Understanding Tide Conditions in South Florida

The water is beautiful here in South Florida and is home to many fun activities that drive tourism. However, before you go out for a swim or boating trip, you’ll want to understand the way the water behaves. Pay close attention to the wave, tide, and current conditions when swimming during your South Florida vacation rental stay.

Waves are made by the wind blowing on the ocean surface, and they travel at all different directions and speeds. They can come from far out or be formed near the surface. If the water is choppy on a particular day and there is a lot of wind, you may want to avoid venturing too far out into the water. Never venture out if there is a storm on the horizon. 

Tides are the rises and falls of water levels on the coast. They are formed by an imbalance in the solar system between gravitational forces and centrifugal forces. Essentially, this means that the moon and sun control them and how the earth moves through space. There are two high tides, then two low tides, every 24 hours and every 50 minutes. During high tide, the water gets closer to the shore, making it deeper. When it is low, the opposite happens. 

Also, be aware of rip currents and rip tides. They often get confused for one another but are quite different. Riptides are fast, dangerous, and typically found in smaller coastal spaces like bays and can form when a falling tide flows through an inlet. A rip current is a strong narrow channel of water that moves away from the shore and can appear on any beach with breaking waves. 

Swimming is a must when staying at a Miami vacation rental, just make sure you check out the water conditions before heading to the water. You can check out the water forecast through the National Weather Service. 

Snorkeling in South Florida

Snorkeling is one of South Florida’s most popular summertime activities. It allows you views of the reefs and ocean wildlife you just can’t get anywhere else. Plus, it’s family-friendly, and people of all ages can have a blast while staying in South Florida vacation rentals

Florida has the longest barrier reef system in the entire world and a 360-mile coral reef that stretches from the Florida Keys to Florida’s east coast in St. Lucie, known as the Florida Reef Tract. It’s even bigger than the great barrier reef in Australia! All of this makes it an unforgettable experience you need to have when vacationing in South Florida. 

Though fun and adventurous, snorkeling can be hazardous if not done correctly. Make sure everyone participating can swim and is familiar with the water or has an instructor close by before diving into the water. Never go out in the rain! Florida is no stranger to hurricanes and other tropical, inclement weather, so check the forecast before heading out. There will be plenty of warnings if a hurricane is on its way, but even a slight rain shower, coupled with wind, can make snorkeling a bit more dangerous. 

Another thing to consider is checking out the water conditions before you swim. Oceans are vast and beautiful, full of unique marine life but also unique tidal patterns. Make sure wave patterns, currents, and water temperatures are suitable for swimming and snorkeling. 

Once you’ve considered all of this, you are ready to head out! Of course, if you’re snorkeling with an instructor near Miami vacation rentals, they will be able to help you determine the proper conditions to snorkel in, but it never hurts to be knowledgeable. 

When snorkeling in South Florida, you’ll be able to see numerous types of fish, turtles, sharks, crabs, lobsters, and so much more!

4 Fun Outdoor Activities to do in South Florida This Summer

While Florida beaches are some of the most unmatched in the country, there are a world of other fun activities to do and sights to see throughout Miami and the Florida keys. Rich in history, culture, and cuisine, and amazing outdoor spectacles, South Florida offers a little bit of fun for everyone. You can be sure your next family trip to Florida while staying at a South Florida vacation rental will be met with smiles when you check out these outdoor activities this summer!

  1. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park: You can swim, play, and boat in the beautiful Atlantic waters off the coast of Bill Baggs Beach, which is ranked in the top ten beaches in the United States. You can also take a trip on their guided lighthouse tour and connected lighthouse keeper cottage. 
  2. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: This beautiful state park is actually in the ocean, stretching for a total of three miles. Take a ride on a glass-bottom boat for a peek into the reefs filled with fascinating wildlife. You can also canoe, kayak, paddleboard, snorkel, and scuba dive to take a closer look at the fish!
  3. Jungle Island: When you stay at a Miami vacation rental be sure to check out this interactive zoological experience. You’ll be able to get up close to several wildlife species, along with the chance to play with lemurs and sloths!
  4. Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park: Sitting on a former site for condo development, this massive state park was rescued to preserve the beautiful wildlife and abundant West Indian tropical hardwood hammock population. There are over 80 species of wildlife and plenty of opportunities for self-guided hikes. Ranger-guided tours are available by appointment. 

These places are perfect for those who adore the outdoors. Most places are open to the public year-round, with guided tours available by booking and appointments only. Fill your vacation days with beach lounging and hiking through Florida’s scenery for some great memories!

Property Owners Through SoFLA

Did you know that for over ten years, the SoFLA team has offered property management, sales, and marketing services to vacation rental property owners? Since 2011, SoFLA Vacations has worked with owners in the Miami and Florida Keys area for high-quality property management services. Owners Andrew Korge and Rebeca Orozco understand just how important it is to maintain a South Florida vacation rental. Our team ensures your property is up to the same standards as a luxury hotel, all the while providing services for you as a property owner and your guests that surpass standard.

