Florida Gulf Coast holidays

Amy Rosoman para a British Airways

Title photogrpahy by Wicki58

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Atualizado em fevereiro de 2019

The Florida Gulf coast is bursting with charm and energy – from whirling rollercoasters in Tampa to the scenic shoreline of Clearwater. Soak up every sensational moment along the shining coast with beachside brunch dates, ocean excursions and strolls through National Parks.


Tampa’s glistening waterfront is perfect for romantic walks and late-night cocktails. From the Cuban culture of this urban hub to rollercoaster adventures – get exploring.


Conveniently close to Downtown, the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay sits just a stretch away from Tampa’s beaches. Take a dip in one of the pools, bask under palm trees and sip cocktails from the bar. Get active and hit the tennis court, venture along nearby nature trails or enjoy a leisurely bike ride. To relax, huddle around an outdoor firepit to catch a colourful sunset spread across the bay.


It’s all about brunch dates in the US, and Tampa is home to some tasty hot spots. Head to Pinky’s Diner for delicious slices of frittata, short stacks of chocolate chip pancakes and bundles of sides. Dine at Jackson’s Bistro and Bar for captivating views across the city skyline during brunch, lunch or dinner, overlooking the Tampa Riverwalk. Sit inside or out with plates of hand rolled sushi, and a handcrafted passion fruit colada. Seafood lovers should try the lobster bisque, followed by red snapper – accompanied by a glass, or two, of white wine.

Glide across the ocean on a Hobie Cat, play some beach volleyball and grab your GoPro for epic action shots.


Tampa offers a wide variety of activities. Take a stroll along the Riverwalk, bumble around the farmer’s markets which line the bayside or plan a picnic at Curtis Hixon Park. Take the family to see a Tampa Bay Rays game or visit Ybor City, Tampa's historic neighbourhood, where you'll find plenty of colourful Cuban diners, lively bars and cool vintage shops. Pick up an all-day pass for the Pirate Water Taxis, a fun fleet of pirate-themed boats which roam Tampa's waterways. With more than 15 stops spanning across Downtown, the Tampa Riverwalk and Davis Island, it's a fun way to explore the city.

Book a stay Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay

  • Sunsets at Pier 60 Daily Festival on Clearwater Beach. ©2004-2018 Sunsets at Pier 60.

    Gulf coast sunset dreams

    Artists, performers and a scorching sky full of colours – it goes down in Clearwater come dusk.£809 pp

    Stay at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay


Water sports, taco stops, music and magic, all make Clearwater a destination of sensations. Visit this buzzing beachside town for warm shimmering ocean waters and beautiful sunshine days.


Kick back and soak up the classic, relaxed vibes of Florida at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. Savour the dazzling stretch of sandy beach on your doorstep, or stroll just a bit further to the energetic Clearwater Beach. Glide across the ocean on a Hobie Cat, play some beach volleyball and grab your GoPro for epic action shots. Listen to live music on Tuesday to Saturday evenings at the Mainstay Tavern bar.


Hit up Clearwater’s tequila bar and grill Marina Cantina for tantalising bites and fiery drinks. Mix it up with mesmerising views and mouth-watering Mexican dishes. Try the tacos, order margaritas by the pitcher, and be sure to check out the rooftop lounge. Chow down on freshly sourced seafood next to the waterway at the Island Way Grill for a lunchtime bite or dinner. If you dine outside, you can watch boats pull into the dock. Ask about the catch of the day, share a variety of small plates and unwind with after dinner drinks – make it a Scotch on the rocks.


When in Clearwater, hitting the beach is a must. Tread along powder-soft sands, splash in the warm Gulf waters and unwind on this piece of coastal paradise. Head out on a dolphin watching excursion to see these playful creatures jump through the waters beside you. Choose from a selection of water sports, whether you want to whizz around on jet skis, skim the ocean by paddle board or parasail through endless blue skies. Discover the excitement of Sunsets at Pier 60 with charismatic performing artists and musicians. Also, keep an eye out for the Sunset Cinema’s free outdoor movie nights.

Book a stay at Sheraton Sand Key Resort

  • Enjoy the thrills at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. ©2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc.

    Rocketing rollercoasters and creature encounters

    A trip to Florida isn't complete until you hit up a theme park and loop the loop on several rides.

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  • Rosatte Spoonbill at dawn in Fort De Soto Park. ©Steve Leach.

    A nature haven

    Look out for wildlife spots – listen to the coos and calls of exotic birds.

