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Orlando, Keys, Tampa, Gulf for Christmas? Which one?

Orlando, Keys, Tampa, Gulf for Christmas? Which one?

Old Jun 16th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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Orlando, Keys, Tampa, Gulf for Christmas? Which one?

My husband and I are trying to plan our vacation for Christmas. We have thought about doing the islands then doing a few days in Florida. Or possibly doing a cruise then Florida.

I love Orlando. I love Wyndham spa. I could easily do dinner at Arthurs 27.

I also like the Keys. How are they for the holidays though?

Is there another area of FL we should consider?
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Are there other areas? Sure, but it depends on what your interests are. If you're interested in history, St. Augustine is wonderful, especially at that time of year. The Gulf coast has the best beaches if that's what you like. And for pampering, there are any number of resorts in Orlando (consider the Portofino at Universal - everyone raves about it) that can do the job!

As for the Keys (which I love!) we don't go near them during the holidays. Everything very crowded, and don't even think about the drive down there....
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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I wouldn't count on going to the beach during Christmas holidays in Florida. It isn't that it's always so cold, but just don't count on it. I recall a few times in the last 30 years when the temperatures were below freezing on Christmas day.

As for a cruise, that's always an option if you like that style of vacation. You mentioned "the islands," and I have to assume you meant the Bahamas, which would also be a nice destination and probably quite swimmable at that time of year. But don't count on swimmable waters anywhere north of Tampa Bay, and perhaps quite a bit south as well.

Of course the Keys would be warmer also, but I agree that going there during holidays would be a bummer because of the traffic. If you fly into and out of Key West, then you can avoid that problem.

There are other areas in Florida to consider, but I'm not sure what you are seeking. If it's warm weather and beaches, stay in the extreme south of the state. It it's antique hunting, there are lots of antique shops in most of the small towns and all of the larger ones. There is gambling on cruise ships, there is Sarasota and the excellent Ringling museums and home, and you could even opt for Ocala and Silver Springs for a day or two. Good luck.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 03:51 PM
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Sarasota, Longboat Key, Siesta Key (not in the keys) Venice, are great. Day trips to St. Petersburg/Tampa. Siesta Key has the greatest, whitest, softest sand you'll ever walk on.
Longboat Key is very chic, and Sarasota very civilized, and Venice very casual.
Great restuarants on Longboat, Siesta Key and Sarasota as well.
There is a Ritz Carlton for pampering, but rent a house on a canal.
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Old Jun 20th, 2005, 11:37 PM
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Treasure island/St. Petersburg has a really cool xmas parade during the holidays, except that it is on the water. All the boats come lit up with lights and santa riding on them. Very cool.
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Old Oct 19th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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My family goes to Orlando every year for the holidays to visit family, but more importantly, because there is so much to do!! The theme parks have wonderful holiday parties, and many resorts have special attractions. Orlando is a must for the holiday season!!!
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Old Oct 19th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Just so you know Arthurs 27 is closed. If you like spa hotels you might want to look into the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. It is supposed to have a wonderful spa and also has the restaurant Normans.
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