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The ten Finest Weekend Getaways in Florida (& Over 60 Actions!)


Sandy, sweeping beaches. Old, haunted cities with lots of ghost stories. Lots & lots of seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with an average of 237 sunny days a year. It's truly the land of a million sandy beaches, theme parks, and a whole lot of things to do. And it's one of the best places for a mini-vacation with so many truly unique weekend getaways in Florida! Here are the 10 best weekend getaways in Florida, from beach getaways, to adventurous expeditions, to ghost stories! 60+ activities included!

Please double verify what’s open earlier than your journey and comply with all native vax & masks tips to maintain your self and others secure! Additionally, adverts are how we pay our payments and hold our weblog free so that you can get pleasure from. We additionally use affiliate hyperlinks; in case you make a purchase order by means of them, we could obtain a small fee for free of charge to you.

Sandy, sweeping seashores. Previous, haunted cities with numerous ghost tales. Tons & numerous seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with a mean of 237 sunny days a yr. It’s really the land of one million sandy seashores, theme parks, and an entire lot of issues to do. And it’s the most effective locations for a mini-vacation with so many really distinctive weekend getaways in Florida!

As somebody who grew up going to Florida nearly yearly, I’ve spent many a lazy hour within the Sunshine State traversing seashores, lakes, swamps, and vacationer points of interest that fall underneath the department of a sure sort of Florida-flavored kitsch.

I’ve collected the ten greatest weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you need to sit on the seashore, go on adventures, discover its historical past and listen to ghost tales, or see some drag reveals and go to the homosexual seashore (yeah, Florida, I mentioned homosexual).

Private beach in Key West, Florida
Palms swaying within the breeze, sandy seashores, blue water… you’ve arrived!

The ten Finest Weekend Getaways in Florida

Solely have a weekend away? There’s a lot that may be finished within the sunny state of Florida! Beneath are ten wonderful weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you might be in search of some seashore leisure or some extra adventurous choices.

I’ve included an inventory of issues to do, the place to eat and drink, and the place to remain for the weekend in every metropolis, so that you’ll positively have head begin in your planning. So let’s get to it!

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lake eola orlando florida
Exterior the theme parks, Orlando is each stunning and thrilling! (Photograph Credit score)

Orlando, Florida: An Journey Lover’s Getaway

Orlando, Florida, you will have heard of it. The house of Common, Disney World, and a thousand vacationer traps? However beneath all of the glitz and glamour of the most important theme parks and miniature golf programs, there’s truly an thrilling, cultured metropolis ready to be explored.

Orlando, initially named the not-so-catchy “Jernigan” (sorry to any Jernigans on the market), was as soon as the citrus hub of the world till a deep freeze within the 1800s brought on farmers to maneuver their crops farther south. The identify “Orlando” has combined provenance, one account saying it was from a soldier named” Orlando Reeves” who fought within the Second Seminole Battle towards the Seminole Tribe, the unique inhabitants of the realm.

There’s one other idea that it was named after the protagonist Orlando from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, with a person named James Speer proposing in a letter in 1885 that “Orlando was a veritable Forest of Arden, the locale of As You Like It.

Nevertheless it obtained its identify, the “Metropolis Lovely” has greater than 100 lakes, and in 2019 welcomed a record-breaking 75 million guests. Orlando is one poppin’ place.

What To Do in Orlando

Simply since you’re visiting Orlando, doesn’t imply you may’t keep away from the everyday experiences, and the crowds, if you recognize the place to look. Listed below are a number of the greatest issues to do in Orlando outdoors the theme parks:

  • Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida – I’ve visited Orlando many occasions and I’ve to say this is likely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Positioned within the beautiful (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven linked lakes, by means of small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous a number of the largest and oldest mansions you’ll ever see – from the water that’s. The boat drivers are full of knowledge and horrible puns, so you recognize you’re in for time!
  • Evening Glow Paddleboarding – Keep in mind all these lakes I discussed Orlando having? Nicely, one of the simplest ways to expertise them is with Evening Glow Paddleboarding by Epic Paddle Adventures. Even in case you’ve by no means finished standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable workforce may have you up very quickly to discover the lake. The perfect half is, because the solar goes down the paddleboards gentle up (which you’ll change the colour) and the workers brings a cooler with beer or White Claws and even performs get together music (and takes requests!). It is a fabulous technique to spend a night, and the workers really makes it one thing to put in writing house about.
  • Morse Museum of American Artwork – The Morse Museum has one factor on its thoughts – the world’s most complete assortment of works by Louis Consolation Tiffany objects. Everyone knows Tiffany lamps, and there are many distinctive ones right here, however apart from lamps there are Artwork Nouveau vases, jewellery, and even an elaborate chapel inside created for the Chicago World’s Honest in 1893. The temper right here is dim and stress-free, and if in case you have an eye fixed for magnificence, you’ll positively be at house on this inventive paradise.

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The place to Eat & Drink in Orlando

  • Orlando Milkhouse – I do know what you’re pondering – you’re lactose illiberal – fortunate for you Milkhouse is de facto named after the “milk district” through which it’s positioned. Whereas you could find dairy treats like native ice cream firm Kelly’s Do-it-yourself Ice Cream right here, that is the place to get an extremely crafted cocktail and a few killer meals from Cicchetti Kitchen positioned inside. The menu consists of gadgets like handmade Foccacia with ricotta, some killer caramelized Brussel sprouts, in addition to their perfectly-cooked Bacaro burger with fonitna cheese, Dijon mustard, Arugula, B+B zucchini pickles, on a Martin’s Potato roll. Seize a craft Foxtail Espresso Martini to get you each alert and relaxed.
  • Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. – This brewery sits proper on Lake Ivanhoe, which was as soon as the house to an early 1900s amusement park known as Joyland. Ivanhoe Park Brewing Firm pays homage to the realm’s enjoyable heritage, with beers just like the Joyland IPA to the Toboggan Blonde Ale named after the water slides that was once on the lake. Undecided what to get? Get a flight to attempt samples of their beers and e book a personal tour to listen to extra in regards to the historical past and the way their beer is made!
  • The Hammered Lamb – Because the identify suggests, the Hammered Lamb is a superb place to drink! Additionally positioned throughout the way in which from Lake Ivanhoe, this outside (and lined) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the practice tracks. And each time a practice goes by which means one factor… practice pictures! Sure, of their quest to get you just a little tipsy pictures are served each time a practice passes. To not point out their meals is kind of scrumptious – hummus of the day with pita and plenty of veggies, spicy wings, stacked nachos, and crispy lamb quesadillas. Choo choo!
  • East Finish Market – East Finish Market is a culinary meals hub, the place artistic cooks use native elements to make one-of-a-kind meals experiences. Strolling into this place is a bit overwhelming – so many alternative smells and meals choices! Winter Park Biscuit Firm isn’t simply biscuits, however biscuits & gravy, hen sandwiches, and burgers… And it’s all vegan! Deceptively so. Their Crispy Chik sandwich was the juiciest vegan hen sandwich I’d ever tasted. Apart from different savory meals like Domu the place you will get some severely savory ramen, take a look at Gideon’s Bakehouse with their Gothic, witchy aesthetic and cookies which might be almost a half-pound every!
swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando florida
The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is actually an oasis. This could possibly be a complete trip!

