T+L's Ultimate Guide to Florida
T+L road-trips from coast to shimmering coast to reveal the best of Florida, old and new.
BY TOM AUSTIN | EXCERT FROM TRAVEL & LEISURE | NOVEMBER 2013
eonce de León was on to something. In 1513, the conquistador landed near St. Augustine in search of the fountain of youth. He might have found it, too—had he waited 500 years. All over my home state, there’s a renewed enthusiasm for the unique and authentic. Where “Old Florida” was a semiotic grab bag of calculated nostalgia (rocking chairs; “Howdy, neighbor” civility), today you’ll find a Stay Local, Buy Local approach to quality. Floridians are becoming...well...hip. On a series of road trips, I visited a few of my classic, age-old secrets—and made some fresh discoveries, too.
South Florida: Miami to Palm Beach (75 miles)
...About 50 miles north on I-95, a quirky place to stay is the Chesterfield Palm Beach ($$), with its Merry Old England–style lobby. I get a dose of culture at the Norton Museum of Art, currently featuring a Mickalene Thomas installation incorporating tropical Florida imagery. Afterward, I do the rounds on the renowned Antique Row, a choice stretch of South Dixie Highway.