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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 examine what’s open earlier than your journey and observe all native vax & masks pointers to maintain your self and others protected! 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; for those who make a purchase order by way of them, we might obtain a small fee for free of charge to you.

Sandy, sweeping seashores. Previous, haunted cities with a number of ghost tales. Heaps & a number of seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with a median of 237 sunny days a yr. It’s actually the land of 1,000,000 sandy seashores, theme parks, and a complete lot of issues to do. And it’s probably the greatest locations for a mini-vacation with so many actually distinctive weekend getaways in Florida!

As somebody who grew up going to Florida virtually yearly, I’ve spent many a lazy hour within the Sunshine State traversing seashores, lakes, swamps, and vacationer points of interest that fall beneath the department of a sure form 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 reveals 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 Greatest Weekend Getaways in Florida

Solely have a weekend away? There’s loads that may be accomplished within the sunny state of Florida! Beneath are ten wonderful weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you might be searching for some seashore rest 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
Outdoors the theme parks, Orlando is each lovely and thrilling! (Photo Credit)

Orlando, Florida: An Journey Lover’s Getaway

Orlando, Florida, you might 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 main 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 War 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.

Nonetheless it bought 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 understand the place to look. Listed below are a few of the finest issues to do in Orlando exterior the theme parks:

  • Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida – I’ve visited Orlando many instances and I’ve to say this is likely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Situated within the beautiful (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven related lakes, by way of small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous a few of the greatest and oldest mansions you’ll ever see – from the water that’s. The boat drivers are full of knowledge and horrible puns, so you understand you’re in for time!
  • Night Glow Paddleboarding – Keep in mind all these lakes I discussed Orlando having? Properly, one of the best ways to expertise them is with Night Glow Paddleboarding by Epic Paddle Adventures. Even for those who’ve by no means accomplished standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable staff may have you up very quickly to discover the lake. One of the best half is, because the solar goes down the paddleboards gentle up (which you’ll change the colour) and the employees brings a cooler with beer or White Claws and even performs celebration music (and takes requests!). It is a fabulous approach to spend a night, and the employees actually makes it one thing to write down house about.
  • Morse Museum of American Art – The Morse Museum has one factor on its thoughts – the world’s most complete assortment of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany objects. Everyone knows Tiffany lamps, and there are many distinctive ones right here, however in addition to lamps there are Artwork Nouveau vases, jewellery, and even an elaborate chapel inside created for the Chicago World’s Truthful in 1893. The temper right here is dim and stress-free, and in case you have a watch 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 considering – you’re lactose illiberal – fortunate for you Milkhouse is actually named after the “milk district” by which it’s situated. Whereas yow will discover dairy treats like native ice cream firm Kelly’s Homemade 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 contains objects 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 on the lake. Unsure what to get? Get a flight to strive samples of their beers and e book a private 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 situated throughout the way in which from Lake Ivanhoe, this out of doors (and coated) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the practice tracks. And each time a practice goes by meaning one factor… practice pictures! Sure, of their quest to get you slightly 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 End 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 Company 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 may get some significantly savory ramen, try Gideon’s Bakehouse with their Gothic, witchy aesthetic and cookies which are almost a half-pound every!
swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando florida
The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is actually an oasis. This might be a whole trip!

The place to Keep in Orlando

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

  • The Caribe Royale Orlando is situated on World Middle Drive, a stone’s throw away Disney from for those who plan on visiting on certainly one of your days they usually even have their very own Disney transportation. The resort itself is not too long ago renovated with massive, spacious and fashionable rooms, and loads of dining options on-site. The crown jewel of the resort is its massive pool space, which incorporates waterfalls and a waterslide. Whereas this resort shouldn’t be precisely a funds resort, it’s well worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This beautiful 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 Art.
  • For an much more budgets pleasant possibility, try this colorful mid-century modern condo 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 a complete 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 this time) metropolis of Smyrna, from which he determined to call the town New Smyrna.

At this time new Smyrna is called an artists’ hub, house to the Atlantic Center 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 yow will discover ocean-inspired paintings (or not!), in every kind of mediums by individuals who flock to this city for artistic inspiration.

