24 $203
Syracuse Daytona Beach Tue, Nov 4 - Tue, Nov 18 $218
Baltimore Valparaiso Thu, Jan 22 - Tue, Jan 27 $340

Best time to take a vacation to Florida

  • 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.

Insider tips for Florida travel

  • Madeira Beach

    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.

  • ICEBAR Orlando

    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.

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Orlando

Orlando Hotels

Hotel only $71

Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive

4 stars
3.0 / 5 1018 reviews

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Stay 2 Nights, Save 15%

Tropical landscaping and lagoons create an exotic atmosphere at the recently-refurbished Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive in Orlando. Relax in the whirlpools or sauna, burn off some energy with a swim, or work out at the 24-hour fitness center. Guests can enjoy... More

Hotel only $79

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

4 stars
3.3 / 5 1408 reviews

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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

Hotel only $59

Baymont Inn and Suites

3 stars
3.3 / 5 423 reviews

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This smoke-free Baymont Inn and Suites,is located within minutes from all area attractions. Rooms are richly appointed with deep mahogany furniture, 42" flat screen plasma TV, black granite vanity tops, Italian tiles throughout bathroom and vanity area, microwaves... More

Hotel only $42

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

Hotel only $88

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

Hotel only $71

Built in 1990, the Holiday Inn Resort 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 partitioned-off area... More

Hotel only $165

Walt Disney World Dolphin

4 stars
3.9 / 5 449 reviews

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In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort is your gateway to Central Florida's greatest theme parks and attractions. Enjoy our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, luxurious guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds,... More

Hotel only $62

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

Hotel only $108

Disney's Pop Century Resort

3 stars
3.9 / 5 526 reviews

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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

Hotel only $121

Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas, I-Drive/Orlando

4 stars
4.2 / 5 237 reviews

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Save 10% on your stay

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

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Miami

Miami Hotels

Hotel only $118

Miami Beach Resort

3 stars
3.4 / 5 282 reviews

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15% Off

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

Hotel only $288

The James Royal Palm

4 stars
4.0 / 5 34 reviews

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Modern luxury facing the sea in the heart of South BeachFeatured as one of Conde Nast Traveler UK & US Magazine?s ?Hot Hotels of 2013", The James Royal Palm Miami Hotel creates a welcoming haven for discerning travellers looking for a modern beachfront retreat in... More

Hotel only $89

Newport Beachside Resort

3 stars
3.5 / 5 851 reviews

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South Florida splendor at this Sunny Isles Beach hotel An oceanfront setting with rows of thatched-roof cabanas tempt couples and families to this Sunny Isles Beach resort. The hotel was once a playground for stars such as Sammie Davis Jr. and Tina Turner. The hotel... More

Hotel only $78

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

Hotel only $61

Chesterfield Hotel and Suites

3 stars
3.4 / 5 250 reviews

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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

Hotel only $169

Dream South Beach

4 stars
4.2 / 5 166 reviews

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Book Early and Save 10%

Dream South Beach, winner of the Orbitz 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. Our hotel is surrounded by stylish boutiques, the hottest clubs and is just 50 yards from... More

Hotel only $173

Miami Marriott Hotel Biscayne Bay

4 stars
4.1 / 5 191 reviews

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Rate includes breakfast

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

Hotel only $88

RED South Beach Hotel

4 stars
3.2 / 5 213 reviews

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Advance Purchase 15%

Red South Beach features renovated guest rooms with an artful blend baroque elements with contemporary finishes. All guest rooms feature Posturepedic Memory foam pillow top mattresses, crisp white linens, plush oversized pillows, and Green Natura amenities. Located... More

Hotel only $129

Hotel Astor

4 stars
3.4 / 5 178 reviews

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Save 25%

The Astor is a South Beach jewel from its inception. The hotel was designed to be a truly unique, service-oriented, chic intimate property for discerning corporate and leisure travelers. No expense was spared on the refurbishment of its 42 suites and spacious guest rooms,... More

