Top 8 Eco Friendly Accommodations In Florida’s National Parks 

Top 8 Eco Friendly Accommodations In Florida’s National Parks 

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Eco Friendly Accommodations

Eco friendly accommodations are special places to stay that help protect the environment. They are located in or near Florida’s national parks. Choosing to stay in an eco-lodge is great because it helps preserve nature. These lodges use less water and energy, which means they are kind to the Earth. 

The people who manage these lodges work hard to protect the plants and animals around them. By staying in eco-lodges, you contribute to keeping the parks beautiful and healthy. 

In this article, we’ll talk about different eco-lodges in Florida. You will learn how these lodges help the environment and why they are a good choice for your next vacation. Eco-lodges offer a unique experience to learn about nature while enjoying your holiday in a responsible way. 

We will explore how these accommodations make a positive impact and how you can be part of this wonderful initiative by choosing them for your stay.

What Are Eco-Lodges?

Eco-lodges are hotels that care for the environment. They are built to have little impact on nature. Eco-lodges use materials that are good for the Earth. They also use less water and energy. This helps protect the area around them. Eco-lodges often use solar panels for power and rainwater for water needs.

An accommodation is “sustainable” if it helps keep the environment safe and healthy. This means using resources in a way that does not harm nature.

Sustainable places also help local communities. They hire local workers and use local products.

Choosing eco-lodges is good for both the environment and travelers. These places offer a chance to see nature up close.

Travelers can learn about local plants and animals. Staying in eco-lodges also supports jobs in the area. It helps make sure the beauty of nature is there for future visitors.

Spotlight On Specific Eco-Lodges In Florida’s National Parks

Let’s look at some specific eco-lodges in Florida. These places stand out because they go the extra mile to protect the environment.

Each one offers unique experiences and practices sustainable tourism. Here, you’ll learn about what makes each lodge special and how they contribute to conservation.

1. The Breakers, Palm Beach

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The Breakers in Palm Beach first opened in 1896 and combines old-world glamor with modern luxury. This grand hotel not only offers a top-tier experience but also leads in eco-friendly practices.

Committed to sustainability, The Breakers actively conserves water and energy and minimizes waste—all while maintaining its high standards in everything from its spa to its dining options.

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

  • The Breakers use advanced systems to reduce water and energy use.
  • The hotel has programs to manage and decrease its waste.
  • Initiatives extend to sourcing local and sustainable products to support the community.

Luxurious Amenities

  • Guests enjoy a world-class spa that follows sustainable practices.
  • Multiple fine dining options offer dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • The hotel’s design and renovations adhere to environmentally friendly standards.

2. Bakers Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection By Hilton

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Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys, Bakers Cay Resort Key Largo offers a pristine 13-acre beachfront retreat. Surrounded by lush mangrove trails and vibrant marine life, the resort embraces the spirit of ecotourism, integrating the natural beauty of the Keys into every aspect of the guest experience.

Its commitment to sustainability is evident in its dining options and conservation efforts, making it a haven for those seeking an eco-conscious getaway.

Eco-Conscious Dining

  • Calusa and Dry Rocks, the resort’s restaurants, are certified by the Surfrider Foundation as Ocean Friendly.
  • They avoid single-use plastics and polystyrene, helping reduce ocean pollution.
  • Both eateries prioritize sustainable sourcing and robust recycling practices.

Environmental Conservation Efforts

  • Bakers Cay actively protects the local flora and fauna through conservation programs.
  • The resort features natural tropical pools and private beach areas that respect the surrounding ecosystem.
  • Guests can explore environmental trails that showcase the region’s biodiversity and support preservation efforts.

3. Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo

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Located just an hour south of Orlando in Polk County, Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo offers a unique escape into America’s rustic heritage. Set on 1,700 acres of untouched Florida wilderness by the Kissimmee River, this luxury glamping resort immerses guests in a genuine outdoor experience, inspired by the Wild West.

Here, you can connect with nature and enjoy an array of adventurous activities in a breathtaking setting.

Outdoor Activities

  • Horseback riding across scenic trails offers a traditional ranch experience.
  • Guests can engage in fishing trips, capturing the essence of the wild surroundings.
  • The resort provides thrilling airboat rides on the Kissimmobile River, exploring diverse ecosystems.

