2013 in Review: My Favorite Off the Beaten Path Experiences

By: Gary McKechnie


With the privilege of having one of the best jobs on earth, I was looking over some of this year’s road trips and while every one of them stood out for different reasons, a few stood out even more in my memory. Most of these were recorded in blogs and articles, and if you like to learn more about why I’d recommend these destinations and experiences for ‘off the beaten path’ travelers, just follow the links:

• Big Bend: A road trip that took me through several rural counties where natural beauty and some surprising sites reminded me of Old Florida.

• Mission San Luis: Near downtown Tallahassee, visiting this archaeological site and museum was a wonderful way to learn about how indigenous tribes and the arriving Spaniards lived together – for a time.

• Gulfport: A short day trip, but spending an evening in this small village on the southern tip of the peninsula near St. Pete was like visiting Key West, circa 1960.

Big Cypress Reservation: By far my favorite. Members of the Seminole Tribe introduced me to a culture, a landscape, activities, and a lifestyle that every Floridian should experience. Staying just one night in a chickee hut was among the highlights of my life. I can’t wait to go back!

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