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Week in July, advice please!!

Dingwall, Scotland
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Week in July, advice please!!

Arriving in Miami for 6 days in Florida prior to a week in Vegas.

Plan is to rent car and tour, spending a couple of nights in 2 or 3 different locations. But where?!

First couple of days I thought to stay in Miami, see it, then head up the coast. Do a 'circle' and back to Miami for flight 6 days later

I have been to Orlando twice and am not fussed about going back.

Dont really want to head further north than Orlando, I have been to Daytona.

So I'm thinking a coastal circle from Miami, up as far as Orlando and back down the other side.

Any advice on where to stopover would be greatly appreciated.

Two 30-40 somethings, no kids, love food, drink, scenery.

Not bothered about big cities, did California last year and loved places like Monterey and Carmel.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

The best scenery that Florida has to offer would be views of the ocean or gulf. So grab a map of Florida and plan your "circle" along the coast roads. There isn't one continuous coast road however so you have to come back inland, find where the next road over to the coast is and continue along the coast.

On the east side the coast road is A1A. On the west side the coast road has several different names, so check on the map. One of the main ones takes you from Anna Maria Island south to Lido Key where you have to cross back to the mainland.

Where to stop depends on how long you want to drive for and how long you linger along the scenic parts. But you'll have no trouble finding a hotel just about anywhere in July except for places right on the beach.

From the map you will see that there are two main north to south highways. On the east side it is I-95 and on the west it is I-75. Every exit off these two highways should have at least 4 or 5 hotels to choose from.

Dingwall, Scotland
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2. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

Thanks for that, much appreciated. So no problems just finding hotels 'on the day'?

Edited: 10 January 2012, 17:47
Sunrise, FL
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3. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

First, youre lucky that the time of year you are planning to come here is not during our busy, "tourist" season. Therefore, you shouldnt have much of a problem finding a hotel rooms.

Just a few comments otherwise. Remember that travel time, from Miami, to Orlando is about 3 hours, to Key West about 4 hours (pending on traffic), to the west coast (depending on where) can start at 2-3 hours. That being said, I would def stay in Miami for at least a couple of days (do the beach, get some good food/drinks, maybe see a baseball game in the new stadium, art museums, shows, etc.). It might be buggy and hot, but the Everglades is always pretty impressive too. Tampa is also a great city with a good amount of history. If you are feeling a travel bug, you can always drive to St. Augustine for a day or two and see the Fort, some other historic places (Fountain of Youth, oldest prison/school, etc.).

Orlando is probably going to be packed with families/kids since itll be the summertime and thats when the theme parks get busy.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

Should be no problem at all finding a hotel as long as you don't mind it being away from the beach - just of the I-95 and I-75 exits.

Dingwall, Scotland
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5. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

Is it worth spending a few days in the Keys?

We are not really beachy types.

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

The drive all the way to Key West from Miami is about 3 hours and is very picturesque. The area is known for snorkeling and Key West itself has a very active night life. There are no sandy beaches like further up the Atlantic coast or on the Gulf side of Florida.

Btw, when choosing your rental car be aware that there is now a "feature" which they may try to sell you and the cost of which varies depending on the rental company. As of early last year rental cars now come with a toll transponder which automatically pays for the tolls on any toll roads you may happen upon. The rub is that the car companies charge a fee, plus the toll, for using the toll transponder as it is called. Furthermore the last section of the Florida Turnpike in the Miami area is now cashless i.e. the only ways to pay the toll is by transponder or a picture is taken of the car license plate and the registered owner (the rental company) is sent the bill in the mail. What the rental companies then do is charge you plus an administration fee (which may fall into the outrageous category for a $1 toll).

Read www.sunpass.com and choose your rental car very carefully.

Dingwall, Scotland
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85 posts
194 reviews
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7. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

Any recommendations for places to stop for a day, maybe two, on the east coast, and then the west coast? I'm doing a circle from Miami and back, over 5 days..

Sunrise, FL
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8. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

How far south/north are you wanting to go? What do you want to do/see? (i.e. museums, scenery, food/drink, relax, etc.)

Dingwall, Scotland
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9. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

Presuming I'm going to cross from East to West at Orlando, I guess half-way up from Miami, and half-way back down approx. Have no idea really!

Thanks for your suggestions so far.

First 3 days based in Miami, inc day-trips to Everglades and Keys, then 4 days 'open'.

Prefer small/medium relaxing coastal locations to stop-over, rather than cities.

Sunrise, FL
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10. Re: Week in July, advice please!!

There are just so many places really. On the west coast you can do a relaxing stay in Naples, Sarasota, St. Pete or Tampa. All of those places offer good scenery, food and drinks. I would say Tampa is the biggest city of them all. (Similar to a Miami/Fort Lauderdale atmosphere.) The east coast you can do a Cocoa Beach, Sebastian (the waves are pretty decent there, too), West Palm and Fort Lauderdale. West Palm and Fort Lauderdale or big cities too, but have a areas where its nice and relaxing as well.