The place to Keep in Orlando

Orlando has loads of stunning locations to remain, whether or not you need extra of a resort really feel or your individual personal getaway. Listed below are a few of our favorites:

  • The Caribe Royale Orlando is positioned on World Heart Drive, a stone’s throw away Disney from in case you plan on visiting on one among your days they usually even have their very own Disney transportation. The resort itself is lately renovated with giant, spacious and fashionable rooms, and loads of eating choices on-site. The crown jewel of the resort is its giant pool space, which incorporates waterfalls and a waterslide. Whereas this resort shouldn’t be precisely a funds resort, it’s definitely worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This stunning rental with a heated pool has a vivid, spacious bed room and bikes you may borrow to discover the tremendous cute Winter Park neighborhood and is simply blocks away from Morse Museum of American Artwork.
  • For an much more budgets pleasant choice, take a look at this colourful mid-century fashionable apartment additionally positioned in Winter Park, and only a 15-minute stroll from the Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida. You actually can have all of it!

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New Smyrna Seashore: An Artwork Lover’s Getaway

New Smyrna Seashore has an entire lot of historical past – it’s the third oldest metropolis in Florida behind St. Augustine and Pensacola. Scottish doctor Dr. Andrew Turnbull established New Smyrna in 1768, although the land was already inhabited by the Seminole Tribe. Turnbull’s spouse was from the Ottoman (Turkey at the moment) metropolis of Smyrna, from which he determined to call the town New Smyrna.

Right this moment new Smyrna is called an artists’ hub, house to the Atlantic Heart for the Arts in addition to The Hub on Canal, a community-based arts heart the place native artists train and promote their works. Right here you could find ocean-inspired paintings (or not!), in all types of mediums by individuals who flock to this city for artistic inspiration.

New Smyrna Seashore can also be identified for its unbelievable browsing, ranked by Surfer Journal because the quantity 5 greatest surf city. With waves nearly each week of the yr, New Smyrna is a sizzling spot for surfers and surf tradition, although New Smyrna is called the “shark capital of the world” because of the close by inlet. So possibly stick extra to artwork, and go away the browsing to the professionals!

What To Do in New Smyrna Seashore

There’s loads of artwork, historical past, and plenty of native attraction to find in New Smyrna Seashore! A number of of the most effective actions are:

  • Marine Discovery Heart Boat Tour – Take a 2-hour Dolphin Discovery boat tour on North America’s most biologically various estuary, with over 4000 species that decision this space house. You’ll see nice egrets nesting, completely different species of mangrove bushes, and naturally, loads of dolphins. I’ve by no means seen so many dolphins at one time as I did on this cruise, them leaping and enjoying each by the boat and within the distance. In case you want your lovable dolphin repair, this can be the most effective place to see them!
  • Smyrna Dunes Park– This 184-acre inlet park offers two miles of boardwalks the place you may see gopher tortoises nesting throughout the lush dune foliage. The boardwalk additionally has loads of overlooks of the attractive Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. It is a good spot for a stroll, and to move to the seashore to stroll alongside the jetty and gander on the Ponce de Leon lighthouse throughout the inlet.
  • Discover the Canal Avenue Historic District – What was once a literal canal 250 years in the past, which was used to ship items like can sugar and indigo from the mainland to the Indian River, Canal avenue at the moment remains to be the cultural hub of commerce and artwork. Right here you could find retailers like The Gallery which sells gourmand balsamic vinegar (I like to recommend the pomegranate sort!), in addition to The Hub on Canal, which is a community-supported artwork area the place native artists promote their wares. They do month-to-month occasions as properly just like the Traditional Cruise Automotive Present, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There’s at all times one thing happening!
  • Try the Historical past Museum and Previous Fort Park – New Smyrna is house to numerous tradition and historical past, because it’s the third oldest metropolis within the state! Cease by the New Smyrna Museum of Historical past first to study in regards to the unique Native People, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye turned a money crop for the town, and its completely tubular browsing scene. Afterward, head throughout the road from the museum is Previous Fort Park, which is open and free so that you can stroll throughout the mysterious ruins. Nobody is aware of what this sprawling basis was initially holding up: was it a colonial church? Dr. Turnbull’s mansion? A website for developing ships or the unique Castillo de San Marcos? Nobody is aware of!
  • Stroll across the Previous Sugar Mills Ruins – Three miles away from the museum and Previous Fort Park are the Previous Sugar Mills Ruins, which was initially the Cruger-de Peyster sugar mill. Within the 1830s, the US tried to forcibly push the Seminole Tribe off their very own land, so that they burnt down the Spanish colonizer’s mill in retaliation. Right this moment this free park is hidden amongst palm bushes containing high-sweeping arches and rusted steel vats, and is a superb place to study in regards to the battle of the unique inhabitants of the land and people who intruded. Bear in mind the park entrance shouldn’t be properly marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Seashore, FL and enter the small street that goes into the forest.

The place to Eat & Drink in New Smyrna Seashore

A treehouse, a fairy backyard, and a marina… all with scrumptious meals! New Smyrna has some wonderful meals in some sudden places, let’s dig in!

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s is the sort of place that makes you are feeling like a child once more, as a result of you may truly eat dinner in a large treehouse with twinkling lights! Sit out on the second-story patio nestled amongst the bushes and eat tremendous recent seafood (that is Florida in any case), like coconut shrimp as an appetizer and the Admiral’s Platter for dinner, with a 50oz lobster tail, grilled Mahi, and broiled sea scallops and shrimp. Order an All Evening Lengthy to drink, with bourbon, orange, lemon, bitters, and pinot noir float. You received’t be leaving hungry right here!
  • Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar – Eat outdoors on the Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar is like stepping right into a backyard paradise, with palms, string lights, and loads of evergreen vegetation and pergolas to make you are feeling cozy and magical. To begin, order the Wagyu Quick Rib Hummus, with hummus they make from scratch, over-roasted boneless Wagyu brief rib, toasted Pita, Za’atar concord herbs, and EVOO, or the Shrimp Gambas (Spanish type shrimp) with Creole butter sauteed, wild-caught American shrimp, garlic, chilies, Calabrian oil, and crisp baguette. For a fresher-than-fresh entree, get the Good Catch, a Cooks catch with blackened honey pecan-crusted, shrimp, whiskey butter cream sauce, chef’s vegetable, and Yukon mash potatoes. Every part right here is beautiful in taste and preparation!
  • Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille – For maybe the most effective place to get brunch in New Smyrna, take a look at the Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille. Located proper alongside the marina, watch boats go by as you dig into some Hen & Waffles with cinnamon butter, sausage gravy, and bacon amaretto sauce, or the Crab & Lobster Cake Sandwich, with Florida spiny lobster, crispy Panko fried lump crab, chipotle lime sauce on a brioche bun.
Smyrna Dunes Park beach and jetty
You’ll be able to by no means go fallacious with being near the ocean.

The place to remain in New Smyrna Seashore

When on the seashore, you need to keep close to the seashore! Listed below are some nice seashore choices on a funds:

  • This tremendous beachy cottage is actually simply steps away from the seashore and priced good! With a kitchenette and single bed room and toilet, you’ll have every little thing that you must discover the tremendous lovable New Smyrna and have sand between your toes very quickly!
  • The Sea Vista Motel has a classic attraction and is true on the water, so you will get to the seashore in a jiffy! There’s additionally a pool and a linked Tiki bar, so it’s a fantastic place to seize a drink and watch the waves roll.

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driftwood trees at boneyard beach in jacksonville florida-Blog Photo-2
The large driftwood bushes at Boneyard Seashore are otherworldly!

Jacksonville: A Nature Lover’s Getaway

Jacksonville is the biggest metropolis by landmass within the continental US, coming in at a whopping 840 sq. miles! With a lot space you may wager there are many adventures available – and it’s the most effective weekend getaways in Florida particularly when it comes to getting in contact with nature.

With such a big landmass it additionally is smart they’ve the biggest city park system within the nation, which is 4 occasions the scale of Manhattan at 80,000 acres. You’ve obtained a whole lot of exploring to do!

