USA - Orlando, Naples, Key West & Miami 2013 


Orlando

We're married at the 16th of August and wanted to make a beautiful honeymoon trip. So we choose the USA and the Bahama's. From the 23h of August till the 8th of September we make a road trip through this beautiful area with our rental car from Alamo.
A real American Dodge Challenger, awesome! We felt like Bonny & Clide ;)  
We started in Orlando and stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton at Sea World. A beautiful hotel with a nice garden and great rooms. Every morning you get fresh baken cookies from the hotel, delicious! 


John F. Kennedy Space Center 

At our first day we visit this amazing place, a must see when you visit Orlando is Kennedy Space Center.

(Price adult: 50 dollar, kids 40 dollar) a little expensive but it's worth it!

Tip: Make sure you're on time and start at Cape Canaveral when there are not to many tourists! 
There is so much to do here, walk through the rocket garden, see real space shuttles and make a bus ride to Cape Canaveral and have an awesome view over the launch pads. Also for kids this is very interesting! 


Universal Studio's

Another must see when you're in Orlando is the Universal Studio's. We love theme parks and love movies, so we visit this beautiful park to be a child again;) The entrance is expensive: 102 dollar for adults and 97 dollar for children (off course you can book other tickets to see more parks or for more days, this is just a one day ticket), but we think it's worth it.

 

Go behind the scenes and jump right into the action of your favorite movies at Universal Studio's, the world's premier movie and TV based theme park. At this real, working film and TV production facility you'll find an amazing array of rides, shows, movie sets and attractions. Visit Springfield to experience the Simpson ride, one of my favorite attractions, you will love it!

You'll enjoy themed dining and shopping in the evening and you might even catch a real film crew at work on the backlot! 


Other recommendations in Orlando

Orlando premium outlets - A nice place to walk, shop (The Sunglass hut and Tommy Hilfiger) and drink something!  

 

Walmart - a must see when you visit the States. This is the largest retail chain in the world. Everything is big; shampoo, chips, everything! You can walk here for hours! 

 

Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse - a restaurant near our hotel. This place looks awesome from the inside and has a great menu.


Google maps hotspots Orlando


Bonita Springs - Naples 

We stayed at the Trianon Bonita Bay hotel at Bonita Springs. A lovely hotel with a nice lake view and clean nice rooms.

 

When you visit downtown Naples, don't forget to take a look at Fifth Avenue south, it's Naples main street and is filled with fashion boutique shops, restaurants, cafes and colorful buildings. It has become a popular place for visitors.

 

A must see is Naples beach and the old Naples pier. There's truly something magical about this pier. It's definitely the most popular of all attractions in the area. Don't expect a new, high-tech structure.. This fishing pier is a pretty old, wooden structure with lots of character and a very interesting history. Go for a stroll. It's the perfect destination for an early evening walk along the beach. It's also the best place for the sunset view. And at this place you will see dolphins jumping and playing in the water. They are often very close to the pier als they like to eat up the fish that's left floating around by the fisherman. 


Everglades 

The Everglades was one of the things on my bucket list. And it was sooo awesome! You need to experience this thrilling once in a lifetime one hour tour. Feel the wind in your face as you skim the surface of the water, zipping through twisting mangrove tunnels. You'll see alligators, birds and also raccoons. 

 

The Everglades are a Unesco World Heritage and the largest tropical wilderness of any kind.
We bought our tickets at Captain Doug's and paid 40 dollar per person for a 1 hour mangrove boat tour.

When you return to the hotel make a stop at the Subway at the Everglades for a great lunch.


Coconut Point

Coconut point is a picturesque outdoor mall featuring over 140 stores including Michael Kors, Target and the Apple store. 
You can also experience a wide range of dining options, from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, to Stir Crazy or Olive Garden. 

Coconut Point mall is located in Estero, between Naples and Fort Myers. This is the place for people to gather, shop, dine and see a new film. Restaurant Stir Crazy (Asian Grill) I don't recommend. The concept and menu is great. But the food is not what we expected. Olive Garden is a big recommend. Great menu, good food and drinks and the people are very kind. The sunset at this place is also amazing, because of the palmtrees.


