Monday, April 25, 2011

Planning a trip to Florida.......I need your help!

Do you remember the incredible deal I posted for airfare from SLC to Florida?

Well, I pounced on this deal and was able to get my family 5 tickets at the $69 one way rate. YAY!!!  We've been looking to go to Florida for 3 years and haven't found good enough airfare until now.

So now comes the part where I need your help.......I've never been to Florida and my husband did Orlando when he was younger.  After looking at amusement park ticket prices (X5), we've decided to bypass Orlando all together.  We want to explore Florida on this trip.

So for those of you that have been to Florida.....
  • Where are places that we MUST see?
  • Where are the best beaches?
  • We found some Ocean Nature Preserve near Key Largo that looks fun, and says the snorkeling is great. (?)
  • Any tips on seeing the Everglades?  
  • What about crocodiles alligators ;)?  My boys would love to see a few of those. :)
  • Two people have suggested Sanibel. (?)
  • Do you have any tips on where to stay and how long we need at any one location?
We are flying into West Palm Beach and heading South with a rental car with 3 boys ages 11,8,5.

I'm very appreciative of any info or tips you have.  THANK YOU!!!

**I can also give tips on things to do at locations I've been to.  I've traveled to many places.....just not Florida. :)  So if you have any questions on a location you are headed shoot me an email and if I've been there I'll help you out.  Or post it up here so everyone can provide input.
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  1. Well, there are no crocodiles in Florida, but you may spot some alligators =) I have snorkkled at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the snorkeling is ok, nothing fantastic or amazing, but not bad, it's about Florida average. I know when I went you did have to get there by boat, which could get pricey, but I'd look into the local dive shops on Key Largo and see what they offer. Also fishing down there is amazing if anyone likes fishing. The boys don't neec licenses, but I would check with a local bait shop to see if you or your husband do.

    Collier-Seminole State Park on the west coast, the other side across alligator alley, is awesome and has great hiking trails, picnik areas and canoe rentals. They also have fishing and camping.

    Hope that helps

  2. We purchased a Florida GO card, but that was just for 2 people. You might check to see if there are any short, last minute (equals cheap!) cruises departing from FL when you'll be there. We took a 5 night cruise from Miami that cost less than $150 each! Travelocity is a great place to start your search because they allow you to arrange the cruises by price per night :)

  3. Great tips, thanks!
    We don't leave until August, but we need to start thinking of what we want to do so we know where we will be so we can book hotels.
    We saw Crocs in Australia, I forgot they are Alligators up here. lol

  4. We went to Silver Springs and had a lot of fun! It is north of Orlando, so it might be out of your way a bit. You walk around and look at lots of gators and they have these glass bottom boats that are really cool. They take you out on the river and you can see down in the water. They did a fun animal exhibit with a giant turtle and a gator there too. It was a lot of fun!

    Here's a link to see what they have and where they are located.

  5. Wow, thanks Jana! :) That sounds like fun.

  6. It was a long time ago when I went to FL but I remember enjoying Islands of Adventure (fun super hero rides etc.) It's Next to Universal Studios in Orlando. I thought it was even better than all the 5 Disney Wolrd Parks and Sea World. Don't get me wrong I love Disney but it was soo crowded compared to Islands.

    Your boys might like the superhero stuff too.

    Also if you're going during the summer just plan on packing light weight clothing becuase it gets hot then rians suddenly too.

    After a few days I didn't even bother wearing make-up or trying to do my hair. It's so humid that it felt like I was melting.

  7. My boys would LOVE that! The humidity doesn't sound fun though. :/ I didn't think about that. Oh well, guess we'll just hit the beach and go swimming. :) Also would not have guessed it rains suddenly, good to know.
    Thanks! :)


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