While the Coronavirus has just about everything shut down, we decided to take a look at Florida Tourism. It appears to us that a lot of it is planes, trains and automobiles. Over the course of our travels, we have visited a number of places that fit this bill. We thought you’d like to look back on them with us.
We like airplanes and have both flown and visited a number of aircraft-related attractions. Our first real adventure was when we rode in a Ford Tri-Motor plane. That was during the US Sport Aviation Expo held at the Sebring Regional Airport.
Sadly the event is gone, but our memories still are vivid. As people used to dress up to fly in the past, we decided to dress in period garb to ride in the aircraft. It was a great choice and added to the fun.
We also had an opportunity to stop by the Florida Air Museum on the grounds of the Lakeland Linder Airport. Personally. we don’t think there’s a better place to look at the history of aviation in the Sunshine State.
There were aircraft both inside and outside the museum. Inside were displays showing various aspects of Florida’s flying history as well as interactive exhibits that give visitors a chance to see the dynamics of how aircraft work.
This was fun and informative for kids as well as adults.
In a previous article we did about National Aviation Week, we noted a couple of other museums that are begging for a visit from us.
When it comes to trains, our favorite has to be the iconic Bob’s Train in Sarasota. It is a restaurant, a museum and a true experience when you actually get to meet and talk with Bob himself. He not only restored the railway cars and decorated them with circus memorabilia – he also is the chef for a really tasty meal.
Also in Sarasota is Station 400. This is a chain of restaurants in the Suncoast area that also carries the railway theme. Our favorite part at the one we visited on Tamiami Trail, was the model train that made it’s way around the perimeter of the dining room on an elevated track.
One place we had wanted to visit before The Great Shutdown is the Florida Railroad Museum. Located in Parrish, Florida, it originally was founded as The Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum. In fact, we also have discovered more than a half dozen other railroad museums gathered around the state.
They all are on our list as we travel Florida.
Of course, we travel the state in the Funmobile. However, there are plenty of other vehicles that have drawn our attention. One of the coolest places we found was Ideal Classic Cars. We discovered this place quite by accident on a trip to Venice.
The building is packed with vintage, classic and custom cars, trucks and vans. The admission price was simply our email address. We browsed for hours. The best part is that it’s also a sales company – so their inventory constantly is changing.
In addition to static automobile displays are cars racing on the track. We have been to several speedways but our go-to always is the Sebring International Raceway. Sports car racing is our favorite because no matter what the event – we can always get up close and personal with the cars.
It’s no wonder the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts was voted the Number One Motorsports Event in the World by readers of USA Today.
Like many events, SuperSebring 2020 was put on hold and rescheduled. It will now be held in November as the finale of the International Motorsports Association’s racing season.
Although it’s the biggest – it’s not the only such event there. One race is the Alan Jay Pistons & Props. It combines the best of vintage and historic race cars with vintage and historic aircraft. The nice thing is that you can get just as up close and personal with the cars and planes there.
We know that this situation with the Coronavirus did not come to stay, it came to pass. Our look back over these past months has even further rekindled our desire to travel and see more across the Sunshine State. Stay tuned for our ongoing adventures.