10 Best Florida Island Vacations
An island with sandy beaches, palm trees and tropical drinks is nearly everyone's idea of an ideal vacation. There are many fabulous choices in Florida which is easy to get to from East Coast cities. There are many unique island resorts in the Keys and several great choices not far from Miami which has daily flights to cities across the U.S. Plan a quick weekend trip or stay a while, the choice is yours.
The Florida Keys, comprised of 882 islands, offer an array of activities to couples, honeymooners and families: scuba diving, sunbathing, swimming, culture, fine dining and entertainment. Stretching for 120 miles from Key Largo in the north to Key West in the south, the destination offers a variety of places to stay, ranging from luxury resorts to bed and breakfasts and camping. Here you'll be able to watch some of the most beautiful sunsets over the water.
Sunset Key Cottages
Sunset Key Cottages, A Westin Resort is located on a 27-acre island in the Florida Keys. Guests are accommodated in one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages with beautiful ocean or garden views. The cottages feature spacious wrap-around verandas with Adirondack chairs and tables, where you can enjoy your complimentary breakfast basket and newspaper which are delivered each morning. Guest room interiors are decorated with Caribbean island touches and Old Florida furnishings.
The Spa offers treatments in stylish spa suites with private bathrooms and French doors that open to a private patio, perfect for relaxing afterwards. Guests receive additional relaxation time after the treatment to fully take advantage of this beautiful space. Available treatments include facials, wraps and massages. Latitudes Restaurant has an indoor dining room decorated with photos of Ernest Hemingway and an outdoor patio overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Dine under the stars surrounded by romantic tiki torches. The restaurants serves entrees that incorporate locally-sourced fish and tropical fruit. Romantic cottages at the resort start at $615 per night.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club
The Gasparilla Inn & Club is an elegant hideaway surrounded by sandy beaches and the ocean on Gasparilla Island, known for its relaxed ambiance and spectacular views. Guests are accommodated in rooms and suites at the inn, or in private cottages and villas, some with lanais and fireplaces. Couples and families have access to a diverse range of activities, from championship golf and tennis to relaxing spa services, fitness and boating. Explore the shore in a kayak, go paddle boarding, sign up for an eco tour or a romantic sunset cruise. Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island is a quiet village with no traffic lights. Here you will find charming shops, restaurants and friendly locals. The best way to get around the island is in a golf cart or by bike. Room rates start at $255 per night, cottages from $445 per night (877-403-0599, the-gasparilla-inn.com).
Little Palm Island
Located in the sunny Florida Keys, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is a luxury private getaway for couples seeking romance. The resort has 30 thatched-roof bungalows that will remind you of the South Pacific. The resort is located offshore of Little Torch Key and accessible only by boat or seaplane. For your romantic honeymoon, book one of the bungalows with a private verandah overlooking the ocean. Some of the guest accommodations feature private outdoor showers and jetted tubs.
The resort can arrange a romantic turndown with a chilled bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Bungalow rates start at $790 per night. The All Inclusive special is a great idea if you plan to take advantage of all of the resort activities. If you prefer to pay as you go, there are several romantic offers to choose from. The 5-night Romance includes: Five nights in a suite, airport car service, champagne, Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Non-motorized water sports, $200 spa credit per person and One snorkel trip per person.
Grove Isle Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is located on a 13 mile barrier island in northeast Florida. This luxury beach resort offers championship golf, attentive service and programs for families. The resort also features a tennis complex, Massage and Fitness Center, indoor and outdoor heated pools, three restaurants, and 1.5 miles of sand-dune lined beaches. The course at the Golf Club of Amelia Island was designed by Mark McCumber and Gene Littler and incorporates the natural surroundings of the island. There are five other nearby courses.
The kid's program is offered to families with children ages 5 to 12. The program features a number of activities, including beach games, arts and crafts, and nature programs. On Fridays and Saturdays, parents can spend romantic time alone while kids participate in the Kids Night Out program. There is also professional nanny service There are 449 guest rooms, including 62 Club rooms and 43 suites. Although all hotel rooms offer ocean views from the room balconies or patios, you should book one of the direct oceanfront rooms for best views.
Guests can choose from three restaurants, two lounges and 24 hour In-Room dining. The Grill, a four AAA Five Diamond Restaurant, features panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and offers a private dining room which seats up to 22 guests. Cafe 4750 serves regional specialties, and the Ocean Bar and Grill lets you watch dolphins while you dine. The nearby historic Fernandina Beach is a quaint seaside village with Victorian houses, boutiques and art galleries. The resort is located about 25 minutes by car from Jacksonville International Airport and 10 minutes from the Fernandina Beach Airport which can accommodate private aircraft (800-241-3333, website).
Fisher Island Hotel and Resort is a private island in Florida. The hotel is accessible only by auto-ferry, boat or helicopter. The hotel is a perfect hideaway for couples and honeymooners looking to relax on the beach while staying in an elegant hotel. The hotel is located 10 miles from Miami International Airport and a short ferry ride from the famous South Beach. You will have access to a sandy beach, marina, golf, tennis and a spa. The resort is home of a P. B. Dye designed championship golf course with ocean views. The Spa Internazionale overlooks the Vanderbilt Marina and offers relaxing treatments such as the Hawaiian four hands massage. Rooms at the hotel start at $400 per night. VacationIdea.com Tip: Packages are often available for honeymooners, spa goers and families.
If you are looking for a unique getaway in Florida with a great variety of water activities, visit Hawks Cay, a 60-acre resort. The hotel is home to the renowned Offshore Sailing School and offers fishing, swimming pools, kids clubs, a chance to interact with dolphins, and a full-service spa. Dive Duck Key offers scuba diving lessons, kid's courses and guided trips.
