Favorite Places in Central Florida

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  #31  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:16 PM
mkarba mkarba is offline
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Default St. Augustine

Once the B&B’s in St. Augustine open the old town is wonderful. On/off tram tickets are a must good for two days. Columbia restaurant has best mojitos and steak. Take A1A all the way up beautiful drive. World Golf Hall of Fame pretty fun.
  #32  
Old 05-14-2020, 04:31 PM
DONS999 DONS999 is offline
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Default Tarpon Springs

Had a place on the water in Tarpon Springs for 25 years before we came to TV. Was great in the 90's when Pappas was at it's peak . Tarpon Springs is still a good day trip with some good Greek food.

Skippers Smokehouse in North Tampa is a real trip (gator burgers are good) . The place has not changed since the 60's . Same great entertainment and people.
  #33  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:21 PM
pcacace pcacace is offline
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Sunken gardens in Sarasota I think, and the restaurant on site for lunch.
  #34  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:23 PM
pcacace pcacace is offline
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I’ll agree with Tarpon Springs. Go w AAA and you get a great tour also.
  #35  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:35 PM
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John_W John_W is offline
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Originally Posted by pcacace View Post
Sunken gardens in Sarasota I think, and the restaurant on site for lunch.
You had the correct coast, but Sunken Gardens is in St. Petersburg, 18th Ave and 4th Street North.

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Sunken Gardens - St. Petersburg

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  #36  
Old 05-14-2020, 08:47 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Before this thread somehow mysteriously closes, I’d like to thank everyone for contributing. I’ve added so many interesting places to my list! It’s been a pleasant diversion as I’ve Googled your recommendations. I love daydreaming about road trips, don’t you? Several of the places you’ve mentioned have been on my radar but I haven’t made the trek. As soon as I can I will make a point of going! I hope others may be able to venture out soon for a day trip to some of these awesome places too. Please continue to add your recommendations until this thread is gone since I am still making notes...and Thank you! Stay safe & be happy.
  #37  
Old 05-14-2020, 09:04 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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[QUOTE=John_W;1765207]You had the correct coast, but Sunken Gardens is in St. Petersburg, 18th Ave and 4th Street North.

Sunken Gardens, Ringling Museum and the cobblestone old town area in St. Augustine have been on my list for many years but I’ve never gone. It’s just so hard to take time away from the beach whenever I’m near the Gulf!
I do love to tour historic estates & homes so Central Florida has a lot to offer. My daughter is a UCF alum so I had split most of my time between Orlando & Tampa/StPete. I can’t wait to be free to roam again! I saw that CityWalk is (Limited)!open at Universal again! It’s kind of scary to think about visiting tourist areas again but this too shall pass...
  #38  
Old 05-14-2020, 09:58 PM
Carlsondm Carlsondm is offline
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Don’t forget the Freezer and Tiki Bar in Homasassa Springs, just a few miles from the state park. A seafood cook owns it and it is a bit of a dive, but the shrimp is amazing, prices are fair, and you can enjoy your chowder or shrimp on the marina, while sipping a fav beverage.
They also have a seafood market open a few days a week. This is a local hangout. Some of those Key West foodies will be there too.
  #39  
Old 05-15-2020, 07:13 AM
HimandMe HimandMe is offline
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That reminds me of a trip that AAA offers. It must be popular, I've seen the price go from $899 to $1049 in the past two years.

You get a bus to Fort Myers, a nice hotel there, meals at nice restaurants, then a hydroplane high speed 90 minute Key West Express boat ride to Key West. Then a couple of nights in Key West at nice place. Meals and tours and then back to Fort Myers.

If you're not into the whole excursion, you can drive to Fort Myers and park your car and take the boat ride on your own, I think it's $155 round trip.

Key West Express Official Page | Key West Ferry Service

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We went on this...rough ride as there were some small waves...spent entire time sick often in washroom with head over the bowl and people behind me pounding for their turn....there is a cheap plane ride back in 1/3 of the time...TG
  #40  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:01 AM
davem4616 davem4616 is offline
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Originally Posted by stevemac View Post
boat rise across Dora Lake into the Dora canal. It begins at the Lakeview Inn.
we enjoyed that boat ride too...very interesting traveling through the canal
  #41  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:06 AM
davem4616 davem4616 is offline
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Originally Posted by ALadysMom View Post
Thanks for the suggestion! The tossed napkins might be scary if I can get some Saganaki too :0 (flaming Greek cheese Opa’s is now in my list.

