Bella Vida by Letty

Things to do in Florida

Picnic at the Hollywood Broadwalk #DestinationSummer #Sponsored

Hollywood Broadwalk Florida

Hello readers, I have some exciting news to share with you.  Bella Vida by Letty is participating in Kohl’s road trip across America.  Every few days a new blogger from a different state shares their personal picks highlighting their favorite things at their locations and you can follow along on Pinterest.   I’ve been selected to represent the beautiful state of Florida for Kohls #DestinationSummer.  Woo to the hoo!!

There is so much to see and do in my grand state. Today I want to start by sharing one of my very favorite hometown hangouts, the Hollywood Broadwalk.  No that’s not a typo they city named the boardwalk The Hollywood Broadwalk.   Did you know there is a city in Florida named Hollywood?  Not very many people do.  It’s the complete opposite of the one out in California.  Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale this small beach town is very diverse receiving visitors from all over the world and is relaxed, laid back and family friendly.

Hollywood Broadwalk Collage

The Broadwalk stretches for about two and half miles.  On one side of the Broadwalk are seven miles of sand with the view of the gorgeous Atlantic ocean which changes from jade to turquoise depending on the light.  On the other are shops, cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants, hotels, inns, playgrounds, ball courts and even an interactive dolphin fountain for the kids to play.  Every weekend there is a fresh market at the south end of the Broadwalk where you can find organic produce and drink a refreshing smoothie made from locally grown fruits and vegetables.

See South Florida the way the locals do.  The Broadwalk is always bustling with skaters, joggers and bike riders.  There are at least two places I know of where you can rent wheels.  You can also rent jet skis.  In the evenings you can catch live music at the bandshell.

enjoy the sun

Shown in the photo: The Big One® Stripe Beach Towel, The Big One® Geo Dot Beach Towel, Croft & Barrow® Radial Tweed Floppy Hat, Apt. 9® Groovy Textured Round SunglassesPatriotic ”America” Decor

While on the sand you’ll see all types of boats out on the water.  On weekends you might see a group of twenty small sailboats bobbing along during sail school.  At night you’ll see large cruise ships and their twinkling lights as they head deep into the ocean.  The port of Ft. Lauderdale is only about eight miles away.  You can see what’s happening at the beach now via this live webcam or view a map to plan your next trip here

take your picnic to the sand

Shown in the photo: SONOMA outdoors™ 3-pc. Melamine Salad Bowl & Server Set, SONOMA outdoors™ Coastal Melamine Salad Plate, Bobby Flay™ Acrylic Wine Glass, SONOMA outdoors™ Trellis TableclothFood Network™ Stain-Resistant Microfiber Check Napkin, SONOMA life + style® 12 1/2-oz. Mason Jar Candle

You can tell by my posts and photos one of my favorite things to do is head to the beach.  I find it so relaxing and peaceful.  Sometimes I go by myself and run the Broadwalk but I also like to gather with friends and family there.  Sometimes it’s to celebrate an occasion and sometimes simply to spend quality time together and get in some fun.  One of our treasured gathering places is Hollywood beach.  We have grand cookouts with tons of food.  At the north end of the Hollywood Broadwalk, just off of Sheridan Street you will find plenty of parking, shade and picnic tables.  You can use the grills or bring your own.

I created a wishlist with my beach picnic essentials to help you with ideas to create your own beach picnic.

Beach Picnic Essentials

Shown in the photo: Picnic Time® Windsor Picnic Basket, Rachael Ray Expandable Potlucker, Picnic Time® Striped Patio Umbrella, Picnic Time Striped Blanket Tote, Zojirushi Ms. Bento Lunch Jar & Tote Set, SONOMA outdoors™ 8-pc. Wine & Plate Party Set, Picnic Time® Pranzo Insulated Lunch Cooler, Picnic Time® Beachcomber Beach Mat, Picnic Time Miami Dolphins Cart Cooler

Did you know there is a city named Hollywood in Florida?  Have you been?

Sponsored post. Opinions mine.

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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

This post is part of the series exploring the Florida Keys, focusing on Key Largo in particular.  A wonderful place to visit.  Encompassing 70 nautical square miles, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the United States first undersea park.  The park is named after Miami newspaper editor, John Pennekamp whose activism helped establish the Everglades Nation Park and preserve this body of water.

The most amazing and famous feature at this park are the coral reefs and the marine life.  There are several ways for you to experience the coral reefs; a glass bottom boat tour, scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

There are many tours to chose from.  Since I love boat rides because I find them peaceful and relaxing I took the glass bottom boat tour.  I visited in March during spring break and there were no crowds.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Helpful Travel Tip

Check the marine forecast before getting on the boat.  Water conditions are posted at the ticket counter.  The day I visited it was windy and the waters were moderately choppy which is still pretty rough.  You won’t feel it on the drive out but once the boat stops you will really feel the sway of the ocean.

