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S&W Florida vacation must see things from FL Natives?


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Going to double post this as I am not sure how much traffic the other area gets here. http://forum.mopar1973man.com/threads/7955-S-amp-W-Florida-vacation-must-see-things-from-FL-Natives?p=76038#post76038 My wife and I are headed to south west Florida in a few weeks for a week long get away. As the title says we are looking for advice from natives on must see things, we prefer non city non typical tourist attractions, more so into natural attractions/activities, we never go with plans we like to wing it as we go, after 15+ years of criss crossing the country it has never left us with a bad vacation yet. We are flying into Orlando and renting a car there. The only thing my wife wants to see is Busch Gardens the first day in Tampa from there we are planning to head south along the gulf coast and drive the whole Key highway and back to Orlando. So to you Florida natives we ask what your list of must see things would be in the area we are going to cover over a weeks travels? We want to give Florida another chance, we were there in February 3 years ago and were very disappointed, left ND at mid 30's, arrive in Orlando with mid 30's temps there too, 5 days there the first day we saw over 60 was the day we left it finally hit 70 and then rained, we drove to a relatives house on the beach in New Smyrna beach and went to Daytona and down to Cocoa beach and a couple days at Kennedy space center.

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I am not a native of Florida but one of may daughters lives there so I have been there several times. The last time I was there was in 2011. I went to visit my daughter and attend Sun-n-Fun at Lakeland Florida. I got caught in a tornado while I was there and thought I was going to get killed. I am not a huge fan of the South do to their weather extremes so be on the lookout when you're there. One place that is very interesting to me is the Coral Castle and Museum down near Miami. Pretty cool to see all the work that went into it. This is pretty much a non-traditional tourist attraction. http://coralcastle.com/ Have fun what ever you do, but watch the weather.

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I am not a native of Florida but one of may daughters lives there so I have been there several times. The last time I was there was in 2011. I went to visit my daughter and attend Sun-n-Fun at Lakeland Florida. I got caught in a tornado while I was there and thought I was going to get killed. I am not a huge fan of the South do to their weather extremes so be on the lookout when you're there. One place that is very interesting to me is the Coral Castle and Museum down near Miami. Pretty cool to see all the work that went into it. This is pretty much a non-traditional tourist attraction. http://coralcastle.com/ Have fun what ever you do, but watch the weather.

If we have time we will hit the Miami area for a day or so.

If you get anywhere near Ocala (I think?) hit up Big Daddy Don Garlits drag racing museum

Won't get to that area, Ocala is north of Orlando, we are headed south and west from Orlando on the way to Key west and back is the main destination. will hit Tampa the first day as the wife has wanted to see Busch Gardens for years and head south from there. We have been directed by several others to see the Ding Darling wild life refuge and Kayak the mangroves there as well as the glades to see the real Florida backwaters.
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  • 5 weeks later...

Just got home and it was a great time! First day left Orlando headed to Coco beach ate on the end of the pier and then down to spend the first night at Fort Pierce. Second day headed south on A1A and stopped off for a bit to walk the beach at Boca Raton then headed to Key Largo for the second night, ate at Glass floored restaurant/bar called the Pilot house and marina. stayed the night at a beachfront hotel there and sat on the water front deck and enjoyed the lightening show. Next day off to Key West for 2 days, Blue Heaven was mentioned from my pontoon forum from several members ate breakfast there and liked it so much we had dinner there too the same day and a 3rd time just for another piece of the best key Lime pie in the world!!!! Stayed at a very nice B&B called La Pensione Inn there and went on a Fury Rum and Regea catamaran boat ride to a corral reef for snorkeling and Rum drinks for the ride back, best Bang for the buck while on Key West! Next day back up the keys towards The Ever Glades and it rained most of the way through the glades so we skipped the airboat ride and headed to Sanibel island and stayed the night at Island Inn and went shelling in the huge waves on the beach for a while the next day did it again and then did the guided Kayak tour through the Mangroves at Ding Darling NWR and went through the NWR info station but the road through the park is closed for the summer for repaving. Ate at the Island Cow and Island Pizza there both were good. Next night stayed at the Marriot on the mainland side of Sanibel with a top floor room overlooking the bay and towards Sanibel and again enjoyed the lightning and rain showers. Next day headed north on 41 and stopped for a walk on Venice Beach and on up to Tampa and on to Orlando for the last night at Universal City Walk eating at Margaritaville and early to bed to catch the early flight back home. Both myself and my better half definitely liked the SW gulf coast area the best and My wife especially loved Sanibel Island and wants to go back to that area again.

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