Florida Dreaming? Get There & Enjoy A GREAT Road Trip [A PHOTO JOURNEY]
Many of us are outright having fantasies about travelling right now. I've been dreaming of the ocean. It's been too long since I've watched those waves lull me into a peaceful dream state and remind me that, ultimately, the universe is so much bigger than my immediate problems. Where would you go right now, if you could go anywhere in the world?
Florida hasn't usually been top of my mind for me. Perhaps because I've been several times. Maybe because it's fairly close to us here in Texas. Usually I think of two places when I think of Florida: Disney World and Destin. Both of which I sincerely adore. But there many more places to enjoy in Florida.
Recently my cousin and her family posted photos of their current vacay in Florida, and I'm enchanted anew. Then, serendipitous-ly, Emmy Award-winning travel writer Peter Greenberg wrote a piece on how great Florida is to explore by car, and now I'm truly smitten. Not only have I been dreaming of the ocean, but road trips are among my favorite things ever. So how about a quick flight to Florida, rent a car, and off we go?
Wright even shared a bit of an outline for your trip. Here's a few of his suggestions:
Start from Fort Lauderdale and rent a car. Bonus points if it's a convertible. He suggests driving over to Sawgrass Recreation Park hopping aboard an airboat tour (at night to avoid crowds), to glide through the glades and perhaps catch the terrifying eyes of an alligator at night--if you're into that kind of thing. (Runs away screaming.)
Before you leave, don't miss Croissan'Time--a must have pastry stop off of U.S. Highway 1 South. Wright calls it "one of the best places outside of Paris to find authentic French croissants, including chocolate, apricot-custard, walnut, and even prune." Baked fresh daily, you can also inhale your fair share of cakes, pies and more. Enjoy your treat while you take a walk down to Fort Lauderdale's Riverwalk area.
Back in the car for a 3.5 hour drive to Orlando. We'll skip Disney World this one time. Instead, enjoy the thriving bike culture in Orlando and pedal your way through iconic orange groves, small towns, and make a quick stop at a farmers' market in Winter Garden. Our travel writer guide also suggests the Morse Museum to enjoy an incredible collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany's work. Stunning.
And now--embark on the epic stretch that is the Overseas Highway. I had the pleasure of travelling this way on my way to a work conference in Key West quite a few years ago. Yeah, that was a definite perk of that job. We're talking 113 miles of that gorgeous blue water and bridges which serve to connect all those tiny islands you usually only see on a map. Along the way, there are many beach shops and cool eateries you don't wanna miss.
If you're a fan of the 1951 movie 'African Queen' starring Hepburn and Bogart, look into taking a the 90-minute cruise here. Continue making your way down to the land of Hemingway, colorful houses and flowers, and land and sea views to make you feel you've reached the end of the world. Don't forget to stop at the lighthouse--this is key.
Now, for our photographic journey... ready?