Summer is beach time in the Sunshine State for Floridians, but not only are as many tourists now coming to Florida in summer as in winter, there is a higher percentage arriving by automobile.
If your pocketbook is a little low this year and you don’t like crowded beaches you might want to consider these alternative beach destinations.
Instead of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, think of visiting the Florida Keys . The summer image of hot, humid, and hurricanes seems to scare people away from the Keys. Last year 106,000 tourists packed Key West in March, but only 36,000 arrived last August. Do you really think hurricanes can’t hit Miami?
Beach at Fort Zack Taylor in Key West
Instead of Daytona Beach, visit nearby New Smyrna Beach where there are summer concerts, a boardwalk, good restaurants, and a similar beach. Dr. Beach calls NSB as one of the ten best beach towns in Florida and Travel and Leisure lists the town as the only Atlantic Coast town that is a “cool surf town.”
Besides, if you are a history buff like me, you can stay at the 1885 Riverside Hotel and Spa – something that Daytona Beach does not have.
1885 Riverside Hotel & Spa in New Smyrna Beach
If Sanibel and Captiva Islands are too rich for your blood, an alternative is Fort Myers Beach. If you want a beach village of shops and restaurants, stay at the north end of the Fort Myers Beach. If you want the rustic tropics, stay at the southern tip so you can go into Lovers Key State Park where you can canoe, kayak, or swim.
Lovers Key State Park at Ft Myers Beach
Instead of Sarasota, visit Venice or Englewood (the Charlotte side). The shops and sites of Venice are near the hotels and condos near Venice Jetties. Laid back with great fishing and boating at Stump Pass State Park is Englewood, where giant condos don’t block the sky.
A Lazy Day at Stump Pass, Englewood
Saint Petersburg Beach and Clearwater Beach can be packed with automobiles from commuting mainlanders, but, despite popular Johns Pass with its restaurants and shops, most of Treasure Island is family-oriented and resembles vacations at the beach from the past.
Panama City and Pensacola Beach get really packed on weekends, and while Destin can get its crowds, Destin Beach spreads out to less developed beach sites. It is the same great white sands and home-spun fun.
Destin With Its Great White Sand
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