Although the state of Florida is not exactly an island, the truth is that it is a cultural and geographic world by itself. Visitors will find a fantastic variety of experiences in which it is (appropriately) known as the “Sunshine State” (“The State of the Sun”), from picturesque cities that emanate the southern charm of the United States, in the northern part of the peninsula from the state, to the cosmopolitan melting pot of the Miami coast. On this road trip through Florida, you will travel from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the only state in the country where you can swim in both bodies of water in a matter of hours (although you will want to stay a few days to really enjoy this experience).
St. Petersburg: Art and entertainment on the Gulf Coast
Take a flight at the Tampa International Airport (TPA) and rent a car (how about a convertible?) To live an adventure full of sun and sand. From the airport, head southwest to St. Petersburg, a relaxed city with a youthful and vibrant feel surrounded by white sand beaches. Enjoy the microbreweries, the tiki bars next to the beach and a lively art scene (including the Dalí Museum [Dalí Museum], which has the largest collection of works by Salvador Dalí outside of Spain). First visit the Edge District to take pictures of urban murals worthy of a closeup. Explore independent owner stores, galleries and restaurants and then cool off with a craft beer at Green Bench Brewing.
A short drive to the east takes you to the city center, which faces the sea, in addition to the North Straub Park, where you can admire the great views of Tampa Bay(Tampa Bay). Make sure you take a picture in front of the huge banyan trees. Art lovers can visit the Museum of Fine Arts or the St. Petersburg Museum of History, both located a few steps from the park. Are you ready to end the day? Enjoy a cocktail while you enjoy the changing hues of sunset at The Canopy, the stylish rooftop bar at The Birchwood boutique hotel. Then, visit any of the casual, upscale restaurants in downtown St. Pete. Think about staying one night, because the second day will be to enjoy it on the bright white sands of St. Pete Beach (St. Pete Beach), where you can admire the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You will have available beach rentals, Water sports and restaurants. If you prepare to leave around noon, you will have enough time to get to the next stop: Sanibel Island (Sanibel Island).
Sea, sand and shells on Sanibel Island
If you head south along the Florida Gulf coast, you will see the imposing archway of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge (Sunshine Skyway Bridge). It is 131 meters high and passes over the crystal clear waters of Tampa Bay. The Skyway is a great work of engineering, not to mention that it offers you an unparalleled opportunity to take photos. You cannot stop at the bridge, so take pictures when you go as a passenger, or from the mainland, in the rest areas located on the north and south side of the bridge. Take an additional quick tour to learn the history of Florida at the Historic Spanish Point, in Osprey. Then, eat at the Snook Haven Restaurant, an Old Florida-style place in Venice and continue your trip to Sanibel Island.
Sanibel is located off the coast of Fort Myers. Its unique orientation from east to west makes thousands of seashells accumulate on its beaches. Head to Bowman’s Beach (Bowman’s Beach) and discover what is known as “Sanibel Stoop” (“Sanibel inclination”), a name that refers to the curve that seekers find on the beach when they are inclined to pick up shells to take home. Sanibel is flat and ideal for cycling (there is not a single traffic light on the island), so rent one and go through the beautiful landscapes and huge mansions. Follow the biking trails to the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge (JN National Wildlife Refuge “Ding” Darling). This is one of the best places in Florida to observe birds, since it has more than 245 species, including the hard to find pink spatula. Set aside a one-night stay in this tropical paradise. You will find a wide variety of accommodations, from family hotels to luxury resorts facing the sea. Just make sure you wake up early to head to your next destination: the Everglades.
Explore the largest subtropical wild nature in the United States: Everglades National Park
You can take Interstate 75 south (Interstate 75 south), but remember that small roads are usually more panoramic. Choose to drive through the US 41 / Tamiami Trail (US Route 41 or Tamiami Road) to tour the coastal cities and experience the various facets of Southwest Florida. Stop to stretch your legs on the Royal Palm Hammock hiking trail in Collier-Seminole State Park, a hidden gem that has an observation deck. Or, visit the Kirby Storter Roadside Park (Kirby Storter Roadside Park), located a little further south, with a lovely walk on wooden platforms through the mature cypresses. Continue driving east on the Alligator Alley, toward the center of the Everglades.
These vast and vast spaces of protected wetlands hide countless animals, from hundreds of species of birds to black bears, alligators and the rare Florida panther. The Shark Valley Visitor Center is located approximately halfway along the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. Visit the place to take the narrated tram ride for two hours. You will undoubtedly see dozens of turtles, birds and alligators. Walk the spiral path that leads to the observation tower and prepare your camera for the wide views of the famous “River of Grass” (“river of grass”). In addition, you can rent a bicycle and explore the 24-kilometer circuit at your own pace. In addition to camping, there are no other accommodations in the area to spend the night, so continue the trip until the last stop: Miami. See how the horizon changes from the untamed Everglades to the growing city skyline.
Cuban culture and the fashionable beaches in spectacular Miami
MiamiIt is a cosmopolitan destination, with a huge diversity that combines a variety of suburbs, from the historic Spanish-style roofs of Coral Gables to the noisy nightclubs of South Beach (South Beach). The influence of the Latin culture is rooted in the daily life of the area. Wherever you go, Spanish is as common as English. West of downtown Miami, are Little Havana (Little Havana) and its main attraction, Calle Ocho (8th Street). This place grew to become a tourist and cultural mecca. Walking tours guided by local experts are an excellent way to delve into the history of the area. The stops include Domino Park (Parque Domino), whose formal name is Máximo Gómez Park (Parque Máximo Gómez), where you can see the locals having fun and playing dominoes. Are you hungry? Visit one of the typical restaurants of the place, the Versailles Restaurant, for a feast of Cuban gastronomy or simply to ask for acortadito (espresso coffee cut with milk) from the window (a take-away window). For dessert, savor a cake (cuban cake) from a local bakery.
Once you have satisfied your appetite for Cuban food, drive east on the overpass to get to South Beach. South Beach is truly an experience that should be on the list of things to do in life, with its world-class restaurants, its tropical beaches and unlimited entertainment. The Lummus Park (Lummus Park) has some of the best spots to take pictures of the Art Deco buildings located along Ocean Drive, the main avenue of the beach. Dress in your most fashionable attire to enjoy sunset drinks on the rooftop of Juvia (the views of South Beach and the Atlantic Ocean are absolutely beautiful) and party until the early hours in the bars and night clubs of the first class.
Do You Know about Main Street in Ann Arbor?
Central Ann Arbor has several distinct shopping areas in Ann Arbor, but Main Street, with its mix of (mostly) locally-owned restaurants, coffee shops and boutique shopping, makes it a destination for tourists and townies.