Penny’s guidebook

Penny
Penny’s guidebook

City/town information

Longwood is a quaint town that is centrally located between attractions.
Longwood
Longwood is a quaint town that is centrally located between attractions.

Food scene

Best pizza ever - not a chain. Authentic Italian owners! Small, casual and nearby. Delivers for a fee.
Papa Joe's Pizza & Italian Restaurant
4205 W Lake Mary Blvd
Best pizza ever - not a chain. Authentic Italian owners! Small, casual and nearby. Delivers for a fee.
Great breakfast menu and the food is always delicious. Outdoor seating has a laid back, peaceful atmosphere.
Peach Valley Café
Great breakfast menu and the food is always delicious. Outdoor seating has a laid back, peaceful atmosphere.
Food is good but you go here for the view from the screened, back patio that overlooks Lake Monroe. They have some fun, frozen beverages. Lunch or dinner.
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St Johns River Steak & Seafood
550 N Palmetto Ave
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Food is good but you go here for the view from the screened, back patio that overlooks Lake Monroe. They have some fun, frozen beverages. Lunch or dinner.
If you are visiting New Smyrna Beach, be sure to stop for some authentic Parisian pastries or order sub sandwiches on French baguettes for a picnic lunch on the beach. Fantastic!
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Mon Delice
557 East 3rd Avenue
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If you are visiting New Smyrna Beach, be sure to stop for some authentic Parisian pastries or order sub sandwiches on French baguettes for a picnic lunch on the beach. Fantastic!
Great seafood in New Smyrna! Choice of indoor or outdoor seating. Casual. Live music on weekends. Jimmy Buffet feel!
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JB's Fish Camp
859 Pompano Avenue
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Great seafood in New Smyrna! Choice of indoor or outdoor seating. Casual. Live music on weekends. Jimmy Buffet feel!
Fine dining in a casual environment. Award winning chefs. Amazing food and wine. $$ - $$$ but worth it! The most eclectic ambiance you have ever experienced. Only open for dinner and does NOT accept reservations. Arrive before opening and you may still encounter a line of people waiting - it’s that good!
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The Garlic
556 East 3rd Avenue
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Fine dining in a casual environment. Award winning chefs. Amazing food and wine. $$ - $$$ but worth it! The most eclectic ambiance you have ever experienced. Only open for dinner and does NOT accept reservations. Arrive before opening and you may still encounter a line of people waiting - it’s that good!

