The Florida First Travel Company

Where Florida gives up its secrets

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We all know Blue Monday is A Thing. There’s no denying it. Here, in the depths of January, the third Monday of the month is officially designated the most depressing day of the year. With the typical British weather, it’s hard to escape that deep blue feeling.

But here at Florida First, we’re going against the grain. We refuse to bow to the colour blue. Instead, we’re raising the flag for a completely different concept, one that fits with our ethos of the Sunshine State and all things bright and beautiful.

So, in order to salute a more fair-minded and optimistic point of view, we welcome you to PINK Monday! Blue? Hah! That’s for the fishes. Here at Florida First, we celebrate the complete opposite, a vivid commemoration of a hue that is essential to the state’s joie de vivre, not so much a colour as a way of life.

We see it everywhere. In the wildlife – flamingos, of course – and in the shells on the beach, where the bright pink conch shells are often polished into a bright cerise lustre. It’s in the flowers, where bougainvillea, tropical hydrangea, hibiscus, gerbera daisies, periwinkle and marsh-pinks often give the countryside and gardens a bright pink glow.

Bougainvillea at Epcot pink monday
Bougainvillea at Epcot, Walt Disney World

You can certainly find it in the buildings, from the pastel shades of Miami’s Art Deco district to the vivid ‘Pink Palace’ of the Don CeSar Resort in beautiful St Pete Beach on the Gulf Coast, and it is in the food, with Gulf shrimp, red snapper (which is actually pink) and suitably-coloured cocktails all menu regulars (we highly recommend the Rose Margarita at La Hacienda restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Epcot park, by the way!). There is even the Big Pink diner in Miami, for the Instagram crowd.

Rose Margarita Epcot pink monday
Rose Margarita

It is almost ever-present in the gorgeous sunsets that bid the Sunshine State a gentle ‘Goodnight’ each evening. It is even an official colour designation of its own in ultra-chic Boca Raton, where the historic Boca Raton Club’s extensive paintwork is listed as ‘Boca Pink.’

It is an omni-present, multi-faceted, super-trendy, soothe-your-cares-away shade that imbues Florida with some of its essential brilliance. Yes, we firmly believe in the power of Pink!

And we want YOU to have your own piece of Florida pink to help get you through the depths of January and thinking about your next holiday to the Sunshine State, a chance to shake off those winter blues and look ahead to a glorious vacation rhapsody in pink.

Having mentioned the pink flamingo as one of the most iconic symbols of our favourite destination, we thought it only fitting that we offer our clients and followers the chance to win one of their very own.

bird 5154150 1920 2 pink monday

So, in honour of Pink Monday, here’s what you need to do:

Comment on our Facebook post about YOUR Florida travel dreams for this year – on this link – and you could win one of FIVE superb Florida Flamingos for your garden!

And, just to underline our extreme pinkness this week, we thought we would highlight 11 more perfectly pink icons of the Sunshine State, in addition to those flamingos:

Big Pink, Miami Beach – this retro diner in South Beach is a favourite late-night hang-out of the ‘In’ crowd, who turn up round the clock for the comfort food, including a signature donut cheeseburger (yes, really!).

Big Pink Miami pink monday
Big Pink

Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Beach Club, Boca Raton – the original 1920s core of the resort retains its essential hue and Spanish Colonial revival style from celebrity architect Addison Mizner.

boca raton resort pink monday

Learn more about the Boca Beach Club here

The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach – this downtown gem is notable for its British Colonial architecture and beautiful pastel paint job that makes it stand out from the crowd in the most colourful of ways.

The colony hotel pink monday

Learn more about The Colony Club here

The Chesterfield, Palm Beach – another historic landmark and upmarket resort in the heart of swanky Palm Beach, just minutes from both Worth Avenue and the city’s beautiful beaches.

chesterfield palm beach pink monday

Learn more about The Chesterfield here

Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa, Clearwater Beach – going for the modern touch, this hotel was built as recently as 2010 but has a more classical look among the beachfront high-rise properties.

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach pink monday

Learn more about the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach here

Jensen Beach Inn, Jensen Beach – here’s another historic property, a beautiful little boutique hotel that dates back to 1909 and epitomises the laid-back style of this delightful Atlantic Coast hideaway.

Jensen Beach Inn pink monday

Learn more about the Jensen Beach Inn here

Caribe Royale Resort, Orlando – when you’re looking for modern AND grand, this extensive resort offers a gorgeous array of dining and amenities, along with its notably pink paintwork.

caribe royale pink monday

Vinoy Renaissance, St Petersburg – set right in the heart of downtown St Petersburg, the Vinoy is another Florida elder statesman hotel, with superb Mediterranean Revival style to go with its 1925 vintage.

The Vinoy pink monday

Learn more about the Vinoy Renaissance here

The Don CeSar, St Pete Beach – the most iconic of them all, this monumental 1928 hotel sits right on the beachfront in commanding style, rightly revelling in its local nickname as The Pink Palace.

don cesar 1 pink monday

Learn more about the Don CeSar here

Ca’ d’Zan, Sarasota – practically the last great mansion of The Gilded Age, the stunning home of circus impresario John Ringling and wife Mable is a magnificent example of Venetian Gothic architecture, highlighted by pink sandstone and stucco elevations. Today it is part of the must-see Ringling Estate in Sarasota.

Ca dZan pink monday

El Mirasol, Palm Beach – another Mizner masterpiece, this vast 1919 home for fabulously wealthy socialite Edward Stotesbury was the last word in home opulence. Tragically, the mansion was demolished in 1959.

El Mirasol pink monday
Photo: c.1920
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