Okay so back in March I did this crazy thing called “spontaneously traveled across Florida” for spring break. Then the following month I did this other crazy thing called “I forgot to blog about it.” So here we are a little over a month later, and I finally am ready to put words to my amazing week.
Orlando has been my home for the past eight months, and somehow I managed to only see that part of Florida during my time here. So this spring break, I thought about all the fun things I could do in my city to keep myself entertained over our nine day break. Of course there was Disney and Universal, but I wanted to try something new and exciting. Then one day, an angel in the form of my boyfriend surprised me with a road trip across the state, with the plans to hit up each major city along the way.
With a map in hand, we decided to hit up Clearwater Beach, Tampa, Naples, the Everglades, and Miami, before scooping back up to Orlando for a final magical day at Disney. After a trip to the grocery store to stock up on snacks, and the making of a killer Spotify playlist, we were ready to hit the road.
After a short three hour drive, we made it to our first destination in Clearwater Beach. The sky was gloomy and the water wasn’t as clear as expected, but the town was cute and the beach was poppin. It was a cute little town, designed for tourists, with its beachfront lined with hotels, and lots of shops and activities located right on the beach.
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With this being my first experience on the Gulf Coast, I realized that the water isn’t out to get me and can actually be kind of relaxing. After a dip in the water, a nap on the beach, and a walk across the pier, we were ready to head out. Yet on our way out we were greeted by the greatest of street performers, a father-son stunt show.
It was an exciting beginning to our adventure and the day ended with our first restaurant featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Taco Bus. A Tampa staple that started out as a food truck and evolved into a chain around the city. It did not disappoint.
Day two we hit the ground running and headed straight to Naples Beach. After a long car ride, we were greeted by the luxurious beach town designed for rich white people to vacation at. So of course our college minds pretended to be boujee and blend right in.
Let me just tell you that Naples is probably the nicest place ever. The sand was incredibly soft, the water was a shade of blue that I didn’t even know was natural, and the palm trees lined every corner. I set a goal right then and there to be successful enough in my career to eventually move there because you bet my suburban ass will be settling in one of those white picket fence lined beach houses.
It was the most relaxing of beaches with the warmest water. So warm that there were at least ten or so dolphins out swimming with us; it was incredible.
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After basking in the sun, we got cleaned up and got a lil fancy to head out and explore 5th Ave South, their shopping and dining district. We dined at the classiest of burger joints, Brook’s Burgers and Dogs, where we were blessed with gourmet perfection. I had a donut burger which was literal heaven, and Josh’s burger was torched in front of him to perfectly caramelize the pineapple. This place deserves the best because wow. Just wow. That’s all I have to say.
Afterwards we wandered the streets and wished we had enough money to live in luxury before settling in for the night.
Day three we were headed for the Everglades. Spoiler alert, they weren’t as exciting as elementary school science hyped up. After driving through “Panther Crossing” signs, we stopped at the welcome center to pick up some literature on what we could possibly do with our time here. My goal was to see a real life gator.
In Everglades City, there was a free museum that we checked out to get fully educated about what we were about to see.
We stopped at the first checkpoint where the gulf met the glades and explored around there for awhile without any luck of finding cool wildlife. Without an air boat reservation, we decided to just drive through and see what we wanted on our own accord. Plus the road lead straight to Miami so we were set.
Okay well that road turned out to be the most boring road in history. It went on for about an hour and a half with no exits down a single lane of swamp. Yet I did see my first and only Florida gator basking on the side of the road so that was super exciting!
Once the road finally ended, we were thrilled to find civilization on the brink of Miami. After a quick bite for lunch, we headed into the city and straight to Instagram Hoe heaven, the Wynwood Walls.
Wynwood Walls is part of one of the many art districts in downtown Miami. Blocks of buildings covered in murals line the streets and it’s perfect for the cliche wall pics, aka my aesthetic. I made Josh be the perfect Instagram boyfriend as he took countless photos of me in hundreds of different poses until I found the perfect ones to post. I was in heaven.
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After posing in front of at least every single wall, we were ready to check out what Miami was all about and headed to the beach. We decided to checkout South Beach for the night and walked all the way down to the end. Three chincey gift shops later and we finally reached our second Guy Fieri stop of the tour, Taquiza. Handmade blue corn tortilla’s lined with pure Miami spice made the thirty-six block walk worth it. Thanks Guy Fieri for another A+ destination, we can always count on you!
After entering a food coma and walking outside to a windchill of 62 degrees, we decided to spare our selves and use bike share to get back. On that note, we called it a night.
The next morning, we started with a sunrise walk on the beach. We planned to stay at the beach all day but with weather in the fifties, we decided to head back a little early.
On our way home, we took a quick pit stop in Vero Beach and it was just as cute as I heard. A cute little shopping district across from a beach from park reminded me of a nicer version of Clearwater. It also gave me serious Stone Harbor vibes from back home and I definitely intend on taking a staycation at the Disney Vero Beach Resort in the future.
After finally returning home, we decided to sleep the next thirty-six hours away to prep for our day at Disney. I considered it to be a personal victory that I was able to get my prince to come with me to my happy place. What better place to end our trip and celebrate six months of dating than at the Magic Kingdom?
We started the day at MK, followed by Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, than Hollywood Studios just in time to catch Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. As if we weren’t exhausted enough, we headed back to Magic Kingdom to ride a few more things before it closes, and even made it on Mine Train a good forty-five minutes after park close. What a magical experience to see the kiss goodnight with the one I love.
It was a trip for the books and I’m not sure how we are going to top it. Next road trip together is in T-10 days as we head to the glamorous…Pittsburgh, PA!! I’m a little reluctant on going home for the summer, but I know the journey will be worth while with Josh by my side.