Florida Staycation – Ideas & Deals with Dalia Colón

With the coronavirus still affecting many people’s travel plans throughout the United States and abroad, a Staycation will be the chosen trip plan. That doesn’t mean you need to stay home. For so many, the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “vacation,” is the state of Florida. The power of a Florida vacation is really that impactful. As residents, we are lucky enough to have the sun, sea and sand that visitors travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles for right in our own backyard. VisitFlorida.com has a ton of recommendations!

If you’re like many Floridians and are eager to escape the stress of the past couple months, you may be interested in experiences that transport you to other worlds or destinations.

Believe it or not, Florida is home to awe-inspiring attractions that will have you wondering if you made a wrong turn. Rainbow Springs in Dunnellon is a perfect option for Labor Day Weekend and beyond with its lush, mossy hammocks and crystal-clear natural springs where you can tube, kayak or take a dip to cool off. You truly feel as though you’ve stepped back in time in this state park that has centuries of history.

Sanibel Island is also a favorite. Its beaches offer some of the best shelling in the world and is always a huge hit with families of all ages.

For a new take on Florida art, culture and architecture, definitely check out Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. This outdoor shopping area will transport you to the Mediterranean as you explore enchanting courtyards and shops along the coast. And, Marriott’s Ocean Pointe in Palm Beach Shores is now offering 15% off select bookings for Florida state residents through the end of the year.

Other great options include a remarkable rainforest adventure through Bok Tower Gardens in Polk County, or Florida’s underground caves at Florida Caverns State Park featuring natural formations that are more than 38 million years old.

While it’s back to school time for many children across the state, parents will welcome educational experiences outside the classroom or virtual classroom.

Florida parents actually have access to incredible hands-on learning perfect for weekend field trips. From the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Museum of Science and Industry and Kennedy Space Center, families can expand their minds at world-renowned art and science museums, aquariums and state-of-the-art attractions.

For animal lovers, Jungle Adventures animal park in Cocoa Beach is even offering reduced admission for Floridians during the entire month of September.

Parents can teach important history lessons while touring historic St. Augustine, traveling the Florida’s African American History Trail or visiting the state’s many Native American museums and parks.

Kids will also love Florida’s historic lighthouses that are scattered along the coastline and exploring the art scene in St. Pete where they’ll find countless murals covering the downtown district. Residents will save up to 15% on the best available rate when they book a stay at St. Pete’s iconic Don CeSar Hotel.

The beauty of international culture is also just a short drive away. The whole family will love immersing in the Cuban, Italian and Spanish flavors of Ybor City or the Greek customs and cuisine seen throughout Tarpon Springs. And parents will appreciate a nice strong café con leche in Miami’s Little Havana before heading home.

Now, if your family is looking to release all that pent-up energy and have some fun at Florida’s theme parks, then you’re in luck!

Florida’s world-renowned theme parks are offering some amazing deals for state residents right now, and with fewer people in the parks you can easily ride all your favorite rides and socially distance.

Floridians can explore all four parks at Disney World with a 4-Park Magic Ticket from just $84.69 per day. Discovery Cove in Orlando is also offering residents 20% off on reservations booked by September 7 or sooner.

All the major theme parks are open, but some may have different hours to make sure to check their websites before you travel. Theme parks are limiting the number of guests, requiring masks and have increased safety measures by adding hand sanitizing stations, requiring social distancing while waiting in line and much more so you can enjoy the theme parks responsibly.

If you’re spending quite a bit of time indoors, then recommendations for Floridians looking for outdoor adventure are in abundance!

With more than 1,300 miles of coastline, 175 state parks, 320 freshwater springs and more than 1,300 trails there is endless breathing room to run, play and just enjoy being outdoors this weekend. Many trails are also pet-friendly, so the whole family can come along.

Loch Haven Park, a 45-acre cultural park in Orlando featuring outdoor art creations, Dick Cuda Trail in Punta Gorda, and Alderman’s Ford Conservation Park near Tampa are just a few that are fido-approved.

What better way to escape the indoors than to sleep outdoors? You can camp under the stars on the beach at Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola. You can also enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking and paddling. This is just one of the many unique camping and RV options throughout the state.

For those thinking about a South Florida getaway to explore the everglades and enjoy nature by airboat, Sawgrass Recreation Park near Fort Lauderdale is offering an amazing deal through the end of 2020. Floridians who purchase one full price airboat ride and tour will receive an annual pass good for one year.

Those of you who need to brush up on your state history, Florida is also home to magnificent freshwater springs. Some even date back millions of years like Devil’s Den Prehistoric Spring just outside of Gainesville, and others, like Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, let you swim alongside our favorite gentle giant, the Florida manatee.

Of course, Florida is also home to some of the best diving and snorkeling in North America. The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail off the Emerald Coast for incredible wreck diving through twelve shipwreck sites. And there is no place like Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach which offers some of the best marine life viewing and the Underwater Snorkel Trail, perfect for beginners. 

For more on ideas and deals, Floridians can simply visit www.VisitFlorida.com/deals to review more than 100 deals for Floridians to explore the sunshine state’s hidden gems and in-state travel offerings.

*Content Provided by Visit Florida.

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