New Smyrna Seashore can be recognized for its incredible surfing, ranked by Surfer Journal because the number 5 best surf town. With waves virtually each week of the yr, New Smyrna is a sizzling spot for surfers and surf tradition, regardless that 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! Just a few of the perfect actions are:

  • Marine Discovery Center 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 the event you want your lovable dolphin repair, this can be the perfect place to see them!
  • Smyrna Dunes Park– This 184-acre inlet park offers 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 beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. It is a excellent 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.
  • Explore the Canal Street 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 avenue at this time continues to be the cultural hub of commerce and artwork. Right here yow will discover outlets like The Gallery which sells connoisseur balsamic vinegar (I like to recommend the pomegranate form!), in addition to The Hub on Canal, which is a community-supported artwork area the place native artists promote their wares. They do monthly events as nicely just like the Traditional Cruise Automotive Present, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There’s all the time one thing happening!
  • Take a look at the Historical past Museum and Previous Fort Park – New Smyrna is house to a number of tradition and historical past, because it’s the third oldest metropolis within the state! Cease by the New Smyrna Museum of History first to study in regards to the authentic Native Individuals, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye turned a money crop for the town, and its completely tubular surfing scene. Afterward, head throughout the road from the museum is Old 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 setting up ships or the unique Castillo de San Marcos? Nobody is aware of!
  • Walk around the Old Sugar Mills Ruins – Three miles away from the museum and Previous Fort Park are the Old 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. At this time this free park is hidden amongst palm bushes containing high-sweeping arches and rusted metallic 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 nicely marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, 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 wonderful meals in some sudden places, let’s dig in!

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s is the form 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 an enormous treehouse with twinkling lights! Sit out on the second-story patio nestled amongst the bushes and eat tremendous recent seafood (that is Florida in spite of everything), 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 Night time Lengthy to drink, with bourbon, orange, lemon, bitters, and pinot noir float. You gained’t be leaving hungry right here!
  • Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar – Eat exterior on the Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar is like stepping right into a backyard paradise, with palms, string lights, and loads of evergreen crops and pergolas to make you’re feeling cozy and magical. To start out, order the Wagyu Quick 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 model 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. All the pieces right here is beautiful in taste and preparation!
  • Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille – For maybe the perfect place to get brunch in New Smyrna, try 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 may by no means go fallacious with being near the ocean.

The place to remain in New Smyrna Seashore

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

  • This super 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 the whole lot you could 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 may get to the seashore in a jiffy! There’s additionally a pool and a related Tiki bar, so it’s an incredible 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 city by landmass within the continental US, coming in at a whopping 840 sq. miles! With a lot space you’ll be able to guess there are many adventures available – and it’s probably the greatest weekend getaways in Florida particularly by way of getting in contact with nature.

With such a big landmass it additionally is sensible they’ve the largest urban park system within the nation, which is 4 instances the scale of Manhattan at 80,000 acres. You’ve bought a number of exploring to do!

Mainly, if you wish to get exterior and discover the perfect of Florida’s natural world, “Jax” is the place to go to, with a median of 270 sunny days a yr and 22 miles of beaches.

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!

  • Sunrise Yoga with MBody Yoga I do know, I do know, waking up earlier than the dawn might 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 steering out of your teacher on Neptune Seashore, your entire 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 groups launch.
  • Boneyard Beach – Situated alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Seashore at Huge 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 large “bones” whereas the wind and sand has made them easy, and you’ll stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These lifeless bushes shield from additional erosion of the flora behind the seashore and make an incredible place for a considerably morbid and kooky stroll.
  • Attempt Stand Up Paddleboarding within the ocean – Even 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 for those who fall, you’ll splash gently into the ocean and climb again on. Their 90-minute beginner classes are the proper spot to get your ft moist (actually) and you might discover you’re hooked on paddleboarding earlier than you understand 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 way of the Fort George/Simpson Creek estuary by way of the salt marshes whilst you study in regards to the Timucua Tribe who have 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 a complete lot of taste! The next eating places are situated in Neptune Seashore, an incredible place to have a chunk then stroll alongside the seashore.