    Find flights to Tampa
  • Rubens Galleries at The Ringling. Courtesy of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

    A collection of masterpieces

    Meander through the halls and check out a selection of awe-inspiring exhibits.

    Book a stay Sirata Beach Resort

S. Petersburgo

Take a break in The Sunshine City, with its vibrant culture, award-winning beaches and artsy scene – you’ll have plenty of reasons to get out and about.


Enjoy the palm trees and tropics along the Gulf Coast at the Sirata Beach Resort. Take a break with outstanding views at one of the most relaxed beaches along St. Pete. It’s all about beachfront here – as enhanced by the bar, pool, volleyball courts and cabanas… This place offers a coastal haven. Head down to Rum Runners for a delicious meal at any time – but be sure to arrive in time for sundowner cocktails.


Get juicy at Bodega with a choice of colourful smoothies and healthy shots of wheatgrass or turmeric. Enjoy the tantalising Latin street food served up here – from the flavourful Pollo Asado sandwich to fresh salads drizzled with chili lime dressing. Head to the Mazzaro Italian Market in St Pete for a real treat of gourmet goods. Whether you prefer cheese, cured meats, seafood, fresh breads or gelato, you’ll find a salivating selection. Slice into warm ciabatta and twirl your fork through handmade pasta. Smell the traces of artisan coffee and nibble on slabs of tiramisu.


Meander along lively Central Avenue with its variety of independent boutiques, bistros, funky board shops, galleries and music shops. Find a coffee stop and slouch into a sofa, before stumbling across city street art murals dotted about town. Art admirers can discover the captivating Salvador Dalí Museum with a collection of over 2,000 pieces from across the artist’s life. Let your eyes sparkle at its impressive variety of mediums. Nature lovers can lose themselves in the euphoria of Fort De Soto Park, spread across five small islands. Take advantage of Florida’s great outdoors with several miles of pearl white beaches, sparkling waters and secluded wildlife spots.

Book a stay at Sirata Beach Resort


Enjoy an eclectic mix of world-class beaches, charming culture, natural wonders and culinary delights in Sarasota – a city blend of old and new.


Soak up every exclusive touch at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. As a guest of the Ritz, you can tee off on one of the Gulf Coast’s best golf courses, then hit the Beach Club and hire a luxury poolside cabana. Revitalise in the award-winning spa after adventurous days out, then dine in the innovative seafood restaurant Jack Dusty – just remember to make a reservation in advance.


Rock up to First Watch for an epic breakfast, brunch or lunch. Whopping waffles, fancy French toast and a variety of egg dishes will keep you ticking over. Tuck into a true taste sensation: try the SoCal breakfast burrito with feta and smashed avocado, served with a pot of salsa. Book a table at Indigenous for an exquisite dining experience. Feel your eyes widen at the phenomenal presentation of their seasonal dishes. Sit down to a ritzy dinner, oozing with culinary flair, and make sure you order dessert with an extra scoop of sorbet.


Explore the culture of Downtown Sarasota, with its super chic hangouts and laid-back breweries. Make a stop at the mesmerising Siesta Beach for the softest sand. Visit the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art for a slice of European essence and dazzling architecture, or pop along to St Armand’s Circle for colourful alfresco dining. The shopping district also oozes European flair with its distinct architecture. The sublime Lido Key and beach sit just a few minutes away. Head to South Lido to kayak through an oasis of mangrove tunnels.

Book a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota

Fort Myers

If you’re looking for a cross between a small town and Floridian paradise, then head straight to Fort Myers. When you’re not strolling or lolling on the beach, you can cruise the cute downtown area. In this beautiful, chilled out region, your hardest decision may be choosing which flip flops to wear.


When you holiday in Florida, you may as well stay on a beach. The Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina sits on a sliver of an island, known as Fort Myers Beach – just off of ‘mainland’ Fort Myers. The light pink building matches the smooth, pearly inside of a queen conch shell, and its wooden boardwalk leads straight to the ocean. The resort also hosts daily activities, such as beach volleyball games, seaside campfires and ‘dive-in’ movies by the pool.

Eat 94

As with everywhere along the Gulf Coast, freshly caught seafood is the star of most Fort Myers restaurant menus. Popular starters include fried calamari, crab cakes and shrimp by the half pound – or whole pound, if you’re positively famished. There are plenty of casual places to grab a bite, such as Izzy’s, Hideaway Sports Bar and the classically American Joe’s Crab Shack. For a combination of fine dining and Southern cooking, reserve a table at The Veranda. Dinner entrées, such as parmesan encrusted snapper fillet and pan seared scallops, are served alongside freshly baked muffins and Southern pepper jelly.

