What could be better than a Gulf Coast road trip along coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida - fun in the sun, fresh seafood, white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, and some of the most unique foods and flavors in the USA? This complete guide has what to see and do, where to stay, and unique seafoodie experiences you have to try!
Whether you come for the scalloping, to swim with manatees, or the world class fishing, Crystal River, Florida has a lot to enjoy. And if you're looking for where to stay in Crystal River, FL or hotels near Three Sisters Springs, it's hard to beat the Crystal Blue Lagoon B&B for it's unique mermaid and manatees personality both inside and out.
There's something about Tallahassee, the hip and historic capital of Florida - exciting arts and culture, interactive museums, natural crystal springs, a creative dining scene, and green space around every corner. If you're wondering what to do in Tallahassee, here are our favorites for a fun Florida vacation.
Summertime is Florida scallop season, when seafood lovers and adventure travelers head into the shallow waters off the coast and gather up handfuls of scallops by the dozens. But you dont have to be a certified diver to enjoy it. Scalloping in Homosassa rewards foodies with enough fun for the whole family and a savory seafood dinner too.
The food scene in Tallahassee, Florida is a perfect reflection of the state’s youngest and most international city. With innovative fine dining, funky cafes, and fresh farm-to-table options, there are more unique places to eat in Tallahassee than ever before. Here’s our list of favorites!
Sanibel Island is one of the most secluded and best family vacation spots in Florida, so why not make it even better with your own private cottage at the beach. Here are our favorite Sanibel Island cottages - for the two of you, or all of you - that’ll have everyone in the family chilling out and living on island time.
Looking for a family vacation or romantic getaway reminiscent of Old Florida? We recently spent a few days at Tarpon Lodge, Pine Island, and discovered a part of southwest Florida we'd never seen before. The idyllic islands of Pine Island Sound are filled with interesting history, local culture, and a whole lot of fresh seafood!
If you're looking to explore the shallow waters of southwest Florida in the Everglades, Rookery Bay, and the 10,000 islands, paddling is a great way to go. Head out on the water with the folks at Rising Tide Explorers, one of the best Everglades kayak tours around.
The Florida Everglades is an eco lovers paradise. America's only subtropical wilderness known as the River of Grass is home to rare and endangered animal species and a UNESCO World Heritage site. With roughly 2,000 square miles to explore, there are incredible things to do in the Everglades, one of the most exciting natural destinations in the world.
If you think Gainesville, Florida is all about the Florida Gators, think again. There are so many things to do in Gainesville, FL, a creative and diverse university town now known for it's arts, museums, events, and most especially the hand-crafted food, beer, and spirits scenes. Gainesville is a fun and happening place!
Wondering what to do in Naples, the jewel of Florida's Paradise Coast? With its palm tree-lined avenues, world class beaches, and small-town feel, it's a perfect destination for a luxury getaway, romantic escape, or family vacation. Here's your ultimate guide for what to do in Naples, Florida with kids or just the two of you.
There's so much brewing in Gainesville, Florida from craft beer and spirits to a burgeoning food scene, so where do you begin to discover it all? Take the Gainesville Food Tour, a fun 3-hour walking food tour that explores the best foods, history, and local culture in this hip university town!
Sanibel Island beaches in southwest Florida are teeming with gorgeous seashells, but where can you find the best beaches on Sanibel for shelling? Here's your ultimate guide to Sanibel shelling: the how, when, and where to find the best shells.
Key lime pie is the official pie of the state of Florida, and no place does it better than the Conch Republic of Key West. The next time you're there, take a self-guided tasting tour of some of the best pies in town, and see if you agree with me who has the best Key lime pie in Key West!
They say you never forget your first anything that makes a real impression on you. But I'll happily forget Hurricane Irma, my first hurricane encounter, and one of the biggest in history. Here's my personal experience as a newbie, and the valuable lessons I learned.
Some of the best hiking in Florida can be found in the southwest part of the state. So if you’re looking to explore the area’s natural world, check out these 4 fun and easy boardwalks and day hikes in SWFL (Ft. Myers, Naples, and the Everglades) with the most unique hiking trails in south Florida.
We searched southwest Florida for just the right kind of beach bars - fun places with good food and cold drinks that are actually ON the beach - so you don't have to waste any time finding just the right vibe to match your tropical vacation! So here they are - the very best beach bars in Sanibel & Captiva down the coast all the way to Marco Island.
Looking for the best beaches in Naples, Florida? Trust a local who lives there to share the 7 best beaches in town, whether you're looking for a quick trip for a sunset view or an all-day hike through natural dunes. Naples has a beach for everyone in the family!
Florida's gulf coast is home to scores of barrier islands that offer some of the best family vacations around, but none more than Sanibel and Captiva islands. Close to the Ft. Myers mainland, one narrow causeway makes all the difference in keeping the feel of this island refreshingly small town. So gather the kids and grandkids. Here's a list of things to do in Sanibel and Captiva and all the reasons you'll fall in love.
Summer never ends in Florida’s Conch Republic, and this First Timers Guide to Key West has everything you need for a visit. There’s year round adventure, so whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re planning a few hours on a cruise excursion, this guide shows you the hidden gems and other fun things to do in Key West!
It's always the unexpected treats of exploring out-of-the-way places in small town America that yield the biggest surprises. Like the one I had recently at The Smallest Post Office in the US in the Florida Everglades.
If you've never been to central Florida, or perhaps spent your vacation at the Orlando home of one of its most famous residents, you may never know you missed one of the most magical places in the state - the natural world of Citrus County.
Looking for a Florida family vacation and where to stay in Crystal River? You’ll love the Old Florida feel at the comfy and casual King’s Bay Lodge waterfront motel. It’s authentically retro, with a 1978 price tag to match - perfect for a laid-back Florida family vacation!
Central Florida's gulf coast is a nature lovers paradise. But some of the most intriguing culture here involving the natural world adds a very unique feel to the town of Tarpon Springs - the Mediterannean culture of Opa!
Those cute and cuddly aquatic manatees that are so homely they're adorable are also an endangered species. But there are ways to get up close and personal with them, through passive observation of them in the natural habitat. And the experience is one you'll never forget.
Is it possible to interact with a protected species like manatees in their natural habitat, and call it responsible tourism? Here's why we decided to go against conventional eco-wisdom and swim with manatees in Crystal River, the best place to see manatees in Florida.
The State Wildlife Park in Homosassa Springs is truly a treasure of Old Florida, highlighting the wildlife above water and below, including one very special non-native creature. Much more than any zoo I've been to, the Park offers a rare glimpse into the 'real Florida' and the rugged natural landscape and wildlife that makes it unique.
A group of intrepid hollow-Earth believers follow a New York physician they thought was a Messiah into the harsh swamp of south Florida to create a better civilization. This fascinating gem of true and not-so-distant Florida history is what you’ll find at the Koreshan State Park in Estero, a must visit for history and culture lovers!
Are there any pirates left in Key West? Any vestige of the old days of intrepid adventurers, colorful locals, and crusty hangouts? I wanted to find out on my recent trip there, along with my sister and niece who were Key West newbies. The answers? "Yes", "Yes", and "Define 'crusty'".
Wherever we go, we always have a beaten up guidebook, local phrasebook, and weatherproof map in our backpacks. Plus, a souvenir book by Florida landscape photographer Clyde Butcher is always a good idea!