My Happy Place Florida

For those who always follow me so very sweetly, know that I’m in love with Florida. I love America and I think California, Nevada and NY are beautiful too, but Florida remains my big love. Every year in February I go to Florida with my family and no, that never gets old. So much to do, so much to see! And of course that wonderful warm temperature!

On Instagram I asked the question if you would like to see a blog post about Florida and our trip last February. Yes you guys would love to, so here we go!

My Happy Place Florida

We always stay in Orlando / Kissimmee and from there we go in all directions. The Disney Springs entertainment center and the Disney and Universal parks are close by. The Atlantic Ocean is about an hour away (for example Cocoa Beach) and the Gulf of Mexico is a little further, almost 2 hours, to Clearwater Beach for example.

Florida Travel

Regal Oaks

Every year we look for a different place to stay, but Regal Oaks is here to stay, we have now booked this for the 3rd year. With the four of us we book a Townhouse for 8 people, here we have also been with 6 people. Wonderfully spacious, a large living room and a complete kitchen with dishwasher, oven and toaster. Furthermore, the house has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 toilets, a washing machine and dryer and a hot tub outside with a large terrace including sun beds and chairs / table.

It is a gated resort / community that is a vacation resort but where people also live. There is a reception, large swimming pool with sun terrace, comfortable sun loungers and parasols, a pool bar, a hot tube, 2 large slides for the children, fitness room, tennis court, shop and restaurant.

You park your car in front of your Townhouse. There is free WiFi, both at your house and at the communal swimming pool. In between, they come to clean your house again, you can do this by appointment. You don’t have to bring towels, they have them in the house including pool towels. We always bring our own beach towels for our days by the sea.

Tip: If you want to book Regal Oaks, check whether you are in the new part, the houses in the old part are not nearly as beautiful and have a much smaller terrace. You can arrange this at the reception on the spot if there is enough available, otherwise have a good check at your travel agency.

Regal Oaks

Our terrace at our house at Regal Oaks incl. Hot tube, seating for 8 people and 2 sun loungers.
Regal OaksRegal Oaks.Regal OaksThe communal swimming pool of Regal Oaks with a large lake behind it.
Regal OaksThe streets of Regal Oaks.


When you say Orlando you think of Disney World, but Orlando has so much more to offer tourists. From cafes to local eateries, there is so much to see outside the amusement parks. Downtown Orlando is a collection of different neighborhoods, all with a unique appearance. Larger areas are Church Street District, Thornton Park and Wall Street Plaza, but even some streets stand out with their own personality. Orange Avenue is centrally located in downtown Orlando and offers unique restaurants and cocktail bars. If you like live music and different performances, then the Dr. Phillip’s Centre for the Performing Arts in the center is a must. Then there is another great concept to be found downtown, Ace Café Orlando, a dinner with a motor theme with classic British dishes, live music and at the weekend motorcycle, car and music festivals.

Winter Park

Last February we visited Winter Park for the first time, actually by coincidence because I had a photoshoot here. A very nice place, very cozy with nice terraces and on Saturday a popular Farmers’ Market, the market takes place every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Winter Park was originally designed as a retreat for rich northerners and you see that everywhere, high-end shops and there are many expensive cars driving through the streets. On Park Avenue you will find more than 140 boutiques, terraces and museums, all in the shadow of the central park with an oak roof.Farmers' Market Winter ParkOn the market you will find the most beautiful and tastiest fruit and vegetables.
Farmers' Market Winter ParkPopcorn!Winter ParkA Starbucks is fortunately always close.

Winter ParkThe idyllic streets of Winter Park.
Winter ParkAnd the wealth (sorry I had to make this picture!)
Soho JuiceA tip for the Instagrammers among us; at Soho Juice they have an Instagram wall outside where you can show off your delicious acai bowl or smoothie.

Saint Augustine

Florida TravelSorry for the blurry photo, this is a printscreen from my IG Stories. 

For history enthusiasts is St. Augustine recommended. What a nice place this is! Cobblestone streets, historic buildings, countless museums, but also lots of cozy restaurants and cafés. Of course a beautiful beach should not be missing, St. Augustine has a 10-meter long sandy beach. Via the Bridge of Lions you reach Anastasia Island, where a number of attractions are located, such as an Alligator Farm. In Anastasia Island State Park you can go kayaking, fishing and hiking. Kayaks and canoes can be rented on site. In the north is the St. Augustine Light, a lighthouse with its museum.

ManateesCaptain Mike's swim with manatees

Swimming with manatees (sea cows) was high on my bucket list and we did this last February at Captain Mike’s. This company is located in Crystal River, the place where the manatees warm up in the winter months when the Gulf of Mexico is too cold. At Captain Mike they ensure that everyone on the boat has seen the manatees under water. When we did the tour there were already many manatees back to the Gulf of Mexico, but in the end all 4 of us swam with the manatees. They are really huge and feel like stone. You get a wetsuit and a snorkel and swimming goggles, fun for young and old.

