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 > Upcoming Florida Trip

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SpeakEasy

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Posted: 03/10/19 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In a few weeks we'll be heading to Florida. I'm looking for input and reactions to our planned route and itinerary, as well as any advice about MUST-SEE things along the way. We'll be on the road for about 6 weeks. Traveling from Western New York. We already have reservations for most of the spots in Florida, but no specific places for stopping along the way down or the way back. We like to see historical things and interesting cultural things. I like snorkeling and scuba as well as kayaking and biking. Capable of several days at a time off-grid, but generally appreciate the luxury of hookups. Just the two of us geezers; no grandkids along, except maybe have a couple of them join us for a couple days on the way home.

Weeks #1-1.5: Take 3 to 5 days to get to the Florida panhandle. Route taking us through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida. Use Harvest Host locations along the way. First campground in Florida: Topsail Hill Preserve for 6 nights. Maybe do some snorkeling and scuba diving.

Week #1.5-2.5: Drive to Salt Springs Rec. area in Ocala National Forest. A couple days there exploring the springs. One day at a Harvest Host picking blueberries. On to Sun n Fun RV Resort near Sarasota to meet up with family for a few days.

Week #2.5-3.0: Go up to Clearwater area. Try to get in to Fort De Soto Park. (No reservations; no sites currently available) Couple days exploring Tarpon Springs, Ybor City, Tampa..

Week #4 and into 5: Head to Bahia Honda State Park, via one stopover night at Corps of Engineers campground W. P. Franklin (near Fort Meyers) and two nights in Long Key Pine campground in Everglades National Park. Then 6 nights at Bahia Honda. Snorkeling and scuba diving.

Week #5: Head north to Anastasia State Park for a couple nights, and then start wandering toward home.

Week #6: Wander home, using Harvest Hosts. Spend a couple nights with family in Raleigh, NC.


Wadya think?


Getting antsy


-Speak


It's just Mrs. SpeakEasy and me now (empty-nesters). But we can choose from among 7 grandchildren to drag along with us!



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agesilaus

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Posted: 03/10/19 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While you are in the Keys make sure you take the dive boat trips out to the reefs. They are great trips and aren't all that pricey. Just hope that you do not have onshore winds which ruins the diving and snorkeling. The boats can provide all your gear tho I'd at least bring everything except tanks. There is a boat out of Bahia Honda, we never got to try it because of those winds I mention above that stir up silt and reduce visibility to just about zero.

I am not as familiar with diving in the panhandle. I know there are some boats and they have to go much further off shore to get to their dive sites. I think those are often wrecks. There is a well known springs dive spot called Vortex Springs. Not sure how close that is to Top Sail.

Weeki Watchi is now open to divers. And so are the springs in the Ocala NF (Salt Springs), Mainly Alexander Springs. I don't think there is much at Salt Springs and Alexander is just a shallow dive. Crystal River has boats that drop you off upstream and pick you up a mile or so downstream. That is a very excellent trip you feel like you are flying over the green waving grass in the perfectly clear water.


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wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 03/10/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stretch that return leg out some. If you haven't previously, visit Savannah Ga, beautiful old town, fascinating cemetary, and great food, then up to Charleston SC, Ft. Sumter, and old town tours as well, then up to your Raleigh stop before going back to the Coast for Nags Head beaches, Wright Bros Memorial, lighthouses and then up to Williamsburg Va for some history.

Big Katuna

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Posted: 03/10/19 09:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you can’t get in Ft Desoto, try to get in nearby Madeira Beach KOA. Tons to do around there and near Ft Desoto. The KOA is at the great Pinellas Bike Trail. Paved, with bridges, traffic lights, etc.


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VoodooMedicineMan

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Posted: 03/10/19 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Be sure to visit McGuire Irish Pub


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Big Katuna

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Posted: 03/10/19 03:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If on I75, see Don Garlits Museum near Ocala if your a gear head.

Dick_B

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Posted: 03/10/19 05:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In Tarpon Springs one of our favorite restaurants is Rusty Bellies at the far end of the main drag. Good hush puppies are an appetizer. In Clearwater you might want to see Winter the dolphin that lost its tail and was fitted with a prothesis. A movie was made about that story.
We always stay at the Dunedin RV Resort and have lunch at the nearby Molly Goodheads. Needless to say we like eating.


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mustard

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Posted: 03/10/19 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If going I75 thru Cincinnati, look into the Creation Museum and an hour down the road if the Ark Encounter.





Merrykalia

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Posted: 03/10/19 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kentucky Horse Park, right off of I-75 in Lexington, KY. Water/electric sites only, but have a dump station. Great area to explore the Bourbon Trail and to go to either Keeneland or Churchill Downs for some horse racing. There is also the Red Mile for buggy racing. You can check their schedules online and purchase tickets. You probably won't be able to go to the Kentucky Derby, but there is lots of racing going on in the area.


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SpeakEasy

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Posted: 03/10/19 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome ideas, folks.

Thanks!

Keep them coming.

-Speak

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