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. Outdated, haunted cities. Heaps & a lot of seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with a median of 237 sunny days a yr. It’s really the land of 1,000,000 sandy seashores, theme parks, and an entire lot of issues to do. And it’s among the finest 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 points of interest that fall beneath the department of a sure form of Florida-flavored kitsch.

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

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

The ten Greatest Weekend Getaways in Florida

Solely have a weekend away? There’s a lot 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 rest or some extra adventurous choices.

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

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

Orlando, Florida: An Journey Lover’s Getaway

Orlando, Florida, you could have heard of it. The house of Common, Disney World, and a thousand vacationer traps? However beneath all of the glitz and glamour of the key theme parks and miniature golf programs, there’s 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 within the 1800s brought about farmers to maneuver their crops farther south. The identify “Orlando” has combined provenance, one account saying it was from a soldier named” Orlando Reeves” who fought within the Second Seminole War 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.

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

What To Do in Orlando

Simply since you’re visiting Orlando, doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t keep away from the everyday experiences, and the crowds, if you recognize the place to look. Listed here are among the greatest 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 likely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Positioned within the gorgeous (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven linked lakes, via small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous among the greatest and oldest mansions you’ll ever see – from the water that’s. The boat drivers are full of data and horrible puns, so you recognize you’re in for time!
  • Night Glow Paddleboarding – Keep in mind all these lakes I discussed Orlando having? Effectively, the easiest way 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 staff can have you up very quickly to discover the lake. The very best half is, because the solar goes down the paddleboards gentle up (which you’ll be able to change the colour) and the employees brings a cooler with beer or White Claws and even performs get together music (and takes requests!). This can be a fabulous solution to spend a night, and the employees really 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. Everyone knows Tiffany lamps, and there are many distinctive ones right here, however apart from lamps there are Artwork Nouveau vases, jewellery, and even an elaborate chapel inside created for the Chicago World’s Truthful in 1893. The temper right here is dim and enjoyable, and when you have a watch for magnificence, you’ll positively be at dwelling 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 absolutely named after the “milk district” wherein it’s positioned. Whereas you 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 positioned inside. The menu contains objects like handmade Foccacia with ricotta, some killer caramelized Brussel sprouts, in addition to their perfectly-cooked Bacaro burger with fonitna cheese, Dijon mustard, Arugula, B+B zucchini pickles, on a Martin’s Potato roll. Seize a craft Foxtail Espresso Martini to get you each alert and relaxed.
  • Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. – This brewery sits proper on Lake Ivanhoe, which was as soon as the house to an early 1900s amusement park known as Joyland. Ivanhoe Park Brewing Firm pays homage to the world’s enjoyable heritage, with beers just like the Joyland IPA to the Toboggan Blonde Ale named after the water slides that was on the lake. Undecided what to get? Get a flight to strive samples of their beers and guide a private tour to listen to extra concerning the historical past and the way their beer is made!
  • The Hammered Lamb – Because the identify suggests, the Hammered Lamb is a good place to drink! Additionally positioned throughout the best way 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 various 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. In addition to different savory meals like Domu the place you may get some significantly savory ramen, take a look at Gideon’s Bakehouse with their Gothic, witchy aesthetic and cookies which are almost a half-pound every!
swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando florida
The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is actually an oasis. This might be a whole trip!

The place to Keep in Orlando

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

  • The Caribe Royale Orlando is positioned on World Heart Drive, a stone’s throw away Disney from in the event you plan on visiting on one in all your days they usually even have their very own Disney transportation. The lodge itself is lately renovated with massive, spacious and fashionable rooms, and loads of dining options on-site. The crown jewel of the lodge is its massive pool space, which incorporates waterfalls and a waterslide. Whereas this lodge shouldn’t be precisely a price range lodge, it’s well worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This beautiful rental with a heated pool has a brilliant, spacious bed room and bikes you’ll be able to borrow to discover the tremendous cute Winter Park neighborhood and is simply blocks away from Morse Museum of American Art.
  • For an much more budgets pleasant choice, take a look at this colorful mid-century modern condo additionally positioned in Winter Park, and only a 15-minute stroll from the Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida. You actually can have all of it!

