Destinations

10 of the most effective locations to dwell out a Jimmy Buffett track in Florida

Fort Myers Beach, web site of the most recent Margaritaville Resort — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

It’s nearly as if Jimmy Buffett wrote the soundtrack to Florida. He definitely has spent sufficient time there, and so have I, as a Floridian of 4 many years. Buffett’s lyrics usually call to mind locales the place I’ve adopted his footsteps – actually or figuratively – within the Sunshine State. So, when it is time to “go where it’s warm,” comply with this Buffett-inspired map.

“Stranded on a sandbar” – Cayo Costa

Cayo Costa, an island unconnected to the mainlandCayo Costa, an island unconnected to the mainland — Photo courtesy of Visit Fort Myers

Buffett sings it prefer it’s a foul factor. If being caught on a sandbar seems like your fantasy getaway, Florida has extra sandbars than you’ll be able to shake a kayak paddle at. One of the most effective for whiling away a Jimmy Buffett form of day is Cayo Costa Island State Park, off the shores of Fort Myers. It requires boat transportation, which is available from water taxis and excursions at close by island marinas.

Its 9 miles of seashores are thought-about a number of the finest shelling locations in Florida and even provide overnighting for campers or those that reserve a country cabin upfront. Bonus: Just an island hop away, Cabbage Key is taken into account by many as inspiration for one among Buffett’s most well-known ballads, “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

“But there’s this one particular harbor” – Apalachicola

Apalachicola's working waterfrontApalachicola’s working waterfront — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

There is one specific harbor that brings out the romantic wayfarer in me, and that’s Apalachicola within the Florida Panhandle. The city is a throwback to the pre-Civil War period and is thought for its seafood and dealing waterfront. Once the third busiest port in Florida, it retains its historic buildings, now house to inns, retailers and seafood eating places the place native shrimp guidelines.

Here, the Apalachicola River meets the Gulf of Mexico, so you’ll be able to simply discover a waterfront spot to lose your self. Sit for a spell, let the bobbing boats lull away the current tense and dream of crusing away for a day. Or the remainder of your life.

“I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere” – St. Augustine

Fly off to St. Augustine for history and water sportsFly off to St. Augustine for historical past and water sports activities — Photo courtesy of FloridasHistoricCoast.com

Most interpret this as a craving for a Caribbean island reminiscent of St. Croix or St. Kitts. But Buffett’s treatment for cabin fever might very effectively be St. Augustine, the place he lived for a quick interval within the early Seventies. Start your Jimmy pilgrimage with a go to to Tradewinds Lounge, “The Oldest Lounge in the Oldest City,” the place the younger artist carried out.

Originally modeled after island sailor bars, it sits on the doorstep to St. Augustine’s Old City, well-known for its colonial fort and different buildings alongside cobbled streets. Bars, eating places, historic points of interest and B&Bs nonetheless make it a dream vacation spot for vacationers. On the flipside, attractive seashores and a surfer’s vibe add to the Parrothead (as followers of Jimmy Buffett are known as) taste.

“Got to stop wishing, got to go fishing” – Destin

Destin's gem-like emerald seas hold the promise of trophy catchesDestin’s gem-like emerald seas maintain the promise of trophy catches — Photo courtesy of Destin-Fort Walton Beach

Destin has earned its fame because the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” because of its shut proximity to deep, emerald waters, the place you’ll be able to pull in snapper, grouper, marlin and sailfish. Fishing constitution boats dock on the able to ferry you out for the catch of a lifetime, adopted by a seafood dinner becoming its fame. On par fame-wise with its fishing, Destin’s white powder sand drifts into heavenly visions that transcend the definition of “beach.”

“It’s five o’clock somewhere” – Jupiter

Jupiter's casual, real sideJupiter’s informal, actual facet — Photo courtesy of Discover The Palm Beaches

This Buffett-Alan Jackson collaboration drew crowds to the Square Grouper Tiki Bar at Jupiter Inlet, the place its music video was filmed in 2006. Well, to be truthful, the bar attracts crowds regularly to celebration within the sand and listen to dwell tunes with an impressive view of the water and Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse.

