Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeCouple TravelOught to I go to Florida in 2023?

Ought to I go to Florida in 2023?


I feel it’s about time to listen to some excellent news about Florida. The previous couple of months has been tough on the sunshine state. First Hurricane Ian tried to blow southwest Florida proper off the map and inundated massive swaths of the state with heavy flooding. A bit over a month later Hurricane Nicole tried to sneak one final late-season punch onto the Atlantic shores. 

If you happen to take heed to overly dramatic information you would possibly suppose the entire state of Florida is hurricane battered and utterly underwater. However We simply spent a month touring by way of the state, and we are able to inform you that’s simply not the case. Florida and the individuals who name this place house are resilient. 

On this publish and video, we’re going to take you on a bit street journey to indicate you that the solar is the truth is nonetheless shining in Florida. 

Now we have a week-long street journey deliberate to take a look at a couple of underrated gems alongside Florida’s north and mid-Atlantic Coast. The humorous about this journey is it acquired rescheduled twice, due to the hurricanes, however it truly labored out higher than we might have even deliberate, however extra on that later.  

The 2022 hurricane season was tough on Florida and it might need you questioning… Do you have to plan your winter and spring break journeys to Florida this 12 months? – Nicely the reply is straightforward – Sure!

Hurricanes occur yearly and yearly Florida rebuilds again higher. The folks listed here are resilient. Positive Hurricane Ian was a nasty one, however the space that was broken to the purpose that will stop a visit is small. The areas that also want extra time to rebuild are primarily across the Fort Myers area. They are going to want a bit extra time but to get well.

Nevertheless, the remainder of the state is prepared for you – and Ft. Myers gained’t be far behind! Don’t imagine it? We simply spent a month touring the state and we’ll present you that the solar remains to be shining in Florida!

On this household street journey, we’re going to discover St. Augustine, Cape Canaveral, Coca Seashore, and Vero Seashore with numerous enjoyable stops alongside the way in which. Hop within the minivan, sit again, buckle up, and benefit from the journey as our household of 4 explores Florida’s north and central Atlantic Coast!


Drone photo showing part of the St. Augustine Skyline and Lion's gate bridge at sunrise

St. Augustine

Our first cease is historic St. Augustine, Florida. Based in 1565 – it’s truly the oldest constantly occupied European Settlement within the continental United States. In numerous methods, St. Augustine doesn’t really feel like Florida to me. Growth sensible the state is comparatively new, however right here in St. Augustine, you’re surrounded by historical past. 

There’s a centuries-old Spanish fort, historic picket buildings, and exquisite structure relationship again to the day of railroad constructing tycoons. On high of that, there are some nice seashores and plenty of native allure – it’s arduous to not like St. Augustine. 

Woman and daughter walking on St George Street in St. Augustine Florida

St George Road

We’re going to begin on essentially the most well-known road within the metropolis which is St. George road. Lined with historic buildings now repurposed into outlets, museums, and a number of the metropolis’s greatest eating places. A stroll down this road might take you the higher a part of the day in case you are up for exploring the outlets and lingering on the cafes and eating places. 

Exterior view of the St. George Inn located in St. Augustine FL - Top family hotel

St George Inn

On this journey, we’re staying within the coronary heart of the motion on the St. George Inn to take advantage of our days within the metropolis. Our home windows and balcony overlook the historic St. George Road and we’re simply steps away from the entire sights, outlets, and eating places. 

Now we have a household swimsuit with a pleasant kitchen and lounge to unfold out which is a should when touring with younger youngsters. The St. George Inn has a number of room sorts and for those who’re touring with a household that is the place to remain! 

View of the Castillo de San Marcos at sunset

Castillo San Marcos 

On our first full day, we crammed up at breakfast set in an exquisite courtyard of the st. George Inn and tried our greatest to maintain the youngsters from leaping within the grand fountain. With some meals and occasional in our system, we headed to certainly one of St. Augustine’s fundamental sights the 300-year-old fort, the Castillo San Marcos. 

Constructed within the 1600s by the Spanish, the Castillo was constructed to guard town and essential commerce routes. All through the centuries it modified arms a number of occasions between the Spanish, British, and the USA till it was decommissioned in 1933, a couple of years after it obtained Nationwide Monument standing. 

We spent the morning exploring all of the nooks and crannies of the previous fort, however our favourite half was on the higher stage. Right here, alongside lengthy with nice views of St. Augustine, there have been cool previous cannons to see and turrets to cover in the place the youngsters pretended they had been pirates. 

