Hallandale, Fort Lauderdale, Bayside and Wynwood Miami, Naples, St.Petersburg
Long time, no post. So lets get into it! The University of Central Florida scheduled their spring break for the first week of March along with every other university in Florida except for UF. Eight of us only planned our trip about a month before break started. Luckily, my friends found a Groupon for a recently renovated hotel located on the intercostal of Hallandale Beach. Hallandale is located in between Hollywood (just south of Ft. Lauderdale) and North Miami Beach on the long stretch of beach in SoFlo.
On the Monday our trip began, my boyfriend and I took the three and a half hour drive to the hotel. We were surprised when we got there at how nice the fourty plus story Beachwalk Hotel was. The hotel had two “wings” essentially. One was residental and the other was the hotel. We were lucky enough to get a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen, large living room, master with master bath, a second bedroom with two queen beds, and a spacious balcony that stretched almost the entire suite. The rooms all had a white, clean, modern, yet beachy vibe. We spend that evening exploring the hotel and making dinner with groceries we bought from the Walmart across the street. The pool area was rather small and was right on the intercostal. The hotel itself was located directly next to the bridge that lead to the beach. You could either take the complimentary golf cart/shuttle to the beach or take the 10 minute walk over the bridge. These were all great conveniences of the hotel, but parking was a day by day charge. We chose to park on a quiet street that was only a 5 minute walk away.
We headed to the beach the next day. We were allowed only two beach chairs per room that was offered by another hotel/club on the beach. Be prepared to bring a towel and some extra chairs. The weather wasn’t ideal for tanning or going for a swim, so we didn’t stay long. We headed to Las Olas Boulevard in Fourt Lauderdale that was about a half hour from the hotel. This is a great place to do some shopping and grab some food at a trendy restaurant.
On Thursday, us spring breakers got up early, like the 10 AM kind of early, and made the hour or so drive to Wynwood Miami. Wynwood is a hip art district located in more Northeast Miami. This isn’t a place where you can just drive around to see what seems like hundreds of murals painted everywhere. If you are like me, you will be dying to park the car and get out to check out these amazing pieces of art up close (without forgetting to take some pictures to spam your own Instagram account with later of course!).This area is a must see if you love art, cool eateries, and edgy, don’t forget expense, shops! If you are into classic cars and have some guitar skills, check out Walt Grace Vintage which was one memorable store that my boyfriend and I checked out. The main area of attraction in this district is the Wynwood Walls. It consists of a courtyard that is covered in amazing art and is a popular place to snap some photos. You can also find several food places connected to it.
There were many cool places to choose for lunch, but just by its outside appeal, we at at the Wynwood Diner. The place was as just aesthetically pleasing on the inside as it was on the outside. It was filled with mismatched decor, plants, wooden floors, and loud wallpaper that gave it a homey feel. There was an outside patio to eat in but we stuck to sitting inside. Their drink menu included a “Boozy Shakes” section which, being freshly legal, I had to try. This is a place I would definitely recommend visiting. Before leaving the Miami area, we checked out Bayside. Bayside is a touristy outdoor shopping mall on the water where you can eat, shop, and catch a boat tour. We continued to walk to downtown Miami and enjoy the view of the city.
We got caught in the nightmare that is Miami traffic on our way home, but since we had limited time on our trip we took the $10 (yes 10!)express lane back to the hotel. My boyfriend and I quickly changed and headed back to Las Olas for dinner at Louie Bossi’s. This is another place I would highly recommend trying out. All of their Italian dishes are made with ingredients prepared all in house! They have special deals everyday of the week, and the atmosphere in there is amazing. They even had a DJ, on a Wednesday! The next day was check out day. From Hollandale Beach we headed west accross the state to my boyfriends hometown of Naples. We spend the next few days there enjoying the white beaches and checking out where all the retired weathly live and spend their money.
The last stop on our spring break trip, at this point a journey, was a two hour car ride up the west coast to St. Petersburg. We only spent the day on the beach there meeting up with good friends. Our trip ended with the two
hour ride back to Orlando. Out of all of the stops that I made during the week, if I had to choose only one place to go, it would be Wynwood. Going on spring bring is a right of passage for most American university students, and all I can say is achievement unlocked.