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Visit the Sunshine State: From Disney Hotels to Deals on the High Seas

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By , dealnews Features Director

Although Florida is stereotypically a haven for just the young and the old, the Sunshine State indeed has something to delight travelers of all ages. Whether you want to recline on a beach, frolic amongst cartoon characters, or set sail on the high seas, we've got the deals to make your Florida dreams a reality.

As Florida is a popular domestic destination, there are often a variety of discounted ways to get there and back. We frequently see domestic airfare sales that include destinations in Florida, notably Orlando and Miami. However, several of these sales offer 1-way fares, so if you find the perfect flight there, but nothing that works for your return, why not take on the open road? Alamo currently discounts 1-way car rentals from select Florida cities (from $13.95 per day; expires April 30); pickup a set of wheels while on vacation, drive home, and then return the rental to a participating Alamo location in the continental U.S. that's outside of Florida. And if you need a car during your vacation, and returning out of state is out of the question, then check out these discounted nationwide mid-size car rentals from Payless (from $27.99 per day, a low by $25; expires April 30).

If soaking up sun and staring dreamily into the crashing waves is a high priority for you, then consider the charms of Panama City Beach, about two hours from Tallahassee. With 27 miles of oceanfront at your disposal, you'll surely find space to settle in for a day of lounging. The Origin at Seahaven Hotel is a self-proclaimed "South Seas inspired luxury condominium" and features private beach access. Snag a 3-night stay for two (from $237, a low by $30; expires April 23) and also make use of the grill area, pool terrace with views of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Grand Theatre screening room. BookIt also offers discounts on a variety of other Panama City Beach hotels, with prices starting at $69 per night (expires April 23).

Further down the Florida peninsula, you'll find the city of Tampa. And while it may be the second-biggest metropolitan area in Florida, it still offers numerous opportunities for calm days at the beach or relaxing stays on the waterfront. BookIt again offers discounted hotels, with several luxury options, but we like the budget-friendly Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel where stays for two are as low as $65 per night (a low by $35; expires April 24). The deal includes a free upgrade to a room with a waterview, which is a luxury in itself.

But as wonderful as Panama City Beach and Tampa are, few people can think of Florida without images of Mickey Mouse ears. Disney World is indeed a popular attraction for the state, and numerous Orlando hotels offer special promotions related to the theme park. Why not book a stay for up to two adults and two children at the Seralago Hotel (from $35 per night, a low by $7; expires April 30) and you'll score rides on the free shuttle to the Disney World ticket center. Or, stay on park property and book a 3-night stay for two at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort (from $210, a low by $27; expires April 24), and your children will eat free at the Disney Character Breakfast Buffet with one paying adult. (If you're staying even longer, that hotel offers discounts on park tickets when you buy them at the same time.)

While Florida is a dreamy, sunny, and fabulous place to relax, who says you need to stay put during your vacation? The Sunshine State is a common jumping off point for numerous tropical cruises, and if you're already there, why not make the most of it and pick up a cruise deal? They are, after all, seeing some excellent discounts this time of year. This Norwegian Cruise Lines 4-night Bahamas Cruise for two (from $358, a low by $40; expires October 15), for example, leaves from Miami while the Celebration Cruise Line 2-night Bahamas Cruise for two (from $199, a low by $199; expires April 24) departs from Palm Beach.

Because of the numerous deals we see for hotels and vacations to Florida, the state is an affordable way to indulge in a warm beach vacation. But if hot climates aren't your thing, then be sure to check out our weekly 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: Knox Film
Photo credits top to bottom: Kiss the Bride,
My Disney Meetings, and CoBus Bahamas


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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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