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. 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 12 months. It’s really the land of 1,000,000 sandy seashores, theme parks, and a complete lot of issues to do. And it’s top-of-the-line locations for a mini-vacation with so many really distinctive weekend getaways in Florida!

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

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

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

The ten Finest Weekend Getaways in Florida

Solely have a weekend away? There’s loads that may be executed within the sunny state of Florida! Beneath are ten wonderful weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you’re on the lookout for some seashore leisure or some extra adventurous choices.

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

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lake eola orlando florida
Outdoors the theme parks, Orlando is each stunning 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 most important theme parks and miniature golf programs, there’s truly an thrilling, cultured metropolis ready to be explored.

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

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

Nevertheless it bought its title, 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 everyday 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 without doubt one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Situated within the gorgeous (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven 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? Effectively, one of the simplest ways to expertise them is with Night Glow Paddleboarding by Epic Paddle Adventures. Even in the event you’ve by no means executed standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable crew could have you up very quickly to discover the lake. The very best half is, because the solar goes down the paddleboards mild up (which you’ll be able to change the colour) and the workers brings a cooler with beer or White Claws and even performs celebration music (and takes requests!). This can be a fabulous technique to spend a night, and the workers really makes it one thing to put in writing house about.
  • Morse Museum of American 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 Honest in 1893. The temper right here is dim and stress-free, and you probably have an eye fixed for magnificence, you’ll undoubtedly be at house on this creative 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 basically named after the “milk district” during 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 referred to as Joyland. Ivanhoe Park Brewing Firm 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. Unsure what to get? Get a flight to attempt samples of their beers and e book a private tour to listen to extra concerning the historical past and the way their beer is made!
  • The Hammered Lamb – Because the title suggests, the Hammered Lamb is a good place to drink! Additionally situated throughout the way in which from Lake Ivanhoe, this out of doors (and lined) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the prepare tracks. And each time a prepare goes by meaning one factor… prepare photographs! Sure, of their quest to get you a little bit tipsy photographs are served each time a prepare 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 inventive cooks use native elements to make one-of-a-kind meals experiences. Strolling into this place is a bit overwhelming – so many alternative smells and meals choices! Winter Park Biscuit 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 practically a half-pound every!
swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando florida
The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is really an oasis. This may very well be a complete trip!

The place to Keep in Orlando

Orlando has loads of stunning locations to remain, whether or not you need extra of a resort really feel or your individual 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 in the event you plan on visiting on considered 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 trendy 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 is just not precisely a finances resort, it’s definitely worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This beautiful rental with a heated pool has a vivid, 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 Seaside: An Artwork Lover’s Getaway

New Smyrna Seaside 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 right this moment) metropolis of Smyrna, from which he determined to call town New Smyrna.

At this time new Smyrna is named an artists’ hub, house 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. Right here yow will discover ocean-inspired paintings (or not!), in all types of mediums by individuals who flock to this city for inventive inspiration.

New Smyrna Seaside can also be recognized for its incredible surfing, ranked by Surfer Journal because the number 5 best surf town. With waves virtually each week of the 12 months, New Smyrna is a sizzling spot for surfers and surf tradition, despite the fact that New Smyrna is named the “shark capital of the world” because of the close by inlet. So perhaps stick extra to artwork, and depart the browsing to the professionals!

What To Do in New Smyrna Seaside

There’s loads of artwork, historical past, and plenty of native attraction to find in New Smyrna Seaside! A couple of of the most effective 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 timber, 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 within the distance. If you happen to want your lovely dolphin repair, this can be the most effective place to see them!
  • Smyrna Dunes Park– This 184-acre inlet park supplies two miles of boardwalks the place you’ll be able to see gopher tortoises nesting throughout the lush dune foliage. The boardwalk additionally has loads of overlooks of the attractive Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. This can be a great spot for a stroll, and to go 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 right this moment 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 variety!), 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 effectively just like the Traditional Cruise Automobile 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 concerning the authentic Native Individuals, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye grew to become a money crop for 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, in order that they burnt down the Spanish colonizer’s mill in retaliation. At this time this free park is hidden amongst palm timber containing high-sweeping arches and rusted steel vats, and is a good place to study concerning the battle of the unique inhabitants of the land and people who intruded. Remember the park entrance is just not effectively marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL and enter the small street that goes into the forest.

