Go Stargazing on the Sea With a Local Astronomer at This Florida Hotel

Florida is known for its miles of sand and sea, which are perfectly complemented by the state's year-round sunshine. While those offerings play a big role in drawing millions of visitors each year, one hotel is showing its guests that the Sunshine State's natural beauty extends beyond the daylight hours, too.

Now, when travelers head to Vero Beach — about two hours from both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale — they can stay at the Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa and treat themselves to a nighttime sea excursion that includes admiring the stars above.

The new Stargazing on the Sea package is complimentary for hotel guests and will take place on specific days chosen by a local astronomer based on prime opportunities for viewing stars, planets, and the moon. The Kimpton Vero Beach has partnered with Paddles by the Sea to offer this new experience, which takes up to six guests on a private nighttime riverboat cruise.

While stargazing and cruising down Indian River Lagoon and beyond, guests will learn about the cosmos from astronomer and president of the Mission Astronomy Group David Brown. The trip also comes with a picnic snack from Heaton's, one of the hotel's on-site restaurants.

"For years, we've featured stargazing talks on our pool deck and have always received positive feedback from our guests about the experience. Given our oceanfront location and access to the Indian River, we thought what better way to amplify this experience than by connecting our boating offerings with stargazing," Awet Sium, general manager at Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, told Travel + Leisure. "It provides a truly unique, safe outdoor experience for friends and families to enjoy."

Dates currently available for the Stargazing on the Sea experience include June 18 and 19, as well as July 16 and 17. With the program already garnering a positive response from guests, the hotel plans to add more dates to the roster. The experience is completely free for guests, but reservations must be booked 48 hours in advance and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit the hotel's website.

Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but she's always on the lookout for her next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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