The surroundings of Crystal River is also beautiful with southern charm. At the large lake that flows into the Gulf of Mexico, there are beautiful houses and you can enjoy sailing and swimming.


Gatorland Florida

Gatorland Florida


This park has become a kind of tradition for us. It is not that big and it is near our stay. Here you will find alligators and crocodiles in all shapes and sizes. From babies up to 4 meters long crocodiles, they also have a number of rare albino alligators inside. The park has since expanded considerably, and in addition to crocodiles and alligators, you will also find an aviary where you can feed birds with a bird seed stick from your hand, a petting zoo, wild cats, snakes, giant turtles, a zip line that rages across the water where the crocodiles are swimming. New is the Gator Off Road Adventure, you go with an off road vehicle to a part of the park where you normally cannot go, in the middle of the swamp.


In Florida, of course, you have to go into the swamp with an airboat, here you spot alligators in their natural environment. You can do this in many places, where the Everglades is the best known. We did this the last time at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures. With the airboat you glide over the swamp and through the paths with high grass, put on headphones, because the boats are making a huge noise! It is also nice to do a night tour, in the dark the eyes of the alligators light up in the swamp. Or how about a sunset tour!Bobby Creek


With more than 2000 km of coastline with waving palm trees, Florida is the ultimate beach destination. Both the East Coast and the West Coast are fantastic and how about the Florida Keys.

Cocoa Beach 

Cocoa Beach is one of our favorite beaches on the Atlantic Ocean (East Coast). Cocoa Beach is one of the widest beaches on the East Coast and because of the waves a true surfing paradise. Here is the world’s largest surf shop: Ron Jon Surf Shop. A huge store that is open twenty-four hours a day.

Another nice thing about Cocoa Beach is the more than 200 meter long pier over the ocean that is full of restaurants, attractions and shops. Here you can sit comfortably for a snack and a drink with a beautiful view of the ocean.

Fun fact; when there is another rocket launch from the famous Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach is the place where you see the rocket the best.

Cocoa Beach Florida

Cocoa Beach Florida

Cocoa Beach Florida

Cocoa Beach Florida

Clearwater Beach

This beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida and is located on the Gulf of Mexico (West Coast). Here the beaches are snow white and the water incredibly clear. The water is warmer and calmer here than on the East Coast. You can walk a long way into the sea, not far from you, you can see wild dolphins swimming. You can also book a Dolphin Tour so that you can see the dolphins even better from the boat.

Clearwater Beach Florida

Clearwater Beach Florida

Clearwater Beach Florida

Clearwater Beach Florida

Clearwater Beach Florida

Clearwater Beach Florida


Oh the food in America, too tasty and so much choice. Especially in Kissimmee you will find a restaurant on every meter. Of course I have taken a picture of as many of our meals as possible (this always works on Instagram Stories). Below I share a number of highlights of restaurants where we will certainly eat more often in the future.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

The first time I have eaten at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was years ago in NY and it has always stayed with me. I love shrimps and seafood. Located in the middle of the Universal CityWalk (the street to the Universal parks), this Bubba Gump Shrimp is truly a family restaurant. Shrimp is their specialty but they have many more delicious dishes on the menu, even if you don’t like shrimp / fish, such as their award-winning Ribs with homemade BBQ sauce.Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse

Kobe has 11 locations in Florida and specializes in teppanyaki dining, but you can also eat delicious sushi in another part of the restaurant.Kobe Japanese Steakhouse

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse

Joe’s Crab Shack

Where Red Lobster used to be my favorite restaurant in Florida, is now Joe’s Crab Shack my fav because i love crab legs! You get a huge bib so that you can eat your crab legs with full dedication.Joe's Crab Shack

Logan’s Roadhouse

Another nice and typical American restaurant, Logan’s, every evening packed and that is not for nothing. A pair of jeans and a t-shirt mentality where you drink a nice cold beer and throw the peanut skins on the floor.Logan's Roadhouse

Logan's Roadhouse


It doesn’t get any more American, Applebee’s have large TV’s everywhere with different sport channels. In the middle of the restaurant is a huge round bar. In the meantime, you eat typical American food.


Chicken Guy!

In Disney Springs are lots of good restaurants, but sometimes after all that shopping and entertainment you want a quick bite and then Chicken Guy! is recommended. The signature sandwiches with chicken tenders are fantastic.

Chicken Guy

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill

Also this restaurant is full of large TV’s, all on a different channel. Super cozy and busy. I think the loaded cheese fries are heavenly, every snack bar in the Netherlands should have it on the menu too, with cheese, bacon, spring onion and tomato.

Smokey Bones

I can really go on for hours talking about Florida, there is so much to see and do. Maybe you have ideas for another blog post about Florida. Something you would like to see or know? For example, do I have to make a post about the amusement parks? Something that I have not told in this blog post?

Let me know, XO Frieda 


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