The place to Eat & Drink in New Smyrna Seaside

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

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s is the sort 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 timber and eat tremendous contemporary 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 Evening 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 vegetation 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 Good Catch, a Cooks catch with blackened honey pecan-crusted, shrimp, whiskey butter cream sauce, chef’s vegetable, and Yukon mash potatoes. Every part right here is beautiful in taste and preparation!
  • Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille – For maybe the most effective place to get brunch in New Smyrna, 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 unsuitable with being near the ocean.

The place to remain in New Smyrna Seaside

When on the seashore, you wish to keep close to the seashore! Listed below 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 thing it’s essential to discover the tremendous lovely 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 large driftwood timber at Boneyard Seaside 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 wager there are many adventures available – and it’s top-of-the-line weekend getaways in Florida particularly when it comes to getting in contact with nature.

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

Mainly, if you wish to get exterior and discover the most effective of Florida’s wildlife, “Jax” is the place to go to, with a median of 270 sunny days a 12 months 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 got yoga, kayaking, and a “boneyard” seashore!

  • Sunrise Yoga with MBody Yoga I do know, I do know, waking up earlier than the dawn could not sound like essentially the most stress-free exercise, nevertheless 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 Seaside, 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 coming into your lungs as you’re feeling your muscular tissues launch.
  • Boneyard Beach – Situated alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Seaside at Huge Talbot Island State Park. These “bones” aren’t actually bones in any respect – however large driftwood timber that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these big “bones” whereas the wind and sand has made them easy, and you’ll stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These lifeless timber 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 you probably have by no means SUPed earlier than, Jacksonville Surf and Paddle will take excellent care of you as you placed on a wetsuit, paddle previous the waves, and check out your hand on standing and paddling in your SUP! Paddling on the ocean is each thrilling and serene, attending to go farther offshore than you usually would swimming. Even in the event you fall, you’ll splash gently into the ocean and climb again on. Their 90-minute beginner classes are the proper spot to get your toes moist (actually) and chances are you’ll 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 when you study concerning 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 setting.
North Beach Fish Camp jacksonville florida fish plate
The Roast Cod Filet drenched in butter from North Seaside Fish Camp.

The place to Eat & Drink in Jacksonville

From the ocean to your mouth, Jacksonville has loads of contemporary fish eats with a complete lot of taste! The next eating places are situated in Neptune Seaside, an incredible place to have a chew then stroll alongside the seashore.

  • North Beach Fish Camp – North Seaside Fish Camp is a nautical-themed restaurant, with, as you guessed, fish! For starters, you’ll be able to’t go unsuitable with the Crispy Calamari with Pecorino cheese & spicy tomato sauce or, in the event you’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 robust espresso and a few pancakes, a bagel sandwich, and even loaded avocado toast. This place is busy within the morning, so seize some eats and a desk on the patio exterior.
  • Sliders Oyster Bar – This pink flamingo-themed, ultra-retro and trendy stylish beachside joint could also be the most effective place to get Oysters in Jacksonville within the coolest setting. Seize a desk or picnic desk with mates on the patio and prepare to dig into some contemporary seafood delivered every day! The primary occasion in fact are the Oysters steamed or uncooked, and specialty oysters just like the Rockefeller (spinach, parmesan, provolone, and breadcrumbs) and on line casino (with bacon and a three-cheese combine), amongst others. For one thing not oysters, attempt their shrimp nachos with pico and queso, and get the Hobbs Rum Punch with two completely different sorts of rum with banana, orange, pineapple, and grenadine!

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The place to Keep in Jacksonville

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

  • Whereas the One Ocean Resort & Spa is definietly on the pricier aspect, in the event you’re on the lookout for a spot within the coronary heart of Neptune Seaside 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 sit back of their pool and soak up all of the beachy, calming ambiance of this attractive resort.
  • This beachside apartment is simply a block away from Jackson Seaside and a brief stroll to the Jackson Seaside 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 enduring picture of Sanibel! (Photo Credit)

Sanibel Island: A Rest Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is considered one of my favourite locations on the planet. 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. 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 method (East to West) that it’s the prime spot for shelling. A few of the rarest shells on the planet are discovered right here, just like the well-known Junonia, and there’s even a reputation for folks bending over to select up shells: the “Sanibel Stoop”.

