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

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Sandy, sweeping seashores. Outdated, haunted cities. Tons & a number of seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with a median of 237 sunny days a 12 months. It’s actually the land of 1,000,000 sandy seashores, theme parks, and an entire lot of issues to do. And it’s probably the greatest locations for a mini-vacation with so many actually distinctive weekend getaways in Florida!

As somebody who grew up going to Florida virtually yearly, I’ve spent many a lazy hour within the Sunshine State traversing seashores, lakes, swamps, and vacationer sights that fall underneath the department of a sure type 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 reveals and go to the homosexual seashore (yeah, Florida, I stated homosexual).

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

The ten Greatest Weekend Getaways in Florida

Solely have a weekend away? There’s loads that may be finished within the sunny state of Florida! Beneath are ten wonderful weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you might be in search of some seashore rest or some extra adventurous choices.

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

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

Orlando, Florida: An Journey Lover’s Getaway

Orlando, Florida, you’ll have heard of it. The house of Common, Disney World, and a thousand vacationer traps? However beneath all of the glitz and glamour of the key theme parks and miniature golf programs, there’s truly an thrilling, cultured metropolis ready to be explored.

Orlando, initially named the not-so-catchy “Jernigan” (sorry to any Jernigans on the market), was as soon as the citrus hub of the world till a deep freeze within the 1800s precipitated 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 realm.

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 received 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 the place to look. Listed here are among the greatest issues to do in Orlando outdoors the theme parks:

  • Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida – I’ve visited Orlando many instances and I’ve to say this is likely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Situated within the beautiful (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven related lakes, by way of small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous among the largest and oldest mansions you’ll ever see – from the water that’s. The boat drivers are full of knowledge and horrible puns, so you’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 finished standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable group can have you up very quickly to discover the lake. The most effective 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 technique to spend a night, and the employees actually makes it one thing to put in writing dwelling about.
  • Morse Museum of American Art – The Morse Museum has one factor on its thoughts – the world’s most complete assortment of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany objects. Everyone knows Tiffany lamps, and there are many distinctive ones right here, however apart from lamps there are Artwork Nouveau vases, jewellery, and even an elaborate chapel inside created for the Chicago World’s Honest in 1893. The temper right here is dim and enjoyable, and in case you have a watch for magnificence, you’ll undoubtedly 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 basically named after the “milk district” by which it’s situated. 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 situated inside. The menu contains gadgets like handmade Foccacia with ricotta, some killer caramelized Brussel sprouts, in addition to their perfectly-cooked Bacaro burger with fonitna cheese, Dijon mustard, Arugula, B+B zucchini pickles, on a Martin’s Potato roll. Seize a craft Foxtail Espresso Martini to get you each alert and relaxed.
  • Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. – This brewery sits proper on Lake Ivanhoe, which was as soon as the house to an early 1900s amusement park referred to as Joyland. Ivanhoe Park Brewing Firm pays homage to the realm’s enjoyable heritage, with beers just like the Joyland IPA to the Toboggan Blonde Ale named after the water slides that was on the lake. Undecided what to get? Get a flight to strive 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 superb place to drink! Additionally situated throughout the way in which from Lake Ivanhoe, this outside (and lined) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the practice tracks. And each time a practice goes by meaning one factor… practice photographs! Sure, of their quest to get you a little bit tipsy photographs are served each time a practice passes. To not point out their meals is sort of scrumptious – hummus of the day with pita and many veggies, spicy wings, stacked nachos, and crispy lamb quesadillas. Choo choo!
  • East End Market – East Finish Market is a culinary meals hub, the place inventive cooks use native components 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, 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 critically savory ramen, try Gideon’s Bakehouse with their Gothic, witchy aesthetic and cookies which might be practically a half-pound every!
swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando florida
The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is really an oasis. This 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 situated on World Heart 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 just lately renovated with giant, spacious and trendy rooms, and loads of dining options on-site. The crown jewel of the resort is its giant pool space, which incorporates waterfalls and a waterslide. Whereas this resort is just not precisely a funds resort, it’s definitely worth the splurge for the facilities and handy location.
  • This beautiful rental with a heated pool has a vibrant, spacious bed room and bikes you’ll be able to borrow to discover the tremendous cute Winter Park neighborhood and is simply blocks away from Morse Museum of American Art.
  • For an much more budgets pleasant possibility, try this colorful mid-century modern condo additionally situated in Winter Park, and only a 15-minute stroll from the Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida. You actually can have all of it!

