It has been a while since I’ve written a good old fashioned “Adventure Diary” post! As much as I enjoy creating useful guides, it’s fun to just share about good times with good friends! So when Kyle and I moved down to Clearwater, Florida for the winter, my friends from Massachusetts and Connecticut jumped at the opportunity to plan a weekend to come down and visit in January. Plus with two of our birthdays landing in January, it’s a perfect excuse for a girls getaway!
Ocean Proximity: Check!
So what goes into a perfect girls getaway weekend? First off, you have to be close to the water. Kyle and I had been staying in Clearwater, but we all wanted to be as close to the water as possible. Our friend Lindsey was able to find a VRBO condo that was located just across the street from the ocean (specifically the Gulf), and on the 3rd floor so we even had views of the water over the other homes as well!
The condo worked out perfectly. We had covered parking, storage with a TON of beach chairs and a wagon, a big beautiful kitchen and living room area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a balcony and enough room to sleep at least 8 people.
ProTip: Multiple bathrooms is everything when it comes to traveling with a group, ESPECIALLY when your group consists of mostly women!
The night my friends arrived, we hit the liquor store, stocked up on drinks, and got groceries delivered to the condo so we’d be prepped for the next few days. (ALSO a great Protip to remember!) We had planned on going out to eat a few times throughout the weekend but you can save a lot on cost if you try to cook some meals as well.
The condo was perfect for the early risers in the group. We were able to sit outside on the balcony listening to the waves while the rest of the group slept, and even walked down to the water a few times for that fresh morning air.
Lazy Beach Days: Check!
Another important feature to a successful girls getaway is spending long, lazy hours on the beach. Now I personally am not friends with the sun due to my terribly white skin, but this particular winter, I got to build up a bit of a tolerance to the sun! So when my friends came in to town and wanted to spend an entire day on the beach in the sun, I gladly obliged!
Beach day requirements: Beach chairs, towels, music, cooler full of drinks, packed snacks and lunch, books to read, sunglasses, hats and ENDLESS sunscreen. Also the condo was close enough to run back to for bathroom breaks! (Those seltzers go right through you!)
We got super lucky with the weather for the middle of January in the Tampa Bay area and we took full advantage of it. Everyone in the group got completely toasted but it was inevitable!
Fancy Dinner and Drinks: Check!
Since it was a couple of our birthdays, we all decided to treat ourselves to a fancy dinner one night. A lot of people raved about Salt Rock Grill in Indian Shores, and since it was right near our condo we decided to check it out. We were able to get a nice big table out on the deck under the heat lamps and though it was dark, it was nice to be right on the intercoastal waterway.
Our group did not hold back on ordering. We got drinks all around, fancy appetizers to share, delicious meals and some desserts to split! It was nice to get out and have a real dinner after a year like we’ve just had.
The area also had a couple bars with live music that we ventured to. The good thing about Florida is that everything is open air or outside! It’s been a while since us New Englanders got a chance to sit back and listen to live music, so that was a treat indeed! We still all agreed the Floridian lifestyle was a bit reckless but it was a nice return to normalcy for a bit.
Floating Tiki Bar: Check!
Now is a floating tiki bar required for a successful girls getaway weekend? No. But should it be a requirement? Absolutely. Our friend Brianna had stumbled on an article on Facebook about the floating tiki bars in Florida and before we even knew what happened, she booked us a ride with Cruisin Tikis!
I’ll be honest and say I was skeptical of what kind of experience this was going to be but it blew my expectations out of the water. Not only were we able to bring a BYOB cooler, but our captain was great and fun to talk to, we got to play our own music over the speakers, AND it was a beautiful day to get out on the water!
The highlight of the whole weekend was when we turned into an inlet and were greeted by a pod of playful dolphins! They swam alongside our boat and put on a show for us! Even the captain was amazed by how interactive they were. It’s one thing to spot them from far away but they were right up along side of us clearly to entertain. The experience left us grinning for hours after.
Brewery Hopping: Check!
You can never go wrong with hitting up some breweries. Over the course of the few days my friends were in town, we checked out three different breweries. While we were killing time prior to our tiki ride, we ventured into downtown Dunedin to walk around for a bit and find some food and drink. There are a million places to choose from but we scored a table at Dunedin Brewery in the shade and got some food and a beer.
At night before picking my boyfriend up to join us, we wandered into Woodwright Brewing Company to stay for a while. This brewery had an entire beer garden set up with string lights and a food truck so we were comfortable hanging out here for a while and having a couple rounds of beer.
On our second to last day, we thought the weather was going to be less than ideal so we ventured down to St. Petersburg to show my friends the area. We had planned on doing a little brewery hopping but we fell in love with the first brewery we stopped at, Grand Central Brewhouse, and ended up staying for several hours. Not only did they have a beer garden and deck area with large tables, but they had live music playing, and great beers. When the sun came out and decided to stay, we stayed put and enjoyed our time.
Drinks, Dancing and Laughs: Check!
The final, most important feature that goes into a successful girls getaway is a night of drinks and dancing. And I don’t mean going out to a bar or a club. I mean getting comfy, pouring some drinks, turning the music up in the condo and singing and dancing the night away. This provides hours of entertainment, nostalgia, belly laughs and memories. There’s nothing more therapeutic for the soul than good times with good friends.
Thinking about planning a girls getaway (or a boys weekend!) this summer now that the world is opening back up? Check out InMotion Adventures to see how I can help you turn those plans into a reality. Time to start making those life long memories again! Until next time…
Stay Wild and Adventure On!