Sanibel Island seems like a real place to chill out – no massive chain shops or eating places however reasonably 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, attractive 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 considered one of their well-known sunsets. However in the event you 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 perhaps in the event you’re actually fortunate, the elusive Junonia. Simply bear in mind to not acquire any shells with residing 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 legendary 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 hen from!
  • Bike across the Island – With over 25 miles of biking trails, one of the simplest ways to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is simply about 12 miles throughout and three vast, so it’s simple 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 could have ones you’ll be able to borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to search out all types of enjoyable outlets to discover.
orange crunch cake from the bubble room sanibel isalnd
The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is extremely addictive. It’s exhausting to solely eat it as soon as in your journey! (Photograph Credit score: Dad)

The place to Eat & Drink on Sanibel Island

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

  • The Bubble Room – You may’t point out Sanibel Island with out asking in the event that they’ve been to the Bubble Room (or perhaps that’s simply me). The Bubble Room, truly situated on Captiva Island, is an ultra-themed restaurant full of kitsch and classic memorabilia from the 30s and 40s. The partitions are lined with previous film stills, classic toys are in each nook and cranny, and there are even toy trains that run alongside the ceiling from room to room. The actual star of the Bubble Room is its Bubble Bread, made with a number of sorts of cheese on Italian bread which comes with each entree (the recipe is carefully guarded in fact). Their different star is their big slices of cake, like their Orange Crunch cake, a yellow cake layered with almond brown sugar, and lined 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 most effective 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 enthusiastic about. For breakfast, attempt their Hash Brown Benedict with 2 poached eggs and Canadian bacon on waffled hash brown. What?! For lunch, have the Sesame Tuna Steak Salad – 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 finest breakfast”, and I’ve to say, their french toast is one thing desires are made from. Whereas there’s nothing revolutionary about their flavors or dishes, they’re traditional breakfast meals cooked completely, the place waitresses putter round with pots of espresso prepared to offer you a refill. Get right here early and luxuriate in some rattling good breakfast.
sanibel island sunset florida
There’s something so magical a couple of 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 finances:

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

Tampa: A Metropolis Lover’s Getaway

Spanish colonizer Ponce de León first “found” Florida in 1513, although in reality 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 search out the “Fountain of Youth”, although there isn’t any hard evidence that that is true, and it’s extra possible he was solely on the lookout for gold and land to steal.

After that, the world remained kind of untouched till it grew to become a part of the US in 1845, and in 1884 a person named Henry B. Plant constructed a railroad all the way down to Tampa with lavish 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 trade that Vicente Martinez Ybor established there within the Eighties.

Issues to do in Tampa

Manatees, magnates, and ghosts, oh my! Tampa actually has a beneficiant mixture of old-world Florida and pure habitats for wildlife, so you 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 totally 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 turn out to be an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you’ll be able to see every thing 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 forms of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Walking Tour as you discover 4 of the spookiest pubs in downtown Tampa. When you take pleasure in drinks, the costumed tour information will inform the haunted historical past of every place. The guides are wearing corsets and tunics and appear like they only stepped off the set of a pirate film (minus the swords, in fact). Haunted pub excursions are few and much in between, so be sure you go to this one when you’re right here, and you’ll want to try a few of the last remaining cigar factory when 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’d typically come house claiming they’d seen stunning girls within the water. At this time, it’s thought that these sailors have been seeing manatees from an incredible distance. Within the Eighties, an influence station in Tampa was shut down and that very same 12 months, folks 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’s loads of Cuban meals to attempt, together with meals ready by the Native American inhabitants (primarily Seminole & Miccosukee Tribes). Pair that with a world-renowned steak home and you’ve got top-of-the-line weekend getaways in Florida.

  • Mandy’s To Go – This spot is one wonderful piece of Cuba in Tampa. Mandy’s has a really home-cooked really feel to it – the workers are actually personable too – and all of the parts are tremendous massive. Their Cuban sandwiches are all excellent (the bread is soooo fluffy) however my favourite sandwich is the Media Noche, which is a pressed sandwich with mustard, ham, pickles, & pork. I don’t know what their secret is, however I’m obsessed. Because the title 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 night time. A lot of the elements are sourced from across the Bay space, and the others are from small American farmers that don’t use hormones. In addition they promote craft beer made on-site, in the event you’re into that sort of factor. The okra fries are splendidly crunchy, with a touch of lime & salt. My favourite meal is the Gouda grouper – I by no means would 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 might get fairly well-liked on the weekends, so make a reservation.
  • Bern’s Steakhouse – This can be a restaurant you’ll see on each ‘Better of Tampa’ listing or journey information, nevertheless it’s there for a purpose – Bern’s Steakhouse is implausible and has been round in Tampa since 1956. Strolling into this large restaurant seems like strolling right into a Victorian fort – the partitions are a deep crimson, with a stone facade on the underside half, and previous footage in elaborate, silver frames cling on the partitions. Their meat is perfection, just like the A5 Japanese Wagyu tenderloin, which is without doubt one of the highest high quality beefs in the marketplace, however any steak you order will likely 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 effectively 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 a good way to finish any day in Tampa! (Photograph Credit score: Go to Tampa Bay)

