North Florida

The Worlds Largest Orange, Kissimee, FL

Note: Many of Floridas toll roads are now cashless.  The regional SUNPASS is available Prepaid at most Publixs, CVS and Wallgreens so you can buypass rental car transponder tyranny.

Orlando
Almost everyone will be here at some point, so we might as well have listings. 

Oddly enough, Orlando has a huge vietanamese population and has tons of restaurants.

There is a local alternative paper called the Orlando Weekly.  There is also Citybeat.

Universal Studios has an amusement park called Islands of Adventure in Orlando. They have a great collection of rollercoasters, a one of a kind 3-D ride themed with Spiderman, an amazing Dudley Dooright themed Log flume and a very trippy Dr. Seuss themed area plus the new harry potter world.  While there, try the ribs at the tavern near the Double Dragon coaster.  Yum!  Tip-show your AAA card for a ten percent discount on food and stores throughout the park.

Okay, this is dumb and I am not going to go there, but there are not one, but TWO Icebars in Orlando.  They are inside giant refrigerators and are year round versions of the ice bars and ice hotels in Canada.

Eats-

Beefy King-424 N Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 894-2241-Roast Beef Joint.  A rare locals only joint.
Charley’s Steak House, 8255 International Drive, Gooding’s Plaza
Orlando 32819 (407) 363-0228.  The servers bring a tray and you pick your own meat, which is grilled over citrus and other woods.  When your steak arrives, the waiters break out a flashlight so you can check the doneness.  Well done!
Emerils-Universal CityWalk, Orlando  tel: (407) 224-2424- Bam! Yes that Emeril.  Damn Tasty, but you better make a reservation.
Cecil’s Texas Style Bar-b-q, 2800 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806- You get free ice cream when you dine in. Best BBQ. (407) 423-9871
To get away from most of the tourist areas head to the ViMi District
Just northeast of Downtown Orlando, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai and Chinese restaurants crowd along Colonial Drive and Mills Avenue; and grocery stores, stocked with everything from alternative medicines to exotic produce, cater mostly to Asian customers.

Live Music-
Will’s Pub-1850 N. Mills Ave., Orlando, FL 32803-1854 one block south of Princeton Avenue (the Loch Haven Park area), on the west side of 17-92/Mills Avenue.

The Peacock Room-1321 North Mills Avenue  Orlando, FL 32803-(407) 228-0048

Clubs-
The Social  -54 N Orange Ave, Orlando-tel: (407) 246-1419 or (407) 246-1599. Live venue with acts national alternative and college acts and the occassional DJ.
Record Stores-
Rock and roll Heaven-1814 N. Orange Avenue , Orlando
(407) 896-1952 (wow, still there 2016)
Culture Mart-Bad Mood-225 Magnolia Ave,Orlando, FL, now a gallery with art and music
d.i.y. records-now only exists as an online store

 

Tourist Attractions.  There are many, but 

Old Town has cool chararacter.  5770 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee (407) 396-4888-Heres some images from Old Town

Boynton Beach, FL

Bar-Sweetwater Bar & Grill-1507 S Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, Florida-Bar and grill with “mixologist’ cocktails with an occasional soul and tiki DJ.

Eats-
Tsunami Subs & Wraps-309 E Woolbright Rd
Boynton Beach, FL 33435  (561) 739-8525 sub shop supposedly from the son of the founder of jersey mikes.
Torchio’s Finer Meats and Delicatessen-1877 W Woolbright Rd, Boynton Beach, FL 33426 (561) 732-5915  Take out only.  Sandwiches and butcher shop.  Grab fixings for a bbq or get a giant sub
Flakowitz of Boynton Restaurant-Old Fashion Style New York Eatery
8:00 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. seven days a week (561) 742-4144
7410 W Boynton Beach Blvd, Boynton Beach, FL 33437-was visited by Diners drive ins and dives.  Sad to say, not many of these places exist in Florida anymore

 

Brandon, FL

Record Store-
Sound Idea-113-H Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL  813-653-2550

Cocoa Beach, FL

Eats-

Pig & Whistle English Pub -Address: 240 N Orlando Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 (321) 799-0724

Venues
The 321 LOCAL” Rock Bar & Grill -Brevard County. -located in the Cocoa Village at 333 King Street on the corner of eastbound 520 and Hughlett next to Norman’s. -Not a sports bar with a band playing in the corner. We are a ROCK BAR with a large stage and a huge PA. We will be booking bands 7 days a week
http://www.myspace.com/the321local

