Every ounce of me is meant to be a country gal. I can certainly hold my own in major cities as New York, London, Paris, and Bangkok, but even then, I’m seeking the most authentic, off-beat experiences. People who follow my adventures through Florida often ask, how do I find them? One source is the Florida Agritourism Association.
This will sound odd, but the Sarasota National Cemetery in Southwest Florida is a tourist attraction and I state that with the utmost respect. I visit a few times a year to find peace, clarity, and patriotism, and I imagine others visit with similar purposes.
Have spirits on the mind? Perhaps a visit to either Fort Myers, Key West, Monticello, Punta Gorda, or Ybor City is in order. Here are five ghost walking tours in Florida and most can be enjoyed year-round.
Feel like doing something wild during your Florida travels? How about spending an evening with one of the Sunshine State’s endangered species, the drive-in movie theatre. It has been one hot summer and with cooler evenings on the horizon, I am looking forward to taking a nostalgic journey to a part of my youth, watching a movie in the comfort of my car under the stars at a drive-in theatre. According to the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA), 1958 saw the peak of drive-ins with 4,063 in the United States.
Florida is home to a variety of wildlife such as American crocodiles, Florida panthers, and Florida black bears. There are also several exotic safaris to visit and you don’t need a passport.
FOWA: A place for outdoor communicators. Is that you?
Earlier this year I spent some time in Berlin, Germany. One morning I joined Thomas Dornbusch, a professional dog walker, for a walk through Grunewald Forest with 15 canines, 14 were his four-legged clients. This was an Airbnb Experience where locals of an area share their profession and/or passion with visitors so they have an authentic experience.
Are mermaids only found in fantasies or do they exist? About an hour’s drive north of Tampa is the city of Weeki Wachee and home to Weeki Wachee Springs where mermaids gracefully perform and delight visitors. The city was incorporated in 1966 and as of the 2010 census, the population is 12 residents. Robyn Anderson, the Weeki Wachee’s mayor, is a former mermaid and the municipality calls itself “the only city of live mermaids.”
I gasped as I watched Natalie Joy Goff of NJoy Spirit’s Distillery pour a small amount of Wild Buck Whiskey on the palm of her hand and with both hands, she rubbed it into her skin, almost as if she was trying to moisturize them with lotion. It wasn’t necessarily the act of her pouring it into her hands that shocked me, because it’s the first time I’ve seen someone do this, it’s because a bottle is $60 and in my world that’s a lot of money.
If you’re like me, you enjoy helping others. Almost two years ago, CityPASS helped me do something special with someone special at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. For more than nine years I have blogged as Solo Travel Girl, encouraging others to travel alone, not lonely. I have also lived life single for well over a decade and while I have enjoyed my solo life, it is time to find the perfect partner to share in what is left of my journey on this planet. Sure, for the last two years I have had my trusty canine to share on several road trips but I am hoping to find my soulmate to share in life’s adventures and importantly, fill the duty of Instagram boyfriend.
Ahoy, me hearties! Ever since learning September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, a silly holiday invented in 1995 by two guys from Oregon, I always think of September as “Pirate Month.” In celebration, I’ve compiled some of the fun places in Florida to embrace your inner pirate.
There’s no doubt much of Southwest Florida has its roots in the Midwest. Look around during the winter, heck, even year-round, and you’ll see plenty of license plates from states as Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Toledo Blade which runs through North Port into Charlotte County is named after The Blade, or the Toledo Blade, the daily newspaper of Toledo, Ohio.
“Radcliff. We’re going to Silver Springs State Park and monkeys are going to hop on your back and ride you like a horse! Are you excited?” I said to my dog while driving to Ocala, Fla. I cannot speak for all single female dog owners but there are a few of us who speak to our canines as if they are our soulmates. His response was similar to that of the previous men in my life, a blank stare with his chocolate-brown eyes and silence.
Where’s the best place to have a mooo-velous time in Florida? Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City! When a cup of creamy, chocolate milk spills, is it okay to cry? During a tour of Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City, it’s just what I wanted to do after knocking over my complimentary cup of chocolate milk while trying to snap the perfect photo for Instagram. Granted, it was about an ounce but it was mighty delicious.
This was my second year attending the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, commonly referred as ICAST, the world’s largest sportfishing tradeshow produced by the American Sportfishing Association. More than 15,000 people walked the 220,000 net square feet of exhibit space at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. While most attendees (primarily wholesalers, retailers, representatives of manufacturers, government agencies, media, and fishing pro staff) walked the aisles looking for the latest and greatest in fishing, I was on the mission to find the latest and greatest in outdoor gear. Enjoy the outdoors with these 8 finds from ICAST 2018 or consider this your holiday gift guide for the outdoorsy person in your life.
Florida Travel: Handcrafted Rum, Vodka, Moonshine and Whiskey at Sugar Sand Distillery in Lake Placid
The country’s only estate-grown sugar cane farm distillery is located in Lake Placid, Fla. During a lazy Saturday afternoon, I set my GPS toward the heart of the Sunshine State to taste handcrafted rum, vodka, moonshine and whiskey at Sugar Sand Distillery. And, the distillery is located less than 5 minutes from Henscratch Farms.