 

Listing a property with us means you’ll see a number of benefits. Our sales and marketing services include marketing on major channels such as Expedia, Booking.com. Airbnb, Homeaway, and VRBO. You’ll get deliverables on strategic online marketing programs like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and many other search engines. We’ll stay in contact with your guests through social media and email marketing, and our team will analyze competitors quite often to ensure you get the best pricing and benefits.

 

Along with our marketing services, you’ll also get:

 

  • Maintenance of property standards to ensure they are as high as a luxury hotel

  • Collect guest payments and damage deposits

  • Coordination and inspection of unit cleanings following a stay

  • Scheduling regular and emergency maintenance

  • Preparing yearly tax income forms for owner taxes

  • No limit on owner usage of property

  • Management of renovations with no upfront cost

 

…and so much more! Let SoFLA Vacations help you manage your Florida Keys vacation rental – visit us online to request a free custom revenue forecast for your property.

Vibrant Life in Key Largo

Key Largo is Florida’s largest key with a population of 9,952 residents. It’s continually one of the most popular destinations not only in Florida but in the United States. Founded around 1870 with just 60 people, the 30 miles key is just one of 800 of the most beautiful key locations Florida has to offer. Key is a derivative of the Spanish word “cayo,” meaning small island, and largo comes from the Spanish word for long. So it literally translates as long key!

Key Largo has been home to some notable people over the years, such as Ernest Hemingway, Shel Silverstein, Henry S. Truman, Tennessee Williams, Calvin Klein, Shane Spencer, Jimmy Buffet, and John Dewey.

South Florida vacation rentals in Key Largo are a 60-minute drive from Miami international airport. They are incredibly accessible due to the miles of the Overseas Highway and 42 bridges across the keys region.

Some of the most popular activities in Key Largo are snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, eco-tours, visiting the Everglades (Key Largo is in the backcountry of the Everglades National Park), and of course, relaxing at the beach! For the really adventurous, check out Jules Undersea Lodge at the bottom of the Emerald Lagoon, an underwater hotel that sits 30 feet deep where guests have to scuba dive to get to their room!

For even more outdoor fun, there are plenty of on-shore nature sites like trails, a bird rehabilitation center, and John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, which is the first underwater preserve in the country.

For more information on our Key Largo vacation rentals property or Miami vacation rentals, please visit us online.

Where to Celebrate the 4th of July in South Florida

Travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend is expected to reach a record number this year. If you chose to vacation in South Florida for Independence Day, you made a great choice. There are plenty of opportunities for fun for families, friend groups, and solo vacationers alike.

There are many places and events still canceled for protection against COVID, but it’s safe to say there will be more open this year than in 2020. If you’ve booked your stay with us in a South Florida vacation rental, check out these events.

The Key Lime Festival will be held July 1 through 5, paying tribute to limes, which inspired the Florida Keys’ signature dessert, key lime pie. Enjoy the World Key Lime Pie Eating Championship at 12:30 pm on Sunday the 4th. The event is free for onlookers, and $20 for contestants.

In Key Largo, check out the Key Largo Chamber of Commerce’s July 4 parade at 10 am. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Freedom,” followed by a fireworks display.

If you are staying in one of our Miami Vacation Rentals, check out the Fire on the Fourth in Miami Beach. The North Beach Bandshell plans on transforming into a roller disco with performances from numerous bands and DJs. The event starts at noon on July 4 and lasts until roughly 9 pm, when the fireworks will begin.

 

In Coral Gables, visit the Fourth of July at Fairchild Garden, where families can enjoy many activities like a parade, face painting, and a kid’s popsicle party. Don’t forget to check out local BBQ from Glasshouse Cafe! Tickets ($24.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors, $15.95 for students with valid ID, $11.95 for children, and free for children under 5) will give access to the garden, including the current display, Jurassic Garden.

Upcoming New World Symphony Events

Last month, the New World Symphony announced its 2021-2022 season, which will include a mobile wall that will project live concerts throughout Miami. The 9-by-16-foot installation is a first for the symphony and will feature a high-tech sound system that will be unveiled with the season kicks off in September. If you’re in town for Miami vacation rentals, definitely check this out!

Neighborhoods are yet to be announced, but New World Symphony has been a city favorite among locals for years – in the past, they used Wallcast and allowed patrons inside the New World Center home.

New World Symphony president Howard Herring commented on the new season, “This continues our vision of sharing classical music with as many people as possible… It’s instant community building.” The concert usually draws in around 2,000 people, but after COVID called for a mobile experience, it became popular for its socially distanced, outdoor gathering style.

The symphony originally started on small screens at the Lincoln Center, then moved to the 17th street location that is now the New World Center in 2011. At first, the concert remained a hidden gem, but as Miami locals began to take notice, the crowds became so large that the lawn in front was barely visible.