Mainly, if you wish to get outdoors and discover the most effective of Florida’s natural world, “Jax” is the place to go to, with a mean of 270 sunny days a yr and 22 miles of seashores.

What To Do in Jacksonville

Put in your bathing swimsuit, slather up in sunscreen, and prepare to do some exploring. We’ve yoga, kayaking, and a “boneyard” seashore!

  • Dawn Yoga with MBody Yoga I do know, I do know, waking up earlier than the dawn could not sound like probably the most stress-free exercise, but it surely’s an effective way to start your morning on a weekend getaway in Florida. As you stretch with steerage out of your teacher on Neptune Seashore, your complete physique will awaken because the solar slowly rises from behind the Atlantic Ocean. Actually nothing is as serene as a seashore dawn, the nice and cozy salty air coming into your lungs as you are feeling your muscle groups launch.
  • Boneyard Seashore – Positioned alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Seashore at Large Talbot Island State Park. These “bones” aren’t actually bones in any respect – however huge driftwood bushes that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these enormous “bones” whereas the wind and sand has made them clean, and you’ll stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These useless bushes defend from additional erosion of the flora behind the seashore and make a fantastic place for a considerably morbid and kooky stroll.
  • Strive Stand Up Paddleboarding within the ocean – Even if in case you have by no means SUPed earlier than, Jacksonville Surf and Paddle will take excellent care of you as you placed on a wetsuit, paddle previous the waves, and check out your hand on standing and paddling in your SUP! Paddling on the ocean is each thrilling and serene, attending to go farther offshore than you usually would swimming. Even in case you fall, you’ll splash gently into the ocean and climb again on. Their 90-minute newbie courses are the proper spot to get your toes moist (actually) and chances are you’ll discover you’re hooked on paddleboarding earlier than you recognize it!
  • Take an eco kayaking tour – If you wish to study extra about Jacksonville’s expansive pure areas, take an eco-tour with Kayak Amelia like their 3-hour Salt Marsh Eco Tour from Ft. George Boat Ramp. Paddle by means of the Fort George/Simpson Creek estuary by means of the salt marshes when you study in regards to the Timucua Tribe who had been indigenous to this land, see spitting oysters among the many Spartina grass (actually!) and loads of birds like osprey, and even cease on a sandbar for home made cookies (that’s what retains coming again, they are saying!). Our tour information that day was a former instructor named Buddy, and you’ll inform Kayak Amelia has a real love of instructing and the surroundings.
North Beach Fish Camp jacksonville florida fish plate
The Roast Cod Filet drenched in butter from North Seashore Fish Camp.

The place to Eat & Drink in Jacksonville

From the ocean to your mouth, Jacksonville has loads of recent fish eats with an entire lot of taste! The next eating places are positioned in Neptune Seashore, a fantastic place to have a chew then stroll alongside the seashore.

  • North Seashore Fish Camp – North Seashore Fish Camp is a nautical-themed restaurant, with, as you guessed, fish! For starters, you may’t go fallacious with the Crispy Calamari with Pecorino cheese & spicy tomato sauce or, in case you’re feeling adventurous, the Fried Gator Tail with Cowgill’s Datil pepper aioli (hey, that is Florida in any case). The Roast Cod Filet with Brown Butter, Garlic & Lemon, Parsley Potatoes and Seasonal Greens is an ideal lighter choice, too!
  • Southern Grounds – For a morning pick-me-up (after yoga, no much less), head to Southern Grounds for some scrumptious and robust espresso and a few pancakes, a bagel sandwich, and even loaded avocado toast. This place is busy within the morning, so seize some eats and a desk on the patio outdoors.
  • Sliders Oyster Bar – This pink flamingo-themed, ultra-retro and fashionable stylish beachside joint could also be the most effective place to get Oysters in Jacksonville within the coolest setting. Seize a desk or picnic desk with buddies on the patio and prepare to dig into some recent seafood delivered every day! The principle occasion in fact are the Oysters steamed or uncooked, and specialty oysters just like the Rockefeller (spinach, parmesan, provolone, and breadcrumbs) and on line casino (with bacon and a three-cheese combine), amongst others. For one thing not oysters, attempt their shrimp nachos with pico and queso, and get the Hobbs Rum Punch with two completely different sorts of rum with banana, orange, pineapple, and grenadine!

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The place to Keep in Jacksonville

Jacksonville has 22 miles of seashores, so it’s positively the spot to e book a spot on the water! A few choices are:

  • Whereas the One Ocean Resort & Spa is definietly on the pricier aspect, in case you’re in search of a spot within the coronary heart of Neptune Seashore and need some swanky facilities like a spa, One Ocean Resort & Spa is the place to deal with your self. Positioned proper on the seashore and steps away from MBody Yoga and the eating places talked about above, you may relax of their pool and soak up all of the beachy, calming ambiance of this attractive resort.
  • This beachside condo is simply a block away from Jackson Seashore and a brief stroll to the Jackson Seashore Pier and loads of native seashore bars. This one-bedroom ground-floor condo has an outside patio for lounging, a kitchenette, and maybe the proper location!
sanibel lighthouse sanibel island florida
The lighthouse is the long-lasting picture of Sanibel! (Photograph Credit score)

Sanibel Island: A Leisure Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is one among my favourite locations on the earth. I’ve been coming right here since I used to be a child with my prolonged household, and I by no means uninterested in the miles of shelly seashores, the quaint regionally owned companies, and the Bubble Bread. Mmmmm. Extra on that in a minute.

Sanibel Island, and the linked Captiva Island, is positioned off the coast of Fort Meyers on the Gulf of Mexico, and this little island is located in such a approach (East to West) that it’s the prime spot for shelling. Among the rarest shells on the earth are discovered right here, just like the well-known Junonia, and there may be even a reputation for individuals bending over to choose up shells: the “Sanibel Stoop”.

Sanibel Island appears like a real place to chill out – no massive chain shops or eating places however moderately native retailers, shelling cruises, and an entire lot of “Sanibel Stooping”.

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shells on sanibel island florida
Shelling and doing the “Sanibel Stoop” is the factor to do on these shelly, attractive seashores. (Photograph Credit score)

Issues to do on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is the proper place to do some actions – or not! Nobody will blame you for simply shelling all day on the seashore or watching one among their well-known sunsets. However in case you do need to get out and about, listed below are a few of my favourite actions:

  • Take a Shelling Cruise – If Sanibel Island isn’t quiet and distant sufficient for you, e book a Half Day Cruise to Southern Cayo Costa. This journey is roughly 3 hours and leaves from Captiva Island and takes you to Cayo Costa State Park, which is simply north of Captiva. On this part of the island, there are not any facilities – all you get is the seashore, sand, and loads of shells! Right here you’ll discover all types of shells like tulips, olives, scallops, and possibly in case you’re actually fortunate, the elusive Junonia. Simply bear in mind to not acquire any shells with dwelling creatures in them – that’s their house!
  • Benefit from the wildlife at a Wildlife Refuge – The J.N. “Ding” Darling Nationwide Wildlife Refuge is a part of the world’s largest undeveloped mangrove inhabitants and is known for its spectacular migratory birds that come right here. Take a drive by means of this 6400-acre protect, with loads of locations to park and trails to discover. You’ll be able to even climb many towers to face and hen from!
  • Bike across the Island – With over 25 miles of biking trails, one of the simplest ways to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is simply about 12 miles throughout and three huge, so it’s simple to see the seashores, wildlife, and the palms swaying above as you traverse it. There are many locations to hire bikes, and most VRBOs and motels may have ones you may borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to seek out all types of enjoyable retailers to discover.
orange crunch cake from the bubble room sanibel isalnd
The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is very addictive. It’s arduous to solely eat it as soon as in your journey! (Photograph Credit score: Dad)

The place to Eat & Drink on Sanibel Island

Since Sanibel Island doesn’t have any chain eating places (okay, okay, they’ve one Dairy Queen), you’ll discover loads of native locations, a few of that are even world-famous!

