Florida has it all: surf, sun, theme parks, wetlands, beauty, and history. A road trip through the Sunshine State is the best way to see all it has to offer while making lasting memories with your family. Pack up the kids, the car, and the flip-flops for the summer vacation of a lifetime. And when you need to find accommodations to wind down from your daily outings, you can save some money: Florida and Georgia residents can get up to 12% off their stays at Hilton’s portfolio of brands. If that’s not enough of an incentive to embark on an unforgettable road trip, here’s a closer look at six of Florida’s top destinations:
“Magical” best sums up the Florida Keys. The 113-mile route along U.S. Highway 1 from Key Largo to Key West offers snorkeling, deep sea fishing, island hopping, and mouthwatering seafood. Immortalized by Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Buffett, and Tennessee Williams, Key West is chock-full of history, recreation, and good vibes. Stroll along Duval Street, get a selfie at the Southernmost Point buoy, and take a charter boat ride out on the open water and toast to a spectacular sunset.
Where to stay: Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is the ultimate place to recharge. This iconic luxury resort sits oceanfront on the quiet Atlantic Ocean-side of Key West while being walking and biking distance to everything there is to do on Duval Street.
Just 30 minutes north of Miami, Ft. Lauderdale boasts tantalizing beaches, exuberant nightlife, and an eclectic mix of dining and shopping. Along the famed Las Olas Boulevard, you’ll find stylish boutiques, art galleries, and world-class restaurants. The nearby Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District’s promenade of parks, shops, and museums offers even more to do and see. Catch a water taxi along the intracoastal where you can marvel at grand waterfront estates. The Everglades National Park is a short drive away, so take in a live alligator show at Everglades Holiday Park, or feel the air whip your hair on a thrilling airboat ride.
Where to stay: the Diplomat Beach Resort on Hollywood Beach has the luxurious amenities, unparalleled service, and sweeping ocean views to make your stay even more memorable.
Exotic beaches and beautiful people await you in Florida’s crown jewel. From South Beach to Little Havana, the rich diversity of this city will mesmerize you. And the food? Make sure you bring your appetite. Step back in time as you peruse the Art Deco Historic District. Shop and people watch on South Beach—you might spot a celebrity or two. Soak up the shopping and dining at Bal Harbour, Coconut Grove, and downtown Miami’s Design District. Take a speedboat ride along the waterways to see how Miami’s elite live and play.
Where to stay: a member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame and towering 36 stories over Brickell avenue, Conrad Miami offers the ultimate in luxury accommodations as well as a serene rooftop pool, sprawling vistas of the bay, and easy access to elegant shopping, dining, and entertainment. Want to be closer to the beach? Hilton Cabana Miami Beach features direct beach access and two oceanfront swimming pools, and was the winner of Conde Nast Traveler‘s 2015 Reader’s Choice Awards.
Walt Disney World is the centerpiece of an epic family vacation. But that’s not all you’ll find in this adventure mecca. Universal Studios and its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Legoland, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios are just a few of the top theme parks in Orlando. It’s a playground for the whole family. Just a short drive away, see Florida’s Space Coast and the Kennedy Space Center.
Where to stay: the Hilton Bonnet Creek is an oasis filled with family-friendly amenities just minutes away from Disney theme parks. Or, check in to the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace; kids will love amenities like the Sunday Disney Character Breakfast, Disney Store, and Float Lagoon. The newly-renovated property is a short walk across a pedestrian bridge to the fun and excitement of Disney Springs, but if you want to minimize time on your feet—you’ll do plenty of walking in the theme parks—a complimentary shuttle to the parks is offered as well.
Kick back on the pristine white-sand beaches off Florida’s gulf coast with a stop in one of the state’s earliest-settled areas. Explore the Riverwalk in downtown Tampa, go dolphin and whale watching, and tour the Florida Aquarium. A fan of the movie “Dolphin Tale?” See Winter—yes, the Winter—at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Of course, there are no shortages of golf courses and a sensational nightlife in historic Ybor City. If adventure and fast thrills are your thing, Busch Gardens and its death-defying roller coaster rides are just the ticket.
Where to stay: Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa, located next to the iconic Pier 60, has tropical allure in spades. The newly-renovated resort is your home away from home on ten acres of pristine beaches.
West Palm Beach/Boca Raton
Affluent West Palm Beach and nearby Boca Raton embody the essence of upscale Florida living. You’ll be entranced by palm trees, sparkling waterfront views, and picturesque shopping districts like CityPlace, Clematis Street, and Antique Row. In Boca Raton, Mizner Park is the premier destination for the well-heeled to shop, wine, and dine. Whether you golf, hike, or bike, recreation abounds. In West Palm’s CityPlace, charming architecture, flowing fountains, and quaint sidewalk cafes transport you back to old-world Europe. Unwind with live music downtown, or explore the area’s hip (and thriving) brewery scene.
Where to stay: Boca Raton Resort & Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, nestled in the heart of Boca Raton, is the ultimate luxury escape in Palm Beach County. With 365 acres, this Mediterranean-inspired tropical oasis offers 13 world-class restaurants, the number-one spa in the world, private beach, and unparalleled service.