Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-08-2006, 11:06 PM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Hello All:

I will be going on vacation with some relatives for a week in the seminole/clearwater area of Florida in middle March. I wanted opinions on the "musts" while we are down there. The places we must go or must eat, must do etc...

I have been to Florida many times in the past, but was looking for some more ideas. I really have no idea especially when it comes to food. What are the best places to eat breakfast/chinese/bbq/supper etc etc..?? Places to go?? Beaches, things to see? museums? Just any ideas you guys could give me would be a huge help.

Thanks in advance!!

-E
__________________

__________________
ebisky is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-09-2006, 12:13 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Food. Florida. Maybe I can help. I have been away too long to know what places are still there, but once you know what to ask for, this may help:

Tampa area... Run up to Tarpon Springs for some good Greek food and ambiance. Walk around the port. Buy a horseshoe crab shell for a gift. The smaller restaurants on the back streets are the most authentic (and usually cheaper). Also have belly dancing.

You can get (OK, 25 years ago we got...) really good Greek salad and gyros ("EE-rohs") in Tampa. Better than Chicago!

Do not miss good Cuban food in Tampa! Good paella (sp? Say, "pie-AY-ah".) will be expensive, but worth it. Black bean soup. Pampano Papillo (sp? again--Spanish for pampano cooked in a bag with rice and saffron). [The "ll" comes out like y in "yes".] Get a big pitcher of sangria, too. Try Ybor City area. Ask around. Find Jose Martin's grave. See the cigar factory. Find the hotel that Teddy Roosevelt rode his horse into. Windsurf on the bay (don't fall in the water...it used to be pretty polluted).

There used to be some neat restaurants on the beach in Clearwater. Find one that hangs over the beach and look down. Maybe you will see the horseshoe crabs mating in the shallow water, like we did.

In Clearwater, find a baseball summer camp. Ask around. Go to a game.

Conch chowder. Stone crabs. Gulf shrimp (be careful, though--my wife is allergic to something in them, we discovered). Shark. Swordfish. Boiled peanuts by the side of the road out of a drum.

Go to Busch Gardens. Not as hokey as some of the stuff in central FL.

Maybe go south to Sannibel Island for the day. Enjoy a great beach. In Ft Myers (you have to go through Ft Myers to get to the island), visit Tom Edison's winter home.

Take a trip east past Lakeland. Go to Peeble's Barbecue in Auburdale, FL, for the world's best ribs. Here:
http://national.citysearch.com/profi..._restaurant-nc
Call ahead. They are closed some time in the winter.

Go to Plant City for the Strawberry Festival:
http://www.flstrawberryfestival.com/
Hurry!

Go to Bok Sanctuary. See and hear the Bok [carillon] tower on the highest point in Florida:
http://www.boksanctuary.org/
See the grave of Edward William Bok, Dutch immigrant who published the Ladies' Home Journal. Made a bleeding fortune, before income taxes! [G*d-d*mned Dutchmen. Said the kid from Friesland.]

Go see Spook Hill in Lake Wales:
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/FLLAKspook.html

Go to Cape Kennedy. See the monuments to our glorious past.

Go to Orlando. See Lake Buena Vista. See Epcot Center. Forget everything else.

I liked FL. I remember hearing Jimmy Buffett for the first time almost 30 years ago on the car radio singing "Cheeseburger in Paradise" as I was driving to Tampa. Muy sympatico!

Why would you go to Florida to eat Chinese food? (Except my buddies' restaurants, and he has been out of business for 20 years.)

Oh, yeah. If you go to the beach, WEAR HIGH SPF SUNSCREEN! ALL OVER YOU! Wear a hat, too. The sun on the beach in Clearwater can kill you.

Have fun! Remember me to Jose Martin.

Ed The Gypsy


__________________

__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-09-2006, 12:20 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Oh, yeah.

Sunday brunch at the restaurant in the top of the Polynesian Village in Disney World. It used to be the only place north of Miami you could get a bagel.

I won't share my favorite Central Florida topless joints with you. Sorry.

__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-09-2006, 12:25 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Of course, you could go over to St. Petersburg, "City of the Living Dead". Go to watch the pellicans on the wharf. One of them is famous.

