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Experience Florida on a spring break roadtrip

Rather than spending every day of spring break with the out-of-town spring breakers getting trashy on South Beach, grab a car, friends and some clothes and take a trip to one of these awesome Florida locations.

Orlando

Pile in the car and drive four hours (three and a half if you don’t take a bathroom break!) up to Orlando, where you can have your pick between Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. Or be adventurous (sort of) and hit all three. See Hogwarts brought to life at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, get splashed by Shamu at Sea World, and drink around the world at Epcot, one of Disney’s four parks.

Hotels are as cheap as $50 per night, and split between four people (or more if you can sneak them in), it’s almost ridiculous how little you’ll be paying. All Florida residents receive ticket discounts at these parks and Cane Cards count as IDs at Universal Studios.

Key West

Contrary to what some might think, there is more to the Keys than just Pride Fest. Drive south and take the obligatory  “look at this cool landmark!” photo.

Old Town Key West is also home to Ernest Hemingway’s old house. For all the English and history buffs (and for people who like a little culture), a tour of the house and museum is a must.

It’s also home to several dozen six-toed cats. And no, this is not a joke. So even if you miss the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, you still get to see something freaky.

And, if all else fails, just hit the beach and spend a couple days tanning without the worry of class on your peeling back. Just make sure to have a slice of key lime pie while you’re down there.

Homestead

If you’re not feeling the long drive, pop down to Homestead. Grab a smoothie from Robert is Here, a recently re-opened fruit and smoothie stand. Or you could pop by Knaus Berry farms for a half-dozen sticky cinnamon buns that are guaranteed to be the best you’ve ever had.

Take a tour of Schnebly Redland Winery, where tropical fruit wine is sold. The Schneblys produce wine from fruits like lychee, carambola, coconut and mango. Even if they sound weird, it’s worth a try. You might be in for a surprise.

RF Orchids also gives free tours through hundreds and hundreds of orchid plants. You may not be able to eat anything, but the flowers are amazing enough to make up for it.

St. Augustine

The oldest city in the country is just a five-hour trip up the east coast. Soak up the sun at the rocky but beautiful beach at Anastasia State Park or visit the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

Pop into the homemade popsicle shop, The Hyppo, to cool down. Or try the vegan and authentic Southern food at The Floridian. To keep the day going well into the night, hit the Bar With No Name or the Taberna Del Gallo.

There are plenty of touristy shops for those who like to browse, but the most important part of the city is the architecture. The old-style buildings give the place a real, historic feel.

Naples

Just south of Naples, Marco Island is a niche for beaches sprinkled with white, crisp sand. Check out the resort scene to experience the life of luxury with a pina colada in hand, or enjoy tasty coconut shrimp. The Marriot Marco Island Florida Resort and Spa offers a luxurious spa scene, where you can calm down after stressful midterms.

Visit the USS Nemo, a restaurant located off North Tamiami Trail, offers local seafood cuisine with a French twist. A creative and modern restaurant, the scene boasts chic decor and is the perfect way to end a long day on the beach.

July 11, 2012

Reporters

Margaux Herrera

EDGE Editor


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