Florida’s infrastructure has been designed with meetings in mind, and its DMCs and CVBs are skilled at working with groups. Following are 5 activities groups can experience only in Florida.
The Miami skyline at night
Miami Flight Seeing takes attendees high above downtown’s towering skyscrapers, the Art Deco neon of Miami Beach and sparkling Biscayne Bay, with flights departing daily after dusk from North Perry Airport. Another popular choice is the Miami Sunset Tour, which takes off 30 minutes before sunset, just in time for the sky to changes color before their eyes. Flight time is approximately 40 minutes.
PGA National Resort & Spa, the 40,000-sf Sports and Racquet Club recently underwent a $4 million facelift. Groups can take advantage of the mild Florida climate and host at least one of their meetings events outdoors, either on the Masters Lawn or the Honda Pavilion, “which gives you covering just in case there’s a chance of rain, and has panoramic views of the golf course in the distance,” says spokesperson Karen Cantor.
For groups who are looking to do more than just play on the water, Marco Island has narrated guided tours where they can not only see but learn about dolphins, manatees and sea turtles. The Dolphin Explorer, a 30-ft catamaran, is able to navigate the estuaries, allowing up to 30 guests to get up close and personal with the marine life. Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve also offers small boat tours for up to 6 people that are guided by a member of the reserve staff. Or groups can tap into Corkscrew Conservancy’s citizen science programs, where they can collect ecologic information used in scientific research projects.
Located on the Emerald Coast in Rosemary Beach, The Pearl has the new Havana Beach Rooftop Lounge, serving up drinks inspired by El Floridita, Hemingway’s favorite haunt in old-town Havana, along with shared plates featuring ingredients from local Gulf Coast producers. Groups can hold fireside chats around the two mobile fire pits, or enjoy a custom craft cocktail class taught on the rooftop by one of Havana Beach’s mixologists.
The Lee County area is known for its shelling, with the Gulf current refreshing its beaches with a regular supply of everything from coquinas to cockle shells. Sanibel and other beaches often take top prize for best shelling beach in the country and some hotels even offer rooms equipped with special sinks and worktables for cleaning and packing the day’s finds.