  • The Bubble Room – You’ll be able to’t point out Sanibel Island with out asking in the event that they’ve been to the Bubble Room (or possibly that’s simply me). The Bubble Room, truly positioned on Captiva Island, is an ultra-themed restaurant crammed with kitsch and classic memorabilia from the 30s and 40s. The partitions are lined with outdated film stills, classic toys are in each nook and cranny, and there are even toy trains that run alongside the ceiling from room to room. The true star of the Bubble Room is its Bubble Bread, made with a number of sorts of cheese on Italian bread which comes with each entree (the recipe is intently guarded in fact). Their different star is their enormous slices of cake, like their Orange Crunch cake, a yellow cake layered with almond brown sugar, and lined in orange cream cheese icing. You’ll be able to even come only for dessert!
  • The Island Cow – This informal restaurant touts “udderly nice meals”, which is true! This can be the most effective place in all of Sanibel to get brunch, they usually serve your desk a basket of complimentary home made muffins as starters, which is one thing I really feel very obsessed with. For breakfast, attempt their Hash Brown Benedict with 2 poached eggs and Canadian bacon on waffled hash brown. What?! For lunch, have the Sesame Tuna Steak Salad – recent pan-seared yellowfin tuna with sesame seeds and a honey ginger glaze on a recent backyard salad with our home made citrus French dressing.
  • The Lighthouse Cafe – The Lighthouse Cafe’s signal says “the world’s greatest breakfast”, and I’ve to say, their french toast is one thing goals are made from. Whereas there may be nothing revolutionary about their flavors or dishes, they’re traditional breakfast meals cooked completely, the place waitresses putter round with pots of espresso prepared to offer you a refill. Get right here early and luxuriate in some rattling good breakfast.
sanibel island sunset florida
There’s something so magical a few Sanibel Island sundown, with the promise of one other day of shelling… (Photograph Credit score)

The place to Keep on Sanibel Island

Staying on Sanibel can get expensive, it’s a small island and paradise in any case, however listed below are some locations for a weekend getaway in Florida on a funds:

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city shot of tampa flordia
Tampa is a superb metropolis to discover by the water! (Photograph Credit score: Go to Tampa Bay)

Tampa: A Metropolis Lover’s Getaway

Spanish colonizer Ponce de León first “found” Florida in 1513, although essentially the extinct Pohoy and Tocobaga Native American Tribes lived right here lengthy earlier than. The parable persists to today that de León got here to America to seek out the “Fountain of Youth”, although there isn’t a arduous proof that that is true, and it’s extra seemingly he was solely in search of gold and land to steal.

After that, the realm remained roughly untouched till it turned a part of the US in 1845, and in 1884 a person named Henry B. Plant constructed a railroad right down to Tampa with lavish motels alongside the way in which.

Since then, Tampa has grown into an up-scale, busy metropolis with no scarcity of leisure, aided by the cigar business that Vicente Martinez Ybor established there within the Eighteen Eighties.

Issues to do in Tampa

Manatees, magnates, and ghosts, oh my! Tampa actually has a beneficiant mixture of old-world Florida and pure habitats for wildlife, so you will get a fantastic combine right here.

  • Go to the Property of a Railroad Tycoon Even by the late 1800s, Florida was nonetheless largely underdeveloped, so a person named Henry B. Plant linked Tampa to the remainder of Florida by railroad and constructed motels alongside the tracks. The one resort of his that’s nonetheless totally standing is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, positioned in downtown Tampa. The attractive property displays the peak of the Gilded Age in America – with its Moorish and Victorian structure and its silver minarets which have turn out to be an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you may see every little thing from imported Japanese vases made within the 1800s to gold plated French chairs – this museum is a dream for anybody who appreciates nice ornament and furnishings.
  • Meet the Ghosts of Ybor Metropolis Meet two kinds of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Strolling Tour as you discover 4 of the spookiest pubs in downtown Tampa. When you get pleasure from drinks, the costumed tour information will inform the haunted historical past of every place. The guides are wearing corsets and tunics and seem like they only stepped off the set of a pirate film (minus the swords, in fact). Haunted pub excursions are few and much in between, so be sure to go to this one when you’re right here, and make sure to take a look at a number of the final remaining cigar manufacturing unit when you’re right here!
  • Spot The Unusual Manatee – Centuries in the past, when pirates and European explorers had been out on the ocean for months, they’d typically come house claiming that they had seen stunning ladies within the water. Right this moment, it’s thought that these sailors had been seeing manatees from a fantastic distance. Within the Nineteen Eighties, an influence station in Tampa was shut down and that very same yr, individuals observed manatees coming in nice numbers, and the federally protected Manatee sanctuary Tampa Electrical’s Manatee Viewing Heart was born. Right here you may watch manatees hug and play with one another within the water and study what the sanctuary is doing to assist their conservation.

The place to Eat & Drink in Tampa

Since Florida is so near Cuba (nearly 90-100 miles on the southernmost level of Florida) there may be loads of Cuban meals to attempt, together with meals ready by the Native American inhabitants (primarily Seminole & Miccosukee Tribes). Pair that with a world-renowned steak home and you’ve got the most effective weekend getaways in Florida.

  • Mandy’s To Go – This spot is one wonderful piece of Cuba in Tampa. Mandy’s has a really home-cooked really feel to it – the staff are actually personable too – and all of the parts are tremendous massive. Their Cuban sandwiches are all excellent (the bread is soooo fluffy) however my favourite sandwich is the Media Noche, which is a pressed sandwich with mustard, ham, pickles, & pork. I don’t know what their secret is, however I’m obsessed. Because the identify suggests, the meals is to go solely, so choose up sandwiches after which go to the seashore for a enjoyable picnic!
  • Ulele – At Ulele (You-lay-lee), you could find meals that’s impressed by the Native Tribes of Florida. Ulele is positioned on the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa Riverwalk subsequent to it’s colorfully lit up at night time. A lot of the elements are sourced from across the Bay space, and the others are from small American farmers that don’t use hormones. In addition they promote craft beer made on-site, in case you’re into that sort of factor. The okra fries are splendidly crunchy, with a touch of lime & salt. My favourite meal is the Gouda grouper – I by no means would assume to pair a deliciously seasoned grouper filet with a Gouda ale béchamel however hey, I’m not a chef for a purpose. Since Ulele is on the Riverwalk, it may possibly get fairly well-liked on the weekends, so make a reservation.
  • Bern’s Steakhouse – It is a restaurant you’ll see on each ‘Better of Tampa’ listing or journey information, but it surely’s there for a purpose – Bern’s Steakhouse is implausible and has been round in Tampa since 1956. Strolling into this huge restaurant appears like strolling right into a Victorian citadel – the partitions are a deep pink, with a stone facade on the underside half, and outdated footage in elaborate, silver frames cling on the partitions. Their meat is perfection, just like the A5 Japanese Wagyu tenderloin, which is likely one of the highest high quality beefs in the marketplace, however any steak you order will probably be cooked expertly to your liking. While you’re prepared for dessert, they’re served in a completely completely different room upstairs, and I like to recommend the super-rich and fudgy 12-layer chocolate cake slice. Be certain that to make a reservation on-line or over the cellphone properly prematurely, and their costume code is enterprise informal to semi-formal.