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New Smyrna Seashore: An Artwork Lover’s Getaway

New Smyrna Seashore has 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 immediately) metropolis of Smyrna, from which he determined to call the town New Smyrna.

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

New Smyrna Seashore can be identified 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 scorching spot for surfers and surf tradition, though New Smyrna is called the “shark capital of the world” as a result of close by inlet. So possibly stick extra to artwork, and go away the browsing to the professionals!

What To Do in New Smyrna Seashore

There’s loads of artwork, historical past, and many native attraction to find in New Smyrna Seashore! A number of of one of the best actions are:

  • Marine Discovery Center Boat Tour – Take a 2-hour Dolphin Discovery boat tour on North America’s most biologically various estuary, with over 4000 species that decision this space dwelling. You’ll see nice egrets nesting, totally 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. When you want your cute dolphin repair, this can be one of the best 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 inside the lush dune foliage. The boardwalk additionally has loads of overlooks of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. This can be a great spot for a stroll, and to move to the seashore to stroll alongside the jetty and gander on the Ponce de Leon lighthouse throughout the inlet.
  • Explore the Canal Street Historic District – What was a literal canal 250 years in the past, which was used to ship items like can sugar and indigo from the mainland to the Indian River, Canal avenue immediately 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 area the place native artists promote their wares. They do monthly events as effectively just like the Basic Cruise Automotive Present, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There’s at all times one thing happening!
  • Take a look at the Historical past Museum and Outdated Fort Park – New Smyrna is dwelling 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 be taught concerning the authentic Native People, the Spanish’s arrival, how indigo dye turned a money crop for the town, and its completely tubular surfing scene. Afterward, head throughout the road from the museum is Old Fort Park, which is open and free so that you can stroll throughout the mysterious ruins. Nobody is aware of what this sprawling basis was initially holding up: was it a colonial church? Dr. Turnbull’s mansion? A website for setting up ships or the unique Castillo de San Marcos? Nobody is aware of!
  • Walk around the Old Sugar Mills Ruins – Three miles away from the museum and 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. At present this free park is hidden amongst palm bushes containing high-sweeping arches and rusted metallic vats, and is a superb place to be taught concerning the battle of the unique inhabitants of the land and those that intruded. Remember the park entrance is just not effectively marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL and enter the small highway that goes into the forest.

The place to Eat & Drink in New Smyrna Seashore

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

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s is the type of place that makes you are feeling like a child once more, as a result of you’ll be able to truly eat dinner in a large treehouse with twinkling lights! Sit out on the second-story patio nestled amongst the bushes and eat tremendous contemporary seafood (that is Florida in any case), like coconut shrimp as an appetizer and the Admiral’s Platter for dinner, with a 50oz lobster tail, grilled Mahi, and broiled sea scallops and shrimp. Order an All Evening Lengthy to drink, with bourbon, orange, lemon, bitters, and pinot noir float. You received’t be leaving hungry right here!
  • Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar – Eat outdoors on the Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar is like stepping right into a backyard paradise, with palms, string lights, and loads of evergreen crops and pergolas to make you are feeling cozy and magical. To begin, order the Wagyu Quick Rib Hummus, with hummus they make from scratch, over-roasted boneless Wagyu brief rib, toasted Pita, Za’atar concord herbs, and EVOO, or the Shrimp Gambas (Spanish type shrimp) with Creole butter sauteed, wild-caught American shrimp, garlic, chilies, Calabrian oil, and crisp baguette. For a fresher-than-fresh entree, get the Good Catch, a Cooks catch with blackened honey pecan-crusted, shrimp, whiskey butter cream sauce, chef’s vegetable, and Yukon mash potatoes. Every little thing right here is beautiful in taste and preparation!
  • Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grille – For maybe one of the best 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 mistaken 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 funds:

  • This super beachy cottage is actually simply steps away from the seashore and priced good! With a kitchenette and single bed room and toilet, you’ll have all the pieces it is advisable discover the tremendous cute New Smyrna and have sand between your toes very quickly!
  • The Sea Vista Motel has a classic attraction and is correct 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 excellent 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 bushes at Boneyard Seashore are otherworldly!

