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Tools help Florida visitors plan beach vacations

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 20, 2014 at 11:11 am •  Published: May 20, 2014
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MIAMI (AP) — With 825 miles of Florida beaches to plant your beach umbrella on, picking just the right spot for you and your family can be daunting. Do you want adventure or laid-back beaches? Family friendly or romantic setting?

On Monday, Visit Florida, the state's tourism and marketing arm, launched some high-tech tools to help visitors find just the right beach for their summer vacation.

The Florida Beach Finder allows travelers to virtually walk hundreds of miles of beaches — from legendary locations such as Miami's South Beach to lesser-known sanctuaries like Cayo Costa off the west coast of Florida. It's like Spotify, but for your beach vacation. Here's how it works:

Go to www.VISITFLORIDA.com and click on Florida Beach Finder. Then "tune" your preferences by moving four dials (red-dot sliders) up and down to adjust your beach personality, with preferences ranging from action-packed to secluded and somewhere in between. The beach finder displays different pictures that best match your preferences, and the visual options change with every tweak of the tuner.

You can also virtually walk the beaches with Street View imagery in Google Maps. Last summer, Google spent four months photographing Florida beaches to create panoramic views of every beach in the state. It was Google's first large-scale beach-mapping project and now all of those images — Google Beach View — are available on Visit Florida's site.

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