2 weeks florida 16-30 november (23 weeks pregnant)- itineray help
Replies: 25 - Last Post: Nov 14, 2012 6:00 AM Last Post By: bzookaj
Nov 12, 2012 8:07 AM
15OP, I think you need to familiarize yourself with Florida's geography. All along the east coast, from Miami up to West Palm Beach, you have a series of interconnected cities. Each will have a beach front and a downtown area. There will be varying degrees of expense and exclusivity in the shopping/dining and the popularity/cleanliness of the beaches. The most interesting is, for sure, South Beach (Miami Beach). Miami and Fort Lauderdale are the two largest cities on this strip, so they have larger downtown areas and more to do. In the case of Miami, there are additional neighbourhoods that you can explore (Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Bal Harbour, Little Havana). Some other places like Boca Raton, Delray Beach or Boynton Beach have smaller walking areas and quieter beaches. The rest of the region are just suburbs, suburbs, and suburbs. Consequently most of the shopping is done in malls and one mall is very similar to another mall. If you want to avoid malls then, yes, you can wander something like Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, City Place in West Palm Beach, or Atlantic Ave in Delray Beach. However, I wouldn't say one of these areas is that different from the other: generally boutiques and fancy restaurants mixed with diners, ice cream parlours, and Starbucks. I'm not too familiar with Florida's west coast, though my experience in Naples suggests that much is the same there. Again, Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando are real cities with small downtown and nightlife areas but again, most locals shop in malls and big box stores. If you are really intent on shopping without breaking the bank, then you too will probably want to go to malls.
I like Fort Lauderdale; I would never say it's run down. It has some history and the Tarpon Bend nightlife area has some good bars. Las Olas isn't anything too special; okay to go to if you're in the area but really not worth making a detour.
Nov 12, 2012 8:08 AM
Nov 12, 2012 12:47 PM
17Personally I avoid Wal mart and Best Buy on black friday in MY condition. It's nice to get excited about it, but non-rock-concert places like Staples, or Radio shack have some good deals without all the elbows..
Sanja wants baby clothes, and i could not even begin to give advice about that.
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Nov 12, 2012 1:26 PM
thanks for all the tips. We are definitely informed about shopping now :) And @long island bob, you are right on the money, I want baby clothes! ;)
DH has his heart set on buying an iPad however, so if there are some electronica deals, that would be nice for him as well. We are not really shop-a-holics, but would like to experience the huge malls and outlet stores USA is (in?)famous for. We would mostly be looking for stuff that is cheaper then in Holland, or some cool baby gadgets that we don't have in Holland (every country had its own gadgets and tricks). And yes, I would want to go in to the elbowing kind of stores... are they all that bad?? Are the deals really that good, or is it just the craze that surrounds this day?
Some questions that are still really bothering us:
1) Do you guys thinks we will we alright looking for a hotel on the spot (same day) around thanksgiving, of if it is necessary to book ahead?
2) how many days should we plan for the keys? should we visit only one (key west?) of 2, of more? I understand that the beaches actually are not as good there, is that right? Or it is supposedly hard to find a nice spot of beach... tips on this part?
4) will the keys be very buzy during thanksgiving? should we avoid them around this period?
3) Dining in the hotel at thanksgiving might be an option, but we would like to go to a place where other american families might also celebrate thanksgiving... (the ones that do not like to cook?). Is wandering in an option, or also reservations necessary?
@yofletch: are you suggesting this as an itinerary for the whole trip? Or just as the part for the thanksgiving/ shopping part?
sorry, agian lots of questions, but your info is very much appreciated!
Nov 12, 2012 1:36 PM
19@ref_traveller: thanks for the info (and geography lesson! ;)
are you saying the smaller villages etc are not really nice to go to, or do you mean just for shopping? If we would leave out the shopping, but are more interested in nice dining, beautiful down town area's and atmospheric beaches. Sitting outside on a terras, zipping drinks, that sort of thing? They tropical thing, so to say...
What would you recommend?
O, another question (for anybody that feels like answering): best beaches?? LP seems to call every beach in florida one of the best... so I am a bit confused. The miami area is supposedly the best weather (25-30 C, wich we consider very, very nice beach wether!).