Resorts-

Wakulla Suites-3550 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931 (321) 783-2230 Wakulla is a fantastic resort filled with Wayne Coombs tiki idol carving work

Clearwater, FL
Many cool things do not last forever in FL, but once upon a time, there was a huge garish restaurant called the Kapok Tree.  It closed many years ago, but part of its facilities and gardens are still used for special events and can be viewed.  Check out this tribute page.
923 McMullen Booth Rd. Clearwater, FL   33759

Fort Myers, FL

Record Store
Silver Platters, 11763 Cleveland Ave. #10, Fort Myers, FL 33907

Gainesville, FL
Eats-
A and B Soul Food-104 NE Waldo Road, 352-335-5446
Caribbean Spice-1121 West University. 352-377-2715.  Good food, $2.65 lunch special.
Satchel’s restaurant1800 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 352-335-7272. It’s the best pizza/salad/calzone place in town and it’s very artsy, with a million mobiles hanging from the ceiling and an outdoor garden
Terrell’s Bar-B-Que- 2445 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL, 352-367-1400 or 1130 NE 16th Avenue stand every Friday Saturday or Sunday at the Dollar General. Best BBQ in town

Live Music-

High Dive– no-cover outdoor bar, this live-music venue hosts  local & traveling bands.: 210 SW 2nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 872-5949
Commongrounds coffeehouse-919 W. University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601 [352]-372-7320..
1982  bar (ALL AGES VENUE) 919 W. University Avenue Gainesville Florida” near the University of Florida
The Church of the Holy Colors
A working gallery space located at 11 SE 5th Ave and S Main St in Gainesville, FL. with shows
http://holycolor.blogspot.com/

The Atlantic Nightspot -Address: 15 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601 Burlesque and Bands

First Magnitude Brewing Company ?-1220 SE Veitch St, Gainesville, FL 32601

Record Stores-
HYDE AND ZEKE’S RECORDS-402 NW 10th Avenue, Gainesville, (352) 376-1687

Jacksonville, FL

 

Above, a Camel Rider, a local regional specialty in Jacksonville. Sometimes called Riders. Basically any type of sub in a pita.

The Weekly alternative paper is Folio WeeklyNo Idea records has a lot of bands that tour through the area

Music Clubs-
Imperial Bar & Lounge-325 W. Forsyth St., Jacksonville (904) 355-0810 Live music & pizza in renovated antique bar
Jack Rabbits, 1528 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville.
Edge 2000, 845 University Blvd., Jacksonville. For tickets or information, call 904-743-1845.
618, 618 W. Forsyth St., Jacksonville. 904-356-6363.
T-Birds, 9039 Southside Blvd., Jacksonville. 904-363-3399.
The Florida Theatre-128 East Forsyth Street-Jacksonville, FL 32202
Event Info: (904) 355-2787-large venue for bigger acts.
Rain Dogs -1045 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32204(904) 379-4969

Underbelly – 113 E Bay St, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Birdie’s-1044 Park St, Jacksonville, FL 32204 (904) 356-4444

formerly starlite

Dive Bar-331 East Bay Street,Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 359-9090  www.divebarjax.com
Eats-
Freds Cotton BBQ-2623 N. Main Street-904-356-8274

Bonos BBQ-actually a regional chain with a mustard based sauce

Blue Crab Crabhouse-3057 Julington Creek Road, Jacksonville, FL – (904) 260-2722

Blue Boy Sandwich Shop, 421 N Laura St Ste 2 , Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville (Lem Turner/Norwood Ave. exit off 1-95) It’s about 1/4 mile east of the exit on Norwood.  One sandwich is big enough for two people.  Over 50 varieties. 2 other locations.
Metro Diner-3302 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville, Florida 32207  (904) 398-3701, featured on triple d.  Homemade meatloaf, steak salad with fries and steak and blue cheese on top of a salad and stuffed french toast called yo, challahRecord Store-
Theory Shop, 1051 Park Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204

Junior’s Famous Sandwiches, 9347 N Main St  -Jacksonville, FL 32218

(904) 751-2816

The Sheik-Regional Middle Eastern Fast Food chain with the above pictured Riders

Knuckle Sandwiches-Breakfast & Lunch served Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 948 Cesery Blvd.  Jacksonville Florida 32211 (904) 743-6900

Trent’s Seafood & Grill “The best seafood in town without going overboard.” -4553 120th St Jacksonville, FL 32244
(904) 908-4202

Port St. Joe, FL

Eats-Indian Pass Raw Bar -Neighborhood hangout focusing on seafood serving the panhandle version of chargrilled oysters “baked oysters” 8391 County Rd 30A, Port St Joe, FL 32456  (850) 227-1670

