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Naples is named after the coastal Italian city, and it’s known for its laid-back ambiance. It’s also known for its golf. Though Florida’s version of Italian paradise doesn’t have the history, or quite the same sights, it does have extravagance that mimics its European counterpart.
If you’re going here, choose a hotel rather than a resort. They’re cheaper here and there’s so many public beaches, you won’t have trouble getting some sun. You can also rent a house in Naples, though keep in mind that most homes are set away from the beach.
Some people say that Naples has the best cuisine on Florida’s western shore. It’s not cheap though, so make sure you’re prepared to pay.
West Palm Beach
If you’re looking for luxury 5* holidays to Florida, it’s hard to beat Club Med’s four trident Sandpiper Bay resort, just a 30 minute drive from West Palm Beach, America’s home to millionaires and billionaires. Jimmy Buffett, Tiger Woods, Mark Zuckerberg, and even ‘The Donald’ live here. West Palm Beach is a bit more touristy – though you’re only a stone’s throw away from the famous people.
When traveling here, try to come during the spring or fall – it’s less fashionable to vacation here during these times, but it’s much cheaper. Instead of flying into the area, consider driving – again, it’s cheaper.
This area was originally built for the servants of Palm Beach residents. Today, it has highly regarded performance venues and museums.
If you’ve never been to Miami Beach, you absolutely must make the trip at least once in your lifetime. North Miami is where you’ll find kid-friendly beaches and affordable restaurants and hotels. SoBe (or South Beach) is where the action is, but it’s not exactly a part of town you want to be romping around with children. You’ll also need your AmEx black card at the high-end stores.
Weekdays are cheaper than the weekends, and Miami Beach doesn’t see many business travelers. That’s why the hotel rates dip down during the week. A note about bars and clubs: go early. It’s best to grab a seat before the sun goes down and they start charging covers.
There’s so much to see here, that you’ll probably have to come back more than once. It’s pretty easy to blow a lot of money traveling around here, but it’s also easy to keep money in your pocket – if you’re smart about it. You should certainly visit the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, and spend part of the day at the National Mall, which is like a huge park that you can run around in, free of charge. Before you leave, make sure you stop by the Library of Congress and check out Jefferson’s library. That man read a lot of books, and they’re all preserved for you to see.
When you really want that tropical getaway, there’s nothing that beats Hawaii – except other islands nearby, namely Kauai. It’s not as famous as its big brother (or sister, depending on how you look at these things), but it’s the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain.
It doesn’t resort to over-the-top luxury. There are only two major highways, and some places can only be accessed on foot. It’s very casual here, so don’t worry about dress. To save money, consider an all-inclusive option, rather than a “DIY” vacation.
Alex Norman has a vacation home in Florida. An avid blogger, he likes to write about Florida in an effort to get more of his friends and family to join him there.