With over 1,300 miles of coastline, Florida is not lacking in pristine beaches and sun-filled activities. Home to Disney World, Miami and over 1,000 gold courses, Florida offers something for everyone.
The Florida Keys are often referred to as the American Caribbean, with its sugary soft sands and teal blue water. Miami is known for its nightlife, beaches and Cuban history. Orlando offers families and friends the chance to immerse themselves into the wonderful world of Walt Disney. With almost year-round sun, Florida is a great bet for travelers.
Accommodations in many of the Florida hot spots are entirely dependent on season and demand. You can count on significant hikes in room rates during popular times, like summer vacation, spring break and holiday weeks.
Our favorite hotels in the hot spots are:
Miami: EPIC Kimpton and the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton South beach
Keys: The Perry or Tranquility Bay Beachfront Hotel & Resort
Palm Beach: The Breakers
Orlando: Four Seasons
If you plan to stick to the major hot spots, renting a car isn’t necessary. Uber and Lyft in places like Miami and Orlando can get you very far. Prices are reasonable for major cities. Should you choose to venture out, you can rent a car for about $30-40 USD per day from the major cities.
Miami in particular is known for its world-class cuisine with influence from Cuba and Latin America. We had several impeccable meals in Miami, including at Le Jardinier and Juvia. Take a food tour of Little Havana for an epic day of culture, cuisine and cocktails.
Miami shopping in particular is excellent if you’re looking for chic beachwear and accessories. Some of our favorite swimwear brands like Lulifama are based in Miami. As a couple from San Francisco who can’t find swimwear in a store any time of year, coming to Miami was like entering heaven. Travelers will also find great boutiques for accessories, bags and jewelry at reasonable prices.
Florida is known as the sunshine state and when you hit the major hotspots, you can’t help but get wrapped up in the smiles, laughter and social energy of the locals. Miami in particular makes you feel like you’re truly on vacation, with the music, food and energy that you can’t find a lot of places. The Keys will provide a much calmer atmosphere, providing the rest and relaxation you might be needing.
Accommodations in Florida will likely be your largest expense. We found food and cocktails to be quite reasonable, with cocktails in the $12-16 USD range at many high end restaurants. As with most metropolitan and resort areas, everything will cost you: transfers, lodging and activities.
Typical food & beverage costs range depending on how high-end the hotel brand is, but we typically budget $300 per day for food & alcohol. Transfers to & from the hotel to the airport range as well, but we typically budget $30-40 to MIA. Food tours and excursions range from $50-$250 per person.
Weather is the main determining factor of high and low seasons in Florida. The best weather comes from December to April, while the hurricane season hits in June through the fall. If you can stand the humid heat, the best rates will be mid-summer.
Check out some of our favorite Florida hotels and what we like and don’t like about each of them.
As you start to plan your trip to Florida, consider your needs: quiet relaxation? nightlife and dining? amusement? The Keys and Palm Beach are quite different than Miami and offer their own experiences, as does Orlando.