You can stay in one of the guest rooms, suites and villas featuring classic West Indies. If you are planing on trying many activities, look for specials and packages to save on your trip. The resort often offers packages for couples and families. During the day, try water skiing, snorkeling, parasailing and kayaking. In the afternoon, take a sunset cruise or visit the spa. Calm Waters Spa is the perfect place for relaxing. Try the signature Key Lime Mojito Body Treatment. Room rates start at $149 per night (888-395-5539, website). Browse more Florida specials.
Spend your couples' getaway relaxing in the sun, getting pampered at the spa and enjoying an array of watersports at Cheeca Lodge & Spa in the Florida Keys. Activities include parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking, sport fishing and sailing. There is a white sandy shore with palm trees, a wooden fishing pier and two heated swimming pools. Guest can play tennis on six lighted tennis courts, take romantic walks in the landscaped gardens, or go snorkeling. For golfers, the resort offers a Jack Nicklaus-designed course. You can take lessons to improve your game.
If you want to arrange a tour or charter a boat, the full-service resort concierge can help you arrange anything ranging from deep-sea charter fishing trips to scuba diving at some of the famous dive sites in the Upper Keys. The spa offers a selection of wellness treatments, including daily fitness classes and innovative therapy. Book a tandem massage and relax together on your couples getaway. For kids kids ages 5 to 12, the hotel offers Camp Cheeca, which includes fishing off the pier, snorkeling in the lagoon, Hermit Crab races and other activities.
There are 137 guest rooms and 64 luxurious suites. If you are planning a romantic getaway, ask for one of the new adults-only Beachfront Bungalows which have a private balcony with a spectacular view of the ocean. From the bungalow, you'll have direct access to the ocean via a spiral staircase, and a private patio below. Dine at one of the three resort restaurants, serving New World cuisine with a Florida Keys flair, or try one of the local restaurants near the hotel. Browse more weekend getaways for couples. The property is located i75 miles south of Miami International Airport. Alternatively, Marathon Airport, 30 miles to the south, offers limited daily commercial flights and can accommodate private aircraft and charters. Bed and breakfast rates start from $530 per night plus a $39 resort fee which includes many activities such as golf green fees, spa exercise classes, high-speed internet, access to the fitness studio, cabanas and fishing rods (800-327-2888, 305-664-4651, website).
Ocean Key Resort in the Florida Keys
Ocean Key Resort is located between Key West Harbor and Mallory Square in the Florida Keys. There is a wellness center offering a menu of relaxing treatments and a fitness center where you can tone your muscles. For the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation, sign up for one of the rituals. Hot Tin Roof restaurant offers its patrons spectacular sunset views and conch-fusion cuisine. Sunset Pier restaurant offers waterfront dining where patrons get to sample Tropical and Caribbean cuisine as well as nightly music and dancing. Enjoy a romantic dinner with a view of the sunset. Ocean Key Resort has 100 guest rooms and suites with private balconies. Ask for a room with a view of the ocean. Room rates start at about $320 per night. Nearby attractions include the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West Trolley Tours, Key West Aquarium and the Southernmost Point in the Continental USA.
Key West Vacation
Key West is a sunny city lined with palm trees, Victorian homes and houses on the National Register. There are numerous dive shops and charter boats. It features museums, galleries, theaters and sidewalk cafes which you can visit on foot or by trolley.
There are diverse scuba diving options. Key Largo is home of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary and the 510 foot U.S.S. Spiegel Grove, the largest wreck in the U.S. waters. Molasses Reef is known for its easy access, clear waters and beautiful tropical fish.
Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is a landmark getaway that has hosted famous musicians, dignitaries and celebrities since the 1920s. The best feature is a private sandy beach with many activities.
Florida Keys Packages and Deals
Escape to the scenic Florida Keys with these easy deals. Enjoy savings on room rates, spa treatments and a variety of watersports such as scuba diving and fishing. The Keys are surrounded by a beautiful coral reef, perfect for those who love the ocean. Visit Biscayne National Park and explore its underwater wonders.
Save 10% Plus Get $75 in Special Amenities
Get relaxing massages, take a sailing lesson at a famous sailing school, swim in the pool or take a scuba lesson. Hawks Cay is offering a weekday special that gives you a 10% discount on your room, as well as $75 worth of free amenities, including 2 welcome cocktails at the Tiki Bar and a $25 per person credit valid on any 50 minute or longer treatment at Calm Waters Spa.
Adventure with Fishing, Seaplane Trip and Jetpack Watersports
You will get a chance to explore the beautiful destination fully with this adventure offer at the Ocean Key Resort. The offer includes Luxury accommodations, Daily waterfront breakfast for two and Dinner for two (one evening) at Hot Tin Roof. Also included are the following activities: Day 1 - A Full Day of Reef Fishing, Day 2 - A Seaplane Trip to the Dry Tortugas, Day 3 - Jetpack Adventures.
Scenic Golf from $339
Ask for the Stay and Play offer at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne. With rates starting from $339 per night, it includes Unlimited court time for one, Sleeve of balls and Partner match services.
The "Get Lost special" at the Little Palm Island is great for couples who want to get away from it all and get pampered at the spa (it includes a $100 per person per day spa credit). Also included is valet parking, yacht transfers, champagne, breakfast and non-motorized water sports.
Weekday Spa for Couples
Cheeca Lodge & Spa is offering a collection of specials, ranging from a Fishing to relaxing Spa Packages. If your travel dates are flexible, take advantage of the Weekday Spa deal which includes a $200 credit to be used on a services of your choice, a signature Blueberry Mojito for you and a guest served at the adult-only outdoor pool. This deal is available Monday through Thursday.