Off-Brand Travel: Florida Vacation IdeasOff-Brand Travel: Florida Vacation Ideas by Steven Mayo

Like so many other things you have the freedom to spend our money on, in travel you sometimes “pay for the name”. You see it at the grocery store a lot, or in clothing stores, shoe stores, and jewelry stores. Two products, seemingly equal in dignity, with a grand canyon spanning their price points. The more expensive item, of course, is a brand product, while the other is either a store brand or otherwise off brand item.

Sometime the brand product is better. After all, this brand has garnered the millions of customers (and at higher prices!) that made them the big name in the first place, and that many people can’t be wrong, right? But sometimes you are just “paying for the name”, and that inexpensive off-brand is more than able to give you what you want.

In travel it works the same way, especially in destination states like California, New York, or Florida. Let’s take Florida: the “brand” cities are undoubtedly Miami and Orlando, which is why to get the most out of these places you can expect to pay top dollar. But if you search the Sunshine State’s shelf just a little longer, you’ll find some store brands that know just how to satisfy at a much more reasonable price.

Here we’ll take a look at two Florida vacation destinations, Tampa and Singer Island, make hotel recommendations, and list some fun local attraction to enjoy on your trip.

Tampa, Florida Vacations

Not a small city in Florida by any means, yet one that is consistently overlooked by the summertime travelers who instead make their way to Miami. However, you’ll find that the experience is much the same (except for the price tags, of course). The list of Tampa attractions easily rivals that of Miami: you’ll find tranquil beaches along the gulf, a vibrant party atmosphere come sundown in Ybor City, outrageous theme parks located nearby, and the variety to shop your heart out.

One additional benefit: Tampa’s location set inland near the Gulf Coast means it receives much less hurricane activity during the later months of the year, broadening the travel season considerably.

Lodging in Tampa, Florida

Although the Greater Tampa Bay region is quite large, central Tampa is tight knit with a wealth of attractions along with shopping and dining options, so your best bet for lodging in Tampa would be to stay near the Tampa International Airport. From here it’s only minutes to Raymond James Stadium, the Channelside Entertainment District, Ybor City, International Plaza, and sparkling beaches.

For a great hotel near Tampa International Airport, consider the Embassy Suites – Tampa Airport Hotel/Westshore.

Tampa Attractions

Here’s a quick list of some things to do in Tampa, Florida for your offbeat vacation:

Busch Gardens Africa – An exciting and original blend of a first-class zoo with a modern amusement park, Busch Gardens Africa features 2700 animals across countless exhibits as well as several roller coasters for you thrill seekers. The highlight of the rides is the heart-pounding Montu, an inverted roller coaster that was once ranked #3 in the country by “Amusement Today” Magazine. Adjacent to Busch Gardens you can also find Adventure Island water park if you’re looking to beat that summer heat.

International Plaza and Bay Street – This upscale mall in the Westshore business district doubles as a bustling nightspot with fanciful restaurants and popular bars maintaining hours well past the regular mall hours. The mall is anchored by Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Robb & Stucky, and Dillard’s.

Ybor City – Captures all the festivity of the Miami nighttime scene without the ridiculous prices that come with it. The clubs, bars, and restaurants in Ybor City cater to anyone (over 21) who’s looking to have a great time.

Clearwater & St. Pete Beach – These coastal cities are just miles away and pack plenty of charm, not to mention gorgeous white sand beaches stretching far in every direction. For a little oceanfront fun in the sun, Tampa puts you only minutes away.

Singer Island Vacations

Singer Island, located in Florida’s east coast near the more famous West Palm Beach, is a move into more upscale territory but unlike the slighter bigger names like Palm Beach, Orlando, and Miami, when you stay in Singer Island you’ll really feel like get what you pay for. This rich, coastal community is defined by brilliant white sand beaches, a laidback tropical atmosphere, good surfing, fresh seafood, and a friendly vibe that hasn’t succumbed to tourist-trap blandness.

Expect to fly into Palm Beach International Airport and bring your bathing suit.

Palm Beach Hotels

By virtue of the destination, lodging on Singer Island is made up almost entirely of resorts, although many of these places are using the term in name only and are, in fact, hotels. Because it will be a short drive from Palm Beach International no matter what, you’ll get the most of your Singer Island, West Palm Beach Florida vacation by staying right on the waterfront.

Among Palm Beach resorts, we recommend the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront Resort.

Singer Island Attractions

Here’s a brief list of things to do in Singer Island during your visit:

Beaches/Water sports – Not only are the pristine beaches of Singer Island among the finest in the country, the dynamic tides of the Atlantic coast make a variety of water attraction options available year-round. Popular exploits include surfing, water-skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, SCUBA diving, and snorkeling. Boat charters are also readily available for eager sport fishers.

Tip: When sport fishing, be sure to check out the license accreditation of your charter. Some may require you to provide your own licenses, although this is rare.

CityPlace – This open air shopping center in West Palm Beach exudes refinement and luxury from its selection of generous boutique cafes to its attractive European-inspired architecture. An on-site trolley service offers free transport to Clematis St., another unique shopping and dining destination.

Lion County Safari – A fun family attraction, the Lion County Safari is the country’s first drive-through safari park. This stunning four-mile tour crosses through 7 distinct habitats brimming with marvels from Africa and South America including lions, tapirs, and giraffes. You can see them all up close and personal from the safety of your vehicles.

Check the Packaging

When you check out the packaging of these two Florida vacation destinations versus the big brands like Miami and Orlando, you’ll notice they have almost all the same ingredients, so why pay brand price when you get the same product at a better value by simply shopping off brand? Stop paying for the name, and plan your next trip to Tampa Bay or Singer Island.

Hotel recommendations: Hotel near Tampa International Airport, Singer Island, Palm Beach resorts. Hotel Internet Marketing.

Article Source: Off-Brand Travel: Florida Vacation Ideas
Rand McNally Tampa, Florida Street Map

Rand McNally Tampa, Florida Street Map

The durable and convenient Tampa EasyFinder will take all the wear and tear your journey can dish out. The laminated design allows you to mark your route, make notes, then wipe the surface clean for further use.This Tampa map features enhanced cartography with Clearly indicated highways County Boundaries Streets Points of Interest National Parks Quick-Reference Legend and City Index Easy fold design to display individual sections