Jacksonville: A Nature Lover’s Getaway

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

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

Principally, if you wish to get outdoors and discover one of the best 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 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 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 are feeling your muscle tissues launch.
  • Boneyard Beach – Situated 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 large driftwood bushes that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these big “bones” whereas the wind and sand has made them clean, and you’ll stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These lifeless bushes defend from additional erosion of the flora behind the seashore and make an excellent place for a considerably morbid and eccentric stroll.
  • Strive Stand Up Paddleboarding within the ocean – Even in case you have by no means SUPed earlier than, Jacksonville Surf and Paddle will take excellent care of you as you placed on a wetsuit, paddle previous the waves, and check out your hand on standing and paddling in your SUP! Paddling on the ocean is each thrilling and serene, attending to go farther offshore than you usually would swimming. Even in the event you fall, you’ll splash gently into the ocean and climb again on. Their 90-minute beginner classes are the right spot to get your toes moist (actually) and you could discover you’re hooked on paddleboarding earlier than 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 by way of the Fort George/Simpson Creek estuary by way of 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 trainer 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 Seashore Fish Camp.

The place to Eat & Drink in Jacksonville

From the ocean to your mouth, Jacksonville has loads of contemporary fish eats with an entire lot of taste! The next eating places are situated in Neptune Seashore, an excellent 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 mistaken 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 any case). 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 outdoors.
  • Sliders Oyster Bar – This pink flamingo-themed, ultra-retro and trendy stylish beachside joint could also be one of the best 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 each 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, strive their shrimp nachos with pico and queso, and get the Hobbs Rum Punch with two totally 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 in search of a spot within the coronary heart of Neptune Seashore and need 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 beautiful 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 residence has an outside patio for lounging, a kitchenette, and maybe the right location!
sanibel lighthouse sanibel island florida
The lighthouse is the long-lasting 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 bored with the miles of shelly seashores, the quaint domestically owned companies, and the Bubble Bread. Mmmmm. Extra on that in a minute.

Sanibel Island, and the related Captiva Island, is situated off the coast of Fort Meyers on the Gulf of Mexico, and this little island is located in such a manner (East to West) that it’s the prime spot for shelling. Among 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 looks like a real place to chill out – no massive chain shops or eating places however relatively 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, beautiful seashores. (Photo Credit)

Issues to do on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is the right place to do some actions – or not! Nobody will blame you for simply shelling all day on the seashore or watching considered one of 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, 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 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 possibly in the event you’re actually fortunate, the elusive Junonia. Simply keep in mind to not acquire 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 known for its spectacular migratory birds that come right here. Take a drive by way of this 6400-acre protect, with loads of locations to park and trails to discover. You may even climb many towers to face and chook from!
  • Bike across the Island – With over 25 miles of biking trails, the easiest way to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is just about 12 miles throughout and three large, so it’s straightforward to see the seashores, wildlife, and the palms swaying above as you traverse it. There are many places to rent bikes, and most VRBOs and inns can have ones you’ll be able to borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to seek out every kind of enjoyable outlets to discover.
orange crunch cake from the bubble room sanibel isalnd
The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is extremely addictive. It’s laborious to solely eat it as soon as in your journey! (Picture Credit score: Dad)

The place to Eat & Drink on Sanibel Island

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

  • The Bubble Room – You may’t point out Sanibel Island with out asking in the event that they’ve been to the Bubble Room (or possibly that’s simply me). The Bubble Room, truly situated on Captiva Island, is an ultra-themed restaurant crammed with kitsch and classic memorabilia from the 30s and 40s. The partitions are lined with previous film stills, classic toys are in each nook and cranny, and there are even toy trains that run alongside the ceiling from room to room. The true star of the Bubble Room is its Bubble Bread, made with a number of sorts of cheese on Italian bread which comes with each entree (the recipe is carefully guarded 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 one of the best 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 keen about. For breakfast, strive their Hash Brown Benedict with 2 poached eggs and Canadian bacon on waffled hash brown. What?! For lunch, have the Sesame Tuna Steak Salad – contemporary pan-seared yellowfin tuna with sesame seeds and a honey ginger glaze on a contemporary backyard salad with our 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 fabricated 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 provide 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 any case, however listed below are some locations for a weekend getaway in Florida on a funds:

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

Tampa: A Metropolis Lover’s Getaway

Spanish colonizer Ponce de León first “found” Florida in 1513, although genuinely the extinct Pohoy and Tocobaga Native American Tribes lived right here lengthy earlier than. The parable persists to today that de León got here to America to seek out the “Fountain of Youth”, although there isn’t a hard evidence that that is true, and it’s extra seemingly he was solely in search of gold and land to steal.

