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  1. Default Tools to determine crowd and hotel availability in an area--Florida & other areas

    I am going to be in Florida in February and am trying to determine if I have to make hotel reservations ahead of time or can I make them on the road.

    I am also trying to see if there is a website, iPhone app or some other tool or forum that is able to predict the crowds that someone might see in a certain area during a certain period of time. Immediately I would like advice for Florida, but I would also like advice for future trip plans.

    I see that there is a Disney Crowd calendar. That is somewhat helpful for the Orlando area. A map of an area during a period of time colored according to hotel availability would be nice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Honestly, it is pretty rare when you'd be in a situation where you would be unable to find a room somewhere - as long as you flexible about the exact location or price/star level. This is especially true in February, which isn't a peak travel season even in Florida.

    But in answer to your specific question, no, I'm not aware of any apps or tools that can predict crowds. The Disney calendars you are seeing should actually be pretty helpful all around all of Florida, since the busy times in Orlando (holidays, spring breaks, etc) are going to be the busy times in most of Florida. Otherwise, I'd think you could contact the Convention and Visitors Bureaus in the areas you are looking to see, and find out if they have any special events during your expected travel dates. You might also just look at online hotel search engines, and see if there are any price spikes, which would be another indication that there is some kind of event drawing crowds on a given date.

  3. Default Sites in Southern Florida

    Interested in sights and things to do in Southern Florida in late February (approx. Orlando and South). We will be taking about 13 days.

    Interested in things like:

    Interesting museums
    Unusual shopping areas
    Not to miss restaurants
    Interesting tours
    Beautiful beaches (hopefully warm)
    Great hotels/motels
    Other suggestions??

    I want to take in some of the keys. I don't anticipate going all the way, but to get a taste. Should I go further than Key Largo?

    Moderator Note: Please do not create multiple threads about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-04-2014 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Merged

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The Florida Keys

    Spending time to explore Key Largo will give you a great feeling for Key Largo. But you can't say it will give you a sense of the Florida Keys. Each has its own interests and attractions. It is possible to drive to Key West in just over two hours. However, the last time I visited, I took two days to make the trip and stopped off on each key.

    Key West is not only a touristy place, it is also the most southern point of continental US, and only 90 miles from Cuba. A sunset here is a must. Pine Key and No Name Key is where you will find the endangered smallest of the deer species. It is a slow, but lovely drive over these Keys, as the speed limit is mostly 25mph. Like all wildlife viewing, you need patience.

    So it goes for most of the Keys. All have great beaches, and the aftermath of Wilma which can still be seen, is like a living museum. There is a very good visitor information centre when you first enter the Keys. (Not to be confused with the visitor centre which is merely a booking agent for attractions on Key West.) IMHO you would short change yourself if you just went to Key Largo.

    Like most National Parks, The Everglades is a place where you could spend days, or just do a quick drive through. A tour on the Pelican out of Flamingo, to get to see a marine wildlife and understand this fragile ecology was a highlight for me. Lake Okeechobee and hwy 441 along its eastern side is a nice trip. Actually, 441 is a lovely scenic route to take south out of Orlando.

    Just some of my favourites of southern Florida.


  5. Default

    Kayak/HotelsdotCom have good mobile apps may meet your needs. The thing with southern Florida is you have to either stay near Miami or on other side Naples/Marco Island area. There is no in between.

    The key west is likely $$$ and low vacancy in many resorts and hotels. It's better to reserve hotels some part of trip in advance like Key West.

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