The 10 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida (& Over 60 Activities!)

The 10 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida (& Over 60 Actions!)

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

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Sandy, sweeping seashores. Old, haunted cities with plenty of ghost tales. Lots & plenty 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 an entire lot of issues to do. And it’s the most effective 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 in 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 10 finest weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you need to sit on the seashore, go on adventures, discover its historical past and listen to ghost tales, or see some drag reveals and go to the homosexual seashore (yeah, Florida, I mentioned homosexual).

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

The 10 Best Weekend Getaways in Florida

Only have a weekend away? There is lots that may be finished in the sunny state of Florida! Below are ten superb weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you might be in search of 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 an excellent head begin in your planning. So let’s get to it!

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lake eola orlando florida
Outside the theme parks, Orlando is each stunning and thrilling! (Photo Credit)

Orlando, Florida: An Adventure Lover’s Getaway

Orlando, Florida, you could have heard of it. The dwelling of Universal, Disney World, and a thousand vacationer traps? But beneath all of the glitz and glamour of the key theme parks and miniature golf programs, there’s really 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 in the 1800s induced farmers to maneuver their crops farther south. The identify “Orlando” has blended provenance, one account saying it was from a soldier named” Orlando Reeves” who fought in the Second Seminole War in opposition to the Seminole Tribe, the unique inhabitants of the world.

There’s one other principle 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.

However it got its name, the “City Beautiful” 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

Just since you’re visiting Orlando, doesn’t imply you possibly can’t keep away from the everyday experiences, and the crowds, if the place to look. Here are a number of the finest issues to do in Orlando exterior the theme parks:

  • Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida – I’ve visited Orlando many occasions and I’ve to say this is without doubt one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Located in the beautiful (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven linked lakes, by way of small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous a number of the largest and oldest mansions you’ll ever see – from the water that’s. The boat drivers are full of data and horrible puns, so you’re in for an excellent time!
  • Night Glow Paddleboarding – Remember all these lakes I discussed Orlando having? Well, one of the simplest ways to expertise them is with Night Glow Paddleboarding by Epic Paddle Adventures. Even should you’ve by no means finished standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable crew could have you up in no time to discover the lake. The better part 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 occasion music (and takes requests!). This is a superb method to spend a night, and the employees actually makes it one thing to put in writing dwelling 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. We all know Tiffany lamps, and there are many distinctive ones right here, however in addition to lamps there are Art Nouveau vases, jewellery, and even an elaborate chapel inside created for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The temper right here is dim and enjoyable, and when you’ve got a watch for magnificence, you’ll positively be at dwelling in this inventive paradise.

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Where to Eat & Drink in Orlando

  • Orlando Milkhouse – I do know what you’re pondering – you’re lactose illiberal – fortunate for you Milkhouse is de facto named after the “milk district” in which it’s situated. While you’ll find 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 consists of 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. Grab 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 Company pays homage to the world’s enjoyable heritage, with beers just like the Joyland IPA to the Toboggan Blonde Ale named after the water slides that was once on the lake. Not positive what to get? Get a flight to strive samples of their beers and ebook a private tour to listen to extra in regards to the historical past and the way their beer is made!
  • The Hammered Lamb – As the identify suggests, the Hammered Lamb is a good place to drink! Also situated throughout the way in which from Lake Ivanhoe, this outside (and lined) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the prepare tracks. And each time a prepare goes by which means one factor… prepare photographs! Yes, in their quest to get you a little bit tipsy photographs are served each time a prepare passes. Not to say 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 End Market – East End Market is a culinary meals hub, the place artistic cooks use native substances to make one-of-a-kind meals experiences. Walking 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, rooster sandwiches, and burgers… And it’s all vegan! Deceptively so. Their Crispy Chik sandwich was the juiciest vegan rooster sandwich I’d ever tasted. Besides different savory meals like Domu the place you will get some critically 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 complete trip!

Where to Stay in Orlando

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

  • The Caribe Royale Orlando is situated on World Center Drive, a stone’s throw away Disney from should you plan on visiting on one among your days they usually even have their very own Disney transportation. The lodge itself is not too long ago renovated with giant, spacious and fashionable rooms, and loads of dining options on-site. The crown jewel of the lodge is its giant pool space, which incorporates waterfalls and a waterslide. While this lodge will not be precisely a finances lodge, it’s well worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This beautiful rental with a heated pool has a vibrant, spacious bed room and bikes you possibly can 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 choice, 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 Beach: An Art Lover’s Getaway

New Smyrna Beach 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 as we speak) metropolis of Smyrna, from which he determined to call the town New Smyrna.

