Tropical Vacation Inside Continental United States - HELP!
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Dec 13, 2012 6:41 PM Last Post By: Sternsl
Dec 7, 2012 11:16 AM
Tropical Vacation Inside Continental United States - HELP!So we need a getaway -- we we're trying for Mexico but waited to long and prices have doubled for this winter when we wanted to go so we are going to wait for off season.
We we're hoping to maybe do something tropicalish in the United Stated.
We are thinking Florida or Florda Keys but aren't sure where to go. We just want beaches, snorkeling, swimming, peace and quiet, etc - caribean island feel but affordably in the United States.
Any suggestions on best cities, islands, hotels, cabanas, etc?
I was looking at several websites that recomend Marathon, Key Largo, Islamorada, Big Pine Keys, etc?
Others suggested to stay in mainland Florida - somewhere like: Fort DeSoto State Park, Delray Beach, etc
Dec 7, 2012 12:53 PM
1You forgot to mention a budget. That is always important when you are discussing the Florida Keys. If your budget isn't an issue, you could try Little Palm Island Resort Spa. The rates are slightly less breath-taking at Cheeka Lodge. If your budget is a problem, you will be hard put to beat the Silver Sands on Key Biscayne in Miami. Key Biscayne is not one of the Florida Keys, but it is tropical, warm, it has a magnificent beach, and the Silver Sands is closer to being a "budget" motel with a beach. When I went there as a kid in the '50s, it was the only lodging on Key Biscayne. It is now nestled between two behemoth time shares (at least that is what they were the last time I was there) but, based on Tripadvisor, is still a reasonable possibility. Sadly, I haven't been there in decades. I cite these three examples to give you an idea of the range of places to stay on a beach in and near the Keys. There are dozens and dozens of intermediate choices.
Things to consider:
1. Nothing is "cheap" in south Florida at this time of year.
2. The Keys are never "cheap."
3. The Keys are warm, tropical, and more "laid back" than any other place I know.
4. With the exception of Bahia Honda State Park, the beaches in the Keys leave things to be desired. They tend to be small and artificial. Some people like that. You won't be bothered at the ones belonging to big resorts. Little Palm Island has a "no kids" policy throughout the resort.
5. With the exception of Key West, the Keys are for boating, fishing, diving and doing nothing in particular. Don't go there if you want to see NASCAR or Shakespearian Theater. There are attractions like quirky museums, especially in Key West, the Dolphin Research Center, the Sea Turtle Hospital, and Theater of the Sea. Google can find these and more for you. There is a 24/7 party on Key West, especially on New Year's Eve.
Have a great getaway.
Dec 7, 2012 1:04 PM
2You could also consider this http://www.visitusvi.com/
Dec 7, 2012 1:58 PM
3You might also look at South Padre Island, Texas, south of Corpus Christie. How will you travel to your destination -- you'd need to drive 30 min - 1 hour from the closest largish airports (Brownsville or Harlingen) or pay for shuttle service. Prices could be comparable to your too-expensive Mexico location, but if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks to the beach (i.e., not beach-front view) from a Condo, prices drop off. Here's a link to a tourism site there http://www.spadre.com/weather.htm
Dec 7, 2012 2:03 PM
4Cool - those are some great ideas.
I just want to surprise her with a little getaway (3-4 days) for xmas. We don't have a ton to spend - maybe $1000 or less for two flights and hotels. I've been trying to research some off the beaten path less touristy spots along gulf coast in florida or texas, little towns on florida east cost, hole in the wall places in florida keys........
I'll keep digging.
Keep the ideas coming if you know of anything cool out there I might be missing (secret gems). Thanks everyone.
Dec 7, 2012 5:13 PM
Dec 7, 2012 8:24 PM
Dec 7, 2012 8:30 PM
7If you're able to go the first or second week of January instead of the week between Christmas & New Years, all prices / availability should be more reasonable. Are you/she able to get time off work on short notice? It could turn into an expensive wasted surprise if you book everything and find out she can't go without quitting her job.
Dec 8, 2012 6:38 AM
Dec 9, 2012 7:01 AM
9South Padre Island (south of Corpus) would be affordable, but be sure to look at some pictures of the water and beaches first so you aren't disappointed. The portion of beach #3 mentioned is the nicest stretch in Texas, but the water will still be murky. Also check the average air temperature, even in Brownsville area, it can occasionally get cold. I'm sure the water temperature will be fine.
Dec 10, 2012 1:43 PM
10Sorry but SPI is a dump!
Its dunes with murky water.
The keys is a far more interesting destination.
We stayed here in Key Largo :
and here in key west:
Both were nice (the Westin was super nice) and I can recommend them both.
There is a decent barrier reef you can get to by cat in KL.
KW is nice just to walk around in.
I'd say 3 days in each place is enuf.
Dec 13, 2012 6:41 PM
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