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E S CAP E TO FLORIDA

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It’s already hard enough to resist the sun-drenched atmosphere of Florida, and with EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND PACKAGES punctuating an abundance of attractions, activities, and accommodations, your only problem will be figuring out where to start first. VISITFLORIDA.com will help you find the perfect getaway.

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ith winter giving way to spring, it’s time to start thinking about that next vacation, and we invite you to see exactly why they call Florida the Sunshine State. Here you’ll not only find miles and miles of white beaches and crystalline waters, you’ll also find days of endless activities and accommodations ready to cater to your every whim. Of course, you can spend all day lounging on the beach, and that’s just fine with us. But if you find yourself itching

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for adventure or looking to dive into a unique culture and history, we’ve got you covered there, too. Charter a trip to cast your line in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, fulfill your need for speed at Busch Gardens, or see what lies under the sea in the Keys. The warm sun, cool sea breezes, and friendly faces may already be enough to entice you to head south for the spring, but Florida is also replete with exclusive deals and packages, perfect for those looking for that stress-free getaway.

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E S CAP E TO FLORIDA NORTHWEST Florida’s Emerald Coast SOM

E EXPERIENCES HERE

are actually

PRETTY DEEP FOR A BEACH VACATION.

On the Sunshine State’s northwest coastline, sprawling along the peaceful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, 24 miles of sugarwhite shores await you in a place known to millions as Florida’s Emerald Coast. Here, in Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa, the brilliant Florida sun illuminates a pristine coastline bordered on one side by towering dunes topped by sea oats and on the other by shimmering emerald-green waters that invite guests to immerse themselves. Convenient to visitors from several southern states, but rarely ever crowded, the beaches of Florida’s Emerald Coast invite anyone with a love of beautiful weather and breathtaking views to lay out a towel on its powder-soft sands. Off the beaches, Florida’s Emerald Coast offers plenty for visitors to see and do. Family-friendly activities are never hard to find here, with diversions ranging from miniature golf and go-karts to kite surfing and sandcastle building. The Florida Gulfarium is a favorite for kids of all ages, offering shows that feature dolphins, sea lions, and more in the charming setting of a yesteryears aquarium. In Destin Commons, a collection of well-known shops line the streets of a well-planned area that’s a delight for pedestrians in search of souvenirs, collectibles or just a cup of coffee. Offshore, Florida’s Emerald Coast quickly shows why it has been known for decades as the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. Whether your goal is to catch the sportfish of your dreams or simply fill a plate for supper, seemingly countless species await to test the skills of any angler. For those who prefer to stay on land, a simple stroll through Destin Harbor can yield a seafood selection not to be believed. At this quaint harbor, home to the largest charter fishing fleet on the Gulf Coast, captains and their crews clean the day’s catch to the delight of both people and pelicans waiting on the docks.

Relax in Pensacola

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Remember when Florida vacations meant something remarkable? In Pensacola, they still do. With sites that chronicle 450 years of history to unspoiled beaches, Pensacola is a one-of-a-kind location for a vacation that truly recharges you.

In downtown Pensacola you’ll find shopping and culinary delights. There are great seafood restaurants and a rollicking nightlife. Venture out a little ways to the beach and you’ll find even more surprises. All along the white sands of the shore are places specializing in vacation memories, so go ahead and indulge every whim, from relaxing at a spa to an outdoor adventure. As Pensacola residents and repeat visitors will tell you, life’s a beach there.

CENTRAL St. Petersburg/Clearwater If award-winning beaches were all it had to offer, St. Petersburg/Clearwater would still be a vacationer’s dream. Offering up 35 miles of spectacular white-sand beaches, St. Petersburg/Clearwater will satisfy anyone with a pair of flip-flops and a desire to turn relaxation into an art form. But those who dare to venture beyond the shore will find a stunning collection of unique recreational and cultural surprises sprinkled among the area’s 26 communities, each offering a distinct charm, feel, and heritage. From the picturesque Greek sponge fishing town of Tarpon Springs to the Scottish-tinged village of Dunedin, where Highland Games are an annual tradition, your itinerary can be as varied—and unpredictable—as you want it to be.

FLORIDA ESCAPES

ARE JUST A CLICK AWAY!

Find your perfect Florida escape More than 1,000 TRAVEL DEALS

await you Get started at VISITFLORIDA.com/deals


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We want to become your place at the Beach. Stay with us in beautiful beach homes, cottages and condos at the best rates on the coast.

