Hooray! Hurricane Mathew has passed and its seems like Florida, Orlando in particular survived this epic hurricane. With everything that’s been happening in Florida for the past few months, I can’t help but think about the sunshine state and all the amazing places I’ve visited when I was still living there. Here’s a list of places that are worth looking into when you’re visiting Orlando and you’d like a quick trip beyond the city’s disney route.
Cocoa Beach at Port Canaveral is a popular place to go to for surfing and paddle boarding aside from New Smyrna and Melbourne near Orlando. We come here almost every week when we were living in Orlando because it’s just an hour drive away. There’s a lot of surf shacks in the area where you can rent surfboards and paddle boards. It’s also a great place to go to watch and take photos of the sunrise because the sun rises there right in front of the pier. There’s an awesome crab shack called Ms. Apples Crab Shack at Meritt Island which you might want to drop by when you’re at Cocoa Beach. They have the sweetest fresh crabs, shrimps and clams that are way better than the ones from red lobster and it’s cheap too. To anyone visiting Cocoa Beach do yourselves a favor and drop by this crabshack, their crabs are so fresh they’re really really good! You can buy the packed seafood meals there and you can heat them in the shacks` microwave or pick your own crabs from their tank and ask them to cook them for you for a small fee.
Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center is also just outside of Orlando. It’s a cool place to spend the day in and learn about outer space and the universe! Try to schedule your visit when there’s a rocket launch. Watching a rocket launch is one of the coolest experience that you can have while visiting Florida. Check their website for the schedule.
St. Petersburg is in the Gulf Coast of Florida and a part of Tampa Bay. St. Pete is a bit far from Orlando, almost 2 hours by car but definitely worth a visit. St. Pete is a big contrast from Orlando. The city has a very artsy and bohemian vibe.It has a lot of art museums to visit. Not one to be missed is the Salvador Dali Museum which houses all of Mr. Dali’s amazing surreal artworks. (www.thedali.org).This is an amazing museum that everyone should visit when in St. Petersburg or Orlando.
The city’s thriving boho and art community holds an event almost every week! They have festivals for art, music, food, wellness, yoga, spirituality and even mysticism! Try to visit from Friday to Sunday. Check out their website for more info about the city’s upcoming events.
Daytona Beach is in the Atlantic Coast of Florida. It’s an hour away drive from Orlando. Daytona is almost like Cocoa Beach but bigger.Just like Cocoa beach you can also surf, camp and stroll around the beach there. I love Cocoa Beach but I think Daytona has a better beach than Cocoa.The beach is a favorite spot for springbreakers and can get really crowded in the spring and in the summer. The place gets a bit quiet in the autumn but it`s still worth a visit.
St. Augustine is almost a two hour drive from Orlando Florida. It is the oldest state in America and is worth visiting in any season. The town was first visited by the spanish so spanish architecture is seen all over town. The town has so much history. It is very pretty and quaint. There are a lot of Bed and Breakfast Inns facing the seaside in the area for people who are planning to stay the night. One of the cool things to do in St. Augustine is to go on a hunted tour in the autumn when the town in creepily engulfed by thick fog or watch the town light up in December with the town’s amazing Christmas lights display.
I’m going to post a more detailed write up about these awesome places soon. I was suppose put Miami on the list but it’s just a little too far from Orlando, I’ll write about our experience there too on a different post. Happy travelling!