Itinerary #9: Florida

When I think of Florida, I think of fun in the sun, heck it’s called the “Sunshine state” right? All the retirees who affectionately call themselves ‘snow birds” flock to Florida in the winter to escape the cold. Well, we thought it would be just grand to head to Florida on winter break, spend some time at the beach, which we love, and turn it into a road trip taking in the sites along the way. Just as luck would have it, an unprecedented cold front settled in with temperatures in the high 30’s. Ugh, all our beach activities got canceled, Miami, Key Largo, Marco Island, were all busts. As seasoned travelers, we know that sometimes the best laid plans can get derailed. The important thing is to regroup, think outside of the box, and commit to having fun no matter what. The important thing is we took our lemons and made lemonade…or should I say Key Lime-ade. We ended up seeing some movies and doing some indoor activities in the hotels and just enjoyed spending time together. The other half of our activities were not only fun, but true learning experiences, all involving the ocean-from the unique ecosystems of the everglades to the treasure from shipwrecks off the Florida Keys. Here’s how we spent our nine-day vacation getting to know Florida.

State Florida

Theme Oceans and Everglades     Duration 9 Days | Map


Day 1

• Fly to Ft. Lauderdale
• Overnight in Miami

Day 2

Florida• Beach day
Dinner at Larios on the Beach (South Beach)
• Overnight in Miami

Day 3

Florida• Drive to Key Largo (beach and water activities)
• Overnight in Key Largo

Day 4

Florida• Drive and explore Key West
Dolphin Research Center (Marathon)
Lunch at Red Fish Blue Fish
Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe
The Shipwreck Museum
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
Mallory Square (Key West Sponge Market)
• Ernest Hemingway’s home (missed)
Southernmost point buoy
• Overnight in Key Largo

Day 5

FloridaEverglades Safari Park
• Marco Island (beach activities)
• Overnight in San Marco Island

Day 6

Florida• Drive to Sanibel Island
Beachcombing for shells
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Sanibel Thriller Dolphin tour

Day 7

Downtown Disney (Orlando)• Drive to Orlando
Explore Downtown Disney
• Overnight Orlando

Day 8

FloridaExplore Epcot Center
Copper Canyon Grill for dinner
• Overnight in Orlando

Day 9

• Drive to Ft. Lauderdale and fly home