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New Smyrna Seashore: An Artwork Lover’s Getaway

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

Right now 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 train and promote their works. Right here you will discover ocean-inspired paintings (or not!), in every kind of mediums by individuals who flock to this city for inventive inspiration.

New Smyrna Seashore 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 yr, New Smyrna is a scorching spot for surfers and surf tradition, although New Smyrna is named the “shark capital of the world” as a result of close by inlet. So perhaps stick extra to artwork, and go away the browsing to the professionals!

What To Do in New Smyrna Seashore

There’s loads of artwork, historical past, and plenty of native allure to find in New Smyrna Seashore! Just a few 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 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 within the distance. Should you want your cute dolphin repair, this can be the most effective place to see them!
  • Smyrna Dunes Park– This 184-acre inlet park gives two miles of boardwalks the place you’ll be able to see gopher tortoises nesting 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 excellent place 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 a literal canal 250 years in the past, which was used to ship items like can sugar and indigo from the mainland to the Indian River, Canal road at this time continues to be the cultural hub of commerce and artwork. Right here you will discover outlets like The Gallery which sells connoisseur balsamic vinegar (I like to recommend the pomegranate sort!), 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 nicely just like the Basic Cruise Automobile Present, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There’s at all times one thing occurring!
  • Try the Historical past Museum and Outdated Fort Park – New Smyrna is dwelling to a lot of tradition and historical past, because it’s the third oldest metropolis within the state! Cease by the New Smyrna Museum of History first to be taught concerning the authentic Native Individuals, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye turned a money crop for the town, and its completely tubular surfing scene. Afterward, head throughout the road from the museum is Old Fort Park, which is open and free so that you can stroll throughout the mysterious ruins. Nobody is aware of what this sprawling basis was initially holding up: was it a colonial church? Dr. Turnbull’s mansion? A website for establishing 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 Outdated Fort Park are the Old Sugar Mills Ruins, which was initially the Cruger-de Peyster sugar mill. Within the 1830s, the US tried to forcibly push the Seminole Tribe off their very own land, so that they burnt down the Spanish colonizer’s mill in retaliation. Right now this free park is hidden amongst palm bushes containing high-sweeping arches and rusted steel vats, and is a good place to be taught concerning the battle of the unique inhabitants of the land and those that intruded. Bear in mind the park entrance shouldn’t be nicely marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL and enter the small street that goes into the forest.

The place to Eat & Drink in New Smyrna Seashore

A treehouse, a fairy backyard, and a marina… all with scrumptious meals! New Smyrna has some 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’re feeling like a child once more, as a result of you’ll be able to really eat dinner in a large treehouse with twinkling lights! Sit out on the second-story patio nestled amongst the bushes and eat tremendous recent seafood (that is Florida in spite of everything), like coconut shrimp as an appetizer and the Admiral’s Platter for dinner, with a 50oz lobster tail, grilled Mahi, and broiled sea scallops and shrimp. Order an All Night time Lengthy to drink, with bourbon, orange, lemon, bitters, and pinot noir float. You gained’t be leaving hungry right here!
  • Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar – Eat exterior on the Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar is like stepping right into a backyard paradise, with palms, string lights, and loads of evergreen crops and pergolas to make you’re feeling cozy and magical. To start out, order the Wagyu Brief 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 fashion shrimp) with Creole butter sauteed, wild-caught American shrimp, garlic, chilies, Calabrian oil, and crisp baguette. For a fresher-than-fresh entree, get the Sensible Catch, a Cooks catch with blackened honey pecan-crusted, shrimp, whiskey butter cream sauce, chef’s vegetable, and Yukon mash potatoes. Every thing right here is beautiful in taste and preparation!
  • Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille – For maybe the most effective place to get brunch in New Smyrna, take a look at the Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille. Located proper alongside the marina, watch boats go by as you dig into some Rooster & Waffles with cinnamon butter, sausage gravy, and bacon amaretto sauce, or the Crab & Lobster Cake Sandwich, with Florida spiny lobster, crispy Panko fried lump crab, chipotle lime sauce on a brioche bun.
Smyrna Dunes Park beach and jetty
You possibly can by no means go incorrect with being near the ocean.

