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 Outdated, haunted cities with a number of ghost tales. Tons & a number of seafood. Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, with a mean of 237 sunny days a yr. It’s actually the land of one million sandy seashores, theme parks, and an entire lot of issues to do. And it’s top-of-the-line 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 below 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 mentioned homosexual).

Private beach in Key West, FloridaPrivate 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 may be a lot that may be completed within the sunny state of Florida! Beneath are ten wonderful weekend getaways in Florida, whether or not you’re in search of some seashore rest or some extra adventurous choices.

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


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

Orlando, Florida: An Journey Lover’s Getaway

Orlando, Florida, you will 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 foremost theme parks and miniature golf programs, there’s really a 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 the citrus hub of the world till a deep freeze within the 1800s prompted farmers to maneuver their crops farther south. The title “Orlando” has combined provenance, one account saying it was from a soldier named” Orlando Reeves” who fought in the Second Seminole War towards the Seminole Tribe, the unique inhabitants of the realm.

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

Nevertheless, it acquired its title, the “Metropolis Lovely” which 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 keep away from the standard experiences, and the crowds, if you understand the place to look. Listed below are a number of the greatest issues to do in Orlando outdoors the theme parks:

  • Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida – I’ve visited Orlando in many instances and I’ve to say this is, without doubt, one of the coolest experiences I’ve had right here. Positioned within the beautiful (and tremendous swanky) Winter Park neighborhood, the hour-long scenic boat tour takes you throughout seven related lakes, by means of small canals with loads of wildlife, and previous a number of the largest and oldest mansions you’ll ever see – from the water that’s. The boat drivers are full of data and horrible puns, so you understand you’re in for a great time!
  • Night Glow Paddleboarding – Bear in mind all these lakes I discussed Orlando having? Effectively, one of the simplest ways to expertise is with Night Glow Paddleboarding by Epic Paddle Adventures. Even in the event you’ve by no means completed standup paddleboarding earlier than, the extraordinarily pleasant and enjoyable workforce may 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 color) and the employees bring a cooler with beer or White Claws and even performs celebration music (and takes requests!). This can be a fabulous technique to spend a night, and the employees actually make it one thing to jot down 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, jewelry, and even an elaborate chapel inside created for the Chicago World’s Truthful in 1893. The temper right here is dim and stress-free, and if in case you have a watch for magnificence, you’ll positively be at dwelling on this inventive paradise.


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The place to Eat & Drink in Orlando

  • Orlando Milkhouse – I do know what you’re considering – you’re lactose illiberal – fortunate for you Milkhouse is absolutely named after the “milk district” in 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 consists of objects like handmade Foccacia with ricotta, some killer caramelized Brussel sprouts, in addition to their perfectly-cooked Bacaro burger with fontina 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 properly on Lake Ivanhoe, which was as soon 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 were on the lake. Unsure what to get? Get a flight to strive samples of their beers and ebook a private tour to listen to extra in regards to the historical past and the way their beer is made!
  • The Hammered Lamb – Because the title suggests, the Hammered Lamb is a good place to drink! Additionally situated throughout the way in which from Lake Ivanhoe, this doors (and lined) bar and restaurant sits subsequent to the practice tracks. And each time a practice goes by which means one factor… practice photographs! Sure, their quest to get you a few tipsy photographs is served each time a practice passes. To not point out their meals are kind 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 substances to make one-of-a-kind meals experiences. Strolling into this place is a bit overwhelming – so many alternative smells and meal choices! Winter Park Biscuit Company isn’t simply biscuits, however biscuits & gravy, hen sandwiches, and burgers… And it’s all vegan! Deceptively so. Their Crispy Chik sandwich was the juiciest vegan hen sandwich I’d ever tasted. Moreover different savory meals like Domu the place you may get some severely savory ramen, take a look at Gideon’s Bakehouse with their Gothic, witchy aesthetic and cookies which can be almost a half-pound every!
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The swimming pool at Caribe Royale Orlando is actually an oasis. This might be a whole trip!

The place to Keep in Orlando

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

  • The Caribe Royale Orlando is situated on World Middle Drive, a stone’s throw away Disney from in the event you plan on visiting one in all your days and so they even have their very own Disney transportation. The lodge itself is just 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 vibrant, spacious bedroom and bikes you’ll be able to borrow to discover the tremendous cute Winter Park neighborhood and is simply blocks away from the Morse Museum of American Art.
  • For a much more budgets pleasant possibility, take a look at this colorful mid-century modern condo additionally situated in Winter Park, and only a 15-minute stroll from the Scenic Boat Tour of Winter Park Florida. You actually can have all of it!


