A Weekend Getaway West of Miami: The Florida Keys
Although it may seem as if half the East Coast heads down to Miami for a getaway when winter's chill descends, couples who live there still need to escape the area for a romantic weekend once in a while.
Drivers can make a quick getaway to the Florida Keys via U.S. 1. the scenic Overseas Highway that appears to float on water. It's a miracle of engineering, spanning from Miami to Key West at Mile Marker 0, a distance of about 150 miles.
You needn't travel as far as Key West to escape Miami's heat and sizzle. All along Route 1, you'll find scenic spots to pull off and take a break. For example, closer-in Islamorada may have the laid-back vibe you seek, especially if fishing, sunning, and bar-hopping are weekend priorities.
If you're looking for something more upscale and sophisticated, check into one of the truly wonderful and romantic Florida Key resorts that specialize in pampering couples for a week or a weekend getaway.
Separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the sandbar known as Miami Beach, the city of Miami is the home port for several of the world's leading cruise lines.
While most cruises sailing out of Miami last for three, four, seven, ten or more days and call at popular Caribbean ports, there are also overnight, weekend, and short "cruises to nowhere" available.
And what could be more romantic than a getaway at sea?
These are some of the major cruise lines that call Miami home:
- Azamara Club Cruises
- Carnival Cruise Lines
- Celebrity Cruises
- Costa Cruises
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Oceania Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
Since Miami is so close to the embarkation port, you can also take advantage of last-minute sales.
So the next time you're wondering where to go, skip driving or flying out of Miami. Instead, imagine sailing into the blue horizon on a romantic weekend getaway with your partner.
Florida's coastline stretches for 1,350 miles, and some of the prettiest beachfront rims the city of Naples on the state's west coast. Beaches here are less crowded than those in Miami, and stores and restaurants don't line the shore. Best of all, from Naples' sandy shores you can witness the nightly light show over the Gulf of Mexico known as sunset.
More upscale and sophisticated than other western Florida locations, Naples will tempt you with a variety of tony shops and restaurants. While golf is big here, you really deserve it to yourselves to get out on the water to sail or snorkel. And if you're fans of modern and contemporary art, make time to visit Baker Museum, the foremost fine arts museum in Southwest Florida.
Despite the fact that several thousand couples head to Orlando for a Disney World destination wedding and even more look forward to spending their honeymoon there, the park has never struck us as a particularly romantic place.
Even at night, when beautiful fireworks illuminate the Magic Kingdom, the music still isn't loud enough to mute the wails of babies and young children who are tired, sunburnt, and cranky after too many hours. Yet, couples from all over the world set their sights on a trip to Disney World.
Couples from Miami and the entire state of Florida have a couple of distinct advantages. They are entitled to discounted Florida Resident Tickets, which help with the steep admission cost. And they are close enough to pick up and opportunistically visit on a weekend the park is less likely to be crowded (such as right after a hurricane has passed) when visitors from more distant places can not.
There's more to Orlando than Disney World and Universal Orlando, of course. And if you choose one of the better hotels in the area, close your door, order up room service, and turn on romantic music, you can have a memorable Orlando weekend getaway without ever seeing a person wearing a pair of mouse ears — unless you want to, of course.