Top 10 vacation hot spots

  • Mexico Beach, Florida

    This four-bedroom home in Mexico Beach rents out for $900 per week. HomeAway

    Increase in demand: 164 percent

    Average nightly rate for home rentals: $229

    If the Gulf Coast and white sand beaches are your preferred form of R & R, head to Mexico Beach. It's a popular tourist hub for fishing, scuba diving, birding, boating and food.

    Northwest Florida is home to 57 different kinds of ecosystems. A quick day trip away from the beach will give you access to tidal marshes, springs and savannas with their own unique forms of wildlife. Just offshore, the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association is developing a stunning reef that helps improve the natural environment and educate the public about marine creatures.

    Nearby Wakulla Springs is one of the locations rumored to be Ponce de Leon's legendary Fountain of Youth. As the world's deepest freshwater spring, it holds some natural wonders that visitors can check out through glass-bottom boats or snorkeling.

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    Ilyce R. Glink is an award-winning, nationally-syndicated columnist, best-selling book author and founder of Best Money Moves, an employee benefit program that helps reduce financial stress. She also owns, where readers can find real estate and personal finance resources.