Making the Most of Florida When It’s Flat

Florida from a distinct standpoint. Picture: Rebecca Parsons

The Inertia

Florida has been on my bucket checklist for a extensive time. I have examine a good deal of publications established in Florida and have dreamt of traveling to the Sunshine Condition for many years. Mainly, I needed to kayak through the mangroves, examine the reefs, and visit the Keys. But, I also required to surf. I’d been warned that Florida was not the location to go for a surf trip, but I’d noticed video clips of some strong swells and Kelly Slater is from Florida, so I figured it would be well worth a visit. In December, I determined it was time to cease dreaming and go. So, my boyfriend and I booked a flight with small anticipations and superior hopes.

When we landed, the temperature was fantastic, but the waves were as flat as the condition of Florida. I acquired to get the job done reorganizing my thoughts and ideas and made the decision to make the most of the trip and expertise all of the other joys Florida has to offer you. Despite the absence of surfing, it nevertheless turned out to be an unbelievable trip.

Amelia Island

Amelia Island was lovely, regardless of the lack of waves. Picture: Rebecca Parsons

We flew into Orlando and rented a automobile to street journey to the northern conclusion of the point out. Our primary approach was to cease at Daytona Beach front or New Smyrna Seaside for a speedy surf, but after examining the report, we determined it was not worth it and pressed on to Amelia Island.

Amelia Island was beautiful. The beaches had been extended with dunes working together them — it pretty much felt like we have been in North Carolina. We checked with a nearby surf shop and found out the island does get waves, but it was flat and windy for the period of our stay. As a substitute of surfing, we opted to run the beach and trip cruiser bikes together the myriad of bike paths. We visited Fernandina Beach front, the closet town, a number of periods and appreciated going for walks all around checking out the historic district. We appreciated meals at the Salty Pelican, which was a sit-down cafe with dive bar vibes and Timoti’s Seafood Shak, which had outstanding tacos and a lovable outdoor patio.

Cocoa Beach

Property to good surf, often. Picture: Rebecca Parsons

A excursion to Florida would not be entire without a halt at Cocoa Seaside. Even though the surf report was not promising, we had our heart’s set on using waves. We stopped at Ron Jons Surf Store, aka the world’s largest surf shop, and performed tourist for a little bit. For the reason that the report was little, we rented substantial volume gentle tops and headed toward the pier. Though the surf wasn’t good, there ended up waves and we experienced a fantastic time messing all around on the foamies. Right after conversing with some of the locals, we uncovered that the waves experienced been head-substantial to overhead the week ahead of. Future time, I’ll do my homework and strategy my excursion in accordance to the swell.

The Keys

Positioned off the southern tip of Florida and stretching 120 miles, the Keys are residence to 800 very small island, or keys. To access the Keys, you generate the Overseas Highway, which is one of the longest overwater roadways in the world and features 42 bridges. The push is remarkable and was a great welcome to the Keys.

Island Bay Vacation resort, the great spot to rest your head in the Florida Keys. Image: Rebecca Parsons

Where by to Stay

We spent the past four days of our excursion in the Keys and put in a large amount of time debating in which and on which vital we preferred to keep. We ultimately resolved to keep on Important Largo because it was close to reefs for snorkeling and diving, presented quick entry to the Everglades, and wasn’t far too far from the airport for our return excursion.

We stayed at Island Bay Vacation resort, a boutique vacation resort in Tavernier. It features ten cottages, total with kitchenettes and island type décor. The resort experienced a adorable seaside place, with kayaks and paddleboards readily available for exploring the close by mangroves. The entrepreneurs were being valuable with scheduling actions, and it was easy to come and go from the resort — it was the great location for adventuring and accessing the surrounding keys.

“Wasted absent once more in Margaritville.” Picture: Rebecca Parsons

Where to Take in

When in the Florida Keys, seafood is a will have to. In Important Largo, The Fish Home was the put to go, with lines out the door and lots of wonderful seafood choices on give. If you are not a fan of fish, C&C Wood Fired Eats has outstanding pizza. The daughter of a longtime parrot head, we realized we had to halt by Margaritaville when we visited Key West. We went to the Margaritaville Beach front Household and enjoyed a sunset dinner at the Tin Cup Chalice Bar and Chill, whilst Jimmy Buffet’s tropical tunes performed in the background — definitely truly worth a stop by if you’re a Buffett supporter.

Discovering the mangroves was a highlight. Image: Rebecca Parsons

What to Do

With so a great deal to see and do, 4 times wasn’t more than enough time in the Florida Keys. Snorkeling and diving ended up priorities for us, so we booked a non-public snorkeling tour with Snorkel the Keys. Our guideline was friendly and professional and the reef was remarkable and shallow more than enough to absolutely free dive. To get our fill of diving, we also booked a scuba dive with Horizon Divers. They took us to two shallow shipwrecks. As new divers, it was unbelievable to expertise a wreck without the need of getting to go far too deep – the bordering reef was spectacular as properly.

We also took a working day to push the length of the Keys and finished at Key West wherever we walked the city, frequented the aquarium, and used some time at the seashore. Critical West was far more crafted up than I envisioned, but I appreciated the historic facet of the city. On our final day in Florida, we stopped by Everglades Countrywide Park, exactly where we did a couple of hikes, kayaked by way of the mangroves, and awed at the nearby crocodiles. From there, we built our way to Fort Lauderdale airport to return household. Despite the fact that we didn’t get in as a great deal surfing as we’d hoped, we had a fantastic time creating the most of Florida when it was flat.