Hotel only $135

Hyatt Regency Miami

4 stars
3.8 / 5 212 reviews

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Free Valet Parking and Free Wireless Internet

Located in the middle of Downtown and Brickell's business and financial district, on the scenic Miami River, steps from the Riverwalk, near shopping and dining at Bayside Marketplace. 612 rooms hotel, including 90 suites. Minutes to the Port of Miami Merry Brickell... More

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Fort Myers

Fort Myers Hotels

Hotel only $66

Naples Plaza Hotel

3 stars
3.8 / 5 382 reviews

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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

Hotel only $159

Diamond Head Beach Resort

4 stars
4.3 / 5 217 reviews

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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

Hotel only $93

Outrigger Beach Resort

3 stars
3.9 / 5 196 reviews

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Free parking and no resort fees!

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

Hotel only $134

Naples Bay Resort & Marina

4 stars
4.5 / 5 79 reviews

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Save 10% each night

Naples Bay Resort is Naples' newest four diamond luxury resort, located on the gateway to Olde Naples on Fifth Avenue South, known for its bevy of high-end shopping and fine dining establishments, the resort overlooks the scenic Naples Bay and is minutes from the area's... More

Hotel only $64

The La Quinta Inn & Suites Ft. Myers - Sanibel Gateway was recently named a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award winner! Samsung Flat-panel TVs with 30 channels of HD programming. Easy-access Plug-and-Play feature makes it simple to connect electronics. The... More

Hotel only $169

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

Hotel only $145

South Seas Island Resort

4 stars
4.1 / 5 102 reviews

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Luxuriate Longer - Stay 3 and save

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

Hotel only $145

Holiday Inn SANIBEL ISLAND

3 stars
4.0 / 5 157 reviews

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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

Hotel only $215

Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club

4 stars
4.0 / 5 191 reviews

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No Resort Fee's and FREE parking

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

Hotel only $143

Sanibel Inn

3 stars
3.9 / 5 74 reviews

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Luxuriate Longer - Save 15%

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, savor the shaded respite of the gardens, and then, if a little more... More

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Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Hotels

Hotel only $143

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale

4 stars
3.8 / 5 163 reviews

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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

Hotel only $71

Sea Club Resort

3 stars
2.5 / 5 14 reviews

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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

Hotel only $95

Ocean Manor Beach Resort

3 stars
2.3 / 5 343 reviews

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Suite Sale - 25%off 3 nights or 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

Hotel only $91

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

Hotel only $119

Crowne Plaza Hotel Hollywood Beach Resort

4 stars
4.0 / 5 202 reviews

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Limited Time Offer - Rates from $149 USD

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

Hotel only $179

Pelican Grand Beach Resort

4 stars
4.1 / 5 122 reviews

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One of Fort Lauderdale's most striking waterfront resorts, the Pelican Beach Hotel Fort Lauderdale delivers 106 oceanfront suites, all with private balconies, for those seeking accommodations with indulgent sea-gazing. With its palm-lined patios and outdoor pools, not to... More

Hotel only $152

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

Hotel only $119

Ocean Sky Hotel and Resort

3 stars
3.3 / 5 323 reviews

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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

Hotel only $45

Hollywood Beach Resort Cruise Port

3 stars
2.8 / 5 376 reviews

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Save 20% Off

The Hollywood Beach Resort Cruise Port Hotel is a beachfront historical hotel located at the southern end of Port Everglades Cruise Port in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Beach. Also referred to as the "Grand Lady", built in 1925 by the world renown Rubish and Hunter... More

Hotel only $196

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida

4 stars
4.3 / 5 145 reviews

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Rate includes a $25 resort credit

The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida offers one destination with two unique experiences. Choose beachfront surf and sand, or surround yourself with manicured golf course greens and an indulgent full-service spa. We’re conveniently located in between the... More

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Tampa

Tampa Hotels

Hotel only $163

TradeWinds Island Grand Resort

4 stars
3.9 / 5 321 reviews

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20% off your stay

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

Hotel only $97

Located on beautiful Rocky Point Island overlooking the sparkling waters of Tampa Bay Sailport Waterfront Suites is ideally situated within minutes of Tampa International Airport with easy access to downtown Tampa St Petersburg and Clearwater-Our location is convenient to... More

Hotel only $90

Alden Suites

3 stars
3.9 / 5 133 reviews

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NO RESORT FEE, FREE PARKING!