Luxury Glamping Experience

  • The resort features luxurious accommodations that blend rustic charm with modern comfort.
  • Each glamping site is designed to provide privacy and panoramic views of the natural landscape.
  • Guests enjoy high-end amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay without sacrificing the outdoor rustic feel.

4. Naples Grande Beach Resort

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Nestled on 23 lush acres with a stunning waterfront view, Naples Grande Beach Resort excels in luxury while embracing its environmental responsibilities.

Adjacent to a 200-acre protected mangrove estuary near the Florida Everglades, the resort integrates extensive eco-friendly practices with its upscale amenities, including golf courses and tennis courts.

This commitment to conservation makes it a leader in sustainable tourism, offering guests a blend of leisure and eco-conscious activities.

Sustainable Practices

  • Naples Grande conducts regular beach clean-ups to maintain the local environment.
  • The resort has implemented a laundry recycling program that saves up to 6 million gallons of water annually.
  • Use of biodegradable cutlery and straws reduces the resort’s plastic footprint.

Eco-Friendly Activities

  • Guests can participate in eco-tours that explore the nearby mangrove estuary and Everglades.
  • The resort offers various nature-related activities that promote environmental awareness.
  • Transport around the resort is provided by a fleet of electric trams, minimizing carbon emissions.

5. The Palms Hotel & Spa Miami

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The Palms Hotel & Spa in Miami stands out as a beacon of sustainability in the hospitality industry. Committed to minimizing its environmental footprint, this chic eco-resort embraces a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

From aiming to be 100% plastic-free to conserving natural resources, every aspect of the hotel is designed with the environment in mind, ensuring guests enjoy luxury that’s both conscious and conscientious.

Sustainable Practices

  • The hotel is working towards being completely plastic-free, using aluminum water bottles and eco-friendly takeaway containers.
  • Guest bathrooms feature refillable toiletries to reduce waste.
  • Throughout the property, energy-efficient LED lighting and UV-protected windows enhance environmental conservation.

Resource Conservation

  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures are installed to significantly reduce water usage.
  • The hotel’s commitment to energy conservation is evident in its use of advanced, eco-friendly technologies.
  • Guests are encouraged to participate in sustainability programs that promote recycling and reduce environmental impact.

6. Island Bay Resort – Tavernier

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Island Bay Resort, nestled between Key Largo and Islamorada, is a tropical paradise that serves as a gateway to the Florida Keys’ eco-adventures.

Embracing its role in a largely protected area, the resort offers a variety of laid-back activities that allow guests to engage directly with the local environment.

From kayaking through mangroves to walking trails rich in natural beauty, Island Bay is ideal for those seeking both relaxation and ecological exploration.

Eco-Adventures At The Resort

  • Guests can explore local state parks, harbors, and mangroves by kayak or paddleboard with the option of a self-guided tour or an eco-guide.
  • The resort provides access to numerous walking trails that showcase the region’s diverse ecosystem, including hardwood forests and swamps.
  • Island Bay’s eco-friendly approach encourages immersive experiences in the natural surroundings, promoting conservation and awareness.

Relaxation And Conservation

  • The resort’s design and activities are planned to minimize environmental impact while maximizing guest enjoyment.
  • Island and bay explorations are conducted with respect to the delicate local flora and fauna, ensuring sustainable tourism practices.
  • Island Bay Resort’s commitment to conservation is evident in its support of local ecological initiatives and community involvement.

7. Disney Hotels At Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

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Disney Hotels at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando are at the forefront of sustainable hospitality. Committed to energy conservation and a zero-waste future, these hotels exemplify environmental stewardship.

Recognized by the Florida Green Lodging Program, they employ wide-ranging recycling initiatives and energy-saving practices, all while providing the magical Disney experience.

This commitment extends to community support through the Disney Harvest Program, which redistributes unused food to local children.

Sustainable Practices

  • Disney hotels have implemented widespread recycling and energy-saving measures to minimize environmental impact.
  • Every hotel is recognized by the Florida Green Lodging Program, underscoring their commitment to preserving natural resources.
  • Initiatives include high-efficiency lighting systems, water conservation methods, and the use of renewable energy sources where possible.

Community And Conservation Efforts

  • The Disney Harvest Program plays a crucial role in community support, redirecting unused prepared food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
  • This effort feeds up to 1000 local children weekly, demonstrating a strong commitment to social responsibility.
  • Disney hotels actively engage in educational programs to raise awareness among guests about sustainability and conservation.