Sarasota, FL

Bars-
Bahi Hut is a throwback Tiki Lounge-4675 N Tamaimi Trail
Sarasota, FL
Eats-THE HOLY GRAIL OF FOOD.  YEAR ROUND TURDUCKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thats Chicken stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey at Alpine Meat Market and Restaurant OPEN!
Tues-Sat 9am-9pm, Closed Sun & Mon,  (941) 922-3797  4520 South Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34231
http://www.alpinesteak.com/
Live Music-
210 Tavern -5045 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 Dive bar with occasional live music
Record Stores-
Apocalypse
6560 Superior Ave, Sarasota, FL 941-923-5081
Daddy Kool-5900 S Trail Unit K, Sarasota, FL
813-921-7271
Attractions-
Sarasota Jungle Gardens-a throwback Florida attraction with lush tropical gardens since the 40s-Sarasota Jungle Gardens is located at 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, Florida, 34234
St. Augustine, FL
Flagler College was originally built as a hotel in the 1800s.  A very cool place to see.  74 King Street.
Regional Specialty-Minorcan Clam Chowder-unique to this area, similar to Manhattan clam chowder but with hot local Datil Peppers.  Available at Schooner’s Seafood House ,  O’Steen’s Restaurant , Barnacle Bill’s and Saltwater Cowboy’s .  Bills also has hot wings made with the pepper and all these joints specialize in shrimp as well.  
Tourist Attraction
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument – National Park Service-1 South Castillo Drive  St. Augustine, FL 32084, (904) 829-6506  Not the type of stuff I normally list, but lots of bad stuff happened here making this place extra creepy
Bar-Nobby’s Sports Tavern-#10 Anastasia Boulevard, St. Augustine, Florida-Dive sports bar with occasion live music.
Live Music-
Shanghai Nobby’s-10 Anastasia Blvd, St Augustine, FL 32080 (904) 547-2188-sports bar with occasional bands
St. Cloud, FL (greater Orlando Area)
Tourist Attraction
Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida, 4755 N. Kenansville Road,  St. Cloud, Florida 34773
1-866-85-4EVER, Zip line “coasters” Zip Line Bikes and other cool adventure things.

Stuart, FL-(about 40 miles north of West Palm Beach

Record Stores-
Confusion Records 20 E Ocean Blvd  Stuart, FL (561) 287-9994

Video store-
Groovy Movie A Go-Go 28 E Ocean Blvd  Stuart, FL (561) 221-0400

Tallahassee, FL

Live Music-

Liberty Bar and Restaurant-1307 N Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32303 (850) 284-7966
Club Downunder -Tallahassee, FL-gets shows like Mary Timony and superchunk.  College associated.

The Wilbury-513 West Gaines St, Tallahassee, FL 32301(850) 320-6353 most nights til 2.  Mini bowling, occasional live music, bbq and battered to order onion rings and cheese sticks.

Warhorse Whiskey Bar– 603 W Gaines St, Tallahassee, FL 32304

DIY venue-The shark tank.   Updated 12/2016 these types of places tend to be short lived.

Tiki Bar-Waterworks-104 1/2 S. Monroe, Tallahassee, FL 904-224-1887

Record Stores-
Vinyl Fever-2033 W. Pensacola St,Tallahassee, FL 904-576-4314.great store, great website with local act info.

Eats!-
Nicholson Farmhouse is now known as White Dog Plantation. No longer a restaurant.
Manna, 3507 Thomasville Rd. (Village Square Blvd.) Tallahassee, FL 32309 , 850-668-1968  Gourmet deli, take-out and restaurant.
Shell Oyster Bar-Oysters in a converted gas station- 114 East Oakland Ave (between Munroe and Adams), 850-224-9919

Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack-No-frills seafood joint featuring oysters with many toppings and burgers: 325 N Bronough St, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Tampa, FL/St. Petersburg/Lakeland

The Local Alternative Paper is Weekly Planet. For good show info click here.  For Ybor city news try Ybor City.com.  For other concert info check out local promoter Fantasma’s Site.  Local info site Bay Domain is also worth a visit.

TBT Soundcheck site.

Tune into WMNF (wmnf.org. community radio station going on 32 years now.)with shows such as SURFACE NOISE on Wednesdays from 6-8p, new wave, mod, glam, garage and punk rock.

Monthly swing events at Swingtime.

Nearby is St. Petersburg is the Salvadore Dali Museum.

