When they think of a vacation in Florida, many people automatically think about the theme parks of Orlando, the frenetic and multicultural mecca of Miami, or the relaxed pace of the Keys. However, the Gulf Coast can offer all these things for a fraction of the cost.
So, how can you take advantage of this getaway? Here are four great ways.
Theme Park Fun. Disney World isn't the only place to ride the roller coasters and eat too much junk food. Tampa's Busch Gardens is fun for the whole family. You and your kids can feed giraffes on the park's Serengeti Plains, then experience the wet and wild Congo River Rapids and finish your day playing with colorful lorikeets in the family-friendly open aviary.
If you simply must visit the Disney parks while in Florida, there are several comfortable shuttle services that can transport you the short 1-2 hour drive to Orlando and drop you off right at your Gulf Coast hotels or rental accommodations.
Gorgeous Beaches. With beaches that are less crowded and water that's often warmer than its Atlantic counterparts, the Gulf Coast can be a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of places like South Beach. Regular entries among the "Top Ten" beaches lists include Clearwater's namesake beach, Siesta Key, and St. Petersburg's Pass-a-Grille Beach.
Modern Comfort. Places like Sarasota offer a great deal to adults who may be looking for more than nightlife and margaritas. Boasting world class museums, theater companies, ballet, and shopping, Sarasota and its sister cities are a civilized place to relax and enjoy adventures off the sand as well. Window shop in St. Armands Circle, then top it off with tasty Gulf Coast seafood fresh from nearby docks.
Affordable Waterfronts. Because tourism tends to favor the more famous areas, the Gulf side of the state can be a bargain for visitors. You can find an excellent waterfront rental on the Gulf shore with easy access to fantastic beaches for significant discounts during much of the season. Rent kayaks or paddle boards and explore the waterways of Port Charlotte or Venice. Or, stay next door to the Everglades for less on Marco Island.
It's clear that the Gulf side of Florida is a hidden gem waiting for your family to find it. You and your kids can enjoy the thrill of modern entertainment parks and the quiet enjoyment of exploring the backwaters of this historic part of the South. Click here to learn more about Gulf Shore waterfront rentals.