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Destination Spotlight: Highlands County

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52 excuses to visit Florida's Highlands County

While the beaches and theme parks get Florida’s tourist headlines, don’t cry for Highlands County. Home to Sebring and Lake Placid, the middle of the state is truly worth a visit. U.S. Highway 27 slices through the county from north to south, and it’s less than a two-hour drive from Orlando, making...

Travel Features

Explore Florida: A Story For Every County

Florida Travel Calendar

  • Florida travel calendar for July

    Florida travel calendar for July

    Check out festivals and events in July across the state. This list is organized by region. Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County) Through Sept. 21: Bandshell Concert Series, Daytona Beach. The Bandshell Concert Series...

  • Florida travel calendar for August

    Florida travel calendar for August

    Check out festivals and events in August across the state. View events this coming weekend, or view the whole month's offerings by region below. This list is organized by region. Central Florida: (Including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)...

  • Florida travel calendar for September

    Florida travel calendar for September

    Check out festivals and events in September across the state. This list is organized by region. Central Florida Including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County Through Sept. 21: Bandshell Concert Series, Daytona Beach. The Bandshell Concert Series...

Orlando Staycations

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Theme Parks

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Orlando hotels lead all major markets in 3 key metrics for June

Orlando’s hotel numbers grew last month faster than any U.S. market in three key metrics, according to data and analytics specialist STR. Occupancy rates jumped 6.1 percent to 83.3 percent, the average cost of a room jumped 10.2 percent to $127.86 and room revenue, also known as RevPAR, jumped...

The Travel Troubleshooter

  • I canceled my tour on time. Where's my refund, Viator?

    I canceled my tour on time. Where's my refund, Viator?

    I have a problem with Viator, a site that sells tours. I booked four of its tours in Naples, Italy, this year. Unfortunately, I had to cancel the tours because I developed bronchitis and a middle ear infection in both ears. My doctor said I couldn't travel. I emailed Viator to cancel my trips. ...

  • Trip Mate denied my claim. Is there no hope for a refund?

    Trip Mate denied my claim. Is there no hope for a refund?

    My husband and I booked a flight through CheapOair on Air Canada from Chicago to Copenhagen, Denmark, with a return flight from Rome to Chicago. We bought insurance, also through CheapOair, with Trip Mate. We had to cancel the trip because my husband fell ill. I filed a claim, but Trip Mate denied...

  • Hey, United Airlines, why did you cancel my ticket?

    Hey, United Airlines, why did you cancel my ticket?

    I was flying from the Monterey Regional Airport to Los Angeles on United Airlines for medical treatment. I truly appreciate the convenience of a direct route, so you can imagine my frustration when I arrived at the airport in Monterey to check in and discovered that United had canceled and refunded...

  • My airline canceled a leg of my flight, but Expedia won't refund it

    My airline canceled a leg of my flight, but Expedia won't refund it

    I bought a ticket on South African Airways using Expedia. SAA canceled one leg of my flight (I have a letter from SAA confirming its cancellation). Since I had an international connection and there were no other SAA flights, I ended up having to buy a new domestic ticket on a different airline....

  • Turns out rental car is on wrong side of island. Now what?

    Turns out rental car is on wrong side of island. Now what?

    I reserved a rental from Budget at Maui's Kahului Airport for $350. When I showed up, the not-so-friendly agent said I did not have a reservation. I gave her my reservation number and she said my reservation was for the office on the other side of the island! I told her the phone agent obviously...

Florida Destinations

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  • Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood tops off guitar-shaped hotel

    Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood tops off guitar-shaped hotel

    To the strains of “The Final Countdown” by the Swedish rock band Europe, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood on Monday topped off its massive guitar-shaped hotel, which is now visible for miles from locations around Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The beam — with the American,...

  • Walk historic Florida: Streets with stories to tell

    Walk historic Florida: Streets with stories to tell

    Florida’s written history begins with the arrival of Ponce de Leon in 1513, but its lands reveal much more. Residents and visitors can now learn how using the app Florida Stories, a narrated walking tour app with historic information and photos of Florida destinations. All tours are about 1.5 miles...

  • Something to drink about: North Miami Beach looking to create a microbrewery district

    Something to drink about: North Miami Beach looking to create a microbrewery district

    You can drink to it: North Miami Beach is days away from soliciting businesses to create the area’s first microbrewery district. Businesses seeking to set up shop here will compete for one of three grants — as much as $200,000 in taxpayer money in the way of equipment for them to craft their own...

  • Gumbo Limbo nature center to get new 40-foot overlook tower

    Gumbo Limbo nature center to get new 40-foot overlook tower

    A new overlook tower is coming to Boca Raton’s nature center — giving the public a chance to see from up high the region’s beautiful tropical hammocks, as well as the nearby Intracoastal Waterway and ocean. The Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, at 1801 N. Ocean Blvd., once had a tower, but the wooden...

  • Florida towns' claims to fame: We're No. 1

    Florida towns' claims to fame: We're No. 1

    Florida towns are the "capitals" of everything from sponges to speckled perch, shark bites and celery

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Florida Destinations

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Florida Beach Guide

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  • Two Florida beaches make Dr. Beach Top 10 list for best beach in the U.S.

    Two Florida beaches make Dr. Beach Top 10 list for best beach in the U.S.

    The sun has set on Siesta Beach’s reign as the nation’s best beach, but not because it’s no longer a great beach. The beach on Siesta Key near Sarasota that was named No. 1 on the annual Dr. Beach Best Beach in the U.S. list for 2017 is retired, and now Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Miami’s...

  • Cocoa Beach to give dogs on the beach a chance

    Cocoa Beach to give dogs on the beach a chance

    Cocoa Beach city leaders might have stepped in it this time. The city commission approved a proposal Thursday night that will allow dogs on a section of Ocean Beach. The ordinance begins July 15 and is in effect for six months. That will essentially be a trial period to see if dogs and sunbathers...

  • Clearwater Beach named top beach in the U.S.

    Clearwater Beach named top beach in the U.S.

    Florida once again is home to the best beach in the U.S., with the title heading back to Clearwater Beach coming in at No. 1 in the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards. The Pinellas County beach won the accolade in 2016, but dropped to No. 4 last year as Siesta Beach down near Sarasota took the...

National travel

National travel
Between a rock and a high place, facing down a 300-foot drop

Between a rock and a high place, facing down a 300-foot drop

The path before me, etched into a shadowy gray massif high in the Rocky Mountains, is narrowing - two feet wide, one foot, six inches and then . . . nothing. My next step could take me into a column of air extending infinitely upward and, somewhat more concerning, more than 300 feet straight down....

Cruises

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Cruise lines join the move to ban plastic drinking straws

Cruise lines join the move to ban plastic drinking straws

It was early evening, and I was sitting in Maltings Whiskey Bar on the newly launched Norwegian Cruise Line ship Bliss when a friend ordered a couple of icy piña coladas. The drinks, blended rum concoctions garnished with pineapple wedges, were frothy and appealing. But something was missing: plastic...

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