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

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

Issues to do in Tampa

Manatees, magnates, and ghosts, oh my! Tampa actually has a beneficiant mixture of old-world Florida and pure habitats for wildlife, so you may get an excellent 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 inns alongside the tracks. The one resort of his that’s nonetheless absolutely standing is now the Henry B. Plant Museum, situated in downtown Tampa. The gorgeous property displays the peak of the Gilded Age in America – with its Moorish and Victorian structure and its silver minarets which have develop into an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you’ll be able to see all the pieces from imported Japanese vases made within the 1800s to gold plated French chairs – this museum is a dream for anybody who appreciates high quality 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, in fact). Haunted pub excursions are few and much in between, so be sure to go to this one when you’re right here, and make sure to try 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 that they had seen lovely ladies within the water. At present, it’s thought that these sailors had been seeing manatees from an excellent distance. Within the Nineteen Eighties, an influence station in Tampa was shut down and that very same 12 months, 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 probably the greatest weekend getaways in Florida.

  • Mandy’s To Go – This spot is one wonderful piece of Cuba in Tampa. Mandy’s has a really home-cooked really feel to it – the workers are actually personable too – and all of the parts are tremendous massive. Their Cuban sandwiches are all excellent (the bread is soooo fluffy) however my favourite sandwich is the Media Noche, which is a pressed sandwich with mustard, ham, pickles, & pork. I do not know what their secret is, however I’m obsessed. Because the 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), you 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 components 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 type of factor. The okra fries are splendidly crunchy, with a touch of lime & salt. My favourite meal is the Gouda grouper – I by no means would assume to pair a deliciously seasoned grouper filet with a Gouda ale béchamel however hey, I’m not a chef for a cause. Since Ulele is on the Riverwalk, it could 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’ checklist or journey information, nevertheless it’s there for a cause – Bern’s Steakhouse is implausible and has been round in Tampa since 1956. Strolling into this large restaurant looks like strolling right into a Victorian citadel – the partitions are a deep pink, with a stone facade on the underside half, and previous photos in elaborate, silver frames hold 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 will likely be cooked expertly to your liking. Whenever you’re prepared for dessert, they’re served in a wholly totally different room upstairs, and I like to recommend the super-rich and fudgy 12-layer chocolate cake slice. Be sure to make a reservation on-line or over the telephone 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 an effective way to finish any day in Tampa! (Picture Credit score: Go to Tampa Bay)

The place to Keep in Tampa

Tamps is a superb place to remain, particularly 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 right spot to remain throughout your journey. It’s spacious and clear with two bedrooms, so convey some mates alongside!
  • This super cute hotel room on the Florida Palace Resort is correct within the coronary heart of Downtown and will provide 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 dwelling to lovely seashores and delightful Artwork Deco structure. (Photo Credit)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

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

Miami was initially inhabited by the Tequesta Tribe, till the Spanish claimed Florida for themselves within the 1500s, and was named after the Miami River – “Miami” which means “massive water” within the Tequesta/Miyami language. Miami got here to be often called 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 present you’ll be able to nonetheless see relics of the increase 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 massive – at solely 36 sq. miles it’s straightforward to soak up one of the best of Miami in only a weekend. Among 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 most important 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 to be 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 type with over 10 acres of formal European-inspired gardens with lilies in a sweeping pool, orchids, hidden grottos and mangroves and far more. Contained in the Mediterranean-style dwelling you’ll discover vintage Italian objects and loads of ornate, gilded furnishings actually giving Vizcaya the title “Miami’s dwelling”.
  • Do the Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami – A good 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, good for nice meals and nice websites! (Picture Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

