The beach town of Marco Island is all manicured and modern, but here are four adventures into the wild and authentic Florida that are within a quick drive. You can wade across a lagoon to a wild beach or have lunch in a funky fishing town or stroll on a boardwalk into a beautiful old growth cypress swamp.
The billboards on the Turnpike are gone, and so are the discount coupons, but the legendary Desert Inn is still kickin’ at Yeehaw Junction.
Hukilau is a festival of tiki culture that attracts more than a thousand people to Fort Lauderdale every year to celebrate rum drinks, tiki trinkets and nostalgia for the 1950s. If you don’t attend, you still might want to visit the unique bars and restaurants that attract the tikiphiles.
Remarkably unchanged, this century-old hotel is on the market for $12 million. It’s a jewel in a remote town surrounded by untamed Everglades. We recently stayed in the atmospheric lodge. He loved it; she didn’t. But we agree on this: It’s an exceptional place to visit.
This authentic fishing village near Bradenton is the perfect place to find classic Florida seafood shacks — open air, casual with the freshest fish.
This state park is more natural than it has been for decades. Enjoy the terrific beach and tropical hammock, tour the historic lighthouse, dine at restaurants with great views and walk or bike trails.
Between Lake Okeechobee and Fort Myers, a stretch of the Caloosahatchee River offers a taste of Old Florida — small towns, rivers ideal for kayaking and good public campgrounds.
JB’s is your original crab shack, a funky Florida kind of place where blue crabs are served steaming from the kitchen and dumped onto sheets of brown kraft paper that serve as your tablecloth. There’s an outdoor dining deck with a tiki bar overlooking Mosquito Lagoon.
My idea of a great choice for a place to eat on vacation is a restaurant with a story behind it. Here are seven historic restaurants that fit that criteria — from Prohibition rum-runners to 1980s drug-runners; from authentic 1920s grand hotel to an authentic 1950s diner.
Three of my favorite stops in the Keys are a little hard to find, and that’s part of their charm. They’re off the Overseas Highway in neighborhoods — and they’re worth discovering.