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New Smyrna Seaside: An Artwork Lover’s Getaway

New Smyrna Seaside has 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.

At the moment 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 middle the place native artists educate and promote their works. Right here you will discover ocean-inspired paintings (or not!), in every kind of medium by individuals who flock to this city for inventive inspiration.

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

What To Do in New Smyrna Seaside

There may be loads of artwork, a historical past, and many native attractions to find in New Smyrna Seaside! Just a few of the perfect actions are:

  • Marine Discovery Center Boat Tour – Take a 2-hour Dolphin Discovery boat tour on North America’s most biologically various estuary, with over 4000 species that decision this space dwelling. You’ll see nice egrets nesting, totally different species of mangrove timber, and naturally, loads of dolphins. I’ve by no means seen so many dolphins at one time as I did on this cruise, them leaping and enjoying each by the boat and within the distance. Should you want your lovable dolphin repaired, this can be the perfect place to see them!
  • Smyrna Dunes Park– This 184-acre inlet park offers two miles of boardwalks the place you’ll be able to see gopher tortoises nesting throughout the lush dune foliage. The boardwalk additionally has loads of overlooks of the attractive Atlantic Ocean, Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. This can be a great spot for a stroll, and to move to the seashore to stroll alongside the jetty and gander on the Ponce de Leon lighthouse throughout the inlet.
  • Explore the Canal Street Historic District – What was a literal canal 250 years in the past, which was used to ship items like can sugar and indigo from the mainland to the Indian River, Canal avenue at this time remains to be the cultural hub of commerce and artwork. Right here you will discover outlets like The Gallery which sells gourmand balsamic vinegar (I like to recommend the pomegranate form!), 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 Automotive Present, artwork strolls, and gallery walks. There may be all the time one thing happening!
  • Try the Historical past Museum and Outdated Fort Park – New Smyrna is dwelling on a number of traditions and historical pasts because it’s the third oldest metropolis within the state! Cease by the New Smyrna Museum of History first to be taught in regards to 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 along the road from the museum is Old Fort Park, which is open and free so that you can stroll through 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 it!
  • Walk around the Old Sugar Mills Ruins – Three miles away from the museum and Outdated Fort Park are the Old Sugar Mills Ruins, which were initially the Cruger-de-Peyster sugar mill. Within the 1830s, the US tried to forcibly push the Seminole Tribe off their very own land, in order that they burnt down the Spanish colonizer’s mill in retaliation. At the moment this free park is hidden amongst palm timber containing high-sweeping arches and rusted metallic vats and is a good place to be taught in regards to the battle between the unique inhabitants of the land and the people who intruded. Bear in mind the park entrance shouldn’t be nicely marked – go to 600 Mission Drive, New Smyrna Beach, FL, and enter the small highway that goes into the forest.

The place to Eat & Drink in New Smyrna Seaside

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

  • Norwood’s Eastery & Bar Treehouse – Norwood’s in the form of a place that makes you are feeling like a child once more, as a result, you’ll be able to really eat dinner in an enormous treehouse with twinkling lights! Sit out on the second-story patio nestled amongst the timber and eat tremendous contemporary seafood (that is Florida in any case), like coconut shrimp as an appetizer and the Admiral’s Platter for dinner, with a 50oz lobster tail, grilled Mahi, and broiled sea scallops and shrimp. Order an All Night time Lengthy to drink, with bourbon, orange, lemon, bitters, and pinot noir float. You won’t be leaving hungry right here!
  • Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar – Eat outdoors at 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 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 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 the perfect 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 jettySmyrna Dunes Park beach and jetty
You may by no means go unsuitable with being near the ocean.

The place to remain in New Smyrna Seaside

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

  • This super beachy cottage actually simply steps away from the seashore and is priced well! With a kitchenette and single bedroom and loo, you’ll have everything you must discover the tremendous lovable 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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The large driftwood timber at Boneyard Seaside is 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 of space, you’ll be able to wager there are many adventures available – and it’s top-of-the-line weekend getaways in Florida particularly when it comes to getting in contact with nature.

