Hipmunk Hotels: Finding Florida Sunshine in Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, and More

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There’s nothing like that sweet Florida sunshine. Growing up, I went on several family trips to Florida where we’d all pile in the car and drive twenty-four hours south. The smell of oranges still reminds me of Florida to this date. We’d always visit this shop shaped like a giant orange that sold everything that pertained to the juicy fruit. Florida is home to many destinations that will give you the best beach vacation. Here are a few cities to consider.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach offers stunning views of the ocean and spectacular beaches for relaxation. You can enjoy a variety of beach activities including swimming, waterskiing, and parasailing. Though it’s easy to find a hotel for $100 or less per night, the best time of year to visit is between March and May. The temperatures will be warm enough to offer a great winter getaway. It is not as busy at Daytona Beach, except for a few students spending their spring break there. Be sure to check out the Nautilus Inn for some cheap hotel rates.

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach has many attractions beyond the beach. You can check out the wonderful oddities at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. There’s the Miracle Strip Amusement Park for those seeking out thrilling rides. You can also shop for souvenirs at the Pier Park Mall. Visitors can take the cheap local transportation, the blue and yellow Bay Town Trolleys. They stop at eight major routes in the area. To ride the trolley all day long, it costs only $4.

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine is a compact city that you can completely explore on foot. It’s easy to find a cheap hotel that’s near all the action. As America’s oldest city, you can discover the well-preserved historical buildings lined by rows of oak trees. Don’t worry, there’s also a beautiful beach with a lively waterfront. The off-season here is between September and mid-November, and that’s when you’ll get the cheapest hotel rates. Avoid traveling on weekends when the city gets much busier. June and January are also slower months, where you’ll still find that the weather is lovely.

Fort Myers

Fort Myers offers miles of white sand beaches. You can simply lay on a beach chair beneath an umbrella, listening to the crashing waves. You can also rent beach toys to have more fun. There are also plenty of attractions in the town, like museums and fantastic dining options. The nearby Sanibel Island provides a natural getaway with many species of wildlife. Rent a bicycle and take a peaceful excursion through nature.

Gainesville

Gainesville has something for everyone. The city is home to the University of Florida Gators. If you’re a sports fan, be sure to take in a football game or even schedule a campus tour. The Butterfly Rainforest attraction is great for nature and animal lovers. There are hundreds of butterfly species from all over the world flying freely at this living museum.

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