We love a vacation and this summer we decided on a major road trip. It was an amazing trip and it made our summer. We saw so many amazing things and are definitely daydreaming of heading back! We decided to try south Florida since we usually hit the 30a, which we adore. We decided to hit South Beach, Key West and Palm Beach. Our drive took us through Atlanta, which is always a fun place to check out.
Our first stop was the Westside Provisions district. There are my favorite shops for fashion like Ann Mashburn, Calypso, Kayce Hughes and Billy Reid. There are amazing specialty shops as well like Star Provisions and Atlanta Made. I love two new places that have opened since I last visited. Le Jardin Francais has the most amazing floral arrangements and decor. I especially loved the terrariums with succulents, the orchids in bark vessels and the hydrangea arrangements with freesia and curly willow mixed in. The preserving place is a cute shop with classes in preserving on a regular basis.
Westside Provisions District / www.westsideprovisions.com / 1100-1210 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
We dashed by the Jack Rogers store in Phipps Plaza to pick up some Georgica jellies for the beach! I chose navy and Harper opted for coral. They are the perfect sandals for the beach and the pool!
In Atlanta, we stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead. It’s a convenient location with beautiful accommodations and posh activities to take part in. On our first night we were upgraded to a super swanky suite and it started our trip off in style. My kids were amazed to find a pool table, a grand piano and a kitchen in the room! Needless to say, we enjoyed every minute, soaking in a bubble bath with Asprey Purple Water and learning how to play pool!
Ritz Carlton Buckhead / www.ritzcarlton.com / 3434 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA
We headed to South Beach the next morning and were there by early evening. Dan booked us a posh king suite at the Ritz Carlton and it was fabulous! The rooms were amazing and the hotel lobby was posh with Miro pieces on display. The pool service was great! We stayed cool by the pool with Frozen Mojitos and Voss water service! On the beach there were games and drink service. We rented jet skis and took in views of South Beach from the water. The kids were timid but really enjoyed this! The pool at this Ritz doesn’t close, so we made the most of it and took a few late night dips. It was nice to have an escape the from the lively street outside the hotel!
Ritz Carlton South Beach / www.ritzcarlton.com / 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL
While in South Beach we did some exploring. The first place Harper wanted to head to was Lincoln Road Mall. We stopped at Laduree for macarons, which are heavenly as usual. My favorite flavors are pistachio and rose petal. Aesop was wonderful and the geranium lotion smells amazing! The interior of All Saints was super cool with sewing machines and camera lights hanging from the ceiling. They had super cool woven beach totes at Alchemy. We scoped out the new fall line at Adidas by Stella McCartney! There were several pieces that I am smitten with. I love the puff vest, and also have a pair of shoes and a gym bag on my list.
The kids cooled off with a chocolate concrete from Shake Shack and we did the same with a South Beach mojito from Havana 1957. Harper’s trip was complete with a stop in Lululemon and Dylan’s Candy Bar. Another amazing thing is the “orchid tree” in the center of the mall. It’s super tropical and super pretty!
Lincoln Road Mall / www.lincolnroadmall.com / Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach, FL
We had several great meals out in South Beach. One of our favorites was at BLT Steak. It is located in the Betsy Hotel. The interior is fabulous! We started our meal with the Parasol cocktail and it was yummy. It was made of Lillet, Esprit de June, honey syrup, lemon, and Laurent Perrier Champagne! The Gruyere popovers are amazing and I am going to try to make them at home! We also had an amazing watermelon and tomato salad that had serrano chili, mint and humboldt fog cheese. Yum! We finished with the shrimp cocktail and it was perfect!
BLT Steak / www.thebetsyhotel.com/blt-steak / 1400 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL
While we were checking out the architecture in South Beach we decided to grab some brunch. We headed over to Big Pink. This is a super fun retro diner, where the interior is fun and there is something on the menu for everyone. I had the most insane breakfast burrito ever. It was full of fresh avocado and jalapenos and topped with pico de gallo. Dan had some fabulous french toast too!
Big Pink / www.bigpinktakeout.com / 157 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
From South Beach, we drove to Key West. Even if you don’t drive to Miami, the drive to the Keys is something I highly suggest. The scenery is truly amazing and definitely something that should be on your bucket list. You begin in the everglades, which are amazing and beautiful. Then you head over the most amazing coastal views I have ever seen. We stopped and got out to see baby iguanas, striped fish and the bluest water ever! The overseas highway is insanely cool and leaves me daydreaming of all the cool kayaking trips I could plan.
When we got to Key West, we knew we were not far from the Caribbean. There are chickens and roosters everywhere and coconut trees overhead. It was so beautiful. The architecture is colonial and has an island vibe for sure!