Today new Smyrna is named an artists’ hub, dwelling to the Atlantic Center for the Arts in addition to The Hub on Canal, a community-based arts heart the place native artists educate and promote their works. Here you’ll find ocean-inspired art work (or not!), in all types of mediums by individuals who flock to this city for artistic inspiration.

New Smyrna Beach can be recognized for its incredible surfing, ranked by Surfer Magazine because the number 5 best surf town. With waves virtually each week of the yr, New Smyrna is a scorching spot for surfers and surf tradition, although New Smyrna is named the “shark capital of the world” because of the close by inlet. So possibly stick extra to artwork, and depart the browsing to the professionals!

What To Do in New Smyrna Beach

There is loads of artwork, historical past, and many native attraction to find in New Smyrna Beach! Just a few of the very best 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 dwelling. 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 taking part in each by the boat and in the gap. If you want your cute 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 possibly can 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 is a good place 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 once a literal canal 250 years in the past, which was used to ship items like can sugar and indigo from the mainland to the Indian River, Canal avenue as we speak continues to be the cultural hub of commerce and artwork. Here you’ll find retailers like The Gallery which sells connoisseur balsamic vinegar (I like to recommend the pomegranate variety!), in addition to The Hub on Canal, which is a community-supported artwork house the place native artists promote their wares. They do monthly events as properly just like the Classic Cruise Car Show, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There is all the time one thing happening!
  • Check out the History Museum and Old Fort Park – New Smyrna is dwelling to plenty of tradition and historical past, because it’s the third oldest metropolis in the state! Stop by the New Smyrna Museum of History first to study in regards to the unique Native Americans, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye grew to become 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. No one 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? No one is aware of!
  • Walk around the Old Sugar Mills Ruins – Three miles away from the museum and Old Fort Park are the Old Sugar Mills Ruins, which was initially the Cruger-de Peyster sugar mill. In 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. Today this free park is hidden amongst palm bushes containing high-sweeping arches and rusted steel vats, and is a good place to study in regards to the battle of the unique inhabitants of the land and those that intruded. Be conscious the park entrance will not be properly marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL and enter the small street that goes into the forest.

Where to Eat & Drink in New Smyrna Beach

A treehouse, a fairy backyard, and a marina… all with scrumptious meals! New Smyrna has some glorious meals in some surprising areas, let’s dig in!

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s is the form of place that makes you are feeling like a child once more, as a result of you possibly can really eat dinner in an enormous treehouse with twinkling lights! Sit out on the second-story patio nestled amongst the bushes and eat tremendous contemporary 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 Night Long 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 vegetation and pergolas to make you are feeling cozy and magical. To begin, order the Wagyu Short Rib Hummus, with hummus they make from scratch, over-roasted boneless Wagyu brief rib, toasted Pita, Za’atar concord herbs, and EVOO, or the Shrimp Gambas (Spanish type shrimp) with Creole butter sauteed, wild-caught American shrimp, garlic, chilies, Calabrian oil, and crisp baguette. For a fresher-than-fresh entree, get the Smart Catch, a Chefs catch with blackened honey pecan-crusted, shrimp, whiskey butter cream sauce, chef’s vegetable, and Yukon mash potatoes. Everything 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, try the Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille. Situated proper alongside the marina, watch boats go by as you dig into some Chicken & 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 can by no means go improper with being near the ocean.

Where to remain in New Smyrna Beach

When on the seashore, you need to keep close to the seashore! Here are some nice seashore choices on a finances:

  • This super beachy cottage is actually simply steps away from the seashore and priced excellent! With a kitchenette and single bed room and toilet, you’ll have every little thing it’s essential discover the tremendous cute New Smyrna and have sand between your toes in no time!
  • The Sea Vista Motel has a classic attraction and is correct 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 awesome 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 Beach are otherworldly!

Jacksonville: A Nature Lover’s Getaway

Jacksonville is the largest city by landmass in the continental US, coming in at a whopping 840 sq. miles! With a lot space you possibly can guess there are many adventures available – and it’s the most effective weekend getaways in Florida particularly in phrases of getting in contact with nature.