The place to Keep in Tampa

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

  • This Secluded Retreat is within the coronary heart of the historic Ybor metropolis and near downtown, making it the proper spot to remain throughout your journey. It’s spacious and clear with two bedrooms, so carry some mates alongside!
  • This super cute hotel room on the Florida Palace Lodge is true within the coronary heart of Downtown and provides you with some severe Magnificence & the Beast vibes. It’s additionally proper subsequent to the Tampa Riverwalk, so that you’ll have leisure accessible everytime you like!
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Miami is house to stunning seashores and delightful Artwork Deco structure. (Photo Credit)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

Miami is thought for plenty of issues, like the stylish and glitzy South Seaside, the world’s largest assortment of trendy Artwork Deco buildings, and perhaps most iconically, the place the Golden Ladies reside.

Miami was initially inhabited by the Tequesta Tribe, till the Spanish claimed Florida for themselves within the 1500s, and was named after the Miami River – “Miami” that means “massive water” within the Tequesta/Miyami language. Miami got here to be generally known as the “Magic Metropolis” in trendy 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 getting 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 simple to absorb the most effective of Miami in only a weekend. A few 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 the 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 appear 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 way more. Contained in the Mediterranean-style house you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings really giving Vizcaya the title “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, because the metropolis is house to many Cuban immigrants and the inhabitants is 70% Hispanic. On this 2.5-hour tour you’ll get to pattern the native delicacies, like guava pastries, hen plantain cups, and flan ice cream, and meet native artists, watch expert Cuban cigar rollers and hearken to conventional Cuban music.
terras rooftop patio with tacos and beer miami florida
Terras has a tropically overgrown rooftop restaurant & bar, good for excellent meals and nice websites! (Photograph Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

If you happen to’re visiting Miami, you’ll be able to wager your buns you’re going to have some good Cuban meals, the flavors of that are going to bop over your tongue like a mambo. Listed 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. This can satiate our quick meals cravings – however quick meals that’s truly good and do-it-yourself – so pop on this lovely 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 very 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 contemporary seafood in a tropical setting. Step below 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 truthfully of you simply ate oysters and drank mango margaritas I wouldn’t blame you both.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-3
Even the lifeguard shacks in Miami are stunning! (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep in Miami

Whether or not you wish to be near little Havana below 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 town heart and Little Havana, you’ll be able to discover town after which come again to your individual secluded haven, consuming exterior below 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 most effective of South Seaside. Apart from a kitchen to prepare dinner in, this constructing additionally has its personal shady pool, sure to maintain you cool on sizzling afternoons!
  • For an superior finances possibility, this condo in an actual Art Deco building could also be small however you might have the seashore at your fingertips! And you’ll’t beat staying in a bit 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
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 an excellent 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 known as 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 right this moment 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 Road Seaside is the gayest seashore in Florida, perhaps the world! (Photo Credit)

Issues to do in Fort Lauderdale

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

  • Go to the Homosexual Seaside – 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 numerous 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.
  • 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 concerning the Stonewall Riots that grew to become the catalyst for the homosexual liberation motion. Right here you’ll be able to see images, clippings, and memorabilia from the riotd in addition to trendy 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 – If you happen to’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the primary time, chances are you’ll be curious concerning the “Venice of America”. The town has 165 miles of navigable waterways, and taking a look at photographs of town it does all appear to be floating on water! Fortunately you’ll be able to take a 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruise, the place you’ll cruise alongside the New River previous Millionaire’s Row and study concerning the space.

The place to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be able to preserve 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. Discuss dinner and a present, hunty!
  • Rosie’s Bar and Grille – For an enormous homosexual time in an informal environment, try Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their out of doors patio surrounded by lush foliage below 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!
  • 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 definitely walkable, and simply be sure you’re respectful in the event you’re not a queer individual coming 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 simple and protected! The residence is trendy and clear, and the most effective half is your individual non-public pool within the yard surrounded by palm timber 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 Seaside is the most effective seashore in America you say? Don’t thoughts if I do… (Photo Credit)

St. Petersburg: A Seaside 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 vigorous city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant power that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and every thing in between, you’ll wish to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) on your weekend in St. Pete. 

