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

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Sandy, sweeping seashores. Outdated, haunted cities. Heaps & a lot of seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with a median of 237 sunny days a 12 months. It’s really the land of one million sandy seashores, theme parks, and an entire lot of issues to do. And it’s top-of-the-line 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 sights that fall beneath the department of a sure type of Florida-flavored kitsch.

I’ve collected the ten finest weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you wish to sit on the seashore, go on adventures, discover its historical past and listen to ghost tales, or see some drag exhibits and go to the homosexual seashore (yeah, Florida, I stated 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 may be lots that may be completed within the sunny state of Florida! Under are ten wonderful weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you’re on the lookout for some seashore rest or some extra adventurous choices.

I’ve included a listing 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 undoubtedly 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 could 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 key 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 prompted 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 Warfare towards the Seminole Tribe, the unique inhabitants of the realm.

There’s one other concept 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 Stunning” 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’ll be able to’t keep away from the standard experiences, and the crowds, if you already know the place to look. Listed here are a few of the finest issues to do in Orlando outdoors the theme parks:

  • Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida – I’ve visited Orlando many instances and I’ve to say this is without doubt one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Situated within the gorgeous (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven linked lakes, by small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous a few 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 already know you’re in for time!
  • Evening Glow Paddleboarding – Bear in mind all these lakes I discussed Orlando having? Nicely, one of the best ways to expertise them is with Evening Glow Paddleboarding by Epic Paddle Adventures. Even when you’ve by no means completed standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable group may have you up very quickly to discover the lake. The perfect half is, because the solar goes down the paddleboards mild up (which you’ll change the colour) and the employees brings a cooler with beer or White Claws and even performs get together music (and takes requests!). This can be a fabulous approach to spend a night, and the employees really makes it one thing to write down residence 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 you probably have an eye fixed for magnificence, you’ll undoubtedly be at residence on this inventive paradise.

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The place to Eat & Drink in Orlando

  • Orlando Milkhouse – I do know what you’re considering – you’re lactose illiberal – fortunate for you Milkhouse is actually named after the “milk district” by which it’s situated. 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 situated 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 referred to 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 on the lake. Undecided what to get? Get a flight to attempt samples of their beers and guide a personal tour to listen to extra concerning the historical past and the way their beer is made!
  • The Hammered Lamb – Because the identify suggests, the Hammered Lamb is a good place to drink! Additionally situated throughout the best way from Lake Ivanhoe, this out of doors (and coated) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the prepare tracks. And each time a prepare goes by meaning one factor… prepare pictures! Sure, of their quest to get you a little bit tipsy pictures are served each time a prepare passes. To not point out their meals is sort of scrumptious – hummus of the day with pita and many veggies, spicy wings, stacked nachos, and crispy lamb quesadillas. Choo choo!
  • East Finish Market – East Finish Market is a culinary meals hub, the place inventive 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 can be practically a half-pound every!
swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando florida
The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is really an oasis. This may very well 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 here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Caribe Royale Orlando is situated on World Heart Drive, a stone’s throw away Disney from when you plan on visiting on one in every of your days and so they even have their very own Disney transportation. The resort itself is just lately renovated with massive, spacious and fashionable rooms, and loads of eating choices on-site. The crown jewel of the resort is its massive pool space, which incorporates waterfalls and a waterslide. Whereas this resort just isn’t precisely a finances resort, it’s definitely worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This stunning rental with a heated pool has a brilliant, spacious bed room and bikes you’ll be able to 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 condominium additionally situated 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.

In the present day new Smyrna is called an artists’ hub, residence to the Atlantic Heart for the Arts in addition to The Hub on Canal, a community-based arts middle the place native artists educate and promote their works. Right here you could find ocean-inspired art work (or not!), in every kind of mediums by individuals who flock to this city for inventive inspiration.