Live music-

Fubar Downtown – 658 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Daily 3PM–3AM  (727) 424-1809
The State Theatre -687 Central Avenue -St. Petersburg FL 33701
727.895.3045
Skippers Smokehouse-Corner of Skipper Road and Nebraska-813-971-0666-yeah, I know.  Sounds like a restaurant, and it is, but is was also voted best place to hear live music in Tampa.
Jannus Landing-16 2nd St N, St. Petersburg (727) 896-1244
The HUB-Dive bar with the occasional live band-719 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Crowbar -1812 N 17th St, Ybor City, FL 33605
Phone:(813) 241-8600

Dance Clubs-
The Castle-2004 North 16th Street, Tampa, FL 33605-(813) 247-7547-its a castle.  bar/club thump thump, maybe a goth night

Tampa is home to a Busch Gardens theme park with some great coasters.

When in Tampa, the place to be is YBOR City (pronounced e-bore), home of galleries, clubs and restaurants in this college town, though it can be kind of sleepy when its not a weekend night.  They have gallery walkarounds once a month too.  Don’t miss the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg across the river.

Eats-
Berns Steakhouse-1208 S. Howard Avenue at Margere-Tampa (813) 251-2421-THE most famous restaurant in Tampa, and pricey but a hipster spy tells me they are not quite what they used to be and instead recommends Charlies Steakhouse and Fish-4444 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 813-353-9706
Pasadena Steak House  -1530 Pasadena Avenue S. at 22nd Ave

Brocato’s Sandwich Shop-5021 E Columbus Dr, Tampa, FL 33619-open for decades, home of a famous deviled crab ball and “stuffed potato” which is also breaded and fried.  Only open til 5:30 pm, earlier on saturday and closed on SUnday.

Coney Island Sandwich Shop ?-250 Dr M.L.K. Jr St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705(727) 822-4493
Most days 10AM–4PM, Sunday Closed -90 years old, coney dogs and burgers.

South Pasedena (727) 341-1711-a cheaper steak place with a great caesar in an area of St Petersburg.
The Crab Shack-old fashioned CHEAP!! Crab house. St. Pete.  They feature a very unusual Smoked mullet.  Get the peel and eat shrimp and coleslaw.  Skip the crab cakes and the garlic butter crabs, but get the key lime pie!
Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish, 1350 Pasadena Ave S, South Pasadena, FL 33707  (727) 381-7931-another smoked fish joint, this one also has an amazing fish spread, smoked mullet and whole large platters of smoked fish.  Potato salad made with BACON and a surf and turf combo with the fish spread side and a burger made with velveeta.  You can also bring your own fish and have it smoked.

Biff Burger and Buffys BBQ, 3939 49th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL (727) 527-5297.  Last of an old chain with car and motorcycle meetups and burgers with special sauce

More Tampa/St Pete Eats

 

Skyway Jack’s -2795 34th St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711 (727) 867-1907-Only open 5am  to 3 pm.  Hobo soup, SOS, breakfast pie, scrambled brains. Giant humpty dumpty and chicken out front.

Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish-1350 Pasadena Ave S, South Pasadena, FL 33707-Phone number (727) 381-7931-Tiny old classic Florida must eat.   Nothing like this anywhere else in the country.  Huge planks of smoked fish of different types.  Closed Tuesday, other days  11:30 am – 7:30 pm

Trip’s Diner – 10555 Park Blvd N, Seminole, FL 33772 most days 7AM–9PM
(727) 623-0907-Breakfast cuban sandwich, Crabmeat omelette, beautiful thin onion rings.

West Tampa Sandwich Shop -3904 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL 33607 Daily 5AM–3PM, Saturday 5AM–5PM, Sunday 5AM–1PM  (813) 873-7104 Cuban sandwiches and Garbanzo soup and the Tripleta Sandwich. Ham, Pork & Shredded Steak. Crab Croquettes.

 

Record Stores

Mojo Music-2558 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612  often stages concerts on weekends.
Sound Exchange – 14246 North Nebraska Avenue, Tampa
Daddykool Records. (727) 822-5665, 666 Central Ave ,St Petersburg, FL 33701 CDs, records, T-shirts, vinyl figurines 
Bananas Music-2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Pete; (727) 321-4616, musicfinder.com.

 

10,000-square-foot store across from Mazzaro’s Italian Market. and  (2226 16th Ave. N). 
Asylum Sights and Sounds-6566 Central Ave., St. Pete; 7180 49th St., Pinellas Park; asylumsite.com. 
Disc Exchange-6712 Central Ave., St. Pete; (727) 343-5845.
Sound Exchange-14246 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa; 732 W Lumsden Road, Brandon; 7688 49th St. N, Pinellas Park; soundexchangetampabay.com.

