Florida Edit

Who’s truly experienced Florida? I thought I had.

I’ve been to Florida and the U.S. In general more times than I can remember. Now I’m extremely lucky to have been able to travel there many times, but going to the same place repeatedly really numbs you to that environment. I mean the world is huge! There are so many places to see so why go back to the same places over and over … Well, that’s just it, the world is huge because there is so much in it and I forgot how much is actually in Florida. Which is why I was shocked by my most recent trip there.

Experiencing Kissimmee

After an unusually long 9 hour flight, Into Orlando, we were lucky enough to get an evenings rest at the Omni Orlando Resort before our jam-packed week began.

Wild Florida…Who Knew?

Sloths! Sorry, I couldn’t even wait to intro them…but we’ll get back to that later. Who’s heard of an Airboat tour before? I know for me prior to actually going on one my only reference to them was from this old Simpsons episode. They’re actually fantastically fun! We got taken around through the swamps, marshes and rivers in the Central Florida Everglades getting up close with Alligators, Herron and even the odd Cow.

AirBoat

WildFloridaAirboats are also a fully functioning Wildlife Park, which is why I was lucky enough to get up close to baby sloths! Which are pretty much one of the most adorable animals I’ve seen up close.

Celebration

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to move somewhere more quickly in my life. The town that Disney built, as it’s famously known. This town guys, is like nostalgia meets fairytale meets … The Truman show? I mean picturesque neighbourhoods and amazing architecture full of colour, which mostly just made me hungry because they reminded me of cakes.

Biking around the town gave us such a great peak into the in’s and out’s of these beautiful neighbourhoods, surrounded by greenery and animals.

Celebration rental

SeaWorld

Now I’m probably the first person who can point out a lot of animal injustice in the world and have to admit I did have a lot of presumptions about SeaWorld …mostly negative prior to my most recent experience there.

What I can tell you is despite their dark past SeaWorld has been doing a lot in terms of animal rescue, rehabilitation and public education that really made me open my eyes.

Generally, the direction I see them going towards is educating the young in a way they see animal safety and preservation as a top priority whilst balancing that out with a fun family day out at a theme park.

Crystal River

I feel as though I could write a whole essay just on this town! It was just a part of Florida that kept on giving and was a defining moment in my trip.

So after an exhausting day having the most exhilarating time at Universal Orlando! (I mean you might as well spend a day being a big kid again). We sat down to dinner after a long car journey, at the Katch Twenty-Two restaurant. Usually, I try not to judge a book by its cover, Katch Twenty-Two made that a bit harder with its ‘local dining’ facade. I don’t think I’ve been so pleasantly surprised in my life! Hidden in this small town in Florida is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at with the most lovely customer service. I would fly back tomorrow just to eat there again.

The Plantation

We stayed at The Plantation on Crystal River a 200+ acre eco resort which was beyond the perfect setting for our time in Crystal River.

Plantation
Our first day had us up in the early hours of the morning swimming with Manatees! This was such a rewarding experience, to get up close to these gentle giants and learn so much about them.

Although here’s a top tip: Pee beforehand and do not drink too much water. Otherwise, you’ll be close to the edge guys, Trust me.

Chassahowitzka River

That particular day just kept on giving. The afternoon saw us Kayaking through the Chassahowitzka River where we not only saw more Manatees but felt as though we had left Florida and were dropped smack bang in the middle of the Amazon.

Chassahowitzka River 1

A vast valley of clear water surrounded by untamed greenery leading off to hidden paths in all directions, can anyone else see heaven?! I was definitely deep in my comfort zone it was such a perfect way to end our time in Crystal River.

Daytona Beach

I’ve probably been dreaming of Daytona since I’ve left! So saying that it definitely did not disappoint…Miami what?

International Speedway

Daytona Race Track

So have you ever gone 170mph+ in a 600HP NASCAR? Because it’s freaking awesome! Kicking off our Daytona experience was a (Richard Petty) Driving experience on the Daytona International Speedway. Having never really understood the ‘hype’ around NASCAR my short experience here really changed my mind.

Daytona Racing

I don’t think I’ve ever had a better-timed hotel arrival than the one at Hampton Inn Daytona Beach Oceanfront. Walking into my room I was hit with the sun just as it touches the water creating the most beautiful sunset streaming into my room, it was that view we all dream about when booking a holiday. We didn’t even have to rush down to catch it on the beach as the hotel was smack bang on the ocean front, probably less than a minute from my room to having my feet in the ocean.

Paddle Boarding

I wasn’t the biggest fan of paddle boarding after my experience in Indonesia, where I spent most of the time in the water trying to get back on the board. My experience at Three Brothers Boards definitely changed my opinion.

Three Brothers

Besides the great experience around the Daytona bay marina, the guidance provided by the instructor was so supportive. By letting me go at my own pace, it really improved my confidence and put me at ease, more so than I would have ever been doing it alone. By the end of the experience, I was more comfortable than ever and really enjoyed my time out on the water.

Eco-Boat Tour

Time to extend anyone? Re-schedule a flight to spend one more day in Florida… why not!? I mean I can’t be missing out on an Eco-Boat Tour! What a fantastic way to conclude my new adventures In Florida, then one last time getting up close to birds, alligators and even a few more manatees mixed in with a lovely cultural throwback for the area, courtesy to our amazing captain Doug Little on the St. Johns River Eco-Tour.

Now I know this is definitely going to be one of my longest posts so I commend you if you’ve read this far in. It’s always the worst feeling when a fantastic trip ends! Mostly because all those amazing moments are now memories. The great thing about blogging is I get to share these great moments with you but now you can take all this and go make your own!

MonkOut.


Pin This Post And Share The Love.

Florida Edit - Pin


[Please Note this trip was sponsored by Vist Florida – all opinions in this post are my own]

39 thoughts on “Florida Edit

  1. Wow, that is a long list of things to do in Florida. I have been to Florida only once and I ended up spending most of my time at the Disneyland Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios. Would definitely love to go paddleboarding one day and the Airboat tour sounds like so much fun.

    Like

  2. We live in Georgia, so we visit Florida often – there are tons to see in the state, and I guess since you are sponsored by Visit Florida, you are given the touristy spots of the state!
    Thank you for sharing, travel safe!

    Halef
    the Round the World Guys

    Like

  3. Looks like you had loads of fun! Ive been to Florida a couple times, but haven’t done all of this! I want to see a sloth so bad, they are so adorable! I know what I’ll be doing my next trip to Florida.

    Like

  4. I’m from Florida and I went to college in Boca Raton, and grew up in Pembroke Pines.
    This was a great list of activities.

    Like

  5. Wow looks and sounds like you had a great time. I’m making my shortlist of holiday destinations and Florida is definitely on the list now! I’ve never been to the U.S before and there seem to be so many nice places!

    Like

  6. I love Florida. I lived on the east coast of Florida (just a bit north of West Palm Beach) and loved every minute of my 1 year adventure. We lived on the intercoastal waterway and I had a dock in my back yard with my own rowboat; it was truly paradise to sit on the patio or the sunporch and have coffee while watching the kayakers go by and the fish jump in the air. I cannot wait to move back there.

    Like

  7. Great round up post on various places In Florida! We love Kissimmee. We have spent s lot of
    Time three over the years. My parents have a house not far from that in Davenport. You’ve listed quite a few fun places to visit here!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s