Family drinking the water from the fountain of youth

Fountain of Youth 

One other Spanish relic value marveling at in St. Augustine is the Fountain of Youth.  Within the sixteenth century, the age-old rumor of magical water that will reverse growing older and treatment illness grew to become standard amongst explorers. One particularly, Ponce de Leon grew to become fastened on discovering this legendary water supply. 

Statue of Ponce De Leon in front of the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park

This website is alleged to be the precise touchdown website of Ponce de Leon. Since he’s not round anymore I’m unsure the magic water labored, however there’s a ton of historical past to take a look at whereas visiting the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park.  

In addition to the sip of mineraly water right here you can even get a glimpse again in time into the lifetime of the early settlers and explorers. Across the website, there are buildings and displays of things discovered right here that are from almost 500 years in the past. That is additionally considered the location of the primary Christian Missions in what’s now the USA. 

Children digging for treasure at an archeological exhibit at the fountain of youth

For the youngsters, there are tons of peacocks to see and feed in addition to some kid-focused archeological displays. Atlas was satisfied we had been going to seek out treasures right here and he nearly to pry him away.  

green and orange hop on hop off trolley of St. Augustine - Top actives

Trolley

All aboard among the finest methods to cowl numerous metropolis in a short while, the well-known inexperienced and orange St. Augustine Tolley. The Previous City Trolley Excursions St Augustine

The youngsters cherished the journey and we acquired a narrated journey and some minutes to sit down and simply watch this charming city go by. It was a enjoyable strategy to see town and it’s actually the easiest way to see town. 

View of the exterior of the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine Florida

Museums

If you happen to didn’t get sufficient historical past strolling across the streets of St. Augustine, don’t fear there are many top-notch museums as effectively. One of the crucial noteworthy is the Lightner Museum which is housed in what was as soon as Henry Flagler’s grand and opulent Alcazar Lodge.

Inside you’ll discover a huge and wide selection of items on show based by the writer and collector Otto C. Lightner. The constructing itself is well worth the go to however the artwork and displays push it towards to the highest of the checklist of locations to go to whereas in St. Augustine. 

Red and white striped lighthouse in St. Augustine FL at sunset

St. Augustine Lighthouse

One other should in St. Augustine is a climb up the attractive black and white striped traditional lighthouse. From the highest of the lighthouse, you may see Anastasia Island state Park and the Previous City within the distance. 

For nautical nerds, there are additionally a number of displays on the lighthouse and maritime historical past masking from Ponce de Leon to the present day – and all the pieces in between.  

Drone photo of St. Augustine Beach

Seashores

For a bit break from the entire historical past and tradition of St. Augustine, we spent a while simply stress-free on the seaside. On high of the entire historical past that you will discover right here, there are some nice stretches of sand as effectively. In spite of everything, it’s nonetheless Florida – and no journey to the sunshine state can be full with out a while on the seaside. 

Alligators in the water at the St. Augustine Alligator Park

Aligator Farm

We completed up our time right here with a go to to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoologic Park. Inside we discovered actually tons of if not hundreds of Alligators. Atlas and Isla love seeing the entire gators and different animals. In addition to the entire Alligators there are many primates from all over the world, unique birds, and different reptiles. This place is a should for those who’re touring with youngsters or animal lovers. 

This hurricane season didn’t focus its wrath on St. Augustine, town noticed some injury, however nothing that will hinder a go to to this historic gem. 

 

 


space coast cover - Sunset in cocoa Beach with white text over

Area Coast & Cocoa Seashore

Subsequent up on our street journey is a spot that’s been on our radar for some time and we lastly determined to make it occur. From St. Augustine, we set the GPS for Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Seashore to an space of the state generally known as the Area Coast. It acquired it’s title from being the house of NASA’s launch website for human house journey. Right here, simply inland from the sandy shores, you’ll discover the Kennedy Area Heart the place the Apollo 11 mission launched on its strategy to the moon in 1969, and lots of different well-known missions earlier than and after that one. Nevertheless, rockets aren’t the one factor that this place has going for it – there are additionally some nice seashores in addition to many different nice spots to take a look at. 

Childen walking on the beach in Cocoa Beach Florida

Sundown on the seaside

We made it into city simply in time hit the seaside at sundown and it was one. The youngsters performed within the sand whereas we waited for the solar to sink behind the little seaside city of Cocoa Seashore. Because it did the sky lit up in purples and pinks, despite the fact that on the east coast the solar doesn’t set over the water the final rays of the solar bounce round and make some sky magic in any case. 