Fort Myers Beach

Heaped with sugar-sand, Fort Myers Beach is a popular destination for visitors to simply relax on the inviting beach. Fort Myers Beach sits on a little barrier Island, about seven miles long, and the beach is fabulous. There are many bars/restaurant at the beach so I recommend to grab a bite and just eat at the beach. After a day at the beach it's nice to drink something at the famous bar Hooters. It's near the beach and also funny to see  how the girls skating and serve your drinks! 


Google maps hotspots Naples, Everglades and Fort Myers Beach


Key West 

After a 7 hours (amazing) drive from Naples to the Keys, we finally arrived. Key West is the southernmost city in the US.

 

We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Grand Key Resort. A nice hotel with a lovely white room and a view over the swimming pool. The food at this hotel is also great; fish, meat and also nice salads. We only stayed here for only 1 night, so we take the hotel bus to the center. 


Old Town

Old town is the name given to the historic district of the island of Key West. It is where the central business district and the majority of tourist attractions are located. Many tourists rent a bicycle and explore the history and architecture of Old Town Key West. You can also make a long walk, just like us. Another thing you can see at the Old Town, is the house of Ernest Hemingway. 


Oldest House & Garden Museum

Also nice to visit is the Oldest house in Key West. Originally built on Whitehead Street in 1829, the house was moved to Duval Street approximately 7 years later. Many buildings in Key West have been moved over the past 200 years. This was the home to the wrecker Captain Francis B. Watlington, his wife and their nine children. On the property are three buildings, the main house, the kitchen house and the exhibit pavilion which face a garden with benches. The entrance of this museum is free, so it's nice to walk in the garden and make some nice pictures.


Duval Street 

Duval Street is a famous downtown commercial zoned street in Key West, running north and south from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. From shore to shore, the street is just over a mile in length. The Duval street bar and restaurant district includes many different entertainment options, all within walking distance of each other.

 

Places I definitely recommend are:

 

- Capt. Tony's Saloon - The bar has been patronized through the years by many will-known artists, writers and celebrities. You will find barstools painted with the names of famous people such as: Ernest Hemingway, John F Kennedy and among others. Above the sign outside the building is a large Jewfish that Captain Tony caught and had preserved. It is said that if you throw a quarter into the mouth of the fish, good luck will follow you until you leave the island.  

- Willie T's bar - This is a must see in Key West! The walls are plastered with dollar bills and the atmosphere is funky. It's more than your regular bar, live music, good food and the Mojito menu beats any other menu in town. This place can get crowded and loud but this is a great place to hang out with friends! 

 

- Thai Cuisine Sushi bar - On the other side of Sloppy Joe's you will find this restaurant. The sushi and sashimi are delicious! 

They have a great menu en the people who work there are very nice. A very good place to eat! 


Sunset at Mallory Square

Mallory Square is the location of the "Sunset Celebration", which is considered one of the main tourist attractions of the city. The Sunset celebration involves hundreds of tourist who arrive each night to view the sunset. The celebration includes streets performers and food carts. It begins two hours before sunset, every day of the year. Some people think this is the best place on earth to see the sunset and I can tell you.. It is amazing! 


Google maps hotspots Key West


Miami 

We stayed at the Sole on the Ocean hotel at Sunny Isles Beach. This is a hip little getaway hotel in Miami. 

Overlooking the shimmering sands and turquoise waters and is located just North of Miami Beach. Boutique style and relaxed luxury. Because it was our honeymoon, we get a free update to a bay view suite and it was amazing! I really recommend this hotel.


Bayside Marketplace

Bayside marketplace our first stop in Miami. This a a festival marketplace in Downtown Miami with a shopping center that is also frequently featured on the crime drama TV series of Miami Vice.