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

Basically, if you wish to get exterior and discover the very best of Florida’s wildlife, “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 have 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 essentially the most enjoyable exercise, however it’s a good way to start your morning on a weekend getaway in Florida. As you stretch with steerage out of your teacher on Neptune Beach, your entire physique will awaken because the solar slowly rises from behind the Atlantic Ocean. Really nothing is as serene as a seashore dawn, the nice and cozy salty air getting into your lungs as you are feeling your muscle tissues launch.
  • Boneyard Beach – Located alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Beach at Big Talbot Island State Park. These “bones” aren’t actually bones in any respect – however huge driftwood bushes that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these enormous “bones” whereas the wind and sand has made them easy, and you’ll stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These useless bushes shield from additional erosion of the flora behind the seashore and make an awesome place for a considerably morbid and kooky stroll.
  • Try Stand Up Paddleboarding in the ocean – Even when you’ve got 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 should you fall, you’ll splash gently into the ocean and climb again on. Their 90-minute beginner classes are the right spot to get your ft moist (actually) and it’s possible you’ll discover you’re hooked on paddleboarding earlier than it!
  • Take an eco kayaking tour – If you need 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 do-it-yourself 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 Beach Fish Camp.

Where to Eat & Drink in Jacksonville

From the ocean to your mouth, Jacksonville has loads of contemporary fish eats with an entire lot of taste! The following eating places are situated in Neptune Beach, an awesome place to have a chunk then stroll alongside the seashore.

  • North Beach Fish Camp – North Beach Fish Camp is a nautical-themed restaurant, with, as you guessed, fish! For starters, you possibly can’t go improper with the Crispy Calamari with Pecorino cheese & spicy tomato sauce or, should 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 Vegetables is an ideal lighter choice, too!
  • Southern Grounds – For a morning pick-me-up (after yoga, no much less), head to Southern Grounds for some scrumptious and robust espresso and a few pancakes, a bagel sandwich, and even loaded avocado toast. This place is busy in 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 very best place to get Oysters in Jacksonville in the best setting. Grab a desk or picnic desk with mates on the patio and prepare to dig into some contemporary seafood delivered every day! The predominant 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!
(*10*)

Where to Stay in Jacksonville

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

  • While the One Ocean Resort & Spa is definietly on the pricier facet, should you’re in search of a spot in the center of Neptune Beach and need some swanky facilities like a spa, One Ocean Resort & Spa is the place to deal with your self. Located proper on the seashore and steps away from MBody Yoga and the eating places talked about above, you possibly can relax in their pool and take in all of the beachy, calming ambiance of this attractive resort.
  • This beachside apartment is just a block away from Jackson Beach and a brief stroll to the Jackson Beach Pier and loads of native seashore bars. This one-bedroom ground-floor residence 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! (Photo Credit)

Sanibel Island: A Relaxation Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is one among my favourite locations in the world. I’ve been coming right here since I used to be a child with my prolonged household, and I by no means uninterested in the miles of shelly seashores, the quaint domestically owned companies, and the Bubble Bread. Mmmmm. More 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. Some of the rarest shells in the world are discovered right here, just like the well-known Junonia, and there may be even a reputation for folks bending over to select up shells: the “Sanibel Stoop”.

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

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

Things to do on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is the right place to do some actions – or not! No one will blame you for simply shelling all day on the seashore or watching one among their well-known sunsets. But should 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, ebook 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! Here you’ll discover all kinds of shells like tulips, olives, scallops, and possibly should you’re actually fortunate, the elusive Junonia. Just bear in mind to not accumulate any shells with dwelling creatures in them – that’s their dwelling!
  • Enjoy 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 simplest ways to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is just about 12 miles throughout and three huge, so it’s simple to see the seashores, wildlife, and the palms swaying above as you traverse it. There are loads of places to rent bikes, and most VRBOs and accommodations could have ones you possibly can borrow. Stop by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to seek out all types of enjoyable retailers to discover.
orange crunch cake from the bubble room sanibel isalnd
The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is very addictive. It’s exhausting to solely eat it as soon as in your journey! (Photo Credit: Dad)

Where 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 can’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, really situated on Captiva Island, is an ultra-themed restaurant stuffed 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 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 after all). Their different star is their enormous slices of cake, like their Orange Crunch cake, a yellow cake layered with almond brown sugar, and lined in orange cream cheese icing. You may even come only for dessert!
  • The Island Cow – This informal restaurant touts “udderly great food”, which is true! This could also be the very best place in all of Sanibel to get brunch, they usually 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, 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 – contemporary pan-seared yellowfin tuna with sesame seeds and a honey ginger glaze on a contemporary backyard salad with our do-it-yourself citrus French dressing.
  • The Lighthouse Cafe – The Lighthouse Cafe’s signal says “the world’s best breakfast”, and I’ve to say, their french toast is one thing goals are product of. While 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 offer you a refill. Get right here early and revel in some rattling good breakfast.
sanibel island sunset florida
There is one thing so magical a couple of Sanibel Island sundown, with the promise of one other day of shelling… (Photo Credit)

