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Articles for ‘Florida’ Category

Boardroom meets bedroom in a Fort Lauderdale suite

Friday, July 20th, 2012

A room that multitasks: The conference suite at Sheraton Suites Plantation, Ft. Lauderdale West.

By Mara Tilen

We get it. Spending your work week in hotel rooms can get monotonous after a while, but look at the bright side: Sometimes that hotel room is a gateway to a cheap vacation. Case in point: South Florida, a sunny, affordable destination that begs to be explored when the client meetings are said and done. With a thriving nightlife scene, serene spas and a 600,000-square-foot convention center, you’ll feel that much more productive in beautiful surroundings. (more…)

Florida’s cheap thrills, from mermaids to mullet tosses

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

By Valerie Moloney

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Florida is proud of its offbeat status — and cheap vacation deals. Where else would gators, Goths and bats share the same real estate? Expand your Floridian context beyond a Disney vacation this year to experience the sandy underbelly, and go back to your home state with a few quirky tories and a better tan. (more…)

Tee time during your Disney vacation: Golf Disney like a local

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

World-class champions like Nicklaus, Woods and Singh play Disney's Palm Golf Course. You can, too.

By Amy Drew Thompson

The PGA Merchandise Show comes to the Orange County Convention Center Jan. 25-28, along with the year’s best golfing weather. Mercifully, you don’t have to be Arnold Palmer — or even staying at Disney — to experience play at Walt Disney World’s phenomenal courses, so golfers booking cheap Orlando vacations need not settle. Cool quotient: Carts come equipped with the latest GPS technology. Plan accordingly and enjoy reduced late-afternoon rates for even more savings.


Low-season Orlando: Cool weather, cool deals

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Light Up UCF’s free Holiday Light Show illuminates the arena several times a night. Credit: Kathryn Page.

By Amy Drew Thompson

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the holidays are in full swing, Orlando experiences low season — the cool slice of fall through mid-December, then again in January and February. Park lines are shorter, humidity’s a distant memory, and cheap Orlando hotels abound. From campfire sing-a-longs at Disney to SeaWorld Orlando, stretch your vacation dollar further with some of these budget-friendly options:


Fall into Orlando: Festivals, food and sports

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Crowds at the Mt. Dora Craft Festival. Credit:

By Derek Brown

Professional golf, a juried craft show and master winemakers aren’t normally what come to mind when people think of going on a cheap Florida vacation.  However, fall’s an excellent time to discover a grown-up Orlando. October 21-23 will bring all of the above to The City Beautiful, Orlando. (more…)

5 postcard-perfect hotel pools for lounging and fun

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Lounge at the Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

By Derek Brown

Sunglasses are required luggage to check into these hotels.  The glistening pool water could be blinding. So pull up a chair, lather on the sunscreen and kick back at these 5 refreshing hotel pools. (more…)

Experience Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

By Derek Brown

Experience Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with a weekend escape to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure.  Potter fans are eagerly awaiting the IMAX 3D movie’s release on July 15.  You can only watch the final movie and live the Harry Potter experience at Universal Orlando. (more…)

Race to Daytona Beach for a cheap 4th of July

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Racing at Daytona International Speedway. Credit: Daytona International Speedway.

By Derek Brown

Sun, sand and a SuperSpeedway make Daytona Beach a booming destination for the July 4th holiday.   Two races at the Daytona International Speedway, the Subway Jalapeno 250 and the Coke Zero 400, will draw tens of thousands of spectators for on and off track fireworks.   (more…)

Luxury for less at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Resort pools at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Credit: Waldorf Astoria.

By Derek Brown

Cheap luxury hotels exist if you find the right deal.  The Waldorf Astoria Orlando, which offers direct access to the Walt Disney World resort, has rates for less than $170 per night this summer.  A recent deal allowed me to enjoy the Waldorf’s airy marble entrance, refined rooms and relaxing pools during the Memorial Day weekend.  (more…)

5 free things to do in Tampa

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Tampa's Ybor City rivals Bourbon Street with electric nightlife in a historic enclave filled with bars, restaurants and shops.

By Valerie Moloney

With the calendar creeping into May, many of us are in full-on summer vacation planning mode. In previous years, cheap Orlando hotels lured us to Disney World, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios, but a cheap Florida vacation doesn’t have to involve one more trip to see Belle and Jasmine.

Call it the Tampa secret.

Just an hour from Orlando off I-4, Tampa is equal parts familiar and unexpected, pretty and gritty. Pass the bank of strip malls and strip clubs – yes, there’s no glossing over it – to find neighborhoods dotted by Spanish-style bungalows, sprawling homes on Bayshore Boulevard and fairly recently, the mega mansion built by one very famous New York Yankee.

If you’re not willing to commit to more than a day or two at Disney, a stay at cheap Tampa hotels could be the low-key vacation that you’ve been pining for. Consider these 5 free things to do in Tampa for real local experiences instead of waiting in lines. (more…)