We stayed at Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria resort. From what I have heard, this is the most private and posh hotel on the island. The adult pool is a fabulous oasis where you can relax with eucalyptus frozen towels and frozen mojitos with rock candy garnishes. There are hammocks on the beach where you can stargaze. We even caught a glimpse of a shooting star. There is a pier that has steps into the ocean, perfect for snorkeling. While Harper and I were out on the pier, two dolphins swam right under us. It was so cool! We bought masks and rashguards and rented kayaks. For breakfast, we enjoyed chocolate croissants and tea with bonne maman honey in the sunshine!
Casa Marina / www.casamarinaresort.com / 1500 Reynolds Street / Key West, FL
We ventured out in Key West before the crowds got busy on Duval Street. We went to the Hemingway Home and it was really interesting. Our guide was really engaging and learning a bit more about Hemingway and his time in Key West was fascinating. While downtown, we stopped in Besame Mucho, a beautiful shop with lotions, perfume, and beautiful jewelry and accessories. I got some beautiful coral beads and the perfect little salt cellar. We had a delicious eggplant salad and barbeque shrimp at Blue Heaven. Our trip would not have been complete without the obligatory snapshot at the Southernmost Point.
Hemingway Home / www.hemingwayhome.com / 907 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL
Besame Mucho / www.besamemucho.net / 315 Petronia Street, Key West, FL
Blue Heaven / www.bllueheavenkw.com / 729 Thomas Street, Key West, FL
From Key West, we headed to Palm Beach, which was a bit of a drive. On the way we stopped in Key Largo at Alabama Jack’s. Alabama Jack’s is a little deceiving at first. You pull into the parking lot of what looks like a biker bar. Then you walk inside to find an oasis nestled in the mangroves with reggae playing and tropical fish swimming around under the deck. We had a margarita and ordered coconut shrimp, which turned out to be the best I had ever tasted. They were sweet and the coconut was fresh and flakey. It was served with a spicy sweet chili dipping sauce and lime wedges. Don’t pass this up, you’ll be sorry!!
Alabama Jack’s / www.alabamajacks.com / 58000 Card Sound Road, Homestead, FL
We arrived in Palm Beach with just enough time to take a trip down Worth Avenue and then check out the shops at the Breakers. Harper found the perfect Lilly and we headed off to check things out. We headed out to the beach and found a ton of pretty seashells and coral. Some children playing in the waves found a baby sea turtle and were able to get it back out to sea. It was pretty cute to see it swimming away.
The Breakers / www.thebreakers.com / 1 S County Road, Palm Beach, FL
We then headed through the pretty garden seating area to the Children’s Activity Center and the Italian restaurant. The kids had a wonderful time at the arcade while we were able to relax over a glass of Pinot Noir. We capped off our family time with a swim and a dip in the hot tub. Enjoying the night sky with the palm trees in the breeze was a wonderful way to relax.
We then tucked the kids in bed and headed down to HMF for a cocktail. The atmosphere there is fantastic. The seating area is plush and there is fantastic techno that was not too loud and not too soft. I had the Chanel #6, which is vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice. Yum! We were able to unwind from our travels and have some adult time. They also serve the yummiest ginger chili cashews! We took a last peak of the beach and then went off to bed. Our room was turned down with the cutest boxes of white chocolate mint seashells. It was a great stay!
The next morning we grabbed a chocolate croissant and coffee and hit the road! We headed to Atlanta, which with storms ended up being a long haul. Thank goodness for great audio books and iphone map apps! We landed back at the Ritz in Buckhead pretty tired, so we snuggled up in our beds with some room service pizza and the Disney channel! The next morning we went for a dip in the pool which was cool and refreshing! We had breakfast in the dining room and enjoyed everything! As we headed out the kids got goodie bags with peach gummies, a perfect Georgia touch!
The last thing we did before scooting home was to hit up some new shopping in Buckhead. Buckhead Atlanta is a new posh shopping development that is almost complete. There are really cool restaurants, high end shopping and shops for home. We loved stopping in the Moncler shop and ogling jackets and hats that I have no doubt will wind up on our christmas lists. The Jonathan Adler shop was quirky chic as usual and I love it all. Our best stop was the six floor RH showroom across the street. Every floor was insane and I now know how I will spend all of Dan’s money. I kid, I kid...well…...kind of.
Buckhead Atlanta / www.buckhead-atl.com / 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA
All in all, this was probably the most awesome trip we have done and it was eye opening to explore new things. We learned about ourselves, and had experiences that will open all of our minds a little, which is incredibly important.
So cheers to savoring this and looking forward to the next one!! - lh
key words: ritz carlton buckhead, ritz carlton south beach, casa marina, the breakers, westside provisions district, key west, buckhead, palm beach, south beach, summer 2015, florida road trip, the keys, lilly pulitzer, jack rogers, laduree, big pink, blt steak, alabama jack’s, besame mucho key west, blue heaven key west