Monday, April 11, 2011

A Look Back at "Old Florida"

I sure hope you enjoyed the roadtrip of the Florida gulf coast, what we called the "Old Florida" roadtrip. We made it our mission to rediscover those old tourist dives that were once the hotspots back in the 40's- 60's. These were THE places to vacation before "the mouse" moved into Florida. Today these hotspots are charming little seaside villages, small on crowds but big on fun and adventure. We also made a vow NOT to eat at a single chain restaurant along the way. And we made it!!!! I wanted to include some fun little facts worth mentioning below.

*Our roadtrip was 1800 miles, translating to about 32 hours of driving. We stayed mainly on highways and bi ways, using routes that would have been traveled back in "the day", prior to interstates. The only time we took the interstate was from Venice Florida to Sanibel to maximize time on that day and from Birmingham to Montgomery. We loved traveling these roads, it gave us great opportunities to see things we wouldn't see otherwise. We found some state parks, old hotel/motels from the "Old Florida" era (LOVED the signs), beautiful farming communities and fruit stands.

* Of all the small towns/cities we went on our trip, our collective favorite was Homosassa Springs. We liked it because it was small, no crowds, no high rises, not allot of fast food places. This might be a reason someone else might not like it. But for us, that is where the charm is. It really epitomized the "Old Florida" feel. And wow! That moss in the trees!

* Our favorite activity we did (collectively): Swimming with the manatee in Crystal River.

*Our best meal. Well, that depends on who you ask. Big Daddy picked Bayport Inn & Restaurant in Weekee Wachee. My favorite was Doc Fords on Sanibel Island for my incredibly simple lettuce wedge of all things. I really cannot stop thinking about it. My children also picked Doc Fords for their panko crusted chicken tenders and cheeseburger. That being said, our FAVORITE meal (yes there is a difference) was in Homosassa Springs at the Monkey Bar. The food was good, but the atmosphere was unforgettable. We had a delicious meal, sat on a deck in the trees dripping with Spanish moss above the river. We listened to a great one man band play some of our family favorites as we watched the sun slip into the water......incredible!!!!!

I hope you will enjoy this last look at our roadtrip. Thank you for joining us along the way.
Click Here for any stops along the way you might have missed.
See you tomorrow!

A last look at our trip:


Sandy said...

I really enjoyed your trip. And loved the summary you gave today. Thanks for sharing this adventure.

4thelove! said...

have loved reading and seeing all these pictures....will be making a purchase soon for the bare office!!!! "LOVE"! - HM