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29 Issues No one Tells You About Savannah, Georgia

tampa riverwalk florida getaways
Strolling down the Tampa Riverwalk is an effective way to finish any day in Tampa! (Photograph Credit score: Go to Tampa Bay)

The place to Keep in Tampa

Tamps is a superb place to remain, particularly in case you keep close to Ybor Metropolis or the Downtown space by the Tampa Riverwalk. Listed below are some locations in these areas:

  • This Secluded Retreat is within the coronary heart of the historic Ybor metropolis and near downtown, making it the proper spot to remain throughout your journey. It’s spacious and clear with two bedrooms, so deliver some buddies alongside!
  • This tremendous cute resort room on the Florida Palace Lodge is true within the coronary heart of Downtown and will provide you with some severe Magnificence & the Beast vibes. It’s additionally proper subsequent to the Tampa Riverwalk, so that you’ll have leisure out there everytime you like!
ocean drive miami florida-Blog Photo-2
Miami is house to stunning seashores and exquisite Artwork Deco structure. (Photograph Credit score)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

Miami is thought for many issues, like the stylish and glitzy South Seashore, the world’s largest assortment of trendy Artwork Deco buildings, and possibly most iconically, the place the Golden Women stay.

Miami was initially inhabited by the Tequesta Tribe, till the Spanish claimed Florida for themselves within the 1500s, and was named after the Miami River – “Miami” that means “massive water” within the Tequesta/Miyami language. Miami got here to be referred to as the “Magic Metropolis” in fashionable occasions as a result of it went from nowheresville within the early 1900s till the Florida land increase of the Twenties made it appear to spring up by “magic”.

Right this moment you may nonetheless see relics of the increase with the fabulous Twenties-30s Artwork Deco structure, and take a look at historic neighborhoods like Little Havana, Miami’s vibrant Cuban coronary heart the place you may eat at a number of the greatest eating places and puff on a cigar.

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Digital Trip to the Seashore: Take a Tropical (Digital) Journey from House

vizcaya in miami florida
The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is like moving into Europe! (Photograph Credit score)

Issues to do in Miami

Although Miami is Florida’s second-most populous metropolis after Jacksonville, it isn’t very massive – at solely 36 sq. miles it’s simple to soak up the most effective of Miami in only a weekend. Among the greatest issues to get a style of Miami are:

  • Take the Miami South Seashore Artwork Deco Strolling Tour – As beforehand talked about, Miami is house to the biggest assortment of Artwork Deco buildings on the earth, which is a method from the Twenties and 30s characterised by robust colours and boldly delineated geometric shapes. In different phrases, it’s what makes Miami seem like Miami! On this two-hour tour, you’ll find out about mob life and Hollywood glamour by means of the lens of structure, and even see Versace’s over-the-top mansion.
  • Discover the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – Constructed by agricultural tools builder James Deering between 1914 and 1922, this sweeping property exemplified the European villa type with over 10 acres of formal European-inspired gardens with lilies in a sweeping pool, orchids, hidden grottos and mangroves and rather more. Contained in the Mediterranean-style house you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings really giving Vizcaya the identify “Miami’s house”.
  • Do the Little Havana Meals and Strolling Tour in Miami – An effective way to get a style (actually) of Miami is to take a meals and strolling tour of Little Havana. Little Havana is an integral a part of the heartbeat of Miami, because the metropolis is house to many Cuban immigrants and the inhabitants is 70% Hispanic. On this 2.5-hour tour you’ll get to pattern the native delicacies, like guava pastries, hen plantain cups, and flan ice cream, and meet native artists, watch expert Cuban cigar rollers and hearken to conventional Cuban music.
terras rooftop patio with tacos and beer miami florida
Terras has a tropically overgrown rooftop restaurant & bar, good for nice meals and nice websites! (Photograph Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

In case you’re visiting Miami, you may wager your buns you’re going to have some good Cuban meals, the flavors of that are going to bop over your tongue like a mambo. Listed below are some locations to get nice eats:

  • El Rey de las Fritas – A Cuban Frita is a Cuban hamburger that was invented in Havana someday within the Nineteen Thirties. Their Fritas are made with a floor beef patty with sautéed onions, topped with crispy shoestring fries, whereas sitting on a fluffy Cuban roll, and a “secret” constructed into the patty. This may satiate our quick meals cravings – however quick meals that’s truly good and home made – so pop on this lovable diner and check out a style of Cuba.
  • Terras – Terras has the excellence of being the one rooftop bar and restaurant in Little Havana, and it’s like stepping right into a lush jungle that additionally occurs to have views of the Miami skyline. The perfect phrase to explain this place is stylish. Right here you will get tapas with regionally sourced elements, just like the candy corn “cachapa” pancakes, pollo tacos, and shrimp seviche, and cocktails just like the Guavaloma made with Rosaluna mezcal, guava grapefruit syrup, grapefruit soda, and grapefruit sugar.
  • Monte’s Coconut Grove – Positioned on the marina, Monte’s Coconut Grove is the place to get recent seafood in a tropical setting. Step underneath the thatched rooves of this tiki hut setting and order some Conch Fritters which might be fried in spicy batter with cocktail & tartar to begin together with some Gulf Oysters. On your entree, you may’t beat good old style fish and chips, or step it up with the Mahi Sandwich. However actually of you simply ate oysters and drank mango margaritas I wouldn’t blame you both.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-3
Even the lifeguard shacks in Miami are stunning! (Photograph Credit score)

The place to Keep in Miami

Whether or not you need to be near little Havana underneath a mango tree, or proper on the seashore, Miami has choices!

  • This charming backyard cottage is tremendous cozy, cute, and magical – your very personal personal plant paradise. Positioned proper by the town heart and Little Havana, you may discover the town after which come again to your individual secluded haven, consuming outdoors underneath a mango tree. The within is simply as cute and colourful with a queen-sized mattress and a kitchen.
  • This tremendous fashionable and trendy one-bedroom condo is positioned only a 5 to 10-minute stroll to all the most effective of South Seashore. Apart from a kitchen to prepare dinner in, this constructing additionally has its personal shady pool, sure to maintain you cool on sizzling afternoons!
  • For an superior funds choice, this apartment in an precise Artwork Deco constructing could also be small however you have got the seashore at your fingertips! And you’ll’t beat staying in a chunk of historical past.

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Two Weeks in Costa Rica: The Final Costa Rica 2 Week Itinerary

A large rainbow flag flies at the 12th Street Beach, South Beach, Miami
Sure, we are saying homosexual in Florida! (Photograph Credit score)

Fort Lauderdale: A Homosexual Getaway

Although solely about 45 minutes away from Miami, Fort Lauderdale is an excellent sizzling spot for LGBTQ+ vacationers. Even their present mayor is homosexual! If you’d like some good old style homosexual enjoyable (sure, we are saying homosexual right here!) Fort Lauderdale is the place to see wonderful drag, take a look at the homosexual bars, and naturally, sandy (homosexual) seashores.

The Metropolis of Fort Lauderdale is called for the second Seminole fort constructed to combat the Seminole Tribe in 1838, as European colonizers stole their land and drove them out. The town at the moment is nicknamed “The Venice of America”, because of the 300 miles of canals and channels that are known as the Intercostal Waterway.

So seize your cutest outfit, your dancing footwear (or flip flops), and let’s discover Fort Lauderdale.

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Sebastian Avenue Seashore is the gayest seashore in Florida, possibly the world! (Photograph Credit score)

Issues to do in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is all about enjoyable, drinks, and seashore time! If this seems like spring break, you’re not fallacious, as Fort Lauderdale was the place spring break originated in 1938! Speak about a celebration city.

