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Fort Lauderdale, Florida Wheelchair Travel Tips

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The ocean city of Fort Lauderdale on the coast of Florida is a very popular vacation spot, and the gateway to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico for some travelers. What draws everyone to this beach town are its miles and miles of pristine beaches, though The Swap Shop, Florida’s largest market that’s open 365 days a year, is an attraction with a life all of its own. The canal waterways of Fort Lauderdale are home to the rich and famous, where multi-million-dollar mansions are eye-catching and yachts are jaw-dropping. The waterways of Fort Lauderdale are filled with these massive...

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Florida Coral Reef State Park Wheelchair Access

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This marine wonderland was the first undersea park in the U.S., established in 1963 to preserve and protect nearly 70 nautical square miles of living coral reefs, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and tropical hammocks. Located on the coast of Key Largo in the Florida Keys, the park is 25 miles long and extends 3 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. Its name recognizes the efforts of the late John D. Pennekamp, a Miami newspaper editor who fought for the preservation of the coral reefs and the everglades. Planning a Visit The park is open 365 days a year from...

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Fort Lauderdale Riverside Hotel Accessible Rooms

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Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a luxury, boutique hotel located in the Historical District of Downtown along the Tarpon River and Las Olas Boulevard. The location alone makes this hotel a starting point for visitors exploring the area. Hotel Amenities Restaurants & Bars: The hotel’s ground-floor restaurant is fine dining experience with outdoor and indoor seating. A patio looks out onto Las Olas Boulevard where musicians often play. Casual dining and lounging at the bar are also options for guests. Doors: The main set of doors located on the river side of the hotel are automatic, but other...

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Florida Everglades National Park Wheelchair Access Guide

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Everglades National Park in Florida is the third largest national park in the U.S., protecting 1.5 million acres of unique terrain on the southern tip of the state of Florida. Diverse ecosystems lie within its borders, such as barely-flowing freshwater sloughs lush with sawgrass, loamy pine woods, dense and shady hardwood hammocks, majestic cypress domes, tenacious coastal mangrove forests, and vast saltwater bays. These environments are ideal habitats for wildlife, including numerous threatened and endangered species like the West Indian Manatee, Florida Panther, Wood Stork, Loggerhead Turtle, American Crocodile, and American Alligator. [Not a valid template] Planning A Visit...

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Homestead, Florida Hampton Inn Access Review

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This Hampton Inn property in Homestead, Florida is conveniently located on Campbell Drive next to the Florida Turnpike (exit 2) and two miles from US Highway 1. Miami International Airport is just 20 minutes away. It’s a perfect place to stay if you want to visit Everglades National Park (13 miles), Biscayne National Park (7.5 miles), Homestead-Miami Speedway (3.5 miles), or the Florida Keys (25 miles to Key Largo –130 miles to Key West). The Miami-Dade Metrobus transit system serves this hotel with accessible buses via route 35. The hotel does not have a restaurant, but there are several...

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Exploring Access in Southwest Florida

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I explored Southwest Florida for a few months while I trained for the the Paralympics in sled hockey, paracanoeing and kayaking. I practiced in the Fort Myers area and I traveled day trips for competitions. I will be competing on the Spacecoast Hurricanes B team for Disabledfest, Sled Hockey Nationals in Marlborough, MA April 11-13, 2014 at the New England Sports Center, thus being the end of the season where I will return to Maine. This article is the full, overall experience about discovering a new area where you do not know anyone and finding exciting places on your own. I have broken down the more popular areas, the good and the...

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Accessible and Affordable Family Fun in Florida

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Recently, I had the opportunity to speak in Jupiter, FL. I was very excited as it was in February and as we all know, it had been a cold winter! Florida in February sounded wonderful to me! The organization I spoke for told me to bring my family and they would put us up for several days after the event and let us have some vacation time. We talked about trying to work in a trip to Disneyland, and believe it or not, our kids asked if instead we could just spend the days at the beach. That was...

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Top 3 Accessible Beaches in the Southeast of USA

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Is there anything better in the world than relaxing on a beach? The smell of the salty air, the sound of the waves crashing up on the shore, and the endless view of water as far as the eye can see… Sounds like perfection, huh?  90% of the vacations that I have taken in my life have been to a beach destination, and the majority of these were in the Southeastern US. I live in a small town in Georgia, which isn’t near any beach unfortunately, and the nearest beach is about six hours away. Six hours may seem...

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Florida Beach Accessible Vacation Rental

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Anyone can tell you that there is nothing like soaking up the sun’s warm rays on a pristine sandy beach. If you use a wheelchair, that statement takes on a whole new meaning because finding an accessible beach can be like searching for an elusive oasis. Florida residents and others with disabilities need search no farther. William Joseph “Billy Joe” Rish Recreational Park is a 98 acre beach paradise located at Cape San Blas in the Florida Panhandle. This park was built specifically for persons with disabilities and their families and shows how some vision and planning can magnify...

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Sam Swims with the Fishes in Tampa, Florida

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Tampa, FL- It was a mix of emotions for Sam Schmidt taking on an old passion for the first time. Sam Schmidt, former IRL driver: “It’s really kind of that flashback to ten years ago, or something, which is really kind of a nice feeling.” Leaving the wheelchair, he’s been confined to since an IRL crash in 2000, Sam embarked on what’s only been a diving dream: taking the plunge into a five hundred-thousand gallon tank. Sam Schmidt: “I remember from diving before that it’s just a totally different world down there, you know?” Minutes later, paralysis was forgotton,...

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A Fun Weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida

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If you’re looking for a relaxing, low key, winter vacation spot with interesting things to do this could be the place for you. St. Petersburg is located on Tampa Bay and because of some very thoughtful planning in the early 1900s most of the waterfront has been reserved for public parks or has access to the waterfront.  The Pier, a long concrete structure with a roadway and wide sidewalks, marks the center of town. An unusual upside down triangular building which houses a few restaurants, shops and an aquarium is located at the end. Unfortunately the pier is slated...

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