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

Mainly, if you wish to get outdoors and discover the perfect of Florida’s wildlife, “Jax” is the place to go to, with a mean 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. We have now 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 stress-free exercise, but it surely’s a good way to start your morning on a weekend getaway in Florida. As you stretch with steerage out of your teacher on Neptune Seaside, your complete physique will awaken because the solar slowly rises from behind the Atlantic Ocean. Actually, nothing is as serene as seashore dawn, the nice and cozy salty air coming into your lungs as you are feeling your muscle tissues launch.
  • Boneyard Beach – Positioned alongside a 3-mile stretch of the Nassau Sound is Boneyard Seaside at Large Talbot Island State Park. These “bones” aren’t actually bones in any respect – however huge driftwood timber that cowl the seashore like an elephant graveyard. The solar has bleached these enormous “bones” whereas the wind and sand have made them clean, and you may stroll alongside these gnarly skeletons and even climb them. These useless timber shield from additional erosion of the flora behind the seashore and make an excellent place for a considerably morbid and eccentric stroll.
  • Strive to Stand Up Paddleboarding within the ocean – Even if 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 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. 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 you understand 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 means of the Fort George/Simpson Creek estuary by means of the salt marshes whilst you be taught in regards to the Timucua Tribe who have been indigenous to this land, see spitting oysters among the many Spartina grass (actually!) and loads of birds like osprey, and even cease on a sandbar for do-it-yourself cookies (that’s what retains coming again, they are saying!). Our tour information that day was a former instructor named Buddy, and you may inform Kayak Amelia has a real love of instructing and the setting.
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The Roast Cod Filet drenched in butter from North Seaside Fish Camp.

The place to Eat & Drink in Jacksonville

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

  • North Beach Fish Camp – North Seaside Fish Camp is a nautical-themed restaurant, with, as you guessed, fish! For starters, you’ll be able to go unsuitable with the Crispy Calamari with Pecorino cheese & spicy tomato sauce or, in the event you’re feeling adventurous, the Fried Gator Tail with Cowgill’s Datil pepper aioli (hey, that is Florida in 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, not much less), head to Southern Grounds for some scrumptious and robust espresso and a few pancakes, a bagel sandwich, and even loaded avocado toast. This place is busy in the morning, so seize some eats and a desk on the patio outdoors.
  • Sliders Oyster Bar – This pink flamingo-themed, ultra-retro, and fashionable stylish beachside joint could also be the perfect place to get Oysters in Jacksonville within the coolest setting. Seize a desk or picnic desk with associates on the patio and prepare to dig into some contemporary seafood delivered every day! The principal occasion after all are the Oysters steamed or uncooked, and specialty oysters just like the Rockefeller (spinach, parmesan, provolone, and breadcrumbs) and online 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 positively the spot to ebook a spot on the water! A few choices are:

  • Whereas the One Ocean Resort & Spa is definitely on the pricier facet, in the event you’re in search of a spot within the coronary heart of Neptune Seaside and wish for 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 in their pool and absorb all of the beachy, calming ambiance of this attractive resort.
  • This beachside apartment is just a block away from Jackson Seaside and a brief stroll to the Jackson Seaside Pier and loads of native seashore bars. This one-bedroom ground-floor condominium has an outside patio for lounging, a kitchenette, and maybe the right location!
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The lighthouse is the enduring picture of Sanibel! (Photo Credit)

Sanibel Island: A Rest Lover’s Getaway

Sanibel Island is one of my favorite locations on this planet. I’ve been coming right here since I used to be a child with my prolonged household, and I am by no means uninterested in the miles of shelly seashores, the quaint domestically owned companies, and the Bubble Bread. Mmmmm. Extra on that in a minute.

Sanibel Island, and the related Captiva Island, is situated off the coast of Fort Meyers on the Gulf of Mexico, and this little island is located in such a manner (East to West) that it’s the prime spot for shelling. A number of the rarest shells on this planet are discovered right here, just like the well-known Junonia, and there may be even a reputation for folks bending over to choose up shells: the “Sanibel Stoop”.

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


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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 right 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 here are a few of my favorite actions:

  • Take a Shelling Cruise – If Sanibel Island isn’t quiet and distant sufficient for you, ebook a Half Day Cruise to Southern Cayo Costa. This journey is roughly 3 hours and leaves from Captiva Island and takes you to Cayo Costa State Park, which is simply north of Captiva. On this part of the island, there are not any facilities – all you get is the seashore, sand, and loads of shells! Right here you’ll discover all kinds of shells like tulips, olives, scallops, and possibly 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 legendary for its spectacular migratory birds that come right here. Take a drive-by means of this 6400-acre protection, with loads of locations to park and trails to discover. You may even climb many towers to face and fowl from!
  • Bike across the Island – With over 25 miles of biking trails, one of the simplest ways to discover Sanibel Island is by bike. The island is just about 12 miles throughout and three 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 accommodations may have ones you’ll be able to borrow. Cease by Periwinkle Place as you bike too, to seek out every kind of enjoyable outlet to discover.
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The Orange Crunch Cake from the Bubble Room is very addictive. It’s arduous to solely eat it as soon as in your journey! (Picture Credit score: Dad)

