Fun, relaxation just up the road
Let’s get serious. The kids have been on summer vacation for a few weeks now but how much relaxing have you been able to do? Moms’ odometers all over Tampa Bay are logging more miles than a cross-country vacation. If you’re going to spend all that time in the car, might as well get in some fun and relaxation.
From the Paradise Coast to Sarasota and her islands, the Sunshine State has much to offer when planning a quick, summer vacation.
Camp Hyatt Kids at Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
Guests ages 3 to 12 will enjoy fun-filled days of interactive and educational activities that will keep the kids occupied while you get a little alone time with dad. The program is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with evening hours available.
Travel Tip: Visit www.clearwater.hyatt.com to book a welcome credit offer available through the end of the year.
Saltwater Adventure Camp at Postcard Inn
Postcard Inn along the shores of St. Pete Beach continues to redefine the hotel experience for families with the Saltwater Adventure Camp that runs until Aug. 25.
For children ages 8 to 15, the camp features classes on water safety, marine life awareness, and beginner surfing techniques. All classes are taught by experienced surfer and kite boarder Shane Webb and Grace Marcel, respectively. All students are asked to bring flip flops, sunscreen, a towel and lunch. Postcard Inn will provide rash guard tops, surfboards, stand up paddleboards, paddles, trainer kite, water and tents. Rates include daily prices of $95 per person or weekly rates of $350 per person.
Visit www.postcardinn.com or call 727- 367-2711 to learn more.
Travel Tip: This is great way for mom to take a break from the kids while they learn about water safety.
G-Wiz Science Museum’s Shipwreck!
Through July 31, Shipwreck lets adventurers of all ages find out what it takes to be a shipwreck explorer. Your little explorers will experience a deep-ocean shipwreck expedition, maneuver the controls of the giant robotic arm, battle the force of nature in a hurricane tube and engage in interactive archaeology and navigation games.
Travel Tip: The museum is close enough from the Sarasota beaches that most hotels will shuttle you to and from the museum.
Let the hotel take care of all of your family activities during your stay. If you can get the whole family out of bed, enjoy a 6:45 a.m. Turtle Walk. Your older ones might want to stay back at the hotel and enjoy the Pool Level, which includes ping pong, video games and more. Mom and dad can sneak away and enjoy the luxury spa.
Travel Tip: Don’t worry about finding a dog sitter. Bring him along to this pet friendly hotel.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Selby educational programs serve as a gateway for children to explore the natural world and to engage in discovery. At the gardens, children are free to play and explore a world of wonder and natural surprises.
Travel Tip: Check out one of the family events this month, including Tropical Fourth of July or Lights in Bloom.
Enjoy custom fishing adventures, eco-touring in local wildlife habitats, natural beach combing on state park islands and sunset cruises suitable for all members of the family. They’re pet friendly, too.
Travel Tip: If you decide to bring man’s best friend along, you can get a life jacket for him at www.amazon.com.
Naples Grande Beach Resort
This vacation destination is perfect for families. Admire the diverse species of birds in the Everglades. Lose yourself in the mesmerizing plot of a theater performance or enjoy the dozens of attractions just miles from the hotel.
Travel Tip: Naples Grande Beach Resort offers significant discounts for stays that are booked more than 21 days in advance.
The stunning beauty and vast wilderness of the Everglades covers much of the southern end of the Florida peninsula. This area is home to hundreds of species of colorful birds, fresh and saltwater fish, bobcats and elusive Florida panthers as well as its most famous residents, alligators. In addition to Everglades National Park and several other parks, a few small towns, such as Everglades City, dot the region.
Travel Tip: While the area is beautiful, remember not to approach any wildlife that you may see.