The place to remain in New Smyrna Seashore

When on the seashore, you need to keep close to the seashore! Listed here are some nice seashore choices on a price range:

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

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

Jacksonville: A Nature Lover’s Getaway

Jacksonville is the largest city by landmass within the continental US, coming in at a whopping 840 sq. miles! With a lot space you’ll be able to wager there are many adventures available – and it’s among the finest weekend getaways in Florida particularly by way of getting in contact with nature.

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

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

What To Do in Jacksonville

Put in your bathing go well with, slather up in sunscreen, and prepare to do some exploring. Now 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 probably the most enjoyable exercise, nevertheless it’s an effective way to start your morning on a weekend getaway in Florida. As you stretch with steerage out of your teacher on Neptune Seashore, your complete physique will awaken because the solar slowly rises from behind the Atlantic Ocean. Actually nothing is as serene as a seashore dawn, the nice and cozy salty air coming into your lungs as you’re feeling your muscle groups launch.
  • Boneyard Beach – Positioned alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Seashore at Large Talbot Island State Park. These “bones” aren’t actually bones in any respect – however huge driftwood bushes that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these big “bones” whereas the wind and sand has made them clean, and you may stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These lifeless bushes defend from additional erosion of the flora behind the seashore and make an ideal place for a considerably morbid and eccentric stroll.
  • Strive Stand Up Paddleboarding within the ocean – Even when you have by no means SUPed earlier than, Jacksonville Surf and Paddle will take excellent care of you as you placed on a wetsuit, paddle previous the waves, and take a look at 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 recognize it!
  • Take an eco kayaking tour – If you wish to be taught 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 via the Fort George/Simpson Creek estuary via the salt marshes when you be taught concerning the Timucua Tribe who had been indigenous to this land, see spitting oysters among the many Spartina grass (actually!) and loads of birds like osprey, and even cease on a sandbar for selfmade cookies (that’s what retains coming again, they are saying!). Our tour information that day was a former instructor named Buddy, and you may inform Kayak Amelia has a real love of instructing and the surroundings.
North Beach Fish Camp jacksonville florida fish plate
The Roast Cod Filet drenched in butter from North Seashore Fish Camp.

The place to Eat & Drink in Jacksonville

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

  • North Beach Fish Camp – North Seashore Fish Camp is a nautical-themed restaurant, with, as you guessed, fish! For starters, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect 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 choice, too!
  • Southern Grounds – For a morning pick-me-up (after yoga, no much less), head to Southern Grounds for some scrumptious and powerful espresso and a few pancakes, a bagel sandwich, and even loaded avocado toast. This place is busy within the morning, so seize some eats and a desk on the patio exterior.
  • Sliders Oyster Bar – This pink flamingo-themed, ultra-retro and fashionable stylish beachside joint could also be the most effective place to get Oysters in Jacksonville within the coolest setting. Seize a desk or picnic desk with mates on the patio and prepare to dig into some recent seafood delivered every day! The primary occasion after all are the Oysters steamed or uncooked, and specialty oysters just like the Rockefeller (spinach, parmesan, provolone, and breadcrumbs) and on line casino (with bacon and a three-cheese combine), amongst others. For one thing not oysters, strive their shrimp nachos with pico and queso, and get the Hobbs Rum Punch with two completely different sorts of rum with banana, orange, pineapple, and grenadine!

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The place to Keep in Jacksonville

Jacksonville has 22 miles of seashores, so it’s positively the spot to guide 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 Seashore and wish some swanky facilities like a spa, One Ocean Resort & Spa is the place to deal with your self. Positioned proper on the seashore and steps away from MBody Yoga and the eating places talked about above, you’ll be able to relax of their pool and soak up all of the beachy, calming ambiance of this attractive resort.
  • This beachside apartment is just a block away from Jackson Seashore and a brief stroll to the Jackson Seashore Pier and loads of native seashore bars. This one-bedroom ground-floor house has an out of doors 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 Leisure Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is one in all 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 bored with the miles of shelly seashores, the quaint regionally owned companies, and the Bubble Bread. Mmmmm. Extra on that in a minute.

