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Christmas beach vacation

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
11 posts
17 reviews
Christmas beach vacation

My husband and I have had a very stressful year this year and we have decided that we are going to go on a vacation over Christmas 12/23/2016-1/1/2017. Would like some suggestions on relaxing Florida beach vacations at that time. We are wanting to stay around $1500.00 for lodging. Just wanting somewhere with relaxing activities...maybe a little shopping. And great seafood. Any suggestions?

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,958 posts
34 reviews
1. Re: Christmas beach vacation

Get as far south as you can in FL. Many holiday times are lovely, some are cold. Take a look at a map and start from there. If you want to save $$$ then get a vacation rental, probably a condo. The locations and prices that you find may help you to determine where you will stay.

Although I can no longer recommend booking with HomeAway you can certainly browse around there to get ideas. After you select a town or two you can google vacation rental agents (realtors) for that area and see what they have that matches your needs and budget. They will probably send you photos for a handful of options.

Great idea to get away over Christmas. Have fun.

Marietta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
Level Contributor
4,778 posts
54 reviews
2. Re: Christmas beach vacation

I agree with the suggestion above to go as far south as possible and this would be Key West. Wife and I spent 4 days around Christmas in Key West a couple of years ago and had a grand time. Hotel rates vary a lot over the holidays, from reasonable to expensive so your budget may be tight. Since you have quite a bit of time available, you might consider flying into Miami renting a car and driving down to Key West. We did this last October and enjoyed it. Flying in to Miami can save quite a few $$ compared to flying into Key West and this would also allow you to spend some time on some of the other Florida Keys. On this more recent trip we spent time in Key West than spent a couple of days in Key Largo and that worked out well. Driving time from Miami airport to Key West is about 3 hours and is mostly interesting across the "Overseas Highway". Key West is a different kind of place and definitely deserves the nickname "The Conch Republic".

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
11 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Christmas beach vacation

We had considered Key West, but I was worried about safety there. How safe is it? Also wondered how relaxing the atmosphere is there?

Marietta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
Level Contributor
4,778 posts
54 reviews
4. Re: Christmas beach vacation

I have had no concerns about safety in our visits. People and events there can be a little "off-beat", but I did not see anyone/anything that I considered dangerous.

Key West is very "Laid back". You can be about as active or as relaxed as you want. We like to be active, so we rented bikes and rode all over and rented kayaks and paddled quite a bit, but you can also just sit back and watch the rest of the world go by if you like.

The main downside is that the Florida Keys do not really have much in the way of nice beaches. There are some beaches that are nice to look at or relax on, but not like some other Florida beaches. The main beach on Key West is Smathers Beach which is about a mile long stretch of wide white sand beach just about perfect for lounging on. The water will probably be a bit cool for swimming at that time of year.

If you want more info, check my trip report on my personal web page: http://hammocktree.us/ms/trips.html Scroll down to the Key West Holdiay trip, Dec 2012.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,958 posts
34 reviews
5. Re: Christmas beach vacation

Annabelle, one year I was in your shoes. I was overly exhausted so we took a week and flew out of O'Hare on the Apple Vacations non-stop charter flight to Cancun. We stayed at the Dreams in Riviera Maya to be handy to the airport and we did not plan to leave the property but to just relax, soak in the sun, sand and surf plus eat good food, drink a little too.

They had many interesting activities (swim with the dolphins, Mayan ruins etc) to sell to us but, in the end, we left the property just to go zip lining for an afternoon. We also snorkeled when, after much urging, they agreed to bring a boat up to the beach so we could leave from the hotel and spend about an hour on the reef that we could see was right in front of the property.

This was such a restorative holiday and we chose to make it the most low key holiday ever but that is not to say that there isn't plenty to do in the Cancun area. And Mexico is so reasonably priced too.

As to FL, if the weather is going to be unusual then it might be chilly but mostly it is really nice. Take a look at hotels and condos that line the sand in Lauderdale by the Sea. The beaches are nice and wide and good for long walks and there's plenty to do nearby. Consider taking a jet boat trip through the Everglades one day.

Kansas City, MO
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations
Level Contributor
1,039 posts
50 reviews
6. Re: Christmas beach vacation

Marco Island, Fl would be nice that time of the year...

7. Re: Christmas beach vacation

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