Driving around in Florida

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    Dec 11, 2015 7:32 PM GMT
    Hey guys!

    A mate and I are going to Florida in August. We are going to stay there for about 4 weeks. We are starting out in ft. Lauderdale afterwards Miami, key west, fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando and then back to ft lauderdale.

    We are both in the mid twenties.

    The question: how long time should we spend each place, and are there anything we would not miss for the world?

    We are interested in both the tourist stuff but also a fun night out.. ;)

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!
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    Dec 11, 2015 8:06 PM GMT
    Funch saidHey guys!

    A mate and I are going to Florida in August. We are going to stay there for about 4 weeks. We are starting out in ft. Lauderdale afterwards Miami, key west, fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando and then back to ft lauderdale.

    We are both in the mid twenties.

    The question: how long time should we spend each place, and are there anything we would not miss for the world?

    We are interested in both the tourist stuff but also a fun night out.. ;)

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!

    I'm on my iPad at the moment. When I return home (although I have a function later tonight, so I may have to defer until tomorrow, Saturday), I'll email you from my desktop computer.

    I know Fort Lauderdale, Miami [Beach], and Key West quite well, living here. The other places I've visited, but have no special suggestions for them. Other than Ft. Meyers being kind of sleepy, the Tampa area having one fairly lively gay community (Ybor City), and Orlando being home to the mega-parks, like Disney World. I'll send you some stuff.
  • Destinharbor

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    Dec 11, 2015 9:01 PM GMT
    Ybor city is now gay? Whoa! That's a change.
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    Dec 11, 2015 10:05 PM GMT
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    cropped-Gaybor-District-Logo.jpg

    GaYbor looked like it was going to kick in before the crash but then Tampa got hit hard and during recovery in came all the apps so they lost a lot of bars. Even Georgie's across the bay in St. Pete recently closed. But Ybor still has a pretty good weekend night scene gay and str8. I like that area very much actually. Love those old buildings. You could spend more than a few days in Tampa, they're doing a great job with their downtown, a new riverwalk. the new art museum, the aquarium is surprisingly good, Busch Gardens, etc. Also easy access with a nice road over the bay to St. Pete and the beaches.

    Unless visiting purposefully, I'd skip Ft Myers--what's there, Edison's house?--and instead maybe spend an afternoon downtown Naples which is very lovely for lunch and then spend a day or two in Sarasota. Nice beaches there. Then on the way to Tampa come 275 and over the skyway bridge which is pretty beautiful. After the bridge, first hang a left over to the beaches, check that out, not much but maybe for an overnight, then check out downtown St. Pete on your way over to Tampa. That's another great area. Then from Tampa head over to Orlando.

    So again, I'd skip Fort Myers unless you're science nerds for the Edison home (I've been) and instead add Sarasota & St. Pete.

    While in Sarasota see if you can get a boat for a few hours and probably you'll have a dolphin encounter. Look to enjoy but do not harass. They are protected. There's a little lunch spot you can pull up to on the inside of new pass and just on the outside you can anchor and swim over by the Chart House. If they come over when your are swimming they can touch you if they want but you should not swim to them. Oh, also check out the Ringling museum and estate. Outside the gallery is a replica of the David.
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    Dec 12, 2015 12:22 AM GMT
    Destinharbor saidYbor city is now gay? Whoa! That's a change.

    The local gay rags there have a section devoted to it. Do you get them up where you are?
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    Dec 12, 2015 12:40 AM GMT
    Here, try this "Mark's List" link to Ybor City gay attractions. Scroll through the "Neighborhood Guide" on the right side.

    http://www.jumponmarkslist.com/us/fl/tpa/about-gay-lesbian-ybor-city-tampa-neighborhood-florida.php

    BTW, I always thought it was pronounced "why-bore" when I went there. Mark's List says it's "EE-bore". Live & learn.

    Also incidentally, we recently commemorated Mark's death a year ago, that happened during our annual SMART Ride. Only fatality in 12 years.

    Great guy we knew and a gay icon in South Florida. His Mark's List is now part of the Hot Spots Media Group of LGBT publications, that perhaps you can find where you are. We just attended a major fundraiser Hot Spots sponsored last night for LGBT non-profits.

    So maybe that'll help you view the Ybor City gay scene.
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    Dec 12, 2015 2:15 AM GMT
    Ybor isn't exclusively Gay and thursday nights they have specials for college students. Ybor itself is safe but the area around it is scarey at 2:00 AM. The Hyde Park area near the University of Tampa is also Gay but middle aged yuppie Gay with antique shops, renovated loft condos, and a very Gay Starbucks. Nebraska avenue by USF has some clubs but if you have to be under 25, very hot, and some some serious coin to go there.
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    Dec 12, 2015 8:34 AM GMT
    Thanks a lot guys!

    If you come up with anything else, please share.. icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 12, 2015 1:18 PM GMT
    If you like nature and pretty thinks, try to get up by Gainesville/University of Florida. There is a really great Butterfly Rainforest where you can see specimen of local butterflies including a release daily at 2:00 PM. It's almost a religious experience.

    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/index.php/exhibits/always-on-display/butterfly-rainforest/visitor-info/
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    Dec 12, 2015 10:02 PM GMT
    FloridaRugbyBear saidIf you like nature and pretty thinks, try to get up by Gainesville/University of Florida. There is a really great Butterfly Rainforest where you can see specimen of local butterflies including a release daily at 2:00 PM. It's almost a religious experience.

    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/index.php/exhibits/always-on-display/butterfly-rainforest/visitor-info/

    Key West also has an enclosed butterfly forest and a store that sells everything butterflies. At the end of Duval Street, on the Atlantic side.

    http://www.keywestbutterfly.com