Watch out for the old drivers. For some reason, they think that when they retire, they don't have to follow the driving laws anymore. Add that to bad eyes and Alzheimers' and one of you should be taking a cab.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-09-2006, 12:50 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Why would you go to Florida to eat Chinese food?
agreed. all the chinese food here tastes the same no matter what restaurant. for good chinese, go to new york.

that said, not far from clearwater, tampa is really a nice little city. i'm in south florida but spent two weeks* there & central fl waiting for fp&l to get us back online after wilma.

besides the good suggestions already, the aquarium downtown tampa is surprisingly well-done. there is an easy hop on/off trolly car on rail. for few bucks it takes you downtown, past aquarium, seaport over to ybor city, the restored historic part of town. you'll find good lunch places and evening entertainment there. enjoy.

ps. lowry park zoo just north of tampa isn't too bad either. kind of low key but well kept and you can feed the giraffe by hand.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-09-2006, 07:31 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,352
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Listen to the Gypsy,
that Cuban meal is not to be missed. Exactly as he described, get the black bean soup, Pampano and sangria. You will be happy you did.

And the boiled peanuts are a must. If you've never had them, it will be a memory for the ages. I know a couple who nearly come to blows when the subject of boiled peanuts comes up.

One thing I'll add is if you make it east to St. Cloud get a captain's platter at The Catfish Place. Yep, it's fried and still sizzling when you eat it. I think it contributed to my step fathers early demise. One meal
__________________
OldAgePensioner is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-09-2006, 08:53 AM   #7
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Wow, great information everyone!

Truly appreciate the information/advice. I'm looking forward to this trip!

If anyone can think of some more suggestions, that'd be great.

-E
__________________
ebisky is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

A good place to eat in the Clearwater area is the Conch Republic. Head south on Gulf Blvd from Clearwater Beach it is on the left in, I want to say, North Reddington. Basically go south if you get to Madeira Beach you've gone too far. I live in Seminole.

Personally, I stay out of St. Pete, unless I'm well armed and go with others similarly armed. I don't want the squirts I arrest to know what my family looks like and I don't want to dispatch one of those squirts in front of my kid. There's way too much crime and my truck isn't protected by an anti-theft chip. A lot of cars are stolen from there. That and the police chief called me (my ancestors actually) guineas. So screw 'em. It's my personal protest about how the police officers are treated by the leadership in that city. They even had the gaul to name a gym after a drug dealer, who was doing something he shoudln't have been doing and was shot by a police officer.

If your going to the beach and your older Clearwater Beach might not be the best place this time of year because of spring break. If you go a little south to Indian Shores it is less crowded and older people. If your young and single Clearwater Beach is the place to be.
__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 12:35 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

lets-retire,

Do the Scientologists still have a footing in Clearwater? What happened after L. Ron bit the big one?

Florida is a zany place. Always has been. I understand your interest in personal protection there.

By the way, do you figure on retiring in FL? I always wondered, if one lives and works in Florida, do they dream of retiring in Buffalo?

Ed The Thetan
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 04:16 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 452
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Go see the Aquarium in downtown Tampa.
.
Stay off of Rt. 19 if possible, a very dangerous road.
.
Walk around the quaint little downtown area of Dunedin.
.
Go to Safety Harbor, walk out on the pier and maybe you'll see manatees.
.
There is nothing in downtown Clearwater, but if driving thru,
you may see the people walking around in white uniforms - they're the
Scientologists.
__________________
renferme is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 04:20 PM   #11
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
Go see the Aquarium in downtown Tampa.
.
Stay off of Rt. 19 if possible, a very dangerous road.
.
Walk around the quaint little downtown area of Dunedin.
.
Go to Safety Harbor, walk out on the pier and maybe you'll see manatees.
.
It's been a while since I've been to Florida and I'm hearing stories of towns not to go into and roads to stay off of. Has Florida really gotten that bad over the last 6 years??
__________________
ebisky is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 04:22 PM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 452
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

St. Pete, Clearwater is PINELLAS County - the most densely populated county
in FL.
Rt. 19 is dangerous because of speeders, people that run red lights, and just too damn many cars travel that road.
__________________
renferme is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 07:53 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,798
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

The scientologists pretty much own Clearwater. From talking with Clearwater police officers scientologists are very powerful in the city. The St Pete Times ran an article I think last year. They showed a picture hilighting the areas downtown that are owned or rented by memebers of the church. It was pretty much most of hte downtown area.

As far a retirement goes, I'm outta here at the end of July (not retired though). There are too many people, it's too expensive and I'll make a good return on my house when it sells. My plan was to leave the state when I retired, mainly to avoid running into one of the squirts I arrested when I was working five years after I retire. My plan was to go to a small podunk place at least 2 hours from the nearest tourist attraction.