Pink and purple sunset on Cocoa Beach Florida

As the sunshine pale we sat right down to what can be certainly one of our favourite meals in Area coast and of this little street journey actually. We had dinner proper on the seaside at Coconuts, an area favourite open-air spot in Cocoa Seashore. all the pieces was good, however the stand out was the Tuna Nachos.

Whereas we ate we might inform the entire city was a buzz concerning the Artemis launch try, navy planes had been flying round, and other people had been excited. 


Launch of the Artemis 1 rocket on 11/16/22
Picture by: NASA – Launch of the Artemis 1 rocket on 11/16/22

Artemis Rocket Launch

We had been making an attempt to time our journey up with this rocket launch for some time now, however after being rescheduled twice, we’d kinda thought that it simply wasn’t going to occur. The primary launch makes an attempt again in August and September had been scrubbed attributable to engine points and hydrogen leaks after which Hurricane Ian set issues again even additional.

We truly had our automotive all loaded up and we had been prepared to move out the door at 5 am the day the Ian hit, and for sure we scrubbed our mission two. We then rebooked all the pieces making an attempt to see the launch once more after which it turned out that we had been going to be within the house coast on the improper days. Lastly, whereas we had been road-tripping round Florida we came upon that the launch acquired pushed to our first day in Cape Canaveral – discuss fortunate. The one down aspect it was set for 1 am. 

We sat up listening to the chatter from the NASA command middle for hours, ready, and hoping it was going to go. When the night time began it appeared like issues had been going to set it again once more and that we had been destined to overlook this launch. 

View of the Artemis 1 Launch as seen from the Hampton Inn Cape Canaveral

However then at nearly 2 am, the announcement got here that the launch was a go! We rushed downstairs from our lodge the Cape Canaveral Hampton Inn to the car parking zone, which had surprisingly good views of the launch from proper exterior the room. Our little astronauts weren’t as much as see this second in historical past – which is just too dangerous as a result of Atlas actually loves all issues house. 


Woman and kids standing in front of the NASA Globe at the Kennedy space Center

Kennedy Area Heart

The subsequent morning, contemporary off the excessive of seeing a rocket launch into house and a bit brief on sleep we headed to the Kennedy Area Heart, which is the place the rocket took off from only some hours earlier. Of all of the issues we did in Area Coast, this was a giant hit with everybody. 

Just some steps in and we had been greeted with a group of large rockets from all durations of house exploration in what is named the Rocket Backyard. The youngsters cherished this space and even acquired to hop in a reproduction spacecraft stuffed with buttons and switches to fake for a couple of minutes that they had been astronauts. 

The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida - Top Family Attractions

All over the place you flip contained in the Kennedy Area Heart there are interactive displays the place you may apply issues like your house shuttle docking expertise or fake to pilot a ship by way of Outerspace!

The quantity of large life-sized house gear parked on website is so spectacular and provides you an actual really feel for the historical past of house exploration. Even for those who aren’t an enormous house geek, you really want to place this place in your bucket checklist. 

There’s additionally an enormous indoor playground which in fact is house themed. This can be a good place to get the youngsters transferring and it’s numerous enjoyable for each mini astronauts and children which might be on Outerspace overload. 

family meeting an astronut at the Keneddy space Center

We even acquired to have a snack with an astronaut which Atlas nonetheless to this present day talks about. We spent the entire day right here and I do know for a reality we didn’t see all of it!

 

We actually loved our time right here in Cocoa Seashore and the entire house coast – however we completely didn’t plan sufficient time right here. We left various stones unturned – however we all know we will certainly be again right here prior to later.

 


Drone photo of vero beach Florida at sunset with white text over

Vero Seashore

With historical past and house checked off of our checklist, it was time for some leisure time on the seaside. So we headed one other couple of hours down the coast to Vero Seashore. Everybody we talked to look to essentially love this little seaside city, so we determined to test it out for ourselves.  On our strategy to our last cease, we had a couple of stops deliberate earlier than we planted our toes within the sand. 

Feeding Animals at La Porte Farms in Sebastian Florida

LaPorte Farms

First up was LaPorte Farms house to an interactive zoo crammed with animals from all over the world. This little gem within the city of Sebastian is a enjoyable 5 acre non-profit farm that’s numerous enjoyable for teenagers. Right here you’ll discover all the pieces from cockatoos and chickens to Zebras and Zebus. We made pals with the entire animals by feeding them by hand. There are many displays and it’s a enjoyable strategy to spend a day with youngsters and animal lovers. 

