You can create an entire vacation around a pool—and that’s especially true if you’re fleeing a chilly city. Even if your vacation is on a budget, there are plenty of stellar pools across the Sunshine State that aren’t all at obscenely expensive resorts. Here are 15 of our favorites.
Orlando World Center Marriott Resort: Orlando
This complex of pools is a tropical paradise with a little something extra for adrenaline seekers: It features two 200-foot waterslides and a 90-foot “speed slide.” Combined, they are among the tallest and fastest resort slides in Florida. The pool area also features a nightly poolside laser light show, plus live music Thursday through Saturday.
1 Hotel South Beach: Miami Beach
This is the only South Beach hotel with an oceanfront rooftop pool, perched 18 stories above the beach with spectacular views. It’s also an adults-only oasis in the sky—no kids are allowed. (The hotel’s two ocean-side swimming pools, however, are open to all ages.)
Hawks Cay Island Resort: Duck Key
Located on the 60-acre island of Duck Key (60 miles north of Key West), this resort boasts five sparkling pools offering something for everyone. Among them: the resort pool with breathtaking Atlantic views; an adults-only “Tranquility Pool;” an enclosed saltwater lagoon; and a Pirate Ship Pool, featuring slides, water cannons and raining palm trees.
Reunion Resort: Kissimmee
No matter where you are at this resort, there is a pool nearby, so keep that bathing suit on. Explore this resort’s 11—yes, 11—outdoor pools, plus its water park with twisting slides and lazy river.
The Cove on Ormond Beach: Ormond Beach
Just north of bustling Daytona Beach, Cove’s outdoor pools are great for families. They include a sloped-entry pool, twisting waterslide and lazy river with tubes. There’s also a hot tub and indoor pool, plus direct beach access.
Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach: Pensacola Beach
This is no ho-hum Holiday Inn. Located on the strip, it boasts a beachfront pool and 250-foot lazy river with cascading waterfalls that have guests raving. It also hosts “dive-In” movies and interactive pirate and mermaid shows.
The National Hotel: Miami Beach
This Art Deco hotel in the heart of South Beach is home to the area’s longest infinity-edge pool, which has been the backdrop to performances by Mariah Carey, Pitbull and Paris Hilton.
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection: Panama City
Water everywhere! This resort offers 11 swimming pools, six reflecting ponds, four whirlpool spas and an 11,500-square-foot Polynesian-style lagoon pool with waterfalls and islands upon which to perch.
TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on St. Pete Beach: St. Pete Beach
Seven sparkling swimming pools, with both adults-only and kid-friendly options, dominate the exterior of this resort complex, which hosts “dive-In” movies, musical pool parties and more. If you want an even more immersive aquatic experience, sign up for Tanked, which allows you to snorkel in the 33,500-gallon onsite aquarium with more than 200 colorful fish.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale
Tropical vibes await at this lush, 4.5-acre lagoon-style pool featuring palm trees and dramatic waterfalls cascading over mountain rocks. Choose to relax in a private cabana or jet down the pool’s 182-foot-high waterslide.
Freehand Miami: Miami Beach
This laid-back pool is open to guests of the Freehand hostel, as well as customers of 27 Restaurant and The Broken Shaker, which is considered one of the best bars in Mid Beach for its inventive cocktails. This pool has a chill, community vibe; a welcome change from the over-the-top, high-gloss club atmosphere you’ll find at pools on South Beach.
Margaritaville Beach Hotel: Pensacola Beach
Margarita, anyone? Live out your own Jimmy Buffet song while relaxing at this oceanfront pool with a tiki bar that whips up tropical drinks.
Breakers West Palm Beach: Palm Beach
Okay, this may not fall under the category of “budget.” But if you’re going to splurge on a Florida resort with poolside perks, we suggest Breakers for its uber-luxurious selection: an expansive main pool, an infinity adults-only pool, a zero-entry active pool (ideal for families) and five whirlpool spas. To be extra fancy, you could also rent a poolside bungalow for the day. #goals