That’s to not say there isn’t loads extra to do in the event you want a break from the solar (St. Pete averages 360 days of solar per 12 months!). Cultural sights — just like the Salvador Dali Museum and the Chihuly 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 most effective seashores and pure actions in St. Pete!

  • Hit Certainly one of America’s Favourite Seashores – Rated the #1 seashore within the US by Journey Advisor in 2021, St. Pete Beach is every thing a seashore must be. White, sugar sand; unbelievable sunsets; clear, emerald water, and — in fact — seashore bars. Spend the day absorbing the solar, splashing within the surf, and marveling on the plain fantastic thing about this Gulf Coast seashore. And on the finish of the day (heck, everytime you need), head to at least one or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has reside music and a sprawling, beachside patio.
  • Get pleasure from 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, 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’ll be able to hike, swim, or snorkel amongst previous fort ruins. Take a look at you, Indiana Jones!
  • Discover an Undeveloped Island – If you happen to plan for a day journey, Caladesi Island State Park (which requires a ferry trip) is a quiet island, good for a soothing day spent swimming or bird-watching. If you wish to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s 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 reside. You may also 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 technique to expertise Florida’s wildlife than by a peaceful paddleboard tour? You don’t must be a professional to take this tour — the truth is, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of how you can navigate your board, you’ll head out on the bayou in quest of manatees, dolphins, and a various array of birds. 
doc crow's st petersberg florida
Discuss lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Photograph Credit score: @docfords)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Petersburg

St. Pete has a lot to supply within the food and drinks scene, from the everyday contemporary 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 providing you with wonderful views of Tampa Bay. Get the Macadamia Nut Crusted Grouper, which is served atop an unique mixture of quinoa, jasmine rice, arugula, crimson peppers and yellow squash then complimented with a “Toasted Rum” coconut sauce. In addition they have, because the title suggests, loads of rum drinks, so attempt their signature Sanibel Sundown with Calypso Spiced Rum and Don Q Coconut Rum with a splash of Amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine.
  • Noble Crust – Nobel Crust isn’t your typical pizza joint, reasonably they name it “Deep South Italian”, mixing southern contemporary 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 considered one of their hearth oven pizzas, like a conventional 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 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 thought for its professional mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Every Tuesday they create an solely new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t inform you what will likely be on it while 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 may be overlooking sprawling seashores at sundown! (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep in St. Petersburg

Since St. Pete is a lot seashore, you’ll undoubtedly have the chance to be a seashore bum for the weekend! Listed below are some nice seashore choices on 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 prepare dinner within the practically full-sized kitchen.
  • Although this colorful condo is just not going through the seashore, you’ll be there in only a few steps. This rental can also be greater, providing 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 Historical past Lover’s Getaway

St. Augustine is just not solely Florida’s oldest metropolis, it’s additionally the oldest repeatedly 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 achieve management of the world, which had beforehand been inhabited by the Timucua Native People, and set up it as a army outpost and Catholic missionary base. 

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

Castillo de San Marco National Monument st augistine florida
Exploring the Castillo de San Marco Nationwide Monument is like stepping again into the seventeenth century. (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 undoubtedly 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, reasonably absorbed cannonballs which might nonetheless be seen within the partitions right this moment.
  • Marvel on the Historic Lightner MuseumSince we’re speaking concerning the nation’s oldest metropolis right here, St. Augustine has a lot of museums. One of the vital fascinating, and definitely essentially the most stunning, 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 sort 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 full of loads of tales of those that have by no means crossed to the opposite aspect and nonetheless reside on this historic place. Take an hour and a half lengthy walking ghost tour which can take you to the Previous Fort and cemeteries, or, in the event you like to combine scary tales and booze, take the two-hour “Spirits with the Spirits” tour to get your buzz and boo on.
octopus dish at odd birds in st augistine florida
Odd Birds additionally has some odd dishes, like their Jimmy Grilled Out made with octopus! (Photograph Credit score: @odd_birds)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Augustine

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

  • The Floridian – The Floridian is simply that – Florida-themed to the gills! Inside there are many vegetation and tiki-inspired decor, in addition to a ravishing patio to eat open air. They are saying their meals is “progressive southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, and localvores.” Attempt the Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf Sandwich or the Fish Camp Fancy Sandwich, and you’ll wager each chew 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 Little one, with Tequila Blanco, Strawberry Syrup, Cynar, Pineapple Juice with a splash of Lemon Juice or an Espresso Martini to pep you up. Meals-wise, they’ve signature entrees like their Jimmy Grilled Out with grilled octopus, papa bravas, chimi, French dressing, and nata.
  • Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar – In case your candy tooth will get a hankering, head to Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar in historic downtown St. Augustine which is simply as divine because it sounds. Get a waffle just like the Whirly Hen 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.