Sanibel Island, and the linked Captiva Island, is positioned 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 choose up shells: the “Sanibel Stoop”.

Sanibel Island seems like a real place to calm down – no large chain shops or eating places however slightly native outlets, shelling cruises, and an entire lot of “Sanibel Stooping”.

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shells on sanibel island florida
Shelling and doing the “Sanibel Stoop” is the factor to do on these shelly, attractive seashores. (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 one in all their well-known sunsets. However in the event you do need to get out and about, listed below are a few of my favourite actions:

  • Take a Shelling Cruise – If Sanibel Island isn’t quiet and distant sufficient for you, guide a Half Day Cruise to Southern Cayo Costa. This journey is roughly 3 hours and leaves from Captiva Island and takes you to Cayo Costa State Park, which is simply north of Captiva. On this part of the island, there aren’t any facilities – all you get is the seashore, sand, and loads of shells! Right here you’ll discover 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 accumulate any shells with dwelling creatures in them – that’s their dwelling!
  • 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 via this 6400-acre protect, with loads of locations to park and trails to discover. You possibly can even climb many towers to face and chicken from!
  • Bike across the Island – With over 25 miles of biking trails, the easiest way to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is just about 12 miles throughout and three large, 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 accommodations can have ones you’ll be able to borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to search out every kind of enjoyable outlets to discover.
orange crunch cake from the bubble room sanibel isalnd
The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is very addictive. It’s laborious 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 possibly can’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, really positioned 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 after all). 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 possibly can 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 selfmade muffins as starters, which is one thing I really feel very enthusiastic about. For breakfast, strive their Hash Brown Benedict with 2 poached eggs and Canadian bacon on waffled hash brown. What?! For lunch, have the Sesame Tuna Steak Salad – recent pan-seared yellowfin tuna with sesame seeds and a honey ginger glaze on a recent backyard salad with our selfmade citrus French dressing.
  • The Lighthouse Cafe – The Lighthouse Cafe’s signal says “the world’s greatest breakfast”, and I’ve to say, their french toast is one thing desires are made from. Whereas there’s nothing revolutionary about their flavors or dishes, they’re basic breakfast meals cooked completely, the place waitresses putter round with pots of espresso prepared to present you a refill. Get right here early and luxuriate in some rattling good breakfast.
sanibel island sunset florida
There’s something so magical a few Sanibel Island sundown, with the promise of one other day of shelling… (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep on Sanibel Island

Staying on Sanibel can get dear, it’s a small island and paradise in spite of everything, however listed below are some locations for a weekend getaway in Florida on a price range:

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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 fact 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 probably he was solely on the lookout for gold and land to steal.

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

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

Issues to do in Tampa

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

  • Go to the Property of a Railroad Tycoon Even by the late 1800s, Florida was nonetheless largely underdeveloped, so a person named Henry B. Plant linked Tampa to the remainder of Florida by railroad and constructed accommodations alongside the tracks. The one lodge of his that’s nonetheless totally standing is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, positioned 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 into an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you’ll be able to see every part from imported Japanese vases made within the 1800s to gold plated French chairs – this museum is a dream for anybody who appreciates wonderful ornament and furnishings.
  • Meet the Ghosts of Ybor Metropolis Meet two varieties of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Walking Tour as you discover 4 of the spookiest pubs in downtown Tampa. Whilst you take pleasure in drinks, the costumed tour information will inform the haunted historical past of every place. The guides are wearing corsets and tunics and appear to be they simply stepped off the set of a pirate film (minus the swords, after all). 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 take a look at among the last remaining cigar factory when you’re right here!
  • Spot The Unusual Manatee – Centuries in the past, when pirates and European explorers had been out on the ocean for months, they’d typically come dwelling claiming they’d seen lovely girls within the water. Right now, it’s thought that these sailors had been seeing manatees from an ideal distance. Within 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. Right here you’ll be able to watch manatees hug and play with one another within the water and be taught 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 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 among the finest weekend getaways in Florida.