  • North Beach 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 fallacious with the Crispy Calamari with Pecorino cheese & spicy tomato sauce or, for those who’re feeling adventurous, the Fried Gator Tail with Cowgill’s Datil pepper aioli (hey, that is Florida in spite of everything). The Roast Cod Filet with Brown Butter, Garlic & Lemon, Parsley Potatoes and Seasonal Greens is an ideal lighter possibility, 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 exterior.
  • Sliders Oyster Bar – This pink flamingo-themed, ultra-retro and fashionable stylish beachside joint could also be the perfect 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 after all 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, strive 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 facet, for those who’re searching 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 beautiful resort.
  • This beachside apartment 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 residence 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! (Photo Credit)

Sanibel Island: A Leisure Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is certainly one of my favourite locations on this planet. 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 domestically owned companies, and the Bubble Bread. Mmmmm. Extra on that in a minute.

Sanibel Island, and the related Captiva Island, is situated off the coast of Fort Meyers on the Gulf of Mexico, and this little island is located in such a manner (East to West) that it’s the prime spot for shelling. A number of the rarest shells on this planet 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 calm down – no massive chain shops or eating places however somewhat native outlets, shelling cruises, and a complete 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, beautiful seashores. (Photo Credit)

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 certainly one of their well-known sunsets. However for those who do wish to get out and about, listed here 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 kinds of shells like tulips, olives, scallops, and possibly for those who’re actually fortunate, the elusive Junonia. Simply bear in mind to not gather any shells with dwelling creatures in them – that’s their house!
  • Benefit from the wildlife at a Wildlife Refuge – The J.N. “Ding” Darling National 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 way of this 6400-acre protect, with loads of locations to park and trails to discover. You may even climb many towers to face and chook 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 straightforward to see the seashores, wildlife, and the palms swaying above as you traverse it. There are many places to rent bikes, and most VRBOs and lodges may have ones you’ll be able to borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to seek 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 arduous to solely eat it as soon as in your journey! (Picture 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 may’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 crammed with 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 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 carefully guarded after all). Their different star is their large slices of cake, like their Orange Crunch cake, a yellow cake layered with almond brown sugar, and coated in orange cream cheese icing. You may even come only for dessert!
  • The Island Cow – This informal restaurant touts “udderly nice meals”, which is true! This can be the perfect 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 keen about. For breakfast, strive 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 finest 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 present 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… (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep on Sanibel Island

Staying on Sanibel can get dear, it’s a small island and paradise in spite of everything, however listed here 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! (Picture Credit score: Go to Tampa Bay)

Tampa: A Metropolis Lover’s Getaway

Spanish colonizer Ponce de León first “found” Florida in 1513, although if truth be told the extinct Pohoy and Tocobaga Native American Tribes lived right here lengthy earlier than. The parable persists to at the present time that de León got here to America to seek out the “Fountain of Youth”, although there isn’t any hard evidence that that is true, and it’s extra possible he was solely searching for gold and land to steal.

After that, the realm remained kind of untouched till it turned 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 lodges 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 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 may get an incredible 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 related Tampa to the remainder of Florida by railroad and constructed lodges 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 gorgeous property displays the peak of the Gilded Age in America – with its Moorish and Victorian structure and its silver minarets which have grow to be an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you’ll be able to see the whole lot from imported Japanese vases made within the 1800s to gold plated French chairs – this museum is a dream for anybody who appreciates tremendous ornament and furnishings.
  • Meet the Ghosts of Ybor Metropolis Meet two kinds of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Walking 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 simply stepped off the set of a pirate film (minus the swords, after all). Haunted pub excursions are few and much in between, so ensure you go to this one whilst you’re right here, and make sure you try a few of the last remaining cigar factory whilst you’re right here!
  • Spot The Unusual Manatee – Centuries in the past, when pirates and European explorers have been out on the ocean for months, they might typically come house claiming that they had seen lovely girls within the water. At this time, it’s thought that these sailors have been seeing manatees from an incredible 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 Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center 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 strive, 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 probably the greatest 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 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 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 beach for a enjoyable picnic!
  • Ulele – At Ulele (You-lay-lee), yow will discover 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. Additionally they promote craft beer made on-site, for those who’re into that form 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 motive. Since Ulele is on the Riverwalk, it will probably get fairly common on the weekends, so make a reservation.
  • Bern’s Steakhouse – It is a restaurant you’ll see on each ‘Better of Tampa’ checklist or journey information, but it surely’s there for a motive – Bern’s Steakhouse is unbelievable and has been round in Tampa since 1956. Strolling into this huge 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 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 might be cooked expertly to your liking. If 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 to make a reservation on-line or over the cellphone nicely upfront, and their gown code is enterprise informal to semi-formal.