  • Go to the Homosexual Seashore – Fort Lauderdale is know, as a lot of Flordia actually, for his or her seashores, they usually have 23 miles of seashores crammed into 36 sq. miles of metropolis. That’s a whole lot of seashores! Sebastian Avenue Seashore is called the homosexual seashore, and is a superb place to individuals watch and meet different {couples} each regionally and on trip.
  • Try some homosexual historical past – Fort Lauderdale is house to not one, however two homosexual museums. The primary is the Stonewall Museum & Archives, the place you may study in regards to the Stonewall Riots that turned the catalyst for the homosexual liberation motion. Right here you may see images, clippings, and memorabilia from the riotd in addition to fashionable homosexual ephemera. The opposite is the World AIDS Museum and Educaiton Heart, the place you may study the unhappy story of the AIDS epidemic, the pitiful authorities response, and the hope to stamp out HIV/AIDS as soon as and for all sooner or later.
  • Try the canals and channels on a sightseeing cruise – In case you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the primary time, chances are you’ll be curious in regards to the “Venice of America”. The town has 165 miles of navigable waterways, and images of the town it does all appear to be floating on water! Fortunately you may take a 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruise, the place you’ll cruise alongside the New River previous Millionaire’s Row and study in regards to the space.

The place to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you may hold it homosexual all by means of dinner, and for drinks afterward! Not solely that, you may have dinner and a drag present – it’s true!

  • Lips Drag Queen Present Palace, Restaurant & Bar – Dinner theatre can solely be higher when drag queens are concerned, and Lips simply does that! Wednesday by means of Sunday they do a special present with a special menu every day, like “Glitz & Glam” on Friday and Sunday, “Dragalicious Brunch” on Sunday with bottomless mimosas, and even a “Taboo 21+” present late Saturday nights. Speak about dinner and a present, hunty!
  • Rosie’s Bar and Grille – For an enormous homosexual time in an off-the-cuff environment, take a look at Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their outside patio surrounded by lush foliage underneath colourful umbrellas and rainbow lanterns, sipping on fruity drinks like their Watermellon Basil Martini, an Orange Bubble Crush, or a Blue Wave. Foodwise, they’ve superior burgers, sandwiches, nachos, and rather more!
  • Try the Wilton Manors Homosexual Bars – Wilton Manors is the primary gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, although technically it’s truly its personal metropolis! Alongside Wilton Drive, the primary homosexual thoroughfare, you’ll discover bars like Infinity Lounge for an after-work drink, Hunters for dancing, and The Pub for wonderful drag reveals. This strip is well walkable, and simply be sure to’re respectful in case you’re not a queer individual coming into a queer area!
A personal pool on my weekend getaway? Don’t thoughts if I do! (Photograph Credit score)

The place to Keep in Fort Lauderdale

Staying in Fort Lauderdale for the weekend has choices – whether or not you want the seashore inside strolling distance, or the bars of Wilton Manors!

  • This central Wilton Manors studio condo is true within the coronary heart of Wilton Manors, making bar hopping/crawling simple and secure! The condo is fashionable and clear, and the most effective half is your individual personal pool within the yard surrounded by palm bushes and flowers.
  • For that seashore life, take a look at this tremendous stylish condo that’s proper on the scenic Intercoastal Waterway. While you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious condo, you may cool off within the pool or stroll a block to Fort Lauderdale seashore!

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38 Enchanting Issues to Do in Savannah, Georgia

st pete beach florida
St. Pete Seashore is the most effective seashore in America you say? Don’t thoughts if I do… (Photograph Credit score)

St. Petersburg: A Seashore Lover’s Getaway

St. Petersburg — or St. Pete, for brief — has a seashore for each event. With top-rated seashores stretching 35 miles alongside the Gulf of Mexico, you may go to a special world-class seashore every single day. With full of life city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant power that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and every little thing in between, you’ll need to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) in your weekend in St. Pete. 

That’s to not say there isn’t a lot extra to do in case you want a break from the solar (St. Pete averages 360 days of solar per yr!). Cultural points of interest — just like the Salvador Dali Museum and the Chihuly Assortment — and an thrilling meals scene can punctuate your enjoyable within the solar.

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All this nature is true at your fingertips in Fort de Soto Park! (Photograph Credit score)

Issues to Do in St. Petersburg

Sandals? Verify. Sunblock? Verify. Let’s have a look at the most effective seashores and pure actions in St. Pete!

  • Hit Certainly one of America’s Favourite Seashores – Rated the #1 seashore within the US by Journey Advisor in 2021, St. Pete Seashore is every little thing a seashore must be. White, sugar sand; unbelievable sunsets; clear, emerald water, and — in fact — seashore bars. Spend the day absorbing the solar, splashing within the surf, and marveling on the plain fantastic thing about this Gulf Coast seashore. And on the finish of the day (heck, everytime you need), head to at least one or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has stay music and a sprawling, beachside patio.
  • Take pleasure in Seashores and Historical past at Fort De Soto Park and Egmont Key Fort De Soto Park encompasses 5 islands and tons of shoreline within the Gulf and Tampa Bay. You’ll be able to hike, bike, chill out on the seashores, and even discover the historic fort — accomplished in 1900. You’ll be able to even take the ferry over to Egmont Key, a secluded island the place you may hike, swim, or snorkel amongst outdated fort ruins. Have a look at you, Indiana Jones!
  • Discover an Undeveloped Island – In case you plan for a day journey, Caladesi Island State Park (which requires a ferry trip) is a quiet island, good for a soothing day spent swimming or bird-watching. If you wish to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s a beautiful nature path that may take you thru the center of the island to historic ruins. This path goes to the Scharrer Homestead ruins, which is what stays of a late 1800s home, the place Henry Scharrer, a Swedish immigrant, used to stay. You may also hire a kayak on the island and kayak one of many paddling trails by means of the shallow, clear water.
  • See Florida Wildlife by Paddleboard – What higher technique to expertise Florida’s wildlife than by a peaceable paddleboard tour? You don’t must be a professional to take this tour — in truth, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of the best way to navigate your board, you’ll head out on the bayou seeking manatees, dolphins, and a various array of birds. 
doc crow's st petersberg florida
Speak about lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Photograph Credit score: @docfords)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Petersburg

St. Pete has a lot to supply within the foods and drinks scene, from the everyday recent seafood, to custom-made cocktails with a rotating menu. Listed below are a number of the greatest locations to eat and drink in St. Pete:

  • Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille – Positioned on the St. Pete Pier, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille sits proper on the water providing you with wonderful views of Tampa Bay. Get the Macadamia Nut Crusted Grouper, which is served atop an unique mixture of quinoa, jasmine rice, arugula, pink peppers and yellow squash then complimented with a “Toasted Rum” coconut sauce. In addition they have, because the identify suggests, loads of rum drinks, so attempt their signature Sanibel Sundown with Calypso Spiced Rum and Don Q Coconut Rum with a splash of Amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine.
  • Noble Crust – Nobel Crust isn’t your typical pizza joint, moderately they name it “Deep South Italian”, mixing southern recent elements with Italian recipes. Right here you will get starters just like the decadent F.G.B.L.T. which is fried inexperienced tomatoes, Tabasco-honey glazed pork stomach, and pimento cheese. And naturally, it’s important to get one among their fireplace oven pizzas, like a standard margehrita or one thing extra thrilling just like the Peach + Burrata with pesto, Gorgonzola, caramelized onion, recent peach, torn burrata and balsamic honey.
  • The Mandarin Conceal – If you’d like a break from the beachside tiki bar and need to go all out on a number of the metropolis’s greatest cocktails, head to the Mandarin Conceal. This little cozy, darkish cocktail lounge with glowing chandeliers is thought for its professional mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Every Tuesday they create an fully new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t let you know what will probably be on it if you go to, you recognize it’s going to be new and wonderful. They even have aged cocktails. This place is legit, ya’ll!
St. Pete Beach at twilight with a colorful sunset in St. Petersburg, Florida
Simply assume, you possibly can be overlooking sprawling seashores at sundown! (Photograph Credit score)

The place to Keep in St. Petersburg

Since St. Pete is a lot seashore, you’ll positively have the chance to be a seashore bum for the weekend! Listed below are some nice seashore choices in your getaway:

  • This blue seashore apartment is overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and is simply steps from the seashore. You’ll be able to sit on the balcony and drink because the solar goes down (or rises, if that’s your factor) and prepare dinner within the almost full-sized kitchen.
  • Although this colourful apartment shouldn’t be going through the seashore, you’ll be there in only a few steps. This rental can also be larger, providing you with a separate front room/kitchen and bed room if you wish to unfold out just a little extra.

