Stopping at Alabama Jack’s, a fish shack and dive bar on a remote road between Homestead and Key Largo, has been the classic way to start a Keys trip for decades. We revisited the open-air waterfront spot recently, and we’re happy to say: It’s as shabby and atmospheric as ever.
Unique Eats, Bars & Seafood Shacks
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.
This authentic Florida fishing village near Bradenton is the perfect place to find classic seafood shacks — open air, casual with the freshest fish.
The Seminole Inn in Indiantown is way off the beaten path, which may be why it’s fun to discover its Southern style home cooking and charming atmosphere.
Mangoes may be the reason I can never leave Florida. Here are favorite Florida mango recipes discovered or developed during my 30-plus years of worshiping these beautiful fruit.
The Marathon Seafood Festival calls itself the Original Marathon Seafood Festival to emphasize it’s the real deal – indigenous and authentic. Marathon is a fishing town, and you don’t get fish any fresher than here, unless you catch it yourself.
It is possible to go to Key West on a budget. Here are some frugal tips on lodging, interesting budget restaurants and free places to go.
An open-air Thai brunch and market draws throngs every Sunday morning to this beautiful waterfront temple in Tampa. The food is very good and moderately priced. The exotic gold-trimmed temple is worth visiting just because it’s beautiful, set among shady live oak trees decorated with orchids.
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.
The weather is perfect for getting outdoors, and there’s no better way to enjoy Florida in the Fall than a good, old-fashioned seafood festival. Free parking; Free admission. Camping, fishing, kayaking nearby.