The clear waters of Ginnie Springs.

Photo Credit Maya Harris

Day Trippin’

The Most Fruitful Way to Spend a Weekend

November 20, 2018

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Day trips: the perfect amalgamation of [partial] freedom, friends, and weekends. Complete your homework, select an excursion, and enjoy.

 

Bike Rides, for the nostalgic.

There is a forgotten fondness to bike rides. In our quaint beach town, cycling through the area is a simple way to get around. As children, the bicycle was the quintessential vehicle: With its help, traveling to the beach, parks, and friends’ houses was a breeze. As we matured, automobiles replaced bicycles, but it’s never too late to pick up your bike and go for a ride.

  • Bagel World. If you’re feeling famished, stop by and grab a bagel. Carbs are power.
  • Mathers Bridge & Tropical Trail. Talk about views. Be sure to watch out for cars, though! The roads are awfully narrow.
  • The beach. It’s so freeing to ride to the beach and relax, without fear of finding parking or your car turning into an incinerator when you come back. Just be sure to bring your bike lock!

 

Cocoa Village, for the local.

A short drive away, Cocoa Village is a charming, scenic escape.

  • Mrs. Mango & Company. On the drive to Cocoa Village, take a pitstop here! They pass out free tea and cookies.
  • Cocoa Village Playhouse. Many Satellite students perform here: Support your Scorps and watch a show.
  • Taylor Park. This is right on the waterfront and has all the views.
  • OSSORIO Bakery & Cafe. Whether you’re in the mood for ice cream, pizza, pastries, or coffee, there is something for you here.
  • Caroline’s House of Records. A hidden treasure, Caroline’s has new and used records from all genres. There’s something so nostalgic about sifting through records. Heading over here will satisfy that craving for the past.  

 

Tampa, for the artistic soul.

Perhaps you’re in a rut or are simply seeking some inspiration. If so, this area is for you. There is creativity along every corner

  • Tampa Museum of Art. Currently, Yayoi Kusama’s “LOVE IS CALLING” exhibit is featured on the premises until February 14, 2019. It is definitely worth the drive from coast to coast.
  • Oxford Exchange. This place has it all: restaurant, shop, bookshore. Spend a few hours grabbing a latte and exploring the selection of books.
  • Heights Public Market. Not sure what you want to eat? With a group of indecisive friends? Take them to the Heights Public Market. It’s full of all cuisines, so there’s bound to be something you’ll like. Plus, there’s gluten free and vegan menus that give options for most locations.
  • Henry B. Plant Museum. This place is stunning and the museum is soon to be decorated for the holidays.

 

Orlando, for the foodie.

Though the area is a general tourist trap, Orlando is full of wonders. The constant influx of people yields lively scenes wherever you go.

  • Lake Eola Park. As you walk around the park, you can experience See Art Orlando, an initiative to make art more accessible to the public. There are installations and sculptures throughout Lake Eola Park that are true eye candy.
  • LemonShark Poke. I’ve been on a poke kick recently, and this place is worth the drive. They have such a good variety of toppings and sauces. It’s on the same road as Trader Joe’s, too, so you can take a pitstop after and grab some snacks for the road!
  • King Bao. Their specials are phenomenal, and I highly recommend the truffle tots—they are pillows of pure joy.
  • Hubbly Bubbly Falafel Shop. I was originally drawn to the fun name, but the falafel dishes are what stole my heart. The wall art sets the perfect mood for enjoying some good eats. Their mazel tots are the bomb, and the surrounding area is lively and ideal for walking off the food.
  • International Drive. If you’re seeking nightlife but you’re too young to go to clubs or bars, this is the place for you. Once the sun sets, this place is poppin’. You can go on the Orlando Eye, ride the Starflyer, try one of the several restaurants, or simply have a good time with friends.
  • Disney Springs. Bowling, concerts, movies, shopping—Disney Springs is the ultimate venue.
  • Winter Park Historic District. This is a super gorgeous area for exploring and window shopping! Grab a picnic blanket and relax under the trees in the grass area.
  • Orlando Science Center. If you want to relive your childhood, come here! They have loads of exhibits that are sure to stir your inner kid.

Photo Credit Teresa Rohleen
Wall art in Orlando.

New Smyrna Beach, for the beach bum.

A short road trip, New Smyrna Beach boasts some of the best surf on the East Coast. Pack your boards and hit the beach with your friends.

  • The beach. Obviously the town’s name hints it, but this beach is one of the better on the East Coast: It boasts white sand, great surfing, and you can drive your car on the beach.
  • The boardwalk/town area. Since New Smyrna is a cutesy beach town, it’s equipped with loads of shops and places to eat. When you get sick of the sand, take a stroll down Flagler Ave.—you won’t be sorry.
  • Mason Bar. After a long day at the beach, there is nothing more refreshing than an açaí bowl, and Mason Bar makes some of the best.

 

West Palm Beach, for the visionary.

I love this place. There is art floating around everywhere and I feel so liberated when exploring the area.

  • The murals. WPB is laden with these. Just keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find them all over the city.
  • Elizabeth Ave Station. If you’re feeling crafty, head over to Elizabeth Ave Station and gain some inspiration. They have unique events, too!
  • The Chickpea. Everything is phenomenal, and the best part is that you don’t feel bogged down after eating here.
  • Clematis Street. The Chickpea is on this street, along with several other restaurants and shops. Whether it’s during the day or the night, Clematis always has a lively atmosphere.
  • Worth Avenue. The general area is so lush. Marvel at the architecture and foliage as you walk down the street.

 

The Springs, for the adventurer.

Featuring crisp, clear water, taking a visit to one of Florida’s State Parks is well worth the drive—if you can handle the water temperature, that is. Since the water stays around 72°, the springs are not for the faint of heart. Going on a sunny day makes all the difference!

  • Blue Spring State Park. This is the classic spring for those in Brevard. It’s relatively nearby and is an easy drive up I-95.
  • Kelly Park at Rock Springs Run. If Blue Spring is closed, or you want to try somewhere else, visit Kelly Park for a more intimate location.
  • Ginnie Springs. Slightly north of Gainesville, Ginnie Springs has phenomenal scuba diving.
  • Devil’s Den Spring. This spring has limited access, since only so many people can fit inside the cave. People start to line up very early and, since it is so far away, I would suggest camping on the grounds the night before your excursion. Turn that day trip into an overnighter! Keep in mind, though, that if you’re under 18 years of age, you must be accompanied with a parent or guardian.

Photo Credit Kira Downs
Posing on the walkways at Blue Springs.

Others, for the indecisive.

Been there and done that? The following list has even more options.

  • Concerts. Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville are the main hubs for concerts in Florida. Luckily, they happen all the time and, if one concert date doesn’t work for you, there’s usually another the day after or before at another Florida venue. If you have a Spotify account, you can link it to your Bandsintown profile and it will narrow down the concerts to a few that match your likings.
  • Eau Gallie Arts District. Bring a camera and snap some pictures in front of the murals. There’s local events and flea markets that frequent the area, too.
  • Melbourne Beach. Head south to Ocean Ave and explore the beachy haven. Park at one of the local beach accesses or take a trip to the Sebastian Inlet State Park. Livacai is a sweet acai shop tucked into the Melbourne Beach Supermarket that’s the perfect post-beach treat.

Photo Credit Taylor Rohleen
A concert at the House of Blues.

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