If you’re looking for an authentic Florida experience not far from Walt Disney World, escape to Lake County. Lake County, Florida is truly at the center of the state, where 2 major highways intersect. There are over 250 named lakes in the county (hence the name!) Plus, Lake County has the advantage of being 20-40 minutes away from Walt Disney World.
Lake County Florida offers plenty of fun activities which we try to take advantage of as often as we can. I enjoy being a tourist in my own home town and discovering all that the area has to offer.
While summer is coming to a close, there’s still plenty of time to head out on the open road. We have trekked from Florida to Michigan at least once a year for the last twenty years. Not to mention several trips to other parts of the country and around Florida.
Here’s my round up for how we have a successful family road trip, since the kids were babies. Since we just completed one of our annual treks, I have to say I used several of these blogs I wrote, not to toot my own horn… get it…toot! (Yes, I crack myself up… that’s what happens when the road trip is 20 hours… you get a bit loopy!)
If you have visited my site for any length of time, you’ll know I live in Florida and love exploring the outdoors. I know many people don’t think of Florida other than Walt Disney World, Miami and plenty of beaches. With a state this large however, we’re so much more than that.
It’s easy to enjoy boating on any of the Florida Lakes. Recently a friend of ours rented a pontoon boat to take out through the chain of lakes in Clermont, Florida. It was a treat to spend the day on the water, swimming from the boat and leisurely exploring the area with friends.
I’ve always been a fan of Salvador Dali and the Dali Museum. The museum holds a special place in my heart as it’s one of the first trips my husband and I took when we were dating. The museum changed location since our first visit nearly 20 years ago, so we jumped at the chance to visit again on our most recent trip to St. Petersburg, Florida.
To me, visiting a museum is an intensely personal experience. Art, subjective as it is, affects us in different ways. That being said, I do think there are a few things to make your visit to any museum, including the Dali Museum, a more enjoyable and thorough visit.
We’ve lived in Florida for nearly two decades now. I’ve been to the Everglades, live near plenty of lakes and rivers, but I have never been on an airboat Everglades tour. That changed a few weeks ago when we got the extraordinary opportunity to tour the Everglades with Everglades Holiday Park Airboat Tours.
First, let me give you a little bit of background on the Everglades.
When I first moved to Florida, I worked for Walt Disney World, smack in the middle of the state. I didn’t know much about the beaches on either side of the state, let alone the Tampa Bay Beaches. While I still live in Central Florida, we try to take a trip to the beach as often as we can.
Over the years I’ve tried out a few different beaches, both Atlantic and Gulf side, and both south and north Florida. I have to say I like the beaches in the Tampa Bay area… which really is known as the St. Petersburg and Clearwater area. (Did you know Tampa isn’t really on the ocean, but on the bay? It’s Clearwater and St. Pete Beach that are ocean side)
Everyone has different expectations for what a great day at the beach means. I tried to write the following recommendations based on different perspectives.
Tucked away in an affluent residential neighborhood is Sun Dek Beach House in Ocean Ridge, Florida.
I can’t think of a better way to feel local yet still have all the comforts and amenities of a hotel than by staying at a place such as the Sun Dek. Plus, Ocean Ridge is central to many popular areas in South East Florida. Located in Palm Beach County, Sun Dek Beach House is near Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach among the more populous areas.
We stayed here for two nights in June and I fell in love with the vintage decor.
Last week I shared some travel planning tips on how to find a unique hotel. This week I’ll discuss the value in staying in an independently owned or family run hotel. You can have a pleasant, upscale experience without staying in a chain hotel.
I know going “off the chain” might make some people worry about quality control. Just because a hotel may be independently own doesn’t mean they may not be part of a larger organization, either local or statewide. These organizations audit the smaller hotels, only accepting hotels that meet a set criteria of standards.
If you’re looking for more than a cookie cutter hotel experience, you’re likely looking for an independently owned, family owned or unique hotel. These are not always easy to find via the big websites. Granted, sites such as Expedia and Booking.com do have the smaller unique hotels, but not every family run hotel finds it easy or even feasible to join these larger sites.
One of the things we look for when choosing lodging is an authentic experience. A few weeks ago I wrote about choosing either a home rental or hotel. We have found that we can get the same authentic experiences doing both. While you may need a little research to find a unique hotel, I can offer a few travel planning tips to get you there faster.
Pin7 Share1 Email Stumble TweetShares 8Here the 50 State Visitor’s Bureaus or Tourism Websites in Alphabetical Order Alabama Tour Alabama Vacation Guide Requests 1-800-ALABAMA Alaska Travel Alaska Vacation Planning Information 1-888-256-6784 Arizona Arizona Guide Official State Visitor Guide 1-866-275-5816 Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism Vacation Kit/Fishing Guide 1-800-NATURAL California California Tourism Official State