4 people, 1 Sorento and 11 hours became an EPIC trip to Florida!
We decided we wanted to take our chances with the kiddos for 11 hours all the way to Florida without going to Disney….That was my request 😉
Our first official stop was at Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Universal Orlando.
We had never been to that resort before and really wanted a place we could relax and the kids could have a little freedom. I’m so glad we decided to stay at Loews, the staff was wonderful! We absolutely loved it there and the kids did too! If fact, we didn’t want to leave. The kids favorite part was the splash zone, it looked like the front of a cruise ship.
Of course us adults enjoyed the pool too!
Loews Royal Pacific is located right inside the park area of Universal Orlando, so you can actually take a boat over to the park from the resort. The boat comes every hour to bring people back and forth from the park.
We love Orlando so we had to visit the park on our way through.
After a few days in Orlando we decided to continue on our Road Trip….It was time to head towards the beach. We picked Anna Maria Island for our next stop!
Do you know what we loved about Anna Maria Island?
The kids loved the beach! Anna Maria Island has soft white sand beaches, clear water and was the perfect place to bring kiddos along.
During our trip we wanted to see Manatees so we stopped at the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida. If you want to see Manatees and you’re in South Florida this is the place to go!
Don’t forget your shark teeth on the way out!
On our way back to the beach it was getting late and we wanted to do something fun the kids would remember so we drove over to Cortez Beach (a little less crowded) to hunt for crabs!
The kids will never forget that night!
We ate at so many different places during our travels but the best place for quality of food, cost per plate and kid friendly service was Gilligans Island Bar in Siesta Key. The atmosphere was incredible and the kids loved it!
and we loved it too……
Back in the car and heading back up the state of Florida towards Jacksonville. We got caught up in billboard signs all the way North, “Come See the Worlds Largest Gator at GatorWorld!!”….it was a hook, line and sinker moment (since the largest gator was actually stuffed) as we decided to pull off the interstate and stop at GatorWorld.
For a small drive-thru Gator sanctuary it was fun, the kiddos enjoyed it and we got to stretch our legs before heading home.
We stopped in Ocala for lunch at the Ivy on the Square and the restaurant was fantastic and so artfully put together. 10 Stars for food, atmosphere and design!
After our stop in Ocala we headed North towards Jacksonville.
Once in Jacksonville we decided to take the kids to Old Fort Jackson and it was worth it, they had a blast looking at the old stone work and the cannons.
Adventures eventually have to end (temporarily) as we started to head back to Tennessee. We stayed our last night in Savannah GA, because we love that city! So much history, art and culture all in one place.
This had to be one of the best “kid-friendly” road trips we had ever been on!