There are no longer slow and busy tourist seasons for the entire State of Florida. Each of the four quarters gets about one-quarter of the tourist trade.
But the visitors destinations and mode of transportation vary. Right now Southeast Florida and the Keys have less visitors and offers a bargain for big city vacationing. This is the big vacation time for the Panhandle and Northeast Florida. The kids are out of school and Orlando is packed. The summer visitors come more by automobile, are more likely full families, and spend less money per person per day.
But don’t expect Florida’s overcrowded highways to be less jam-packed. Besides having the third most populated state and less room to house the crowds than California and Texas, Floridians themselves are on the road for their vacations. In recent years, more and more Floridians are staying at Florida beaches rather than heading to the mountains.
If you are looking for some places than are less crowded and yet close enough to visit popular attraction, here are some of my favorite hideaways.
Palm Island Resort, Englewood
The Northside of a private island is all your vacation spot.
Want to vacation on the Gulf of Mexico but want real privacy? Palm Island Resort,south of Englewood and Sarasota, is an island which you reach only by resort boat and then use bicycles and golf carts for local travel. There are beach villas, dockside bay villas, condo-style cottages, even private rental homes for rent.
Lots of places to fish, boat, kayak, or do nothing.
A concierge can set you up for fishing, boating, kayaking, and more. There seems to be pools all over the resort. In the summer, you might find the beaches nearly empty. Yet it is an easy drive to attractions in Fort Myers or Sarasota.
If you like to visit Saint Augustine with all its history and Dayton Beach with all its action, you could rent a cottage or a room in a beachside bed and breakfast in Flagler Beach, an old Florida hamlet between the two popular destinations. Tiny Flagler has produced as many famous surfers as Cocoa Beach and yes, it has a rustic pier.
Restauranting in Flagler Beach Is Dog Friendly
Most of the fancy hotels are fifteen minutes away in booming Palm Coast, but the beach has a Hilton, Holiday Inn, and Hampton. I hope Flagler County limits growth in this gem of a community. Everything is small town beach here: Beach Belly Bob’s, Turtle Shack Café, Flagler Beachfront Winery.
Lauderdale By The Sea
Hotel prices are definitely lower along the beach towns of Florida’s Gold Coast but even in summer there is little laid back in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach. Between the latter two cities is a favorite place of mine: Lauderdale-by-the Sea. It is within thirty minutes of all the attractions of Broward County, but once you park your automobile, you feel a small town vibe.
You Can Walk To Everything from Shops to Beach to Clubs
The beachside hotels and rental condos are smaller and mainly family owned in this community. The entire waterfront area is neatly condensed so you can walk to the fishing pier, the beachside nightspots, and shop along most of main street.