I forgot a couple of wonderful places:

Fort DeSoto Park near St Pete
& Tibby’s New Orleans —fantastic—restaurant in a little strip center near Winter Park (A northern Orlando Suburb) The Coop near Winter Park is a great grab & go for fried chicken in the park. 4Rivers Smokehouse is awesome. I also love Rocco’s Tacos on Sand Lake road Orlando (try to get a table overlook the lake & be sure to get fresh table-side guacamole & fantastic margaritas Yum!
They do have Saganaki and we order it every time (their pita bread is fabulous)....and give the grilled octopus a try too

you'll laugh at the tossed napkins...they're the little cocktail type
  #42  
Old 05-15-2020, 09:13 AM
davem4616 davem4616 is offline
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The Lake Ridge Winery on 27 heading south toward Clermont had been having outdoor concerts once a month on a weekend...you'd bring your own chairs...sit in the shade under huge live oaks (spanish moss removed) always nice breeze on this hilltop and listen to blues, rock, jazz, pop music Free tours of the winery and they have a number of food vendors with excellent food and drink

keep an eye out for when they resume these events....easy to stay 6 ft away from everyone and you're outside (unless you go inside for the tour
  #43  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:26 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Originally Posted by mkarba View Post
Once the B&B’s in St. Augustine open the old town is wonderful. On/off tram tickets are a must good for two days. Columbia restaurant has best mojitos and steak. Take A1A all the way up beautiful drive. World Golf Hall of Fame pretty fun.
I can’t wait to drive up there! I’ve read about the history of St. Augustine and a scenic drive is a great way to start or end a trip. Sometimes I take routes just for the vistas along the way like the Sunshine Bridge near St. Pete, the Tampa Bay bridges, and the overseas highway in the Keyes. Simply breathtaking. Thanks for the tram tip too. I love all of the locations of The Columbia restaurant. It’s named after a ship I think. Have you been to The Columbia in Ybor (Tampa), Sarasota and Celebration? Each one has a unique ambiance but they all share the same delicious menu of wonderfully tasty, fresh Cuban food. I love the pitchers of table-side Sangria and Eggplant Riojana or Pollo Riojana if I’d prefer chicken. My daughter loves their seafood paella. The fresh Cuban bread is so yummy! I’ve never been disappointed with the food or the service. I’m getting really hungry just thinking about it! Gee, Thanks? St Augustine lighthouse was featured on Ghost Hunters but I need not fear since knees won’t climb all those steps. I would still like to see the historic structure though. And The tram sounds delightful.
  #44  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:34 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem4616 View Post
The Lake Ridge Winery on 27 heading south toward Clermont had been having outdoor concerts once a month on a weekend...you'd bring your own chairs...sit in the shade under huge live oaks (spanish moss removed) always nice breeze on this hilltop and listen to blues, rock, jazz, pop music Free tours of the winery and they have a number of food vendors with excellent food and drink

keep an eye out for when they resume these events....easy to stay 6 ft away from everyone and you're outside (unless you go inside for the tour
I considered buying a home in Clermont but I never knew about the Winery or the concerts. Sounds like a great way to enjoy some vino! The hilly terrain there is not very Florida-like, isn’t it? Their lakes would make nice places to call home but there wasn’t much of an obviously social community, unlike The Villages. Hope everyone can enjoy concerts and festivals again very soon.
  #45  
Old 05-15-2020, 04:46 PM
ALadysMom ALadysMom is offline
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[QUOTE=John_W;1764603]When I was 12 in 1962, my 6th grade class went on a field trip to Tarpon Springs and they took us out in a boat. It wasn't very big, maybe ten of us at a time, and we watched the hard-hat diver go down and bring up a sponge. They still have the tours.

Tarpon Springs is home to a Greek Community and part of their heritage was hard-hat diving for sponges. There use to a very famous Greek Restaurant at the harbor in Tarpon Springs called Louis Pappas. It first opened in 1925 but I found that it closed in 2005. We had another very popular one in St. Petersburg (Pasadena), but it also has closed. They still have smaller locations in Clearwater and Tampa. So if you see a 'Louie' Pappas Restaurant, it's excellent Greek food.


Thanks for the great photos! They brought back so many memories for me, too. I used to love sponge painting with my 3 kids. We had a ball decorating their rooms together. That’s how I knew sponges were harvested in Tarpon Springs. But WOW...I thought bell scuba suits were left behind long ago. I’ll keep a lookout for Pappas. TY
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