Make Valentines Day plans now. From a comfy B&B to a vast and perfect beach, here are five natural, wild and thoroughly romantic places Florida Rambler style.
Articles written by: Bonnie Gross
It’s a rare opportunity: You can peek inside the beautifully restored private homes in the Key West historic district on home and garden tours. Next tours: Feb. 16 – 17.
There are a lot of things I love about winter in Florida, but high on the list is spotting the wonderful variety of wildlife here. You might not get lucky and view all these animals, but you’ll visit wild and beautiful sites on your quest.
You can get gator tail and swamp cabbage at this festival. But the real reason to go is to revel in a last corner of small town America in Florida — beauty pageants, high school bands, armadillo races and a rodeo.
At Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park near Jacksonville, Florida’s largest Civil War battle will be re-enacted, with gun smoke, booming cannons and cavalry. Three of the famous “Colored Regiments” were among 10,000 troops that fought here.
Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach is a lovely spot, especially worth visiting this winter with the Washed Ashore exhibit of giant sculptures made of plastic trash picked up on beaches. These sculptures, the pinnacle of recycling, do their job: They delight us but they also make us think.
The Tamiami Trail, linking Miami and Florida’s west coast, gets you close to alligators, cypress swamps and Everglades scenery. It also offers outstanding stops along the way, particularly the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park.
The historic agricultural area surrounding the Homestead entrance to Everglades National Park offers so many cool experiences — a park where you can see and sample exotic fruits, free tours of a spectacular orchid grower’s estate, a local tropical-fruit winery and famous fruit milkshakes and cinnamon rolls.
For a quick trip to the Keys, consider Gilbert’s Resort. The upgraded 1950s-era motel and tiki bar is the first lodging you reach on the road to Key Largo. Then, kayak nearby Garden Cove and discover its picturesque sunken barge, a good place to snorkel.
As you cross the Seven Mile Bridge, you pass the little green island with yellow cottages and palm trees surrounded by dazzling blue water. Stop and visit: Pigeon Key is one of a kind. It offers fascinating history, tropical beauty, even great snorkeling.