Alabama Jack’s has been an outpost in the middle of water and mangroves for 50 years. It’s a well-weathered, open-air, waterfront spot known for conch fritters, fresh fish and pure Keys ambiance.
DeLeon Springs, about an hour north of Orlando, is a state parks with swimming, kayaking and fantastic history. But it’s best known for — of all things — its pancakes.
FORT LAUDERDALE — The Southport Raw Bar is a favorite of locals, and you’ll love it, too. The water view down a canal filled with sailboats is awesome, and the seafood is fresh and tasty. This well-known, yet hidden, eatery is filled exudes ‘Old Florida’ ambience. A great place to wile away an afternoon, or take a friend to dinner.
Peace River Seafood in Punta Gorda is a true Florida crab shack; they don’t come more authentic than this. From its 1927 Cracker cabin to the buckets of fresh blue crabs, it’s a little piece of old Florida.
Fort Lauderdale’s Rustic Inn is a classic. Their “world famous garlic crabs” draw hundreds of people every night to this old Florida restaurant, tucked away on Ravenswood Road, just west of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. You’ll find it from the sound of wooden mallets pounding on the table every few minutes.
Robbie’s Marina is a don’t-miss stop as you drive through the Florida Keys. Dozens of tarpon, some more than 6 feet long, gather at the dock and lunge for fish from visitors. The restaurant there, the Hungry Tarpon, is highly recommended , too.
No Name Pub has been around since the 1930s, and it looks like it. It offers tasty food in a historic building, but what makes this the king of Funky Florida is the decor: $90,000 (some say) stapled to the walls and ceiling.
A scenic road through Everglades National Park also brings you past a cute little roadside stop: the smallest post office in the US. In an era where post offices are being closed to save money, this little outpost dating to 1953 is a survivor.