  • Mandy’s To Go – This spot is one wonderful piece of Cuba in Tampa. Mandy’s has a really home-cooked really feel to it – the staff are actually personable too – and all of the parts are tremendous large. Their Cuban sandwiches are all excellent (the bread is soooo fluffy) however my favourite sandwich is the Media Noche, which is a pressed sandwich with mustard, ham, pickles, & pork. I do not know what their secret is, however I’m obsessed. Because the identify suggests, the meals is to go solely, so decide up sandwiches after which go to the beach for a enjoyable picnic!
  • Ulele – At Ulele (You-lay-lee), you will discover meals that’s impressed by the Native Tribes of Florida. Ulele is positioned on the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa Riverwalk subsequent to it’s colorfully lit up at night time. A lot of the elements are sourced from across the Bay space, and the others are from small American farmers that don’t use hormones. In addition they promote craft beer made on-site, in the event 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 might probably get fairly in style 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 incredible and has been round in Tampa since 1956. Strolling into this huge restaurant seems like strolling right into a Victorian fortress – the partitions are a deep pink, with a stone facade on the underside half, and previous photos in elaborate, silver frames cling on the partitions. Their meat is perfection, just like the A5 Japanese Wagyu tenderloin, which is likely one of the highest high quality beefs in the marketplace, however any steak you order can be cooked expertly to your liking. Whenever you’re prepared for dessert, they’re served in a wholly completely different room upstairs, and I like to recommend the super-rich and fudgy 12-layer chocolate cake slice. Ensure to make a reservation on-line or over the telephone nicely prematurely, and their gown code is enterprise informal to semi-formal.

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29 Things Nobody Tells You About Savannah, Georgia

tampa riverwalk florida getaways
Strolling down the Tampa Riverwalk is an effective way to finish any day in Tampa! (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 here are some locations in these areas:

  • This Secluded Retreat is within the coronary heart of the historic Ybor metropolis and near downtown, making it the 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 Resort is true within the coronary heart of Downtown and gives you some critical Magnificence & the Beast vibes. It’s additionally proper subsequent to the Tampa Riverwalk, so that you’ll have leisure obtainable everytime you like!
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Miami is dwelling to lovely seashores and delightful Artwork Deco structure. (Photo Credit)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

Miami is understood for many issues, like the stylish and glitzy South Seashore, the world’s largest assortment of fashionable Artwork Deco buildings, and perhaps most iconically, the place the Golden Ladies dwell.

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

Right now 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 among the greatest 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 large – at solely 36 sq. miles it’s simple to absorb the most effective of Miami in only a weekend. A few of the greatest 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 biggest assortment of Artwork Deco buildings on the planet, which is a method from the Nineteen Twenties and 30s characterised by sturdy colours and boldly delineated geometric shapes. In different phrases, it’s what makes Miami appear to be Miami! On this two-hour tour, you’ll study mob life and Hollywood glamour via 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 fashion 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 dwelling you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings really giving Vizcaya the identify “Miami’s dwelling”.
  • Do the Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami – An effective way to get a style (actually) of Miami is to take a meals and strolling tour of Little Havana. Little Havana is an integral a part of the heartbeat of Miami, for the reason that metropolis is 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 excellent meals and nice websites! (Photograph Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

Should you’re visiting Miami, you’ll be able to wager your buns you’re going to have some good Cuban meals, the flavors of that are going to bop over your tongue like a mambo. Listed here are some locations to get nice eats:

  • El Rey de las Fritas – A Cuban Frita is a Cuban hamburger that was invented in Havana someday within the Nineteen Thirties. Their Fritas are made with a floor beef patty with sautéed onions, topped with crispy shoestring fries, whereas sitting on a fluffy Cuban roll, and a “secret” constructed into the patty. This can satiate our quick meals cravings – however quick meals that’s really good and selfmade – so pop on this cute diner and take a look at 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 regionally sourced elements, just like the candy corn “cachapa” pancakes, pollo tacos, and shrimp seviche, and cocktails just like the Guavaloma made with Rosaluna mezcal, guava grapefruit syrup, grapefruit soda, and grapefruit sugar.
  • Monte’s Coconut Grove – Positioned on the marina, Monte’s Coconut Grove is the place to get recent seafood in a tropical setting. Step beneath the thatched rooves of this tiki hut setting and order some Conch Fritters which are fried in spicy batter with cocktail & tartar to begin together with some Gulf Oysters. In your entree, you’ll be able to’t beat good old style 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 lovely! (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep in Miami