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

Hotel only $118

Wyndham Garden Clearwater Beach

3 stars
3.6 / 5 78 reviews

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Save 15% Off 3 Nights

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

Hotel only $139

Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort

4 stars
3.9 / 5 192 reviews

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20% OFF Your Stay

Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort, is located on the award-winning white sands of St. Pete Beach. Offering The SandBox beach lounge with VIP Cabanas, open fire pit tables and the popular Sand Bar. Dine on cutting edge seafood at Guy Harvey RumFish Grill... More

Hotel only $87

Beachcomber Beach Resort Hotel

3 stars
3.6 / 5 221 reviews

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20% OFF 3Nights

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

Hotel only $113

Sirata Beach Resort

3 stars
3.8 / 5 268 reviews

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Great Savings

Imagine - Its All Here! The Sirata Beach and Conference Center is truly a tropical island paradise. Located on 13 acres of sugary white, privately owned beachfront directly on the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there is no need to go anywhere else. Enjoy the beach,... More

Hotel only $75

The Resort and Club at Little Harbor

3 stars
3.8 / 5 157 reviews

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Save 15% Off

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

Hotel only $87

Bilmar Beach Resort

3 stars
4.0 / 5 228 reviews

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Save 15% Off 3 Nights

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

Hotel only $89

Treasure Bay Hotel and Marina

3 stars
4.0 / 5 36 reviews

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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

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Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach Hotels

Hotel only $72

Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center

4 stars
4.0 / 5 382 reviews

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Fall Savings

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

Hotel only $53

Daytona Beach Oceanside Inn

3 stars
3.2 / 5 202 reviews

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FREE Wifi, Parking and Continental Breakfast Daily

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

Hotel only $119

The Shores Resort & Spa

4 stars
4.2 / 5 175 reviews

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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

Hotel only $79

Plaza Resort & Spa

4 stars
3.6 / 5 201 reviews

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Free Upgrade

Savor ocean breezes at family-friendly beachfront Daytona spa resort A longtime fixture on the Daytona strip, the Plaza Resort & Spa provides the ultimate family beach getaway. The towering structure rests on Daytona's world-famous beach, and serves as a haven for... More

Hotel only $72

Royal Floridian Resort

3 stars
3.8 / 5 53 reviews

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Extended Stay Discount - 10% Off

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

Hotel only $65

The Cove On Ormond Beach

3 stars
4.0 / 5 85 reviews

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Save 30% Off - Stay 3 Nights or 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

Hotel only $122

Wyndham Ocean Walk

4 stars
3.8 / 5 79 reviews

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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

Hotel only $59

BEST WESTERN Castillo Del Sol

3 stars
3.5 / 5 83 reviews

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Stay at this Ormond Beach, Florida hotel- right on the beach and 100% non-smoking. The BEST WESTERN Castillo Del Sol is located on the beach in Ormond Beach, Florida. Guests at this hotel will be steps from sunbathing, swimming, jogging and relaxing on the beach. This... More

Hotel only $86

Daytona Beach Regency

3 stars
4.1 / 5 149 reviews

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Save 20%

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

Hotel only $58

El Caribe Resort and Conference Center

3 stars
3.3 / 5 199 reviews

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Save 15% For Fall Stay

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

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Florida highlights

  • 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.

  • St. Augustine

    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.

  • Ybor City

    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.

  • Florida Keys

    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.

  • South Beach

    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.

  • Florida Panhandle

    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.

  • Universal Studios

    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.