Summer Vacation Ideas – Part 3 – Florida’s East Coast
After spending some time on the Gulf Coast then heading across Alligator Alley and South to the Florida Keys we are going back up Florida’s East Coast to hit some of the hot spots for possible summer vacations. The East coast of Florida has a lot to offer besides just it’s beaches.
Our Fist stop is Miami. Many have gotten reintroduced to Miami through shows like Jersey Shore, but that is just one side of Miami. It is a town of many tastes, styles and flavors all rolled into one. It is the one place you will find as much if not more Cuban culture than possibly Cuba. Want to know what Cuba would look like with a free society, head toMiami and the Bayside district, also known as little Havana. From there you can visit the Hard Rock Cafe or Gloria Estephan’s Bongo’s Cafe’. You can watch cruise ships come and go on the right days and see some of the biggest privately owned boats you will see anywhere in Florida. To leave the Bayside area you will have to head through downtown which offers amazing shops and restaurants to choose from on your way to South Beach. MAny have seen the nightlife of South Beach on TV, but South Beach has more to offer. The beach is an obvious choice to people watch, get some sand between your toes and did we say people watch? To say the “beautiful people” hang out at South Beach would be an understatement. Many days it can look like a plastic surgery commercial in the making.You can also get a glimpse of Miami’s Gay culture there as well. With buildings that still retain their Art Deco era flavor there are a ton of boutique hotels and shops to choose from. Restaurants are plentiful as well and if you are traveling without kids you may want to stay to check out the night life. If you have kids the Miami zoo and Miami Seaquarium are a must to check out. For places to stay you have a million choices from budget hotels like Quality Inn to the ultra plush Fountainbleau Resort at Miami Beach is the place to see and be seen.
Between Miami and our next stop is Ft. Lauderdale. We could do a feature on Ft. Lauderdale but it really has become part of Miami. There is one of the worlds largest outlet Mall’s if you want to do some power shopping at Sawgrass Mills Mall near the Bank Atlantic Center.If you are looking for an amazing dining experience though the place you really need to stop at is the Mai-Kai restaurant. (www.maikai.com)If you really want to be transported to Hawaii and live the Tiki life for an evening the Mai Kai is a not to be missed stop.
Our next stop is just north of Miami to West Palm Beach. As the name implies the beaches are the feature here. With kids the zoo at Deher Park or South Florida Science Museum are good diversions in case of sunburn or beach boredom. If you are traveling without kids the Breakers at Palm Beach is amazing to see. It is one of the best luxury Resorts in the area. Also check out the Four Seasons Resort for an amazing beach and pool experience.
You are now in what is known as Florida’s Treasure Coast area which stretches from Palm Beach north to Sebatian Inlet Previously known as Florida’s Gold coast where many come to spend their golden retirement years this are has some awesome beaches and offers a “quiet zone” between Miami and Daytona to go and just enjoy the many resorts and beaches along the coast. Vero Beach is known as the Jewel of the treasure coast. Further North is Jensen beach which is a great stop to get the flavor of old Florida style.
North of the Treasure Coast we hit Daytona Beach and Daytona. Obviously known as the most common Spring Break destination for college kids, the Daytona 500 for NASCAR fans and Bike Week for Harley Davidson and Motorcycle enthusiasts. Daytona Beach has become best known as a place that does not need a reason to throw a party. Typically you can find one happening at anytime along the beaches. With Cape Canaveral nearby there are celebrity houses in the area and a number of shops and restaurants to see. Care should be taken as to where to stay. remember some of the resorts are just used as resting stops to sleep off the party from the night before. If you are looking for something suitable for the kids or something more luxurious then we recommend the Shores Resort, or The Plaza Resort and Spa to get away from the hustle and bustle typically associated with Daytona. The beaches near these resorts are relaxing and will give you plenty of opportunity to get sand between your toes and enjoy a great Tropical drink.
If you are not worn out yet, head a little further north to St. Augustine a city rich in history and things to see for the whole family. from the St. Augustine lighthouse which is known as one of the most haunted lighthouses in America to Castillo de San Marcos National Park which is also rumored to be haunted. Downtown and historic St. Augustine is like stepping back in time. Vilano Beach is known as the locals best kept secret. Surfside Park offers great beach access and outside showers as well as other amenities like playgrounds and facilities if you are just looking for a place to spend a day relaxing with sand in between your toes. If you are looking for a place to stay check out the Casablanca Inn bed and breakfast for a truly old Florida experience and flavor. Located in Historic St. Augustine and very close to the beaches the Casablanca will transport you back in time.
you have now been up and down both sides of Florida and it’s tropical beaches and hidden gems. There are many more that we didn’t touch on as well as the typical theme parks and Space Center that everyone talks about. We wanted to present you with a chance to see what is out there to enjoy without needing a passport while have a relaxing time and finding a little adventure along the way