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Friday, September 30, 2016

3 Natural Springs in North & Central Florida

Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Juniper Springs is a subtropical paradise located in the middle of the Ocala National Forest. The water temperature of the crystal clear water is 72 degrees year round.

We decided to stop by Juniper Springs on our way back home from a cruise out of Tallahassee. I wish we would have allowed more time to explore the area! It is one of those places that doesn’t feel quiet real. It is so pretty!

Address :

26701 FL-40
Silver Springs, FL 34488

Fanning Springs State Park

Fanning Springs State Park is a great place for swimming, snorkeling, or watching manatees. 

We drove past this places and decided to go back and check it out. I am so glad we did!

We drove past this places and decided to go back and check it out. I am so glad we did!

There were a couple of manatees swimming around with the people. This is the first time for me to see manatees so close. It was a little too cool of a day for me to get in the water, but the couple swimming said that the temperature of the water was comfortable. I will definitely go back when the weather is warmer!

*Remember that it is against the law to harass manatees. Look, but don’t touch!

18020 N.W. HWY 19
Fanning Springs, FL 32693

Manatee Springs State Park

Manatee Springs is a popular place for snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and spotting manatees.

 A long boardwalk allows for a quite stroll through Cyprus trees.

It is common to see deer throughout the park, many times walking right up to you.

I have been to Manatee Springs twice and have yet to see a manatee!  It is a very interesting place though. It seems a little bit like “Jurassic Park” to me… maybe because the first visit was right after a rain storm. It was cloudy and foggy.

The second time was early morning and there were hundreds of buzzards flying around our heads!

11650 NW 115 Street
Chiefland, FL 32626

Happy Travels! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Exploring Sanibel Island, Florida: 10 Must-Do Activities

  1.  J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge 
The J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to see birds and wildlife in their natural habit.The 6,300 acre refuge has many trails for hiking and biking or you can drive along the 4.5-mile Wildlife Drive.(More information here)

2. Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum 
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a great place to learn about sea shells found on Sanibel and from around the world.  Guided beach walks with a marine biologist are offered in addition to the daily programs.  Advanced booking for the beach walk is required. (More information here)

   3.  Sanibel and Captiva Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
The Sanibel and Captiva Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center is a good place to find out about restaurants, lodging, and tours available on the island. (More information here)

   4. Shelling
Looking for shells is the most popular thing to do on Sanibel Island. Over 100 different shells can be found on the beaches. (More information on shelling here & here)

5. Sanibel Lighthouse 
It is a 120 year old lighthouse located on Sanibel Lighthouse beach. It is not open to the public, but you can walk around it.

   6. Dolphin Cruises
Leaving from the Sanibel Marina, you can choose either the The Sanibel Thriller, the “Stars & Stripes” Motor Launch Cruise, or a private cruise.  All are great for viewing dolphins. (More information here)

   7. Sunset
Watching a Sanibel sunset is a great way to end each day.

   8. Fishing
The fishing is fantastic on Sanibel!  You can choose to fish offshore with one of the fishing charters, rent your own boat, or fish from one of the beaches, bridges, or docks. The Causeway, Blind Pass Bridge and the pier on the bay side are some of the most popular places to fish.

   9. Cruise to Cayo Costa
The Cayo Costa Beach & Shelling Cruise is a fun way to spend a few hours. Shelling, snorkeling, exploring, and relaxing on the beach are just some of the things to do on Cayo Costa. (More information here)

   10. Pinocchio’s Italian Ice Cream
A great way to cool off in the afternoon is by enjoying a Pinocchio’s ice cream. The place is so colorful, the ice cream is delicious, and they always put an animal cookie on top.🙂 (More information here)

Happy Travels! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Best of Islamorada - Florida Keys

When I start dreaming about another trip to the Florida Keys, I’m not thinking about laying on a beach in Key West or snorkeling in Key Largo….. I’m thinking about Islamorada! I love everything about the place! It’s right in the middle of everything. It has pretty beaches, great snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and good places to eat without all of the crowds. It is located about half way between Key West and Key Largo, which makes it perfect for a day trip in either direction.

Where to Stay

1)  Chesapeake Beach Resort 

The Chesapeake Beach Resort has nice clean accommodations surrounded by tropical gardens at a reasonable price. Spend some time playing tennis, kayaking, swimming in one of the heated pools, or just relaxing in a hammock. This place is the perfect place to get away from it all and have fun!

Address: 83409 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

2) Pines and Palms

While visiting the Pines and Palms, we stayed in an ocean view suite. It was minimal, but clean. What sold us on the places was the grounds. The area was beautifully landscaped with stunning views of the water. We spent hours in the pool overlooking the ocean and then lounged in the hammocks.

Address: 80401 Old Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Where to Eat

1).  Island Grill 

The perfect upbeat place. Loved the live entertainment. 

Address: 85501 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

2). Islamorada Fish Company

Good food with a laid back feel. Very relaxing.

Address: 81532 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Places to Visit

1). Anne’s Beach

This Lower Matecumbe Key beach is located on the oceanside, but there is almost no wave action due to the wide expanse of shallow water typical for Florida Keys beaches.

Located at Mile Marker 73, there are two parking area ¼ mile apart with a boardwalk connecting the areas.

Address: Mile marker 73, Overseas Highway

2). Robbie's

A trip to the Keys would not be complete without a visit to the famous Robbie’s to feed the tarpon.

Address: 77522 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

It is also a great place to charter a fishing trip or snorkeling adventure.

Happy Travels! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sunrise Garden Resort (Review) Anna Maria, Florida

Set among a lush tropical landscape in a quiet residential area, The Sunrise Garden Resort is the perfect place to enjoy the laid back feel of Anna Maria Island. The Resort is located on the north end of the island and is within walking distance of the beach and the City Pier.

The view from the street.

Brick pathways connect all of the suites and the pool area.

Each suite has a private patio surrounded by palm trees and tropical plants.

The view from our front door. I would love to just move into this place! :)

We loved the gorgeous pool area!

A cute little color fish statue was right outside our suite.

The suites are beautifully decorated, spacious and clean.

Large suites with full kitchen or kitchenette
Heated swimming pool
Laundry facilities
Friendly staff
Great location
Very clean suites
Beautiful grounds
Free WiFi throughout the property
Barbecue grill
Tropical patios
Pet friendly

I cannot think of one thing that I would change about this place! It is amazing!

Happy Travels! ~ Sherri