There’s an urge that I get for the unfamiliar and unknown. An urge that’s exciting and nerve racking all at once, but that I hope to always follow because scratching that itch is unbelievably rewarding.
Exploring new places, seeing new things, and listening to other people’s stories while writing your own is magic. Going after the uncertain shows you bits of yourself that you would never be able to find in the familiar, and it makes you feel a little bit more whole. It’s empowering and life changing.
Deep down I think we all crave it; a little adventure, a little escape, not because we’re unhappy but because it’s in our nature to want to unravel ourselves in the new.
We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
This weekend I went on an adventure, and though my definition of adventure fluctuates in intensity depending on the day of the week, I think this one fits the description well.
The adventure as I shall call it, consisted of over 1,000 miles driven, 15 destinations, 2 hotels, 1 house, 2 girls, 1 Honda Fit, and 1 audio book that I didn’t get to finish (who killed the Day’s!?).
It didn’t always go exactly to plan, as waking up early ain’t easy, but it was still worth every second of sleep lost. Thanks for the contribution, Daylight Savings.
I love road trips, there’s something about them that just feels right. You sit in a car, windows down, air blowing, music playing, and you forget everything. You’re just there taking it all in, and for that moment that’s all that matters. You see different towns, greet different people, and expose yourself to areas you would otherwise overlook.
We visited springs, parks, gardens, beaches, and cities; Hiked, drove, laughed, and ate.
Experiences aren’t easy for everyone to put down in writing, and for those that have the incredible talent, I thank you for being alive. But, take this from me, this trip is definitely worth doing.
TRIP AND TIPS
Here you’ll find the places we visited and the order in which we went. This trip can be done from anywhere in Florida with some slight modifications to suit your interests a little more as it can loop around. Obviously, we skipped South Florida because odds of exploring the area are higher since it’s closer to home. We focused on the areas above Orlando and Sarasota, since we only took Friday off from work. We tried to squeeze in as much as possible to get the general grasp of things just to make note of places worth making longer trips to.
Now without further ado, the Rachel & Jessica Discover Florida Itinerary.
TIPS BEFORE HEADING OUT
– Make a list of the things you will need for the trip so you don’t forget anything.
– Have a rough itinerary/budget (click here for template) and at least $20.00 cash per person.
– Stop at a grocery store and buy food for the road that won’t go bad. This will not only save you
money, but time. Time is of the essence people! More time equals more exploring and enjoying. Isn’t
that the whole point of this?
– Try to have directions of the destination that you’re headed to next while you have reception. There’s
a lot of places that you’ll lose it (damn you T-Mobile), so it’s always good to be prepared. I’m talking
from experience here, trust me.
– Make sure that whoever is going with you has similar interest, won’t be complaining the whole time,
and has good taste in music and/or audio books (it’s cool, I swear!)
Started in Miami Beach after we both got out of work so we wouldn’t miss an extra day.
Drove 3 Hrs. and 30 Minutes to Kissimmee to spend the night, where we stayed at the Ramada and paid $65.81 for the one night stay. The hotel had free parking, WiFi, and we had a fridge and microwave in the room. Take advantage!
Juniper Springs State Park Ravine Gardens State Park Washington Oaks State Park
Washington Oaks Beach St. Augustine
In St. Augustine we ate at a Taco Place (very fancy I know). But, we were on a budget and this trip was about the adventures and site seeing, not the food. We eat plenty here in Miami, trust me. The name of the place is Burrito Works: Taco Shop, it’s very inexpensive and the quesadilla and burritos were delicious. It’s located in Downtown St. Augustine which is what 99% of people are referring to when you hear them talk about the city.
From St. Augustine we drove to Jacksonville. Here we stayed at a Best Western that was less than 15 minutes from Friendship Fountain Park and we paid $89.60 for a one night stay that included breakfast, WiFi and free parking.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
Oh, spring breakers, what have you done to us? As you can see there’s no picture here, none. I have one of the entrance, but would feel as if I was doing a big injustice to the spring by using that as a description. This place looks epic online, and will definitely be returning. Unfortunately for us, we went during spring break, and though I am no longer in school, lots of other people are and they took advantage. They stole our spots and broke our hearts. I’m adding drama for emphasis, but we really weren’t able to snorkel because it was so packed. We weren’t even able to get a sneak peek, I’m sure you can’t imagine the disappointment. But, you have to make the best of what you have, right? So, we went to the gardens next door which are the ones below.
Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens
Rainbow Springs State Park
TampaIn Tampa we stayed with my cousin’s mom, so we saved money that we would’ve otherwise spent on a hotel. When looking for hotels don’t just look at the downtown area of a city, and try to guide yourself more by guest reviews as opposed to star reviews. Obviously this applies most when on a budget. The struggle of being in our twenties, right? Ate at World of Beer which had a great ambiance, live music, and multiple dogs (best part, obviously).
Bowling Ball House (Whimzey) Treeumph Adventure Course
That’s all folks! Eat, drive, sing, repeat, and then you’re home.
I’ll be posting feedback of all the places we went and adding them to either North or Central Florida. If you think of any places that can be added to this road trip or a new one entirely, comment below!
Based on the feedback that I get I’ll go ahead and make an itinerary with all the stops, along with other details that may be needed.
All feedback is welcomed and highly, highly encouraged.
Until next time,