Where to Stay on Sanibel Island

Staying on Sanibel can get dear, 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! (Photo Credit: Visit Tampa Bay)

Tampa: A City Lover’s Getaway

Spanish colonizer Ponce de León first “discovered” Florida in 1513, although in actuality the extinct Pohoy and Tocobaga Native American Tribes lived right here lengthy earlier than. The fable persists to this present day 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 probably he was solely in search of gold and land to steal.

After that, the world remained roughly 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 accommodations 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 in the Eighteen Eighties.

Things 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 awesome combine right here.

  • Visit the Estate 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 accommodations alongside the tracks. The solely lodge of his that’s nonetheless absolutely standing is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, situated in downtown Tampa. The stunning property displays the peak of the Gilded Age in America – with its Moorish and Victorian structure and its silver minarets which have change into an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you possibly can see every little thing from imported Japanese vases made in 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 City Meet two kinds of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Walking Tour as you discover 4 of the spookiest pubs in downtown Tampa. While you take pleasure in drinks, the costumed tour information will inform the haunted historical past of every place. The guides are dressed in corsets and tunics and appear like they only stepped off the set of a pirate film (minus the swords, after all). Haunted pub excursions are few and much in between, so be sure to go to this one whilst you’re right here, and make sure you try a number of the last remaining cigar factory whilst you’re right here!
  • Spot The Uncommon Manatee – Centuries in the past, when pirates and European explorers have been out on the ocean for months, they’d typically come dwelling claiming that they had seen stunning ladies in the water. Today, it’s thought that these sailors have been seeing manatees from an awesome distance. In the Eighties, an influence station in Tampa was shut down and that very same yr, folks seen manatees coming in nice numbers, and the federally protected Manatee sanctuary Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center was born. Here you possibly can watch manatees hug and play with one another in the water and study what the sanctuary is doing to assist their conservation.

Where 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 the most effective weekend getaways in Florida.

  • Mandy’s To Go – This spot is one superb 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. As the identify suggests, the meals is to go solely, so decide up sandwiches after which go to the beach for a enjoyable picnic!
  • Ulele – At Ulele (You-lay-lee), you’ll 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. Most of the substances are sourced from across the Bay space, and the others are from small American farmers that don’t use hormones. They additionally promote craft beer made on-site, should you’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 purpose. Since Ulele is on the Riverwalk, it could actually get fairly well-liked on the weekends, so make a reservation.
  • Bern’s Steakhouse – This is a restaurant you’ll see on each ‘Best of Tampa’ record or journey information, however it’s there for a purpose – Bern’s Steakhouse is implausible and has been round in Tampa since 1956. Walking into this huge restaurant appears like strolling right into a Victorian fort – the partitions are a deep purple, with a stone facade on the underside half, and previous footage 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 available on the market, however any steak you order will likely be cooked expertly to your liking. When 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. Make positive to make a reservation on-line or over the cellphone properly in advance, 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
Walking down the Tampa Riverwalk is a good way to finish any day in Tampa! (Photo Credit: Visit Tampa Bay)

Where to Stay in Tampa

Tamps is a good place to remain, particularly should you keep close to Ybor City or the Downtown space by the Tampa Riverwalk. Here are some locations in these areas:

  • This Secluded Retreat is in the center 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 deliver some mates alongside!
  • This super cute hotel room on the Florida Palace Hotel is correct in the center of Downtown and offers you some critical Beauty & the Beast vibes. It’s additionally proper subsequent to the Tampa Riverwalk, so that you’ll have leisure out there everytime you like!
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Miami is dwelling to stunning seashores and delightful Art Deco structure. (Photo Credit)

Miami: A Beauty Lover’s Getaway

Miami is thought for many issues, like the fashionable and glitzy South Beach, the world’s largest assortment of fashionable Art Deco buildings, and possibly most iconically, the place the Golden Girls dwell.

Miami was initially inhabited by the Tequesta Tribe, till the Spanish claimed Florida for themselves in the 1500s, and was named after the Miami River – “Miami” which means “big water” in the Tequesta/Miyami language. Miami got here to be referred to as the “Magic City” in fashionable occasions as a result of it went from nowheresville in the early 1900s till the Florida land boom of the 1920s made it appear to spring up by “magic”.