Do 130

Fort Myers may not be big, but it teems with ecological, historical and cultural attractions. The Caloosahatchee River runs alongside the city, dividing it from North Fort Myers. A former ‘highway’ of the Calusa tribe, the river and its tributaries have been added to the network of navigable waters known as the Great Calusa Blueway. Nowadays, nature enthusiasts can peacefully trace the green waters on a peaceful kayak ride, passing by oaks draped with Spanish moss and leather ferns. If you’re more of a landlubber than a seafarer, join in the city’s organised art and music walks – and if you’re a bookworm, meet a host of authors at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival in March. Otherwise, step back in time at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, where you can ogle at hundreds of Thomas Edison’s inventions.

Book a stay at Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina


Venture to Naples, the gem of the Gulf Coast. Palm trees, white sand and cobalt waters make for a charming beachside break. Swing on golfing greens, wander through the cultural city or stretch your legs on nature trails.


Unwind on three miles of remote sugar sand beaches, or bask by one of the five pools, in the luxurious Naples Grande Beach Resort. Enjoy a slice of paradise, surrounded by a vast and luscious mangrove estuary. Savour Friday evenings on the sunset veranda and in the lobby lounge. Order flutes of Veuve Cliquot for only $5 at 5pm, then continue the evening with live music and a fresh, flavourful BBQ.


All day breakfast? Yes please, make it one at The Café. Take your pick from salmon bagels, nutrition-packed açaíbowls, buttermilk pancakes or an omelette with an assortment of ingredients. If you’re in the mood for lunch bites, order a melting cheese panini or a slice of homemade quiche. Grab a bite at Taqueria San Julian 2 for authentic Mexican food. Devour as many tasty tacos as you can, with epic margaritas on the side. Sample different fillings: shredded chicken, pork, shrimp, avocado and zingy salsa – this joint is perfect for a foodie feast.


Play golf on an epic choice of championship golf courses in Naples. Test your putting skills on Eagles Lake Golf Course, or soak up the beautiful landscape during a leisurely round on the Lely Resort Golf and Country Club. Just watch out for crocs casually waddling out and about. Ready for the beach scene? Discover the utopian Clam Pass Beach Park or stroll along the boardwalk of Naples Pier and enjoy the panoramic views across the ocean. If adrenaline activities are calling your name, hit the waters with wake boarding or kitesurfing. Visit the awe-inspiring Naples Botanical Garden for a piece of tranquillity.

Book a stay at Naples Grande Beach Resort

Marco Island

The largest of Florida’s Ten Thousand Islands, Marco Island is a tropical sensation with a laid-back lifestyle. Chill out on ivory sand beaches and spot dolphins frolicking in the sea.


Immerse yourself in the opulence of the JW Marco Island Beach Resort. Rejuvenate in the world-class spa or play on either of the two 18-hole golf courses in this award-winning resort. With three miles of sweeping powder beaches, sunbathe days away or drink in the dreamy aerial views from a parasail. Kick back along the shores for surreal sunsets before dining in a choice of tantalising restaurants.


For the ultimate breakfast, make a move to Doreen’s Cup of Joe. Choice is the real selling point at this joint; the menu is bursting with sweet tooth picks, eggs anyway you like and a selection of fresh juice and coffees. Make a pit stop at Sweet Annie’s of Marco, an ice-cream parlour with an impressive selection of frosty treats. Choose your favourite flavour, add a dusting of sprinkles and fudge chunks – or order a gigantic banana split and scoff it down before it melts in the sun. For seafood delights, grab dinner at Fin Bistro. With lobster, yellowtail, swordfish and scallops on offer, the menu will have you salivating.


Savour miles and miles of sweeping beaches. Sunbathe, float on the turquoise ocean and find a beach bar for happy hour fun. Looking for more excitement? Discover vibrant sea life during snorkelling or scuba diving excursions in crystal-clear waters. If you want to keep your head above water, jump on a wave runner for an eco-adventure, or glide along the shorelines by canoe. Explore the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, then venture a little further to the Florida Everglades for more natural wonders. Get back in time for a dreamlike sunset on the horizon of the Gulf of Mexico; you’re sure to swoon.

Book a stay at JW Marco Island Beach Resort