When you’re visiting Miami, you’ll be able to guess your buns you’re going to have some good Cuban meals, the flavors of that are going to bounce over your tongue like a mambo. Listed 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 truly good and selfmade – so pop on this cute diner and check out a style of Cuba.
  • Terras – Terras has the excellence of being the one rooftop bar and restaurant in Little Havana, and it’s like stepping right into a lush jungle that additionally occurs to have views of the Miami skyline. The most effective phrase to explain this place is stylish. Right here you may get tapas with domestically sourced components, 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 underneath the thatched rooves of this tiki hut setting and order some Conch Fritters which might be 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 actually of you simply ate oysters and drank mango margaritas I wouldn’t blame you both.
miami beach florida-Blog Photo-3
Even the lifeguard shacks in Miami are lovely! (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep in Miami

Whether or not you need to be near little Havana underneath 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. Situated proper by the town middle and Little Havana, you’ll be able to discover the town after which come again to your personal secluded haven, consuming outdoors underneath 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 one of the best of South Seashore. In addition to a kitchen to prepare dinner in, this constructing additionally has its personal shady pool, sure to maintain you cool on scorching afternoons!
  • For an superior funds possibility, this condo in an actual Art Deco building could also be small however you’ve the seashore at your fingertips! And you’ll’t beat staying in a chunk of historical past.

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

Fort Lauderdale: A Homosexual Getaway

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

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

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

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

Issues to do in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is all about enjoyable, drinks, and seashore time! If this appears like spring break, you’re not mistaken, 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 called the homosexual seashore, and is a superb place to folks watch and meet different {couples} each domestically and on trip.
  • Take a look at 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 pictures, 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 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.
  • Take a look at the canals and channels on a sightseeing cruise – When you’re visiting Fort Lauderdale for the primary time, you could be curious concerning the “Venice of America”. The town has 165 miles of navigable waterways, and 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 maintain it homosexual all by way of dinner, and for drinks afterward! Not solely that, you’ll be able to have dinner and a drag present – it’s true!

  • Lips Drag Queen Show Palace, Restaurant & Bar – Dinner theatre can solely be higher when drag queens are concerned, and Lips simply does that! Wednesday by way of Sunday they do a distinct present with a distinct menu every day, like “Glitz & Glam” on Friday and Sunday, “Dragalicious Brunch” on Sunday with bottomless mimosas, and even a “Taboo 21+” present late Saturday nights. Speak about dinner and a present, hunty!
  • Rosie’s Bar and Grille – For an enormous homosexual time in an off-the-cuff environment, try Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their outside patio surrounded by lush foliage underneath colourful umbrellas and rainbow lanterns, sipping on fruity drinks like their Watermellon Basil Martini, an Orange Bubble Crush, or a Blue Wave. Foodwise, they’ve superior burgers, sandwiches, nachos, and far more!
  • Take a look at the Wilton Manors Homosexual Bars – Wilton Manors is the primary gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, although technically it’s truly its personal metropolis! Alongside Wilton Drive, the primary homosexual thoroughfare, you’ll discover bars like Infinity Lounge for an after-work drink, Hunters for dancing, and The Pub for wonderful drag reveals. This strip is definitely walkable, and simply be sure to’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 correct within the coronary heart of Wilton Manors, making bar hopping/crawling straightforward and protected! The residence is trendy and clear, and one of the best half is your personal personal pool within the yard surrounded by palm bushes and flowers.
  • For that seashore life, try this super chic apartment that’s proper on the scenic Intercoastal Waterway. Whenever you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious residence, you’ll be able to cool off within the pool or stroll a block to Fort Lauderdale seashore!

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38 Enchanting Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia

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

St. Petersburg: A Seashore Lover’s Getaway

St. Petersburg — or St. Pete, for brief — has a seashore for each event. With top-rated seashores stretching 35 miles alongside the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be able to go to a distinct world-class seashore on daily basis. With full of life city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant vitality that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and all the pieces in between, you’ll need to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) to 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 correct at your fingertips in Fort de Soto Park! (Photo Credit)