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29 Things Nobody Tells You About Savannah, Georgia

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

The place to Keep in Tampa

Tamps is a superb place to remain, particularly for those who 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 convey some buddies alongside!
  • This super cute hotel room on the Florida Palace Lodge is true within the coronary heart of Downtown and provides you with some critical Magnificence & the Beast vibes. It’s additionally proper subsequent to the Tampa Riverwalk, so that you’ll have leisure accessible everytime you like!
ocean drive miami florida-Blog Photo-2
Miami is house to lovely seashores and exquisite Artwork Deco structure. (Photo Credit)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

Miami is understood for plenty of 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 dwell.

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 often called the “Magic Metropolis” in fashionable instances as a result of it went from nowheresville within the early 1900s till the Florida land boom of the 1920s made it appear to spring up by “magic”.

At this time 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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Virtual Vacation to the Beach: Take a Tropical (Virtual) Trip from Home

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

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 straightforward to soak up the perfect of Miami in only a weekend. A number of the finest issues to get a style of Miami are:

  • Take the Miami South Beach Art Deco Walking Tour – As beforehand talked about, Miami is house to the biggest assortment of Artwork Deco buildings on this planet, 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 seem like Miami! On this two-hour tour, you’ll study mob life and Hollywood glamour by way of 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 model with over 10 acres of formal European-inspired gardens with lilies in a sweeping pool, orchids, hidden grottos and mangroves and far more. Contained in the Mediterranean-style house you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings actually giving Vizcaya the identify “Miami’s house”.
  • Do the Little Havana Food and Walking 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 house to many Cuban immigrants and the inhabitants is 70% Hispanic. On this 2.5-hour tour you’re going to 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! (Picture Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

In the event you’re visiting Miami, you’ll be able to guess your buns you’re going to have some good Cuban meals, the flavors of that are going to bounce 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 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. It will 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. One of the best phrase to explain this place is stylish. Right here you may get tapas with domestically 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 are fried in spicy batter with cocktail & tartar to start out together with some Gulf Oysters. On your entree, you’ll be able to’t beat good old school 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 lovely! (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep in Miami

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

  • This charming garden cottage is tremendous cozy, cute, and magical – your very personal non-public 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 exterior beneath a mango tree. The within is simply as cute and colourful with a queen-sized mattress and a kitchen.
  • This super modern and stylish one-bedroom apartment is situated only a 5 to 10-minute stroll to all the perfect of South Seashore. Apart from a kitchen to cook dinner in, this constructing additionally has its personal shady pool, sure to maintain you cool on sizzling afternoons!
  • For an superior funds possibility, this condo in an actual Art Deco building could also be small however you might have the seashore at your fingertips! And you may’t beat staying in a chunk of historical past.

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

Fort Lauderdale: A Homosexual Getaway

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

The Metropolis of Fort Lauderdale is called for the second Seminole fort constructed to battle the Seminole Tribe in 1838, as European colonizers stole their land and drove them out. The town at this time 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 sneakers (or flip flops), and let’s discover Fort Lauderdale.

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Sebastian Road Seashore is the gayest seashore in Florida, possibly the world! (Photo Credit)

Issues to do in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is all about enjoyable, drinks, and seashore time! If this appears 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 number of seashores! Sebastian Street Beach is called the homosexual seashore, and is a superb place to individuals watch and meet different {couples} each domestically and on trip.
  • Take a look at 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’ll be able to study in regards to the Stonewall Riots that turned 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 Center, 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 – In the event you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the primary time, you might be curious in regards to the “Venice of America”. The 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 in regards to the space.

The place to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be able to hold it homosexual all by way of 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 Show Palace, Restaurant & Bar – Dinner theatre can solely be higher when drag queens are concerned, and Lips simply does that! Wednesday by way of 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 environment, try 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 far 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 reveals. This strip is well walkable, and simply ensure you’re respectful for those who’re not a queer individual getting into a queer area!
A personal pool on my weekend getaway? Don’t thoughts if I do! (Photo Credit)

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 apartment is true within the coronary heart of Wilton Manors, making bar hopping/crawling straightforward and protected! The residence is fashionable and clear, and the perfect half is your individual non-public pool within the yard surrounded by palm bushes and flowers.
  • For that seashore life, try this super chic apartment that’s proper on the scenic Intercoastal Waterway. If you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious residence, you’ll be able to cool off within the pool or stroll a block to Fort Lauderdale seashore!

