Florida Journals

What isn't there to do in Florida?

A July 2004 trip to Florida by dannynosleeves

Quote: I grew up in Florida. I was born and raised in Orlando and have been all over this beautiful state. These are some of my favorite and least favorite things to do here.

What isn't there to do in Florida?

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
There are so many things to do here, be it on a family vacation or coming down to party with friends. Florida has a flavor for everyone. Some popular spots that are a must: Disney theme parks (obviously) are all great. MGM Universal Studios Cypress Gardens The Everglades National Park Daytona Beach Ron Jon's Surf Shop Some not so known places to go: New Symrna Beach The Masquerade Venue Bono's Real Pit BBQ The Science Center Some of my most memorable times have either been spent at the Disney theme parks or Daytona Beach. I love them both and hold them close to my heart. I've h...Read More

Ocean Villa Capri And Casa Ma

Hotel | "The Capri"

Quote:
From July 5 to July 10, this hotel was $75 per night during the week and $85 on the weekend. This price is for three people in a room with no kitchen. This is just to give you a idea of the prices. This is a great place for families or even groups of families to come on vacation. There are three main reasons why: 1. You can get rooms with kitchens, so that you don't have to eat out all the time. There is a grocery store just a few miles down the road, as well. Some kitchens have full-size refrigerators and freezers, while others have only small dorm-style ones. There is also a stove and oven, along with a sink. A few dishes are provided in the motel rooms, but we usually just bought d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Ocean Villa Capri And Casa Ma
828 N Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
(386) 252-4644

Quote:
The La Quinta Inn is an all-around typical hotel. It is what you expect when you think of a hotel. There’s nothing to fancy and nothing upsetting about this hotel. It’s the basics with a touch of class. The rooms are typical of any other hotels, but they are decorated around a theme. You can start the day with a great free breakfast and newspaper. The hotel is only about a 20-minute drive from the airport and about a 20-minute drive to Universal Studios. Disney is a little bit farther, but not by much. My favorite thing about the hotel is that it is a nice hotel that accepts pets. Those are few and far between. They also offer free high-speed Internet access in the rooms. Why is it you have to pay ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

La Quinta Inn and Suites Orlando UCF
11805 RESEARCH PKWY
Orlando, Florida 32826
407-737-6075

Hapimag Orlando Lake Berkley

Hotel | "Hapimag-Orlando Lake Berkley Resort"

Quote:
For just a little over the price of a multi-bedroom villa, you can get a full-size house at Hapimag. The house comes equipped with all the kitchen basics, a TV, a VCR, a pool, and even a Jacuzzi. There is everything here you could need - all you need to do is supply the friends and food. The resort is right in the heart of Orlando, so it’s great for families who are in town for the local amusement parks. The resort is also a great place for when you have family in town but don't have enough room in your house for them. You can go take a stroll on the beaches of the lake or go play volleyball on the beach. If you have any problems with your accommodations, the staff is more than willing to go the ex...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Hapimag Orlando Lake Berkley
1010 Park Ridge Circle
Kissimmee, Florida 34746
(407) 390-9083

Quote:
The Hilton Garden Inn was built for business travelers. The rooms have everything you need to feel comfortable and get down to business. The rooms feature a spacious wooden desk for your laptop, as well as electrical outlets for your power source and high-speed Internet connection. The high-speed connection is free of charge in your room and in the business center. Rooms also have a coffeemaker, microwave, and fridge to keep you going in those late hours. Speaking of late hours, the business center is open 24 hours, where you can get access to the Internet with a free for all high-speed computer, print, fax, or copy as well. There are also all the little extras you may need, like tape, staples, pens, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Hilton Garden Inn Orlando Airport
7300 Augusta National Drive
Orlando, Florida 32822
(407) 240-3725

Quote:
The 20-minute drive from the airport is just an added bonus for out-of-towners staying at the Westgate Blue Tree resort. The courtyard is a maze full of palm trees and bushes and is quite beautiful. The timeshare rooms are large and typical of any other Florida villas or timeshare. There is nothing special here, but there is nothing that bad either. Because of its location, it’s a short drive from the parks, which is nice for those in town to see the sites. There is also some great fishing nearby. While you hang out at the resort, you can chill by the pool while watching one of the many outdoor TVs. There is a playground for the kids on the property and a tennis court for the adults. The tennis courts...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Westgate Blue Tree at Lake Buena Vista
12007 CYPRESS RUN ROAD
Orlando, Florida 32836
407-597-2200

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort

Hotel | "Sheraton Safari Hotel"