But you don’t have to attend till 5:00 p.m. to start out your celebration; Square Grouper opens at 11 a.m. Despite Jupiter’s fame as a magnate-magnet, its good-time bars and eating places preserve it actual. I’d additionally recommend Guanabanas Restaurant and Dune Dog Café for good-time “slumming” in Jupiter.

“Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville” – Fort Myers Beach

Architect's rendering of the newest MargaritavilleArchitect’s rendering of the most recent Margaritaville — Photo courtesy of Morris Depew & Associates

Some of the primary Margaritaville Resorts in Jimmy’s lodging portfolio went up in Florida, they usually proceed to populate seashore scenes. The latest is below building on Fort Myers Beach, the place a historic and protracted barefoot vibe makes it a pure. Look for it to open in September 2023 with signature facilities impressed by Buffett’s songs: License to Chill Bar, Coconut Telegraph Coffee Bar, and Fins Up! Beach Club, to call just a few.

“There’s a woman goin’ crazy on Caroline Street” – Key West

B.O.'s Fish Wagon, a food truck that never left Caroline StreetB.O.’s Fish Wagon, a meals truck that by no means left Caroline Street — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Key West is Parrothead Central and likewise one of many state’s quirkiest locations. You haven’t actually been to Florida till you’ve performed the Duval Crawl by means of the bars of its major drag, however Buffett sings a couple of completely different avenue. Personally, I’d moderately hang around on this facet avenue that intersects with Duval and runs near the waterfront at its north finish.

Here, you will see a few my favourite KW eateries: funky B.O.’s Fish Wagon, identified for its grouper sandwiches, and Pepe’s Café, dubbed the “oldest eating house in Key West.” Fun retailers stream alongside Caroline Street, and Waterfront Brewery is just a block away.

“You got fins to the left, fins to the right” – Orlando

Swim with the sharks at Discovery CoveSwim with the sharks at Discovery Cove — Photo courtesy of Discovery Cove

Theme parks should not normally my scene, however Discovery Cove, a SeaWorld sidekick, upgrades the expertise with restricted admissions and a lot sea life to like. You wish to see fins? The park’s Shark Swim manages it in a protected, managed method that begins with a coaching session and ends with a snorkel amongst 20-some blacktip, reef, nurse, zebra and bonnethead sharks. A portion of the proceeds helps the analysis of those lovely, misunderstood creatures.

“Strollin’ down the avenue that’s known as A1A” – Vero Beach

Very VeroVery Vero — Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Buffett named one among his bestselling albums after a highway whose alphanumeric identify has grow to be code for love. State Road A1A wriggles by means of slim barrier islands and delightfully backtracks to intriguing eras within the state’s historical past. Personally, my favourite phase of the 330-mile route by means of East Coast Florida takes in Vero Beach and environs.

I recommend a drive, moderately than a stroll, from Fort Pierce Inlet to Sebastian Inlet, bookended by beachy state parks identified for his or her gnarly browsing. Between the 2 inlets, glimpses of Atlantic blue and old-growth oak bushes make this “a lovely cruise,” with offshoot roads resulting in surf-washed seashores that preserve much less crowded than the metro shoreline to the south.

“Hey Mr. Spaceman, Won’t you please take me along. I won’t do anything wrong.” – Space Coast

Space out at Kennedy Space CenterSpace out at Kennedy Space Center — Photo courtesy of Florida Space Coast Office of Tourism

It’s probably that few will acknowledge these lyrics or know that Buffett sang them in a duet with Gonzo. Yes, Gonzo, of The Muppets fame. It appeared on a 1994 compilation album with different artists, titled “Kermit Unpigged.” When it involves Florida, any extraplanetary reference robotically lands you on the Space Coast within the northeast, house to Kennedy Space Center.

That’s the principle attraction, however the stretch of shoreline from Titusville to Melbourne has a lot extra occurring. Thanks to KSC, the federal authorities has protected hundreds of acres round it. That means Canaveral National Seashore retains seashores in essentially the most pristine situation, whereas Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for manatees, birds, alligators and different creatures of the sky, land and sea – from the tubbiest to the tiniest. The latter consists of dinoflagellates, microscopic organisms that gentle up the waters throughout summer time like topsy-turvy fireworks.

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