I second the Rt 19 thing. If you go up Alt 19 it is a much nicer ride and less congested.
__________________
You don't want to work. You want to live like a king, but the big bad world don't owe you a thing. Get over it--The Eagles
lets-retire is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 08:22 PM   #14
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
The scientologists pretty much own Clearwater. From talking with Clearwater police officers scientologists are very powerful in the city. The St Pete Times ran an article I think last year. They showed a picture hilighting the areas downtown that are owned or rented by memebers of the church. It was pretty much most of hte downtown area.

As far a retirement goes, I'm outta here at the end of July (not retired though). There are too many people, it's too expensive and I'll make a good return on my house when it sells. My plan was to leave the state when I retired, mainly to avoid running into one of the squirts I arrested when I was working five years after I retire. My plan was to go to a small podunk place at least 2 hours from the nearest tourist attraction.

I second the Rt 19 thing. If you go up Alt 19 it is a much nicer ride and less congested.
Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Just a side note. I did a huge research paper in my history of religion class on scientology. I knew nothing of the religion until I did my paper. Very interesting religion. I'm not a scientologist, but if you guys have questions or was wondering something about it, I think I could answer it. Send me a PM.


Did you know they own their own cruise ship?? They take all of their level 4's or whatever they are called (forgot). They are at the very top of the pyramid. They take them all on the boat and that's how they are brought to the very last level within the religion. These people are said to possess powers. The only way they can reach the last level is on that cruise ship. Weird stuff. Anyways! OT.

-E
__________________
ebisky is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-10-2006, 08:39 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebisky
if you guys have questions or was wondering something about it, I think I could answer it.
E,

I know very little about Scientology (other than a few joke references) but am curious to learn more. Could you give me a 'cliff's notes' summary?

Thanks,

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-11-2006, 07:14 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,988
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

ebisky,

I appreciate your PM on "Cliff's Notes" on Scientology.

Thanks.

omni
__________________
omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-12-2006, 01:57 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,375
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

Not near Clearwater, but 20 years ago we went to Sanibel/Captiva and paddled a canoe through the Ding Darling nature preserve--awesome! Anhingas, ospreys, crabs, spooky woods--the kids still remember it. We ate at a restaurant called something like The Bubble Room on Captiva...great kitschy 40s/50s ambiance and tasty burgers as I remember. Our waiter wore a button that read, "Stop staring at my button!" (And they say my memory is going )
__________________
You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.
astromeria is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-12-2006, 02:11 PM   #18
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

We just returned from a wonderful trip along the coast from Sarasota to Ft. Meyers (Sanibel and Captiva).* Sanibel and Captiva were wonderful and we spent time collecting shells and biking.* One of the nicest stops was the "Mucky Duck" a pub on the beach on Captiva.* We had great views of the sunset on the beach, music and good food after sunset.*

The Keys along the coast have great beaches (Siesta Key is one of the best in the US) and great laid-back beach restaurants such as the Beachhouse on Anna Maria Key on Bradenton Beach and the Sandbar on the north side of Anna Maria Key.* They all have good music, good drinks and good food...

This is a good time to visit...temps in the mid 70's to* low 80's during the day ...* *
* * * * * * * * *
Truly Margaritaville!
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-12-2006, 05:03 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Outtahere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,677
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

BarabaraAnne

If you get back down that way check out Manasota Key, they have some of the best beaches for sharks teeth. DH and I love that part of FL and have friends in the area.
__________________

Dogs aren't our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. - Roger Caras
Outtahere is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?
Old 03-12-2006, 05:27 PM   #20
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Re: Vacation to Florida..I Need Ideas...Places/Things?

so many ideas.

I think we're going to visit the Bok Sanctuary, that place looks pretty relaxing.

We may also stop by Edison's Winter home on the way back from the airport when we first get down there since we are flying into Ft. Myers.

If anyone else has more ideas, let me know by Wednesday, because that's when we're leaving!
__________________

__________________
ebisky is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frugal-yet-fun vacation ideas: need ideas from vagabonds OKLibrarian Other topics 23 04-12-2007 09:16 AM
Blow-Out Vacation bbuzzard Life after FIRE 38 10-20-2006 07:35 PM
Is it a vacation if you don't vacate? Caroline Other topics 7 08-25-2006 07:31 PM
Vacation Ideas? brewer12345 Life after FIRE 21 11-14-2004 08:17 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:14 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.