It is no wonder why one of the most common vacation destinations is the state of Florida. Miami, Disney World, Key West, Orlando, Universal Studios – these are all reasons why Florida is such a hot destination spot. People from all over the world come to visit the “Sunshine State” for its beautiful beaches and trendy tourist spots. When it comes to finding a decent place to stay, there is an insane amount of options available to you. To help out, here is a list of some of the hidden gems you’ll find within the Sunshine State.
Sea View Hotel – Bal Harbour, On The Ocean
The Sea View Hotel is in Bal Harbour, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Miami. Bal Harbour is bustling with many renowned boutiques and restaurants, and it is home to some of the most pristine beaches within the state. A luxurious hotel at an affordable cost, the Sea View is a great place to kick back and relax. Even better, it is just a short walk from downtown Miami – experience the best of both worlds when you soak up the sun by day and hit the clubs of Miami by night!
Guest Suites of Boca Raton
Simple and quaint, Guest Suites of Boca Raton is a cheap option for you or your family, but it certainly gets the job done. It is just minutes from downtown Boca Raton and about two miles from the some of the nicest beaches around. Even better – enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast every morning during your stay.
Dolphin Key Resort
Another affordable option, the Dolphin Key Resort is a tropical oasis. Whether you’re traveling alone, as a couple, or with your family, this resort should be on the top of your list for places to stay when visiting Cape Coral, Florida. Within walking distance of several main attractions, you will never run out of things to keep you busy. Put simply, the Dolphin Key Resort is a bargain that you should not miss out on.
Tween Waters Inn
Often described as comfortable and cozy, the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island offers a variety of unique choices for accommodations. From seaside cottages to luxurious bedroom suites, guests can choose the perfect type of living arrangement that suits their every need. Beach lovers everywhere should come visit the Tween Waters Inn. There is no shortage of beach activities here – from swimming and paddleboarding, to sandcastle building and fishing, you’ll never want to leave this place.
Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club
Orlando, Florida is known for its amusement parks galore. Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios are all within a short distance of Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, a convenient and affordable place to stay. Mystic Dunes is ideal for large groups of travelers, accommodating up to 12 guests in its largest villa. Not interested in visiting an amusement park during your stay? Don’t worry, Orlando is home to so much more. Within walking distance of the resort, you’ll find shopping, restaurants, and bars – or just hang by one of the resort’s four swimming pools.
San Francisco is a vibrant city everyone should visit. Right on San Francisco Bay, the weather is a bit unpredictable and foggy, but this shouldn’t deter you from heading out to explore all the city has to offer. On those days you need a quick pick-me-up, a good coffee shop will have everything you need. Since there are literally ones on every corner, we have compiled a list of the best coffee shops around the city to help you navigate your way to the greatest caffeine high possible.
Chapel Hill Coffee Co
When you are on the go, this is the coffee shop to head to. While all the drinks are fantastic, the featured beverages are their espresso drinks. You’ll be able to pick up some scrumptious baked goods brought in from the local Neighbor Bakehouse. This is an on-the-go coffee-house, which means it is standing room only. While you won’t be able to have those long, relaxing coffee breaks here, you will be able to mingle with the locals and get a sense for the real vibe of the city.
If you are looking for hotels in San Francisco, the area around Chapel Hill Coffee Co is a great place to start. It is decently located, but not as touristy.
Cat Town Cafe
A trend started in Japan, this cat café and adoption center is a great place to head if you want some feline attention while sipping your cup of java. A twist on the traditional café, you are able to bring your cat here, if you want your feline friend to have some socialization while you appreciate the Bicycle Coffee they serve.
Those wanting a bit of a treasure hunt should start looking around for the mobile caffeine hit. This café on wheels is found by following their Twitter feed, but don’t let the mobile aspect trick you into thinking the quality will be low. This is an extremely popular vendor who brews each cup to order. If you are looking for something a bit different, order a mint mojito iced coffee to spice your life up a bit.
If you enjoy traipsing all over the city in search of Philz Truck, you may also enjoy a tour of the city and waterfront.
A unique experience is what you’ll encounter when you stop in at Snowbird Coffee. They have house-roasted beans, meaning you cannot get coffee like this anywhere else in the world. If you need something on the go, especially on a hot day, Snowbird has a line of their own cold bottled brews. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Tiny Warrior Coffee
Don’t let the first part of the name fool you. This is a full-bodied experience housed within a camping gear store. These are all cocktail-style drinks, meaning you’ll get a shaken, not stirred, coffee beverage. The house-made syrups featured here are a nice accent to the experience, along with the ability to add mint or chocolate ice cubes. After just one drink, you may never want to go home. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Spending four days on a choppy boat with no Internet sounds daunting, especially when it’s spent on a deck chair and not in a cabin. But Alaska’s ferries offer an odd but charming mix of local culture, scenic views, and until recently, cheap drinks.
The Alaska Department of Transportation recently announced that they will be eliminating the famous and beloved bars on the ferries operated by the Alaska Marine Highway system. According to the Department, the bars have been losing $100,000 annually, and the estimated $750,000 that will be saved by closing them will contribute to alleviating a $3.5 million deficit. Gift shops on the ferries will also be eliminated, but it has been stressed that there will be no layoffs because of the cuts. Bartenders and gift shops workers will be assigned to other duties onboard the ships.
Many worry that the budget deficit will eventually lead to reduced service as well, despite the reassurances of the Department of Transportation. Alaskan residents who live in remote towns and islands such as those of the Inside Passage and the Aleutian chain rely on the ferries for transportation.
Out of town travelers may be affected as well — they usually pack the ferries in the summer months and provide much-needed tourism dollars to Alaskan businesses. The lack of bars may prove a disincentive for travelers to use the ferry system at all.
In the end, it’s not so much the booze as the bar culture that ferry riders will miss. Ferry routes can last as long as four days, and the bars allowed people from all occupations and walks of life to mix and converse in a relaxed atmosphere on extended trips. The bars were also famous in their own right. The tiny Pitch and Roll Bar lives aboard the Tustumena, which serves a notoriously choppy route from Homer to Kodiak Island. The 1970s decor scheme, which includes red carpet on the walls, also features barf bags and convenient railings. Its charm and distinctive qualities led Esquire to name it one of the 10 best bars in the world in 2007.
Wine and beer will continue to be served during meal hours in single-serving sizes, but it won’t be quite the same. Tony Tengs, the Alaska Marine Highways’ senior bartender, sums up the ineffable quality of the onboard bars: “There are things that have value that just can’t be equated and which people will never forget. Like the folks who got married in the bar on the Taku and the many who have gathered there on their way to and from funerals.”
Although the bars will be closed, the six ferries that once possessed them (Kennicott, Matanuska, Columbia, Tustumena, Malaspina, Taku) will remain in service. On a positive note, the news of the bar closings can also serve as a reminder to travelers contemplating Alaskan trips to take advantage of what is perhaps the world’s most beautiful and unique transportation system.
This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 19, 2015