New Smyrna Seashore can be recognized for its unimaginable browsing, ranked by Surfer Journal because the quantity 5 finest surf city. With waves nearly each week of the 12 months, New Smyrna is a sizzling spot for surfers and surf tradition, though New Smyrna is called the “shark capital of the world” as a result of close by inlet. So possibly stick extra to artwork, and depart the browsing to the professionals!

What To Do in New Smyrna Seashore

There may be loads of artwork, historical past, and many native allure to find in New Smyrna Seashore! A number of of the very best actions are:

  • Marine Discovery Heart Boat Tour – Take a 2-hour Dolphin Discovery boat tour on North America’s most biologically numerous estuary, with over 4000 species that decision this space residence. 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. For those who want your lovable dolphin repair, this can be the very best place to see them!
  • Smyrna Dunes Park– This 184-acre inlet park gives two miles of boardwalks the place you’ll be able to see gopher tortoises nesting inside the lush dune foliage. The boardwalk additionally has loads of overlooks of the attractive Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. This can be 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 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 road at the moment remains to be the cultural hub of commerce and artwork. Right here you could find outlets 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 effectively just like the Traditional Cruise Automobile Present, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There may be at all times one thing occurring!
  • Take a look at the Historical past Museum and Outdated Fort Park – New Smyrna is residence to a lot of 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 concerning the authentic Native Individuals, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye grew to become a money crop for the town, and its completely tubular browsing scene. Afterward, head throughout the road from the museum is Outdated 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 web site for establishing ships or the unique Castillo de San Marcos? Nobody is aware of!
  • Stroll across the Outdated Sugar Mills Ruins – Three miles away from the museum and Outdated Fort Park are the Outdated 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, in order that they burnt down the Spanish colonizer’s mill in retaliation. In the present day this free park is hidden amongst palm bushes containing high-sweeping arches and rusted metallic vats, and is a good place to study concerning the battle of the unique inhabitants of the land and those that intruded. Bear in mind the park entrance just isn’t effectively marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Seashore, FL and enter the small highway 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 glorious meals in some surprising places, let’s dig in!

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s is the type of place that makes you’re feeling like a child once more, as a result of you’ll be able to 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’re feeling cozy and magical. To begin, order the Wagyu Brief Rib Hummus, with hummus they make from scratch, over-roasted boneless Wagyu quick 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 Sensible Catch, a Cooks catch with blackened honey pecan-crusted, shrimp, whiskey butter cream sauce, chef’s vegetable, and Yukon mash potatoes. The whole lot right here is beautiful in taste and preparation!
  • Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille – For maybe the very best 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 Rooster & 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 incorrect 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 here are some nice seashore choices on a finances:

  • This tremendous beachy cottage is actually simply steps away from the seashore and priced good! With a kitchenette and single bed room and loo, you’ll have all the pieces you could discover the tremendous lovable New Smyrna and have sand between your toes very quickly!
  • The Sea Vista Motel has a classic allure 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 an amazing 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 huge driftwood bushes at Boneyard Seashore are otherworldly!

Jacksonville: A Nature Lover’s Getaway

Jacksonville is the largest metropolis by landmass within the continental US, coming in at a whopping 840 sq. miles! With a lot space you’ll be able to wager there are many adventures available – and it’s top-of-the-line 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 largest city park system within the nation, which is 4 instances the dimensions 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 very best of Florida’s natural world, “Jax” is the place to go to, with a median of 270 sunny days a 12 months 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 now have 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 getting into your lungs as you’re feeling your muscle tissue launch.
  • Boneyard Seashore – Situated alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Seashore at Massive Talbot Island State Park. These “bones” aren’t actually bones in any respect – however large driftwood bushes that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these big “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 an amazing place for a considerably morbid and kooky stroll.
  • Strive Stand Up Paddleboarding within the ocean – Even you probably 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 when you fall, you’ll splash gently into the ocean and climb again on. Their 90-minute newbie lessons are the right spot to get your ft moist (actually) and it’s possible you’ll discover you’re hooked on paddleboarding earlier than you already know 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 the Fort George/Simpson Creek estuary by the salt marshes when you study concerning 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 do-it-yourself cookies (that’s what retains coming again, they are saying!). Our tour information that day was a former trainer named Buddy, and you’ll inform Kayak Amelia has a real love of educating and the setting.
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 situated in Neptune Seashore, an amazing 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’ll be able to’t go incorrect with the Crispy Calamari with Pecorino cheese & spicy tomato sauce or, when 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 powerful 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 very best place to get Oysters in Jacksonville within the coolest setting. Seize a desk or picnic desk with pals on the patio and prepare to dig into some recent seafood delivered each 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 undoubtedly the spot to guide a spot on the water! A few choices are:

