I am really in need of a vacation! While I am thrilled to be done with my first year of grad school, this semester really wore me out! I’ve been daydreaming about beaches and umbrella drinks for weeks! With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite tropical vacation spots!
St. Augustine, Florida
While North Florida may not be considered a “tropical” destination, it can be fun to see what kinds of places your state has to offer! St. Augustine is only located about 45 minutes from where I lived in Florida, and I’ve grown to love it even more over the years. Part of Florida’s “First Coast”, this historical city is the oldest continuously occupied European established city and the oldest port in the United States. I’ve enjoyed shopping on St. George Street, seeing the Castillo de san Marcos, and visiting Flagler College, where my cousin Jim went to school.
Here I’m standing by the Intercoastal Waterway. You can see Castillo de san Marcos in the background. One day, while running with my mom, we spotted a manatee in the water pretty close to where I’m standing in this picture!
Here is a picture of Flagler College. It is so beautiful! Could you imagine going to school here everyday?
Belize City, Belize
Belize is a country I visited as a port of call on a cruise. While I’m not sure how it would be as a vacation spot on its own, I did enjoy visiting here very much. The native guides we had told us about the poverty and living conditions in Belize, but they were so proud to share their culture it made me love my visit.
A picture of river tubing in Belize…my dad is in the baseball cap on the left.
Me in the rainforest on our walk to get to the river tubing.
Another location I visited on a cruise. This was a little more of a touristy place than Belize was. The water was also more of the crystal clear, turquoise waters you look forward to in tropical locations.
Here is a silly picture I took while snorkeling! We also went kayaking, which was a lot of fun!
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Yet another place I visited on a cruise (what can I say, I love cruises!). This was definitely a fun place to visit. Seven Mile Beach is a popular attraction, as well as snorkeling, swimming with stingrays, and scuba diving.
With my fabulous friends, Amanda and Brianna, at Seven Mile Beach!
Here we are again, snorkeling with stingrays (which were enormous)!
The last place I talk about that I went to on a cruise, I promise! Jamaica was a ton of fun. I could definitely take a vacation just to Jamaica. We were in Ocho Rios during our time in Jamaica. My friends and I chose the kayaking/Dunn’s River Falls excursion for this port of call, and we had a blast.
Here we are posing in front of the turquoise water!
Amanda and I kayaking over to Dunn’s River Falls!
The three of us in one of the lagoons in Dunn’s River Falls. The Falls are about 1,000 feet high, and shaded on both sides by lots of trees and vegetation. The Falls are almost like giant rock stairs, with lagoons built in. We climbed it wearing special grip shoes and a human chain formation, since the water is incredibly strong. We had several areas where we could float in the lagoon or slide down a rock slide.
Key West, Florida
My favorite vacation spot of all time. I did visit the first time on a cruise, but I also spent a spring break here and loved every second. It is very pricey to stay here for an extended period of time, especially if you fly in and out of Key West. Cabs are also expensive if you stay on the opposite side of the island from where most of the action is. Regardless, I LOVE Key West.
A view of the private beach at the hotel we stayed at.
If you visit Key West you have to have Key Lime pie! I absolutely love The Blonde Giraffe’s chocolate covered frozen Key Lime pie. It is absolutely to die for.
Relaxing in a hammock overlooking the ocean.
Sunset at Mallory Square.
“Scoot Riding” around the island.
The Southermost Point-a touristy but must see for all Key West visitors!
Isn’t the water beautiful? I also went jet skiing, kayaking, and parasailing. All amazing, but I didn’t want to bore y’all with too many pictures! Anyone who is visiting Key West I have tons of tips and ideas of things to do! And don’t forget to visit Kino Sandals!