Why Englewood is One of Florida’s Best Kept Secrets

Why Englewood is One of Florida's Best Kept Secrets

My first visit to Englewood, Florida was a bit of a surprise. I would describe Englewood as one of Florida’s best kept secrets. It’s not your typical tourist destination because you don’t see a lot of attractions and tourists shops saturated in the area.

Englewood Florida

The atmosphere in this community is very laid back. The crowds are lighter which allows you to just enjoy nature and the local restaurants with great seafood nearby without really long lines. Englewood is located less than an hour’s drive from the Punta Gorda Airport, with inexpensive flights from Allegiant Airlines making it an affordable option for someone who would rather fly and rent a car than drive.

Explore Stump Pass Beach State Park 

Stump Pass Beach State Park Englewood Florida

Stump Pass Beach State Park is so peaceful and offers a unique landscape with trails and lots of tree stumps along the shoreline. You might notice several areas marked off on the beach that are designed to protect the sea turtle nests. If you get the opportunity to watch one hatch or return to the ocean, depending on the time of year that you visit, you will have the memory of a lifetime.

Stump Pass Beach State Park trail

There is a 1.3 mile hiking trail that will give you the opportunity to see lots of wildlife.

Stump Pass Beach State Park Englewood Florida

There are many types of birds in the state park and you also might see a few starfish, a manatee, dolphin, or a really big fish. I would suggest taking a SUP tour so that you know where and what to look for in and around the water.

Take a SUP Paddleboard and Snorkel Tour

I’m all about stepping outside of my comfort zone which is why this adventure was both exciting for me and also made me a little nervous. I’ve tried SUP before, but not in water located near the ocean.

Hooked on SUP Englewood Florida

The beauty of taking a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) tour with Hooked on SUP is that you can do whatever you are comfortable with. The gear was brought to us at Stump Pass Beach State Park.

Hooked on SUP Englewood Florida

My husband found certain positions on the board to be more comfortable than others due to an old football injury, but the impressive part was that he tried it for the 1st time and discovered what worked for him. He didn’t hesitate at all when it was time to snorkel, but this Midwest girl took a little longer to ease into the water. It was definitely out of my comfort zone, which is why it was important for me to do it.

Hooked on SUP Englewood Florida

My fears did not come to pass and I can now proudly say that I snorkeled in an area called “Rag Alley” which definitely made it sound more a little more edgy. It was the perfect way to experience the water and wildlife.

Hooked on SUP Englewood Florida

Where to Stay

Weston's wannaB Inn Englewood Florida

Weston’s wannaB Inn is a vintage gem located next door to Stump Pass Beach State Park. Now when I say next door, I mean next door. I could literally see the state park sign next to the parking lot of our motel. The beauty of that means that guests at Weston’s WannaB Inn get the spoiled feeling of having a beach pretty much to themselves.

Weston's wannaB Inn Englewood Florida

The rooms have a retro vibe with a mini kitchen and the views from your balcony that are fantastic. There are 2 heated pools, bikes available for rent, a private beach, and free wifi.

Weston's wannaB Inn Englewood Florida

Weston's wannaB Inn Englewood Florida

Weston's wannaB Inn Englewood Florida

Find the perfect beach souvenir

Sunset Englewood Florida

There are so many beautiful shells along the beach in Englewood. We were also told that you can find shark’s teeth. You could easily make an adventure out of finding the most unique seashell to take home with you to remember your wonderful visit.

Shells on the beach in Englewood Florida

Local Restaurants

If I were planning ahead, I would have gone to the local grocery store to gets lots of food during our visit….but I actually enjoy going out to eat when I visit a destination, which means that I’m not much of a cook when I’m away…so I’ll give you a few suggestions.