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The Excellent Weekend in Nashville, Tennessee: Itinerary & (Large) Information

Lightner Museum, St. Augustine, Florida-Blog Photo-2
The Lightner Museum in St. Augustine is simply the tip of the historic metropolis iceberg. (Photograph Credit score)

St. Augustine: A Historical past Lover’s Getaway

St. Augustine shouldn’t be solely Florida’s oldest metropolis, it’s additionally the oldest constantly occupied European settlement on the continent, i.e. the nation’s oldest metropolis! It goes with out saying that historical past (and ghosts!) abound right here.

St. Augustine sits on Florida’s northeast coast, the place Pedro Menendez — despatched by King Phillip II of Spain, landed in 1565. The king despatched directions to realize management of the realm, which had beforehand been inhabited by the Timucua Native Folks, and set up it as a navy outpost and Catholic missionary base. 

Right this moment it’s a metropolis full of lovely Spanish colonial structure, attractive pure parks, and historic points of interest. Get able to eat traditional Florida fare, lay on the seashore, chill out in nature, and get the heebie-jeebies on this historic and haunted metropolis. 

Castillo de San Marco National Monument st augistine florida
Exploring the Castillo de San Marco Nationwide Monument is like stepping again into the seventeenth century. (Photograph Credit score)

Issues to Do in St. Augustine

There’s quite a bit to do in St. Augustine, so it was powerful to slender it down. However you’ll positively need to get a heavy dose of historical past and spooky time on this centuries-old coastal metropolis.

  • Discover the Castillo de San Marcos – Constructed within the late seventeenth century, the Castillo de San Marcos is the nation’s oldest masonry fort constructed by the Spanish to guard themselves from pirates, Native American tribes, and different imperial powers. Come see the 20-acre fort, with its 33′ tall partitions peppered with holes from invasions. Because the fort was constructed with coquina, a sort of sedimentary rock made from shells and useless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked, moderately absorbed cannonballs which might nonetheless be seen within the partitions at the moment.
  • Marvel on the Historic Lightner Museum – Since we’re speaking in regards to the nation’s oldest metropolis right here, St. Augustine has a whole lot of museums. Some of the fascinating, and definitely probably the most stunning, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed within the outdated resort Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival type constructing inbuilt 1887. So let’s simply say it’s ornate. Inside it’s sort of what you’d think about an eccentric Victorina collector would have – gilded-age instances displaying shells, rocks, Native American artifacts, outdated devices, Tiffany glass, and oh, a mummy and a shrunken head.
  • Get Scared on a Ghost Tour – Since St. Augustine is such an outdated metropolis, it’s no marvel that it’s crammed with loads of tales of those that have by no means crossed to the opposite aspect and nonetheless reside on this historic place. Take an hour and a half lengthy strolling ghost tour which is able to take you to the Previous Fort and cemeteries, or, in case you like to combine scary tales and booze, take the two-hour “Spirits with the Spirits” tour to get your buzz and boo on.
octopus dish at odd birds in st augistine florida
Odd Birds additionally has some odd dishes, like their Jimmy Grilled Out made with octopus! (Photograph Credit score: @odd_birds)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Augustine

Simply since you’re within the oldest metropolis doesn’t imply it’s important to eat old-style meals! St. Augustine has some fashionable easts in some stunning areas. A few of our favorites are:

  • The Floridian – The Floridian is simply that – Florida-themed to the gills! Inside there are many vegetation and tiki-inspired decor, in addition to a fantastic patio to eat open air. They are saying their meals is “modern southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, and localvores.” Strive the Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf Sandwich or the Fish Camp Fancy Sandwich, and you’ll wager each chew is native and recent!
  • Odd Birds Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen – This tremendous kitschy, tropically pleasant restaurant and bar is the place to get particular cocktails like The Wild Moon Baby, with Tequila Blanco, Strawberry Syrup, Cynar, Pineapple Juice with a splash of Lemon Juice or an Espresso Martini to pep you up. Meals-wise, they’ve signature entrees like their Jimmy Grilled Out with grilled octopus, papa bravas, chimi, French dressing, and nata.
  • Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar – In case your candy tooth will get a hankering, head to Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar in historic downtown St. Augustine which is simply as divine because it sounds. Get a waffle just like the Whirly Chook topped with recent cinnamon apples, vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle, and bourbon whipped cream, or a milkshake just like the Pele Dos Santos with vanilla ice cream, recent bananas, and Nutella. Or get each!
St. Augustine, Florida sunset with sailboats on the water
St. Augustine, Florida sundown with sailboats on the water.

The place to Keep in St. Augustine

St. Augustine, being an outdated, outdated place, requires you to remain in some historic and charming outdated locations your self! Listed below are some fantastically lovable choices to get your within the spirit:

  • This gem within the historic district is so effing cute you’ll need to name it house earlier than you allow. This primary-floor condo has one bed room, a kitchen, and loads of area. Sit on the screened-in porch and watch sailboats within the harbor and shrimp boats bringing of their catch, and watch the sundown paint the sky.
  • This Twenties 900sq/ft condo is big, attractive, and vivid and is the proper place to make your “house” in your weekend getaway. You’ll be underneath a mile from the Castillo de San Marcos and all the most effective St. Augustine has to supply.

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33 Quirky Issues To Do In Key West, Florida (& Large Journey Information)

Paradise beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Park, Key West. State Park in Florida, USA.
Paradise seashore at Fort Zachary Taylor Park, Key West. State Park in Florida, USA.

Key West: A Tropical Lover’s Getaway

Key West, Florida could also be probably the most distinctive locations in America: roosters roam the streets, drag queens rule the nightlife, and Cuba’s shut proximity colours its historical past. The whole island is a colourful, tropical feast for the senses. Is that this paradise? I assumed it will be much less …. bizarre?

To essentially admire Key West in all of its quirky glory, you additionally must get to know its lengthy historical past of pirates, bootleggers, and nonconformists; its resident ghosts and grave-digging iguanas; and the resident animals like six-toed cats who name it house. It’s additionally the southernmost level of the US, so it is smart it’s the final on our listing!

We even have an entire publish about issues to do in Key West in case you’d prefer to study much more!

Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida

Issues to do in Key West

Key West is the place well-known author Ernest Hemingway as soon as lived, the place you may snorkel, and the sunsets are ones to recollect!

