If you’re looking for a quick weekend trip, take advantage of the proximity and depth of the West Coast of Florida: Fort Myers.
Only 2 hours away, Fort Myers provides serenity, history and retail therapy to those needing a respite from the relative craziness of South Florida!
Fort Myers/Estero boasts one of my favorite outlet malls, Miromar Outlets. With over 140 stores, including all of the major brands, this open air/outdoor mall is a wonderful escape from the Florida heat while still staying outside. There is even a playground for the kids <cough and husbands> to go get some energy out while you continue to explore.
Staying on Sanibel? Go to the Tanger Outlet Mall, which is in Fort Myers on the way to Sanibel. With fewer stores, you can avoid some of the hustle and bustle of a larger mall, while still getting all the deals.
Fort Myers Beach is the first beach that comes to mind when you go to Fort Myers and it has wonderful beach access.
Sanibel/Captiva is just a short 20 minute drive away which offers a quieter retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle. I take my family to Sanibel in order to beat the crowds, and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy as businesses are away from the water. Shelling is quite popular and occupies kids of all ages!
Mel’s Diner is locally owned and operated and takes you back to the 1950s with not only a fun, family-friendly atmosphere, but also delicious food! A ventriloquist walks around the tables providing entertainment while you wait!
Another locally owned and operated restaurant,Fancy’s Southern Café, provides upscale southern comfort food for both you and the kids!
And because I just couldn’t leave it out, visit the Hickory Pit BBQ for a local gem! Get some Pit Sauce to go… it’s addicting!
Near Fort Myer’s Beach,Doc Ford’s relaxed environment with outdoor seating cannot be beaten for adults and children alike!
Staying on Sanibel/Captiva? Visit their restaurant locations there as well!
Baseball Spring Training
Visit Fort Myers in the Spring and take your family to a Spring Training game for either the Minnesota Twins or the Boston Red Sox! Summer offersMiracle baseball games, including the month of August!
Have you been to Fort Myers/Sanibel? What are your “Must-Sees”? Comment below!
To dine at the resort, all reservations must be escorted by a hotel guest or member.
I don’t know what it is about me writing these #MBMdining blog posts while I AM STARVING. What am I thinking?
I’m looking back at the photos from my recent MBMom foodie experiences while dining at the Boca Resort last month and I’m pretty sure saliva is dripping from my mouth. OK, that’s not a pretty picture…
But this is!
The ocean almost blends with the sky…
That was our view from the blue (and my fancy cocktail- muddled strawberries, YUM) at the top of the tower at the Boca Resort– the tallest point in our fair city with arguably the BEST views in Palm Beach County day or night.
We were at the top!
But views do not a delicious dinner make for #modernbocadad and me.
the blue, launched in January 2014, is a fine dining yet family-friendly restaurant serving New American food and drink. It’s sophisticated and contemporary with some unexpected flavors and modern takes on classic dishes.
Although #modernbocadad and I used this MBMom dinner as a little date night, the blue is family-friendly with a kid’s menu and high chairs (if needed). The next table over from us, in fact, had a family of 4 enjoying dinner together.
After cocktails recommended by the fantastic sommelier, Roberto (he’s the star of our little “cocktail” photo shoot below), we moved on to the raw bar and appetizers.
Oysters and snow crab legs
Deviled eggs to die for! Chorizo MADE the set on the left
Fried green tomato salad: We didn’t order this, but the Chef insisted…GOOD CALL!
After gorging on the starters, we moved on to wine and our main courses.
Swordfish steak main course (#modernbocadad)
Grilled skirt steak main course (@modernbocamom)
So tasty! And cooked to perfection.
The service was fantastic and the food and sunset views were to die for at the blue. We felt…dare I say…taken care of, which is rare for us now that we’ve become parents and are caring for a tiny human 24/7.
You know what I’m talking about MBMoms!
Last but not least, DESSERT. I have two words for you: Funnel. Cake. Yes, it was as delish as it looks. We inhaled it.
the blue was breath of fresh air in Boca Raton where service can be iffy, especially in the summer season. Sometimes I feel like that’s reason enough to take a stay-cation at a place where you know life will be easy and the service will be great…at least for a few blissful days!
We also had some fun with Roberto as he showed us the art of crafting after-dinner cocktails at the blue bar. This particular drink had #modernbocadad written all over it with High West Whiskey and orange bitters…while #mbmom rocked the champagne.
As always, I’m on my phone…life of a blogger!
Custom-crafted cocktails are a huge trend in NYC. I’m glad to see that the blue takes their cocktailing seriously!
And then, like Cinderella’s carriage turning into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight, we were headed home to relieve our babysitter. But, we certainly had a BALL!
Because this dining post would be incomplete without a little write-up on the Boca Resort’s cozy Tuscan restaurant, I was back on property the next evening with #modernbocaaunt to review Lucca.
With an open-arched kitchen, hand-blown Murano chandeliers and inventive Tuscan cuisine, Lucca is a family-oriented Mediterranean restaurant, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
You can savor signature dishes, designed to highlight their fresh and carefully chosen ingredients – along with an award-winning wine list.