Sightseeing

This is a drive-thru wildlife reserve that skirts Lake Apopa. Plan on 1-2 hours depending on how often you stop to watch the alligators or any of hundreds of species of Florida birds. On a day where the gators are shy, I have counted at least 12. On a ‘gator-if-ic day, I’ve counted more than 60!
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Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
2803 Lust Rd
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This is a drive-thru wildlife reserve that skirts Lake Apopa. Plan on 1-2 hours depending on how often you stop to watch the alligators or any of hundreds of species of Florida birds. On a day where the gators are shy, I have counted at least 12. On a ‘gator-if-ic day, I’ve counted more than 60!
Get your Disney fix! 28 miles from property
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Walt Disney World Resort
3111 World Drive
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Get your Disney fix! 28 miles from property
Universal studios for your ‘ride the movies’ adventure or just visit City Walk for evening dining and entertainment.
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Universal Studios Florida
6000 Universal Blvd
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Universal studios for your ‘ride the movies’ adventure or just visit City Walk for evening dining and entertainment.
Up close and personal with marine life. Always a favorite way to spend the day!
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SeaWorld Orlando
7007 Sea World Dr
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Up close and personal with marine life. Always a favorite way to spend the day!
Our springs are a constant 72 degrees, crystal clear and refreshing. Nearby Wekiva island offers a restaurant, picnic areas and kayak/canoe rentals.
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Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Cir
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Our springs are a constant 72 degrees, crystal clear and refreshing. Nearby Wekiva island offers a restaurant, picnic areas and kayak/canoe rentals.
Not only do you have the springs for swimming, but there is an amazing breakfast opportunity. The sugar Mill Restaurant boasts inlaid griddles at every table where you cook your own pancakes choosing from the regular or buckwheat pancake batter. So fun for the kids!
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De León Springs State Park
601 Ponce Deleon Boulevard
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Not only do you have the springs for swimming, but there is an amazing breakfast opportunity. The sugar Mill Restaurant boasts inlaid griddles at every table where you cook your own pancakes choosing from the regular or buckwheat pancake batter. So fun for the kids!
I recommend the 27th street access. You can drive on the beach for a fee (be aware you can easily get your car stuck in soft sand) or park in the parking lot (fee also). The parking is adjacent to bathrooms, showers, a play area and covered picnic tables. This a very popular spot and can get very busy. Recommend that you get there early. Lifeguards on duty.
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New Smyrna Beach
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I recommend the 27th street access. You can drive on the beach for a fee (be aware you can easily get your car stuck in soft sand) or park in the parking lot (fee also). The parking is adjacent to bathrooms, showers, a play area and covered picnic tables. This a very popular spot and can get very busy. Recommend that you get there early. Lifeguards on duty.
Here is what’s special about Sebastian Inlet… By law, here is only one place in Florida that you can legally swim with manatees; that would be Homosassa, Florida. It is a bit of a drive and then you have to get reservations and pay to go on a tour before jumping in (fingers crossed) to see manatees. Instead, head to Sebastian Inlet State Park. It is in a protected inlet just shy of the Atlantic Ocean. Because it is an inlet and affected by tidal currents, the water is not usually more than 4-5 feet deep, without crashing waves, which makes it the perfect swimming area for youngsters. But the best part is that I have NEVER once gone and not encountered a manatee swimming within feet of me. They visit the inlet all day long! There is a small store with minimal food and drinks and bathrooms with showers a short walk. As with other Florida activities- get there early for a good beach spot and parking. Just a few dollars to enter the park. A great day activity.
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Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 South Highway A1A
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Here is what’s special about Sebastian Inlet… By law, here is only one place in Florida that you can legally swim with manatees; that would be Homosassa, Florida. It is a bit of a drive and then you have to get reservations and pay to go on a tour before jumping in (fingers crossed) to see manatees. Instead, head to Sebastian Inlet State Park. It is in a protected inlet just shy of the Atlantic Ocean. Because it is an inlet and affected by tidal currents, the water is not usually more than 4-5 feet deep, without crashing waves, which makes it the perfect swimming area for youngsters. But the best part is that I have NEVER once gone and not encountered a manatee swimming within feet of me. They visit the inlet all day long! There is a small store with minimal food and drinks and bathrooms with showers a short walk. As with other Florida activities- get there early for a good beach spot and parking. Just a few dollars to enter the park. A great day activity.
If you have never visited Kennedy space Center, it is something to check out. Interesting exhibits. Space shuttle Atlantis experience is so much fun. Be sure to take the bus tour and visit the launch pads while learning lots of great information about NASA. You might even meet an astronaut. One of my favorites.
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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
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If you have never visited Kennedy space Center, it is something to check out. Interesting exhibits. Space shuttle Atlantis experience is so much fun. Be sure to take the bus tour and visit the launch pads while learning lots of great information about NASA. You might even meet an astronaut. One of my favorites.
Nothing like a peaceful day of hiking in the Ocala National Forest. You will see different species of plant, trees and wildlife than anywhere else in the U.S.
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Ocala National Forest
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Nothing like a peaceful day of hiking in the Ocala National Forest. You will see different species of plant, trees and wildlife than anywhere else in the U.S.
So much fun for the younger kiddos. Large dinosaur models, information and even a dig area. Activities and gift shop.
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Dinosaur World
5145 Harvey Tew Road
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So much fun for the younger kiddos. Large dinosaur models, information and even a dig area. Activities and gift shop.