The place to Eat & Drink on Sanibel Island

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

  • The Bubble Room – You may point out Sanibel Island without asking in the event that they’ve been to the Bubble Room (or possibly that’s simply me). The Bubble Room, really situated on Captiva Island, is an ultra-themed restaurant 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 enormous slices of cake, like their Orange Crunch cake, a yellow cake layered with almond brown sugar, and lined in orange cream cheese icing. You may even come only for dessert!
  • The Island Cow – This informal restaurant touts “udderly nice meals”, which is true! This can be the perfect place in all of Sanibel to get brunch, and so they serve your desk a basket of complimentary do-it-yourself muffins as starters, which is one thing I really feel very obsessed with. For breakfast, strive their Hash Brown Benedict with 2 poached eggs and Canadian bacon on a waffled hash brown. What?! For lunch, have the Sesame Tuna Steak Salad – contemporary pan-seared yellowfin tuna with sesame seeds and a honey ginger glaze on a contemporary backyard salad with our do-it-yourself citrus French dressing.
  • The Lighthouse Cafe – The Lighthouse Cafe’s signal says “the world’s greatest breakfast”, and I’ve to say, their french toast is one thing goals are manufactured from. Whereas there may be nothing revolutionary about their flavors or dishes, they’re basic breakfast meals cooked completely, the place waitresses putter around with pots of espresso prepared to offer you a refill. Get right here early and revel in some rattling good breakfast.
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There’s something so magical about 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 here are some locations for a weekend getaway in Florida in a price range:


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Tampa is a good 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 surely the extinct Pohoy and Tocobaga Native American Tribes lived right here lengthy earlier than. The parable persists to this present day that de León got here to America to seek out the “Fountain of Youth”, although there isn’t any hard evidence that that is true, and it’s extra doubtless he was solely in search of gold and land to steal.

After that, the realm remained roughly untouched till it turned into a part of the US in 1845, and in 1884 a person named Henry B. Plant constructed a railroad all the way down to Tampa with lavish accommodations along the way in which.

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

Issues to do in Tampa

Manatees, magnates, and ghosts, oh my! Tampa actually has a beneficial mixture of old-world Florida and pure habitats for wildlife, so you may get an excellent combination 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 accommodations alongside the tracks. The one lodge 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 changed into an architectural icon of Tampa. Inside, you’ll be able to see everything from imported Japanese vases made within the 1800s to gold-plated French chairs – this museum is a dream for anybody who appreciates effective ornament and furnishings.
  • Meet the Ghosts of Ybor Metropolis – Meet two forms of spirits on this Haunted Ybor Pub Walking Tour as you discover 4 of the spookiest pubs in downtown Tampa. When you get pleasure from drinks, the costumed tour information will inform the haunted historical past of every place. The guides are wearing corsets and tunics and 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 whilst you’re right here, and you should definitely take a look at a number of the last remaining cigar factory whilst you’re right here!
  • Spot The Unusual Manatee – Centuries in the past, when pirates and European explorers have been out on the ocean for months, they’d typically come dwelling claiming that they had seen lovely girls within the water. At the moment, it’s thought that these sailors have been seeing manatees from an excellent distance. Within the Nineteen Eighties, an influence station in Tampa was shut down and that very same yr, folks saw 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 may be loads of Cuban meals to strive, together with meals ready by the Native American inhabitants (primarily Seminole & Miccosukee Tribes). Pair that with a world-renowned steak home and you’ve got top-of-the-line weekend getaways in Florida.