The world’s least-used snooze buttons live here.

www.SouthernResorts.com 866-885-4531

Fill up on us! Ask about our Gas Package-includes room accommodations for 4 nights, $50 gas voucher and breakfast for up to 4 people on day of departure.

www.fourpoints.com/destinfwb 800-874-8104

More than just a day at the beach. Over 20 resorts all on the snow-white beaches of Destin/Fort Walton Beach, from eff. to 4-brs. Lots of in-season FREE STUFF from beach chairs and videos to dolphin cruises. RESERVATIONS 24/7. FREE VACATION GUIDE.

www.BeaconResorts.com 888-604-9009

Emerald-green waters. Sugar-white sands. Gourmet cuisine, eclectic shops and unique attractions. When these are the sights outside your door, getting a few extra minutes of shuteye is the last thing on your mind. The moments you live for live here.

destin-fwb.com Destin

Fort Walton Beach

Okaloosa Island

1-800-322-3319

Mary Esther

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Cinco Bayou


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P LA N YO U R

E SCAP E TO FLORIDA Tampa Bay & Company

FREE

FLORIDA FESTIVALS EVERGLADES CITY 37th Annual Everglades Seafood Festival, Feb. 5 – 7 Live music, arts and crafts, and seafood. 239-695-4100, www.everglades seafoodfestival.com ORLANDO The 6th Annual Orlando Downtown Art and Living Expo, Feb. 20 – 21 Live entertainment, arts and crafts, and great food. 407-592-0002, www.downtownorlandoproperties. com/downtown_expo JACKSONVILLE Jacksonville Jazz Festival, May 27 – 30 Can’t get enough jazz? Head to downtown Jacksonville and sway to the smooth brass and skittering beats for three days. 904-630-3690, www.coj.net/Departments/Recre ation+and+Community+Services/ Special+Events/Jazz+Festival

Tampa offers a variety of budget friendly activities to suit any trip. Enjoy being doted on in posh resorts or camp in idyllic spots under the stars for the night. Stroll aboard luxury cruise lines, or go kayaking in the Gulf. Go fishing from a pier, or off the deck of a deep-sea charter. Work on your golf game, or go see a pro game. Take in a concert or take on thrill rides at Busch Gardens. The choices of where to stay, dine, and unwind are limitless, and Tampa Bay comfortably accommodates all tastes, timelines, and travel needs.

Or check out the lush, tropical oasis of Selby Botanical Gardens and its vibrant plant life before heading to Mote Aquarium where you can visit with sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, and much more. After all that excitement, charter a sailing cruise out of Siesta Key. Cruises run the gamut from perfect-for-the-family dolphin excursions to intimate sunset dinner cruises for two.

SOUTH The Florida Keys & Key West

Sarasota and Her Islands Spring is the time for new beginnings and new life, and what better way to celebrate than with a trip to Sarasota & Her Islands. A stroll along the sand and surf is always good for a game plan, but why not step off the beach for a while and stroll down Venice’s Main Street, where you’ll find shopping in more than 100 boutiques and stores, and cuisine to delight every taste bud.

When it comes to things to see and do in Sarasota and Her Islands, the sky’s the limit. But the prices are down to earth. Whether you love magnificent white beaches or exceptional culture, you will come home with sand in your shoes… and money in your pocket.

For more information, visit www.GoBeyondTheBeaches.com/budget or call 800.207.1583.

The Florida Keys and Key West stretch over 120 miles and are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. From large resorts to secluded waterfront hideaways you will find the perfect place for your vacation. This unique destination offers beautiful facilities staffed by experienced professionals coupled with an endless variety of cultural, historical, and water activities. Come as you are and enjoy the spectacular fishing, diving, and breathtaking views of the Florida Keys.


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FLORIDA’S EMERALD COAST 24 miles of sugar-white beaches and emerald green water on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. 800-322-3319, destin-fwb.com

FLORIDA KEYS & KEY WEST Check out great savings in the Florida Keys with KeysKash. 800-FLA-KEYS, fla-keys.com

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA Relax. Pensacola’s unhurried pace and natural beauty invite you to slow down, and reconnect. 800-874-1234, relaxinpensacola.com

Sun & Fun

You expect sunshine and beautiful water in Tampa Bay. And you’ll get it! But did you expect a host of new museums, and festivals? How about world-class golf courses and fine dining, theme parks, zoo and aquarium? You’ll find all that and so much more in Tampa Bay.

The Florida You Expect & So Much More! Book your travel at VisitTampaBay.com

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I=:G:ÉHCD6EE;DGI=>H# ST. PETE/CLEARWATER Award-winning beaches, and surprises from the relaxed to the refined. 877-352-3224, visitstpeteclearwater.com

SARASOTA AND HER ISLANDS The sky’s the limit - come home with sand in your shoes & money in your pocket. 800-522-9799, sarasotafl.org

TAMPA BAY Share memories, discover treasures, and explore all that Tampa Bay offers. 800-44-TAMPA, visittampabay.com

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fla-keys.com ~ 1- 800- FLA- KEYS

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Plan Your Escape to Florida  

Special section for Budget Travel magazine.

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