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

  • This charming garden cottage is tremendous cozy, cute, and magical – your very personal personal plant paradise. Positioned proper by the town heart and Little Havana, you’ll be able to discover the town after which come again to your personal secluded haven, consuming exterior beneath a mango tree. The within is simply as cute and colourful with a queen-sized mattress and a kitchen.
  • This super modern and stylish one-bedroom apartment is positioned only a 5 to 10-minute stroll to all the most effective of South Seashore. In addition to 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 price range choice, this condo in an actual Art Deco building could also be small however you’ve got the seashore at your fingertips! And you may’t beat staying in a bit of historical past.

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

Fort Lauderdale: A Homosexual Getaway

Although solely about 45 minutes away from Miami, Fort Lauderdale is a brilliant 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, take a look at the homosexual bars, and naturally, sandy (homosexual) seashores.

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

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

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Sebastian Road Seashore 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 appears like spring break, you’re not incorrect, as Fort Lauderdale was the place spring break originated in 1938! Speak about a celebration city.

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

The place to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be able to preserve it homosexual all via 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 via Sunday they do a unique present with a unique menu every day, like “Glitz & Glam” on Friday and Sunday, “Dragalicious Brunch” on Sunday with bottomless mimosas, and even a “Taboo 21+” present late Saturday nights. Speak about dinner and a present, hunty!
  • Rosie’s Bar and Grille – For an enormous homosexual time in an informal ambiance, take a look at Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their out of doors patio surrounded by lush foliage beneath colourful umbrellas and rainbow lanterns, sipping on fruity drinks like their Watermellon Basil Martini, an Orange Bubble Crush, or a Blue Wave. Foodwise, they’ve superior burgers, sandwiches, nachos, and way more!
  • Try the Wilton Manors Homosexual Bars – Wilton Manors is the principle gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, although technically it’s really its personal metropolis! Alongside Wilton Drive, the principle homosexual thoroughfare, you’ll discover bars like Infinity Lounge for an after-work drink, Hunters for dancing, and The Pub for wonderful drag exhibits. This strip is definitely walkable, and simply be sure you’re respectful in the event you’re not a queer individual coming into a queer house!
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 house is fashionable and clear, and the most effective half is your personal personal pool within the yard surrounded by palm bushes and flowers.
  • For that seashore life, take a look at this super chic apartment that’s proper on the scenic Intercoastal Waterway. Whenever you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious house, you’ll be able to cool off within the pool or stroll a block to Fort Lauderdale seashore!

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38 Enchanting Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia

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

St. Petersburg: A Seashore Lover’s Getaway

St. Petersburg — or St. Pete, for brief — has a seashore for each event. With top-rated seashores stretching 35 miles alongside the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be able to go to a unique world-class seashore day-after-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 part in between, you’ll need to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) in your weekend in St. Pete. 

That’s to not say there isn’t a lot extra to do in the event 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 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? Test. Sunblock? Test. Let’s have a look at the most effective seashores and pure actions in St. Pete!

  • Hit Certainly one of America’s Favourite Seashores – Rated the #1 seashore within the US by Journey Advisor in 2021, St. Pete Beach is every part 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 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 1 or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has dwell music and a sprawling, beachside patio.
  • Take pleasure in Seashores and Historical past at Fort De Soto Park and Egmont Key Fort De Soto Park encompasses 5 islands and tons of shoreline within the Gulf and Tampa Bay. You possibly can hike, bike, calm down on the seashores, and even discover the historic fort — accomplished in 1900. You possibly can 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. Have a look at you, Indiana Jones!
  • Discover an Undeveloped Island – Should you plan 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 wish to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s an exquisite nature path that can take you thru the guts 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 may also hire a kayak on the island and kayak one of many paddling trails via the shallow, clear water.
  • See Florida Wildlife by Paddleboard – What higher solution to expertise Florida’s wildlife than by a peaceful paddleboard tour? You don’t should be a professional to take this tour — in actual fact, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of methods to navigate your board, you’ll head out on the bayou in the hunt for manatees, dolphins, and a various array of birds. 
doc crow's st petersberg florida
Speak about lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Photograph Credit score: @docfords)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Petersburg

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

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

The place to Keep in St. Petersburg

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

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

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

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

Right now 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, calm down in nature, and get the heebie-jeebies on this historic and haunted metropolis. 