  • Whereas the One Ocean Resort & Spa is definietly on the pricier aspect, when you’re on the lookout for a spot within the coronary heart of Neptune Seashore and wish some swanky facilities like a spa, One Ocean Resort & Spa is the place to deal with your self. Situated proper on the seashore and steps away from MBody Yoga and the eating places talked about above, you’ll be able to relax of their pool and absorb 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 out of doors patio for lounging, a kitchenette, and maybe the right location!
sanibel lighthouse sanibel island florida
The lighthouse is the enduring picture of Sanibel! (Photograph Credit score)

Sanibel Island: A Rest Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is one in every of 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 bored with 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 situated off the coast of Fort Meyers on the Gulf of Mexico, and this little island is located in such a means (East to West) that it’s the prime spot for shelling. A few of 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 large chain shops or eating places however somewhat native outlets, 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 right place to do some actions – or not! Nobody will blame you for simply shelling all day on the seashore or watching one in every of their well-known sunsets. However when 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, guide 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 aren’t any facilities – all you get is the seashore, sand, and loads of shells! Right here you’ll discover every kind of shells like tulips, olives, scallops, and possibly when you’re actually fortunate, the elusive Junonia. Simply keep in mind to not gather any shells with residing creatures in them – that’s their residence!
  • 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 legendary for its spectacular migratory birds that come right here. Take a drive by 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 chicken from!
  • Bike across the Island – With over 25 miles of biking trails, one of the best ways to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is simply about 12 miles throughout and three broad, 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 resorts may have ones you’ll be able to borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to search out every kind of enjoyable outlets to discover.
orange crunch cake from the bubble room sanibel isalnd
The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is extremely addictive. It’s exhausting 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 situated on Captiva Island, is an ultra-themed restaurant full of kitsch and classic memorabilia from the 30s and 40s. The partitions are lined with previous 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 actual 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 carefully guarded in fact). Their different star is their big slices of cake, like their Orange Crunch cake, a yellow cake layered with almond brown sugar, and coated 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 very best place in all of Sanibel to get brunch, and so they serve your desk a basket of complimentary do-it-yourself muffins as starters, which is one thing I really feel very keen about. 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 do-it-yourself citrus French dressing.
  • The Lighthouse Cafe – The Lighthouse Cafe’s signal says “the world’s finest breakfast”, and I’ve to say, their french toast is one thing desires are made from. Whereas there may be nothing revolutionary about their flavors or dishes, they’re basic breakfast meals cooked completely, the place waitresses putter round with pots of espresso prepared to present you a refill. Get right here early and revel 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 finances:

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city shot of tampa flordia
Tampa is a good 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 truly the extinct Pohoy and Tocobaga Native American Tribes lived right here lengthy earlier than. The parable persists to this present day that de León got here to America to search out the “Fountain of Youth”, although there is no such thing as a exhausting proof that that is true, and it’s extra probably he was solely on the lookout for gold and land to steal.

After that, the realm remained kind of untouched till it grew to become a part of the US in 1845, and in 1884 a person named Henry B. Plant constructed a railroad all the way down to Tampa with lavish resorts alongside the best way.