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38 Enchanting Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia

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

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 by day. With energetic city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant power that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and the whole lot in between, you’ll wish to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) to your weekend in St. Pete. 

That’s to not say there isn’t loads extra to do for those who 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 Collection — 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! (Photo Credit)

Issues to Do in St. Petersburg

Sandals? Examine. Sunblock? Examine. Let’s take a look at the perfect 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 Beach is the whole lot a seashore must be. White, sugar sand; unbelievable sunsets; clear, emerald water, and — after all — 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 at least one or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has dwell 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 may hike, bike, calm down on the seashores, and even discover the historic fort — accomplished in 1900. You may 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 – In the event you plan for a day journey, Caladesi Island State Park (which requires a ferry experience) is a quiet island, good for a calming day spent swimming or bird-watching. If you wish to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s an exquisite nature path that can 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 dwell. You can too hire a kayak on the island and kayak one of many paddling trails by way of the shallow, clear water.
  • See Florida Wildlife by Paddleboard – What higher approach to expertise Florida’s wildlife than by a peaceful paddleboard tour? You don’t must be a professional to take this tour — in actual fact, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of the right way to navigate your board, you’ll head out on the bayou in the hunt for manatees, dolphins, and a various array of birds. 
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Speak about lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Picture 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 standard recent seafood, to custom-made cocktails with a rotating menu. Listed below 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 supplying 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, purple peppers and yellow squash then complimented with a “Toasted Rum” coconut sauce. Additionally they have, because the identify suggests, loads of rum drinks, so strive 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 may 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 certainly one of 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 Hide – If you would like a break from the beachside tiki bar and wish 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 understood for its skilled mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Every Tuesday they create an fully new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t inform you what might be on it whenever you go to, you understand 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 can be overlooking sprawling seashores at sundown! (Photo Credit)

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 to your getaway:

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

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

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 People, and set up it as a navy outpost and Catholic missionary base. 

At this time it’s a metropolis full of gorgeous Spanish colonial structure, beautiful pure parks, and historic points of interest. Get able to eat traditional Florida fare, lay on the seashore, calm down 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. (Photo Credit)

Issues to Do in St. Augustine

There’s so much to do in St. Augustine, so it was powerful to slender it down. However you’ll positively wish 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. For the reason that fort was built with coquina, a kind of sedimentary rock made from shells and lifeless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked, somewhat absorbed cannonballs which may nonetheless be seen within the partitions at this time.
  • Marvel on the Historic Lightner MuseumSince we’re speaking in regards to the nation’s oldest metropolis right here, St. Augustine has a lot of museums. Some of the fascinating, and positively probably the most lovely, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed within the previous resort Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival model constructing inbuilt 1887. So let’s simply say it’s ornate. Inside it’s form 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 crammed with loads of tales of those that have by no means crossed to the opposite facet and nonetheless reside on this historic place. Take an hour and a half lengthy walking ghost tour which can take you to the Previous Fort and cemeteries, or, for those who 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! (Picture 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 lovely areas. A few of our favorites are:

  • The Floridian – The Floridian is simply that – Florida-themed to the gills! Inside there are many crops and tiki-inspired decor, in addition to a lovely patio to eat outside. They are saying their meals is “revolutionary southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, and localvores.” Attempt the Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf Sandwich or the Fish Camp Fancy Sandwich, and you’ll guess each chunk 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 Little one, with Tequila Blanco, Strawberry Syrup, Cynar, Pineapple Juice with a touch 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 Fowl 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 below are some fantastically lovable choices to get your within the spirit:

  • This gem in the historic district is so effing cute you’ll wish to name it house earlier than you permit. This primary-floor residence 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 1920s 900sq/ft apartment is big, beautiful, and brilliant and is the proper place to make your “house” to your weekend getaway. You’ll be beneath a mile from the Castillo de San Marcos and all the perfect St. Augustine has to supply.

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33 Quirky Things To Do In Key West, Florida (& Massive Travel Guide)

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. The complete island is a colourful, tropical feast for the senses. Is that this paradise? I assumed it might be much less …. bizarre?

