Monday, August 20, 2012

Gringo Honeymoon

Alright, it's time for a wedding related post!!  Now, we need a little input from ya'll seeing as how I've know I've got a crap load of readers in Florida.  Jack and I had initially thought of honeymooning in Key West, and we may still, but we thought we would just throw a few questions out to ya'll Floridians and see what we got.  For starters, and ya'll may have guessed this from our Southwestern trip, we like to drive on our vacations and such.  We love to see the out of the way places and scenery and such that you miss by flying so we plan on driving to the south Florida area for our honeymoon.  Is there a place that ya'll could recommend in that area for something such as a honeymoon?  Now, keep in mind we hate such "toursisty" areas such as Panama City, Destin etc.  I like remote but not so remote that it doesn't have a Hampton Inn or other Hilton property somewhere in the vicinity, as that is where Jack has points to stay for free and one way we are going to be able to afford this.  We also love botanical gardens and anything with art but I also love kicking on the beach, swimming and picnicing without falling over the people beside me.  I hate the typical vacation spots.  We have thought about the area of St. George's Island and some others.  We also will not be arriving in Florida until the second or third week in October so it needs to be far south enough to still be warm for swimming.  Am I asking too much?? LOL!
So, let me hear it!!  Got any suggestions??  I know ya'll do.


Island Rider said...

Ooh, ooh, let me plan your honeymoon! October is the best month to come to Florida. It is right in between summer and winter tourist season. You can see some beautiful places without driving all the way to the Keys. If you want to see the real Florida, leave Birmingham and drive to Tallahassee first. It is a little over five hours and there is a Hampton Inn there. I know it is our state capitol and as such full of hot air, but when the legislature is not in session, there are some wonderful museums and parks to see. My favorites are Tallahassee Museum (a combination of natural history and pioneer history), Maclay Gardens State Park (a botanical park) and Mission San Luis (a recreation of a Spanish mission where you can learn about the native peoples of Florida). From there, take a day trip to Wakulla Springs for the glass bottom boat ride (call ahead to make sure it is running that day) and St. Marks Preserve where there is a beautiful lighthouse and you can see lots of birds and marshlands. Then, head to Cedar Key about two hours away. Cedar Key is a working fishing village and while tourists love to visit, it is not tacky tourism. Go fishing with Florida Cracker’s friend and talk Florida Cracker into meeting you for dinner where you will have some tasty seafood caught right off the shores of the island. From Cedar Key drive inland one hour to Dunnellon and go swimming and kayaking in the beautiful water of Rainbow Springs and Rainbow River at Rainbow Springs State Park. The water stays 72 degrees year round so even in October it will be lovely. Rent a canoe or kayak at the state park and go downstream into the river, but remember as you go that it takes twice as long to paddle upstream as it does down so plan your time. There are no Hampton Inns in either Cedar Key or Dunnellon, but both places are worth the money and both have smaller hotels that are not as expensive. Try the Dinner Bell Motel in Dunnellon. It is older, but clean. From Dunnellon, go back southwest to Tarpon Springs, a town settled by Greek sponge divers. There are some wonderful museums in Tarpon Springs as well as great Greek food. Call ahead and see if the Universalist Church is open so you can see their connection of Inness paintings. From Tarpon Springs drive an hour to Bradenton (take the Veterans Expressway, not US 19, it is a toll road but will save you many headaches) and come to see your Florida friends who will let you stay in their guest room for free. (or you can stay at the Longboat Hilton if you prefer). We have lovely beaches, many outdoor parks and museums and more great seafood. Our county has invested a lot of money into preserves where you can hike, kayak or ride bikes. You can even “horse surf” if that’s your idea of fun. As long as you don’t come October 5-14, we will be home to show you around (we are headed to Virginia that week). You won’t drive more than 11 hours away from home, but go to another world if you stay away from the Interstate and Mouseland.

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

There, done. That was easy, hey Annie?

Anonymous said...

I think St. Joseph's Penisula is pretty cool, deserted beach essentially.

edifice rex said...

Hey IR! Wow!!! that all sounds pretty darn cool! I'll show this to Jack!! thanks! we are not sure exactly when we are due in FL; that is one thing we're planning now. Thanks!!

Hey Mark! yeah! lol! I knew I'd get some good tips!

Hey Anon! Okay! we'll check that out too! thanks!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Can't offer any FL suggestions as we've never been there, but do agree with all the comments on this post about things you & Jack like and dislike as we feel much the same. Driving someplace lets us see lots more and we want to avoid the tourist attractions as much as possible too.
Island Rider sure had some great suggestion and we may try some of those when we go to FL after the holidays as part of a southern road trip.
PLanning is a lot of fun, well sometimes.

Myamuhnative said...

I think Island Rider has a good plan and perhaps FC can add in a beach you could include too.
We are still learning the area but are pretty darn close to Dunnellon!
If I'm not stuck in Miami when/if you go to Dunnellon area, we'd love to take you to lunch or dinner too! Keep us updated on your timelines.
PS While I think everyone should see Key West once (and Bahia Honda many times)I don't think it would really be your kind of place for a honeymoon.

edifice rex said...

Hey Bea! yes, IR had some great suggestions; many of which I think we'll try!

Hey Mya! Yeah, i think we are leaning away from Key West now. We will sure try to meet up either coming or going! that would be great!

Floridacracker said...

Island Rider did such a good job, its hard to improve on that.
I would take the Coastal. Scenic. Highway just east of Appalachicola for beautiful old FL gulf views.
You might take a dip in Wakulla Springs near App too.

Cedar Key is made for honeymoonin. Shoot me an email if you need any info. Forty minutes south of here is Crystal River where you can see or even snorkel with manatees ... not many places where you can have that experience.

October can be blazing hot or cool and fall like here. You just never know.

Robbyn said...

I can hardly add to what's been posted in the comments except to say that almost any beach in the early evening has its own character, especially the less touristy ones. When I first read your post, we had Isaac bearing down on us, so my only advice is that honeymooning here is best anywhere there's not a hurricane ;-) So glad you get to ramble around and enjoy Florida...happy days!!