A vacation in Orlando doesn't have to be all about Mickey Mouse and turkey-leg dinners. While the theme parks are Orlando’s biggest attractions, the Central Florida city also offers plenty of more intimate (and, well, less expensive) things to do.
From the Art Deco-lined shores of Miami Beach to the couture-filled streets of the Design District, Miami is a city that manages to simultaneously pay tribute to its storied past and to remain on the cutting edge of what’s next. Read on for restaurant and hotel recommendations, as well as Miami travel tips!
Pensacola Beach: Untouched Pensacola Beach has translucent waters best appreciated at low tide, when you can walk hundreds of yards and see nothing but a sandy, winter-white bottom and maybe a few minnows.
Caladesi: Fall off the grid with a 20-minute ferry ride to pristine Caladesi, where good things come in threes: three miles of beaches with enough mollusk shells and sand dollars to lure collectors; a three-mile nature trail through tropical mangrove forests; and three miles of paddling trails.
Gasparilla: “Hush, don’t rush” is the unofficial mantra on Gasparilla Island between Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. Driftwood is strewn across seven miles of shoreline flanked by fluffy, creamy-white powder, turning the beach into an organic art installation.
Playalinda: You’ll have to drive through a wildlife refuge to reach this sweet swath of Cape Canaveral National Seashore. With bald eagles, manatees and loggerhead turtles hiding in wetlands, it’s like playing nature’s version of “I Spy” on your way to one of the most peaceful stretches of sand in the state.