To essentially respect 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 sensible it’s the final on our checklist!

We even have a complete put up about things to do in Key West for those who’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 House & Museum – The Hemingway Home & Museum is in Previous City Key West, and this yellow, ethereal, many-windowed house is within the French Colonial model with many artwork deco accents on the within. It is a actually massive attraction on Key West for good motive – Hemingway was a prolific author throughout 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 totally blame for all of the cats on the island (in line with the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, dwell 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 the whole day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is understood 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 likelihood to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as nicely! Since you may be by yourself on this reef, ensure you convey your individual snorkeling gear or hire one on the park (both manner, 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 all the time all the way down to celebration – and are the very best approach 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 for those who burn as badly as I do ensure you convey sunblock! In the event you’re touring together with your companion, e book an intimate cruise like Danger’s Charters Wind & Wine Sunset 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 superb alternative, with native musicians enjoying and loads of free drinks.

The place to Eat & Drink in Key West

Key West, in addition to 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 huge banyan bushes, banana palms, and colourful hibiscus flowers. The restaurant is house to cats, chickens AND child chickens, so that you simply would possibly make some animal buddies whilst you eat! Attempt their Lobster “BLT” Benny – a spin on the traditional BLT however with recent lobster. Blue Heaven additionally has a Rooster Graveyard, which incorporates 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 bound 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 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 take heed to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. Truthful warning: for those who’re within the entrance rows, you’ll most likely get teased by the queens. However hey, getting made enjoyable of by a drag queen in entrance of a dwell viewers is a present.
  • Dessert that’s Higher than Intercourse: Better Than Sex is THE romantic dessert date spot to go to. Whereas it has not too long ago expanded out of state, that is the unique and the place the house owners reside, so you must cease right here no 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! (Photo Credit)

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 for those who’re not a distant employee searching for a month in paradise, you’ll wish to e book a resort, resort, rental, 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 outside pool. Rooms embrace 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 Garden gives a captivating non-public oasis, with two bedrooms, a totally stocked kitchen, and entry to a shared pool.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-2
Prepare for seashore time! (Photo Credit)

What to Pack for Weekend Getaways in Florida

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

  • Several Swimsuits: There’s likelihood you’ll be leaping into the water day by day, so that you’ll wish to convey alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you all the time 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, try my information to swimsuits for curvy girls.
  • Travel Towel: There’s 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 hulking and you may get in hassle for bringing them out of the resort. So simply to be protected, I all the time convey my very own travel-friendly, light-weight, quick-drying travel towel!
  • Travel Clothesline: Newsflash: your resort’s moist, darkish rest room is absolutely the WORST place to hold your clothes as much as dry. As an alternative, cling this tiny travel 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 travel towel might be dry very quickly.
  • Sand Repelling Beach Mat: I hate sand SO MUCH and this mat is made with magical sand-repelling qualities. If sand doesn’t make you wish to go dwell in an igloo eternally, you’ll be able to all the time 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 overlook to re-apply!

For extra beachy packing ideas and curvy-girl particular strategies (ahem: do you might have chafe balm but??) head over to our beach vacation packing guide!

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The 6 Best Swimsuits for Curves: Comfortable, Cute, and Field-Tested

Concerning the Writer: Richie Goff is a Louisville, Kentucky native with an incredible 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 beneath!

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Our Prime Journey Suggestions & Assets

Listed below are our favourite journey ideas & sources for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra ideas, try our travel tips resource page or our guide to planning a trip.

  • 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 funds airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We often keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique lodges or non-public rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to e book lodges (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e book hostels (low deposit, straightforward change/cancellation, and wonderful evaluations). For trip leases, we want 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 observe document. You can too e book trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our house and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We all the time, all the time, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY recommend it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide 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 are 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 can we earn money again that we are able to spend on extra journey, however the card gives unbelievable journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automobile protection, which helps shield us on our travels. Learn more here.
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis really helpful drugs and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We all the time suggest getting each vaccine really helpful 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 e book our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine the right way to get from place to put, and e book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we are able to. Once we e book a rental automobile, we use Kayak to match rental corporations and discover the perfect deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Each time we’re trying out early or making the most of an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to securely 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 information, and so forth) protected, even whenever you’re related to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it enables you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO whenever you join!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we convey on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and lots of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!





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