  • Mandy’s To Go – This spot is one wonderful piece of Cuba in Tampa. Mandy’s has a really home-cooked really feel to it – the workers are actually personable too – and all of the parts are tremendous huge. Their Cuban sandwiches are all excellent (the bread is soooo fluffy) however my favorite sandwich is the Media Noche, which is a pressed sandwich with mustard, ham, pickles, & pork. I do not know what their secret is, however, I’m obsessed. As the title suggests, the meals are to go solely, so decide up sandwiches after which go to the beach for an enjoyable picnic!
  • Ulele – At Ulele (You-lay-lee), you will discover meals that are impressed by the Native Tribes of Florida. Ulele is situated on the Hillsborough River, and the Tampa Riverwalk subsequent to its colorfully lit up in the evening. A lot of the substances 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 favorite 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 purpose. Since Ulele is on the Riverwalk, it could get fairly widespread 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, but it surely’s there for a purpose – Bern’s Steakhouse is incredible and has been around in Tampa since 1956. Strolling into this huge restaurant seems like strolling right into a Victorian fortress – the partitions are a deep purple, with a stone facade on the underside half, and previous photos in elaborate, silver frames grasp on the partitions. Their meat is perfection, just like the A5 Japanese Wagyu tenderloin, which is, without doubt, one of the highest high-quality beef available on the market, however, any steak you order will likely be cooked expertly to your liking. While 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. Ensure to make a reservation online or over the cellphone nicely upfront, and their costume code is enterprise informal to semi-formal.


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

The place to Keep in Tampa

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

  • This Secluded Retreat is within the coronary heart of the historic Ybor metropolis and near downtown, making it the right spot to remain throughout your journey. It’s spacious and clear with two bedrooms, so deliver some associates alongside!
  • This super cute hotel room on the Florida Palace Resort is correct within the coronary heart of Downtown and provides you with some critical Magnificence & the Beast vibes. It’s additionally proper subsequent to the Tampa Riverwalk so that you’ll have leisure out there every time you like!
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Miami is a dwelling on lovely seashores and exquisite Artwork Deco structures. (Photo Credit)

Miami: A Magnificence Lover’s Getaway

Miami is understood for many issues, like the stylish and glitzy South Seaside, the world’s largest assortment of trendy Artwork Deco buildings, and possibly most iconically, the place the Golden Women dwell.

Miami was initially inhabited by the Tequesta Tribe, till the Spanish claimed Florida for themselves within the 1500s, and was named after the Miami River – “Miami” which means “huge water” within the Tequesta/Miyami language. Miami got here to be generally known as the “Magic Metropolis” in fashionable instances as a result 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 the moment you’ll be able to nonetheless see relics of the growth with the fabulous Twenties-30s Artwork Deco structure, and take a look at historic neighborhoods like Little Havana, Miami’s vibrant Cuban coronary heart the place you’ll be able to eat at a number of the greatest eating places and puff on a cigar.


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The Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is like entering Europe! (Photo Credit)

Issues to do in Miami

Although Miami is Florida’s second-most populous metropolis after Jacksonville, it isn’t very huge – at solely 36 sq. miles it’s straightforward to absorb the perfect of Miami in only a weekend. A number 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 on the most important assortment of Artwork Deco buildings on this planet, which is a method from the Twenties and 30s characterized by sturdy colors 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 means 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 fashion 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 meals and a strolling tour of Little Havana. Little Havana is an integral part of the heartbeat of Miami because the metropolis is the dwelling of many Cuban immigrants and the inhabitants are 70% Hispanic. On this 2.5-hour tour, you’re going to get to pattern the native delicacies, like guava pastries, hen plantain cups, and flan ice cream, meet native artists, watch expert Cuban cigar rollers and hearken to conventional Cuban music.
terras rooftop patio with tacos and beer miami floridaterras rooftop patio with tacos and beer miami florida
Terras has a tropically overgrown rooftop restaurant & bar, good for excellent meals and nice websites! (Picture Credit score: @terrasmiami)

The place to Eat & Drink in Miami

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

  • El Rey de las Fritas – A Cuban Frita is a Cuban hamburger that was invented in Havana someday within the Thirties. Their Fritas are made with a floor beef patty with sautéed onions, topped with crispy shoestring fries, whereas sitting on a fluffy Cuban roll, and a “secret” constructed into the patty. This can satiate our quick meal cravings – however quick meals that are really good and do-it-yourself – so pop on this lovable 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 domestically sourced substances, just like the candy corn “cachapa” pancakes, pollo tacos, shrimp ceviche, 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 contemporary seafood in a tropical setting. Step below the thatched rooves of this tiki hut setting and order some Conch Fritters which can be fried in spicy batter with cocktail & tartar to begin together with some Gulf Oysters. For your entree, you’ll be able to beat good old-style fish and chips or step it up with the Mahi Sandwich. However actually if you simply ate oysters and drank mango margaritas I wouldn’t blame you both.
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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 below a mango tree, or proper on the seashore, Miami has choices!