  • Go to the Hemingway Home & Museum – The Hemingway Home & Museum is in Previous City Key West, and this yellow, ethereal, many-windowed house is within the French Colonial type with many artwork deco accents on the within. It is a actually massive attraction on Key West for good purpose – Hemingway was a prolific author through the Twenties and 30s, and he wrote two of his most well-known books on this very home: A Farewell To Arms and To Have and Have Not. Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for years, making the island his everlasting place of residence within the Nineteen Thirties, and is the person who I’ve determined to totally blame for all of the cats on the island (in response to the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, stay right here).
  • Snorkel at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: The one reef you may fairly swim to in Key West is the one in Fort Zachary Taylor. The admission for pedestrians is $2.50 and you’ll spend all the day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is thought for having many tropical species of birds you may see just like the Roseate Spoonbill. These reefs could also be your greatest likelihood to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as properly! Since you may be by yourself on this reef, be sure to deliver your individual snorkeling gear or hire one on the park (both approach, pack anti-fog spray).
  • Take a Sundown Cruise – A sundown cruise can’t be missed in Key West, they usually usually give out free drinks – as a result of Key West is at all times right down to get together – and are the very best technique to see the sundown. Most of those excursions are about two hours lengthy, returning at round 7pm. Notice that since these are sailboats, the downstairs area of the boat is just about only a rest room and never an area to cover from the solar, so in case you burn as badly as I do be sure to deliver sunblock! In case you’re touring together with your accomplice, e book an intimate cruise like Hazard’s Charters Wind & Wine Sundown Sail Sitting on a ship and watching the sundown collectively is such a romantic technique to spend time with one another! For a livelier night, Cool Key West is a superb selection, with native musicians enjoying and loads of free drinks.

The place to Eat & Drink in Key West

Key West, apart from being a veritable paradise, has some scrumptious meals choices to match. And a few drinks with character!

  • Seize Breakfast and a Present at Blue Heaven – Blue Heaven is very easy to overlook (search for the signal on a gate behind some bushes), however consuming at this outside restaurant feels such as you’re inside a jungle shaded by huge banyan bushes, banana palms, and colourful hibiscus flowers. The restaurant is house to cats, chickens AND child chickens, so that you simply may make some animal buddies when you eat! Strive their Lobster “BLT” Benny – a spin on the traditional BLT however with recent lobster. Blue Heaven additionally has a Rooster Graveyard, which accommodates the stays of cockfighting roosters and a few of Blue Heaven’s more moderen rooster residents. Each morning Blue Heaven hosts native musicians enjoying calming music that will help you begin your day on the island, so grabbing breakfast right here is certain to get you within the island spirit.
  • Get a Drink and See a Drag present at 801 Bourbon Bar – 801 Bourbon started in 1987 as a piano bar, however as time went on, the main target turned much less on the piano and extra on the drag performances. Only one factor: at 801, the queens don’t lip-sync! They’re nice singers and you’ll hearken to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. Honest warning: in case you’re within the entrance rows, you’ll in all probability get teased by the queens. However hey, getting made enjoyable of by a drag queen in entrance of a stay viewers is a present.
  • Dessert that’s Higher than Intercourse: Higher Than Intercourse is THE romantic dessert date spot to go to. Whereas it has lately expanded out of state, that is the unique and the place the homeowners reside, so you must cease right here at the very least as soon as to get some sweets. I’m an enormous lover of dessert, and let me be the bearer of excellent information: Higher Than Intercourse has desserts that make me weak within the knees. A lot of the desserts have enjoyable names, like the Kinky-er Key West Cream Pie, locally-themed selection. Their cake can also be wonderful – fluffy slices piled excessive with icing – with scrumptious caramel and raspberry drizzles that, I’m not ashamed to confess, I fortunately drown my cake in. Yum!
The backyard of an AirBnb in Key West Florida with a hot tub.
There are many little paradises you may hire in Key West! (Photograph Credit score)

The place to Keep in Key West

One key factor to notice, although: though there are many house leases on the island, native laws require a 28-night minimal keep. So in case you’re not a distant employee in search of a month in paradise, you’ll need to e book a resort, resort, apartment, or correctly licensed trip rental.

  • The charming Wicker Guesthouse is positioned only one block from the Ernest Hemingway Home, with a tropical backyard and an outside pool. Rooms embody microwaves and a small fridge, you may hire bikes on-site, and also you’re solely a 10-minute stroll from South Seashore.
  • The Secret Backyard gives a captivating personal oasis, with two bedrooms, a completely stocked kitchen, and entry to a shared pool.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-2
Prepare for seashore time! (Photograph Credit score)

What to Pack for Weekend Getaways in Florida

Right here’s what to pack in your baggage to deliver with you to the seashore:

  • A number of Swimsuits: There’s likelihood you’ll be leaping into the water every single day, so that you’ll need to deliver alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you at all times have one thing dry to placed on! I’m a measurement 16/18, and my favourite swimsuit is that this one, which I actually have in 3 completely different colours. It’s wonderful. It’s good. It’s a freakin’ steal! I additionally love this swimsuit, and that is my favourite one piece. For extra swimsuit picks, take a look at my information to swimsuits for curvy women.
  • Journey Towel: There’s completely no assure that the towels at your accomodation are going to suit round your waist. Frankly, they not often match round my left thigh. Plus, they’re heavy and hulking and you will get in bother for bringing them out of the resort. So simply to be secure, I at all times deliver my very own travel-friendly, light-weight, quick-drying journey towel!
  • Journey Clothesline: Newsflash: your resort’s moist, darkish rest room is absolutely the WORST place to hold your clothes as much as dry. As a substitute, cling this tiny journey clothesline up someplace that will get loads of airflow and solar, like on a curtain rod in entrance of the window! Your moist swimsuit and journey towel will probably be dry very quickly.
  • Sand Repelling Seashore Mat: I hate sand SO MUCH and this mat is made with magical sand-repelling qualities. If sand doesn’t make you need to go stay in an igloo endlessly, you may at all times simply use your towel as a mat as an alternative!

On seashore days, we pack up our day bag with all of our seashore gear and a full bottle of chilly water to remain hydrated (our insulated water bottle retains water chilly for an unbelievably very long time). And naturally, tons and lot of sunscreen – don’t neglect to re-apply!

For extra beachy packing suggestions and curvy-girl particular strategies (ahem: do you have got chafe balm but??) head over to our seashore trip packing information!

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The 6 Finest Swimsuits for Curves: Snug, Cute, and Area-Examined

Concerning the Writer: Richie Goff is a Louisville, Kentucky native with a fantastic love of the outside. When he’s not rising flowers for enjoyable, he’s the Editor-in-Chief of Sensible Wanderlust and Let’s Go Louisville. He has been a good friend of Lia’s since highschool, they usually have taken loads of their very own disaster-prone adventures collectively!


Which of those weekend getaways in Florida excites you probably the most? What are you most excited to do? Drop us a remark under!

In search of extra Florida inspiration? Try our different posts:

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In search of extra USA inspiration? We’ve a MASSIVE journey information for all our favourite locations within the US and useful recommendation, packing suggestions and journey guides. Click on the hyperlink under to obtain!

Our High Journey Ideas & Sources

Listed below are our favourite journey suggestions & sources for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra suggestions, take a look at our journey suggestions useful resource web page or our information to planning a visit.

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving suggestions: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a funds airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique motels or personal rooms in hostels. We use Reserving.com to e book motels (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e book hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and wonderful critiques). For trip leases, we choose to e book utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher help than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor document. You may also e book trip leases on Expedia and Accommodations.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our house and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY recommend it – go to our Journey Insurance coverage Information to seek out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is likely one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which might be good for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We e book all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely will we earn money again that we are able to spend on extra journey, however the card gives implausible journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automobile protection, which helps defend us on our travels. Study extra right here.
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC web site to analysis beneficial medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times suggest getting each vaccine beneficial by the CDC! You may get them at your major care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get a neighborhood’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We e book our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine the best way to get from place to position, and e book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we are able to. After we e book a rental automobile, we use Kayak to check rental corporations and discover the most effective deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Every time we’re trying out early or benefiting from an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital data (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and so forth) secure, even if you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it enables you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO if you join!
  • What to Pack: Listed below are the journey necessities that we deliver on each journey. We even have packing lists for decent climate, chilly climate, and lots of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!





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