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My Ultimate Florida Road Trip

ultimate florida road trip


In case you haven’t heard, I’m currently on my way down to Florida for a press trip I’ve organized myself in cooperation with many destinations. I’ve already listed the details on a page, but I wanted to present it as a post and to add details that I’ve just received!

In an effort to see more of my own country, I’m planning the Ultimate Florida Road Trip. I visited much of the state as a child, since it was where the next-closest beaches were located, but I’m excited to visit again as an adult. In fact, I haven’t been since the above photo was taken on a spring break trip to Miami and the Keys back in 2005. I met with a number of tourist boards at World Travel Market about partnering up for this project. This is the perfect timing for such a trip, since the state of Florida is celebrating Viva 500, the 500th year of settlement in the state.

I’ve already started pinning onto my Ultimate Florida Road Trip Pinterest board, as well as planning through the AFAR Highlights. If you see anything I should add to my itinerary, be sure to send me an email at If your company or property is interested in becoming one of my sponsors, contact me also!

Be sure to follow the #UltFLRoadTrip on Twitter and Instagram for updates! I will also be updating the Ultimate Florida Road Trip Pinterest board (see above) as I find fun things to do in each city!

April 22-23: St. Augustine

St. Augustine

As one of the oldest cities in America, I’m not sure how I’ve never been here. It seems right up my alley! The St. Augustine visitor’s center has provided me with a pass to see the city’s attractions, like Flagler College, the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth and the St. Augustine Lighthouse, as well as the new Pirate and Treasure Museum and Colonial Quarter. They’ve also set me up at the Comfort Inn and Suites, close to the outlets in case I need want to do some shopping. And oh yes, St. Augustine has some fantastic food, so expect some drool-worthy Instagrams.

I will also be stopping in between St. Augustine and Cocoa Beach in New Smyrna Beach for an early morning stand-up paddle boarding session with East Coast Paddle! I’ve never done it before so let’s hope I don’t fall in. But I’m in great hands, as the company also makes their own boards!

April 24-25: Cape Canaveral, Space Coast, Melbourne and Cocoa Beach

Space Coast

The Space Coast is somewhere I went as a child and I’m very excited to revisit the area now that I know more about NASA and its programs. Even though they aren’t launching shuttles from the site, there is plenty to see! I’ll start at the Brevard Zoo to play with the critters, followed by a sunset kayaking tour with A Day Away Tours. And no trip to the Space Coast would be complete without a trip to the Kennedy Space Center, where I get to have lunch with an astronaut! They also have a new Angry Birds Space Encounter. I also plan on catching up with family in Melbourne. I’ve booked a room at Cocoa Beach Suites, right next to the beach.

April 26-27: Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has an amazing campaign that immediately sucked me in with one word: sunny. During a rainy afternoon in London, what more was I looking for? There is so much to see and experience, from staying with the Seminole Indians in the Everglades to the Arts Park to the famous Rocket Man! I’ve received a VIP pass to check out many of the city’s attractions, including an airboat ride in Sawgrass Recreation Park, indoor race carting, riverfront cruise, snorkeling and sailing. I’m still looking for a hotel if you have any recommendations!

April 28-30: Miami


I’m eager to soak up the South Beach chic on a budget. I love the Cuban and Caribbean influenced cuisine as well as world famous street art. Thankfully Anthony Bourdain recently filmed an episode of The Layover there, so I have plenty of restaurant recommendations. I’m very excited to see the Wynwood Art District with Roam Rides street art tours. I will stay at The Freehand Miami, a fabulous new hostel that puts most hotels to shame. They have a poolside bar, weekly yoga classes and a full restaurant!

May 1: Everglades National Park and Florida City

I am spending the night in the Everglades just for this one quirky hostel I’ve read about. They’re just a short ride away from the alligators and swamp boats that this region is known for. There’s also the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, one of the foremost scuba sites in the world, as well as the Coral Castle, a mysterious landmark made entirely of local coral.

May 2-3: Key Largo, Marathon and Islamorada


Key Largo will play host to the first annual Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, hosted by Stephen Bogart, Bogart’s son, and film critic Leonard Maltin. The festival will hold a number of events and of course, screenings of Bogey’s most famous movies. I will also plan a trip to the famous African Queen boat that the film made famous. I also hope to get in a dive while I’m here! I will use Key Largo as a base to explore Marathon and Islamorada. I will be staying at the historic Tavernier Inn.

May 4-5: Key West and Dry Tortugas

Key West is as colorful as a place gets, known affectionately as the Conch Republic. Once home to Ernest Hemingway, I will be exploring the Old Town and enjoying the many restaurants and bars along Caroline Street, of course. I hope to make a trip to the Dry Tortugas as well!

3 Responses to My Ultimate Florida Road Trip

  1. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy April 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    You’re going to Dry Tortugas! I’ve always considered that to be one of the coolest national parks around, and I have yet to make it there. Great idea to organize this trip on your own – I’ve been planning something similar with Texas. I love Key West and the Everglades, but this post reminds me that there are big sections of Florida I haven’t spent enough time in yet.

  2. Christie May 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    Looks like a lot of fun! I haven’t been to the Keys yet, but they have always been on my list.

  3. Jean Francois June 5, 2016 at 4:04 am #

    Hi Caroline,

    It looks a very busy itinerary and I hope you can keep up with it all. How long do you spend in planning and how much has to change ‘on the fly’ when you’re actually taking the trip? Do you have secondary plans in case the primary ones have to change at short notice?

    You have a lovely writing style and it looks like you enjoy keeping yourself busy.

    I wish you the best of success and hope that your travels always work the way you wish them to.

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