  • This charming garden cottage is tremendously cozy, cute, and magical – your very personal non-public plant paradise. Positioned proper by town middle and Little Havana, you’ll be able to discover town after which come again to your individual secluded haven, consuming outdoors below a mango tree. The within is simply as cute and colorful 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 from all the perfect of South Seaside. Moreover, a kitchen to prepare dinner in, this construction additionally has its personal shady pool, sure to maintain you cool on sizzling afternoons!
  • For a superior price range possibility, this condo in an actual Art Deco building could also be small however you have got the seashore at your fingertips! And you’ll beat staying in a chunk of the historical past.


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

Fort Lauderdale: A Homosexual Getaway

Although solely about 45 minutes away from Miami, Fort Lauderdale is an excellent sizzling spot for LGBTQ+ vacationers. Even their present mayor is homosexual! If you’d like 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 the second Seminole fort constructed to combat the Seminole Tribe in 1838, as European colonizers stole their land and drove them out. The town at this time is nicknamed “The Venice of America”, 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 footwear (or flip flops), and let’s discover Fort Lauderdale.

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

  • Go to the Homosexual Seaside – Fort Lauderdale is known, as a lot of Flordia actually, for his or her seashores, and so they have 23 miles of seashores crammed into 36 sq. miles of the metropolis. That’s numerous seashores! Sebastian Street Beach is named the homosexual seashore, and is a good place to folks watch and meet different {couples} each domestically and on trips.
  • Try some homosexual historical past – Fort Lauderdale is dwelling not one, however, two homosexual museums. The primary is the Stonewall Museum & Archives, the place you’ll be able to be taught in regards to 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 road in addition to fashionable homosexual ephemera. The opposite is the World AIDS Museum and Education 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, you could be curious in regards to the “Venice of America”. The town has 165 miles of navigable waterways, and taking a look at photographs of town it does all appear to be floating on water! Fortunately, you’ll be able to take a 90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Cruise, the place you’ll cruise alongside the New River previous Millionaire’s Row, and be taught in regards to the space.

The place to Eat & Drink in Fort Lauderdale

In Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be able to maintain it, homosexual, all by means 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 means 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 ambiance, take a look at Rosie’s Bar and Grille. Sit on their doors patio surrounded by lush foliage below colorful 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!
  • Try the Wilton Manors Homosexual Bars – Wilton Manors is the primary gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, although technically it’s really 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 exhibits. This strip is well walkable, and simply be sure you’re respectful in the event you’re not a queer particular person 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 correct within the coronary heart of Wilton Manors, making bar hopping/crawling straightforward and protected! The condominium is fashionable and clear, and the perfect half is your individual non-public pool within the yard surrounded by palm timber and flowers.
  • For that seashore life, take a look at this super chic apartment that’s proper on the scenic Intercoastal Waterway. While you’re not watching the boats roll by out of your spacious condominium, you’ll be able to cool off within the pool or stroll a block to Fort Lauderdale seashore!


38 Enchanting Things to Do in Savannah, Georgia

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

St. Petersburg: A Seaside Lover’s Getaway

St. Petersburg — or St. Pete, for brief — has a seashore for each event. With top-rated seashores stretching 35 miles alongside the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll be able to go to a distinct world-class seashore day by day. With energetic city seashores — and the open-air bars, volleyball video games, and vibrant power that include — quiet, undeveloped island seashores, and everything in between, you’ll need to pack loads of sunscreen (and a boogie board) on 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 sights — just like the Salvador Dali Museum and the Chihuly Collection — and the scene of a thrilling meal can punctuate your enjoyment 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 have a look at the perfect 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 everything a seashore ought to be. White, sugar sand; unbelievable sunsets; clear, emerald water, and — after all — seashore bars. Spend the day absorbing the solar, splashing in the surf, and marveling at the simple fantastic thing about this Gulf Coast seashore. And on the finish of the day (heck, every time you need), head to at least one or two of the open-air seashore bars — Jimmy B’s has dwell music and a sprawling, beachside patio.
  • Get pleasure from Seashores and Historical past at Fort De Soto Park and Egmont Key Fort De Soto Park encompasses 5 islands and heaps of shoreline within the Gulf and Tampa Bay. You may hike, bike, calm down on the seashores, and even discover the historic fort — accomplished in 1900. You may even take the ferry over to Egmont Key, a secluded island the place you’ll be able to hike, swim, or snorkel amongst previous fort ruins. 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 experience) is a quiet island, good for a calming day spent swimming or bird-watching. If you wish to escape the seashore for a bit, there’s a beautiful nature path that may 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 lease a kayak on the island and kayak one of many paddling trails by means of the shallow, clear water.
  • See Florida Wildlife by Paddleboard – What higher technique to expertise Florida’s wildlife than a peaceful paddleboard tour? You don’t must be a professional to take this tour — in truth, newbies are welcome. After studying the fundamentals of navigating your board, you’ll head out on the bayou the hunt for manatees, dolphins, and a various array of birds.
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Speak about lunch with a view, Doc Ford’s Run Bar and Grille is its personal paradise! (Picture Credit score: @docfords)