Since then, Tampa has grown into an up-scale, busy metropolis with no scarcity of leisure, aided by the cigar trade that Vicente Martinez Ybor established there within the 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 an amazing 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 resorts alongside the tracks. The one resort of his that’s nonetheless absolutely standing is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, situated 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 into an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you’ll be able to see all the pieces from imported Japanese vases made within the 1800s to gold plated French chairs – this museum is a dream for anybody who appreciates wonderful ornament and furnishings.
  • Meet the Ghosts of Ybor Metropolis Meet two forms of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Strolling Tour as you discover 4 of the spookiest pubs in downtown Tampa. Whilst you take pleasure in drinks, the costumed tour information will inform the haunted historical past of every place. The guides are wearing corsets and tunics and appear to be they simply stepped off the set of a pirate film (minus the swords, in fact). Haunted pub excursions are few and much in between, so ensure you go to this one when you’re right here, and make sure you take a look at a few of the final remaining cigar manufacturing facility 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 residence claiming they’d seen stunning ladies within the water. In the present day, it’s thought that these sailors had been seeing manatees from an amazing distance. Within the Eighties, an influence station in Tampa was shut down and that very same 12 months, individuals observed manatees coming in nice numbers, and the federally protected Manatee sanctuary Tampa Electrical’s Manatee Viewing Heart was born. Right here you’ll be able to 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 top-of-the-line 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 workers are actually personable too – and all of the parts are tremendous large. 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 do not 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 situated on the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa Riverwalk subsequent to it’s colorfully lit up at evening. 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, when you’re into that type 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 suppose 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 well get fairly standard on the weekends, so make a reservation.
  • Bern’s Steakhouse – This can be a restaurant you’ll see on each ‘Better of Tampa’ checklist 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 large restaurant appears like strolling right into a Victorian fortress – the partitions are a deep purple, with a stone facade on the underside half, and previous photos in elaborate, silver frames dangle on the partitions. Their meat is perfection, just like the A5 Japanese Wagyu tenderloin, which is without doubt one of the highest high quality beefs in the marketplace, however any steak you order will probably be cooked expertly to your liking. Whenever 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. Ensure that to make a reservation on-line or over the telephone effectively prematurely, and their gown code is enterprise informal to semi-formal.

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29 Issues No person 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 good place to remain, particularly when you keep close to Ybor Metropolis or the Downtown space by the Tampa Riverwalk. Listed here 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 right spot to remain throughout your journey. It’s spacious and clear with two bedrooms, so carry some pals alongside!
  • This tremendous cute resort room on the Florida Palace Lodge is true within the coronary heart of Downtown and gives you 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 residence to stunning seashores and delightful Artwork Deco structure. (Photograph Credit score)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

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

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” which means “large water” within the Tequesta/Miyami language. Miami got here to be generally known as the “Magic Metropolis” in fashionable instances as a result of it went from nowheresville within the early 1900s till the Florida land growth of the Nineteen Twenties made it appear to spring up by “magic”.

In the present day you’ll be able to nonetheless see relics of the growth with the fabulous Nineteen Twenties-30s Artwork Deco structure, and take a look at historic neighborhoods like Little Havana, Miami’s vibrant Cuban coronary heart the place you’ll be able to eat at a few of the finest eating places and puff on a cigar.

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

vizcaya in miami florida
The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is like getting 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 large – at solely 36 sq. miles it’s simple to soak up the very best of Miami in only a weekend. A few of the finest issues to get a style of Miami are:

  • Take the Miami South Seashore Artwork Deco Strolling Tour – As beforehand talked about, Miami is residence to the most important assortment of Artwork Deco buildings on the earth, which is a mode from the Nineteen Twenties and 30s characterised by robust colours and boldly delineated geometric shapes. In different phrases, it’s what makes Miami appear to be Miami! On this two-hour tour, you’ll study mob life and Hollywood glamour by the lens of structure, and even see Versace’s over-the-top mansion.
  • Discover the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – Constructed by agricultural gear 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 residence you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings really giving Vizcaya the identify “Miami’s residence”.
  • 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, for the reason that metropolis is residence 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 take heed to conventional Cuban music.
terras rooftop patio with tacos and beer miami florida
Terras has a tropically overgrown rooftop restaurant & bar, good for excellent meals and nice websites! (Photograph Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

