Those of us who love to travel want everything to go perfectly, so we ask lots of questions beforehand to ensure a smooth trip. We want good weather, clean hotels and reasonable driving distances. Some of us want to bring our pets; others prioritize polite restaurant workers or Instagram-friendly photo backgrounds.
We wondered what kind of questions visitors to South Florida ask local travel professionals. They shared quirky and hilarious requests.
Now we want you to ask us about South Florida travel, and we promise not to laugh. Want to know more about a weekend getaway within a day’s drive? A beach hotel to visit your in-laws? Or the best way to get to the airport without driving?
Tell us what you need to know about airlines, hotels, restaurants and things to do, and I’ll do the research for you.
The email is [email protected]
“Is it going to rain at my family reunion on July 7? — A question to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
Some tourists want a guarantee of good weather. This is impossible at any time of the year in South Florida, but especially in the summer. Rain is definitely a possibility in Fort Lauderdale in July, according to the National Weather Service. Either way, the NWS describes our weather from early July through early September as “hot, humid, and wet.”
“How far are the Keys?” — Question from drivers arriving at the Florida Keys Visitor Center in Key Largo.
“You are already there !” That response comes as a surprise to many tourists, who associate the Keys with Key West, 97 miles on the Overseas Highway. Drivers have more than two hours before arriving at the southernmost continental city in the United States.
Hollywood, Florida vs. Hollywood, California: – Appeal taken by Catarina Suplicy of the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Caller: “Where’s the best beach in Hollywood to watch the sunset?”
Suplicy: “Sir, as we are on the East Coast, we see sunrises over the ocean”, not sunsets.
Caller: “Impossible. I’ve been to Hollywood many times and I know I can go to the beach to watch the sunset.
Suplicy: “Sir, you called the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in sunny South Florida.”
“Can you stop the seaweed from washing up on the beach?” — Question to the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Business owners wish they could control the algae that has invaded South Florida’s shores for the past 10 years. Sargassum smells like rotten eggs, attracts insects and harms tourism. Scientists say algae blooms are linked to climate change because plants thrive in warm water. Some cities collect it and turn it into fertilizer, others plow it under the sand, but these approaches are expensive and do not prevent the next influx.
“Which celebrity is currently staying at the hotel and in which room?” — Question to the Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale.
The hotel has a standard response for this: “Thank you for asking, but we respect the privacy of all of our guests. Everyone is considered a VIP.
“I have a peanut allergy. Can I still go to Peanut Island? – Question to the Discover Palm Beach County Social Media Team.
There are no peanuts on this island, unless a visitor brings them by boat. Peanut Island is an 80-acre recreation area in the Intracoastal Waterway that attracts boaters, campers and snorkelers. The developers had planned to use the island as a peanut oil shipping terminal, but this plan was abandoned in 1946 and the name stuck.
“Are you picking you up at the airport?” Is there an age limit? Can I bring my emotional support cat? — Questions to Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi.
No to all of the above, Water Taxi’s Chloe Cannon tells interrogators.
“I have the hardest time booking a hotel. I think I like one and then I’ve read a ton of bad reviews. I’m traveling with my 2 year old and 9 month old. I had booked a hotel but I was scared when I read how awful and run down it was recently.” — Question to Things To Do In Fort Lauderdale, a Facebook group.
Don’t judge a hotel by its online reviews, said Vicki Bean, a travel consultant with LUXE Travel Management in Boca Raton.
“The majority of happy customers don’t leave reviews, and unhappy customers may have booked the cheapest room, which isn’t always the best idea, or have unrealistic expectations, which means they booked a 2-3 star hotel when they expected a 4-5 star hotel,” Bean said.
Bean said bad reviews often come from guests whose minor incidents are out of proportion, such as a housekeeper or front desk agent they perceive as rude.
It’s best to take recommendations from people you know, such as friends or travel agents, Bean said.
“How tall is the 100 foot Christmas tree? — Question to the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Delray Beach’s famous 100-foot Christmas tree is as tall as promised. It’s a quirky, sparkling and beloved attraction that rises 10 stories and draws thousands of people to Delray Beach each winter. The tree is decorated with 15,000 LED lights and 30,000 ornaments. According to Stephanie Immelman, executive director of the chamber, the most frequently asked question once inside the tree is “Is this real?” The answer: No, it is aluminum.
“Are butterflies okay when it rains?” — Question to Butterfly World in Coconut Creek.
Butterflies seek shelter in the rain. They hide under leaves and rocks and in the crevices of trees. Heavy downpours are tough on them, but they know where to go in typical Florida storms.
“When are the 4th of July fireworks?” — Question to the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Many tourists call local chambers of commerce to ask when and where the Independence Day fireworks will take place. This question is not completely unfounded, because some sites organize fireworks in the days before or after the holidays.
“I’m afraid of alligators. Do I have to participate in the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse race? — Question to the Florida Keys and Key West Tourism Council.
There is an annual “Swim for Alligator Lighthouse” marathon in Islamorada that raises funds to preserve the Alligator Reef Lighthouse, one of six along the Florida Keys. The 1873 lighthouse is named after the Navy’s USS Alligator, which sank nearby in 1822.
There are no alligators near this beacon on the Atlantic Ocean as the reptiles prefer fresh water.
“Can you guarantee that you have never had a pet in this room?” — Question to the Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale.
Response from Heiko Dobrikow, General Manager: “We are a pet-friendly hotel and also offer accommodation for all guests with assistance dogs. We are sure that in the last 86 years of the hotel, a pet has been in every room. Rest assured that we clean our rooms thoroughly after a guest with a pet has stayed with us.
Do you have a South Florida travel question? Remember that no question is too dumb. We will do the research for you. Email [email protected]