Shortcake or Biscuit? Foods to Love at the FL Strawberry Festival

Strawberry Shortcake Booth at the FL Strawberry Festival - a must visit if you're in Central Florida in March!

Shortcake or biscuit?

Visit the Florida Strawberry Festival and you’ll be asked this question at least once (twice or three times if you’re doing it right). Personally, I’m a shortcake kind of gal but I’m no biscuit hater.

The Florida Strawberry Festival takes place in Plant City every March, overwhelming the small town for a little over a week. Parking is difficult, traffic can be intense, but for the shortcake, I power through.

The festival is 90% fair and about 10% strawberry, but that 10% is tasty and worth driving for. Each year I load up on strawberry flavored goodies and, always up for a challenge, this year I was prepared to sample more than ever before. The post-festival strawberry food baby was, as always, completely worth it. The festival continues through the end of this weekend, so read up on my favorite treats and then sample for yourself. Continue reading “Shortcake or Biscuit? Foods to Love at the FL Strawberry Festival”

Day Trip Guide: Dunedin, FL

Since moving to Central Florida in 2012, day trips have sort of become my jam. Living in a state where people regularly come for their yearly vacations means an endless supply of things to do, and I’m making a commitment to explore more this year and in the future. Day trip guides feature locations accessible in 2.5 hours or less that are small enough to be enjoyed in just one day.

dunedin-fl-day-trip-guide

The Basics

If you’re looking for a great spot to explore on foot, enjoy the arts, prefer local eats over chain restaurants, and like cities that are full of character and big on community, Dunedin may be just the place for you.

Dunedin, FL is a small city in the Tampa Bay area with Scottish roots (Dunedin comes from the Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland). It’s home to Florida’s oldest craft brewery, a popular Mardi Gras celebration, Honeymoon Island State Park, and a vibrant arts community. Coming from Orlando, plan for a 2 hour drive each way. Continue reading “Day Trip Guide: Dunedin, FL”

There’s Something About Dunedin

The more I explore the sunshine state, the more I realize I really, really love small towns. I actively seek out places that feel inviting, are small enough to explore on foot, and – ok – have at least one really great spot for an ice cream cone.

Funny then, that in my multiple past visits to Dunedin, I never ventured past the Dunedin Brewery and nearby 7venth Sun Brewing Company. (Turns out afternoons are easily lost when eating delicious food and sampling 3 too many craft brews.)

Dunedin, FL: A colorful, artsy city in the gulf coast of Florida that makes the perfect day trip

While the brewery scene is lively and worth experiencing, I knew this town had more to offer, so it was time for another visit. Continue reading “There’s Something About Dunedin”

There’s Gators on the Path Up There

“There’s gators on the path up there, if you want to get some good pictures.”

Aside from the guy we spotted off the path wearing mid-calf boots and poking the ground with what appeared to be a stick* (coincidentally after just having had a conversation about how this path might be a bit scary to walk alone because strange people are everywhere), this was the first person my mom and I had come across on our hike. He’d walked into my photo just as I was about to press the shutter and, noticing my camera, let us know what was ahead.

PaynesPrairie_February2016_009

Gators were the reason we’d come to Paynes Prairie Preserve in the first place – you’re guaranteed to see them on the La Chua trail. However, we didn’t expect to see them on our current path. The description of the Bolen Bluff Trail on our map had only read: “2.5 miles round trip. Named after a family of pioneers, this trail is a shady loop with a spur to a wildlife viewing platform. If lucky, observe the wild Spanish horses or the bison herd.” Continue reading “There’s Gators on the Path Up There”

Micanopy: Inviting, Photogenic and Totally Day-Tripable

When I first moved to Florida in 2012, I knew of little else in the state besides beautiful beaches and jam-packed theme parks. I didn’t think about open fields, quaint towns, or an abundance of state parks. And I certainly didn’t think of places like Micanopy.

If one word comes to mind after my half day spent in Micanopy, (pronounced Mick-ah-NO-pee – I’m not proud of how many times I botched the name) it’s inviting. The town is tiny with a population of less than 600 people and the main road is lined with old buildings, antique shops, and large trees covered in Spanish moss. It’s like a bite sized version of St. Augustine and Savannah, GA rolled into one. In other words, right up my alley for an afternoon of exploring.

The quaint downtown of Micanopy, FL

I owe the discovery of Micanopy to my mom. Always up for a day trip, she sent me an article a few months ago with a list of picturesque small towns in Florida and we decided to check out a few – Micanopy being one of the choices. Continue reading “Micanopy: Inviting, Photogenic and Totally Day-Tripable”