For those who’re visiting Miami, you’ll be able to 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 here 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 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 can satiate our quick meals cravings – however quick meals that’s truly good and do-it-yourself – 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 – Situated on the marina, Monte’s Coconut Grove is the place to get recent seafood in a tropical setting. Step beneath the thatched rooves of this tiki hut setting and order some Conch Fritters which can be fried in spicy batter with cocktail & tartar to begin together with some Gulf Oysters. To your entree, you’ll be able to’t beat good old school fish and chips, or step it up with the Mahi Sandwich. However truthfully 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 beneath 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. Situated proper by the town middle and Little Havana, you’ll be able to discover the town after which come again to your individual secluded haven, consuming outdoors beneath a mango tree. The within is simply as cute and colourful with a queen-sized mattress and a kitchen.
  • This tremendous fashionable and classy one-bedroom condo is situated only a 5 to 10-minute stroll to all the very best 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 finances choice, this condominium in an precise Artwork Deco constructing could also be small however you could have the seashore at your fingertips! And you may’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! In order for you some good old school homosexual enjoyable (sure, we are saying homosexual right here!) Fort Lauderdale is the place to see glorious 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. Town at the moment is nicknamed “The Venice of America”, as a result of 300 miles of canals and channels that are referred to 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 incorrect, 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, and so they 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 good place to individuals watch and meet different {couples} each regionally and on trip.
  • Take a look at some homosexual historical past – Fort Lauderdale is residence to not one, however two homosexual museums. The primary is the Stonewall Museum & Archives, the place you’ll be able to study concerning the Stonewall Riots that grew to become the catalyst for the homosexual liberation motion. Right here you’ll be able to 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’ll be able to 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.
  • Take a look at the canals and channels on a sightseeing cruise – For those who’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the primary time, it’s possible you’ll be curious concerning the “Venice of America”. Town has 165 miles of navigable waterways, and photographs of the town it does all appear to be floating on water! Fortunately you’ll be able to take a 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruise, the place you’ll cruise alongside the New River previous Millionaire’s Row and study concerning the space.

The place to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be able to hold it homosexual all by dinner, and for drinks afterward! Not solely that, you’ll be able to 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 Sunday they do a distinct present with a distinct 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 a giant homosexual time in an off-the-cuff ambiance, take a look at Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their out of doors patio surrounded by lush foliage beneath 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!
  • Take a look at 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 exhibits. This strip is definitely walkable, and simply ensure you’re respectful when you’re not a queer particular person getting 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 very best 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. Whenever you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious condo, you’ll be able to 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 very best 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’ll be able to go to a distinct world-class seashore day-after-day. With full of life city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant vitality that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and all the pieces 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 lots extra to do when you want a break from the solar (St. Pete averages 360 days of solar per 12 months!). Cultural sights — 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 take a look at the very best 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 all the pieces 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 simple fantastic thing about this Gulf Coast seashore. And on the finish of the day (heck, everytime you need), head to 1 or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has reside 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 heaps 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’ll be able to hike, swim, or snorkel amongst previous fort ruins. Take a look at you, Indiana Jones!
  • Discover an Undeveloped Island – For those who 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 reside. You can even hire a kayak on the island and kayak one of many paddling trails by the shallow, clear water.
  • See Florida Wildlife by Paddleboard – What higher approach to expertise Florida’s wildlife than by a peaceable paddleboard tour? You don’t need to be a professional to take this tour — the truth is, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of how you can 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 food and drinks scene, from the standard recent seafood, to custom-made cocktails with a rotating menu. Listed here are a few of the finest locations to eat and drink in St. Pete:

  • Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille – Situated on the St. Pete Pier, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille sits proper on the water providing you with glorious views of Tampa Bay. Get the Macadamia Nut Crusted Grouper, which is served atop an unique mixture of quinoa, jasmine rice, arugula, purple 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, somewhat 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, you must get one in every of their hearth 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 Disguise – In order for you a break from the beachside tiki bar and need to go all out on a few of the metropolis’s finest cocktails, head to the Mandarin Disguise. This little cozy, darkish cocktail lounge with glowing chandeliers is thought for its skilled mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Every Tuesday they create an totally new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t let you know what will probably be on it whenever you go to, you already know 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 suppose, you could possibly 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 undoubtedly have the chance to be a seashore bum for the weekend! Listed here are some nice seashore choices in your getaway:

  • This blue seashore condominium 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 practically full-sized kitchen.
  • Although this colourful condominium just isn’t going through the seashore, you’ll be there in just some steps. This rental can be greater, providing you with a separate front room/kitchen and bed room if you wish to unfold out a little bit extra.

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The Good 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 just isn’t 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 Individuals, and set up it as a army outpost and Catholic missionary base. 

In the present day it’s a metropolis full of lovely Spanish colonial structure, attractive pure parks, and historic sights. Get able to eat basic 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 may be lots to do in St. Augustine, so it was powerful to slender it down. However you’ll undoubtedly 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 kind of sedimentary rock made from shells and useless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked, somewhat absorbed cannonballs which might nonetheless be seen within the partitions at the moment.
  • Marvel on the Historic Lightner MuseumSince we’re speaking concerning the nation’s oldest metropolis right here, St. Augustine has a whole lot of museums. Probably the most fascinating, and positively probably the most stunning, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed within the previous resort Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival type constructing in-built 1887. So let’s simply say it’s ornate. Inside it’s type of what you’d think about an eccentric Victorina collector would have – gilded-age instances displaying shells, rocks, Native American artifacts, previous devices, Tiffany glass, and oh, a mummy and a shrunken head.
  • Get Scared on a Ghost Tour – Since St. Augustine is such an previous metropolis, it’s no marvel that it’s full of 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 Outdated Fort and cemeteries, or, when 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 you must 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 wonderful patio to eat outdoor. They are saying their meals is “progressive 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 Chicken 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 previous, previous place, requires you to remain in some historic and charming previous locations your self! Listed here 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 residence 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 Nineteen Twenties 900sq/ft condo is large, attractive, and brilliant and is the right place to make your “residence” in your weekend getaway. You’ll be beneath a mile from the Castillo de San Marcos and all the very best 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 some of the distinctive locations in America: roosters roam the streets, drag queens rule the nightlife, and Cuba’s shut proximity colours its historical past. All the island is a colourful, tropical feast for the senses. Is that this paradise? I believed it could be much less …. bizarre?

To essentially respect Key West in all of its quirky glory, you additionally need to 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 residence. It’s additionally the southernmost level of the US, so it is smart it’s the final on our checklist!

We even have an entire submit about issues to do in Key West when 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’ll be able to snorkel, and the sunsets are ones to recollect!

