It may be fall in some states, but it’s still warm in Florida which is why it’s time to head south again. A few years back we focused on the state in what I called the Ultimate Florida Road Trip, which took me to St. Augustine, the Space Coast, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, the Everglades and the Florida Keys. I visited well-known tourist attractions like the Kennedy Space Center and South Beach as well as activities like paddleboarding with manatees.
This time around, known as the Ultimate Florida Road Trip Part 2, I’ll be covering the west coast of the state. I’ll actually be starting in Macon, Georgia, where I’ll visit some new places before crossing state lines. If you have suggestions for places you think I should check out, be sure to leave them in the comments!
October 19-20: Gainesville
I’ve never visited Gainesville, home to the University of Florida, so I’m excited to know what’s going on in this college town beyond the school. I’ll be staying at the historic Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast Inn and look forward to visiting the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. I want to make time to go kayaking and possibly even diving. I’ve heard good things about Tall Paul’s Brew House, Maude’s Cafe and Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate so I will try to make time for them.
October 20-22: St. Petersburg
After a quick afternoon stop in the Crystal Springs area, I’ll be heading south, bound for St. Petersburg and Clearwater. I’ll be staying at Inn on the Beach and spending the day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which rescues and releases marine animals like dolphins and turtles. I’ll also be learning more about the art community at The Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection.
October 22-24: Tampa
The following few days I’ll cross the bay for Tampa, which I’ve visited before, but only when I was leaving for a cruise. I’m excited to stay at the Epicurean Hotel, a boutique hotel that puts an emphasis on culinary experiences like cooking classes and award-winning restaurants. I look forward to exploring the Cuban flair of Ybor City as well as craft breweries like CIGAR CITY BREWING and Coppertail Brewing Co.. I’ll also be dining at some of the city’s up and coming restaurants like the highly Instagrammable Oxford Exchange and The Refinery.
October 24-25: Sarasota
I haven’t been to Sarasota since spring break in high school, but I remember the soft, white sand beaches. I’ll be going back to the Ringling Museums, including the art museum, circus museum and Cà d’Zan Mansion. I’ll be exploring some of the shops and attractions and meeting up with a friend!
October 25-31: Fort Lauderdale
Last but not least is a week in Fort Lauderdale, a place I’ve visited before, but this time I’m going for a travel blogging conference. I’ll be exploring the city more than I did on my last visit, including some of its restaurants. When I’m not going to talks and networking with my fellow writers, I’ll be staying at Comfort Suites Fort Lauderdale Airport South & Cruise Port where I’ve booked myself a few nights.
Some of these stops are supported by the aforementioned tourism boards and convention and visitor’s bureaus as well as hotels.