A tip from our all-new Winter Getaways Guide.
Florida is a Mecca for snowbirds in winter, but that doesn’t mean shorter term visitors can’t find a deal. Make friends with the bottlenose dolphins at Hawks Cay, for example. This family getaway on the secluded island of Duck Key has special savings for teachers, first responders and military service members. AAA members save up to 20% year-round. While exploring the Florida Keys, don’t miss the famous Old Seven Mile Bridge. Originally the centerpiece of Flagler’s Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad, it connected the Keys with each other and mainland Florida for the first time in 1912. A mere 110 years later, the 2.2-mile span of the bridge restored as an urban park has reopened to the public. The $44 million project connects Marathon to Pigeon Key – once home to railroad workers — over both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Hop on a 60-passenger tram to explore it.
Just south of Orlando, Kissimmee is a great bet for those seeking affordable vacation rentals inland, many with their own pools. Local real estate management companies often have better rates than places listed on Airbnb. There are also 22 18-hole golf courses to keep your golfers busy.
Several destinations discount after the holidays. Stay longer and save more at Marriott’s Legends Edge at Bay Point with two-bedroom villas. In Clearwater Beach, one of our top Florida at New Year’s destinations, opt for the Winter & Friends Package at Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach where a portion of the proceeds are donated back to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to support rescued marine animals in their care. The south Florida Everglades region, popular with outdoors lovers and flycasters, is a great value in winter. Read our Florida Gulf Coast checklist for more.