Issues to Do in St. Petersburg

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

  • Hit One in every of America’s Favourite Seashores – Rated the #1 seashore within the US by Journey Advisor in 2021, St. Pete Beach is all the pieces a seashore must be. White, sugar sand; unbelievable sunsets; clear, emerald water, and — in fact — seashore bars. Spend the day absorbing the solar, splashing within the surf, and marveling on the plain great 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 stay music and a sprawling, beachside patio.
  • Take pleasure in Seashores and Historical past at Fort De Soto Park and Egmont Key Fort De Soto Park encompasses 5 islands and tons of shoreline within the Gulf and Tampa Bay. You may hike, bike, 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. Have a look at you, Indiana Jones!
  • Discover an Undeveloped Island – When you plan for a day journey, Caladesi Island State Park (which requires a ferry journey) is a quiet island, good for a calming day spent swimming or bird-watching. If you wish to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s an exquisite nature path that can take you thru the 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 stay. You may as well 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 should be a professional to take this tour — actually, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of learn how to 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
Speak about lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Picture Credit score: @docfords)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Petersburg

St. Pete has a lot to supply within the foods and drinks scene, from the everyday contemporary 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 – Situated 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 title 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, relatively they name it “Deep South Italian”, mixing southern contemporary components 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, it’s important to get considered one of their fireplace 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 – In order for you a break from the beachside tiki bar and need to go all out on among the metropolis’s greatest cocktails, head to the Mandarin Cover. This little cozy, darkish cocktail lounge with glowing chandeliers is thought for its skilled mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Every Tuesday they create an solely new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t inform you what will likely be on it once you go to, 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 assume, 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 undoubtedly have the chance to be a seashore bum for the weekend! Listed here are some nice seashore choices to your getaway:

  • This blue beach condo is overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and is simply steps from the seashore. You 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 dealing with the seashore, you’ll be there in only a few steps. This rental can be larger, supplying you with a separate front room/kitchen and bed room if you wish to unfold out a little bit extra.

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

St. Augustine: A Historical past Lover’s Getaway

St. Augustine 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 realm, which had beforehand been inhabited by the Timucua Native People, and set up it as a navy outpost and Catholic missionary base. 

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

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

Issues to Do in St. Augustine

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

  • Discover the Castillo de San Marcos – Constructed within the late seventeenth century, the Castillo de San Marcos is the nation’s oldest masonry fort constructed by the Spanish to guard themselves from pirates, Native American tribes, and different imperial powers. Come see the 20-acre fort, with its 33′ tall partitions peppered with holes from invasions. For the reason that fort was built with coquina, a sort of sedimentary rock fabricated from shells and lifeless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked, relatively absorbed cannonballs which may nonetheless be seen within the partitions immediately.
  • Marvel on the Historic Lightner MuseumSince we’re speaking concerning the nation’s oldest metropolis right here, St. Augustine has a lot of museums. Some of the fascinating, and positively probably the most lovely, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed within the previous resort Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival type constructing in-built 1887. So let’s simply say it’s ornate. Inside it’s type of what you’d think about an eccentric Victorina collector would have – gilded-age 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 marvel that it’s crammed with 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 is able to 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! (Picture Credit score: @odd_birds)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Augustine

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

  • The Floridian – The Floridian is simply that – Florida-themed to the gills! Inside there are many crops and tiki-inspired decor, in addition to a lovely patio to eat outside. They are saying their meals is “revolutionary southern fare for omnivores, herbivores, and localvores.” Strive the Not Your Momma’s Meatloaf Sandwich or the Fish Camp Fancy Sandwich, and you’ll guess 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 Youngster, 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 Chook 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 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 permit. This primary-floor residence has one bed room, a kitchen, and loads of area. Sit on the screened-in porch and watch sailboats within the harbor and shrimp boats bringing of their catch, and watch the sundown paint the sky.
  • This 1920s 900sq/ft apartment is large, beautiful, and vibrant and is the right place to make your “dwelling” to your weekend getaway. You’ll be underneath a mile from the Castillo de San Marcos and all one of the best St. Augustine has to supply.

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

Paradise beach at Fort Zachary Taylor Park, Key West. State Park in Florida, USA.
Paradise seashore at Fort Zachary Taylor Park, Key West. State Park in Florida, USA.

Key West: A Tropical Lover’s Getaway

Key West, Florida could also be one of the crucial 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 could be much less …. bizarre?

To actually 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 sensible it’s the final on our checklist!