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

Issues to Do in St. Augustine

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

  • Discover the Castillo de San Marcos – Constructed within the late seventeenth century, the Castillo de San Marcos is the nation’s oldest masonry fort constructed by the Spanish to guard themselves from pirates, Native American tribes, and different imperial powers. Come see the 20-acre fort, with its 33′ tall partitions peppered with holes from invasions. Because the fort was built with coquina, a kind of sedimentary rock made from shells and lifeless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked, slightly absorbed cannonballs which may nonetheless be seen within the partitions at this time.
  • 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 probably the most lovely, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed within the previous lodge Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival fashion constructing in-built 1887. So let’s simply say it’s ornate. Inside it’s form of what you’d think about an eccentric Victorina collector would have – gilded-age instances displaying shells, rocks, Native American artifacts, previous devices, Tiffany glass, and oh, a mummy and a shrunken head.
  • Get Scared on a Ghost Tour – Since St. Augustine is such an previous metropolis, it’s no marvel that it’s 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 Outdated 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 fashionable easts in some lovely areas. A few of our favorites are:

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

The place to Keep in St. Augustine

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

  • This gem in the historic district is so effing cute you’ll need to name it dwelling earlier than you allow. This primary-floor house has one bed room, a kitchen, and loads of house. 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 large, attractive, and brilliant and is the proper place to make your “dwelling” in your weekend getaway. You’ll be beneath 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 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. Your complete island is a colourful, tropical feast for the senses. Is that this paradise? I believed it might be much less …. bizarre?

To essentially respect Key West in all of its quirky glory, you additionally should 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 smart it’s the final on our listing!

We even have an entire put up about things to do in Key West in the event you’d prefer to be taught 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 Outdated City Key West, and this yellow, ethereal, many-windowed house is within the French Colonial fashion with many artwork deco accents on the within. This can be a actually large attraction on Key West for good purpose – Hemingway was a prolific author throughout the Nineteen Twenties and 30s, and he wrote two of his most well-known books on this very home: A Farewell To Arms and To Have and Have Not. Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for years, making the island his everlasting place of residence within the Nineteen Thirties, and is the person who I’ve determined to totally blame for all of the cats on the island (in accordance with the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, dwell right here).
  • Snorkel at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: The one reef you’ll be able to fairly swim to in Key West is the one in Fort Zachary Taylor. The admission for pedestrians is $2.50 and you may spend all the day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is understood for having many tropical species of birds you’ll be able to see just like the Roseate Spoonbill. These reefs could also be your greatest likelihood to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as nicely! Since you can be by yourself on this reef, be sure you carry your personal 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 at all times right down to get together – and are the very best solution to see the sundown. Most of those excursions are about two hours lengthy, returning at round 7pm. Observe that since these are sailboats, the downstairs house of the boat is just about only a toilet 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! Should you’re touring along with your associate, guide an intimate cruise like Danger’s Charters Wind & Wine Sunset Sail Sitting on a ship and watching the sundown collectively is such a romantic solution to spend time with one another! For a livelier night, Cool Key West is a good selection, with native musicians taking part in and loads of free drinks.