Quote:
The Sheraton Safari is a nice change from the traditional hotel. However, I'm not sure what all the hype is about. The only real difference I can see in this hotel is that instead of bad artwork hanging on the walls, they have pictures of African animals and animal prints. Other than that, the only difference I see is a higher price for this "themed" hotel. The large waterslide snake at the pool is amazing, and the only thing that even hints at a "themed" hotel. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the parks nearby. You’re only a 2-minute drive from most of the parks in case you feel like driving, though. The rooms have high-speed Internet access, and there is wireless high-speed access in the lobby ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort
12205 South Apopka Vineland Road
Orlando, Florida 32836
(407) 239-0444

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort

Hotel | "Grosvenor Resort in WDW Resort"

Quote:
Grosvenor Resort is one of the first places I have seen make a hotel specifically for families with young children. The children suites are off a separate room for the kids. The room has a bunk bed and its own TV. There is also a TV in the main room. There are video games in the room, as well as PayPerView movies. Wake up to coffee and the newspaper everyday before you head off to the parks. Take advantage of the luxury shuttle bus to any of the parks. There is also great shopping right outside your hotel in downtown Disney. The Lego statues that decorate the walkways are my favorite part. There is no shortage of Disney shops here, hence the name Downtown Disney. The animation store is a great plac...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort
1850 Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 828-4444

Quote:
Bahama Bay Resort offers luxury condos that will make you never want to go home. The condos are spacious, roomy, and comfortably decorated. The smaller two-room condo can sleep up to six people thanks to the sleeper sofa in the living area. The kitchen is well stocked and has everything you need for a great family meal. The dinning area is great. There is a large table big enough for friends and family, as well as additional seating at the bar by the kitchen. Tourists will be happy to know that this beautiful condo resort is only a short 10-minute drive to Disney and the other theme parks. When not seeing the sights in town, you can check out some of the great services at the resort. There is a sma...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Bahama Bay Resort
400 Gran Bahama Blvd
Davenport, FL 33897
(863) 547-1200

Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel, A Loews Hotel

Hotel | "Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel"

Quote:
How cool is Universal’s Portofino Bay? This place doesn't even look like a hotel. It’s designed to look like the Italian village of Portofino. I’ve never been there, so I’m assuming this is what it looks like! There’s so much to see and do just in the hotel. At the hotel alone there are three different swimming pools, eight restaurants, and a spa. It’s a good thing the hotel offers free water taxis and shuttle buses, or you may never leave. You can catch a water taxi to City Walk, which is a touristy place that has tons of great shopping and dinning. I like the Bob Marley House myself. It is a restaurant that is a replica of Bob Marley’s house. What’s with all these replicas? Another benefit to thi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel, A Loews Hotel
5601 Universal Blvd
Orlando, Florida 32819
(888) 430-4999

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

Hotel | "Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels"

Quote:
Kids and parents alike will love the Swan and Dolphin Disney hotels. There are so many things to list about these hotels that I could write a book on it. One of the kid’s favorite things seems to be eating at the restaurants with Disney characters. Characters come to your table and play with the kids, take photos, and sign the famous Disney autograph books. You can take a free shuttle to any of the Disney parks from the hotels. As a perk, on certain days certain parks open early or close late, and if you are staying at one of these hotels, you get to stay! Forget the long lines! Speaking of lines, you can even buy your tickets at the hotels so you don’t have to waste time in line buying tickets. There...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830
(407) 934-3000

Quote:
The Regal Palms Resort is a great place to have a family reunion. The private pool houses make great homes away from homes. With a house that can sleep up to 13 people, you can all pitch in. The houses are fully equipped with all the necessities. The selling point, though, has to be the large screened-in pool and patio area. The pool is a great way to keep the kids busy while brothers and sisters do their catching up. The master bedroom has a huge bath and shower. Most of the beds are twin size, but there is one king and one queen, so try not to argue over them! The garage is a nice way to keep some cars out of the road, but other than that, it has no real use. There is an in-room safe in the master b...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Regal Palms Resort at Highlands Reserve
2700 Sand Mine Road
Davenport 33897
(321) 939-3126

Quote:
The Marriott Lake Mary is what you expect when you think affordable Orlando hotels. The colorful contemporary design is fun and enjoyable. If you’re in town for business, this hotel is right in the middle of the business district. Have the hotel set you up with a car rental and you'll be wherever you need to be in minutes. Feel free to call in sick and spend the day working from your room. With web TV, free high-speed Internet, and dial up access, you can get three times the work done! There is voicemail and multiple phone lines in every room, as well as a speaker phone. You will have no excuse for not getting work done here, unless, of course, you check out a video game system from the front desk ins...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Marriott Orlando Lake Mary
1501 International Parkway
Lake Mary, Florida 32746
(407) 995-1100

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort

Hotel | "Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress"