Hotels-
In addition to the numerous chain hotels around the area, there is the Tahitian Inn, 601 South Dale Mabry Highway, (800) 876-1397,  with 62 rooms in a residential neighborhood, with a heated outdoor pool. $69 to $89.

Drive In Theater-
Silver Moon Drive In-4100 U.S. 92 W., Lakeland, FL 33801, (941) 682-0849

Treasure Island, FL

Eats-

Dixie’s Dog House -250 107th Ave, Treasure Island, FL 33706  (727) 360-6001 Chicago style hot dogs, open 7 days 11AM–7PM

Sadly defunct memories of the Miracle Strip in Panama City, FL, Home of the Miracle Strip amusement park.  Destroyed for condos.  Boo Condos.

Panama City and the Redneck Riviera

These towns are close to each other, but not very close to Orlando and Tampa.  They can be done as part of a New Orleans road trip.

Miracle Strip-12000 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL (850) 234-5810-Amusement Strip and beach area for Northern Florida.  SORRY-MIRACLE STRIP HAS GONE OUT OF BUSINESS.  THERE IS A WATERPARK ACROSS FROM THE ADDRESS THAT STILL USES THE WEBSITE (closed 8/2004)

Near Panama City is St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, where you can rent a cabin, swim at a very clean beach or go horseback riding.

Apalachicola, FL

Eats-
Tamaras Cafe Floridita-17 Avenue E. Apalachicola, FL-850-653-4111-excellent venezuelan restaurant.

Hotels-
Brigitte’s Romantic Retreat -101 Sixth St., Apalachicola, FL.  One of them themed hotels with all different rooms.

Carabelle, FL

World’s Smallest Police Station in Carabelle, on US 98.

De Leon Springs, FL

Eats
Old Spanish Sugar Mill, 601 Ponce Deleon Blvd
De Leon Springs, FL 32130   (386) 985-5644-  In a state park, this place lets you grill your own pancakes.

Destin, FL

Eats-
The Rib Shack
605 Highway 98 East, Destin, (850) 837-9314

Fort Walton Beach, FL (50 miles east of Pensacola)

Eats-
Joe & Eddies Restaurant, 206 SE Florida Place,  Ft. Walton Beach, 243-0733-Incredibly good, incredibly cheap down home cooking.  Open 24 hours on the weekends.
Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q,925 North Beal Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, (850) 314-0717-When in the south, you gotta get ‘cue.

Movie Theater-
Suds-N-Cinema — 174 SE Miracle Strip Parkway, Ft. Walton Beach, FL – (850) 244-2484, 243-7455-Movie theater where you can drink and smoke.  Great Idea.

Flora-bama Lounge and Package-17401 Perdido Key Drive in Pensacola Bay., 850-492-3048-Live Music in a beach house with a Jimmy Buffet twist.

Pensacola, FL

Amusement Park-
Sam’s Fun City– Located in Pensacola south of I-10 on Highway 29. New Family Amusement Park.

Live Music-

Vinyl Music Hall – 2 S Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502 (850) 607-6758
HANDLEBAR– 319 N. Tarragonna, Pensacola, (850)434-9060-I don’t know much about this venue, but the Causey way has played here.

Local Music Info Here.

Record Stores-
Unity-27 W Romana St, Pensacola, FL 904-433-3104
East Hill CD, 2509 N. 12th Ave, Pensacola, FL 32503

Seaside, FL-Believe it or not, an artists community 40 miles east of Fort Walton Beach.

Books-
Sundog Books-89 Central Square-850-231-5481 – Seaside

Spring Hill, Florida

Awesome tourist attraction
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, 6131 Commercial Way, Spring Hill, Florida 34606 (352) 592-5656  Old timey Florida tourist attraction, now part of a state park.  See a quaint show where mermaids perform to you in an underwater theater.  Catch it before the times or the mean environmentalists cause it to shut down

 

 

Winter Haven, FL

Cypress Gardens amusement park is gone and is now Legoland, FL.  A tourist destination of old, with classic water skier shows and the like.  It was saved by the wrecking ball by another operator and added rollercoasters and other thrill rides. Winter Haven has a Monster mini golf, an indoor, glow in the dark mini golf course.  Air conditioned!Eats-Harbor Side Steakhouse & Oyster Bar 2435 7th St SW, 863-293-7070. It’s a roomy restaurant situated on a lake and is an old-school Florida seafood restaurant. They have  fried pickle chips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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