Today you possibly can nonetheless see relics of the increase with the fabulous Twenties-30s Art Deco structure, and take a look at historic neighborhoods like Little Havana, Miami’s vibrant Cuban coronary heart the place you possibly can eat at a number 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 entering into Europe! (Photo Credit)

Things to do in Miami

Though Miami is Florida’s second-most populous metropolis after Jacksonville, it isn’t very massive – at solely 36 sq. miles it’s simple to take in the very best of Miami in only a weekend. Some of the very best issues to get a style of Miami are:

  • Take the Miami South Beach Art Deco Walking Tour – As beforehand talked about, Miami is dwelling to the most important assortment of Art Deco buildings in the world, which is a method from the Twenties and 30s characterised by robust colours and boldly delineated geometric shapes. In different phrases, it’s what makes Miami appear like Miami! On this two-hour tour, you’ll find out about mob life and Hollywood glamour by way of the lens of structure, and even see Versace’s over-the-top mansion.
  • Explore the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens – Built 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 way more. Inside the Mediterranean-style dwelling you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings actually giving Vizcaya the identify “Miami’s home”.
  • 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, because the metropolis is dwelling 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, rooster 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, excellent for nice meals and nice websites! (Photo Credit: @terrasmiami)

Where to Eat & Drink in Miami

If you’re visiting Miami, you possibly can guess 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. 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 in 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 will satiate our quick meals cravings – however quick meals that’s really good and do-it-yourself – so pop in this cute 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 finest phrase to explain this place is stylish. Here you will get tapas with domestically sourced substances, 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 – Located on the marina, Monte’s Coconut Grove is the place to get contemporary 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. For your entree, you possibly can’t beat good old style fish and chips, or step it up with the Mahi Sandwich. But actually of you simply ate oysters and drank mango margaritas I wouldn’t blame you both.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-3
Even the lifeguard shacks in Miami are stunning! (Photo Credit)

Where to Stay in Miami

Whether you need 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 personal plant paradise. Located proper by the town heart and Little Havana, you possibly can discover the town after which come again to your personal secluded haven, consuming exterior beneath a mango tree. The inside 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 very best of South Beach. Besides a kitchen to cook dinner in, this constructing additionally has its personal shady pool, sure to maintain you cool on scorching afternoons!
  • For an superior finances choice, this condo in an actual Art Deco building could also be small however you’ve got the seashore at your fingertips! And you possibly can’t beat staying in a chunk of historical past.

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

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

Fort Lauderdale: A Gay Getaway

Though solely about 45 minutes away from Miami, Fort Lauderdale is an excellent scorching spot for LGBTQ+ vacationers. Even their present mayor is homosexual! If you need some good old style homosexual enjoyable (sure, we are saying homosexual right here!) Fort Lauderdale is the place to see glorious drag, try the homosexual bars, and naturally, sandy (homosexual) seashores.

The City of Fort Lauderdale is called for the second Seminole fort constructed to struggle the Seminole Tribe in 1838, as European colonizers stole their land and drove them out. The metropolis as we speak is nicknamed “The Venice of America”, because of the 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 Street Beach is the gayest seashore in Florida, possibly the world! (Photo Credit)

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is all about enjoyable, drinks, and seashore time! If this appears like spring break, you’re not improper, as Fort Lauderdale was the place spring break originated in 1938! Talk a couple of occasion city.

  • Visit the Gay Beach – 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 variety of seashores! Sebastian Street Beach is named the homosexual seashore, and is a good place to folks watch and meet different {couples} each domestically and on trip.
  • Check out some homosexual historical past – Fort Lauderdale is dwelling to not one, however two homosexual museums. The first is the Stonewall Museum & Archives, the place you possibly can study in regards to the Stonewall Riots that grew to become the catalyst for the homosexual liberation motion. Here you possibly can see images, clippings, and memorabilia from the riotd in addition to fashionable homosexual ephemera. The different is the World AIDS Museum and Educaiton Center, the place you possibly can 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 in the longer term.
  • Check out the canals and channels on a sightseeing cruise – If you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the primary time, it’s possible you’ll be curious in regards to the “Venice of America”. The metropolis has 165 miles of navigable waterways, and taking a look at images of the town it does all appear to be floating on water! Luckily you possibly can 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.

