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Archive for February, 2013

February . . . It’s All About Fenders and Foodies!

Posted: February 1st, 2013 by

I had meant for the title of this blog to be “February . . . it’s all about Feathers, Fenders and Foodies,” but alas, one of the two teams going to the Superbowl this year are not birds of a feather so to speak. Although honorable mention will be given to the Superbowl’s venue in the big easy – a touristy site if ever there was one, at the end of this blog.

Daytona 500 practice run

Daytona 500 practice run – Image from Wikimedia Commons

I’ve always thought of February as being a ho hum month, except for Valentines Day of course. If you’re one of those outdoorsy types; you know, snow bunny, skier, skater, angel wings maker, and are fortunate enough to live where snow flakes abound then you probably favor the month of February. For many others though this is the time of year when most days are dreary, some cold, possibly some snow and ice, but for the most part just blah! There are exceptions though, like sunny Florida, where tourism seems to shine even on a cloudy day.

Snowbirds have flocked to this coastal state for eons, escaping frigid temperatures in the northern climes, and automotive race fans, ever faithful to their sport, have been heading southward, since 1959, when the much anticipated DAYTONA-500, a major sports and tourist event has grown by leaps and bounds every year with more venues added pre and post race; so much so that you can virtually go from one event to another for the entire month.

A typical scene around South Beach - flickr image by Phillip Pessar

A typical scene around South Beach – flickr image by Phillip Pessar

It’s not just about roaring engines and sand and sea though; for instance, if you’re a “foodie” then the don’t-miss event is in South Florida (which precedes the Daytona 500 this year). The SOBEWFF (South Beach Wine & Food Festival) isn’t nearly as old as Daytona’s premier event, but with the presence of Food Network’s royalty; i.e., Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, and many other well known celebrity chefs, its’ ever-growing audience of foodies and Food Network coverage has made this a must attend tourist ‘food’ event.

By the way, while you are traveling along the highways and by-ways in the sunshine state, why not take a detour and visit some of these touristy sites:

Dolphin flickr image by Just Taken Pics

Dolphin flickr image by Just Taken Pics

• Fort Lauderdale – In the pink at Flamingo Gardens or Swim with the dolphins at Dolphin World
• Fort Myers – Take me out to the ball game at Boston Red Sox Spring Training
• Orlando – Mind blowing WonderWorks Orlando or Universal CityWalk
• St. Augustine – The original Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum or Black Raven a Pirate ship

. . . or try one of these two scenic routes. For more ideas, go to http://www.visitflorida.com/insiders/Off-the-Beaten-Path

• Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway and Tamiami Trail
Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway

Black bearFor those of you who won’t be taking a virtual tour of Florida, you may want to visit Florida’s lost tourist attractions to see what you may have missed long before foodies and fenders were the big thing in the sunshine state.

That is, unless your destination is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, located at 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive in New Orleans. Here fans will be treated to a football blow out ala 49’rs versus the Ravens, cool jazz, and all the Po-Boys, Gumbo, Craw Fish Etoufee, Jambalaya, Muffulettas and Beignets they can wash down with those famous Hurricane drinks from Pat O’Briens and other French Quarter eateries and establishments along “Rue Bourbon.”

We all know the month of February is a short month, so let’s make the most of it . . .

The greatest resource for travel to Florida is www.visitflorida.com and if you’re heading to the big easy,visit New Orleans tourism site.