|Our bike ride to Joe Patti’s in Pensacola, FL…we enjoyed traveling land by bike|
“What was your favorite stop?”
We get asked this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. our Great Loop travels are the topic of conversation. I love this question even though it is a tough one to answer. It borders on near impossible to pick a favorite. It seemed each stop we made, became our favorite. So, we kept track of all the stops we want to visit again.
The list is in order from our first stop to our last.
We did not include any stops along the Great Lakes since we consider this area our home waters.
So, here goes my first attempt, this is just the first few favorites…lots more destinations to come. In the meantime, check out each of these stops, maybe you will make one of these your next vacation location.
The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL – We found Billy’s Seafood with awesome stone crab claws, royal red shrimp and a great town with shopping and restaurants. Although the marina was large, it still had a small town feel. The locals were very friendly and welcoming. We had great food, great night life and gorgeous surroundings. Check out our time at The Wharf…
Tarpon Springs, FL – All things Greek, a great marina and impressive butcher in town, makes this stop a MUST revisit on our list. Read about our fun in Tarpon Springs here.
Pensacola, FL – I’m not even sure how to put into words the love I have for this town. It was pretty much all I needed to see on the trip as far as I was concerned when we arrived. We enjoyed our time exploring the town and enjoying the wonderful food (we made 5 visits to local seafood market Joe Patti’s), the shopping was eclectic and fun and the people were welcoming. We spent a week and found ourselves in the middle of two different town celebrations…a town that celebrates like these people every weekend definitely needs a revisit! Check out our week long visit to Pensacola here…
St Petersburg, FL – We arrived here for a couple of days, stayed a week and I could have stayed a month! Next time around we will be here for a month at least. The municipal marina puts you within walking distance to what I call the ideal town. Complete with museums, excellent food ranging from vietnamese to indian, great night life, many bars, safe town and lovely neighborhoods. Our favorite farmers market is held here every Saturday. It is the largest we’ve seen along the trip and draws something like 20K people.
Ana Maria Island, FL – This is like being in the Florida Keys but in a classy, slow paced kind of way. The island is fairly small but loaded with perfectness! Restaurants, beaches, shopping and great people. We spent two months here and wanted to stay longer…heck we were even contemplating moving here. My only reason for saying no is that I love my winters too much.
Marathon, FL – We really enjoyed our time here, two months to be exact. We stayed at a wonderful marina called Faro Blanco, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. We explored by land (bikes) and by water (dinghy), eating, hitting the beach and checking out the keys. The food here is delicious, the people fun and the atmosphere is laid back. The views spectacular and the weather glorious. Down the street is the Turtle rescue, a dolphin research center and you can rent a flight in a by plane! We can not wait to get back here!! Click here to read about our wonderful marina in Marathon
Hollywood, FL – Wow! This one was the most impressive as far as expectations. The marina was run by a great group of people and very safe and secure. The boardwalk was across the Intracoastal (easy bike ride across the bridge) and what fun to people watch, eat, drink and just soak in Florida. The beaches are gorgeous with white sand. The town was a couple miles from the marina but no problem for us to ride our bikes. The town was adorable and had the best food, Monday nights food trucks gather in town, and the shopping is awesome. We found pizza that was so good, as soon as we rode our bikes back to the boat after eating, I ordered another one and rode back to take it with us along our travels. Next time around Hollywood will be a must stop and for a month if possible. Click here for a bit of day 1 in Hollywood…