The place to Eat & Drink in Key West

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

  • Seize Breakfast and a Present at Blue Heaven – Blue Heaven is very easy to overlook (search for the signal on a gate behind some bushes), however consuming at this out of doors restaurant feels such as you’re inside a jungle shaded by 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 when you eat! Strive their Lobster “BLT” Benny – a spin on the basic BLT however with recent lobster. Blue Heaven additionally has a Rooster Graveyard, which accommodates the stays of cockfighting roosters and a few of Blue Heaven’s more moderen rooster residents. Each morning Blue Heaven hosts native musicians taking part in calming music that will help you begin your day on the island, so grabbing breakfast right here is bound to get you within the island spirit.
  • Get a Drink and See a Drag present at 801 Bourbon Bar – 801 Bourbon started in 1987 as a piano bar, however as time went on, the main target turned much less on the piano and extra on the drag performances. Only one factor: at 801, the queens don’t lip-sync! They’re nice singers and you may take heed to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. Truthful warning: in the event you’re within the entrance rows, you’ll most likely get teased by the queens. However hey, getting made enjoyable of by a drag queen in entrance of a dwell viewers is a present.
  • Dessert that’s Higher than Intercourse: Better Than Sex is THE romantic dessert date spot to go to. Whereas it has lately expanded out of state, that is the unique and the place the homeowners reside, so it’s best to cease right here no less than 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 selection. Their cake can also be wonderful – fluffy slices piled excessive with icing – with scrumptious caramel and raspberry drizzles that, I’m not ashamed to confess, I fortunately drown my cake in. Yum!
The backyard of an AirBnb in Key West Florida with a hot tub.
There are many little paradises you’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 dwelling 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 need to guide a lodge, resort, apartment, or correctly licensed trip rental.

  • The charming Wicker Guesthouse is positioned only one block from the Ernest Hemingway Home, with a tropical backyard and an out of doors pool. Rooms embody microwaves and a small fridge, you’ll be able to hire bikes on-site, and also you’re solely a 10-minute stroll from South Seashore.
  • The Secret Garden presents a captivating personal oasis, with two bedrooms, a completely stocked kitchen, and entry to a shared pool.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-2
Prepare for seashore time! (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 likelihood you’ll be leaping into the water day-after-day, so that you’ll need to carry alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you at all times have one thing dry to placed on! I’m a measurement 16/18, and my favourite swimsuit is this one, which I actually have in 3 completely different colours. It’s wonderful. It’s excellent. It’s a freakin’ steal! I additionally love this go well with, and that is my favourite one piece. For extra swimsuit picks, take a look at my information to swimsuits for curvy girls.
  • Travel Towel: There’s completely no assure that the towels at your accomodation are going to suit round your waist. Frankly, they hardly ever match round my left thigh. Plus, they’re heavy and hulking and you may get in hassle for bringing them out of the lodge. So simply to be protected, I at all times carry my very own travel-friendly, light-weight, quick-drying travel towel!
  • Travel Clothesline: Newsflash: your lodge’s moist, darkish toilet is absolutely the WORST place to hold your clothes as much as dry. As an alternative, cling this tiny travel clothesline up someplace that will get loads of airflow and solar, like on a curtain rod in entrance of the window! Your moist swimsuit and travel towel can 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 need to go dwell in an igloo perpetually, you’ll be able to at all times simply use your towel as a mat as a substitute!

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 ideas and curvy-girl particular solutions (ahem: do you’ve got 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 ideal love of the outside. When he isn’t 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 probably the most? What are you most excited to do? Drop us a remark under!

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

Searching for extra USA inspiration? Now we have a MASSIVE journey information for all our favourite locations within the US and useful recommendation, packing ideas and journey guides. Click on the hyperlink under to obtain!

Our Prime Journey Suggestions & Sources

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

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a price range airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique accommodations or personal rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to guide accommodations (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to guide hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and glorious opinions). For trip leases, we favor to guide utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor file. You may also guide trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We additionally use TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our dwelling and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY counsel it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to search out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is likely one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which are excellent for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Journey Credit score Card: We guide all of our journeys on our favourite journey bank card. Not solely will we earn money again that we are able to spend on extra journey, however the card presents incredible journey perks like journey insurance coverage, journey delay and cancellation protection, misplaced baggage reimbursement, and rental automotive protection, which helps defend 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 at all times suggest getting each vaccine really helpful by the CDC! You will get them at your main care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get an area’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We guide our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine methods to get from place to put, and guide native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we are able to. After we guide a rental automotive, we use Kayak to check rental firms and discover the most effective deal.
  • Baggage Storage: At any time when we’re trying out early or making the most of a protracted 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 information, and so on) protected, even whenever you’re linked to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it allows you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO whenever you join!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we 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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