Visiting the Florida Gulf Coast Region
With quaint seaside towns, stunning white-sand beaches, and tons of fun attractions and activities, families are sure to have a wonderful time in the Florida Gulf Coast! Vacation rentals are the best way to explore the Gulf because they give families the most bang for their buck. Visitors staying in Florida Gulf Coast beach rentals receive more privacy, space, and freedom than is offered by a typical hotel room. Vacation rental homes leased by owner are guaranteed to be clean and comfortable, giving your family the authentic home-away-from-home experience.
Tourists will be interested to learn about the best way to get around the area after leaving their vacation rentals. Florida Gulf Coast visitors have access to car and bike rentals, which will make getting around beach towns much more convenient. A ferry service is offered for visitors of the Keys. Key West provides a Park n Ride service for exploring the downtown area.
Areas Within the Florida Gulf Coast
When exploring potential Florida vacation rentals, Gulf Coast tourists will be interested to learn about the different areas within the region. The Panhandle and Keys both feature many stunning beaches, parks, and attractions.
- The Panhandle is the name for the Northwest region of Florida along the Gulf. It is comprised of many beautiful beaches and parks.
- The Keys are a group of 1700 islands along Florida's Gulf Coast, including Big Pine Key, Key Largo, Duck Key, Islamorada, Key West, and Marathon.
Sightseeing in the Florida Gulf Coast and Things to Do
Beaches and Parks
There are hundreds of family-friendly white-sand beaches in the Florida Gulf Coast. Rentals are available throughout the region, so your family is sure to find the perfect location to call home during your stay.
- Gulf Islands National Seashore is a 150-mile stretch of white-sand beach with beautiful scenery and crystal-clear waters. It runs from Florida's Santa Rosa Island to Cat Island in Mississippi.
- Bahia Honda State Park: Thirty miles from Key West lies Bahia Honda State Park, a beach that has consistently been rated as one of the top ten best beaches in the country.
- Dry Tortugas National Park: This isolated 100-square-mile park is only accessible by seaplane or boat. It's known for its picturesque scenery, ample wildlife, and beautiful coral reefs.
Things To Do
- Fishing and Water Sports: Florida's Gulf Coast is a fisherman's dream! Deep-sea fishing is excellent in this region, and many fishing charters are available to rent from local companies. Water sports like diving, surfing, and snorkeling are great ways to spend your vacation in the Florida Gulf.
- Swim with Dolphins: Taking a swim with the dolphins is a must in the Gulf! Older kids will have a great time seeing these animals up close and personal.
- The Conch Tour Train in Key West is a favorite among tourists with kids! This 90-minute tour takes visitors through Old Town Key West and points out many local landmarks and attractions.
Regional Foods and Dining in the Florida Gulf Coast
Many tourists staying in nearby Florida Gulf Coast vacation rentals want to experience the best food from the region. Fresh seafood and Key lime pie are some of the Gulf's best exports.
- Fresh Seafood: The Gulf Coast is home to some of the best fresh seafood in the world! Be sure to try the freshly caught stone crab from Key West.
- Key Lime Pie: South Florida is the birthplace of one of the most beloved desserts worldwide — Key lime pie! Sample the pie from local restaurants in the Keys for an authentic experience.
Florida Gulf Coast Weather and Climate
Tourists vacationing in Florida Gulf Coast rentals should be prepared for hot, humid weather. Summers are long in the Gulf, and afternoon thunderstorms are common. Florida winters are very mild. The Gulf is susceptible to hurricanes and floods during hurricane season (officially from June to November).
When to Visit the Florida Gulf Coast
Visitors interested in Florida Gulf Coast condo rentals would probably like to know about some of the area's best festivals. Rental homes tend to book up quickly around event times, so be sure to reserve your dates online to save time. Here are a few events that are favorites among locals and tourists:
- The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival (November): Happening in downtown Pensacola, FL, this three-day celebration of the arts is one of the biggest annual festivals in the Florida Gulf region.
- The Florida Seafood Festival (October): A must for seafood lovers, the Florida Seafood Festival features an oyster-shucking and eating contest, blue crab races, and other seafood-themed events.