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Fabulous Florida Getaways

Florida’s sensory summertime specialties make it one of the world’s top travel destinations. Why not take advantage of the warm weather getaways that it offers and plan an in-state staycation for your family?

 

First, a collection of some of the state’s most beautiful, family-friendly beaches:

 

1.)  Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs

Barefoot Beach is located on 342 acres of a wildlife preserve and it is one of the last underdeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast. The area’s plush, natural seaside surroundings make for ideal fishing conditions and an overall relaxing vacation ambiance.

 

2.)  St. George Island State Park, the Panhandle

Another naturally preserved beach, St. George Island has many options for family camping trips, 60 sites in all. Hiking and kayaking are two of the area’s other most popular activities. The park’s beaches were recently ranked #3 in Dr. Beach’s Top 10 Beaches in America.

 

3.)  Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne

Key Biscayne’s shoreline has some of the best fishing in its region. The quaint island is home to an historic lighthouse that visitors enjoy biking to. Cape Florida State Park’s beaches are perfect for little ones; waves are very gentle due to a reef located just offshore.

 

4.)  Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Naples

The beaches of Delnor-Wiggins boast pristine shorelines that border the Gulf of Mexico. Park rangers give beach tours during turtle season and other forms of wildlife are always around. Older kids and parents can enjoy snorkeling over the hard bottomed reefs along the beach.

 

5.)  Caledesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater

Caledesi’s white sand beaches were recently rated among America’s best. A local three-mile kayak trail through the bay and mangroves makes for an active family outing. The area is also great for boating and has a hopping marina where a snack bar and gift shop can be found.

 

6.)  Fort De Soto State Park, Tierra Verde

Consistently ranked as one of the country’s best beaches, Fort Desoto has over seven miles of waterfront. The area has nearly 240 campsites, multiple nature trails perfect for hiking, and special spots on the beach where dogs can play. Fort De Soto’s beauty draws almost 3 million visitors annually.

 

7.)  Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota

Sarasota’s gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, Siesta Key Beach has shallow waters that are great for kids. Siesta Beach’s sand is famously made up of 99% quartz, which keeps it fairly cool for little feet to walk on even in sweltering Florida summer heat. This area of beaches offers plenty of activities for families to enjoy together, like sailing, playing tennis, and kayaking.

 

8.)  St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg

Located not far from Tampa, St. Pete Beach’s sparkling water makes it a popular destination for vacationing families. The Florida Aquarium is close by, as well as Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. St. Pete Beach also has a variety of family dining options, from casual to gourmet.

 

9.)  Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has a charm that makes it seem like an exotic getaway. The area offers accommodations ranging from beachside hotels to rustic, more secluded cottages. Eat dinner at some of the island’s award-winning restaurant’s after spending a day playing Put-Put golf with the kids or taking a scenic Segway tour of the island.

 

10.) Fort Walton Beach, Destin

Destin’s Fort Walton Beach has rich shopping, arts, and entertainment districts with amenities to keep the whole family busy. The area features two 18-hole miniature golf courses and nationally ranked beachfronts. Fort Walton has perfect parks for families to spend their summer days in.

 

 

Not necessarily into the surf and sand? Try one of these resorts, which can be a vacation all on their own.

 

 

1.)  Gaylord Palms, Kissimmee

Just a short drive from Disney World and Universal Studios, Gaylord Palms is a unique lodging experience. It features huge glass atriums, under which distinctive dining options and world-class attractions provide entertainment for the whole family.

 

2.)  Plantation Inn at Crystal River, Crystal River

Conveniently located near both Tampa and Orlando, Plantation Inn at Crystal River is the ideal resort experience. Amenities include swimming with manatees, champion golf courses, river canoeing and kayaking, in addition to the resort’s spacious rooms and river view villas.

 

3.)  Post Card Inn, St. Petersburg

St. Pete Beach’s Post Card Inn is a hip hotel popping with bright colors and featuring rooms that each has their own individual designs. The resort’s retro surf theme is fun for families and its dining options and glistening pools make it a high-energy summer destination.

 

4.)  Omni Resort, Orlando

The Omni is one of Orlando’s classiest hotels. Its fancy amenities include a lazy river, private cabanas, a spa, arcade, and a family-friendly golf course. Another selling point is the hotel’s close proximity to Orlando’s world-famous amusement parks, Disney, Universal Studios and Sea World are all less than 20 miles from the Omni.

 

5.)  The Shores Resort & Spa, Daytona Beach

The Shores Resort and Spa is one of Daytona Beach’s finest luxury hotels. It offers an oceanside sundeck, beachfront cabanas and stunning views of the city’s white sand beaches from the Shores barrier island.

 

6.)  Epicurean Hotel, Tampa

Located in South Tampa’s social SoHo district, the Epicurean Hotel focuses on fine dining and luxurious lodging. The hotel is only minutes from downtown and provides a chic, multi-sensory experience.

 

 

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