Where to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you possibly can hold it homosexual all by way of dinner, and for drinks afterward! Not solely that, you possibly can 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 special present with a special menu every day, like “Glitz & Glam” on Friday and Sunday, “Dragalicious Brunch” on Sunday with bottomless mimosas, and even a “Taboo 21+” present late Saturday nights. Talk about dinner and a present, hunty!
  • Rosie’s Bar and Grille – For a giant homosexual time in an off-the-cuff ambiance, try Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their outside 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 way more!
  • Check out the Wilton Manors Gay Bars – Wilton Manors is the primary gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, although technically it’s really its personal metropolis! Along 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 superb drag reveals. This strip is definitely walkable, and simply be sure to’re respectful should you’re not a queer individual getting into a queer house!
A non-public pool on my weekend getaway? Don’t thoughts if I do! (Photo Credit)

Where to Stay 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 correct in the center of Wilton Manors, making bar hopping/crawling simple and secure! The residence is fashionable and clear, and the very best half is your personal personal pool in 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. When you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious residence, you possibly can cool off in 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 Beach is the very best seashore in America you say? Don’t thoughts if I do… (Photo Credit)

St. Petersburg: A Beach 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 possibly can go to a special world-class seashore every single day. With full of life city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant power that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and every little thing in between, you’ll need to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) to your weekend in St. Pete. 

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

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All this nature is correct at your fingertips in Fort de Soto Park! (Photo Credit)

Things to Do in St. Petersburg

Sandals? Check. Sunblock? Check. Let’s take a look at the very best seashores and pure actions in St. Pete!

  • Hit One of America’s Favorite Beaches – Rated the #1 seashore in the US by Trip Advisor in 2021, St. Pete Beach is every little thing a seashore needs to be. White, sugar sand; unbelievable sunsets; clear, emerald water, and — after all — seashore bars. Spend the day absorbing the solar, splashing in the surf, and marveling on the plain fantastic thing about this Gulf Coast seashore. And on the finish of the day (heck, everytime you need), head to 1 or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has dwell music and a sprawling, beachside patio.
  • Enjoy Beaches and History at Fort De Soto Park and Egmont Key Fort De Soto Park encompasses 5 islands and heaps of shoreline in the Gulf and Tampa Bay. You can hike, bike, chill out 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 possibly can hike, swim, or snorkel amongst previous fort ruins. Look at you, Indiana Jones!
  • Explore an Undeveloped Island – If you intend for a day journey, Caladesi Island State Park (which requires a ferry trip) is a quiet island, excellent for a calming day spent swimming or bird-watching. If you need to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s an exquisite 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 dwell. You can even 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 method to expertise Florida’s wildlife than by a peaceful paddleboard tour? You don’t need to be a professional to take this tour — in reality, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of methods to navigate your board, you’ll head out on the bayou in search of manatees, dolphins, and a various array of birds. 
doc crow's st petersberg florida
Talk about lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Photo Credit: @docfords)

Where to Eat & Drink in St. Petersburg

St. Pete has a lot to supply in the food and drinks scene, from the everyday contemporary seafood, to custom-made cocktails with a rotating menu. Here are a number of the finest locations to eat and drink in St. Pete:

  • Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille – Located on the St. Pete Pier, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille sits proper on the water supplying 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. They even have, because the identify suggests, loads of rum drinks, so strive their signature Sanibel Sunset 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, fairly they name it “Deep South Italian”, mixing southern contemporary substances with Italian recipes. 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 after all, it’s a must to get one among their fireplace oven pizzas, like a standard margehrita or one thing extra thrilling just like the Peach + Burrata with pesto, Gorgonzola, caramelized onion, contemporary peach, torn burrata and balsamic honey.
  • The Mandarin Hide – If you desire a break from the beachside tiki bar and need to go all out on a number of the metropolis’s finest cocktails, head to the Mandarin Hide. This little cozy, darkish cocktail lounge with glowing chandeliers is thought for its knowledgeable mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Each Tuesday they create an completely new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t inform you what will likely be on it if you go to, it’s going to be new and superb. They even have aged cocktails. This place is legit, ya’ll!
St. Pete Beach at twilight with a colorful sunset in St. Petersburg, Florida
Just suppose, you would be overlooking sprawling seashores at sundown! (Photo Credit)

Where to Stay in St. Petersburg

Since St. Pete is a lot seashore, you’ll positively have the chance to be a seashore bum for the weekend! Here 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 can sit on the balcony and drink because the solar goes down (or rises, if that’s your factor) and cook dinner in the almost full-sized kitchen.
  • Though this colorful condo will not be going through the seashore, you’ll be there in just some steps. This rental can be larger, supplying you with a separate lounge/kitchen and bed room if you wish to unfold out a little bit extra.

