the fp is region-hotels
Where to stay in Florida
There are a wealth of hotels to suit all pockets throughout Florida; the state boasts over 370,000 hotel rooms. The theme park hotels are family-friendly, whilst there are many beautiful resort properties to stay along Florida's 1,760km (1,100 miles) stretch of beaches, not forgetting spa and golf resorts.
Cheap hotels in Florida are available outside peak periods, which are Easter, half-term and summer school holidays. Cheap hotel rates are offered in the winter too. Budget hotel chains noted for cleanliness, consistency and value include Microtel Inns (www.microtel.com) and Motel 6 (www.motel6.com). Mid-range chains that score high marks in surveys include Holiday Inn Express (www.hiexpress.com), Hampton Inns (www.hamptoninn.com) and LaQuinta Inns (www.lq.com). Almost all international upscale and luxury chains can be found in Florida, in addition to unique destination hotels such as the legendary Fontainebleau (www.biltmorehotel.com) in Miami Beach (www.fontainebleau.com), Biltmore in Coral Gables and The Breakers (www.thebreakers.com) on Palm Beach.
In the Miami area, the main hotel districts are Downtown and Brickell (the city’s financial district), Miami Beach (notably the Art Deco boutique hotels along Ocean Drive), Coral Gables and near the Miami airport. Fort Lauderdale’s hotels are clustered downtown, along the beach, and near the Fort Lauderdale airport. Most of West Palm Beach’s hotels are also in the general vicinity of downtown, the airport, and the beach.
Orlando has a much more widespread offering of hotels, especially south of the city along International Drive, near Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, and along US highway 192 in Kissimmee. Most other large cities in Florida have clusters of hotels near their airports, in the central business districts and along interstate highways. Coastal cities invariably have hotels along the beaches.
Bed and breakfast
There are plenty of small guesthouses throughout the state, in addition to self-catering villas, found mostly in historic locales such as Key West, Saint Augustine and Apalachicola. See Florida Bed & Breakfast Inns (www.florida-inns.com) for more information.
Approximately 6 million people camp in Florida every year and the state has over 700 of camp sites, from inexpensive, year-round camping in any number of beautiful state parks to large, private RV parks complete with full-service restaurants and all the mod-cons. Check the camping page at the state’s official tourism site, Visit Florida (www.visitflorida.com/camping) for more information.
Hostels: Youth and backpacker hostels are becoming increasingly popular in Florida, with new locations popping up on South Beach, the Florida Keys and in other traditionally upscale areas. For a full directory of Florida hostels, see the Hostels.com Florida page (www.hostels.com/florida-state/usa).
Many holidaymakers opt for villa holidays in Florida, which is particularly good if you're planning to travel in a large group with family or friends. They range in price, and include condos, homes and villas to rent, often with private pools.
Gay and lesbian travellers may find Florida’s selection of gay-exclusive, clothing-optional resorts enticing. Key West and Fort Lauderdale are the prime gay hot spots in the state, along with gay-friendly options in Miami, Tampa and Orlando.