From Daytona Around Southern Florida
Daytona Bike Week
It is a bikers dream to someday attend one of the big rallies like Daytona Bike Week in Florida. Actually, Daytona is quite easy to get to and timing in early March gives a nice head start for the riding season. Additionally, after going to Daytona, you have all the Florida within easy reach.
We took an Iceland Air flight to Orlando Sanford airport, which happens to lie just between Orlando and Daytona. Easy taxi ride to our Daytona beach hotel and the bike week party.
Daytona beach is huge and one where you can ride your bike or car right at the water front. This is such popular pastime that the traffic is one-way and clearly sign posted when you enter the beach.
According to the local radio stations, some 700.000 bikers attended the bike week 2014. Obviously the weekends are busiest but as one can imagine, the party goes on without breaks.
There is no way to see everything during one visit. Our highlights included the Main Street with LOTS of action, parties, bands, bars, vendors,…, Daytona Speedway with again all kings of bike gear, builders, etc and Destination Daytona with Bruce Rossmeyer’s Harley Davidson dealership and again different stalls and vendors. Bars and band stands are everywhere with some rather attractive ladies handing you the drinks.
West Coast and Key West
Key West is an idyllic and historical (tourist) town and a great place to relax for a few days. Key West is also a very gay place, as was also proven by the most entertaining and friendly concierge at our hotel.
Sunset, Sloppy Joe’s of Ernst Hemingway fame (plus many more great bars) and naturally Hemingway’s Home with the six toed cats!
From Key West we headed to the west coast of Florida and Gulf of Mexico. The route took us along the Alligator Alley through the Everglades National Park. This is a good opportunity to go on an air boat tour. There are many opportunities along the road to do so, don’t miss it!
Naples – Tampa – Orlando
Naples is a more sophisticated town and has some great shops and restaurants and off course, the beach. As it happened, there was a vintage car rally at our hotel and we saw some fantastic old veterans on the road.
Entering St Petersburg on US-19 on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is really impressive with great views over Tampa bay. We spent the night in Tampa and a tram trip to Ybor City restaurants was our evening’s entertainment.
In the morning we continued to Orlando to be entertained Disney / Universal style. This was also where we said good bye to our bikes, at Orlando Eagle Rider. Eagle Rider has so many shops around the US that it is very easy to hire a bike and to leave it in a different location.
We had been enjoying temperatures generally from lower to upper 20’s and sunshine every day. Standing at the forecourt of Eagle Rider, we saw the first rain drops of our trip. Right after handing back our bikes.
Perfect timing and perfect ending for a perfect trip around the southern Florida.