Vacation Mode: Where to Go This Summer

Your guide to the best quick getaways and family vacation ideas that will allow you to kick back, relax and forget about the real world for a little while.

Explore Grand Bahama’s Lighthouse Pointe

With everyone eager to get out of the house and into the sun this summer, there’s no better time to start planning your next Caribbean vacation! Staycations are great, but vaccinated travelers can finally start making their way back to destinations like The Bahamas for some fun and relaxation.

If you’re looking for an escape to paradise, you’ll definitely want to consider Grand Bahama’s Lighthouse Pointe, the leading all-inclusive resort at Grand Lucayan. Lighthouse Pointe joins authenticity and ease with plenty of activities for family, romance and leisure. Relax on the pristine white-sand beaches of Grand Bahama Island or grab a cocktail and lounge by the stunning infinity pool. Lighthouse Pointe offers four incredible dining options and plenty of activities at an all-inclusive rate.

If you enjoy golfing, you’ll love the unlimited golf package at the gorgeous Reef Course, acclaimed as one of the world’s “Top 100” courses. Looking to unwind? Head over to the Senses Spa for a luxurious, soothing body treatment. For all the adventure seekers, take advantage of the fresh air excursions, from biking historic trails to horseback riding along the sparkling Grand Bahama shoreline to cave diving at Lucayan National Park. Savor all the natural beauty the island has to offer this summer with family or friends for the perfect island vacation.

This summer, Lighthouse Pointe is offering exclusive summer deals for eager travelers. Florida residents can enjoy rates as low as $99/night for the room-only European Plan, while the all-inclusive offer starts at $195/per person, per night. Getting to Grand Bahama from South Florida is extremely easy with twice weekly ferry service on Balearia Caribbean to and from Fort Lauderdale on Sundays and Thursdays, and flights on carriers including Bahamas Air, Silver Airways and American Airlines from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports.

Not a Florida resident? They still have you covered! For stays through December 20, 2021, they are offering a summer promotion with rates at $116/night for the room-only European Plan, while the all-inclusive offer starts at $211/per person, per night.

Ready to hit the beach? For more information or to book your stay at Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan, visit www.GrandLucayan.com.

Take a Road Trip to Daytona Beach

Pack up the family for a quick getaway to Daytona Beach, where Florida residents can stay and save at the Holiday Inn Resort Daytona Beach Oceanfront on South Atlantic Avenue. This oceanfront resort offers private balconies, outdoor pools, kid’s splash areas, a hot tub, full-service restaurants as well as live entertainment.

Explore the Daytona Beach Boardwalk & Pier, where shop and stroll through Ocean Walk Shoppes, snack your way through a variety of restaurants and play all your favorite games at the classic arcade. Climb to the top of a 175-foot lighthouse for breathtaking views at the nearby Ponce Inlet Light Station and Museum. Also, be sure to schedule a visit to the Daytona International Speedway to take in a race or to get out on the track with the NASCAR Racing Experience.

You will also want to make time in your itinerary to soak up the sun at the resort. Listen to the waves crash on the beach below from a poolside chaise lounge while the kids play in under the water bucket at the splash pad. When the sun sets, unwind with a cocktail by the oceanfront fire pits. A vacation to Daytona Beach has it all: sun, fun and relaxation.

West Coast Beach and History Crawl

Florida’s Gulf Coast is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches with its crystal clear water and sugar white sand. The stretch of I-75 south from Tampa to Fort Myers is also dotted with many museums to add an educational element to your weekend getaway.

First, the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg features a collection of more than 2,100 works by Salvador Dali that represent each moment of his career housed in a building as unique as his art. The museum hosts events for all ages, from story time and activities for kids to yoga mornings and wine nights for adults. The Dali Museum Avant-garden features local vegetation, a grotto and a Mathematical Garden for students, among other elements.

Next, stop in Sarasota to visit The Ringling. While this museum offers a look at The Greatest Show on Earth through a series of artifacts, guests can also explore modern works of art and collections from a variety of cultures. The John and Mable Ringling collection provide a glimpse into the private lives of the famous circus owner/operator and his family.

Then, get to know more about two other famous names at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Visitors can tour Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s winter homes as well as Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory. The property boasts 20 acres of botanical gardens, nine historic buildings and the Edison Ford Museum, which features a collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits.

Summertime Scalloping

Florida’s bay scallop season commences in many areas along the Gulf Coast this month. This family friendly activity gets you out on the water to snorkel along the surface, mesh net in hand, ready to do a shallow dive four to six feet below to scoop the familiar fan-shaped shell once you spot it.

In Crystal River, scallop season will run from July 1 to Sept. 24. Packages booked at hotels like Plantation on Crystal River offer the benefit of Coast Guard certified captains who are knowledgeable about the rules of the water as well as the areas with the best scalloping opportunities for guests. Even more, you can cook your catch at the property’s West 82° Bar & Grill, whether you chose to charter with the hotel’s captains or went out on your own. The chef will prepare shucked scallops for lunch or dinner any way you would like, with options that include scampi style, au gratin, sautéed in lemon butter or Chef’s choice, for $15.95 per person.

Scalloping is regulated by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. For season information, bag limits and other details for all state scalloping zones, visit www.MyFWC.com.

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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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