The live concert season will begin in September, and they will reassess by the end of the summer capacity limits as COVID-19 allows. Wallcast concerts are free for the public, and currently, all guests must wear a mask and practice social distancing.

If you’re in need of South Florida vacation rentals, visit us online to book your stay with us!

Search for Miami Vacations Increase 3x from 2020

Americans are finally ready to get out and travel, especially to warm, sunny, and summer-laden destinations like Miami. In fact, Google reported that the number of searches for “Miami hotels” has increased 3x since November of 2020. Tripadvisor also reported that 67% of Americans plan to travel from June to August, which is a 17% jump for the spring season. Beach destinations – Florida in particular – were the top reported locations.

Tripadvisor spokesperson Brian Hoyt says of the beach hype, “This summer, we continue to see travelers favor outdoor locations like beaches or national parks, locations that continue to enable the practice of social distancing,” and that, “As the vaccine rollout far exceeds the Biden administration’s promised target of 1 million doses administered per day, Americans are resoundingly saying they are prepared to get out there again, to travel and see the world once more to make up for lost time.”

According to VacationRenter.com, vacation rental searches have grown over 100%, particularly with South Florida Vacation Rentals.

While larger cities in Florida – Orlando, Key West, and Miami Beach – make Tripadvisor’s top 10 summer destination list, even smaller cities are seeing huge growth in tourism. Miramar Beach, Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key, Sarasota, Bonita Springs, Pensacola Beach, Navarre Beach, and Rosemary Beach complete eight the list of 11 emerging summer destinations for renters, each seeing the 100% growth effect. It’s a perfect time to book Florida Keys vacation rentals!

There is a backlogged need for travel this summer, so common vacation spots are becoming competitive. It’s clear that everyone is ready for summer and for a vacation!

Hotel Arya is Waiting to be Your Next Vacation Spot

SoFLA: Better Price. Better Service.

Planning your next vacation? South Florida is a popular destination, and for many good reasons. It’s hard to find something we don’t love about it. Miami is home to world-class cuisine, beautiful beaches, parks and reserves for nature lovers, and city sights for those who love architecture. It’s a place where anyone who loves the sun and sand can find something to enjoy!

South Florida vacation rentals in Coconut Grove, Miami are among some of the best places to stay during your vacation, especially Hotel Arya. Hotel Arya sits in the heart of Coconut Grove and features deluxe rooms, studios, and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condos that can accommodate any group.

Coconut Grove is a trendy, artsy community located on the Biscayne Bay, which rooms in Miami Vacation Rentals have amazing views of, right in the middle of Miami. It remains an area where people can escape the bustle of city life but enjoy all the fun Miami has to offer. It’s the city’s oldest continuously inhabited area.

The neighborhood, or the Grove as locals call it, was founded in 1873 by artists, pioneers, intellectuals, and adventurers who all left their own flair on its culture. Coconut Grove was officially incorporated as Coconut Grove Village in 1919. On the Westside, you’ll find the historical landmarks of Bahamian descendants who came in the late 1880s as laborers of the Peacock Inn – the first hotel on the South Florida Mainland. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, another beloved historic landmark, is one of the most visited historical sites in the area.

After touring the history of Coconut Grove, you can hang out at local boutiques, cafes, art galleries, and of course, water fun like sailboats, fishing, and beach days!

How the Florida Keys Got Their Names

You’ve probably heard hundreds of stories of how the Florida Keys were named. While some are fiction and hearsay, some of them are the real story!

One of those real stories…does the name Charles Brookfield ring a bell? Brookfield, a Philadelphia native, first arrived in Miami at the age of 21 and began a life for himself in South Florida and the Florida Keys. In 1926, he built a boat made to navigate the reefs, shoals, and seagrass shallows and named it Manatee. In 1927, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey hired Brookfield and his boat to help survey parts of South Florida. As it turns out, that trip was when Brookfield helped name the Bob Allen, Bottlepoint, Bradley, Calusa, and Manatee keys.

While those names may sound a bit random, they each have significance. Bob Allen was named after a man who saved the whooping cranes from extinction, which was no easy task. He had to spend lots of time in the keys, and one island where he helped roseate spoonbills was shaped like a bottle, giving Bottlepoint its name.

Bradley Key is an homage to Guy Bradley, a wildlife officer who helped protect the keys against plume hunting. Calusa was named in honor of the Calusa people native to South Florida. The Manatee Keys were named after Brookfield’s famous boat.

This is just the history of a few of South Florida’s famous keys. The Florida Keys continue to be a popular vacation destination, especially with South Florida vacation rentals. The rich and interesting history paired with the country’s most beautiful weather and beaches makes Florida the perfect vacation spot for the summer. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation spot or Miami vacation rentals, visit us online!