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The Perfect Weekend in Nashville, Tennessee: Itinerary & (Massive) Guide

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 History Lover’s Getaway

St. Augustine will not 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 world, which had beforehand been inhabited by the Timucua Native People, and set up it as a navy outpost and Catholic missionary base. 

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

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

Things to Do in St. Augustine

There is so much to do in St. Augustine, so it was powerful to slim it down. But you’ll positively need to get a heavy dose of historical past and spooky time in this centuries-old coastal metropolis.

  • Explore the Castillo de San Marcos – Built in 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. Since the fort was built with coquina, a kind of sedimentary rock product of shells and useless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked, fairly absorbed cannonballs which may nonetheless be seen in the partitions as we speak.
  • 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. One of essentially the most fascinating, and definitely essentially the most stunning, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed in the previous lodge Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival type constructing constructed in 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 circumstances 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 surprise that it’s stuffed with loads of tales of those that have by no means crossed to the opposite facet and nonetheless reside in this historic place. Take an hour and a half lengthy walking ghost tour which can take you to the Old Fort and cemeteries, or, should 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! (Photo Credit: @odd_birds)

Where to Eat & Drink in St. Augustine

Just since you’re in the oldest metropolis doesn’t imply it’s a must to eat old-style meals! St. Augustine has some fashionable easts in some stunning areas. Some 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 good looking patio to eat outside. They say their meals is “innovative southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, and localvores.” Try the Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf Sandwich or the Fish Camp Fancy Sandwich, and you’ll guess each chunk is native and contemporary!
  • Odd Birds Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen – This tremendous kitschy, tropically pleasant restaurant and bar is the place to get particular cocktails like The Wild Moon Child, with Tequila Blanco, Strawberry Syrup, Cynar, Pineapple Juice with a splash of Lemon Juice or an Espresso Martini to pep you up. Food-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 – If 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 Bird topped with contemporary cinnamon apples, vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle, and bourbon whipped cream, or a milkshake just like the Pele Dos Santos with vanilla ice cream, contemporary bananas, and Nutella. Or get each!
St. Augustine, Florida sunset with sailboats on the water
St. Augustine, Florida sundown with sailboats on the water.

Where to Stay in St. Augustine

St. Augustine, being an previous, previous place, requires you to remain in some historic and charming previous locations your self! Here are some fantastically cute choices to get your in the spirit:

  • This gem in the historic district is so effing cute you’ll need to name it dwelling earlier than you permit. This first-floor residence has one bed room, a kitchen, and loads of house. Sit on the screened-in porch and watch sailboats in the harbor and shrimp boats bringing in their catch, and watch the sundown paint the sky.
  • This 1920s 900sq/ft apartment is big, attractive, and vibrant and is the right place to make your “home” to 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 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 probably the most distinctive locations in America: roosters roam the streets, drag queens rule the nightlife, and Cuba’s shut proximity colours its historical past. The complete island is a colourful, tropical feast for the senses. Is this paradise? I assumed it might be much less …. bizarre?

To actually admire 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 dwelling. It’s additionally the southernmost level of the US, so it is sensible it’s the final on our record!

We even have an entire submit about things to do in Key West should you’d prefer to study much more!

Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida

Things to do in Key West

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

  • Visit the Hemingway House & Museum – The Hemingway House & Museum is in Old Town Key West, and this yellow, ethereal, many-windowed house is in the French Colonial type with many artwork deco accents on the within. This is a very massive attraction on Key West for good purpose – Hemingway was a prolific author through the Twenties and 30s, and he wrote two of his most well-known books in 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 in the Thirties, and is the person who I’ve determined to completely blame for all of the cats on the island (in response to the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, dwell right here).
  • Snorkel at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: The solely reef you possibly can 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 complete day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is thought for having many tropical species of birds you possibly can see just like the Roseate Spoonbill. These reefs could also be your finest probability to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as properly! Since you’ll be by yourself in this reef, be sure to deliver your personal snorkeling gear or hire one on the park (both means, pack anti-fog spray).
  • Take a Sunset 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 occasion – and are the best possible method to see the sundown. Most of those excursions are about two hours lengthy, returning at round 7pm. Note that since these are sailboats, the downstairs house of the boat is just about only a rest room and never an area to cover from the solar, so should you burn as badly as I do be sure to deliver sunblock! If you’re touring together with your accomplice, ebook an intimate cruise like Danger’s Charters Wind & Wine Sunset Sail Sitting on a ship and watching the sundown collectively is such a romantic method to spend time with one another! For a livelier night, Cool Key West is a good alternative, with native musicians taking part in and loads of free drinks.

