Vacationing in Southern Florida: Tips for Making the Most of It

Posted 4 years ago

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When I lived in Atlanta, GA, I went to Florida on a regular basis...really, like 4 or 5 times a year and sometimes with no real plan. I slept in my car, on the dunes and found that sand fleas are just no fun at all. One thing was proven though...nowhere else on the planet are there parties like in a Florida resort town during Spring Break! When you're planning the family vacation to Daytona or Pensacola or any of the popular college landing spots, it might serve you well to avoid the time periods typical of Spring Break. Rule of thumb…check with the resort before making reservations. Another key point to remember when planning the family vacation is the variety of activities available in different locations. If everyone in the family loves to fish, an island vacation may be in order. The finest deep sea fishing in the area is just off that group of islands south of Miami called the Florida Keys. Also, snorkeling and scuba diving are offered in most of the coastal cities and towns of Southern Florida. To gain the highest quality memories of underwater activity, consider that the only living barrier coral reef in America is just a short boat ride off of the Keys, and supports hundreds of aquatic life forms. Another tip...If you are planning to snorkel or scuba dive on an island vacation, buy an underwater camera, even a disposable one...believe me, you will wish you had if you don't. Dining is another hurdle you will have to jump to make all of the family happy on this Florida island vacation. Since you will be in paradise, why not treat it as such? Southern Florida offers all of the typical fast food, pizza and all the wonderful processed foods you can get at home. Come on, you're on vacation. Some of the highest rated restaurants in Florida are located on the islands of the Keys and are a sure fire place to find some very fresh seafood. Check in with some social media restaurant review sites online to do a little research before you find your family settling for McBurger Queen...again. Look around and you will find restaurants to fit all the needs of your family. That night out on the town with the spouse warrants a fine dining establishment with casual elegance, while the family dinner is best spent at a restaurant with outdoor or patio dining so when the laughter gets loud, it won't cause a scene. I know it's not much, but these simple tips will help you make the most of a Southern Florida island vacation. The most important thing to remember is to do your homework. Don't take the word of a brochure or some family friend who went "there" in the 80's. Things change and grow, and what might have been a hot spot in 1984 is an assisted living community today. If you do a little research, you will find that the destination vacation of your dreams is at your fingertips. ---------------------------------------------------- JD Arbuckle is a freelance writer specializing in consumer education on a variety of topics, including Southern Florida, Key Lime Pie at, and unfortunately bad family vacations.

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