The place to Eat & Drink in St. Petersburg

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

  • Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille – Positioned on St. Pete Pier, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille sit properly on the water supplying you with glorious views of Tampa Bay. Get the Macadamia Nut Crusted Grouper, which is served atop a unique mixture of quinoa, jasmine rice, arugula, purple 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 for 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, quite they name it “Deep South Italian”, mixing southern contemporary substances 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 a must to get one in all their hearth oven pizzas, like a conventional Margherita, or one thing extra thrilling just like the Peach + Burrata with pesto, Gorgonzola, caramelized onion, contemporary peach, torn burrata, and balsamic honey.
  • The Mandarin Hide – If you’d like a break from the beachside tiki bar and need to go all out on a number of the metropolis’s greatest cocktails, head to the Mandarin Conceal. This little cozy, darkish cocktail lounge with glowing chandeliers is understood for its skilled mixologists and its Insta-worthy (and equally scrumptious) drinks. Every Tuesday they create a solely new cocktail menu, so whereas I can’t inform you what will likely be on it whenever you go, you understand it’s going to be new and wonderful. They even have aged cocktails. This place is legit, ya’ll!
St. Pete Beach at twilight with a colorful sunset in St. Petersburg, FloridaSt. 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 positively have the chance to be a seashore bum for the weekend! Listed below are some nice seashore choices for 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 almost full-sized kitchen.
  • Although this colorful condo shouldn’t be dealing with the seashore, you’ll be there in just some steps. This rental can be greater, supplying you with a separate front room/kitchen and bedroom if you wish to unfold out a bit of extra.


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Lightner Museum, St. Augustine, Florida-Blog Photo-2Lightner 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 repeatedly occupied European settlement on the continent, i.e. the nation’s oldest metropolis! It goes without saying that historical past (and ghosts!) abound right here.

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

At the moment it’s a metropolis full of lovely Spanish colonial structures, attractive pure parks, and historic sights. Get able to eat basic Florida fare, lay on the seashore, calm down in nature, and get the heebie-jeebies in this historic and haunted metropolis.

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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 may be quite a bit 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 in 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 against 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 the fort was built with coquina, a sort of sedimentary rock manufactured from shells and useless marine life, the fortress by no means cracked quite absorbed cannonballs which might nonetheless be seen within the partitions at this time.
  • Marvel on the Historic Lightner MuseumSince we’re speaking in regards to the nation’s oldest metropolis right here, St. Augustine has a lot of museums. Probably the most fascinating, and definitely probably the most lovely, is the Lightner Museum, which is housed within the previous lodge Alcazar, a Spanish Renaissance Revival fashion construction inbuilt in 1887. So let’s simply say it’s ornate. Inside its form of what you’d think about an eccentric Victorina collector would have – gilded-age circumstances displaying shells, rocks, Native American artifacts, previous devices, Tiffany glass, and oh, a mummy and a shrunken head.
  • Get Scared on a Ghost Tour – Since St. Augustine is such a previous metropolis, it’s no surprise that it’s full of loads of tales of those that have by no means crossed to the opposite facet and nonetheless reside in 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.
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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 a must to 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 an attractive patio to eat outside. They are saying their meals are “progressive 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 chunk is native and contemporary!
  • Odd Birds Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen – This tremendous kitschy, tropically pleasant restaurant and bar is the place to get particular cocktails like The Wild Moon 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 as it sounds. Get a waffle just like the Whirly Hen topped with contemporary cinnamon apples, vanilla ice cream, caramel drizzle, 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 waterSt. 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 a previous, previous place, requires you to remain in some historic and charming previous locations yourself! Listed below are some fantastically lovable choices to get your within the spirit:

  • This gem in the historic district is so effing cute you’ll need to name it dwelling earlier than you allow. This primary-floor condominium has one bedroom, a kitchen, and loads of houses. Sit on the screened-in porch and watch sailboats within the harbor and shrimp boats bringing their catch, and watch the sundown paint the sky.
  • This 1920s 900sq/ft apartment is big, attractive, and vibrant and is the right place to make your “dwelling” on your weekend getaway. You’ll be below a mile from the Castillo de San Marcos and all the perfect St. Augustine has to supply.


