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Relax in Sunny Florida on a Dime: Hotels in Miami, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale

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By Summar Ghias, dealnews contributor

Can't get your kids to stop talking about that last Florida vacation? We aren't surprised; the Sunshine State tops plenty of tween-and-under "Best Destination" lists for its legendary theme parks, water adventures, and family-friendly fun in the sun.

Whether its back to Orlando for more Disney World magic, to Fort Lauderdale for a gondola ride in what's sometimes referred to America's Venice, or Miami-bound for some sunny relaxation, Florida's got enough to see and do for the entire family, time and again. So why not make the trip an annual family tradition? We've found plenty of bargains state-wide that'll have you squealing through Space Mountain or nestling into your beach chair in no time.

After arriving the Sunshine State, soak up the rays and ride around in a budget-friendly Hyundai Elantra or Chevrolet Cruze, with Sixt car rentals starting at just $19.99 (a low by $47; expires October 31). Or, up the ante and ride in style with a Sixt Mercedes car rental for $37.91 per day (a low by $39; expires October 31).

Now that you've got wheels, take drive over to Orlando and make your kids' dreams come true. With approximately 450 hotels in the area to choose from, the city's got plenty of deals that offer easy access to local theme parks. Stay at the no-fuss Best Western Lake Buena Vista, which is offering two night stays bundled with a continuous shuttle service to Disney theme parks and daily breakfast for two for just $138 (a low by $28; expires October 30).

If you'd rather the fun begin as soon as your luggage hits the guestroom floor, then meld comfortable accommodations and water attractions into one experience at the Coco Key Hotel and Water Park Resort. The hotel is offering nightly stays for just $79 (a low by $16; expires November 1), complete with an upgraded poolside room, a $20 restaurant credit, and either a reduced daily resort fee or four water park passes. As Orlando's largest canopy-covered outdoor water park, it's the perfect precursor to the inevitable Disney extravaganza that is to come.

Looking forward to all that Universal Studios has to offer? Get your brood's collective imagination running wild from the moment they wake up in the morning at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel (from $94, a low by $30; expires November 22 ). The hotel offers nightly stays in a deluxe room with two queen beds, complimentary WiFi, and shuttle service to nearby parks; Universal Studios is just across the street.

Now that you've had your fill of theme parks, head south on a little road-trip for some fun in Fort Lauderdale. The city is known for its 300-mile canal system that resembles the famous waterways in Italy. Fort Lauderdale also has a picturesque beachfront promenade, a 3-acre park dedicated to butterflies and hummingbirds from five different continents, and plenty of chic boutiques and galleries on Las Olas Boulevard. Stay at the 4-star Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, which is offering nightly stays starting at $129 (a low by $20; expires December 17). The hotel rooms boast views of either the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway.

Miami serves as the final stop on your Florida tour. Not only is the city known for its Latin flair, but you'll find plenty of beach-going opportunities, period art a la the Art Deco Historic District, and of course, a robust nightlife scene for once the kids are off to bed. Escape to the luxurious Mayfair Hotel and Spa in the heart of waterfront Coconut Grove for $199 per night (a low by $83; expires November 3), which includes two glasses of sparkling wine upon arrival, a $25 restaurant credit, and a $50 spa credit, so you can indulge in all the luxury that the hotel has to offer. Alternatively, 2-night stays are $349 (a low by $60). It's the perfect end to a trip of fun and games that would otherwise leave you exhausted.

Florida offers the right amount of excitement and relaxation for the whole family. But, if you've got different ideas for a vacation, be sure to check out our daily travel deals for other airfare, hotel, and vacation packages.

At the time of publication, these travel deals offered the lowest prices we could find. Deals may include blackout dates, additional taxes, and fees. Some of our prices may be based on mandatory double occupancy.

Front page photo credit: Knight Writer
Photo credits top to bottom: yeowatzup via Flickr and wirelessinternet.net


Summar Ghias is a freelance writer who attributes her love for big cities to the diverse cultural, artistic, and food-centric experiences that can be had in them. A former assistant editor at Budget Travel, Ghias has freelanced at several other titles including Girlfriend Getaways, Discover, People, In New York, Spinner.com, and AOL Travel, among others.

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Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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