I first met Marybeth from Beaches, Bars and Bungalows, a site filled with Florida travel tips, on Instagram and as soon as I saw the name of her website, I knew I had to get to know this Florida-based blogger better (must be a three “B” thing – obviously someone who can appreciate alliteration). After you hear her story and find out what Beaches, Bars and Bungalows is all about (yes, a lot of it is about beaches, bars and bungalows), I think you’ll feel the same way.
How It Got Started
“Beaches, Bars and Bungalows was conceived on our wedding night! After our ceremony in a beautiful, old-timey Florida beach town, our reception at a festive restaurant/bar just steps from the beach, and returning to our funky, vintage 1950’s mom-and-pop motel and cottages, we looked at each other (feet sore from dancing, wedding cake crumbs at the corners of my new husband’s mouth) and said “THIS is how it’s meant to be.” Not just for a wedding. For all seekers of the best kind of R and R. Off the beaten path, no tourist traps.”
What It’s About
“Who doesn’t love a stay at the beach? We all work really hard, and after a long and busy work week, being able to just park it in a beach chair and gaze at the majestic ocean, sun warming our skin… we can’t think of a better balm to our souls. Except maybe a little later parking it on a bar stool, a tasty appetizer and a glass of something cold in front of us, live music playing and everyone content to just be. And then still later, settling in for the night in a cozy bed that someone else put fresh sheets on…
There is so much more to coastal Florida than the much-lauded beach towns. Where’s the fun in exploring the top hot-spots where you may be stuck sweaty arm to sweaty arm with dubious strangers? What floats our boat is the zing we get from finding those places the locals don’t want us to tell you about! And if we find the best beach, the best beach bar, and the best bungalow – or clean and affordable mom-and-pop – to stay the night, all within walking distance, we call that The Perfect Triple B.”
Who It Is
“Beaches, Bars and Bungalows travel blog is me, my husband, and our blended family of four kids. I’m sure you’ve heard “the beach is calling and I must go,” – we can’t think of a better statement to explain the pull of the ocean, the magic of even just, for us, how it smells. God is at the beach; whatever god you may believe in, whatever color you picture Her skin to be. Even if you don’t believe in anything (you skeptic, you) you must secretly admit that there is something otherworldly – healing even – about a day at the beach.
With each town we visit we give you a simple, go-to list for your stay; answers to questions we ourselves would ask. For example: Ease of parking, can we drink on The Beach, may we bring our dog, the vibe of The Bar, when is happy hour, will we be within walking distance of The Bungalow. We list the approximate price for a night’s stay, as well as amenities and anything special we think you’d like to know. We are committed to never giving a bad review; if we don’t like a place, we won’t talk about it.”
The Beach Towns
“Boca Grande (South Gulf Coast) for the upscale beauty of the town itself
Casey Key/Nokomis Beach (South Gulf Coast) for its plethora of retro mom-and-pop motels
Indian Rocks (Central Gulf Coast) for its wealth of adorable bungalow-style motels and many eateries/bars to choose from
Indialantic (Central Atlantic Coast) for being able to walk right off the beach and get food!”
“Squid Lips, Melbourne, (Central Atlantic Coast) because sometimes the best Beach Bars are on the riverfront!
Beaches, Vilano Beach (North Atlantic Coast) for its bright, fun atmosphere and pet-friendliness
JD’s Restaurant and Lounge, Indian Rocks (Central Gulf Coast) for the eclectic “art,” and live music twice a day!
The Red Bar, Grayton Beach (Panhandle) for its wild and funky vibe, and the history of the building”
“Palm Coast Villas, Palm Coast (Central Atlantic Coast) for its unique construction made with historic coquina rock, and its sprawling grounds and forest to walk through to the river
Sea Aire Motel, South Cocoa Beach (Central Atlantic Coast) for its simplicity and position right on the ocean
Magic Beach Motel, Vilano Beach (North Atlantic Coast) for its funkiness and being so close to The Beach and The Bar
Driftwood Motel and Cottages, Jensen Beach (Central Atlantic Coast) for its adorable turquoise cottages”
“Our upcoming plans for our blog: A new segment – Healthy Happy Hour – authored by The Bar Foodie, who is an accomplished bar sampler (like we are!) and bar food maker who has made a commitment to be healthier (but not give up booze.) He’ll give us his recipes for much-loved bar snacks, appetizers, and cocktails that he’s made over, substituting healthy ingredients for the bad ones. The Bar Foodie’s motto is Stay Home and Drink. Because we just can’t be zipping off to the Beach Bar every single night!
Look in the near future for our new segment perfect for when you absolutely have to go to a tourist trap-ish town. Like if your teenagers are insisting on going somewhere trendy and crowded, and you’re sure as hell not going to let them go on their own! We’ll find the best places for you to visit to survive that trip; we’re calling this “OASIS.”
And lastly, we’ll be unveiling our Beach People category, where we’ll have lifestyle posts of unique/quirky/inventive Beach People, or just fellow beach, bar, and/or bungalow lovers who have a story to tell. Including our favorite beach bar blogger, Beach Bar Bums!”
Ahh, you’re too kind, Marybeth … but feel free to spread the word if you feel the need.
Thanks for taking the time to participate in this, Marybeth, and I look forward to meeting up with you and your family on the beaches of Florida someday! Cheers!
All images courtesy of Beaches, Bars and Bungalows.