10 Unusual Places to Stay in Florida

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Escape the Ordinary at These Odd Destinations

When it comes to choosing where to stay on your trip to Florida this year, the big-name destinations like Disney World and the Florida Keys immediately come to mind. However, there are also plenty of unusual and unique accommodations throughout the state where you can experience something different during your trip. From an underwater lodge to your own private island, check out these unique places to stay in Florida.

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: Disney World

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Courtesy of Walt Disney World

As the sun rises above the savanna you can sip your morning coffee and enjoy a front row seat to a giraffe searching the tall trees for a morning meal at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, Florida. 

Experience the spirit of Africa and go on safari without leaving your balcony at this unique resort. Reservations are suggested, especially in the busy summer months.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
2901 Osceola Parkway
Orlando, FL 32821

Phone: 407-938-3000

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Gaylord Palms Resort: Orlando

Gaylord Palms Resort
Courtesy of Marriott International, Inc.

The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center is designed as a giant glass-enclosed atrium that puts the best of nature in Florida on full display.

Themed environments throughout the atrium depict such popular destinations as Key West, St. Augustine, and the Everglades. Like the atrium, the 1,406 guest rooms are characterized by distinctive themes, so staying here can feel like touring all Florida without leaving the hotel!

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center
6000 West Osceola Parkway
Kissimmee, FL 34746

Phone: 407-586-0000

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Disney's Pop Century Resort: Disney World

Disney's Pop Century Resort
© 2003 THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

Do you remember when you saved every penny of your allowance to buy the latest 45 rpm record? Or when "walkin' the dog" wasn't about canines, but the yo-yo craze? Or when you solved (or at least tried to solve) your first Rubik's Cube? Or rock-and-roll and table-top jukeboxes?

Pop Century Resort features lodge buildings and furnishings inspired by different decades with giant pop culture icons—yo-yos, Rubik's cubes, jukeboxes and more—that celebrate the decade they were introduced in, or when they gained their greatest popularity. It's like a walk down memory lane!

Disney's Pop Century Resort
1050 Century Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Phone: 407-938-4000

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Island Hotel Bed & Breakfast: Cedar Key

Cedar Key Island Hotel
Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Whether you "believe" or not, hotel staff and locals insist that an unlucky number of 13 bona fide spirits inhabit this old hotel. In 1999, the Fox Network television series "Haunted Inns & Mansions" filmed a segment here and anytime the segment replays, reservations spike as people come to search for real proof that ghosts actually do exist.

Island Hotel
373 2nd Street
Cedar Key, FL 32625

Phone: 352-543-5111

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Jules Undersea Lodge: Key Largo

Jules Undersea Lodge
Courtesy of Jules Undersea Lodge

Sleeping beneath the ocean is no longer just a dream at the Jules Undersea Lodge at Key Largo Undersea Park. Stay three or 24 hours and enjoy an underwater delivered pizza for lunch or dinner. Overnight guests are provided breakfast and snacks—and an unforgettable experience.

Of course, checking in at this hotel requires a diving certification because it's a 21-foot dive to the entrance. Don't worry if you aren't certified, though—you can take a class and make this a real adventure!

Reservations are required. If you prefer privacy, the entire lodge can be reserved for an additional fee.

Jules Undersea Lodge at Key Largo Undersea Park
51 Shoreland Drive
Key Largo, FL 33037

Phone: 305-451-2353

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Lake Como Nudist Resort: Lutz

Sky and trees reflected in still pool
Cultura RM Exclusive / Zak Kendal / Getty Images

If you're looking for a place to bare it all on your vacation, visit Lake Como Nudist Resort in Lutz, Florida, for an all-inclusive stay at a world-famous naturist retreat. Just the bare essentials is all you'll need for a vacation at this clothing-optional resort just north of Tampa. Accommodations are far from four-star, but what the resort lacks in-room amenities it makes up for in recreational opportunities.

Lake Como Nudist Resort
20500 Cot Road
Lutz, FL 33558

Phone: 877-879-5253

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Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino: Tampa and Hollywood

Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood
Courtesy of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Two Florida locations provide luxurious accommodations as well as 24-​hours-a-day casino action. Each location features four-star contemporary hotel decorated inside with an amazing display of autographed, one-of-a-kind music memorabilia. Spacious retreat-like deluxe rooms feature endless amenities, while the restaurants and casino offer limitless entertainment.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tampa
5223 Orient Road
Tampa, FL 33610

Phone: 866-388-4263

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood
1 Seminole Way
Hollywood, FL 33314

Phone: 866-502-7529

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09 of 11

The Florida Hotel at The Florida Mall: Orlando

The Florida Hotel at The Florida Mall
Courtesy of The Florida Hotel

Combine your stay with steps-away shopping at one of Orlando's largest indoor malls—The Florida Mall—which is adjacent to the main lobby, then take a break to soak up the sun beside the sparkling pool.

Make your stay a family affair. The new attraction-like stores within the mall, including the ​Crayola Experience and the American Girl stores—as well as the mall's proximity to Central Florida's major attractions—provide something of interest for the entire family.

The Florida Hotel at The Florida Mall
1500 Sand Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32809

Phone: 407-859-1500

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Westgate River Ranch Resort: River Ranch

Westgate River Ranch Resort
Courtesy of Westgate River Ranch Resort

You don't have to travel ranch to visit a Dude Ranch because the Westgate River Ranch Resort lets guests experience all the action of a typical farm. The thing is, you'll not see many dude ranches like this one.

Sure there are horses to ride... and a rodeo every Saturday night, but the adventure doesn't stop there. Whether you go fishing or ride a mechanical bull, play miniature golf or go zip lining, take the kids to the petting farm or try your hand at skeet shooting, take an airboat ride or play golf or bungee jump, there is something to interest everyone in the family.

Accommodations are just as varied, too. Of course there are guest rooms and suites in western-themed lodge buildings, but there are also rail cars and cabins as well as RV and tent camping. Plus, if you're into trying something really different, try glamping (glamour camping) in one of the resort's Luxe Teepees or a fully-furnished, air-conditioned Glamping tent.

Westgate River Ranch Resort
3200 River Ranch Boulevard
River Ranch, FL 33867

Phone: 863-692-1321

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Tarpon Key Lodge: Homosassa

For a truly exclusive escape on your trip, you can rent your own private island on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico a little north of Tampa near Homosassa, Florida. The Tarpon Key Lodge is located on a private island at the mouth of the Homosassa River, and to get there, you'll have to either rent a boat or book a ride with Native Sun Tours.

This island lodge features panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding salt marshes along the Homosassa River. While there, guests can also book airboat tours, dine at kayak restaurants, or go swimming directly from the lodge itself.

Tarpon Key Lodge
15970 Shell Island
Homosassa, FL 34448

Phone: (352) 628-5600

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