As some of you know I just returned from a vacation to Florida with my family. However this vacation was a little different. Rather than spend a few weeks at Disney and other attractions, we rented a car and decided to drive to local beaches, Miami and Key West. Overall we enjoyed Miami, good food, nice cars, okay beaches (more on this later) and nice atmosphere.
From Miami we drove to Key West and while it was great seeing the southern most point (the Buoy), Key West really didn’t live up to our expectations. We did enjoy it, just not as much as I had hoped. The highlight of this portion of the trip was visiting the Key West Pie Company (from CNBCs The Profit), which as you’d imagine has amazing key lime pie.
Rather than staying in Key West we drove back to Orlando in about 7 hours and started the second half of our vacation. When the time came to visit Disney and other parks I decided to leave the camera, GoPro and iPhone photography at home. Reason being, I wanted to experience the vacation as it happened. The result? A much more enjoyable and connected vacation with my family. While looking at photos of Space Mountain and Mickey spotting is fun, i’ve found social media and FOMO results in our actually missing the true point of an vacation/event. We do of course have some photos from key moments and I know my wife took some candid photos.
Now, the other goal of this vacation was to visit various beaches throughout Florida and I can say we accomplished that. We swam/sunned at beaches in Venice, Miami, Key West and Sarasota. For Venice, our favorite beach was Caspersen, an out-of-the-way beach just beside an airport. This beach had lovely water, a seafood restaurant and great sand (though very hot in July!). Miami beaches were okay, though crowded and dirty overall. For Key West, our first beach was closed because of Red Tide but we did find a nice family beach, Fort Zachary Taylor which had food, picnic tables and massive amounts of beachfront.
The best beach out of all of those was actually one in Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach. This had Caribbean white sand, a large beach front for visitors, food onsite, facilities and a playground for kids. We ended up spending about 5 hours at this beach and cannot wait to go back on our next vacation.
Overall this vacation was a blast, a little deviation (both the photos and inner-state travel) but one i’m glad we did. I look forward to taking similar vacations in other places around this country. The goal of a vacation is to have fun, not just visit the main attractions everyone does. All told in 10 days we drove over 2500 miles and visited 7 towns/cities throughout Florida.