A small taste of nature in Florida
If you are anything like me, you get cabin fever and just have to go somewhere for a change in scenery. One of my favorite places to get some vitamin D therapy, especially during the winter, is Florida. It is the perfect pint sized, weekend, ditch-the-drear escape. I affectionately call it the mini adventure. While I would love to be chasing natural wonders every month, for most of us that is not possible. Rather than letting budget and time constraints limit that grand idea, opt to maximize your mini-escape.
I enjoy Florida because without too much effort you can get out on the water and experience dolphins and manatees, soak up amazing sunsets (on the west coast) and find deserted beaches. Connecting with nature can be about seeking out the beautiful in amongst the mundane. My style is to find the most unusual way to do the most usual places. Hmmm so how do you experience Florida when you have been there and done it before? ON A BOAT of course. It gets you up close and personal with nature, saves you money and there is nothing better than falling asleep while the boat gently rocks. Here it is your mini adventure idea for Florida:
1 boat to rent
- This is where you have to get creative. I love boating but typically chartering a boat is expensive and you have to know what you are doing or pay for a captain. A cheaper alternative is to look on Airbnb.com to find boat rentals that you can rent the same as you could a home, except you get manatees as neighbors and live music, food and drinks at the marina. Warning: don’t expect the Ritz and do realize that if the boat doesn’t have a head then you could be sharing a bathroom in the marina with other folks. Just like camping. Only on the water.
1 boat to play on
- To me Florida is all about the water. You can visit the Everglades, go to the beach, go boating… common theme…. Water! I wouldn’t recommend going to Florida without renting a boat. That is where it all happens. Generally you can rent a boat without needing any experience. Just follow the rules and don’t break the prop otherwise you forfeit your deposit.
1 cheap flight
- This is where I really scored with this trip. Based on word of mouth referral, I found that if we were willing to drive 90 minutes to another city, we could get a return flight for $100. That is the sound of fun money landing in our pocket as opposed to in airfare. I would recommend looking at smaller cities near you that don’t get the big carriers but may service smaller airlines. A big shout out to Allegiant Air that operates from various airports across the US. Great work supporting us travel junkies. Or you may want to use air miles instead to keep the cost down.
Bonus – gluten friendly restaurant Mango Bistro where we ate breakfast. Finding gluten free can be tricky when travelling but got lucky this trip. One of the few gluten friendly restaurants that actually has gluten free bread rolls. And they used environmentally friendly plastic ware.
Mix that all up with exploring islands and beaches (and a few waterside bars of course) and you have a great weekend adventure in nature.