It’s “staycation” time again in South Florida, the time midway through the summer when South Floridians plan a local getaway, dine at fancy restaurants for less or relax at a spa for cheaper prices.
It’s when local business owners and operators of attractions lower prices to lure locals with the hot, late-summer season looming.
“We see a lot of locals come over this time of year, trying to get that last bit of vacation in before the kids go back to school,” said Jessica Savage, media relations director for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Throughout South Florida during the summer and early fall, hotel rates tend to drop, attracting not only tourists but locals looking for a cheap getaway.
Summer features festivals and events and restaurant promotions like Miami Spice, when almost 200 restaurants offer fixed-price three-course menus to give diners a chanceto try new restaurants at affordable prices: lunch $23, dinner $39. Miami Spice runs through Sept. 30.
Broward County offers a similar promotion, Dine Out Lauderdale, Sept. 1-Oct. 12, for $35. Palm Beach County has Flavor Palm Beach Sept. 1-30, with lunch for $20, dinner for $30 or $35.
Many of Miami’s upscale spas participate in special promotions as well. Miami Spa Month, with a limited menu of treatments priced as low as $99, runs through Aug. 31.
“For locals this is a tremendous time to explore and experience their own state at a fraction of the cost,” said Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The hotel industry typically has tremendous offers. One could argue this is the best time because hotel lines are typically not as long and there’s better value.”
In Broward County, the See You in September program offers two-for-one prices on some hotels, spa treatments, restaurants and attractions through September.
Check with the tourism website in your county for more deals.
Several deal sites such as Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com and Dealsaver.com are good resources as well. And online travel agencies like Orbitz.com, Priceline.com and HotelTonight.com also offer discounted hotel and attraction prices.
Miami Spa Month, through Aug. 31, www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spa-month
Miami Spice, Aug. 1-Sept. 30, www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month
Dine Out Lauderdale, Sept. 1-Oct. 12, www.sunny.org/dineout/
Palm Beach Summer, through Aug. 28, www.palmbeachfl.com/events-palm-beach/fairs-festivals/-events-palm-beach-fairs-festivals-4th-on-flagler/
Flavor Palm Beach, (restaurant month), Sept. 1-30, www.flavorpb.com
Upper Keys Reef Crawl in Key Largo, Aug. 20-23, www.reefcrawl.com/event
Florida Keys and Key West Museums and Attractions weekend, Aug. 28-30, http://aldo.wlrn.org/floridakeysweekend/
These websites offer options for places to visit, stay and eat, as well as information on events and promotions:
Miami-Dade County: www.miamiandbeaches.com
Broward County: www.sunny.org
Palm Beach County: www.palmbeachfl.com
Florida Keys/Monroe County: www.fla-keys.com
The Miami Herald’s website for things to do: www.miami.com