Music to my ears!
Spoiler alert! We ordered the fondue for dessert
Lucca was good. The appetizers were solid and traditional. I ordered the Caprese Salad and my sister ordered a Caesar. We also requested an order of the Wood Fired Octopus which is one of the more popular dishes, I am told.
The mains that we ordered felt like comfort food!
Between the pasta and the wine, I was ready to curl up for a good night’s sleep at the end of our meal (or maybe that was because #dailybabyavery had been up at 4AM the night before)…
Caramelized spaghetti squash & three cheese polenta
Rock shrimp scampi
But, we obviously couldn’t leave without sampling dessert!
Fondue for 2…okay 4…
Sadly, the fondue was the end of yet another wonderful dining experience at the Boca Resort. 🙁
I had no idea that there were so many fun, exclusive and family-friendly options for local residents bysimply booking a hotel stay. Especially during the summer when the crowds are way less intense and rates so reasonable (starting at $149 per night)!
No, we can’t all afford to be members of the Boca Resort, but getting a hotel room for a few nights for you and your family is your way to get past the velvet rope and enjoy a fantastic stay-cation in your own (fabulous) South Florida backyard.
There are still plenty of summer weekends left in the South Florida season! Why not enjoy one here?
MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms! Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
Today’s featured MOMpreneur is the founder of a business her young son inspired, the children’s sock company Are You Kidding? Meet Rachel Martinez! Children’s socks south florida!
Like most MBMoms, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time dreaming about what your child might become one day. A lawyer, an astronaut, President of the United States perhaps? I know I refused to name #dailybabyavery anything short of a “CEO power name” when I gave birth to her.
So, what if your child started to show his career promise at the age of 6? Would you support them? Would you quit your full-time job to become his or her MOMpreneur mentor?
Um…can I plead the fifth?
Well, that’s what makes this MOMpreneur Mondaystory so unique. Rachel Martinez took her young son Sebastian’s passion for designing socks and is building a thriving business around it.
You’re a brave mom to take such a big business risk! Call me impressed! Tell me about how this family entrepreneurial adventure got started.
I am a 35 year old mother of 2 boys (6 & 8 years old). For the past 13 years, I have worked in the media/advertising sales world. 12 of those were at Televisa Publishing and the past year I have been working from home representing Robb Report Mexico and Forbes Mexico.
I left my full time job a year ago because I knew that my passion has always been to start my own company. Being a mom changed my outlook on my career.
I wanted to make a career for myself instead of making a career for someone else.
Most of all, I wanted to create something that my entire family could be involved in.
I actually started Are You Kidding back in 2008 with a friend; only we started it in a different direction. Working full time, our company pretty much got stuck. But, I always knew I had something that could be great with the name.
My 6-year old son, Sebastian, has always had an obsession with fun and crazy socks. Last year it occurred to me to ask him if he would like to design his own socks. He was so happy that he sat right down and started drawing. After he drew his first sock he asked me to make a hole in it so that he could put it on (obviously that was not possible).
Besides your young, fabulous designer, what makes your business unique?
What makes our business unique is that you have the passion of a 6-year old boy behind the brand.
Anyone can sell socks…but not anyone has a great story to tell about the socks.
Sebastian loves talking to people abut his socks and you can really see how everything he says comes from his heart.
Why should my readers buy Are You Kidding? socks for their kids?
First, our socks are excellent quality. If they can take a beating from my kids, they will last a lifetime.
Like I mentioned, there are tons of socks out there but with Are You Kidding? you are supporting a child who is expressing himself through his socks.
What do you envision for your family business going forward?
Sebastian is constantly trying to come up with new sock ideas for the future collections!
Besides more sock designs, we are also working on a clothing collection to continue showing off our Are You Kidding? styles. My 8 year old told me he wanted to design t-shirts so maybe we will have a t-shirt collection designed by him soon?
What do you love about living and working in South Florida?
I was born and raised in South Florida. Many people are born here and leave and many people wind up living here from other states or countries. I have always loved living here and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Besides the great weather and the many activities it allows us to do with our kids, my family is here and Miami is who I am.
MBMoms, meet the next sock mogul of South Florida! And, what better time to update your kids’ sock fashion collection than now, back-to-school time!
Michelle Houser, a yoga teacher and health coach, started the Power in She program to empower girls to grow up to become confident women. The program elevates self-esteem through yoga, awareness of the obstacles that young girls face and introducing tools such as journaling and goal setting.
Classes are targeted to mothers and daughters, ages 8-13. Each class is 90 minutes long. No previous yoga experience is required!
For more information and to find a class in your area visit their Facebook page.
Namaste! (and happy shopping!)
Modern Boca Mom contributor Samara is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for health, fitness, and social media. In her “downtime” from mommy-ing two boys, she is an account executive for a boutique social media firm and the founder of healthy living blog,Peace, Love and Ice Cream!