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

Key West: A Tropical Lover’s Getaway

Key West, Florida could also be one of the distinctive locations in America: roosters roam the streets, drag queens rule the nightlife, and Cuba’s shut proximity colors its historical past. Your entire island is a colorful, tropical feast for the senses. Is that this paradise? I assumed it could be much less …. bizarre?

To essentially respect Key West in all of its quirky glory, you additionally must get to know its lengthy historical past of pirates, bootleggers, and nonconformists; its resident ghosts and grave-digging iguanas; and the resident animals like six-toed cats who name it dwelling. It’s additionally the southernmost level of the US, so it is sensible 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 wish to be taught much more!

Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, FloridaErnest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida

Issues to do in Key West

Key West is the place well-known author Ernest Hemingway as soon 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 the within. This can be an actually huge attraction on Key West for good purpose – Hemingway was a prolific author in the course of the Twenties and 30s, and he wrote two of his most well-known books on this very home: A Farewell To Arms and To Have and Have Not. Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West for years, making the island his everlasting place of residence within the Thirties, and is the person who I’ve determined to totally blame for all of the cats on the island (based on the official website, 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 your entire 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 of the elusive sea turtle as nicely! Since you can be by yourself on this reef, be sure you deliver your individual snorkeling gear or lease one on the park (both manner, pack anti-fog spray).
  • Take a Sundown Cruise – A sundown cruise can’t be missed in Key West, and so they usually give out free drinks – as a result, Key West is all the time all the way down to celebration – and are the very best technique to see the sundown. Most of those excursions are about two hours lengthy, returning at around 7 pm. Be aware 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 deliver sunblock! Should you’re touring together with your associate, ebook an intimate cruise like Danger’s Charters Wind & Wine Sunset Sail Sitting on a ship and watching the sundown collectively is such a romantic technique to spend time with one another! For a livelier night, Cool Key West is a good selection, with native musicians enjoying loads of free drinks.

The place to Eat & Drink in Key West

Key West, apart from being a veritable paradise, has some scrumptious meal 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 as if you’re inside a jungle shaded by huge banyan timber, banana palms, and colorful hibiscus flowers. The restaurant is dwelling to cats, chickens, AND child chickens, so that you simply may make some animal associates whilst 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 newer rooster residents. Each morning Blue Heaven hosts native musicians enjoying calming music that can assist you to 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 hearken 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 in all probability get teased by the queens. However hey, getting made enjoyable by a drag queen in the entrance of dwell viewers is a present.
  • A 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 house owners reside, so you need 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 in the knees. A lot of the desserts have enjoyable names, like the Kinky-er Key West Cream Pie, a great locally-themed selection. 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.The backyard of an AirBnb in Key West Florida with a hot tub.
There are many little paradises you’ll be able to lease 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 ebook a lodge, 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 lease bikes on-site, and also you’re solely a 10-minute stroll from South Seaside.
  • The Secret Garden provides a captivating non-public oasis, with two bedrooms, a totally stocked kitchen, and entry to a shared pool.
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Prepare for seashore time! (Photo Credit)

What to Pack for Weekend Getaways in Florida

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

  • Several Swimsuits: There’s a great likelihood you’ll be leaping into the water day by day so you’ll need to deliver alongside a number of pairs of swimsuits so that you all the time have one thing dry to place on! I’m a measurement 16/18, and my favorite swimsuit is this one, which I actually have in 3 totally different colors. It’s wonderful. It’s good. It’s a freakin’ steal! I additionally love this go well with, and that is my favorite one piece. For extra swimsuit picks, take a look at my information on swimsuits for curvy girls.
  • Travel Towel: There may be complete no assurance that the towels at your accommodation are going to suit your waist. Frankly, they do not often match around 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 all the time deliver 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, grasp this tiny travel clothesline up someplace that will get loads of airflow and solar, like on a curtain rod at the 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 dwell in an igloo eternally, you’ll be able to all the time simply use your towel as a mat as the 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, heaps and a lot of sunscreen – don’t neglect to re-apply!

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

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