The Secrets Of Florida – Vacation Ideas That Are Off The Beaten Path

Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill has a lot to offer people in Lake Worth, Vero Beach, and Jensen Beach who are looking for kid friendly restaurants, “fresh seafood near me,” local seafood restaurants, fun restaurants, beach restaurants, tropical restaurants…we think you get the idea.

We’d be even more convinced you get the idea if you’ve been reading our past posts to any degree. Why? For a good while now, we’ve been offering readers some of our favorite menu items, fish and adult beverage pairings, and even some recipes and preparation methods for crab cooking in particular.

However, in today’s post, we’d like to take the time to talk about Florida as a destination. It’s no secret that Florida plays host to their fair share of tourists every year, and rightfully so. This state has a lot to offer tourists and locals besides only the beach and amusement parks.

Today’s post will depart from talking exclusively about our Lake Worth restaurant, Jensen Beach restaurant, and Vero Beach restaurant. If learning about a few places considered “hidden gems” by the people who have been lucky enough to visit them, read on! This post is for you.

  • Clewiston Sugar Festival – let’s start this list off with a disclaimer: not all of these suggestions are within a reasonable distance of Mulligan’s Beach House. This is more of a dedication to our native state rather than a plug piece for our restaurant or an exposition covering our favorite seafood recipes. That being said, Clewiston has been dubbed “America’s Sweetest Town,” in large part because of its history of sugarcane production. A secondary reason is that the locals are sweet as can be, but you won’t find that listed under official reasons for given nicknames, if such a list were to exist in the first place, mind you. Clewiston Sugar Festival happens every April (which is now!), when the town will come together to celebrate the culmination of another year’s sugarcane harvest. The celebration includes music, arts, libations, crafts, and plenty of sweet treats to tickle taste buds.
  • The Venetian Pool At Coral Gables, FL – The Venetian Pool at Coral Gables is know to be the world’s largest freshwater swimming pool. This pool, which was constructed in 1924, was carved out of the remains of a Florida coral rock quarry. It has something of a Mediterranean flair to it, what with the mooring posts and gondolas. But the true attraction of the pool is in its fascinating filtering system. Originally, the pool drained every day with freshwater replacing it from artesian springs nearby. However, over time this was deemed unsustainable because it was draining local water reserves. Obviously a solution was needed, and one was found in the form of daily draining the pool water by returning it to the aquifer, letting natural filtration clean up the waste water. This still happens during the spring and summer!
  • Gatorland – No, we aren’t talking about the “Swamp” down at the University of Florida (the nickname for their storied college football stadium), we’re talking about a 110-acre theme park and wildlife refuge found in Orange County Florida. It was founded around 70 years ago on what used to be cattle-grazing land. The place has over 3,000 reviews on Google, with a rating of 4.6 stars. Although we’ve never actually been to Gatorland, we know a thing or two about online reputation, and a review score like that means the place is worth checking out (assuming you have some degree of interest in gators, of course).

  • Who isn’t a fan of clear, blue water? Who isn’t a fan of floating down a stream of clear, blue water, with the sun of your face and abundant greenery surrounding you? Almost no one, in our estimation. That’s why folks looking to tour some of Florida’s hidden gems should look into Ichetucknee Springs State Park. You can either rent a tube or bring your own, but either way you are sure to have a great time while drifting down a lazy creek. Look into High Springs or Fort White if you are interested in staying in the area for a day or two — which you certainly should consider doing.
  • A Live Mermaid Show! – That’s right, at Weeki Wachee Springs STate Park, in Weeki Wachee, you can find a local favorite. Almost any day of the year you can go to the park auditorium to watch a fascinating underwater theatre performance. After that, you can kayak down the river and take in the lush surroundings complemented by the crisp, clear water beneath you. There are even water slides to be found at the park if that is more your style!
  • Cedar Key – As a society, our lives have never been more fast-paced and jam-packed with stimulation then they are right now. But one of the best things about the south, and Florida in particular, is that locals know how to take a load off every now and then. That isn’t always possible in your hometown, since pressures and expectations of everyday life always seem to get in the way of a relaxing afternoon or evening. However, Cedar Key, a quaint town just about an hour south of Gainesville, offers a wonderful escape to a bygone era. Old fashioned activities abound at Cedar Key, with prime fishing spots, gentle beaches, and natural preserves to spare. There is very little hustle and bustle at Cedar Key — heck, even the police officers drive around in golf carts! If you are looking for a little mental detoxification, we strongly recommend Cedar Key.
  • The Hidden Florida National Park – Most people only think of Spanish Fort in St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos when they think of North Florida national parks. But there is another, Timucuan Preserve, just northeast of Jacksonville. It’s 46,000 acres of salt marshes, hardwood hammocks, and dunes. The best thing about this national park is that it’s completely free. If you are a fan of nature, hiking, and maybe even some good old-fashioned bushwacking, we recommend making this a weekend getaway!

The Best Gem Of All

Although we can’t, in good conscience, call Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill a “hidden” gem, we maintain its attractiveness all the same. To anyone looking for a great happy hour, a family-friendly seafood restaurant, or a waterfront restaurant with exquisite views, you’ve just got to come see us at Mulligan’s. With seven locations in the area, you are sure to have a blast.

And if you are sitting there thinking that you won’t have a blast because you don’t like seafood, we’ve got a variety of delicious menu items for folks like you. Reach out to us today if you have any questions, or simply come see us at one of our Vero Beach, Jensen Beach, or Lake Worth Mulligan’s locations! It’s never a bad time for seafood!