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by: Kelly Stilwell

Where to go when you already live in Paradise? We have ideas! Whether
you’re looking to hop to a new place for an overnight stay, skip away for a
long weekend, or a jump a little further for a week-long getaway, we think
you’ll love these destinations!


Just about 90 minutes from Bradenton is an easy getaway with fantastic luxury shopping, beautiful beaches, and more. Have you been to Naples?

For a family trip, take the kids to Naples Botanical Garden, Naples Zoo, or spend the day making sand castles on the beach. The Naples Pier is the quintessential spot for sunset pics worthy enough for next year’s Christmas card. Note: only part of the Pier is open after destruction from Hurricane Ian.

For adults, Naples has upscale shopping above and beyond your typical mall offerings. Check out Fifth Avenue South for boutiques and local art galleries. Third Street South is another perfect spot to window shop or find unique pieces to add to your wardrobe. You’ll even find antiques and resale stores, always fun to browse.

Golfers will want to check out the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Tiburon, where they can play two different 18-hole courses designed by Greg Norman. Another option for an amazing golf experience is at the Naples Grand Golf Club, with a par 72 championship course designed by Rees Jones.

For restaurants, you’ll find everything from coastal deliciousness on the beach to classic French cuisine to food tours where you can taste as you explore the area. You can even experience a Royal Tea at Brambles English Tea Room.

You can’t go wrong with a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Naples, The Inn on Fifth, or the Naples Grand Beach Resort. All are family-friendly with romantic offerings for the special getaway for just you and your significant other.


Panama City Beach is quite the drive at almost seven hours, but making it a road trip can be fun. Ocala is just about two hours away and has a plethora of restaurants on Main Street. After lunch, drive two hours and 45 minutes to reach Tallahassee to stretch your legs as you take a walk through Railroad Square to view the beautiful street art. Another two-hour drive and you’re in PCB.

Once you’ve arrived, you’ll find stunning beaches and loads of great seafood restaurants, 21 of them beachfront.

For things to do, take a boat to Shell Island where you can relax and explore seven miles of undeveloped beauty connecting St. Andrews Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Spotting wildlife is part of the fun, with a good possibility of seeing starfish, both loggerhead and green sea turtles, and deer.

For shopping and nightlife, check out the Skywheel and Shops of Pier Point. The outdoor shopping complex features 124 shops and dozens of restaurants. Tip: Don’t miss The Yard Milkshake Bar.

You’ll also find a lot of live music in PCB. Simply browse the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitor Bureau’s website for locations and more ideas for things to do.

If you don’t want to spend two days driving, you can rent a car and drive one way, or simply fly into and out of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. You’ll find daily flights out of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.


It’s not possible to drive to Playa del Carmen, but flights are easy and available every day out at SRQ. For the most romantic getaway of your life, head to adults-only Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen, where you won’t have to think about what to do or where to eat as it’s all-inclusive.

Lounge chairs covered with thatch umbrellas await on the beach where you can enjoy the crashing waves and each other. Waiters are at your beck and call for cold beer, cocktails, and food. Tip: The jerk chicken is to die for.

For activities, you can join a beach or pool volleyball game, swim in one of seven pools, taste tequila at one of the bars, chill out in a cenote, take a yoga class on the beach, or take out a paddleboard. There’s nothing like a nap while on vacation, and taking one in a hammock on the beach is the way to do it at Secrets Moxche.

When it’s time to eat, don’t worry about not having enough variety in the resort restaurants. Secrets Moxche has 11 on-site restaurants from Italian to French to Mexican to sushi. Have a freshly made margarita at one of the seven bars, including a swim-up bar in the main pool.

Once the sun sets, you can take in a live music performance in the open-air amphitheater or experience one of the resort’s incredible live shows. There’s so much to do…or not to do. We hope we’ve given you ideas for your next getaway.

Whether you choose a Hop, Skip, or Jump, one thing is for sure: it’s always good to get back home to Bradenton!

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