Steve & Deb Drive To Florida (February 2016)

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Steve

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Sometime in the next couple of weeks, Deb and I will be heading south. My brother rents a house in New Smyrna Beach, Florida (south of Daytona) and we will be staying with them. We plan to take our time heading south, stopping along the way at interesting places. and then using their place as a base to explore. We might take off for a few day's elsewhere, exploring other parts of Florida.

I've been to Key West, and really have no interest going again; too many people. We've been to the Everglades, but might be interested in visiting, as it has been 38 years. I'm not going anywhere near Orlando!

Here's a list of things we might do if time an scheduling allows:
  • Cape Canaveral for a rocket launch
  • St Augustine for the history
  • Tiger Bay State Forest for manatee
  • Someone (maybe @MarkW ) mentioned trails through a state or national forest. Maybe Ocala NF?
  • ???

And on the trip down or back north:
  • Cumberland Island, Georgia
  • Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Great Smokey Mountains National Park
  • ???
We are more than open to finding other opportunities for exploring, visiting historical, geological, or interesting sights. Not particularly interested in the latest hot spot or club.

But most importantly, we'd like to meet with other Overland Bound members on our travels, as you guys know all the places around you, and it would be fun to sit down for a cold one and chat.

Your contributions are welcome and encouraged!
 
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MarkW

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You have some good plans on your list of things to do. There are a lot of trails out in the Ocala forest. Most of the real fun areas have been closed down but you will find a lot enough to fill a weekend of relaxing trail rides. One thing to be aware of is a lot of trails are pretty narrow and you can expect to get trail rash. That being said there are plenty that are nice and wide. Unfortunately I am booked for the next month and a half or so or I would show you around. Let me know if you have any questions about the area.
 
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Kaioken

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I will be following this thread as I just moved to Florida and well...trying to find things. I did here many things from Ocala and just heard about Lazy Springs Recreational Park. That one looks cool.
 

Steve

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Thanks @MarkW Normally I wouldn't care about trail rash, as I keep my vehicles until they're worn out anyway. But this Outback is the last model with a stick and turbo, and has kept a very high value among Subaru enthusiasts. So while I'm fine driving over rough stuff, and have made modifications to do so, the paint is still almost perfect, without any rust, and just one ding. So I'd prefer wider trails and fire roads. Thanks for the warning.
 

MarkW

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There are plenty of wide trails and forest roads to cruise around so you can spend the day out there without the trail rash. Definitely don't blame you on wanting to keep the paint as nice as possible.
 

Steve

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There are plenty of wide trails and forest roads to cruise around so you can spend the day out there without the trail rash. Definitely don't blame you on wanting to keep the paint as nice as possible.
Thanks, Mark!

In re-reading my post, I see I didn't finish my thought. I meant to say that since it is in such great shape, I want to keep it that way so in case I happen to decide to get another vehicle here in the near future, it will still be worth a good amount when I sell it. ;)
 

MarkW

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Thanks, Mark!

In re-reading my post, I see I didn't finish my thought. I meant to say that since it is in such great shape, I want to keep it that way so in case I happen to decide to get another vehicle here in the near future, it will still be worth a good amount when I sell it. ;)
I read between the lines on that :grinning:
 
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RescueRangers

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Not sure how much foot travel you are interested in but you can try the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve or the Florida Trail (think Appalachian Trail but in Fl). A good place for combination driving and hiking is the Canaveral National Seashores. Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum is in Ocala, words can't describe it but it will make you feel old.

If you are going to stop at Cumberland Island, stop by Jekyll Island, its a cool place and they have a great little ice cream stand right across from the tennis court.
 

Steve

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Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve
Oh, that looks interesting! We'd already talked about going to Canaveral, I just forgot to list it separate from seeing a launch. Didn't know about Big Daddy's museum, which could be fun!

Thanks so much!
 

NorthStar96

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IMHO You haven't seen Florida until you go to Key West. its a whole different world from Key Largo south to Key West..
very laid back. campgrounds galore. diving, shopping, sunsets are unreal. Heck, you are only 90 miles from Cuba there. Only 150 miles from Miami.
 
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Steve

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Today I topped off the fluids and checked the tire pressure on the Outback. Loaded the compressor and tool bags, and took any unnecessary stuff out. We've got a nice pile started in the living room and a checklist partially finished.

We'll be leaving for Florida on Tuesday morning.
 
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Steve

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Heading to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, south of Daytona, and staying with my brother at his rental. We'll use that as a base to explore the area, then wander our way north in a few weeks.

Friday morning, we'll be heading Cape Canaveral to watch a rocket launch; something I've wanted to do since the late '50s!

If you want to follow along on our upcoming Florida trip, follow or like one (or all) of these social media accounts:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ExploringTheUSA
Twitter: https://twitter.com/exploringtheusa
Instagram: https://instagram.com/explore_the_usa/
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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@Steve I share your sentiments on Key West. I was down there right before Fantasy Fest (inadvertently I might add) and saw enough to scare me back north to Tennessee. The snorkeling was awesome, but that's about it. We went to some abandoned cold war era subamrine pens on Boca Chica which was awesome.

I vote Smokey Mountians all the way, everyone should see them at some point in their life. Avoid Seveirville and Gatlinburg if you can, instead go through Townsend.
Also, you might consider Big South Fork for a less populated adventure.