Is cocoa beach nice? (combining with kennedy space centre)
Nov 12, 2012 3:17 PM
20Thanksgiving is a pretty big travel time. Even a lot of people who visit family sometimes stay in hotels, so booking in advance seems like a good idea, at least for the days immediately surrounding the holiday.
Personally I like to book in advance all the time, (although sometimes at the last minute) I feel like I'm saving money that way.
I wish i could tell you where to shop for baby clothes. When my son was born 13 years ago, finances were a little rough in my house and my wife insisted on zero polyester, zero synthetic fabrics. It was kind of a tough combination. It ruled out Wal Mart (THE discount location) and meant going to a lot of yard sales. These days if someone has a baby I send them a gift card to "Babies r Us" but for all I know . . . well, I'm sure the appreciate the gesture.
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Nov 12, 2012 5:09 PM
21Thanksgiving week is going to be busy and more expensive
Families like to escape the colder weather
Booking Hotels start right now....this minute
Have you decided what your route will be ?
for deals on rooms outside of Thanksgiving see .....ROOMSAVER.COM /
Up to date weather see......ACCUWEATHER.COM /
Outlet shopping, plenty of choice by city :
in Estero, Ellenton Fort Myers / Sanibel, Lake Buena Vista
Sunrise and Vero Beach.
Edited by: yofletch
Nov 12, 2012 5:28 PM
22another restaurant to consider for Thanksgiving
Also search via Google MAPS to
read Zagat reviews
multiple locations throughout Florida.
Nov 13, 2012 5:46 AM
23Yes, if your goal is to enjoy good dining on nice terrasses (something I wholly support!) then you can find that in spades...South Beach, Hollywood, Las Olas, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Boca Raton (look also at Mizner Park), Deerfield Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, and West Palm Beach (look also at City-Place). Naples is very nice and I'm sure there are other places on the west coast...just not so familiar to me. There will be some nice places in the downtowns. Along the beach, you'll find more of an old-school, less fancy vibe, with exceptions (South Beach, Palm Beach). Running all along the coast is the intracoastal waterway. There are many nice patios along that water body as well. You may want to consult something like Chowhound to find well regarded restaurants with nice views. I think the nicest beaches for lounging/swimming are Deerfield Beach and Delray Beach, though I haven't compared and contrasted everywhere.
For cheap electronics, head to BrandsMart and CompUSA (recently merged with Tiger Direct and some of the stores have changed their name to the latter). Sawgrass Mills is the region's largest (I think)...in Sunrise, to the west of Fort Lauderdale, accessible from the Sawgrass Expressway.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy Florida!
Nov 13, 2012 6:07 AM
24Off subject- sorry
Bob, horses and dogs are not wild animals, they are domesticated, dolphins are not and should not be, and Manatees, and riding an elephant is disgusting, typical tourist activity, but al least the local villagers can make money/income with them in Thailand/Laos/India. But a dolphin at a resort. If you have ever been certified to Scuba dive, a diver should never disturb or touch marine life, period. Keeping a dolphin captive for the amusement of tourist is not good for the dolphin, human activity should always be limited with wild animals. Like the tourist feeding monkeys or small animals in the wild of Costa Rica.
They think its so cute. People dont have a clue as to their impact on nature and surroundings when they travel.
The outlets in Orlando are some of the best in the country, period, I know, I am in the business of luxury retail, I visit Miami, Naples, Boca, Tampa, Orlando seasonally for work and we operate outlets in Orlando, which is also where my sister lives, and I sued to live in Destin Florida in the Panhandle, and my family has had a beach home in Longboat Key, Naples, Del Ray and Ponte Vedra beach (Sawgrass).
The top 3 outlet malls for quality brands and designer names in America are Orlando, Cabazon (Palm Springs California) and Woodbury Commons outside NYC 50 minutes.
Nov 14, 2012 6:00 AM
There is no lodging within the park. You should visit via the east entrance as a day trip from xMIami, or on your way to the Keys. If you want to stay overnight, there is lodging in Homestead.
Then you could stop by xShark Valley on your way to the west coast, for a different (and quick) look. (Yes, go to the wet coast.)
You drive through most of the keys to get to the end. You could always stop for a bit at any along the route, though that doesn't necessarily mean you should.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
Des MoinesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$129.00 per night