Florida Weekend Getaway
Long sandy beaches, a cozy condo, and delicious food and drink make for a perfect weekend getaway in sunny, warm Florida.
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I follow a great website called Thrifty Traveler that alerts you to killer travel deals, and Ryan and I just couldn't pass up $62 round-trip flights on JetBlue that we found via the site! Yep, $62 - that was not a misprint. I hadn't flown with JetBlue before so I didn't know what to expect, but it was AWESOME. Free carry-on, free WIFI, free TV, free snacks, and LOTS of leg room! I will try to fly with them as much as possible from now own.
Our flight arrived in Fort Lauderdale around lunchtime and we grabbed an UBER to Hollywood Beach - just 15 minutes away. We booked a condo via Airbnb for our stay and it was in the PERFECT location just one block off the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. The building was quiet, had a great patio we could sit out on in the evenings, and even had a laundry room.
Our unit had it's own private outdoor entrance and was the perfect size for two people (though it can sleep 4) . We had a kitchenette, full bath, living room, eating area and lofted space with a desk, mirror and comfy bed. The modern, all-white look made it feel open and airy. If you're heading to Hollywood Beach, you can rent the same condo here.
We were able to check into our condo a bit early, so we dropped our bags and headed to Taco Beach Shack for lunch. OMG - GO HERE. The margaritas were SO fresh (I got the spicy jalapeno margarita) and I'm STILL thinking about the tacos. I ordered the steak, shrimp, and blackened mahi mahi tacos and we snacked on chips and salsa as our side. The restaurant has a covered bar area and lots of open-air outdoor seating with trendy decor.
After another margarita at Taco Beach Shack (they were soooo good!) we strolled down the Broadwalk for a bit and hit the beach. Our condo had beach towels, chairs, and even an umbrella for us to use! Afterwards, we showered, relaxed on the patio, watched the sunset, and listed to music on our phone. It was so peaceful! You can shop the top I wore here and my shoes here.
Dinner on our first night was at GG's Waterfront, just a short walk from our condo. We were seated at an open-air table that had stunning views of the harbor at night. We tried (and devoured!) their Blue Point Oysters, Crab Toast, Shrimp + Scallop Risotto, and Wild Striped Bass. They had indoor seating also, and multiple bars kept crowding to a minimum. It was a great evening!
Day 2: We slept in a bit and headed to Cafe Club by Les Artistes for some food once we were up and running. We both got their Hollywood Beach Club with turkey, prosciutto, brie, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and french dressing. It was SO good but super filling, so I brought half of mine back to the condo for later. They also have breakfast options, smoothies, and crepes! We ordered inside and they brought it out to their outdoor seating for us when it was ready.
After we ate we walked south on the Broadwalk for a couple of miles and enjoyed the ocean, checked out a few local spots, and took in what else the stretch had to offer. There are a ton of people using the Broadwalk, so be sure to watch where you are walking and stay out of the bike lanes!
Once we got back, Ryan opted to chill for a bit and I ran a few miles along the ocean. I followed the Broadwalk north to a nature preserve area and back. It was so soothing to run near the water and I was able to scope out a little bit more of the area along the way. The miles flew by since I was distracted! Afterwards, I finished with a little yoga in the condo. Shop: Top | Pants | Running Shoes | Sunglasses
We hit the beach again in the afternoon where we napped on and off, sipped on a few cold drinks from one of the beach bars, and played in the ocean like kids. I brought You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero down to the water and read for a bit, too. Go get this book - it's an easy read and really gives you a reality check! You can also find my swim cover-up here.
Next up was dinner! We took an UBER to The Diplomat Beach Resort (about a 5 minute drive) and had an incredible meal at Monkitail. We opted for the Chef's Tasting Menu, which allowed us 11 small plate options! We loved being able to try multiple menu items, and the portions were more than enough. Some of our favorites include the crispy brussels sprouts, duck bao buns, broiled seabass, scallops, and tempura shrimp tacos. We loved every single course! The hotel was beautiful also, and would be another great option to stay at during your visit!
Day 3: We had a casual morning and grabbed a quick bite at a local bakery for breakfast. It wasn't that delicious and the service was terrible, so I'll spare you the details. After checking out of our Airbnb, we took an UBER to the Riverfront in Fort Lauderdale where we grabbed a beer at the eclectic Briny Riverfront Pub and took a Carrie B Sightseeing Cruise. We had a blast on the 1.5 hour cruise! It was so nice to be out on the water, and the homes, boats, and landmarks we saw were STUNNING! Seriously, they were absolutely gorgeous. Our boat captain knew so many facts and details about what we saw and threw in some humor along the way to keep us all laughing. I'd definitely recommend doing this tour!
After our sunny cruise through the waterways, we still had a few hours to kill before our flight. Our stomachs were growling a bit so we stopped into Rocco's Tacos for some chips, salsa, and duh - tacos. I loved the interior design of the restaurant and the food was good. While we were there, I spotted Bobby Giancola from Bravo's Below Deck sitting at the bar a few feet away from our table and Ryan may or may not have fan-girled a little bit, haha! After our late lunch, we grabbed a couple of drinks at B Square (such a fun, open-air feel!) about a block down and then headed back to the airport to return to Chicago.
A few days in sunny Florida was just what we needed and we had a blast! I'd definitely return to the Hollywood Beach and Fort Lauderdale area for a quick getaway. I hope you get a chance to visit some of these great spots, too! You can shop this post by clicking on the links throughout or by browsing the images below.