  • Go to the Hemingway Home & Museum – The Hemingway Home & Museum is in Outdated City Key West, and this yellow, ethereal, many-windowed house is within the French Colonial type with many artwork deco accents on the within. This can be a actually large attraction on Key West for good purpose – Hemingway was a prolific author in the course of the Nineteen 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 Thirties, and is the person who I’ve determined to completely blame for all of the cats on the island (in accordance with the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, reside right here).
  • Snorkel at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: The one reef you’ll be able to fairly swim to in Key West is the one in Fort Zachary Taylor. The admission for pedestrians is $2.50 and you’ll spend your entire day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is thought for having many tropical species of birds you’ll be able to see just like the Roseate Spoonbill. These reefs could also be your finest probability to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as effectively! Since you’ll be by yourself on this reef, ensure you carry your individual snorkeling gear or hire one on the park (both means, pack anti-fog spray).
  • Take a Sundown Cruise – A sundown cruise can’t be missed in Key West, and so they usually give out free drinks – as a result of Key West is at all times all the way down to get together – and are the very best approach to see the sundown. Most of those excursions are about two hours lengthy, returning at round 7pm. Be aware that since these are sailboats, the downstairs area of the boat is just about only a lavatory and never an area to cover from the solar, so when you burn as badly as I do ensure you carry sunblock! For those who’re touring together with your accomplice, guide an intimate cruise like Hazard’s Charters Wind & Wine Sundown Sail Sitting on a ship and watching the sundown collectively is such a romantic approach to spend time with one another! For a livelier night, Cool Key West is a good alternative, 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 out of doors restaurant feels such as you’re inside a jungle shaded by large banyan bushes, banana palms, and colourful hibiscus flowers. The restaurant is residence to cats, chickens AND child chickens, so that you simply may make some animal pals when you eat! Strive their Lobster “BLT” Benny – a spin on the basic 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 focus grew to become 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 take heed to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. Honest warning: when 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 reside 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 just lately expanded out of state, that is the unique and the place the house owners reside, so it’s best to cease right here not less than as soon as to get some sweets. I’m a giant lover of dessert, and let me be the bearer of fine 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 alternative. Their cake can 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’ll be able to hire in Key West! (Photograph Credit score)

The place to Keep in Key West

One key factor to notice, although: though there are many residence leases on the island, native rules require a 28-night minimal keep. So when you’re not a distant employee on the lookout for a month in paradise, you’ll need to guide a resort, resort, condominium, or correctly licensed trip rental.

  • The charming Wicker Guesthouse is situated only one block from the Ernest Hemingway Home, with a tropical backyard and an out of doors pool. Rooms embody microwaves and a small fridge, you’ll be able to 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 totally 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 carry with you to the seashore:

  • A number of Swimsuits: There’s probability you’ll be leaping into the water day-after-day, so that you’ll need to carry alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you at all times have one thing dry to placed on! I’m a dimension 16/18, and my favourite swimsuit is 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 ladies.
  • Journey Towel: There may be completely no assure that the towels at your accomodation are going to suit round your waist. Frankly, they hardly ever match round my left thigh. Plus, they’re heavy and ponderous and you will get in bother for bringing them out of the resort. So simply to be secure, I at all times carry my very own travel-friendly, light-weight, quick-drying journey towel!
  • Journey Clothesline: Newsflash: your resort’s moist, darkish lavatory is absolutely the WORST place to hold your clothes as much as dry. As an alternative, dangle 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 reside in an igloo eternally, you’ll be able to 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, heaps and lot of sunscreen – don’t overlook to re-apply!

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

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

Concerning the Creator: Richie Goff is a Louisville, Kentucky native with an amazing 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, and so they 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? Take a look at our different posts:

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Here are the 10 best weekend getaways in Florida, from beach getaways, to nature adventures, to ghostly bar crawls! 60+ activities included!

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

Our Prime Journey Ideas & Sources

Listed here are our favourite journey ideas & assets for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra ideas, take a look at our journey ideas 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 ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a finances airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We often keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique resorts or personal rooms in hostels. We use Reserving.com to guide resorts (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to guide hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and glorious critiques). For trip leases, we desire to guide utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor report. You can even guide trip leases on Expedia and Lodges.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our residence 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 counsel it – go to our Journey Insurance coverage Information to search out out why. We advocate both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is without doubt one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, and so they have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which can be good for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We guide all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely can 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 advisable medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times advocate getting each vaccine advisable by the CDC! You will 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 guide our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine how you can get from place to position, and guide native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we are able to. Once we guide a rental automobile, we use Kayak to check rental corporations and discover the very best deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Every time we’re testing early or making the most of a protracted layover, we use LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re working round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital info (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and so forth) secure, even whenever you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it permits you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO whenever you join!
  • What to Pack: Listed here are the journey necessities that we carry on each journey. We even have packing lists for sizzling climate, chilly climate, and plenty of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!



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