Amazing Kids! Magazine

A Southern Review

By Stella Prince, age 14

 

My family and I spent winter break traveling around Florida and the South. We took two weeks and drove down to Williamsburg, Virginia, then Beaufort, South Carolina, and finally Palm Beach, Florida. On the drive back we stopped in Beaufort again and then Virginia Beach after spending a few days in Orlando, Florida, after Palm Beach. Here are my thoughts on our trip…

Day one was rainy and chilly. We left our home early in the morning and drove to Williamsburg, VA. Our car drove on Delaware highways and local roads, and nothing really seemed all that different from where we live in New York. Because of holiday traffic, what should have been a 7 or so hour trip took us 10 hours. We got to our B&B late, and it was quite dark. I had booked a tour of Colonial Williamsburg for us to do at 8:00 PM, but because of our late arrival we missed it. Our bed-and-breakfast was a beautiful and luxurious accommodation. Check-in was easy, rooms were clean, and the breakfast was great. Overall, we had a pleasant stay. Williamsburg is a wonderful town.

Day two was spent driving nonstop again, and by nightfall we came upon Beaufort, South Carolina. I loved the drive through the Carolinas. We passed never-ending fields, and beautiful skies of blue and white. When my family drove to Florida in 2015, we stopped at a local inn, and so we booked a room there again. The outside of the inn is spectacular, but the interior wasn’t as nice as 3 years ago.

And although it was a bed-and-breakfast, they don’t actually serve breakfast anymore, so they sent us to a restaurant around the corner. The food was nice, and the southern hospitality of our waitress was impressive. Beaufort is another stop not to be missed.

After another really long day of driving, we arrived at the Palm Beach Shores Resort that night. Driving through Florida was wonderful. It was as if suddenly it was summertime. We went from thirty-degree weather in New York to suddenly 80-degree weather in Palm Beach. We stayed for five nights. Rooms are simple, but are clean and fine looking enough, and the location is superb. It is right on the beach, and our balcony overlooking the ocean was wonderful. It was great to take morning strolls across the sand to look for manatees. The resort’s restaurant is surprisingly delicious. The fish sandwich and key lime pie they serve is actually incredible and prices are very fair. I noticed that all of the employees at the Palm Beach Shores Resort are exceptionally sweet. Almost everyone we talked with was accommodating, and listened to what we requested. They have activities, special walks, and movie nights, so you can never get bored. Overall, the hotel is a fun place to go with or without family, and the town is very cute.

The next place we visited was Orlando, Florida. The three-hour drive there was easy. We stayed at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, our second time there, for four nights. Honestly, it was the highlight of the whole trip. The Bonnet Creek is located right in the heart of the Disney-Universal Theme Park area. Although we didn’t visit the parks this time around, it is a great location for a vacation. It is located right next to the Orlando Waldorf Astoria. So if you tire of the lazy river pool and want more tranquility, you can just walk right over and go to the Waldorf pool for the afternoon. The restaurants at both hotels are extraordinary, and La Luce, the Italian restaurant at the Bonnet Creek, has some of the best food my parents and I have had in this country. So in other words, we loved our stay!

On the way back home, our first stop was a few hours in Savannah, Georgia, which we totally loved. The drive was quick and traffic-less. The downtown, with trees covered in hanging Spanish moss, great architecture and cafes everywhere, was totally great. It is a groovy and beautiful place to be. That evening, we arrived in Beaufort again. This time we stayed at a bed-and-breakfast, the antebellum building is on the historic registry, and had an okay time. The outside of the inn and the location are both fantastic, but the rooms are less thrilling and the breakfast was a bit dull. The service wasn’t quite good enough for the price we paid. But it sure was beautiful.

The last stop of our trip was in Virginia Beach. At first we weren’t sure we would like the hotel, because valet parking was expensive and there were airplanes frequently flying low (and loudly) overhead. But we were wrong– the hotel was wonderful. It is located directly on the beach, and right in the middle of the city. The rooms are spacious and newly renovated, and the food was delicious. The staff was also very sweet and helpful. Overall, it was a perfect place for the last stop on our road trip.

Hopefully this article will help inspire you if you are thinking of a trip down South. I love driving to Florida, but next time will maybe do something new and take a different route. But stopping in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia is certainly a fun experience– the South is fascinating!