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Vacation in Florida: the 5 best destinations

5 Florida Destinations for the best staycation experience

For many of us, staycations are a poor substitute for a holiday in a far-off paradise. But for those lucky enough to live in the Sunshine State, there’s no need to travel far for a great holiday. We’ve chosen 5 of the best destinations in Florida for a summer staycation.

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Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is home to some of the best beaches in the country where you can enjoy fishing, kayaking and sunset cruises. Shopaholics can splurge at one the many boutique districts. It’s worth checking out Hyde Park Village, where you can window shop at some upscale designers. For partygoers, head to Ybor City which has many lively night spots crammed into this historic neighborhood. There’s a huge array of cultural sights, especially for art lovers who will enjoy an afternoon at Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art.

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Key West

Famed for its vibrant nightlife, water sports and historic charm, you don’t want to miss out on this tropical paradise. Head to Duval Street and enjoy the trendy mix of shops, live music and cafes. Fans of Ernest Hemingway can enjoy a drink at his favorite bar, Sloppy Joe’s. There is also a museum dedicated to the writer pays homage to this author with guided tours given daily.

 

St. Augustine

Located in Northeast Florida, St. Augustine is the oldest European founded city in the country. As you take a stroll through the winding streets, you’ll feel like you have stepped back in time with all the charm of a European City. Visit one of the many museums, or relax at one of the outdoor cafes and take in the ambience. You can also enjoy some live music and dance concerts or take in a film at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre.

 

Orlando

Orlando attracts millions of tourists every year with many  tour operators offering affordable flights to Florida and family friendly resorts. Many come for the theme parks but this city has plenty more to offer with an endless array of leisure activities. You can spend a weekend on a world class golf course or pamper yourself at a luxury spa. Thrill seekers can ride through a swampy wilderness on an airboat or enjoy stunning views of the region from a hot air balloon. If none of that takes your fancy then there are plenty of lakes for fishing and not forgetting the world renowned tennis academies.

 

Sanibel Island

Take a short drive from Fort Myers and you’ll find this beautiful island — the perfect choice for an indulgent weekend. Residents have been very careful to preserve the natural beauty of this region. You can reconnect with nature without a high rise building or fast food restaurant in sight. Take a stroll down one of best shelling beaches in the world and do the ‘Sanibel Stoop’. A phrase coined by locals — it’s claimed you can’t walk down this beach without bending down to pick up a shell. There are an abundance of luxury hotels and Inns to choose from offering stunning views of the beach. Feeling hungry? Search out one of Sanibel’s  many restaurants serving the finest fresh seafood, try Traders Cafe — a Sanibel institution.

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If you live in Florida, we want to know your thoughts. Leave a comment and let us know your top destinations for a weekend retreat and favorite attractions in the Sunshine State.

 

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Header photo credit: Kevin N. Murphy