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how to pack for the perfect beach getaway

The Weekend Getaway You Need And Deserve!

If you live in Florida, well then you are lucky enough!  But this blog really pertains to anyone who is eager to come visit sunny FL or ready to plan a quick weekend getaway with your family. I have put together a list of some really awesome places to visit. Since I am forever the travel agent in our family, I always try to find the most kid friendly vacation spots when planning these trips, since our crew includes 6 kids ages 1 through 8!  That means many hours of needed entertainment for the kids.  So, here are some great places that are definitely worth checking out!

  1.  I am not going to start out with Disney World but don’t worry, it will be on my list! My first spot is this really awesome place near Orlando, Florida called the Westgate river Ranch Resort & Rodeo. While we haven’t visited yet, it has been on our bucket list for about 2 years now. Have any of you seen the TV show Hey Dude? I am having the best flashbacks ever!  But really, how fun would it be to take your kids to a Rodeo & Dude ranch for the weekend? Horseback riding, mini golf, petting farm, rodeo shows, mechanical bull, tennis courts, campfires, and did I mention they have TEE PEES!  I’m not kidding, you can actually go “glamping” and stay in a luxurious tee pee. If you live in South Florida it’s about 3 hours away and super close to Legoland if you want to make it a combo trip, but I think there is so much to do here that you won’t want to leave!
  2. My next spot is 100% Legoland My sisters and I go once or twice per year and the kids are obsessed. I am a Disney freak through and through, but there is something so fun about this park.  The lines are manageable and we rarely waited more than 10-15 minutes for a ride. There are lego tables and blocks on the waiting line to keep your kids entertained!  There is so much for the kids to do in every age range.  Luke and Jax spend hours on the many playgrounds, which are super convenient when the older kids are on rides nearby. There are awesome shows and fun activities for the kids, and if its super warm, they have a water park as well!  The pools on the property have floating legos, which gave my Jax a spot to play all day long. Last year, we also stayed on the property at Legoland’s beach resort.  We felt like we were living in a Lego movie! The kids had the time of their life!
  3. Captiva. OMG, I miss Captiva and the beautiful water and bright colored buildings. This place was so magical to us when we visited. We stayed at an amazing resort, South Seas Island Resort, that had a great pool for the kids to play in all day. You can also rent a home and cannot go wrong with any beach location in Captiva.  We were feet from the ocean and saw dolphins swimming by all day.  Check out my blog on Captiva HERE!  The blog has lots of great tips, great restaurants, and fun things to do with kids.
  4. I love the Florida Keys and it always feels like I am transported to the Caribbean when I visit. One of my favorite resorts ever is Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada, FL. Some may say it’s not kid friendly but I completely disagree. There are so many amazing water sports and cool things for the kids to do like fishing off the pier, kayaks, great pools, a game room, live music daily, and amazing beaches! They also have Camp Cheeca for the kiddos, if mom and dad need a break for the day!  🙂
  5. JW Marriott Marco Island. This hotel holds such a special place in our hearts. My sisters and I have been going here since we were little. Each year we try to pick a place for a girls weekend and this one always tops the list of out favorites! We love the big sandy beaches and the large resort.  The Marriott has waterslides, huge pools, and fun kids activities too. You can’t go wrong with this choice!
  6. Yep I am going to say it. Disney World. Even if you hate it, the kids will forever have memories of their trips to Disney World. I know everything there is to know about Disney and have been going since I was 2 years old. This February, I am taking Jax.  I think this will be the first trip during which he will really understand and enjoy it. I love when you drive into Disney World and get the same magical feelings you had when you were visiting as a kid. Maybe it’s because not much has changed.  You walk around on the same Main Street and go on the same rides you did when you were young.  Plus, who doesn’t love fireworks and Mickey ice cream pops? Mom and Dad, if your kid is still small enough for a stroller, take a night and go to Epcot. Enjoy the food. Have some wine. Walk around and let your kid stroll around for the evening. It’s our one big break when we are there and it’s a lot of fun! Side note…if you want an AMAZING buffet breakfast one morning try Oscar’s at the Waldorf. It is worth it! There aren’t characters but its yummy! HERE is my blog I wrote on surviving Disney World, which is a good read if you are headed that way soon.
  7. Blue Ridge, GA.  I know it’s not in Florida, but it’s close enough. I have to give another shout out to Escape To Blue Ridge, in Blue Ridge, GA, who have provided our family with our mountain vacation home rental for the last 5 years. Read more about this amazing place in GA HERE.

I hope this helps with your vacation journey!

XO, Carrie

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