Enjoy a lively nightlight, a large outdoor seating area with outdoor music, ping pong, bean bag toss, and excellent fish tacos at Flounder’s Restaurant and Tiki Bar, try at Grouper Rocket (Fried grouper with melted swiss, thousand island dressing & cole slaw on grilled rye bread) and take advantage of happy hour at Lock ‘N Key Restaurant with a pull tab that could result in a full, half price or $.50 drink, and a special dinner with a great ambiance starting with the West Indian Conch Fritters appetizers that are a nod to the owner’s upbringing in St. Croix at Farlow’s on the Water.

Flounder’s Restaurant and Tiki Bar Englewood Florida

Flounder’s Restaurant and Tiki Bar Englewood Florida

Lock ‘N Key Restaurant Englewood Florida

Lock ‘N Key Restaurant Englewood Florida

Farlow’s on the Water Englewood Florida

Witness the Magic of Golden hour

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I recommend waking up early to watch the sunrise at least once during your visit and make sure that you also make a point to watch each sunset. They are very unique and magical every. single. time. The clear, warm water on the Gulf side and beautiful beaches are hard to beat. I’m sharing this gem with you but don’t tell too many people, ok?

sunset-englewood-florida

Thanks again to Charlotte Harbor for hosting our visit. All opinions are my own. 

Why Englewood is One of Florida's Best Kept Secrets

Places to Eat in Daytona Beach that are Loved by Locals

Restaurants in Daytona Beach that are Loved by Locals

Daytona Beach has lots of dining options for every taste bud. During my first visit to Daytona, I was introduced to several places that I would highly recommend going back to.

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Why You Will Want to Skydive After You Eat at The Perfect Spot

Why You Will Want to Skydive After You Eat at The Perfect Spot

One of my favorite experiences during my visit to Daytona happened in nearby DeLand located 30 minutes from Daytona Beach. It turns out that DeLand is known all over the world as an incredible place to skydive.

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My favorite images from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

My favorite images from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

 

During our trip to Orlando, we visited 7 theme parks in 2.5 days! Epcot was the 6th theme park during our trip and we happened to be visiting during the International Flower and Garden Show.

 

 

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I have to say that we discovered that Mother’s Day weekend was a great time to visit Orlando. We had great weather and short lines which made everyone happy.

I loved checking out all of the creativity on display at the festival. It was amazing to see familiar characters and animals in floral and garden form.

 

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Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

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We made Epcot our destination for lunch which made picking a restaurant really hard with so many great options.

 

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My boys LOVE Asian food which made Japan the country of choice.

 

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If you love architecture, you will have so much fun taking in all of the incredible structures representing the world. Epcot is a great way to give your kids an appreciation and education about different cultures around the world.

 

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Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival8

 

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The Epcot International Flower and Garden Show is a beautiful addition if you visit Epcot in May.

I would love to go back to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival with my husband without kids.  There is so much culture to take in when you visit.

 

You can find out more about the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival from their website.

 

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Disclosure: My trip was sponsored by Allegiant Travel and Visit Orlando. All opinions are my own.

Adventures in Orlando – 7 Theme Parks in 2.5 Days

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I just got back from an incredible trip to Orlando sponsored by Visit Orlando and Allegiant Travel. Our trip was during Mother’s Day weekend. The weather was perfect and the lines were short which is why the month of May is a great time to visit because you beat the summer crowds.

We arrived in Orlando around 1:30 pm and had the challenge of trying to cram in 7 Theme Parks in 2.5 days! We were up for the challenge.

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7 Tips for Turning Your Dream Vacation Into a Reality

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My friend Kasey just got back from an INCREDIBLE vacation! When I saw her facebook pictures I noticed that she got to cross off a few adventures that have been on my list for a while.

swim with dolphins Discovery Cover Orlando Florida

My response could easily have been intense jealousy BUT comparison is the thief of joy so I decided to switch my mindset! She really inspired me to not give up and to continue to live my dreams. If she could do it, we can do it too!

I asked Kasey to share some tips for how she was able to pull off her dream vacation on a limited budget.

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