TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 2019) – An array of business travel accommodations, combined with countless leisure activities, makes Florida the ideal destination to host a trade show, convention or business meeting. With the increased blending of business and leisure travel, Florida is an idyllic place to extend a business trip for lively downtime experiences, including nightlife, outdoor recreation, sporting events and more.
● If you prefer the soothing sounds of waves, guitar strumming, or the thrill of a concert environment, the Pensacola Bay Area offers beaches, local nightlife and a buzzing music scene. Visitors can imbibe in craft cocktails like an Irish Car Bomb from McGuire’s, a Diesel Fuel from Flounder’s, an Old Hickory from Old Hickory Whiskey Bar or a classic glass of wine or beer and you’ve got a recipe for a good time.
● Pensacola is also ideal for sports fans. The Blue Wahoos—a Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins—play their home games at a 5,000-plus-seat multi-use waterfront stadium overlooking Pensacola Bay and the downtown harbor. In the off-season, the University of West Florida Argonauts play Division II football in the same stadium. For a different speed, head to Five Flags Speedway: noted as one of the most prestigious short tracks in the country, it plays host to the Snowball Derby each December. Finally, to cool off, head to the Pensacola Bay Center for some Southern Professional Hockey.
● Home to 22 miles of beaches, 40 miles of the Intracoastal Waterway, 50 public boat ramps, and the longest stretch of the St. Johns River in the state of Florida, Jacksonville is the birthplace of the Salt Life movement and Florida’s best watersports getaway. Come surf, kayak, paddleboard, swim, dive, boat, fish and explore Jacksonville’s unique coastal shores. The city’s main beaches are Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Mayport Beach and Atlantic Beach. Bring the whole family down for the work trip and enjoy a day of surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and boating in our waterways. Visit Adventure Landing’s shipwreck water park during the summer for fun slides, tide pools and family fun.
The Emerald Coast
● Known for its breathtaking, sugar-white sand beaches and vibrant emerald-green waters, the Emerald Coast offers an environment that is diverse in nature and filled with adventure on land and sea. Home to some of the world’s finest beaches and “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast is the perfect place to come for work and stay for play. Located in northwest Florida, the destination offers an array of hotels with meeting spaces, including the Emerald Grande Resort and The Henderson Beach Resort, as well as the Emerald Coast Convention Center and many unique outlets for dining and memorable team building activities. Beyond the boardroom, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Okaloosa Island collectively offer legendary fishing and boating, fresh Gulf-to-Table seafood, endless water adventures, championship golf, nightlife, and numerous attractions and events.
The Florida Keys & Key West
● Meetings in the Florida Keys & Key West, easily accessible at the southern tip of Florida’s peninsula, are unconventional and memorable. The 125-mile-long island chain is stunningly framed by both the azure hued Atlantic Ocean and the aquamarine tinged Gulf of Mexico. Keys activities are easily personalized, curated or customized for “bleisure” travel, the blending of business with leisure activities that makes learning, bonding and unwinding a breeze. With today’s meetings all about engagement, immersion and entertainment, hard driving boomer, millennial and Generation X executives can be assured their time at work in the Keys will include time at play. Meetings can be booked aboard a yacht or tall ship, at a Civil War-era fort, or even at historic homes and gardens once occupied by Ernest Hemingway and President Harry S. Truman. For a truly unique experience, groups can book a seaplane for a one-of-a-kind day trip to richly historic and remote Dry Tortugas National Park.
Leading Bleisure Resorts:
● As a leading Southwest Florida Conference Hotel, Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort welcomes business travelers from across the country to meet and collaborate in beautiful tropical surroundings. Included with every guestroom reservation is the Island Excursion – a visit to the resort’s private beach on a tropical island, complete with boat ride and dolphin sightings along the way.
● The resort also has the largest aquascape in the region, spanning three acres with 4 pools, 5 waterslides and a lazy river: there is a waterslide suitable for every member of the family, from massive dueling slides at speeds up to 30mph, to a tube slide with sweeping twists and turns that splashes down into a meandering lazy river that moves through a gorgeous tropical landscape. An adults-only pool provides a tranquil location for sun or shade and includes a large pool with swimming lanes as well as a hot tub.
● Aside from water activities, the resort has sprawling green grass recreational areas with lawn games, including giant Jenga, Connect Four, beanbag toss, two fire pits for an enjoyable evening making s’mores by the fire, a rock climbing wall, lake with fishing, pitch and putt, a nature boardwalk through the mangroves, arcade, and an undersea odyssey mural. In addition, the resort offers supervised activities for children ages 3-12. Called Camp Hyatt, parents can reserve a full day, half day or evening camp for their children while they enjoy a couples massage at the resort’s spa, quiet time at the adult pool, or an evening out at the resort’s fine seafood restaurant Tarpon Bay or for cocktails at Mangroves Bar and Belvedere Lounge.
● Offering the most meeting space in all of Naples with 83,000 square feet of freshly renovated meeting space, Naples Grande Beach Resort boasts 474-guest rooms, situated on 23 waterfront acres, adjoined by a pristine 200-acre nature preserve. Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, the inviting property features spacious accommodations; a secluded beach; rejuvenating spa services; an 18-hole championship golf course; 15 tournament grade tennis courts; and award-winning dining outlets. Each tower guestroom features a private, angled balcony with panoramic views of the Gulf Mexico. After the business concludes, guests can enjoy one of three swimming pools, including Mangrove Pool, great for families, with a 100-foot twisting waterslide and beach style entry; the Palm Terrace Pool exclusive for adults including a whirlpool and private cabanas available with butler service; and Hibiscus Hideaway Pool offering lap lanes. For those interested in the beach, guests can take a tram ride along the resort’s unique boardwalk to three miles of the white sandy beach.
Images are available upon request. For more information, please visit VisitFlorida.com.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 124.7 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $85.9 billion to Florida’s economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2017. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to VISITFLORIDA.org or follow us on our industry social media channels: Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism.