suggestions for short trip from S Florida?

Old Nov 26th, 2005, 08:14 PM
  #1  
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suggestions for short trip from S Florida?

In the past, we've flown from the midwest to Miami to Key West for a long weekend. We thought maybe we'd try something different, so any suggestions for a short trip from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale? We usually do Thursday through Sunday. There are several flights from our hometown to Miami and Ft. L, so we can be there before noon on Thursday, would want to leave by 5-6 pm Sunday. We're not married to Thursday - Sunday, though.

We would like someplace where we could relax, hang out on a beach, maybe snorkel, and eat some good seafood.

Can anyone point me in the direction of any destination? I don't even know where to start. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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What time of year are you planning? For a nice change of pace although temps vary this time of year I would suggest St. Augustine FL. Accommodations of all price ranges. When I visit I prefer to spend a few nights in the town and then a few days at the beach. Christmas season is wonderful with many special programs to participate in. Your flight would be into Jacksonville and then about a 40 minute drive (dependent on traffic)south on 95. I've been traveling there for almost 20 years and still find something new to appreciate everytime. Google St. Augustine FL. and there is much to peruse. If you are interested post back and I will be glad to share my favorite places.

Sandy
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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If you're interested in the St Augustine idea, you might be interested in doing the beach part on Amelia Island, abt 2 hrs away (I think). Beach much nicer than any of the beaches around St Augustine. No snorkeling though. Or: How about the Gulf Coast of Florida,eg the Sarasota area where there's great food and wonderful beaches and a number of interesting gardens and museums. Again, no snorkeling. Or what about just staying in the Miami area? Spending half tghe time in Sobe and half on Key Biscayne....
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 06:13 AM
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Hi. You never say in your post, but do you mean a short trip to the Caribbean (since you posted in the Caribbean section)?
Also, what time of the year? My first thought was the Bahamas (I know...technically not in the Caribbean) but if you're going during the winter season it might be too cool to swim.
Let us know.
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Turks and Caicos.
From Miami, AA flys.
After Feb 10, Spirit air will fly from Ft. Lauderdale.
From Ft. Lauderdale, Continental will take you to Exumas, or Harbour Island, both in Bahamas.
From Miami, AA can take you to St. Thomas, T&C, Nassau, or Grand Bahama.
Anything farther may waste time for a short weekend. I think from either airport you can go to Caymans or Cancun.
Relaxing beach with decent snorkeling, i would pick t&C.
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, I was thinking Caribbean. We would be going in March or April, but could be flexible if necessary. I confess I don't know a lot about various Caribbean destinations. I wasn't sure what would be a short enough flight and would have options for a shorter stay (less than a week). Also, we're not interested in all-inclusives.

Ideally, we'd stay in a smaller hotel with access to some restaurants, near a beach.

Thanks again.
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Hi again. In terms of shortest flights, Bahamas and Turks & Caicos (as Blamona suggested) would work best. My only concern is the time of year you're going. I don't know how easily you get cold. I personally would not go to the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos in March or April because I fear the Atlantic ocean would not be warm enough for me. But that's just me.
Some short flights from Florida:
1. Grand Cayman: The only smaller place that comes to mind is Tom Cayman's place (another Fodorite poster) The Reef Resort.
2. Jamaica: Two smaller places in Negril: www.rockhousehotel.com and www.idleawhile.com
One small place in Montego Bay is www.coyabaresortjamaica.com
3. San Juan, Puerto Rico. I can't think of small places on the beach there. You could go to Vieques but that would just add to your travel time.
When you start thinking St. Thomas and the other islands, the flight time becomes longer.
You can do searches on this site for previous discussions of the resorts I mentioned and read reviews on Trip Advisor.
Hopefully someone else will chime in with suggestions.
Good luck.
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 01:34 PM
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I would probably go with Provo in the Turks and Caicos. Great beach and fantastic water. There is an AA flight that leaves Miami at 11Am and arives Provo 12:40--Departs at 1:45 PM arrives in Miami at 3:30 PM. Don't think Spirit starts flying from Lauderdale till Feb. Check out www.coralgardens.com for a place to stay. Very nice and the only place the reef comes right in to the shore to snorkel. Do a search on Luxurylink.com. Turks and Caicos Club is also within walking distance of the reef but we perfer Coral Gardens. You might also check out Cheecha Lodge in Islamorada in the keys. They had a package on Luxury link. Have to drive from Miami. Less than two hours
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Old Nov 27th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Blamona again:
If you are used to going to the Keys, Provo in Turks and Caicos water will feel great! It's 575 miles south of Miami, so I think the water will not be chilly, by any standards!
It will definately be warmer than the Keys, and the water there will set standards for the next beaches in your future, the water in Provo is gorgeous!
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 07:29 AM
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I would like to second St. Augustine! The Historic part of town is great and you are right on the beach and river. We live about 2 hours from St. Augustine and I love to go there even for a day trip. If you stay at a B&B right in the Historic part of the city you can party and walk into the night. Don't forget to get something yummy at Savannah River Sweets! The old Spanish Fort and Flagler museums are wonderful also.
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Check out Curacao. It was a 2 1/2 hour direct flight from Miami on American. Great European/Caribbean feel, wonderful food, good snorkeling, fantastic warm weather and water in March. We stayed at the Marriott, loved it.
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Old Nov 29th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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I've been to T&C in the month of February and the water was warm and the most gorgeous shades of turquoise that I have ever seen. Have a wonderful time.
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Old Nov 30th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. You've given me some direction on what islands to look into.

I didn't realize Curacao was only a 2 1/2 hour flight from Miami. That's the kind of info I was looking for in my poorly-worded original post. Looking for islands with direct, short flights from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale as we don't have a ton of time.

I will continue to research - so far, T and C, Curacao, and Cayman all look good. Now I just need to decide. Thanks again.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Turks and Caicos is probably your best bet. It is a short flight from Miami, and is a great place to hang out on a beautiful white sand beach. Our favorite place is Coral Gardens Resort on Provo. Lovely all-suite resort, with excellent snorkeling right from the shore. The on-site restaurant is the best on the island, and the beach grill is fine for lunch or dinner. Try it, I promise you will love it.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 02:19 AM
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I'm gonna chime in and add the Out Island of the Bahamas. A short hop from FLL, you can be there by early afternoon. Check out Elbow Cay or Guana Cay (several resorts on Elbow, private homes on Guana), using Marsh Harbour airport in Abaco. Elbow Cay is quaint, lighthouse, golf carts, gorgeous beaches and snorkeling. Also check out Harbour Island (flying into North Eleuthera and take a water taxi), there are some wonderful small resorts on this tiny island.

Have fun deciding! Also, if you plan your trip after April 15 (or Easter, whichever comes later), you will find low season rates and balmy weather.
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