We wanted to see the houses of the rich and famous and bought a boat tour ticket for only 25 dollar each. 
During the boat tour, just sit back and relax and enjoy an unforgettable time along the beautiful Biscayne Bay.
From the downtown Miami Skyline to Miami Beach's Millionaire Row, your 90 minute tour features the most famous landmarks! 

You will see: The Port of Miami, Fisher Island (Oprah Winfrey lives here) and the Millionaire Row.

The island houses at Fisher Island are one of the finest condos that sell for upwards 12 million dollar!

Before heading back to the Bayside Marketplace, you will past Miami Beach's Millionaire Row. An exclusive stretch of sun, sand and spacious homes. You will find here the homes of: Julio Iglesias, Will Smith and Britney Spears.

After this boat tour it's nice to visit the store Bubba Gump. The food is delicious!!


Miami Ink

 

Love Hate tattoo shop is home of the famous Miami Ink artists, owned by Ami James. I love this TV serie and visit already LA Ink,  so a visit to this tattoo shop was on my bucketlist. And we also meet Yoji Harada, awesome!
This shop is 7 days a week open from 11 AM to 11 PM.


Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive is a major thoroughfare in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach and it's known for its Art Deco hotels. Among the most popular hotels there's the Colony Hotel known as the most photographed art deco hotel which appearances in movies and TV shows including Dexter. Ocean drive is also the location of the famed Casa Casuarina, the residence of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. A must see when you visit Miami! Here you will find many restaurants, expensive cars and people who like to show what they have. 

 

Places I definitely recommend are:

 

Cafe Restaurant Milano - The best place to have lunch or dinner at Ocean Drive. The carpaccio is great, it's not so expensive and you have a great view over Ocean Drive. In the evening there are many people who walk through, so you can see much here! 

 

The Carlyle restaurant - Known from the movie Bad Boys and Scarface. This place has a great restaurant, with good food, nice drinks and a beautiful view over Ocean Drive. 

 

Johnny Rockets building - Also known this building from the movie Scarface. Nice to see in real life! We did't eat here, so I don't know if the food is good. 


Little Havana 

Little Havana is a neighborhood of Miami and a must see when you visit Miami. Home to many Cuban immigrant residents, as well as many residents from Central and South America, Little Havana is named after Havana, the capital and largest city in Cuba. 
It is also known for its landmarks, including Calle Ocho and its Walk of Fame (for famous artists and Latin personalities), the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, Domino Park (Maximo Gomez Park) and others. The Domino Park is always full of neighborhood domino players - usually older men who have mastered the gam over years of practice. So nice to see and the entrance is free!

 

Another place I recommend is the Cuban Memorial Boulevard, a monument to Cuban heroes. The memorial contains several monuments, including statues of heroes Jose Marti, as well as a memorial flame honoring soldiers. Around the corner you will find a coffee shop (Peluqueria) with a very nice owner. Make sure you will stop here for a drink. 


The Newport Fishing Pier 

The Newport Fishing pier is located at Sunny Isles Boulevard and is accessible for 2 dollar. 
This is the perfect place for fishing or see people fishing. This half a mile-long pier, a historic site built in 1982, and is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts and sightseers. The view over Sunny Isles beach is great from here! 

 


Shopping Malls 

I love shopping, so Miami is a true heaven! We went to the Dolphin mall and the Sawgrass Mills mall. This malls are so big and have shops like; Calvin Klein, Forever 21, Victoria Secret and others. Off course there are many restaurants and bars to leave your husband ;) You can walk here for hours, so this malls I really recommend! Have fun!  


Google maps hotspots Miami


Photo Gallery USA - Orlando, Naples, Key West & Miami


Commentaren: 5
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  • #4

    Yessie (woensdag, 10 februari 2016 22:24)

    Superleuk om te lezen! Ik heb in 2012/2013 stage gelopen in Naples en ook al die plekken bezocht in Florida! Great memories! X Yessie

  • #3

    Narelle | wegvanhetnoorden.nl (woensdag, 10 februari 2016 21:16)

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  • #1

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