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 type with many artwork deco accents on the within. This can be a actually massive attraction on Key West for good cause – 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 keeping with the official web site, greater than forty cats, who’re all named, stay right here).
  • Snorkel at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: The one reef you’ll be able to fairly swim to in Key West is the one in Fort Zachary Taylor. The admission for pedestrians is $2.50 and you’ll spend the whole day right here – there’s not solely swimming, however the park is 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 greatest probability to catch a glimpse on the elusive sea turtle as effectively! Since you’ll be by yourself on this reef, be sure to convey your personal snorkeling gear or hire one on the park (both manner, pack anti-fog spray).
  • Take a Sundown Cruise – A sundown cruise can’t be missed in Key West, they usually usually give out free drinks – as a result of Key West is at all times right down to get together – and are the very best technique 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 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 to convey sunblock! When you’re touring along 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 superb alternative, 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 outside restaurant feels such as you’re inside a jungle shaded by large 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 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 can assist 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 turned much less on the piano and extra on the drag performances. Only one factor: at 801, the queens don’t lip-sync! They’re nice singers and you’ll take heed to them sing and dance earlier than the comedy portion of the present. 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 stay 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 just lately expanded out of state, that is the unique and the place the homeowners reside, so it’s best to cease right here not 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 alternative. Their cake can be wonderful – fluffy slices piled excessive with icing – with scrumptious caramel and raspberry drizzles that, I’m not ashamed to confess, I fortunately drown my cake in. Yum!
The backyard of an AirBnb in Key West Florida with a hot tub.
There are many little paradises you’ll be able to hire in Key West! (Photo Credit)

The place to Keep in Key West

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

  • The charming Wicker Guesthouse is situated only one block from the Ernest Hemingway Home, with a tropical backyard and an outside pool. Rooms embrace microwaves and a small fridge, you’ll be able to hire bikes on-site, and also you’re solely a 10-minute stroll from South Seashore.
  • The Secret Garden presents an enthralling 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 convey with you to the seashore:

  • Several Swimsuits: There’s probability you’ll be leaping into the water on daily basis, so that you’ll need to convey alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you at all times have one thing dry to placed on! I’m a dimension 16/18, and my favourite swimsuit is this one, which I actually have in 3 totally different colours. It’s wonderful. It’s good. It’s a freakin’ steal! I additionally love this swimsuit, and that is my favourite one piece. For extra swimsuit picks, try my information to swimsuits for curvy girls.
  • Travel Towel: There’s completely no assure that the towels at your accomodation are going to suit round your waist. Frankly, they hardly ever match round my left thigh. Plus, they’re heavy and hulking and you may get in hassle for bringing them out of the resort. So simply to be protected, I at all times convey 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, hold 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 need to go stay in an igloo ceaselessly, 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 strategies (ahem: do you’ve 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 excellent love of the outside. When he’s not rising flowers for enjoyable, he’s the Editor-in-Chief of Sensible Wanderlust and Let’s Go Louisville. He has been a good friend of Lia’s since highschool, they usually have taken loads of their very own disaster-prone adventures collectively!


Which of those weekend getaways in Florida excites you probably the most? What are you most excited to do? Drop us a remark beneath!

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

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

Searching for extra USA inspiration? We’ve got a MASSIVE journey information for all our favourite locations within the US and helpful recommendation, packing ideas and journey guides. Click on the hyperlink beneath to obtain!

Our Prime Journey Ideas & Assets

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

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Cash-saving ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a funds airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We normally keep in budget-friendly trip leases, boutique inns or personal rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to e-book inns (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e-book hostels (low deposit, straightforward change/cancellation, and glorious evaluations). For trip leases, we favor to e-book utilizing VRBO as a result of they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical observe file. You may as well e-book 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 seek out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is likely one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have glorious month-to-month insurance policies which might be 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 will spend on extra journey, however the card presents implausible 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 useful medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times suggest getting each vaccine really useful 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 e-book our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine learn how to get from place to position, and e-book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. Once we e-book a rental automotive, we use Kayak to check rental firms and discover one of the best deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Each time we’re testing early or profiting from a protracted layover, we use LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re working round. Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.
  • VPN Service: A VPN retains your digital info (like web site login particulars, financial institution data, and so forth) protected, even once you’re related to an unsecured community whereas touring. Plus, it permits you to use Netflix & different streaming websites overseas! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO once you join!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we convey on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and lots of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!



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