Summer is when locals find staycation deals
05/09/2014 12:00 AM
05/08/2014 4:03 PM
You can almost hear prices dropping.
Prime tourist season is past and South Florida is heading into the steamy, sticky, wet doldrums of summer. Time when hoteliers, restaurateurs and operators of attractions lower their prices and offer other lures to locals. Staycation time.
First to go are hotel rates. Many are already lower than they were in early spring, and they generally drop more in July-August-September. Perfect for people who want a weekend getaway without the drive.
If you’re looking for a deal and don’t have a specific hotel in mind, try the deal sites — Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com, Travelzoo.com, Dealsaver.com (which are also good sources for discounted admission to attractions) — as well as online travel agencies like Orbitz.com, Priceline.com and HotelTonight.com.
If there’s a particular hotel you want to visit, find it on Twitter and Facebook, where hotels sometimes offer deals only to their followers.
Also check chambers of commerce and tourism bureaus, which often offer hotel deals — as well as discounted tickets to attractions — on their websites. Here are some for South Florida:• Miami-Dade County: www.miamiandbeaches.com
• Broward County: www.sunny.org
• Palm Beach County: www.palmbeachfl.com
• Monroe County: www.fla-keys.com
• Florida: www.visitflorida.com
Many places also offer restaurant months, spa months, museum months and the like, when meals, services and admission are deeply discounted. Here are some coming up in South Florida:
Miami Museum Month, now through May 31, with two-for-one admission at a single museum or “Join One Museum, See Them All” programs at participating museums, www.miamimuseummonth.com.
Miami Spa Month, July 1-Aug. 31, with specified treatments for $99 (that’s often half the usual price). Many of the participating spas are luxury spas. www.miamispamonth.com.
Miami Spice, Aug. 1-Sept. 30. Some of Miami-Dade’s most celebrated restaurants offer prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner at prices well below their usual rates. www.ilovemiamispice.com.
Flavor Palm Beach, Sept. 1-30, restaurant month from Boca Raton to Jupiter, when more than 35 restaurants offer special fixed-price menus. www.flavorpb.com.
Lauderdale Spa Chic, Sept. 1-30. Similar to Miami Spa Month, Broward County’s upscale spas offer $99 treatments. www.sunny.org/hotels/spas/spa-chic/.
Dine Out Lauderdale, October. Restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in Broward County will offer $35 fixed-price menus. www.sunny.org/dineout
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