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WDW/Orlando and snorkeling/Keys advice needed

Vancouver BC
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44 posts
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WDW/Orlando and snorkeling/Keys advice needed

Hello all! We are thinking of taking a trip next March during our spring break (Mar 15-30), and I have a few questions. We are a family of 6 who travel with another couple and will probably be joined by sister and her family of 3. When is spring break in Florida in 2014?

We would like to stay a few days in Orlando and go to WDW/Universal (not interested in Sea World or the waterpark at Disney). We've gone to DL Anaheim quite a bit already, so not too worried if we "miss" the shared rides/attractions. What would you suggest as not to miss? How many days should we put aside for a visit for the first time there at that time of year? Better to plan on midweek days than weekends? Any good non Disney hotels to recommend (or bad ones to stay away from)?

We would then like to spend a week or so somewhere else south. We plan on visiting Kennedy Space Center, Everglades (HAVE to do the tour of the glades on those airboats and see gators) and relax on the beach and snorkel in the Keys. We DO NOT like staying in big, busy or party type cities like Miami and prefer easy going places a little off the beaten path (but not too far off the beaten path). We also like to rent our own private place rather than stay at a hotel/resort. What would be a good city to base that portion of our trip from (we can do the KSC from Orlando before we move on)? Best snorkeling sites? I understand there isn't much shore snorkeling and we'd have to take boat trips to see the good stuff. Healthy reef/coral is a must for us. What about the Gulf side (like Naples) rather than the Keys for snorkeling?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!

Mount Dora, Florida
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1. Re: WDW/Orlando and snorkeling/Keys advice needed

My family enjoy snorkeling in the keys. If they want something near and quick they go north to Crystal River. They have tried a bit on the southern portion of the Gulf (Naples area) and have not been happy.

There are a total of 13 people in our family. We always rent a villa (both in Orlando and in the Keys). I usually check sites like vrbo.com or the TA section for vacation rentals. We get so much more for our money than we could get in hotel rooms.

Generally our children and grandchildren prefer to base in Key West because there are so many outstanding restaurants and entertainment options there. They snorkel at the Dry Tortugas and in other places recommended by whichever boat they use for the day.

When we don't want to drive all the way to Key West we base in Key Largo. The favorite snorkel spot here is John Pennycamp State Park. They all enjoy the variety of sea life on the coral reefs in this location.

The family generally go off shore in a boat, but they also just wade into the water and snorkel as well, particularly in the Dry Tortugas

Vancouver BC
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44 posts
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2. Re: WDW/Orlando and snorkeling/Keys advice needed

Thank you Busy!

3. Re: WDW/Orlando and snorkeling/Keys advice needed

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