If you are prone to seasickness there are over the counter medicines you can take before getting on the boat to keep you comfortable.  Thankfully I don’t suffer from seasickness but friends who do have had better results with over the counter solutions and not with the bracelets.

The waters are crystal clear and we saw a variety of marine life, crabs, lobsters, fishes and sea turtles.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Helpful Travel Tip

The shores of the Florida Keys are rocky not soft white sand.  Bring water shoes.  What you see at the shore is not the same you will see deeper off shore.  You will have to take a boat ride out to see the coral reefs which begin three miles out into the ocean.

Things to do:  Camping, Fishing, Boating, Picnic, Swim, Canoe, Kayak, Boat Rental, Boat tours, Snorkel tours, Scuba Tours, Trail hike.  The visitors center has a beautiful 30,000 saltwater aquarium

Helpful Travel Tip

There are many tours and trips to chose from and you can usually find coupons on their website.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Things to do in the Florida Keys

Have you been to John Pennekamp State Park?  What did you do there?

 

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Secret Places: A Hidden Treasure in Downtown Miami, Florida

Alice C. Wainwright park Miami Florida

There’s nothing more exciting than learning something new and uncovering a well protected secret.  On my latest road trip I did just that.  Just barely south of Miami’s core banking and investment center, the Brickell financial district, where shiny new expensive glass and steel towers sprout up almost daily in attempt to outdo one another lies a slither of green protected public property with the most spectacular views of the Bay.  Its location, at the very north end of Miami’s oldest modern continuously inhabited neighborhood known for its famous residences, Coconut Grove.  Hidden among ancient native hardwood hammock trees and dusty historical mansions in an out of the way cul-de-sac you will find a rare waterfront park, the Alice C. Wainwright Park.

If you’re lucky enough to find parking which is almost nonexistent on this small street and not put off by the most ugly park gate, you are in for a treat.  Upon entering the park you’ll find basketball courts and renovated playground areas surrounded by plenty of shaded seating.  As you continue through this narrow space toward the bay there’s a limestone outcrop.  Climbing down will lead you to a beautiful large green open space perfect for picnicking or kite flying right with the most amazing views of the bay.  If you look to your right you can see Vizcaya, James Deering’s winter home in the 1910’s which today is a National Historic Landmark.  To the left there’s another wonderful area with gazebos’ and benches dwarfed under giant sweet-smelling pine trees.

Alice C. Wainwright park Miami Florida

This park is perfect for romantic picnics, family gatherings, barbecuing, flying kites, sitting on a bench with a good book or exercising.  I’m always looking for a new spot to just enjoy the view and this Miami park is also perfect for that.  It was a cloudy windy day when I visited.  I enjoyed sitting on one of the benches at the parks edge watching jet skiers, windsurfers and yachts go by.

Alice C. Wainwright park Miami Florida

Have you been to Alice C. Wainwright park?  What’s your favorite Florida park?

 

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” John Muir

“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.”  William Goldman

“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.”  Mark Twain

“The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”  Johannes Kepler

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Things to do in Jupiter

Things to do in Jupiter
I feel lucky living in the beautiful gigantic state of Florida where there are limitless places for adventuring.  I’m very spontaneous and there are days when I wake up needing to hit the road. One of the day trips I planned this year was to Jupiter Florida. To be honest I picked the town cause the name is funny.  I had to see it for myself.  I’m am really great at planning fun trips if I do say so myself.  Check out what I did.
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The first stop in Jupiter was the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, a nature refuge center and wildlife hospital.  The sanctuary has beautifully laid out trails with native trees and plants with plenty of shade and places to sit.  In addition there is an absolutely perfect spot to have lunch, you can even bring your own, under a large shelter with covered picnic tables.  

They have an impressive wide variety of native animals from eagles to panthers, crocodiles, foxes, snakes, eagles, otters, bears, etc.  All of the animals are either being treated to be released or rescued and permanently in residence.  The staff is incredibly well informed and eager to share their knowledge.  They even shared where the animals came from and how they were being taken care of.  One staff member was substitute mom for possum babies which she took home with her at night for feedings.

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“The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida’s wildlife and natural resources.  To accomplish this goal the Sanctuary has a two fold mission of wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education.”

If you are looking for a great place to donate this is it.  They genuinely care about each animal brought into the facility.

For the next stop in the Florida town of Jupiter we headed to the beach and stopped at Blowing Rocks, an environmental preserve on a barrier island made out of limestone.  The perfect spot to relax, watch waves and get sprayed.  When I first arrived it was a bit stormy which made for fun, lots of spraying as the waves crashed forcefully into the limestone.

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I literally spent the rest of the afternoon watching the waves and clicking away with my camera.   It was a family friendly relaxing day trip.

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