When I think about Florida I instantly think of Disney Land and Universal Studios, but the sunshine state has so much more to offer.
We teamed up with Visit Florida & Hertz UK for a fun-filled Florida Road Trip! Starting off in Miami we spent a couple of days exploring before jumping in Shelia (what we nicknamed our Hertz UK beast of a car) & setting off on a week-long adventure! I can’t believe how much we managed to cram into one week of travelling, so I’ve decided to list my top recommendations for each of the places we visited, now I just need to figure out when I can go back!
The first stop on our Florida Road Trip was Miami, we only had one full day here so we tried to cram as much in as possible. From food trucks and live music to vintage shopping and 80’s decor, Miami really does have it all.
Vagabond Hotel – If you are looking for somewhere kitsch, cute & comfy the Vagabond is for you. Not only are their staff SUPER helpful, the pool is a little slice of heaven.
Jimmys Diner – Less than a three-minute walk from the Vagabond (and a staff recommendation) Jimmys is an all American diner, expect massive portions & banter from the staff.
Big Pink – This pink diner is walking distance from the beach, and you guessed it, it’s PINK! I mean everything about it is pink, down to the pink pancakes. Definitely worth a visit when you are in Miami.
Versaille – If you are into Cuban food this is the place to go. In the heart of Little Havana, it offers traditional cuisine in a setting that wouldn’t look out of place in the godfather.
Wynwood – The land of the wall mural, Wynwood is also a truck food haven & live music venue! The space opens up at night to reveal a buzzing venue, make sure you stop by.
Miami Beach – With colourful lifeguard towers aplenty and home to the Versace Mansion, Miami Beach is a must see. See if you can spot all the hotels used in Movies when walking along the strip. Spoiler there are A LOT.
Fly Boutique – OH EM GEEE ok so I may love Vintage shopping anyway, but this place is a fashion lovers dream. With Vintage Moschino, Joseph and Prada (to name a few) it’s a must visit.
Ball & Chain – Opened since the 30’s, Ball and Chain is an iconic location in Miami, playing host to Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Louie Armstrong back in the 50’s. Drop in for a drink, stay for the music.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH
Driving from Miami to New Smyrna Beach made me so thankful we had such a beast of a car. Thunderstorms, multiple stops at Baskin Robins, a dress up pit stop at Wallmart and 6 hours of driving and we arrived at the Night Swan B & B.
Night Swan B&B – The Night Swan is the ultimate in cosy B&B. The main building is where breakfast is served, the french toast was a personal favourite. The rooms are based in separate houses and you can relax on the porch to watch the world go by.
Beach Side Candy co – This is the perfect spot for your ice cream fix. Make sure you get a waffle cone or a tub, they melt pretty quick in the heat!
Yellow Dog Eats – A great lunch spot for a healthy meal and an afternoon drink.
Corkscrew Bar & Grill – Grab a cocktail at happy hour and people watch at this grill house. The bar snacks are pretty good too!
River Park Terrace – This little slice of heaven is nestled in tropical gardens, with a focus on local ingredients the menu is delightful. This is definitely one to get dressed up for!
Norwoods Treehouse Bar – A restaurant in a treehouse?! SOLD! The menu is amazing and you can stay for drinks in the twinkly light heaven, they have live music so check the website for details.
Canal Street – There are loads of little boutique & gift shops on this street, as well as plenty of bars to make gift shopping so much more fun.
Marine Discovery Center Dolphin Lighthouse Cruise – This is one boat tour you need to go on! The tour takes you down to the lighthouse via some pelican nesting grounds. Watch out for the Dolphins!
When we weren’t running around Universal Studios we were exploring flea markets and taking full advantage of the pool at Cabana Bay. And you can’t do a Florida Road Trip without stopping off at some outlet malls!
Cabana Bay Hotel Universal Studios – Based on the Florida beachfront hotels of the 50’s Cabana Bay is like stepping into a retro slice of history. The rooms are brightly coloured & it even boasts a bowling alley! It’s walking distance to Volcano bay too!
Hash House A Go Go – A great breakfast spot. Note that the portions are bigger than the average American portion, in other words, really really huge.
International Premium Outlet Mall – Full of designer brands with amazing discounts. Make sure you get here early as it’s insanely busy in the afternoon.
Visitors Flea Market – An indoor flea market full of kitsch & tat, one of those places you could lose an afternoon! There is also a gun range beside it and a ‘old town’ theme park.
If you are planning a Florida Road Trip then don’t forget to check out Visit Florida for all the info on the state and grab your very own beast of a car from Hertz to make your trip as easy as possible.