Bust statue of Mel Fischer in the Mel Fischer Treasure Museum near Vero Beach

Mel Fisher Treasure Museum

We couldn’t go to Florida’s Treasure Coast with out a cease to Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum. Of the entire stops on this complete street journey, this museum was the cease that stunned me essentially the most. I’d heard of Mel Fisher, however I actually had no concept of the tales and the sheer quantity of treasures he and his crews truly discovered. His most notable discover was The Atocha, a Spanish shipwreck that had 40 tons of gold and silver onboard when it went down. When Mel’s staff discovered it in 1975, the treasure was valued at over 450 million {dollars}. 

I imply, simply take a look at this bust with gold chains hanging from Mel’s neck. Contained in the museum, they actually have a 5lb gold block the place the gold itself is value a minimum of $50,000 that they allow you to maintain. Nevertheless, the actually attention-grabbing half is that Mel Fisher and his staff solely discovered about half of the Atocha’s treasures. A big a part of the ship is believed to nonetheless be on the market. Important finds are nonetheless being made right now. And in case you are on the lookout for a carer change, they’re hiring full-time divers to search for treasure in Key West proper now. 

Family entering the ELC environmental Learning Center in Vero Beach FL

ELC – Environmental Studying Heart

One other enjoyable cease for teenagers is the Environmental Studying Heart or ELC because the locals name it. Right here we discovered 65 acres of pristine Florida wilderness. There’s an intensive system of trails and boardwalks that convey you between totally different ecosystems and displays on the property. Boat rides can be organized to discover much more of the Indian river and the character that surrounds the ELC. 

Woman walking on a bridge inside the McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach Florida - family getaway

MeKee Botanical Gardens

One in every of our favourite stops across the Vero Seashore space was the McKee Botanical Gardens. Getting into these lush gardens was like strolling straight into the jungle – if the jungle was finely manicured with coy ponds and stuff. However significantly simply take a look at this place. We most likely would have spent even longer right here if we didn’t stumble onto the tremendous enjoyable child’s space full with splash pad, and effectively – we proceeded to get utterly soaked – which reduce our go to a bit brief, however undoubtedly a worthwhile cease. It was time to move to our last cease, the seaside – and to the lodge for some dry garments.

View of the Kimpton Vero Beach at sunset right on the water

Vero Seashore

Our last cease in Florida was truly the primary place we noticed any noticeable results from any of the hurricanes in 2022. Trying down on the seaside it kinda appeared like somebody took a couple of large scoops of sand away, and proper after Hurricane Nicole there was some street injury that washed away half of the street alongside the shore. 

How a lot did it impression ou journey? by no means. The seaside remains to be attractive, the sunsets are nonetheless gorgeous, and from a vacationer perspective life was good, truly, it was higher than that – life was fairly nice. 

drone photo of the Kimpton Vero Beach on a family vacation to florida

Kimpton Vero Seashore 

After a busy week touring alongside Florida’s Atlantic Coast, it was time to settle in and chill out on the beachside Kimpton Vero Seashore Lodge. Our room was effectively appointed with a spacious dwelling space with loads of room for all of us. The lounge lead out to a balcony overlooking the pool with views of the ocean making the proper spot for morning espresso or a glass of wine after the youngsters had been down. 

View of the rooms at Kimpton Vero Beach

As soon as we acquired right here it was a bit arduous to depart – however that was comfortable with us. The Kimpton has two onsite eating places, a spa, a pleasant pool, and naturally – the seaside. One other bonus it was inside strolling distance of different close by sights, procuring, and eating. 

Of the entire enjoyable issues we did on this street journey, a number of the greatest reminiscences had been simply having some household time taking part in within the pool – splashing round and studying to drift and leap off the sting like little daredevils. The Kimpton Vero Seashore was the proper place to finish an action-pack journey. 

View of the Pool at the Kimpton Vero Beach at sunrise

And similar to that our Florida street journey is lights out like a child that performed too arduous within the pool. 


We hoped you loved touring alongside Florida’s Atlantic coast with us and exploring the entire historical past, lovely seashores, and the actually out-of-this-world actions. We additionally hope we confirmed you that the solar is shining in Florida and it’s prepared on your subsequent household trip!

 

 



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