Where to Eat & Drink in Key West

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

  • Grab Breakfast and a Show at Blue Heaven – Blue Heaven is very easy to overlook (search for the signal on a gate behind some bushes), however consuming at this outside restaurant feels such as you’re inside a jungle shaded by huge banyan bushes, banana palms, and colourful hibiscus flowers. The restaurant is dwelling to cats, chickens AND child chickens, so that you simply may make some animal mates whilst you eat! Try their Lobster “BLT” Benny – a spin on the basic BLT however with contemporary lobster. Blue Heaven additionally has a Rooster Graveyard, which comprises the stays of cockfighting roosters and a few of Blue Heaven’s more moderen rooster residents. Every morning Blue Heaven hosts native musicians taking part in calming music that can assist you begin your day on the island, so grabbing breakfast right here is bound to get you in the island spirit.
  • Get a Drink and See a Drag present at 801 Bourbon Bar – 801 Bourbon started in 1987 as a piano bar, however as time went on, the main target grew to become much less on the piano and extra on the drag performances. Just one factor: at 801, the queens don’t lip-sync! They are nice singers and you’ll take heed to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. Fair warning: should you’re in the entrance rows, you’ll most likely get teased by the queens. But hey, getting made enjoyable of by a drag queen in entrance of a dwell viewers is a reward.
  • Dessert that’s Better than Sex: Better Than Sex is THE romantic dessert date spot to go to. While it has not too long ago 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: Better Than Sex has desserts that make me weak in the knees. Most of the desserts have enjoyable names, like the Kinky-er Key West Cream Pie, an excellent locally-themed alternative. Their cake can be superb – 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 loads of little paradises you possibly can hire in Key West! (Photo Credit)

Where to Stay in Key West

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

  • The charming Wicker Guesthouse is situated only one block from the Ernest Hemingway House, with a tropical backyard and an out of doors pool. Rooms embrace microwaves and a small fridge, you possibly can hire bikes on-site, and also you’re solely a 10-minute stroll from South Beach.
  • The Secret Garden provides an enthralling personal oasis, with two bedrooms, a completely stocked kitchen, and entry to a shared pool.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-2
Get prepared for seashore time! (Photo Credit)

What to Pack for Weekend Getaways in Florida

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

  • Several Swimsuits: There’s an excellent probability you’ll be leaping into the water every single day, so that you’ll need to deliver alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you 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 superb. It’s excellent. 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 is 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 will get in bother for bringing them out of the lodge. So simply to be secure, I all the time deliver my very own travel-friendly, light-weight, quick-drying travel towel!
  • Travel Clothesline: Newsflash: your lodge’s moist, darkish rest room is absolutely the WORST place to hold your clothes as much as dry. Instead, dangle 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 will likely be dry in no time.
  • 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 need to go dwell in an igloo endlessly, you possibly can 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 after all, heaps and lot of sunscreen – don’t overlook to re-apply!

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

READ THIS POST

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

About the Author: Richie Goff is a Louisville, Kentucky native with an awesome love of the outside. When he isn’t rising flowers for enjoyable, he’s the Editor-in-Chief of Practical Wanderlust and Let’s Go Louisville. He has been a pal 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 essentially the most? What are you most excited to do? Drop us a remark beneath!

Looking for extra Florida inspiration? Check out our different posts:

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Our Top Travel Tips & Resources

Here 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.

  • Booking Flights: To rating flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Money-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.
  • Accommodations: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique accommodations or personal rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to ebook accommodations (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to ebook hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and glorious critiques). For trip leases, we favor to ebook utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher help than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor file. You can even ebook trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our dwelling and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Travel Insurance: We all the time, all the time, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY counsel 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 without doubt one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which are excellent for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Travel Credit Card: We ebook all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely will we earn money again that we will spend on extra journey, however the card provides implausible journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automotive 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 useful drugs and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We all the time suggest getting each vaccine really useful by the CDC! You can get them at your major care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Tours: 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 ebook our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine methods to get from place to put, and ebook native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. When we ebook a rental automotive, we use Kayak to check rental firms and discover the very best deal.
  • Luggage Storage: Whenever we’re testing early or benefiting from a protracted 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 data, and so on) secure, even if you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it helps you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO if you join!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we deliver on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and lots of extra. Take a take a look at all of our packing guides!

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