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 lovely 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 allow. 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, attractive, and vivid and is the proper place to make your “house” on your weekend getaway. You’ll be below a mile from the Castillo de San Marcos and all the most effective 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 one 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 whole island is a colourful, tropical feast for the senses. Is that this paradise? I believed it could be much less …. bizarre?

To essentially respect Key West in all of its quirky glory, you additionally 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 listing!

We even have a complete publish about things to do in Key West in the event you’d prefer to study much more!

Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida

Issues to do in Key West

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

  • Go to the Hemingway 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. This can be a actually massive attraction on Key West for good purpose – Hemingway was a prolific author in the course of the Nineteen Twenties and 30s, and he wrote two of his most well-known books on this very home: A Farewell To Arms and To Have and Have Not. Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for years, making the island his everlasting place of residence within the Thirties, and is the person who I’ve determined to totally blame for all of the cats on the island (in response to the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, reside right here).
  • Snorkel at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: The one reef you’ll be able to fairly swim to in Key West is the one in Fort Zachary Taylor. The admission for pedestrians is $2.50 and you’ll spend all the day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is thought for having many tropical species of birds you’ll be able to see just like the Roseate Spoonbill. These reefs could also be your finest probability to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as effectively! Since you can be by yourself on this reef, be sure you carry your individual snorkeling gear or hire one on the park (both method, 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 technique to see the sundown. Most of those excursions are about two hours lengthy, returning at round 7pm. Word that since these are sailboats, the downstairs area of the boat is just about only a lavatory and never an area to cover from the solar, so in the event you burn as badly as I do be sure you carry sunblock! If you happen to’re touring together with your associate, 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 technique 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.

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 large banyan timber, banana palms, and colourful hibiscus flowers. The restaurant is house to cats, chickens AND child chickens, so that you simply may make some animal mates when you eat! Attempt their Lobster “BLT” Benny – a spin on the traditional BLT however with contemporary 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 taking part in calming music that will help you begin your day on the island, so grabbing breakfast right here is certain to get you within the island spirit.
  • Get a Drink and See a Drag present at 801 Bourbon Bar – 801 Bourbon started in 1987 as a piano bar, however as time went on, the main target grew to become much less on the piano and extra on the drag performances. Only one factor: at 801, the queens don’t lip-sync! They’re nice singers and you’ll hearken to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. Honest warning: in the event you’re within the entrance rows, you’ll in all probability get teased by the queens. However hey, getting made enjoyable of by a drag queen in entrance of a reside viewers is a reward.
  • 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 at the least as soon as to get some sweets. I’m an enormous 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 also be wonderful – fluffy slices piled excessive with icing – with scrumptious caramel and raspberry drizzles that, I’m not ashamed to confess, I fortunately drown my cake in. Yum!
The backyard of an AirBnb in Key West Florida with a hot tub.
There are many little paradises you’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 in the event you’re not a distant employee on the lookout 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 Seaside.
  • The Secret Garden gives an enthralling 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 carry with you to the seashore:

  • Several Swimsuits: There’s probability you’ll be leaping into the water day by day, so that you’ll wish to carry alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you all the time have one thing dry to placed on! I’m a measurement 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 ponderous and you may get in bother for bringing them out of the resort. So simply to be protected, I all the time carry my very own travel-friendly, light-weight, quick-drying travel towel!
  • Travel Clothesline: Newsflash: your resort’s moist, darkish lavatory is absolutely the WORST place to hold your clothes as much as dry. As a substitute, 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 will likely 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 reside 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 neglect to re-apply!

For extra beachy packing suggestions and curvy-girl particular solutions (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 buddy 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!

Searching for extra Florida inspiration? Take a look at our different posts:

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Our High Journey Ideas & Sources

Listed below are our favourite journey suggestions & assets for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra suggestions, 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 suggestions: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a finances airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally 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, simple change/cancellation, and wonderful critiques). For trip leases, we favor 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 report. You may also 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 counsel it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to search out out why. We advocate both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is without doubt one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, 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 implausible 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 medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We all the time advocate 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 how you can 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 check rental firms and discover the most effective deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Every time we’re trying out early or benefiting from an extended layover, we use LuggageHero to securely retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital data (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and so forth) protected, even while 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 while you join!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we carry 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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