Quote:
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress is a hotel you will love and hate all at the same time. You will love your spacious villa so much that you will hate that the hotel offers so much to do on site. You’re going to have to leave the room sooner or later. The grand villas have all the touches you would expect: great views, a full kitchen, separate living and dinning areas, a hot tub, and everything else. There is so much to see and do here that you may forget about Disney or any of the other close theme parks. The pool is a godsend for restless kids. It’s huge! It has two slides, waterfalls everywhere you look, and three hot tubs. If for some reason the kids get tired of the pool, just ship them off to Cam...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort
1 GRAND CYPRESS BLVD
Orlando, Florida 32836
407-239-1234

Wyndham Palms Resort & Country Club

Hotel | "Wyndham Palms Resort"

Quote:
There are hotels with villas, and then there are the Wyndham Palms Resorts villas. These villas are nicer then some places I lived when I was in college and definitely nicer than my dorm room! There are several layouts to choose from here. All of them are multi-room and multi-bath. We stayed in a two-bedroom villa. It had a master bedroom with a king-size bed and a second smaller room with a smaller bed. A twin, maybe? My favorite thing is the whirlpool tubs in the rooms. Talk about living it up. It’s almost like there are two small apartments in the room. There are two separate living and eating quarters, as well as two separate bathrooms. Most rooms have a screened-in porch or balcony along with was...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Wyndham Palms Resort & Country Club
7900 Palms Pkwy
Kissimmee, Florida 34747

Quote:
Marriott Royal Palm is more like an apartment complex than a hotel. The suites are roomy to say the least. There are separate living and dinning areas. The full kitchen comes complete with dinner and cookware, so you don’t have to worry about lugging around extra baggage of pots and pans. There is an oversize soaking tub in the master bedroom that will make anyone feel like they are living the high life. After a nice soak in the tub, you'll feel ready to take on the on-site tennis courts or the world champion golf course that’s next door to the convention center. If you’re in town for sightseeing, the hotel also offers special tourist packages with discounted attraction tickets to SeaWorld, Disney, an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

Marriott's Royal Palms- A Marriott Vacation Club Resort
8404 VACATION WAY
Orlando, Florida 32821
407-238-6200

Quote:
It’s the small things in the JW Marriott Orlando that make me feel like I’m living the high life. I’ve always wondered why you have TVs in rooms but no radio or CD player. I guess since most hotels have cardboard-thin walls, they don’t want people blasting music. Not the JW, though. These rooms are equipped with CD players and flat-screen TVs. You don’t even need your computer here to hop online and surf the Internet. These rooms have web TV with Internet access. If you do need to get online, you can either plug into one of the two phone lines for dial-up service or you can use the Marriott’s communication package for $10, which has high-speed dial-up and unlimited long distance.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 16, 2005

JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
4040 CENTRAL FLORIDA PARKWAY
Orlando, Florida 32837
407-206-2300

Quote:
There are a few things I always make sure to take advantage of at the Renaissance Orlando Resort directly across the street from the entrance to Sea World. One of these is the free coffee and newspaper service. You can tell the desk what time you would like your coffee and newspaper delivered in the morning, and it makes for a great way to start the day. One of the other silly things I like is to check out one of the gaming systems and play video games when I don't feel like working. They may be older game systems, but do you really care? The desk setup has a phone on the desk, as well as computer-level plug-ins, and high-speed Internet is always available for a charge.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Renaissance Orlando Resort at Seaworld
6677 Sea Harbor Dr.
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 351-5555

Quote:
The Fairfield Inn Orlando is a great place for families who are vacationing with other families. It's in a prime location only a mere mile from Disney World. If you don't feel like taking the rental car out for a spin, just take the shuttle service from the hotel. There is a small charge for this ride, though. You can even get adjoining rooms, so there's no running back and forth down the hallway and kids aren't slamming doors every five minutes. Anything to make mom and dad a little less stressed on the family vacation. Speaking of relaxing, on your days off from the theme parks, you can relax in the hot tubs while your kids wear out the day in the splash area and pools.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Fairfield Inn & Suites Lake Buena Vista in the Marriott Village
8615 Vineland Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32821
(407) 938-9001

TownePlace Suites Orlando East/UCF

Hotel | "TownePlace Suites by Marriott"

Quote:
Towne Place Suites will definitely be your home away from home. Whether you're in town to see your kid at UCF or just watch a college game, this is the hotel you want to stay in, especially if you will be in town for an extended period of time. The rooms are divided into two rooms and a full kitchen. The kitchen has everything you may need: a full-size fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave, and toaster, along with all the pots, pans, and cookingware you may need. There is even a desk that offers high-speed Internet access as well, so that your kid can “study” while he comes to visit you! When your kid does come to see you, you can have him sleep on the pull-out sleeper sofa that comes in all the suites.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