8. The Natural Place – Fort Lauderdale

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The Natural Place in Fort Lauderdale redefines eco-friendly lodging by focusing on both environmental conservation and the health of its guests.

As a chemical-free hotel, it catires specifically to visitors with allergies or sensitivities to common irritants like detergents and scented products.

Located just 20 minutes from the heart of Fort Lauderdale and close to Boca Raton, this resort offers a serene escape near the ocean, combining comfort with eco-conscious living.

Health-Centric Features

  • The hotel is completely chemical-free, ideal for guests with allergies or sensitivities.
  • It avoids using any scented products, detergents, or smoke, ensuring a pure and clean environment.
  • Special accommodations are available for guests requiring hypoallergic conditions to ensure a comfortable stay.

Eco-Friendly Activities And Location

  • The Natural Place is situated close to numerous eco-friendly activities, including beach clean-ups and nature walks.
  • Just two blocks from the ocean, guests have easy access to water-based recreational activities.
  • The proximity to both Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton allows guests to explore local attractions while staying in an environmentally responsible hotel.

How To Choose An Eco-Lodge

When planning a trip, choosing the right eco-lodge can make a big difference. Here’s how to pick a place that is truly eco-friendly:

  • Look for Certifications: Check if the lodge has environmental certifications. These are awarded by organizations that check if places are really eco-friendly. Examples include LEED, Green Key, or the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
  • Read About Their Practices: Learn what the lodge does to be sustainable. Good signs include using solar power, recycling, or serving local food. Make sure their actions match their promises.
  • Consider the Location: Choose lodges that blend with their environment without harming it. They should try to protect local wildlife and plants.
  • Community Involvement: See if the lodge helps the local community. This can be by hiring local staff, supporting local businesses, or contributing to local conservation efforts.
  • Eco-Friendly Amenities: Check if the lodge offers amenities that reflect a commitment to sustainability. This could include biodegradable toiletries, energy-efficient lighting, and furniture made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials.
  • Guest Education and Engagement: Consider whether the lodge provides opportunities for guests to learn about sustainability and the local ecosystem. Many eco-lodges offer guided tours, wildlife spotting excursions, or workshops on environmental preservation.
  • Waste Management: Investigate the lodge’s waste management practices. A sustainable lodge should have effective systems for reducing, reusing, and recycling waste, and possibly even composting organic waste.

How To Plan Your Eco-Friendly Trip

Planning an eco-friendly trip is about making thoughtful choices that reduce your impact on the environment. Here are tips and ideas to help you plan a sustainable journey:

  • Choose Eco-Friendly Transportation: Whenever possible, opt for transport options that minimize environmental impact. Consider trains, buses, or even car-sharing with electric vehicles over flying. For shorter distances, biking or walking can be great options.
  • Pack Light: The lighter your luggage, the less energy required to transport it. Packing light also means you can move around more easily using public transportation or other eco-friendly travel methods.
  • Bring Reusable Items: Reduce waste by bringing reusable water bottles, shopping bags, and utensils. Avoid single-use plastics and disposables that contribute to pollution.
  • Stay at Certified Eco-Lodges: As discussed, choosing accommodations with recognized environmental certifications ensures your stay supports sustainable practices.

Eco-Friendly Activities Near Accommodations

  • Local Conservation Projects: Participate in local conservation efforts, which might include beach clean-ups or wildlife conservation programs. Many eco-lodges offer guests opportunities to get involved.
  • Nature and Cultural Tours: Opt for tours that respect local culture and biodiversity. Look for guided tours led by local experts who can provide insights without harming the environment.
  • Support Local Businesses: Engage with the community by shopping at local markets, dining at restaurants that source food locally, and attending local events or festivals. This supports the local economy and reduces the carbon footprint associated with importing goods.

Closing Thoughts

Choosing to travel in eco-friendly ways helps the Earth and local people. By picking eco-lodges, joining in conservation work, and enjoying local culture, your trip does more than just give you fun memories—it makes a difference. 

Remember, every choice to be sustainable, like how you travel or what you buy, helps our planet. Plan your eco-trip with care. Feel good knowing you are part of a big effort to keep the world a great place for everyone.

Julia
Julia

Greetings from Discover Outdoors, where each step we take is part of a wider journey towards immersive nature exploration and eco-tourism. I'm Julia, and I'm eager to lead you on this sustainable adventure.

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