TownePlace Suites Orlando East/UCF
11801 High Tech Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32817
(407) 243-6100

SpringHill Suites Orlando Altamonte Springs - Maitland

Hotel | "SpringHill Suites by Marriott"

Quote:
The SpringHill Suites hotel has all the creature comforts to make your business or family trip as comfortable as possible. First off, there is no way to feel cut off from the world with the numerous ways available to get online. You can bring your computer and set it up on the beautiful work desk area and dial up via the phone line. But why would you want to do that when you have free high-speed Internet access? Maybe you don't have a computer, that's why. No problem--just check out the business center and use theirs. These studio-style rooms have all those creature comforts, like a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, iron, and even a hair dryer. Want to take some time off from working online? Just jump ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

SpringHill Suites Orlando Altamonte Springs - Maitland
205 West Highway 436
Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714
(407) 865-6400

Universals Hard Rock Hotel

Hotel | "Universal's Hard Rock Hotel"

Quote:
Bring the Kids. Bring the dog. All of you can live like rock stars at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. If Universal Studios and its surrounding attractions are what you’re here to see, then this is the hotel for you. This hotel is within walking distance to all the parks entrances. Don’t feel like walking to the park and waiting in line? Just hop on the hotel’s free shuttle bus that not only brings you to the park but also bypasses the normal lines to a special express entrance for its hotel’s guests. You still have to buy tickets, but at least you don’t have to wait in those long lines. Parents can take advantage of the hotel’s babysitting service while they enjoy Universal’s City Walk clubs and resta...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Universals Hard Rock Hotel
5800 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, Florida 32819
(407) 503-7625

Grand Bohemian Hotel

Hotel | "The Westin Grand Bohemian"

Quote:
The Westin Orlando Bohemian is the hotel for the family who wants to travel in luxury in Orlando. This beautiful hotel is less than 30 minutes from almost every major attraction in Orlando. Disney is the farthest away but only by about 20 miles. When I lived here, my favorite place to go as a kid was the water park Wet-n-Wild. So if it’s a hot day and you and the kids are looking for a place to cool off, check it out. Don't feel like leaving the hotel to get wet? No problem. Check out the hotel’s outdoor heated pool and hot tub. In these oversize hotel rooms, you can even have a heavenly dog bed put in your room ahead of time so you can bring along the family pet to in the luxury that is the Westin.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Grand Bohemian Hotel
325 South Orange Avenue
Orlando, Florida 32801
(407) 313-9000

Embassy Suites Hotel Orlando-North

Hotel | "Embassy Suites Orlando North"

Quote:
The Embassy Suites Hotel is just an all-around nice hotel for business travelers, not too fancy, not too cheap - just right. With all the suites being large two-bedroom rooms, it’s hard not to feel comfortable in them. There is a table/desk in the rooms, as well as two phone lines with a data port for your computer. There is also high-speed Internet access on site. Too busy working to get downstairs to catch the continental breakfast? No problem. Take advantage of the free cooked-to-order service they offer every morning. Now that you have been stuck in your room working since breakfast, take a break and check out the lounge, where they offer free drinks for about 2 hours every weeknight. Need to get ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 17, 2005

Embassy Suites Hotel Orlando-North
225 Shorecrest Drive
Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701
407-834-2400

Daytona Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Daytona Beach was the place to be 20 or 30 years ago. Since then, it has become a much more nostalgic beach town. However, in the past few years, it seems that there have been some investors throwing money around to create the beach city into the Orlando of the coast. In the last three years, water parks have been created, much larger hotels erected, and a city walk designed. They are turning this old beach city into a growing tourist trap. For now, though, the changes are nice. It's helped the city to grow with the times. As long as they don't over do it, the city should be able to keep its charm. The newly created city walk boasts a few more expensive resturants, a movie theater, and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Daytona Beach
Daytona
Daytona Beach, Florida

Salty Dog Surf Shop

Attraction

Quote:
You know how, in every major tourisit city, there is always that one place that everyone comes home with a t-shirt from? Well, Salty Dog is that place in Daytona Beach. As their website puts it, "From the beaches of Daytona to the shores of the Internet, Salty Dog Surf Shop is bringing you the world's most famous t-shirt, direct from the world's most famous beach!" As always, this is one of those landmark stores that locals and tourists alike can point you in the direction of if you get lost. All you have to do to get there is head south down the street from the pier a few blocks, and you can't miss it. This place has everything, from their famous shirts and surfboards to shoes, sunglasse...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 13, 2004

Salty Dog Surf Shop
100 S. Atlantic Ave.
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
(386) 253-2755